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Wilderness Walk- 02-13-2013: Back to .500 Edition

Why I'm feeling better than last week (HINT: Because the Wild won two games), and today's links.

Darcy Kuemper, Or, Pope Paul Deutch II
Darcy Kuemper, Or, Pope Paul Deutch II
Rich Lam

Not too upset, actually.

I think all I wrote for my last post-gameday Walk was "Ugh", after the dismantling of the Wild by the Canucks. I feel differently after this one. The score was closer, obviously, and the Wild, by all accounts, showed up. The thing is that, again, nothing went past the goalie.

The common refrain is that the Wild haven't been shooting, and that's true, but it's getting silly how few of those shots are going in. In the last six games, the Wild have scored six regulation goals, and an OT one. While 25.7 shots per game isn't going to cut it, there's no way the team is going to continue scoring on only 4.5% of those shots. The Wild didn't even do that in their worst, most minor-league filled month last year (February), and this team has too much skill to not convert more shots. The prevailing mood in the locker room appeared to be that the luck is going to turn around eventually, and I have to agree with that assessment.

Plus, it's always nice to know that the fourth goalie on your depth chart can step up unexpectedly, Paul Duetsch style, and stop 28 of 30 from one of the best teams in the league.

I'm not happy, but I'm not going to be despondent about losing a road game to a better opponent. The offense can't possibly continue on like this. True, the Wild can't be .500 forever and still expect to make the playoffs, but I feel like they're in a much better place than they were when they last played Vancouver.

What is discouraging is the fact that the Wild haven't been pushing some of those losses into loser point territory. The Wild have already lost two regulation games by one goal (tonight, and PHO), and have had two more games where they've been down by one going into the final 90 seconds, only to lose a two-goal game (NSH, ANA). The current loser point rules are asinine, but it's there- take advantage of it. It hurts to see teams ahead of the Wild being propelled by their staving off losing for an additional five minutes. If the Wild must lose, they have to stop losing in regulation.

So there's my uninformed, obvious two cents. Let's get to the Walk.

First Things First (From Bryan)

Check out this video. We don't have much of a back story, but the goalie goes behind the net, scoops the puck into his own goal, flips of his coaches, salutes and heads off the ice. Very strange stuff.

(Please note, the video we originally had up was removed from YouTube by the user. We borrowed this one from Puck Daddy.)

One of the comments (on the original) reads:

For those who don't know the goalie in the video (who I won't name) is a senior and was pissed that he lost the starting job to a sophomore. His team (Farmington) was actually ahead 2-1 with 3 minutes left in the 3rd period when this incident occurred. Farmington would go on to lose the game 3-2.

Our friends at the mother ship have this too, and a bit more on it. Find that HERE.

Wild News

Lots of Wild news: Bouchard scratched, Kassian on waivers; Spurgeon returns; Kuemper debuts | There was a lot happening yesterday, and if you don't want to read up about it on our site, here's a condensed version.

Wild's Harding takes time off to adjust MS medication | This is one of the biggest pieces of news. Hopefully this isn't more than what's being said, and again, we offer Josh the our best thoughts while he battles his illness.

Effort is there, defense is there, but the Wild cannot finish again; Prospects need patience | There's also a game recap, but the blog's the highlight of Russo's game coverage tonight. A lot of good analysis.

Canucks 2, Wild 1: Minnesota heads home with Canadian split - Ben Goessling's recap.

Minnesota Wild First Quarter Review | The Hockey Writers- Probably not a lot you don't know, but it's always nice to see an outsider assessment of the Wild.

Kuemper solid in NHL debut but not enough to win as Vancouver prevails 2-1- Derek at State of Hockey News has the perfect recap if you missed the game. Lists everything you need to know, and a lot of good observations. And a Team America reference.

Tending the Fields

First Round Bust: Quick Primer on Darcy Kuemper- In case you wish to get even more acquainted with Kuemper.

Aeros prevail in shootout win over Stars - Houston Chronicle- His colleague, Matt Hackett, didn't do too badly, either.

Off The Trail

Oilers should have signed Zenon Konopka | Edmonton Journal- Perhaps some Oilers schadenfreude will be a tonic to your lockout blues?

Oilers’ high-paid Ryans Whitney and Smyth take a seat against Dallas Stars | Puck Daddy - Yahoo! Sports- If that didn't work, you could conveniently forget PMB's 4.3 million sitting last night and laugh some more at the Oilers. Or hell, be blatant hypocrites and do it anyway, because LOL Oilers.

Blue Jackets part ways with GM Scott Howson, probably because of all the losing | Puck Daddy - Yahoo! Sports- The big news in the hockey world of the day. CBJ might get the first Finnish GM in NHL history. Surprised the Wild didn't beat them to it.

Incredible ’8-bit Draft Picks’ poster commemorates hockey’s first overall selections through history | Puck Daddy - Yahoo! Sports- The quickest way to my heart is through 8-bit. Or They Might Be Giants songs. Or the provision of nap times. Or Mexican food. Or Risk. Or Mitch Hedberg quotes. Anyway, there's a lot of things I love, and this poster is one of them.

Colorado Avalanche Should Trade Ryan O'Reilly- To the Minnesota Wild. For not-all-that-much.

NHL: First quarter of the season has seen some interesting superlatives - ESPN- Scott Burnside handing out some off-beat awards. Some good and some bad. Guess which category the ones that went to Wild peoples got?

No A/V Club for today at least, my iPod (I listen to my podcasts on the go) is being a complete rectum.