So, this is usually the time that I talk about last night's game, and just opine on stuff in general. But in this case, doing so would be merely repeating myself, as I did last night's game recap, which you can read here. And also, you can debate as to whether Taylor Hall is the ugliest player in hockey in the comments. So why wouldn't you read that?
Anyway, TL;DR, even though the Wild dropped a game they should have won against Ottawa, I've been really impressed with the Wild rebounding from all those injuries, even if the stats don't suggest that it's sustainable in any way. The Wild are now tied with the Vancouver Canucks in points, maintained their lead over Phoenix, and even gained ground on Dallas. Not bad at all.
And they'll get Zach Parise back soon.
The kids just continue to impress. Mikael Granlund, Charlie Coyle, Jason Zucker, and Justin Fontaine were all instrumental in Wild goals last night. They'll have another chance on Saturday, as the Wild will be able to do a lot towards putting Dallas away. By early next week, Minnesota could be 12 points up on them.
On to the Walk.
Wild notes: Parise ramps up recovery | Star Tribune- Obviously, a healthy Parise is going to be a good thing.
Damned Lies and Statistics: Mr. Yeo’s Wild Ride | Hashtag Hockey- Crazy fluctuation in Wild playoff odds.
The Team of 18,001: Be Glad We Don't Have Edmonton's Problems- It'd be pretty awesome to take one of their problems (Yakupov) off of their hands for them.
Tending the Fields
Minnesota Wild Prospect Mathew Dumba Faces Uncertain Future- He'll get a chance to have his stock bounce back to where it was in the pre-season with a dominant showing in Portland.
Off the Trail
At a Loss | Grantland- The Loser Point. All about it.
Feb. 28 looms large for O’Reilly, Avs… and any team looking to acquire him | ProHockeyTalk- The Wild won't have what it takes to acquire him, as the Avs are looking for defense. The only thing I think could work is Mathew Dumba, and I don't think that's happening.
Jessie Vetter’s Olympic goalie mask has U.S. Constitution removed by IOC | Puck Daddy - Yahoo Sports- This aggression will not stand, man!
NHL - Previewing and projecting 2014 Team Finland hockey team - ESPN- It's a paywall, but you can read about Mikko Koivu and stuff.
Bruins’ Zdeno Chara named Olympic flag bearer for Slovakia | Puck Daddy - Yahoo Sports- Cool for him? Can you tell there wasn't a lot of news today? Evander Kane hurt his hand, too.