Wilderness Walk 4-21-2013: Game Day Edition

Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Today marks the start of the final four games for your Minnesota Wild in this lockout shortened season. We're not a lock for the playoffs yet, but barring a monumental collapse (cough cough, 2011-12 season) we should sneak right in there.

Welp, its here folks. The last week of the regular season, and the Minnesota Wild once again begin to think happy thoughts of summer and .... what!? Whats that you say? We have a legitimate shot at making the playoffs this year?!? Well isn't that a sight for sore eyes!

Thats right guys, meaningful games in April, and aint that just a peach and a half! I for one was getting sick of ignoring baseball all summer. Tonight your Minnesota Wild kick off the final home stand of the lockout year that was 2012-2013. We have 4 remaining games with 3 of them being at home. Call me a homer, but I think we have a very valid shot of actually scoring goals on this particular home stand, and maybe even winning a couple of them.

The playoff race is tight, so our best bet would be to win all of them, and try not to give up any third points. Your Minnesota Wild currently sit 7th in the Western Conference, 2 points ahead of 8th place Columbus and just 3 ahead of the Wings who sit in 9th. People say it's coming down to the wire a lot (maybe), well ... this is the wire they speak of. It's time to secure a spot in the post-season for the first time since the 2007-08 season, wouldn't you agree?

Respect

Keith Yandle wears Martin Richard jersey, honoring 8-year-old Boston Marathon victim (Photo) | Puck Daddy - Yahoo! Sports
Just plain fucking awesome!

Wild News

Wild approaches key final week as a big opportunity | StarTribune.com
Is it the final week already? Feels like the season just started ....

Blue Liner Jared Spurgeon Needs To Step Up For Minnesota Wild : The Hockey Writers
You know what I hate about these articles that point out our flaws? They point out our flaws! I just kind of go around assuming nobody else see's them, and articles like this point out the obvious!

Russo's NHL insider: A final reader Q&A | StarTribune.com
Russo answers your questions (at least some of the better ones). There is some good nuggets to be had in here folks. Also, Russo puts his spin on "The lowest of Lowe" and a brief bit about the Winter Classic as well.

7th Heaven: The Importance Of A Lower Play-Off Seeding For The Minnesota Wild - Gone Puck Wild - A Minnesota Wild Fan Site - News, Blogs, Opinion and More
As promised Mr. Devine, here is a brand new writer over at Gone Puck Wild. Give him a read and be nice folks! Threats of a ban hammer have been heard whispering in the winds for anyone who speaks ill of this. ;)

The Magic Eight Ball: Making a Case for the Minnesota Wild, the 8th Seed and the Chicago Blackhawks - Gone Puck Wild - A Minnesota Wild Fan Site - News, Blogs, Opinion and More

Which writer will get his wish? I feel an informal poll coming on ...

Tending The Fields

Central Florida High School Hockey League - OrlandoSentinel.com
"The Orlando Solar Bears will provide jerseys and socks for teams in the inaugural season of the Central Florida High School Hockey League. The seven-team league will include more than 100 student-athletes from several counties, including Orange, Seminole, Volusia, Osceola and Lake." - pretty much the whole article.

The Third Intermission: Harding, Aeros nip Stars 4-3 in Cedar Park
Skol Aeros! One last run for the Calder Cup in Houston. I think the people of Houston deserve it, don't you?

Off The Trail

Hockey returns to Boston, Penguins top Bruins 3-2 and clinch home-ice advantage in playoffs | StarTribune.com
Man, I really hate the Pens ... this dates back to the North Star days. That said, nothing but respect for what theywore pre-game.

NHL Death Watch: Flyers, Sabres eliminated; Red Wings visit Vancouver | Puck Daddy - Yahoo! Sports
Another one (or two) bites the dust ...

Toronto Maple Leafs clinch 2013 playoff spot | ProHockeyTalk
Leafs, born again playoff virgins, re-bust their proverbial cherry.

Video: Alex Ovechkin pushes goals total to 30 in win | ProHockeyTalk
My cat, OWNS!!!! Stamkos sits 3 goals backs, for best in the NHL.

Canucks clinch playoff berth (plus Kings’ spot) with shootout win | ProHockeyTalk

Canucks are in, Wings aren't out (yet). I'm sorry, but just behind the goalie trapezoid rule comes the loser getting a point for overtime or beyond games. Charity points need to go, and even if Backstrom gaffs from time to time, can you imagine the excitement if goalies were allowed to misplay the puck in the corners?

Miikka Kiprusoff, amid retirement talk, stops 32 shots as Flames top Ducks 3-1 in home finale | StarTribune.com

Say it aint so Kipper! Actually, I've never much liked you, especially after the 'I'm the greatest Finnish goalie alive' stunt you pulled at the last Winter Olympics.

Devils rally to beat Panthers 6-2; keep playoff hopes alive as Patrik Elias scores 2 goals | StarTribune.com
Kovi returns after missing 11 games, don't book your tee times just yet New Jersey.

United FC gets first win of young season, 2-0 over FC Edmonton | StarTribune.com
Is there a Minnesota team Edmonton can beat? I know this is a hockey page, but I may inject a little soccer in your lives from time to time as I do actually dig the sport. Sorry Wilderness... (or am I?)

Enemy News

Matchsticks and Gasoline, a Calgary Flames community
For all things Flames related, visit the folks over at M&G.

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