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Wilderness Walk 5-14-2013: Semi-Finals Edition

The NHL Semi-Finals begin today as the final two teams settled up the Eastern Conference last night in two very different game 7's.

An amazing finish to an amazing comeback.
An amazing finish to an amazing comeback.
Jared Wickerham

Good morning Wilderness, its gonna be a warm one out there today so whatever the opposite of bundle up is, do that. I really hope you all enjoyed some game 7 action last night, cause damn! The low-light of the evening was the complete collapse and dismantling of the Washington Capitals as the New York Rangers took them apart in Capitals territory, 5-0. Last nights main event though was what happened in the final 12 minutes of regulation in Beantown. The Toronto Maple Leafs found themselves up 4-1, a pretty comfortable lead with a little over half a period left one might think. The Boston Bruins were not going to go quietly into the night and tied the game with just under 1 minute to play in regulation after scoring their 2nd goal in 31 seconds to send this game to overtime.

Honestly Wilderness, I was bouncing around the room in the final moments of the 3rd period in Boston. Not that I'm overly a Bruins fan or that I dislike the Maple Leafs any. It was just absolutely exciting hockey, its the kind of stuff you dream of seeing in the playoffs, especially in a deciding game 7. There is a little less angst when you have no team invested in such situations and you can just enjoy somebody else's collapse for a change. I'm not sure where you might find it, but if they when they replay last nights Meltdown in Beantown you must watch it, or at least set your DVR/VCR to record this and save it for a rainy day.

Today marks the start of the NHL Semi-Finals as the Ottawa Senators play at the Pittsburgh Penguins and the late game features two California teams where the San Jose Sharks play the Los Angeles Kings. Things are starting to heat up outside, and in the NHL playoffs, so do yourself a favor hockey fans and try not to miss it.

Wild News

Minnesota Wild: Backstrom wants to stay with team that found him -
Backstrom wants to stay, Harding is a big question mark, Kuemper needs more grooming, the goalie controversy in Minnesota is just heating up with the off-season.

Myers: Wild GM saw enough improvements to stick with Mike Yeo | 1500 ESPN Twin Cities
Since there isn't much else going on, of course we get more analysis of the post season press conference.

Tending The Fields

Aeros fans gather for one last hurrah | CW39 NewsFix

Quick little video of the Aeros going away party, transcribed as well for those of you who can't watch at work.

Off The Trail

Your 2013 second-round schedule | ProHockeyTalk
Make a schedule, set your DVR, tell your family you love them and lock yourself in the basement with a remote control, tv, case of your favorite beverage and snacks galore! Round 2 starts today!

Lundqvist's 2nd consecutive shutout helps Rangers beat Capitals 5-0 in Game 7 of 1st round |
The Washington Capitals were embarrassed on home ice in a game 7, you know what I didn't hear? Booing ...

Bruins rally from three-goal deficit to force OT, stun Leafs 5-4 in Game 7 |
Game recap of what has been the most exciting game 7 of these playoffs thus far.

‘He’s our backbone’: Rangers’ Lundqvist perfect in Game 7 victory over Capitals | ProHockeyTalk
With a second consecutive shutout victory, the New York Rangers move on to round 2 carried on the shoulders of Henrik Lundqvist.

Caps’ Backstrom: We need to learn how to play in the playoffs | ProHockeyTalk
Capitals suffer an epic 2 game collapse, unable to find a way to put the pucks past a red hot goalie.

Bruins’ Lucic: ‘This was a huge win’ | ProHockeyTalk
With the Boston Bruins potting 2 goals in the final 1:22 they were able to force overtime in a deciding game 7. Simply amazing stuff folks.

‘The choke’s on us’: Toronto Sun’s sports cover | ProHockeyTalk
OUCH! for that cover headline in their own paper... In one of the worst game 7 collapses I've ever laid witness to, the Toronto Maple Leafs after leading 4-1 are unexpectedly booking tee times. If you missed this game, try to find a replay somewhere, cause wow!

Stranded Bruins reward fans who fed them with Game 7 tickets | Puck Daddy
The moral of the story is, tip your bartender/server. It doesn't have to be game 7 tickets, but a decent percentage of your bill at the very least.

Watch Maple Leaf Square’s agonizing reaction to Bruins’ tying, winning Game 7 (Video) | Puck Daddy
Just to be jerks, the Maple Leafs recorded their own fans "jumping off the bridge" last night as they choked away their chances to move on to the 2nd round.

Game Changers: 3 players that are single-handedly dragging their teams through the first round | Backhand Shelf
This confuses me, Leafs player carrying the team, Bruins player carrying the team... Given their respective positions one undoubtedly has to have more success than the other, right?

Eulogy: Remembering the 2012-13 New York Islanders | Puck Daddy - Yahoo! Sports
RIP Islanders, you showed so much promise, you will be missed.

2013 Stanley Cup playoffs - Burnside: Highlights, lowlights of first round - ESPN
ESPN, known for being a powerhouse when it comes to all things NHL, graces us with the highs and lows of round 1.

Watch insane youth hockey fight from Russia; flying players, cleared benches | Puck Daddy
Straight from the pages of the ridiculous, Russian youth hockey fights.