The Minnesota Wild needed two points tonight. Or at least, we thought they did.
After blowing leads in the third period against Dallas on Saturday, and Edmonton on Tuesday, and not capitalizing in the shootout against the Blues on Sunday, the Wild had just mustered two points in the three games since acquiring Matt Moulson. No doubt traumatized by the collapse the Wild only barely managed to pull out of last season (Not to mention the month of December), Wild fans were uneasy at the mini-slump that they witnessed.
The Wild weren't spectacular last night, but they did enough to put the Rangers away, and re-solidify their lead in the Wild Card race. Dallas has a game in hand on the Wild, but they're now 5 points back of Minnesota for the top Wild Card spot, whereas Phoenix is 6 points back of Minnesota, having played one more game than the Wild. So, the Wild are back into good shape for the playoff picture, but as we've seen in the last week, it only takes one day for that to change.
There's a game against Columbus Saturday, but please look around here on Hockey Wilderness. Ger posted a fantastic article about Ryan Suter yesterday, and if you haven't read it, you probably should. Because it's better than what I'm writing now.
Wild notes: Suter likes his league-leading time on the ice | Star Tribune- Cool. But as Ger pointed out yesterday, it would probably be much better for him to take less ice time. Other than Shea Weber, ice time was only major difference between his time in Nashville and Minnesota.
Minnesota Wild's extra defensemen too good to scratch - TwinCities.com- If that's true, Mike Yeo needs to trust them with 3-5 more minutes of ice time so Suter can get a break.
Off the Trail
Evaluating Teams on the NHL Playoff Bubble- Grantland- The Minnesota Wild are apparently in good shape.
NHL - Ryan Miller, Paul Stastny among top 25 free agents for 2014 - ESPN- Jaromir Jagr is 9th on this list. HE'S 41 FREAKING YEARS OLD!
In praise of Patrick Kane | Backhand Shelf | Blogs | theScore.com- I'm convinced Emilie kidnapped Justin Bourne, and forced him to write this at gunpoint.
Five rules changes not submitted at NHL GM meetings (but should have been) | Puck Daddy - Yahoo Sports- I only liked the first one, and kind of the last one.
Which NHL teams are the best and worst closers? | Puck Daddy - Yahoo Sports- The Wild fared pretty well in this, despite blowing two third period leads in the last week.
How John Tavares helped 11-year old bullied fan from Winnipeg | Puck Daddy - Yahoo Sports- If you're getting in an 11 year old's face, and you're under the age of 14, you're a loser. Congrats, Winnipeg.
Ex-NHLer Kapanen calls it a career | ProHockeyTalk- Another NHL Hitz veteran retires.
Hockey fans force arena to change beer cups after YouTube reveals suds scam | Puck Daddy - Yahoo Sports- How small is your life when you're suing over this?