Wilderness Walk- 03-22-2013: My God, Are We Actually Good? Edition

What has two thumbs and is getting some much deserved Calder Love? - Tom Szczerbowski

The Wild are starting to catch attention from the big guns in media. Are they actually this good?

The Wild, as you should probably know, have it pretty good right now.

They have as many points as anyone in the Western Conference not named "Blackhawks" or "Ducks", they're first in their division, and they seem to be hitting their stride at a time where they're going to need it the most. They seem to be in a good position.

But we've kind of seen this last year, when the Wild got off to an even better start (20-7-3), only to suffer a massive clearly injury- Corsi-fueled collapse.

But now, the Wild being on top of the division is being noticed by the mainstream media, and I don't just mean Barry Melrose, who somehow thinks the Wild are a Cup contender.

So this begs the question, are the Wild really this good?

Anyway, to the Walk!

Playoff Bubble Today

The Wild currently sit in 3rd place in the conference, due to a game in hand, as well as a R/OT Win advantage over Vancouver. Were it not for the divisional setup, they'd still be in third due to a game in hand on Los Angeles. The last team in the playoff bubble is still San Jose, with 32 points.

Nashville (30 points) defeated Calgary in regulation by a score of 5-3.

Vancouver (36) prevailed over Phoenix (30) in regulation 2-1.

Dallas (31) shut out the Kings (36) in regulation, by a score of 2-0.

Wild News

Wild's Brodin emerges as Calder candidate | StarTribune.com- If you're still not on board with the whole "Jonas Brodin is pretty much the greatest rookie in the history of ever, or at least this year" thing, guess who disagrees with you? Scotty Bowman, and everyone else. I don't even care about the whole "Appeal to authority is a fallacy" thing. You lose. Forever.

Minnesota Wild: Matt Hackett has been busy, but not in goal - TwinCities.com- With the whole shortened season thing going on, it's hard to argue with Backstrom starting so many games. It;s going to suck if he walks, and the Wild have two talented, but inexperienced goaltenders and Josh Harding, who, unfortunately, will come with question marks. What do you think Wilderness? Should they be giving Hackett or Kuemper some more experience.

Caution: Wild are starting to come together - Cross Checks Blog - ESPN

First Round Bust: The Curious Case of Matt Cullen- First Round Bust guest post making a case to resign Matt Cullen. I'm on board, but only if the price and years are right. That's not 3 years and 3.5 million.

Minnesota Wild Clip Red Wings, Are They For Real? - Gone Puck Wild- Yes.

Hitting The Post: Has the Stink of Doug Risebrough finally left the room?- I chuckled.

Tending the Fields

The Third Intermission: Aeros Checkmate Checkers- Zach Phillips scored his fifth goal of the season, and Granlund picked up an assist. Not bad.

Mikael Granlund Fighting For Minnesota Spot With AHL's Houston Aeros- The Hockey News takes a look at our own FBJ and his situation. I still wonder if the offense would be even better with a Parise-Koivu-Granlund line, but it's hard to complain now.

Off the Trail

NHL - Why teams should trade early - ESPN-

5 reasons this will be the worst trade deadline ever | Backhand Shelf- Tony says: Because the Wild have to watch their cap space, and thusly shouldn't make a splashy move, and that's kinda a trade deadline buzzkill. Twitter says: Because the Wild won't trade Koivu, Heatley, Backstrom, Cullen, PMB, Gilbert, everyone else.

On hockey players and the immediate effect of inhaling smelling salts | Backhand Shelf- Justin Bourne's insider's take on hockey of the day.

Martin Brodeur scores game’s first goal in return to action for Devils (VIDEO) | Puck Daddy - Yahoo! Sports- That's the one good thing about not having own goals recorded as such. This is an entertaining result.

After four years of waiting, North Dakota’s Tate Maris makes collegiate debut | Puck Daddy - Yahoo! Sports Good for Maris! This is a pretty cool story.

The Team of 18,001: Saluting NHL 94- Sorry, Giles. Not only is NHL 94 eclipsed by NHL HItz 20-03, I also make a better case for my game of choice.

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