Well, the Wild's luck seems to have run out, at least last night. The Wild had been winning games as of late, despite being on the wrong end of their possession game. Their possession numbers are actually pretty similar to the Wild's last five games, it's just that the Wild didn't manage to find a way to overcome it.
At least their equipment truck is still intact?
But the good news is that things are starting to look up. First of all, Phoenix and Dallas have had slides on their own. Phoenix is now four points back of the Wild, and the Dallas Stars are six. Even with three games in hand each, the Wild have an edge on those teams for a Wild Card spot. In addition, first-half Übermensch goaltender Josh Harding is nearing a return to practice, and Zach Parise is skating again after missing the last 11 games. Josh Harding would stabilize the goaltending (though the net hasn't been a source of worry this recent good stretch), and Zach Parise is one of the better possession players in the league, to say nothing of his scoring ability. If they manage to return very soon, this will help before things tailspin again.
In the meantime, the Wild play host to Edmonton, before having Dallas for a home-and-home. It'll be a great opportunity for the Wild to write off last night's game, and put some distance between them and Dallas. And, hopefully, Phoenix.
Anyway, on to the Walk.
Wild notes: Harding ready to return to practice | Star Tribune- Also, injury updates on the rest of the Wild.
Tending the Fields
NHL - Updated top 50 drafted prospects for 2013-14 - ESPN- Mathew Dumba is the only Wild prospect on this list. Clearly, this means bias.
Off the Trail
So it sounds like Jonas Hiller isn’t going anywhere | Puck Daddy - Yahoo Sports- The Ducks are deep, deep, deep in net.
30 Thoughts: Jets coach Paul Maurice has tough task ahead | Hockey | CBC Sports- Some of the scuttlebutt from around the league.
Thoughts on Thoughts: Jets coach Paul Maurice has tough task ahead | Backhand Shelf | Blogs | theScore.com- Additions to that scuttlebutt.
Systems Analyst: Ryan Johansen and the Blue Jackets put together the perfect O-zone shift | Backhand Shelf | Blogs | theScore.com- Ryan Johansen is one of the few players from the 2010 Draft that the Wild hasn't put on their roster.
Five Huge NHL Moves You’ve Probably Forgotten: Part 2!- More like One Huge Move, And Four Kinda Interesting, Quirky Moves.
Grantland Dictionary: NHL Edition- NHL Hitz 20-03 (n.) An often over-looked, but rightful choice for "Best Hockey Game of All-Time".
Toronto pub blasts Don Cherry’s concussion comments with billboard | Puck Daddy - Yahoo Sports- Ouch. A deserved shot at the ludicrous position that concussions are made-up.