Jose Theodore, who had a major impact in knocking the Wild out the last time they reached the NHL playoffs, is now trying to help lead them back.

A goaltender with the agility of a gymnast, Theodore stopped 188 of 200 Minnesota shots in that 2008 series — his .940 save percentage ranks atop all goalie playoff numbers against the Wild — as the Colorado Avalanche knocked out the Wild in six games.

"He was unbelievable; he was outstanding in that series," said Wild forward Andrew Brunette, who led the Avalanche with three goals against Minnesota.

Since then, the Wild have been on the outside looking in.

Now the No. 2 goalie behind Niklas Backstrom going into tonight's home game against none other than the Avalanche, Theodore said that in April 2008 he never could have imagined himself one day wearing a Wild sweater.

"I thought I would stay in Denver; I didn't think I would end up here," he said. "It's funny how things sometimes happen."

A native of Laval, Quebec, the 5-foot-11 Theodore left Colorado as a free agent and played two seasons for the Washington Capitals before landing in Minnesota in October. It was a totally unexpected turn of events for the guy who in 2002 with Montreal won the Hart Memorial Trophy as the NHL's most valuable player as well as the Vezina Trophy as the league's top goalie.