Wilderness Walk 12-1-2013: A long December Edition

Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sport

The Wild see their losing streak hit 4 games, with just 1 point in that stretch. Signs of life though good portions of last nights game were not enough to steal a victory from the Avalanche on the road.

Good morning Wilderness, and welcome to December! Were starting to see colored lights hanging from houses and delicious smells coming from the kitchen as the holiday baking season is in full swing. All this sensory overload is lacking wins from your favorite hockey team, the Minnesota Wild.

The Wild lost in a shootout last night to the Colorado Avalanche despite dominating large stretches of the game. A few things really started to bug me about last nights game though. I noticed on quite a few occasions while the Wild were scrambling in the Av's zone forwards skating pucks back to the blue line and dumping it off to our defenders. Not a giant problem until you factor in now the blue line has become crowded with 2 Avalanche defenders as well as the 2 Wild skaters. It's just putting our D in a real tough spot, and when your trying to fire a puck through all those legs towards the goal a bad deflection easily leads to an odd rush going the other way. Just drives me nuts folks, I'd really much rather they cycle the puck back down low. Win or lose the puck at that point and at the very least you have mitigated the odd man rush going the other way.

It's all in the past though, no sense in dwelling on it. The Wild need to find a way to break though the elusive barrier blocking out the wins right now and get this train back on track. With as tight as the West is you just can't stumble for too long before you find yourself fighting for a playoff spot.

Next up for the Wild, we welcome the Philadelphia Flyers to town. An Eastern Conference team, a conference the Wild (and the West as a whole) have had a lot of success against this year. Here's to hoping that trend continues, or the Wild may find themselves at the start of what could turn into a long December.

Wild News

Minnesota Wild rally, settle for a face-saving point - TwinCities.com
Chad brings you a recap he likely had to write twice. You only need to read it once though.

Postgame: Wild's constant pressure, late rally a step in right direction | Russo's Rants | StarTribune.com
I does become increasingly difficult to watch a team who's catch phrase is "If we keep playing like that, the goals will come". These skids which we had all but forgotten after a mostly tremendous November just sting.

Wild finds glass half full in shootout loss to Avs | Star Tribune
A point is better than none, and perhaps we are seeing a small resurgence towards the 'W' column come Monday at home against the Flyers?

Minnesota Wild: Jason Zucker remembers Denver - TwinCities.com
Zucker's homecoming of sorts was not a very happy one for the Wild.

The Team of 18,001: The Iron Patriot
Giles previews the future of NHL armor.

Josh Harding, NHL Star Goalie, Battles Multiple Sclerosis - Real People Stories : People.com
Harding getting some love from a rather notable publication.

Tending the Fields

Wild notes: Draft pick Olofsson progressing at Colorado College | Star Tribune
Olofsson has been playing real good for CC and has drawn some attention from Sweden for the World Juniors coming up in late December. Wild GM Chuck Fletcher even made an appearance recently to scout the Wild prospect in St. Cloud.

Off the Trail

Sunday NHL Insider: This is the Year of the Blues -- really | Star Tribune
Russo has been tooting their horn for years now, but this time he really means it! #kissofdeath

Sharks fans litter Brent Burns’ driveway with hats after hat trick (Photo) | Puck Daddy - Yahoo Sports
This is awesome, hope his cleaning service wasn't upset with the extra mess.

Blackhawks’ Circus trip a success; beat Coyotes Saturday | ProHockeyTalk
I hate other teams and their road success.

Make no mistake: almost-approved Markham arena is for an NHL team - The Hockey News
A second team in the Toronto area has a home?

Don Cherry appeals to new overlords on-air: ‘Don’t try to ruin a good thing’ (Video) | Puck Daddy - Yahoo Sports
Don Cherry, not sticking his foot in his mouth this time, but you can expect a good rant any day now.

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