Wilderness Walk: Let the Olympic Break Begin!

ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED?! - Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sport

The Minnesota Wild finished their pre-Olympic schedule on a high note, defeating Nashville 3-2.

You may think about unplugging from Hockey Wilderness during the Olympic Break. After all, the Wild won't be active, so why bother, right?

Wrong!

There's still going to be plenty of reasons to stick around during the Olympic Break. First of all, depending on Mikko Koivu's health, the Wild will have four or five players in the Olympic Games. You'll need to stick with us to keep up on all that Wild-related action. In addition, we'll be doing Olympic coverage, and maybe take a long look at a Top Wild prospect during the break (*hint, hint*). Stuff will definitely be going down here.

But in the meantime, things are looking really good for the Minnesota Wild. After their win against Nashville last night, they improved their Wild Card positioning to a 6 point lead over Vancouver in the top spot. Their playoff odds have improved to 73.7%, according to Sports Club Stats. Even better, Mikko Koivu and Marco Scandella figure to be healthy at the end of the break, meaning the Wild will be fielding their healthiest lineup since Parise initially got injured two months ago. When you remember how good the Wild were before that moment, you can be pretty optimistic about their playoff chances.

Not bad, considering where they were at 5 weeks ago.

On to the Walk.

Wild News

Game Recaps

Swiss Olympian Niederreiter sends Wild into break with OT winner | Star Tribune

Minnesota Wild enter Olympic break with solid win, solid standing - TwinCities.com

El Nino strikes in overtime; Wild makes roster moves | Russo's Rants | StarTribune.com- Wild shuffle their roster for the Olympic break.

Niederreiter strikes in overtime to give Minnesota a 3-2 victory going into the Olympic break

Other News

Wild notes: Nashville broadcaster, GM hospitalized | Star Tribune- Bad news for the Predators, and who the Wild might be looking to re-sign.

Wild's penalty kill has underachieved, Mike Yeo says - TwinCities.com- 20th in the NHL, yeah, I'd call that underachieving.

Charley Walters: 1980 'Miracle' still resonates with Herb Brooks' son - TwinCities.com- As it should. It was a big deal.

Wild: Olympic break might be Backstrom's last chance to get healthy - TwinCities.com- And he needs to get healthy if he even has a hope of over-taking Darcy Kuemper or a healthy Josh Harding for the starting goaltender job.

The Team of 18,001: Will Mikko Koivu Suffer The Same Fate As Steven Stamkos?- I would guess that it's not looking good, but there's still another few days until that decision will be made.

Damned Lies and Statistics: Goonies Never Say Die! — the Minnesota Wild without Parise, Koivu | Hashtag Hockey- The difference between the Wild with a healthy Parise and Koivu and without is very noticable.

Off the Trail

David Poile hit in the face by a puck, taken to hospital with fractured eye socket | Puck Daddy - Yahoo Sports- Sad news for Nashville, hopefully he'll be well enough to travel to Sochi and watch the American team he constructed.

Nashville broadcaster Weber suffers heart attack, ‘resting comfortably’ in hospital | ProHockeyTalk- Even more sad news for the Predators, though it appears that all things considered, he's about as OK as you can be.

NHL -- Nathan MacKinnon has quickly become a pro - ESPN- MacKinnon is looking like a good choice for Colorado, which is good, because a lot of people were all "WTF" when they passed on hometown boy (and now Nashville Predator) Seth Jones at the draft this year.

‘Arizona Coyotes’ face trademark battle with opportunistic weirdo and his ‘master plan’ | Puck Daddy - Yahoo Sports- Man, I wish I could make money from being an opportunistic weirdo.

Sochi Watch: 2014

Amanda Kessel gets her golden opportunity for U.S. hockey stardom, beyond ‘Phil’s sister’ | Puck Daddy - Yahoo Sports- Let's not forget about Women's Hockey these Olympics, as the U.S. will be a strong competitor as always.

Marty St. Louis named replacement for Steven Stamkos for Sochi Olympics | Puck Daddy - Yahoo Sports- Marty's had a great season, and it was kind of a bummer he wasn't on the roster to begin with. Well deserved.

Canucks’ Henrik Sedin to miss Sochi Olympics with rib injury | Puck Daddy - Yahoo Sports- Another Olympic casualty.

Canada fills Steven Stamkos spot with Martin St. Louis, and it was the right decision | Backhand Shelf | Blogs | theScore.com- Dude, come on, stop copying me hockey world, I just said it was well-deserved!

2014 Men’s Olympic Hockey Preview: Slovenia | Backhand Shelf | Blogs | theScore.com- Anze Kopitar and...

2014 Men’s Olympic Hockey Preview: Canada | Backhand Shelf | Blogs | theScore.com- Team Canada, who sucks, gets previewed.

Run the World: Let’s All Get Amped for U.S. and Canadian Women’s Hockey- Grantland preview of Women's Olympic Hockey.

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