A lot has happened since we've last seen each other.
Don't worry, we'll get to our regularly scheduled programming in a few short paragraphs. There's been a lot of people out there saying a large amount of awfully nice things, which makes it hard to add anything new, anything you haven't heard yet. And I won't try. But it would feel weird to not say anything.
Firstly, I hope that all is well with you, your family, your friends, your neighbors, and everyone you know.
I am very saddened by the news coming out of Boston on Monday, despite being lucky enough so that I, nor anyone I know, was affected by these horrible, senseless acts. I'm saddened because I know that there are many of you were not so lucky. To you, I can offer little more than my sincere condolences. Sadly, these are often not enough in the wake of such tragedies.
Which is why I'm also grateful. I'm grateful that there were people in Boston who were able to give, and give more than their thoughts and prayers. The first responders who bravely did their jobs in the face of danger. The people who offered their services, their electricity, their homes, and even their own blood to people in need. It's terrible that tragedies are what most effectively provoke this compassion, but wonderful that the best of humanity reveals itself when it's most needed. As you read yesterday, Patton Oswalt's words ring true: The good overcomes. Let's be sad for Boston, but let's not overlook the good things.
If you're so inclined, here are some of the hockey world's tributes to Boston. The Walk comes after.
Stay safe, Wilderness.
Playoff Bubble Today
The Wild are currently 6th place in the Western Conference with 51 points, 4 points behind the Division-Leading Vancouver Canucks (Gorram loser points). The Wild are 2 points behind the Los Angeles Kings for 4th place. The Detroit Red Wings and Columbus Blue Jackets share the edge of the playoff bubble, at 8th and 9th, with 47 points each.
St. Louis (50 points) defeated Vancouver (55) in a shootout, 2-1.
San Jose (53) edged out Los Angeles (53) in another shootout 3-2. Gorram three-point games.
Motivated Wild strikes early in edmonton in 5-3 victory | StarTribune.com- And luckily for them, their late-game lull didn't cost them in either Alberta game. Seriously, the Wild can't play that poorly with a lead, and they've done it twice in a row. But overall, I'm really happy with the Wild's game tonight. They (largely) dominated a team they should dominate, and came out with the points to show for it. Hopefully the Wild can take it to a quality team in San Jose on Friday.
Wild climbing up the standings, pulls off Alberta sweep | StarTribune.com- This slipped under the radar, but the Wild's win tonight put them at .500 on the road (11-10-1). If the Wild win their last two road games, in addition to virtually guaranteeing themselves a playoff spot, they'll be over .500 on the road for the first time in club history.
Wild beat oilers 5-3, dramatically improve playoff position - TwinCities.com- A position even more improved by the Wild escaping edmonton without incurring the wrath of Cheap Shot Hall.
Brodziak finds his game with 2-goal night in 5-3 in edmonton | State of Hockey News- Your period-by-period recap. Obviously not just about Brodziak, but he's in the title, so good for him. It's only two games, but playing with Pominville is really seeming to do wonders for him, as opposed to Heatley.
Wild notes: Cullen gets assist — for mentoring Zucker | StarTribune.com- Today's notebook includes the Wild's Big Brother program, Coyle taking some lumber to the teeth, and Granlund fortuitously not getting to Houston, even though he was sent down. I mean, do they win tonight with Falk playing on the fourth line? Gross.
Need to know: Wild control postseason destiny - Cross Checks Blog - ESPN- And their win tonight makes sure they maintain their control.
Tending the Fields
The Third Intermission: Harding, Granlund assigned to Aeros- Luckily for the Wild, only one of those things happened tonight.
Off the Trail
Six outdoor NHL games in 2014; Yankee, Dodger Stadium included | Puck Daddy - Yahoo! Sports- Six outdoor games next year, and the Wild gets none? I know it's a gimmick game, but really? How does Minnesota keep avoiding these games? Though there are rumors about the Wild getting the Winter Classic in 2015, it sucks that the Rangers and Penguins will be involved in 3 of those games before the Wild (maybe) get one.
NHL Awards Watch: Sergei Bobrovsky takes the Vezina Trophy lead | Puck Daddy - Yahoo! Sports- #SuterForNorris #BrodinForCalder #BaxForVezina
Is Alex Ovechkin NHL MVP? Coach Adam Oates says ‘Yup, absolutely’ | Puck Daddy - Yahoo! Sports- Yay! Ovechkin's back! The NHL was getting pretty lonely with Sidney Crosby being the only player in the NHL.
Which of the NHL’s top scorers have struggled against playoff-bound teams? | Backhand Shelf- In Awards talk, how much does performance against top competition matter, as opposed to their overall performance? Thoughts?
30 Thoughts: Craig MacTavish poised to shake up oilers | Hockey | CBC Sports- Mostly about how edmonton is going to run their front office for their next 10 years in the gutter.
Thoughts on Thoughts: Craig MacTavish poised to shake up Oilers | Backhand Shelf- A companion piece to Friedman's 30 Thoughts
Curse of 666: New Jersey Devils’ losing streak hits 10 games | Puck Daddy - Yahoo! Sports- So, remember when people said that Zach Parise wasn't that big of a deal, and certainly not worth the money? Think New Jersey woulda taken him?
NHL Death Watch: Nashville eliminated; can Blue Jackets make cut? | Puck Daddy - Yahoo! Sports- So, remember when people said that Ryan Suter wasn't that big of a deal, and certainly not worth the money? Think Nashville woulda taken him?