The Wild overcame a lot in last night's victory against the Vancouver Canucks. They overcame the fact that they're generally crappy on the road. They overcame the fact that they played a game last night, and traveled. They overcame the fact that they were still missing Mikko Koivu and Marco Scandella They overcame allowing a shorthanded goal by Ryan Kesler. They overcame a disallowed goal by a bogus interference call. And they overcame struggling in the shootout, being stopped on their first 6 attempts.
But in the end, the Wild won, on the strength of a Zach Parise goal, Darcy Kuemper standing on his head, and Justin Fontaine's shootout heroics. An excellent win, one that sees them gain two points, and solidifies their playoff chances. The Wild are ahead of Dallas and Vancouver, their closest competitors for the Wild Card, by 7 points. Great news for the Wild with only 21 games to go.
Around the NHL, things got really shaken up in Conference III, when the St. Louis Blues went all-in and acquired Steve "*fists in the air* STEVE OTT!" Ott and Ryan Miller from the Buffalo Sabres. St. Louis doubles down on the defensive side of the game, and they got even scarier.
On to the Walk.
Mikko Koivu to miss 17th consecutive game tonight in Vancouver | Russo's Rants | StarTribune.com- He and Scandella are targeting Monday for their returns.
Wild notes: Parise, Suter were The Odd Couple in Sochi | Star Tribune- Here we are/Face to face/My Future Self 'n' Me!/So Alike/And yet so different/One of them's messy/The other one's clean!
Wild notes: Veilleux refused to give up on NHL | Star Tribune- The Wild's best ginger scored a goal against Edmonton.
Veilleux contributing for Wild, again - TwinCities.com- He's doing reasonably well in his second major stint as a Wild.
Granlund's emergence gives Yeo more options - TwinCities.com- What happens with the current top line will be an interesting subplot when Koivu returns.
Off the Trail
Blues get Ryan Miller, Steve Ott from Sabres in first trade deadline blockbuster | Puck Daddy - Yahoo Sports- The Blues have now gone from "Team We Really Don't Want to Face in the Playoffs" to "ERMAGEHRD, PLEASE DON'T TELL US WE HAVE TO FACE THE BLUES IN THE PLAYOFFS!!!!!!!!1"
NHL - Trade grades: Ryan Miller to St. Louis Blues - ESPN- How well did Buffalo do in this trade, though?
Report: Canes willing to trade any one of three goalies, including Ward | ProHockeyTalk- The Wild could have Borat return! Great success!
Which Teams Will Make the NHL Western Conference Playoffs? The Hockey Writers- Breaking down the playoff bubble.
Rangers, Dan Girardi, agree to six-year, $33 million extension | Puck Daddy - Yahoo Sports- Seems to be a pretty steep price.
Latvian hockey team facing possible Olympic disqualification after second doping violation | Puck Daddy - Yahoo Sports- That ruins a pretty feel-good story.
NHL Grab Bag: Canadian Olympic Celebration Watch- Grantland- A look around the NHL.
"Beerability" has returned! The 10 players in the NHL with the most are… | Backhand Shelf | Blogs | theScore.com- In case you get the chance to pick whoever you want in the NHL to have a beer with.