In honor of the Wild having what was, depending on injury ramifications, a good day, taking a win from Los Angeles, please take a moment to be pretty happy about it:
Even though the Wild got a big win, and a big College Free Agent signing, this could be greatly mitigated if the Wild suffer major injury problems tonight. Nino Niederreiter got crushed big-time by Jake Muzzin, and the question is not if he has a concussion, but when he'd be able to return from it. Mikael Granlund also joins him with the dreaded "upper body injury" tag. If he's concussed, it'll be the second time this season he'll miss time for concussions. Scary situation for two promising young players.
The win, however, was spectacular. Matt "All He Does Is Score Goals" Moulson did all he does, and scored a huge goal for the Wild to put them at 2-2. Mikko "All He Does Is Get Flak For Not Scoring Enough Goals" Koivu scored perhaps the biggest goal of the Wild's season, and won the game for the Wild.
Good times. The Wild restored their dwindled lead in the Wild Card chase. They'll need 2 or 3 more wins, though. Perhaps playing against the depleted Blackhawks will be a lucky break for them?
Unless it turns out the Wild are going to be depleted, themselves.
On to the Walk.
Wild's Nino Niederreiter hits slump after promising start - TwinCities.com- It doesn't help that he's not getting ice time- he's only been over 15 minutes once in the last 9 games (though, there's a legitimate reason for last night's game), and four times this past month.
Wild: Blum returns home to play in front of friends, family - TwinCities.com- Blum played pretty well in last night's game, it appears. It would be great if he could stick in a third-pairing role.
Wild notes: Niederreiter bumped to fourth line, then injured | Star Tribune- That hit was absolutely brutal. Hope Nino's OK- he's the best combination of skill and size the Wild have, except for Koivu, and maybe Beast Mode Charlie Coyle.
Wild signs emergency goalie to pro tryout after Kuemper injured | Star Tribune- Because the Hockey Gods didn't think they had injured enough Wild Goalies. Or players, for that matter.
Tending the Fields
Instead of commenting on all three of them, or writing another article about Folin, let me just talk briefly about him:
I have a below-average amount of knowledge on Christian Folin, but he's pretty big. He's 6'3", 215 pounds, which is bigger than just about everyone on the Wild's blue line. For a team that desperately could use size, he brings it. He can apparently skate, move the puck, and shoot. If he can do those things and use his size, he'll be what the Wild sorely lack on defense.
He won't be eligible for the playoffs, but the Wild will be able to use him down the stretch, which I suspect they will do- he's joining the team in Chicago. Next year, this will be important, as the Wild will have four prospects- Daniel Gunnarsson, Mathew Dumba, Gustav Olofsson, and Christian Folin- capable of at least earning an NHL call-up next season, if not making the team outright. For a team that one year ago severely lacked defensemen in their system, the Wild all of a sudden are deep in blue-liners that are close to NHL-ready.
Folin basically had his pick of the NHL, so his signing with the Wild is a pretty big deal, as there were plenty of teams courting his services, among them Philadephia, Boston, Vancouver, and Ottawa. No doubt Folin sees the opportunity available with little depth behind Suter, Brodin, Scandella, and Spurgeon, and the Wild did well to sign a guy of his caliber for nothing. Not even a draft pick.
It was a good day.
Off the Trail
Resetting the Western Conference playoff race - NHL - ESPN- Breaking down the Wild's chances, among others.
Matt Duchene out around 4 weeks with knee injury; playoff impact for Avs? | Puck Daddy - Yahoo Sports- A big blow for Colorado, who could have taken advantage of an injured Kane and Toews.
Why the Colorado Avalanche are going to get smoked by Chicago in playoffs | Backhand Shelf | Blogs | theScore.com- I'm actually rooting for the Avalanche, but without Duchene, that's probably not happening.
On Martin St. Louis struggles with the Rangers, and trying to fit in with a new team | Backhand Shelf | Blogs | theScore.com- Hehe. Marty got what he deserved, here.
Did Alex Ovechkin leave for Capitals’ bench to avoid minus-1? | Puck Daddy - Yahoo Sports- Tough year for that guy. He didn't even manage to avoid it.
Are we living in the end of times of John Tortorella’s NHL coaching career? | Puck Daddy - Yahoo Sports- Let's hope not. What would we talk about then?
Toronto Maple Leafs to SI.com NHL fan misery rankings | Home Ice - SI.com- Hard to argue with that.
Harvey the Hound gives huge surprise to youth players after no-showing event (Video) | Puck Daddy - Yahoo Sports- That's nice. Yay for kids and stuff!