Wilderness Walk: Game-Day Edition

Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sport

The Minnesota Wild close out their regular season today against the Nashville Predators and will learn where they will be traveling to for game 1 of the playoffs. The good news Wild fans, it won't be a west-coast start time.

The long grind of the NHL regular season comes to a close today, and we will officially welcome 14 teams to an early summer. The Wild are fortunate enough this year to know before their final game that they will indeed play past today, the who is the only question which still looms.

The Wild could be waiting for the Colorado Avalanche to finish their game tonight before they will know what their travel schedule will look like this week. Here is how the scenario plays out for the Wild's mystery opponent in the opening round of the playoffs.

  • The Wild will play the St. Louis Blues if the Blues get a point and the Avalanche lose in regulation to the Anaheim Ducks
  • The Wild will play the Avalanche if the Blues lose in regulation to the Detroit Red Wings today.
  • The Wild will play the Blues if the Blues win against Detroit and the Avalanche lose in regulation or overtime.
Basically, whoever gets more points today between the Avalanche and the Blues in their respective games will be playing the Wild in the opening round of the playoffs, and a tie goes to the Avalanche. The Wild could have their fate decided before they even take the ice tonight if the Blues lose to the Wings this afternoon. That game will be on NBC and starts at 11:30 am central time. Otherwise we will have to wait to see how the Avalanche fair against the Ducks tonight. That game will be on at 7 pm central which is the start time for the Wild tonight as well.

So, nothing is really settled yet, but we will have all the answers for you by the end of the day. Another programming note, we will be recording our next podcast, so if you have any questions please tweet them to @Hwildernesscast and we will try to get to as many as we can. It's a long walk today folks, better bring some water.

Wild News

NHL Preview - Nashville Predators at Minnesota Wild - Apr 13, 2014 - CBSSports.com
Winning six of seven has left the Minnesota Wild feeling confident heading into the playoffs. Concluding the regular season with a victory would keep it that way.

Wild to face Colorado or St. Louis in first round of the playoffs | Russo's Rants | StarTribune.com
So it's the Colorado Avalanche or the St. Louis Blues in the Wild's future. Do you want what is behind door number 1? Or would you like to see what's behind door number 2?

Yeo and his principles don't wilt | Star Tribune
The turn around this team has had since the dismal December is nothing short of remarkable. Even with them getting tripped up a bit after the Olympic break the team is still finding ways to win. #FireYeo

Wild notes: Granlund practices, but head injury is a concern | Star Tribune
Granlund takes the ice for practice but will not play today. He has not taken part in any of the teams contact drills. Barring any setbacks I would venture a guess that he will be ready to go for game 1 against the ????

Tom Powers: Minnesota Wild prepare for the great unknown - their playoff opponent - TwinCities.com
Whenever I see Tom Powers name pop up in my news feed, I am immediately reminded of the episode of The Simpsons where Homer changes his name to Max Power, which he got from a hair dryer.

Minnesota Wild: He's not the same Jason Pominville this time around - TwinCities.com
Why? Did he change his name to Max Power?

Minnesota Wild: Mike Rupp hopes illegal hit doesn't define career - TwinCities.com
Mike Rupp has never been a dirty player, and it would be a shame for his career to end on a suspension. The hit was bad indeed, but it shouldn't be what people remember about him.

Tending the Fields

Iowa Wild drop another road contest | Des Moines Register
Former Wild forward Pierre-Marc Bouchard helps lift the Ice Hogs over the struggling Iowa Wild who have lost 5 of their last 6 contests.

Orlando Solar Bears lose in shootout to No. 1 Reading Royals, - Orlando Sentinel
The Solar Bears lose and hold a narrow lead over the 5th seed with just 1 game remaining in their regular season.

Rush lose Game 5 to Quad City, fall behind 3-2 in playoff series
The Mallards will try to close out their opening round of the CHL playoffs on Tuesday, taking a 3-2 series lead with last nights win.

Laxidasicle Meanderings

Playing for pride: Swarm hand Bandits fifth-straight loss, 10-9 | National Lacrosse League
Despite being eliminated from playoff contention, the Swarm went out and got a nice win in front of their fans at the X.

Off the Trail

Union defeats Minnesota for college hockey national championship - CBSSports.com
Good for the kids Union College, It's not an easy road to a NCAA National Championship and they had a very tough road to travel to earn their schools first hockey title. Also noteworthy, Union has but 1 player on their roster who has been drafted to the NHL, compared to the 14 Gophers who have been claimed by NHL teams. Congratulations Union!

