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Wilderness Walk: Shutout Central Edition

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The Minnesota Wild and the San Jose Sharks have opened their seasons with consecutive shutouts. Whose streak will continue on longer?

Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Wild are off to one of their finest starts to a season we have seen. 2 consecutive shutouts over the Colorado Avalanche which I'm not going to lie to you Wilderness, feels really good. You just knew the Av's were going to come out swinging (figuratively) last night. They were a lot better, but Darcy Kuemper was up to the task. The Wild are now 2-0 and have retained the all important Conference III Championship Belt!

Not only were the Wild able to rip the belt from Colorado, we were able to defend it just 2 nights later against the same team looking to reacquire the coveted piece of hardware. The Wild's reign is guaranteed until November the 1st, when they will welcome the upstart Dallas Stars to Xcel Energy Center ice.

For now, the Wild will get a much deserved break, although looking at the schedule, it is rather early in the season to get 5 days off between games. It is worth mentioning (as was pointed out in a comment yesterday) that we are back to a regular schedule. No Olympic break this year, no lockout shortened season, so games are not as condensed as we have grown accustomed to over the past 2 seasons.

Your musical selection today is derived from one of my all-time favorite songs. About a year ago Mike Doughty, formerly of Soul Coughing "re-imagined"  a bunch of old Soul Coughing tunes, one of them being this deep cut from the album Irresistible Bliss. Give it a listen, then go back and listen to the original. In fact, if you don't own Irresistible Bliss, go buy it now. You will not be disappointed, it's in my personal top 5 albums of all-time.

Wild News

Wild's Kuemper learning to win the 'easy' ones | Star Tribune
Kuemper is still a youngin. He has a lot of time left to learn and it's good to see him excelling early in this young season.

Video: Avs’ Johnson gets ejected for hit on Wild’s Haula | ProHockeyTalk
I've spent some time reviewing the video, looking at gifs and screen grabs. A lot of debate (to put it kindly) took place over this hit over at MHH, and it's tough to justify this hit warranting any supplemental discipline. Johnson does get his elbow up, but the principal point of contact was not the head. It's a little dirty, but we've seen a lot worse.

Erik Johnson ejected for elbowing Erik Haula to head (Video) | Puck Daddy - Yahoo Sports
Well if Wysh thinks it's egregious, maybe it was super dirty...

Wild and Kuemper spoil Colorado’s home opener in 3-0 road victory | State of Hockey News
Another game, another Felska patented breakdown.

Wild opens season with back-to-back shutouts over Avalanche | Russo's Rants |
Darcy Kuemper will have some time to think about his shutout streak, as the Wild get some early season time off before resuming action this Friday.

Wild 3, Avalanche 0: Minnesota sweeps series with two shutouts -
The Wild win the two-game series on aggregate 8-0. That's quite impressive. Chad Graff breaks down his thoughts on the action.

NHL Recap - Minnesota Wild at Colorado Avalanche - Oct 11, 2014 -
Darcy Kuemper doesn't really want to be in net when the high-scoring Colorado Avalanche finally break out of their offensive funk.

Off the Trail

Video: Sabres’ Myers punches Blackhawks’ Shaw after spear | ProHockeyTalk
A spear here, a punch there. Just another day in the NHL.

Former NHL goon can't learn a lesson, slams AHL opponent's head into ice -
Trevor Gillies just can't seem to learn his lesson.

Inside the Flyers: NHL botches Pronger's hiring
I don't see the big deal with the NHL hiring a guy who is still on a teams payroll. What could possibly go wrong?

NHL Recap - New York Rangers at Columbus Blue Jackets - Oct 11, 2014 -
Ryan Johansen returned to the Columbus Blue Jackets just before the start of the season.

NHL Recap - Pittsburgh Penguins at Toronto Maple Leafs - Oct 11, 2014 -
Sidney Crosby and Pittsburgh Penguins made fast work of the Toronto Maple Leafs.

NHL Recap - Anaheim Ducks at Detroit Red Wings - Oct 11, 2014 -
Ryan Getzlaf's good fortune got the Anaheim Ducks their first win of the season.

NHL Recap - Los Angeles Kings at Arizona Coyotes - Oct 11, 2014 -
Oliver Ekman-Larrson beat Jonathan Quick with a wrist shot into the top right corner of the net on a power play with 14 seconds left in overtime, giving the Arizona Coyotes a 3-2 victory over the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday night.

NHL Recap - Ottawa Senators at Tampa Bay Lightning - Oct 11, 2014 -
Coach Paul MacLean called the Ottawa Senators' first win of the season a whole team effort.

NHL Recap - Montreal Canadiens at Philadelphia Flyers - Oct 11, 2014 -
Pierre-Alexandre Parenteau earned credit for Montreal's winning goal. The Canadiens kept their perfect record, though, on the strength of a gutsy third period.

NHL Recap - Washington Capitals at Boston Bruins - Oct 11, 2014 -
If the Washington Captials can combine Alex Ovechkin's scoring with strong defense every game, coach Barry Trotz will be enjoying a lot of victories this season.