Wilderness Walk- 03-29-2013: Game Day Edition

Jeff Gross

The Wild try to extend their winning streak to 8 games. And Harding returns to the ice!

The winning streak is great. It really is. The fact that the playoffs get more likely every day is wonderful.

But let's not forget about what's really important.

Today, Josh Harding returned to the ice to practice with his teammates. He hasn't been on the ice for about two months, when he had to adjust his medications to treat his Multiple Sclerosis. As you'll read later, he's adjusting well to his medicine, and is now skating with the team.

It's more than possible that he won't play a minute with the team for the rest of the season. But when dealing with this kind of disease, any victory is a big one, and I'm very excited that he's been able to get on the ice, and continue to wish him the best as he deals with a terrible situation. These are the kind of stories that should transcend wins and losses.

But other people are going to put that more eloquently than I can. For now, back to the games.

The Wild roll into Dallas for the second time this week, having snapped a decade-long skid there in Monday's game. And once again, they're finding themselves in a position where they'll have to come away with a win to finish in first place in the division. Not much is known about the game now, as either Hackett or Kuemper could start, and we don't know if Brett Clark will start his first game today. Stay tuned.

As for non-Wild news, it's gone something like this:

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So, now that you've been briefed, let's hit the Walk.

Playoff Bubble Today

The Wild sit in fourth place in the Conference with 42 points, two points behind Vancouver. The bubble team today is St. Louis with 36 points.

Los Angeles (40 points) defeated St. Louis (36) 4-2 in regulation.

Phoenix (33) slaughtered Nashville (34) in regulation, 7-4.

Vancouver (44) defeated Colorado in regulation by a score of 4-1.

San Jose (38) prevailed against Detroit (39) in regulation by a score of 2-0.

Wild News

Harding hits the ice with Wild teammates for the first time in weeks | StarTribune.com- :D

Minnesota Wild: For Josh Harding, return to ice 'a big step for me' - TwinCities.com- :D

Hartman: Contributors many to Wild's recent rise | StarTribune.com- Hey, look everyone, Sid begrudgingly remembered that hockey exists!

Wild notes: Backstrom left home to rest | StarTribune.com- A well-earned rest for Backstrom. The only question is who starts today (SPOILER: It's probably gonna be Kuemper.

Wild Winning Streak Overshadowed By Penguins | The Hockey Writers- I'll say it is. This article is a breakdown of the Wild's success as of late.

With Jarome Iginla now a Penguin, Could the Wild’s Pierre-Marc Bouchard Become a Bruin? - Gone Puck Wild- Could the Wild take advantage of Boston's epic schadenfreude/trolling? Let's hope so!

The Team of 18,001: Angry Mikko- Relive Wednesday's GW-Goal. Because it was awesome.

Tending the Fields

NCAA hockey tournament preview: Breaking down unpredictable battle for Frozen Four | Puck Daddy - Yahoo! Sports- Yeah, it's Lambert, but he's getting his clicks anyways, so whatevs. Continue to preview the tournament. Or not.

Off the Trail

5 reasons the Iginla, Morrow and Murray trades could be a bad thing for this year’s Penguins | Backhand Shelf- The Wild aren't among those five reasons. Don't know how that was overlooked.

Five reasons the Pittsburgh Penguins aren’t mortal lock for Stanley Cup | Puck Daddy - Yahoo! Sports- Hmmm... It's almost as if the hockey blogosphere is trying to convince themselves that the Pens aren't a lock for the Cup.

Why Jarome Iginla picked the Penguins | Puck Daddy - Yahoo! Sports- Hehehe.

Enemy News

For news and analysis on the Dallas Stars, please check out our friends at Defending Big D. And also check out the Dallas Morning News.

Afternoon Notes: Jamie Benn Returns to Practice; Jaromir Jagr Extension Talks Confirmed - Defending Big D- Benn is heading back, and Jagr is talking extension. Which is weird for a 40+ player.

Heika: Here is what I would do at the trade deadline if I was Dallas Stars GM- A trade deadline preview for Dallas.

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