Warm weather, palm trees, beach time. That's what the Wild and their fathers are enjoying right now as we crank our thermostat in our houses. Life is unfair, and sometimes it pays to be a hockey player.
The team kicked off their father-son road trip in Florida yesterday where they will face Tampa Bay tonight and Florida on Monday. Tonight's game will be a tough test. I don't think anyone expects it to be another 7-2 blowout like it was three weeks ago in St. Paul. Tampa Bay is one of the best teams in the East, and the Wild will have to play better than they have in the last few games if they want a win.
Some good articles to browse through before tonight's game, so on to the Walk:
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Wild players show appreciation for their fathers on road trip | Star Tribune- A fun look at some of the Minnesota born players and their fathers on the trip.
Minnesota Wild: Marco Scandella's love of hockey fuels success - TwinCities.com- The Rise of Marco Scandella. Is it too early to start #Scandella4Norris? Just think, two years ago we all were giving up on him.
Mikko Koivu questionable to face the Tampa Bay Lightning | Russo's Rants | StarTribune.com- Koivu didn't skate, which means the lines will most likely change again for tonight's game. Expect Charlie Coyle to stay at center and Mikael Granlund to reunite with Zach Parise and Jason Pominville.
What do Advanced Stats say about the Wild? - Gone Puck Wild - The team has put up some good numbers, but can they repeat them consistently?
Off The Trail
Super 16: No panic in Chicago Blackhawks despite slow start - Super 16: NHL Power Rankings - Four straight wins and the team climbs the arbitrary rankings.
Why the Stars and Sharks are both losers in the Dillon-for-Demers swap | theScore- Big news from yesterday: Dallas traded Brenden Dillon to San Jose for Jason Demers and a third round pick. Initially I thought Dallas lost this trade, but the addition of the pick plus retained salary by San Jose evens it out a little more. What do you think Wilderness? I always thought Dillon had a lot of potential.
With Spezza signed, the list of UFA centers is looking pretty thin | ProHockeyTalk- The other big Dallas news of the day is that they locked up Jason Spezza for four more years. Not a bad deal, and it justifies their initial trade with Ottawa.
30 Thoughts: Financial woes not unique to Johnson - Sportsnet.ca - Some good insight on a variety of subjects.
The NHL Redux: Filip Forsberg and the art of bridging the gap | theScore - Forsberg is having a heck of a year for Nashville.
Daniel Alfredsson's career probably over per report | Puck Daddy - Alfredsson will most likely announce his retirement on Monday. He's had quite the career.
Gallery: Create an NHL Starter Pack reader art contest! | Puck Daddy - Some funny stuff here. I'd love to see a Wild-related one. Anyone have any ideas?
NHL Grab Bag: The Silent Treatment - Your weekly grab bag from Sean at Grantland.