Bylsma: Hartnell vs. Letang felt like 'a guy picking on a guy who had a stroke' - The Hockey News
Although later Bylsma would clarify that his comment was in "jest" that doesn't make the comment any better. I'm sorry, I feel for the guy, a stroke is a very serious issue and it's not anything to be taken lightly. Letang is a professional, and if you're worried about people picking on him because he had a stroke then maybe you should think about adjusting your roster. Just a dumb thing to say.

Reimer admits he’s ‘really sad’ if his time with Toronto is over | ProHockeyTalk
Really? Sad about leaving Toronto? DOH'KAY!

NHL Insider: Selecting the regular-season award winners | Star Tribune
Russo gives us a glimpse into who he will likely be voting for with the NHL awards season fast approaching.

Video: Sabres Matt Hackett taken off on stretcher | ProHockeyTalk
A scary moment here as former Wild goalie Matt Hackett gets carted off the ice after a collision with Torey Krug of the Boston Bruins.

Ryan Malone arrested, charged with cocaine possession and DUI | Puck Daddy - Yahoo Sports
With an attempt to show the world that football and basketball players aren't the only ones that can get arrested, Ryan Malone wins the idiot of the week award.

Ducks lock up West’s top spot, will open playoffs vs. Stars | ProHockeyTalk
So much for playing the Ducks in the first round. Also spoiled, my dream game today between the Dallas Stars and the Phoenix Coyotes.

NHL Recap - Anaheim Ducks at Los Angeles Kings - Apr 12, 2014 - CBSSports.com
Devante Smith-Pelly scored his first goal in regulation since Halloween, then got the only goal in the shootout as the Anaheim Ducks beat the Los Angeles Kings 4-3 Saturday night to secure the top seed for the Western Conference playoffs.

NHL Recap - Columbus Blue Jackets at Florida Panthers - Apr 12, 2014 - CBSSports.com
Ryan Johansen scored the tiebreaking goal in the third period to and the Columbus Blue Jackets beat the Florida Panthers for the eighth straight time, 3-2 on Saturday night.

NHL Recap - San Jose Sharks at Phoenix Coyotes - Apr 12, 2014 - CBSSports.com
Joe Pavelski had two goals to become the fourth player in team history with 40 goals in a season and the San Jose Sharks closed out the regular season with a 3-2 win over the Phoenix Coyotes on Saturday night.

NHL Recap - Vancouver Canucks at Edmonton Oilers - Apr 12, 2014 - CBSSports.com
Taylor Hall had three assists to reach 80 points on the season and help Edmonton beat the Vancouver Canucks 5-2 Saturday night in Oilers forward Ryan Smyth 's final game.

NHL Recap - New York Rangers at Montreal Canadiens - Apr 12, 2014 - CBSSports.com
Brian Gionta scored on a penalty shot at 2:04 of overtime to give the Montreal Canadiens a 1-0 victory over the New York Rangers in the final NHL regular-season game for both teams Saturday night.

NHL Recap - Toronto Maple Leafs at Ottawa Senators - Apr 12, 2014 - CBSSports.com
Jason Spezza scored the game's only goal and Craig Anderson stopped 27 shots for his fourth shutout of the season as the Ottawa Senators beat the Toronto Maple Leafs 1-0 Saturday night.

NHL Recap - Philadelphia Flyers at Pittsburgh Penguins - Apr 12, 2014 - CBSSports.com
Mark Streit beat Marc-Andre Fleury 2:10 into overtime to lift the Philadelphia Flyers to a 4-3 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday.

Respect

Hockey Players Skate To Support Martin Richard Foundation " CBS Boston
Respect.

Enemy News

NHL Recap - Chicago Blackhawks at Nashville Predators - Apr 12, 2014 - CBSSports.com
Patric Hornqvist scored the go-ahead goal with 58.2 seconds left and Shea Weber added an empty-netter as the Nashville Predators rallied with five goals in the third period to beat the Chicago Blackhawks 7-5 Saturday night in their home finale.

On the Forecheck - For Nashville Predators Fans
Your best source for quality Nashville Predators news, rumors, analysis, stats and scores from the fan perspective.

The Official Web Site - Nashville Predators
Head on over to the Predators website to catch up on all the latest on tonight's foe.

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