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Wilderness Walk #DontStopTheParty Edition

Darcy Kuemper and the Minnesota Wild shutout the Nashville Predators on the road last night in the second of back-to-back games.

Harry How

How about that Darcy Kuemper kid!? After his first couple games up with the big club it was clear he wasn't ready for the bright lights of the NHL. Based on Kuemper's last 6 periods of hockey this kid shows a lot of promise for the future. When Harding comes off the IR Kuemper will be sent back down to Iowa so his time here is limited. Going forward though, into next season I think we can all start getting excited to see this kid make the jump up to the big club.

Of course, if Kuemps is to come up to the big club next season the Wild will need to move a goalie as Josh Harding is signed through next season and Niklas Backstrom is signed through the 2015-2016 season. Thankfully, it is not my job to juggle the roster because GM Chuck Fletcher looks to have a busy off-season managing current roster players as well as looking for any notable free agents this summer (cough, cough, Thomas Vanek).

Things have certainly turned around for the Wild recently. After a dreadful December where the Wild only found the W column 5 times in 14 tries they have welcomed the New Year by winning 5 of 6 and going undefeated on the road since turning the calender to 2014. All this without stalwarts Mikko Koivu, Zach Parise, Jared Spurgeon and Josh Harding. A very impressive run to be told with wins coming against some teams who have the post-season in their sights as well as a couple struggling to tread water.

Next up for your Minnesota Wild we welcome the Ottawa Senators to Xcel Energy Center ice on Tuesday to kick off a 3-game home stand. The Wild beat the Senators on the road in the first of their two meetings this season back in November by a score of 4 - 3.

Wild News

Wild 4, Predators 0: Darcy Kuemper gets first career shutout -
Young Darcy Kuemper earns his first career shutout in Nashville.

Wild shuts out Nashville | Star Tribune
Russo recaps last nights action in Nasville.

Coyle, Heatley and Zucker help Kuemper earn 1st NHL shutout in 4-0 road win over Nashville | State of Hockey News
The State of Hockey News breaks down last nights game.

Minnesota Wild: Dany Heatley finds his game -
Heater's light is starting to glow a little brighter as of late. With the Wild's recent string of injuries Heatley's resurgence is a much-needed boost.

Lots of great efforts as Wild bounces back and shuts out Nashville | Russo's Rants |
The Wild won for the fifth time in six games and third in a row on the road tonight with a 4-0 victory over the Nashville Predators.

Wild's youngsters keep stepping up with key players out -
It is pretty amazing what they have done without so much of their lineup.

Tending the Fields

Nathan Beaulieu scores winner as Hamilton Bulldogs down Iowa Wild 3-1 - - News
The Iowa Wild were unable to muster much offense in a loss to the Hamilton Bulldogs.

Minnesota Wild "Encouraged" Gustav Olofsson to Leave NCAA for WHL
Though still a Colorado College Tiger, new reports indicate defenseman Gustav Olofsson was encouraged by the Minnesota Wild to make the jump to the WHL.

Off the Trail

Paul Maurice to pilot Jets after Winnipeg puts Claude Noel out of misery | Puck Daddy - Yahoo Sports
The Jets have changed out their bench boss.

Grigorenko relents, tells Sabres he’ll report to QMJHL | ProHockeyTalk
The saga is over (for now).

Brodeur’s son posts third longest shutout streak in QMJHL history | ProHockeyTalk
He beat his Dad’s person best from his junior days in the process.

Jagr: I’ll play until 70 to beat Gretzky | ProHockeyTalk
70 is probably a bit extreme, but I would not put it past Jagr to play into his mid to late 40's if he can keep himself healthy.

NHL Recap - Edmonton Oilers at Chicago Blackhawks - Jan 12, 2014 -
The Chicago Blackhawks put an end to their 3-game losing streak against the Edmonton Oilers, the likeliest of candidates.

Video: Blackhawks soak in Kane’s painfully slow own-goal | ProHockeyTalk
Patrick Kane must be getting bored with scoring against his opposition.

NHL Recap - Buffalo Sabres at Washington Capitals - Jan 12, 2014 -
The Buffalo Sabres take the Washington Capitals to a shootout for a 2 - 1 victory on the road.

Ryan Miller makes unbelievable stick save on Capitals’ Grabovski (Video) | Puck Daddy - Yahoo Sports
Ryan Miller showing off his stick skills in net for the Sabres.

NHL Recap - Detroit Red Wings at Anaheim Ducks - Jan 12, 2014 -
Stop me if you've heard this one before, the Ducks win at home with Jonas Hiller between the pipes.

NHL Recap - Philadelphia Flyers at New York Rangers - Jan 12, 2014 -
The New York Rangers light the lamp 3 times in the opening 10 minutes to cruise past the Philadelphia Flyers.

NHL Recap - New Jersey Devils at Toronto Maple Leafs - Jan 12, 2014 -
The Toronto Maple Leafs end their 4-game losing streak after beating the New Jersey Devils in a shootout.

NHL Recap - New York Islanders at Dallas Stars - Jan 12, 2014 -
The New York Islanders get past the Dallas Stars with help from Kyle Okposo and his 2 goals and the game winner from John Tavares.