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Wilderness Walk 9-26-2013

The Wild prevail in St. Louis. Pre-season, but hey, it's a start.

Former UMD Bulldog Justin Fontaine gets closer to making the Wild's roster.
Former UMD Bulldog Justin Fontaine gets closer to making the Wild's roster.
Marilyn Indahl-USA TODAY Sports

The Wild won their pre-season game last night vs. St. Louis, on the strength of a beautiful goal by Charlie Coyle. You need to see this goal. Right now. Because it was pretty incredible. Even though it was the pre-season, it was nice to see the Wild defeat the Blues, a team that's given them problems in the past. For what it's worth, the Blues played close to their full-strength lineup.

There were some roster move implications going on last night. It appears that one of Justin Fontaine, Nino Niederreiter, Jason Zucker, and Mikael Granlund will end up in Iowa- unless a one-way contract goes to the AHL. Granlund was out for last night's game due to an injury that I would guess wouldn't keep him out of the lineup in a regular season game, because he will play Friday. We saw Coyle nail down the second line center job, maybe Granlund responds by making it impossible for the Wild to send him to Iowa.

More to come in the Walk.

Wild News

Yeo gets to experiment, and Wild gets a victory | Star Tribune- A recap of the game, and of the line combinations Mike Yeo tried last night.

Wild wins again: Yeo heaps praise on Coyle, "wasn't crazy" about Zucker | Russo's Rants | Blog version.

Trying to figure out the Wild's roster situation | Russo's Rants | Russo speculates on the roster situation.

Minnesota Wild: Mikko Koivu settles into role as team's elder statesman - A feature on new father Mikko Koivu, mostly having to do with not being a new father.

Wild notes: Kuemper must be ready, will get most of the work in Iowa | Star Tribune- Having two really good goalie prospects needing playing time in the AHL is a pretty good problem to have.

Minnesota Wild Player Previews 2013/2014: Keith Ballard - Gone Puck Wild- Ger turns his eye towards Keith Ballard, who could go a long way to solidifying the Wild's sometimes shaky defense.

Minnesota paper compares Matt Cooke to Breaking Bad’s Walter White | ProHockeyTalk- Cute. I just got done with The Wire over the weekend, so after I finish watching Orange Is The New Black with Alicia, I'll be turning my attention towards Breaking Bad. I'm totally going to become that guy.

Tending the Fields

With Two More Cuts Coming, is Mikael Granlund on Outside Looking In?- More on this later, but I think having Granlund in the AHL would be a waste. However, if the competition is down to Granlund vs. Zucker, Yeo did say he "wasn't crazy" about Zucker's game last night. But can or should the Wild send down their only playoff hero from last year? Tough decisions, if you're not willing to send a one-way down to Houston.

Off the Trail

NHL 2013-14 Western Conference Preseason Power Rankings - NHL - Sarah Kwak - Sports Illustrated clearly doesn't read Hockey Prospectus.

St. Louis Blues, 2013-14 (Puck Daddy Gold Medal Preview) | Puck Daddy - Yahoo Sports- A preview of a division rival.

Rivalries to anticipate - The Hockey News- The Wild actually are involved with two of these anticipation-worthy rivalries.

NHL -- These five teams are ready to make the jump to the Stanley Cup playoffs - ESPN- How many more times is everyone going to be wrong about edmonton?

How much will NHL Center Ice cost you for 2013-14 season? | Puck Daddy - Yahoo Sports- GameCenter be worth it for me, as I don't have cable, but the whole "Out-of-Market" thing kills, even though I'd have FSN Wisconsin even if I had cable.