You all have your Walking shoes ready? It's a good one today. Pierre-Marc Bouchard's return has columnists from both papers there last night, in addition to back-up beat writer night at the X. You'll see in a moment that one paper's back-up has as much trouble covering the team as the rest of the paper, but I digress. It's not like people pay to read it, right?
We'll jump right into it, but don't forget to fly over to Facebook and answer the Question of the Day. Good fun being had by all. Don't be the only one not involved or we'll force you read a bad newspaper. Trust me. We know where to get one.
Coyotes too much as Wild's losing streak hits three | StarTribune.com - The Wild say they are getting better. Anyone else just a bit mystified by that?
Wild remains upbeat | StarTribune.com - Russo's Rants with Kent Youngblood. Upbeat and learning. Game 25 tomorrow. Interesting.
Struggling Backstrom gets in extra practice | StarTribune.com - Not that Jose Theodore has looked all that much better. Eventually they'll figure out it is the team, not the goalie. Eventually. Patience.
Patrick Reusse: Returning Bouchard works off rust and gives Wild what it needs | StarTribune.com - A good take on the return of Butch from a usually negative writer. Savor it folks. If Butch isn't back to form in two games, there will be another column, and it won't be pretty.
It's checkmate for Minnesota Wild until team improves its forecheck - TwinCities.com - Agreed that the forecheck for the Wild is lacking. However, when you write something like this: "They outshot the Flames by one, and outshot Phoenix by one on Wednesday, the first time they have outshot consecutive opponents all season. Yet it was still by one." You may want to check the box score. 36-35 SOG. In favor of... What a wonderful way to spend your money. Run right out and buy a subscription to this.
Tom Powers: Wild need Bouchard at his best - TwinCities.com - Ah, our good buddy Tom. Sorry Tom. I'm not sure what for, but just... Sorry Tom.
Bouchard's return gives Richards hope - TwinCities.com - Hope. We'll learn more about that later. Keep this post in mind.
#14 Minnesota Wild - Forbes.com - The Wild are the #14 most valuable team in the NHL. Having lost $50+ million on the deal, I'm not so sure Mr. Leipold is happy about that.
In Pictures: Hockey's Most Valuable Teams - #14 Minnesota Wild - Forbes.com - Your quick look at the list. Check out #27, the Nashville Coyotes.
NHL Power Rankings: Do They Reflect the Wild Slide? - SB Nation Minnesota - I have been slated with the task of analysing the NHL power rankings from around the web every week. If you hate power rankings as much as I do, you may enjoy my look at them.
Where's Waldo? Finding The Wild In The Standings - SB Nation Minnesota - I also look at the standings every week. Forgot to include it until now, but not much has changed. Hopefully you can still enjoy it.
Hitting The Post: Caps best Halak this time; Canucks rout Flames - I find no joy in the Canucks beating the Flames.
Off the Trail
The One Thing All Fans Want - SB Nation Minnesota - What is that all fans want? What did Butch give to Richards according to the link above? Ah yes... hope.
Your Wildly Stupid Speculation Moment of the Day
Charley Walters: Look for 14 Twins to be tendered contracts - TwinCities.com - Check out the line under the DON'T PRINT THAT heading. "Nineteen 19 NHL scouts, a record for the Xcel Energy Center, were at Wednesday night's Wild-Phoenix Coyotes game, and they weren't in town for the weather. A major trade could be forthcoming for the Wild."
This is dangerous "journalism" right here. There are always a ton of scouts at the X. Walters would know that if he showed up for more than three games a year. Could there be something in the works? Sure there could. It could also just be a major coincidence, or teams scouting the Coyotes, or teams watching the return of Bouchard. The point is, it could have been anything. Instead, another solid piece of knowledge is dropped by a Pioneer Press writer.
What constitutes a "major trade?" Are minor trades not possible with scouts present? Who is the buyer here? Players involved? Does Walters understand "major trades" don't happen very often in a salary capped league, especially early in the year?
It's dangerous to just throw something like that out into the world, Charley. Next time, save your wisdom, will ya?