Wilderness Walk 4-23-2013: Game Day Edition

In his natural habitat, Nordy eats rowdy Wild fans. - Matt Zambonin/Freestyle Photo

The Minnesota Wild welcome the Los Angeles Kings to a winter wonderland for a game of hockey. Puck drops at 7 pm at the X.

Good morning Wilderness! There is really nothing like a little late April snow storm to remind us it is still hockey season and your Minnesota Wild are playing for their playoff lives right now. They aren't getting any help from the likes of the Phoenix Coyotes who got stomped by the Detroit Red Wings last night, bringing the Wings within a point of their 22nd consecutive playoff birth.

Tonight the Wild take on what was supposed to be our toughest test in the final week of the season until Sunday nights game against Calgary turned into a steaming pile of Nordy poo. Most people are of the mind that the Wild need to win at least 2 of their final 3 to secure a playoff spot. And with those spots getting locked up quickly tonight's game will be the most important game of the season, until the next game.

A lot of you seem to be on edge, and we have a lot of hostility floating around lately. This is completely understandable, you have invested in this team and when the team is not meeting your expectations people get upset and start pointing fingers. We have been here before people, recall how this season started. All the familiar arguments were alive and well. As this team started putting things together cooler heads seemed to prevail (and comments seemed to take a nose dive in numbers). But here we are again, blaming everything and everyone, including each other for either cheering too much or too little. Remember folks, this is hockey, it is a bonus in your life and in the grand scheme of things it is unimportant. A week ago to this day I wrote for this very walk, and it had nothing to do with hockey. The world is a lot bigger than a 200' x 85' sheet of ice, please don't lose sight of that.

Wild News

The Team of 18,001: Being Positive
A fresh breath of positive air in a world full of angst.

Plenty Of Action At ‘Optional’ Wild Practice | View From The Lighthouse
It was a busy day for the Minnesota Wild. From call ups and send downs to a presser in Des Moines introducing the Iowa Wild.

Desperate times call for desperate measures: Veilleux, Dowell up; Granlund, Zucker down | StarTribune.com
Read the article, venture to the comments at your own risk!

Yeo on Wild's situation: 'It's supposed to be hard,' also discusses Dowell, Veilleux decisions | StarTribune.com
Yeo is unwilling to push the panic button, I think somebody around here will pick up the slack though.

The Team of 18,001: Rise
A look ahead at tonight's game.

Zulgad: Failure to make playoffs could prove costly for Wild coach | 1500 ESPN Twin Cities
Completely disagree. While it would be unfortunate, just about anything about this 48 game sprint to the finish has been normal. Hell, I'm exhausted from the pace. Plus I'm confident we'll make the playoffs making this a moot point.

NHL Calder Trophy: Jonathan Huberdeau, Jonas Brodin likely finalists - SBNation.com
From the big boy page, Brodin getting some love.

First Round Bust: Ten Years...
Yesterday marked what many Wild fans regard as the best goal in team history, and the last game of my favorite goalie as well.

Tending The Fields

Guest post: Fan travels to Austin, San Antonio, OKC to cheer on Aeros | Hockey Stop | a Chron.com blog
Life of a traveling Houston Aeros fan. Amazing story, page loaded funny when I read it, so just be aware. Scroll down if it looks weird, story should be there.

Houston Aeros had other options in mind before move to Iowa - Houston Business Journal
I bet the flights out of Kansas City would be more accommodating ...

Haula, like other Gophers who recently turned pro, off to slow start | StarTribune.com
A look into the very early careers of Haula and some other recent turned pro Gophers.

Off The Trail

Video: Mike Milbury unloads on Matt Cooke | ProHockeyTalk
I would honestly pay to see Milbury get into fisticuffs with Roenick. This isn't one of those segments, I just wanted to put that out there.

Toews: Presidents’ Trophy ‘doesn’t mean a whole lot’ to ‘Hawks | ProHockeyTalk
If it doesn't mean a whole lot, why did you bother winning all those games?

Red Wings roll past Coyotes 4-0 to bolster push for spot in 22nd consecutive NHL postseason | StarTribune.com
Damn you 'Yotes! You were supposed to win on the road. Actually, I should be thanking you, got a nice nap in while your game was on.

Viktor Fasth makes 24 saves as Ducks beat Oilers 3-0 to lock up Pacific Division crown | StarTribune.com
The Ducks are in, now if we can just lock up that 7th spot to knock them out in the first round...

Canucks grab fifth consecutive Northwest Division title | ProHockeyTalk
If there is one thing I have learned about the Canucks, it is when they win a division, or even make the playoffs in general, they don't win the Stanley Cup.

Tyler Seguin apologizes after ‘no homo’ tweet | Puck Daddy
Oh Tyler, what have you said?

What We Learned: This 48-game NHL season has been pretty great | Puck Daddy
Tell me if you learn anything from this article.

The Player: NHL realignment, fraternizing with the enemy and the shootout | Puck Daddy
Players answer questions, I believe we saw a clip of this show up yesterday somewhere.

NHL roundup: Outdoor games worth $30 million each - Yahoo! Sports
So that's why they do it ... money!

Enemy News

For all things LA Kings, please visit our friends at Jewels From The Crown.

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