Yay! It's the night we've been waiting for!
For the first time in almost 5 months, we're going to see a bona-fide Minnesota Wild hockey game. The Wild will be taking on the Colorado Avalanche tonight at 8 PM Central, in a rematch of the Western Conference Quarterfinal series that saw the Wild prevail in an exciting Game 7.
Stay tuned with Hockey Wilderness throughout the day. We'll have a couple of articles, and of course, the return of the Game Threads.
Plenty to get to today, so on to the Walk.
Kid-Friendly: Wild counting on ascending youngsters | Star Tribune- The Wild's Cup hopes depend in large part to the continued development of their young players.
Wild's 'Finnesotans' feed off one another on and off the ice - TwinCities.com- Are they Hedonism Bot?
Wild notes: Kuemper to start opener | Star Tribune- Also, the shootout lineups will be the same this year, so far. A shame, because I'd love to see Granlund toy with opposing goalies more often.
Four keys for the Wild's 2014-15 season | Star Tribune- So, good goaltending, special teams, scoring, and defense.
Koivu vs Granlund: Finnish Face-off- Hashtag Hockey- Some fun charts with Koivu and Granlund.
The Team of 18,001: The 2014-15 Minnesota Wild: Forwards- Giles Previews the forwards.
The Team of 18,001: The 2014-15 Minnesota Wild: Defense- And the defense.
The Team of 18,001: The 2014-14 Minnesota Wild: Special Teams- And the special teams.
The Team of 18,001: The 2014-15 Minnesota Wild: Mike Yeo- And the coaching, too. What a beast.
Why the Avalanche aren't the Wild's biggest rival- Gone Puck Wild- If not the Avs, who?
Tom Powers: Opportunity knocks for Wild veterans Mikko Koivu, Niklas Backstrom - TwinCities.com- Mathew Dumba is a Wild Card, you say?
Tending the Fields
Michigan State's John Draeger Returns to Ice After Injury - SB Nation College Hockey- The Minnesota Wild defense prospect had hip surgery in the offseason.
Off the Trail
NHL 2014-15 Stanley Cup picks: Puck Daddy selects the champs | Puck Daddy - Yahoo Sports- Everyone picked the Minnesota Wild, or they were wrong.
Chris Pronger may join NHL Player Safety; wouldn't rule on Flyers | Puck Daddy - Yahoo Sports- Glad to see Chris Pronger is doing well enough to work, he'd been struggling with pretty horrific post-concussion issues for the last few years.
Place Your Bets: The NHL Awards Breakdown- Grantland- Breaking down the Award Odds
14 NHL Story Lines to Overreact To- Grantland- Opening Night Storylines
30 Thoughts: Brodeur wants out on his own terms - Sportsnet.ca- Hopefully his terms don't involve being in Minnesota.
Thoughts on Thoughts: Brodeur Something something, hopefully not for the Wild | The Score- Justin Bourne has elaborations.
Brandon Dubinsky to miss six weeks as Blue Jackets' injury woes continue | Puck Daddy - Yahoo Sports- Bad news for "Kreiders on the Storm", last year's champion in my Keeper league. Not bad news for me, though.
The Divides We Feel: The 2014-15 Conference III Opening Essay | III Communication- Ill Communication comes back.
Behind Enemy Lines
To get more news and analysis on the Colorado Avalanche, please check out our friends at Mile High Hockey.
Adrian Dater, Avs beat writer, suspended 2 weeks by Denver Post | Puck Daddy - Yahoo Sports- Who will you goad into blocking you now, Wild fans?