Wilderness Walk 11-25-2013: Game Day Edition

Jana Chytilova/Freestyle Photo

Tonight the Minnesota Wild find themselves in St. Louis to faceoff against the Blues.

The Minnesota Wild open up their most difficult portion of the season to date. Tonight, we go up against the NHL's top ranked team according to several sources power rankings and that is no mistake. The St. Louis Blues have a lot of weapons at their disposal and the Wild need to be at their best tonight to come out of St. Louis with a point or two.

Up to this point, the Wild have done what they should be doing to "lesser" teams around the league, winning. They are off to their best start in franchise history and it hasn't always been easy but they have managed to keep the ball rolling. Tonight's game starts at 7 pm for those of you in the Central Time Zone at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis. The roster is in flux at the moment with uncertainty surrounding Josh Harding and Mikael Granlund as well as Torrey Mitchell being out and Keith Ballard still not ready to return.

A couple things we do know about the roster, Mike Rupp has completed his rehab stint in Iowa and is available tonight if needed and Darcy Kuemper will be hanging around until we find out if Harding is feeling well enough to backup Niklas Backstrom.

Wild News

Minnesota Wild open four-game test against the West's best - TwinCities.com
Finally, we start learning what this team is really made of.

Wild-St. Louis game preview | Star Tribune
Some quick notes and what to look for in tonight's game.

Harding injury creates Wild roster dilemma | Star Tribune
A few words on Mikael Granlund and his mysterious upper body injury.

Minnesota Wild: Mike Rupp ready for first NHL action of season - TwinCities.com
Just in case your forgot. Yes, Mike Rupp does still play for the Minnesota Wild.

Wild about to face difficult stretch in schedule | Star Tribune
It's sink or swim time folks. The little mistakes are going to start costing the Wild. If they are not careful this could be a very difficult next month on the schedule.

Tending the Fields

Florida Everblades blank Orlando Solar Bears 6-0 - Orlando Sentinel
The Solar Bears are taken to task by the Everblades. Ouch!

Sundogs Down Mallards, Sweep Weekend Set
Quad City loses the weekend to a team from Arizona.

Off the Trail

Has free agent fun come to an end with all the stars re-signing before becoming UFAs? - The Hockey News
Are the day of free-agency fun over? I highly doubt it. Just because a big name can re-sign with his current team, they can also hold out and watch a bidding war unfold in July. Players will always want to make more money, and if they think they can do that on the open market, they will.

The Vent: The end of true NHL rivalries; in praise of Brett Hull | Puck Daddy - Yahoo Sports
Wyshynski drops the gloves.

Smyth thinks he’s turning things along with Oilers | ProHockeyTalk
Unfortunately, he still plays for the Oilers.

Okposo’s hot start has attracted Team USA’s attention | ProHockeyTalk
St. Paul's own Kyle Okposo has raised some eyebrows with team USA. Good luck to you kid. You have a little bit of a hill to climb but if you keep doing what you're doing you may find yourself wearing the stars and stripes come February.

No hearing scheduled for Cowen after elbowing Datsyuk | ProHockeyTalk
In keeping with their high standard of inconsistency, the Department of Player Saftey jokes appears to be right on queue with this one. Not sure how this elbow was missed by the stripes in this one.

Sunday's NHL Capsules - The Hockey News
Just 2 games in the NHL yesterday, a very quick recap from around the league.

Russian influence declining in the NHL | For The Win
Russian's are few and far between these days.

Parent: NHL determined to ruin outdoor games
But outdoor games are so much fun, right?

Blues Clues

The Official Web Site - St. Louis Blues
Stop on over to the Blues official site for the latest team news.

St. Louis Game Time, a St. Louis Blues community
Your best source for quality St. Louis Blues news, rumors, analysis, stats and scores from the fan perspective.

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