There's a ton of stuff to read today!
Not only will there be tons of stuff to read in The Walk today, but there's also tons of stuff going on at Hockey Wilderness.
If you haven't checked out our podcast yet, you'll be able to listen to Episode 2 here, and Ger, Joe, Aaron, and I break down the playoff match-up with the Avs and Wild. It's a lot of fun, and I hope you all give it a chance. While you're listening to that, you can look at Ger's look at Kyle Brodziak, or fill out Aaron's Hockey Wilderness Bracket Challenge. Or both. Both would be great. And then you can check back later for plenty of stories from your favorite Hockey Wilderness writers throughout the day.
But I would like to mention a couple of tiny, indisputable facts. Enjoy.
Main difference between last year's #avs and this year's? Last season they had the 3rd lowest PDO (97.6), have 3rd highest this year (102.2)— Tony Abbott (@TonyWiseau) April 16, 2014
Roy (pronounced phonetically) sure did a good job reversing the Avs' PDO!
Also, follow me. My Twitter link is right there, and I know you're reading this. So just follow me.
On to the Walk.
Colorado-Wild playoffs matchup offers contrast in styles | Star Tribune- Russo notes some parallels to the Wild-Avs series from 11 years ago.
Wild notes: Veilleux, McLeod will renew their comical 2008 rivalry | Star Tribune- So, something funny happened once.
Granlund, Brodziak expected to play in Game 1 of Wild-Avs series Thursday | Russo's Rants | StarTribune.com- Granlund will return, in all likelihood, taking his place as second-line center.
Wild's Matt Moulson has two wishes: a Stanley Cup, and his own bed - TwinCities.com- Matt Moulson and I are not too dissimilar...
Wild goalie Darcy Kuemper practices, but coaches aren't convinced he's ready - TwinCities.com- It would be nice if Darcy could be at the ready in case Bryz falters.
Wild: Haula's been good, but healthy Granlund would get old job back - TwinCities.com- Erik Haula will be rewarded for his efforts in centering the second-line capably by being placed on the fourth-line, and separated from a stone-handed goon in Justin Fontaine in favor of the skilled Stephane Veilleux and Cody McCormick. Thanks, Erik! #toughness
2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs Series Preview: Minnesota Wild vs. Colorado Avalanche | State of Hockey News- State of Hockey News also has visions of 2003 in his series preview.
The Team of 18,001: Regular Season Wrap-Up- Giles wraps up a sometimes frustrating, sometimes exciting, and often interesting regular season.
The Team of 18,001: Minnesota Wild 2014 Regular Season Awards- I disagree strongly with his MVP pick. If any positional player is an MVP on the team, give me a guy who played all 82 games, elevated his teammates play, and produced the most. Jason Pominville is my Team MVP.
First Round Stanley Cup Playoff Series Preview - Colorado Avalanche vs Minnesota Wild- More Series Previewing! This one courtesy of The Hockey Writers.
Regressing Wife-Beater* News
Avalanche notes: Injury situation gets better | Star Tribune- Good. Ours has, too. Let's beat the Avs at full strength.
Get to Know the Colorado Avalanche--GPW Chats with Mile High Sticking- GPW has managed to not completely burn bridges with the Avalanche blogs.
5 Ingredients For the Avalanche to Bury the Wild in Round One- 1) Have a high PDO. 2) Power play stuff. 3) Get better defensemen. 4) Get better. 5) Don't unleash #AngryMikko.
Report: Duchene to miss at least first two games of Avalanche-Wild series | ProHockeyTalk- And probably more, his injury was supposed to last 4 weeks, and he was injured March 31st. The time-table may be accelerated due to the playoffs, but a Game 5 or 6 return is most likely.
Pressing question: Are the Avs for real? | ProHockeyTalk- I don't know. I'd guess not.
*In order to get the facts straight, I feel the need to note that for Semyon Varlamov, it was actually his girlfriend, and not his wife. We apologize for the factual error.
Off the Trail
Florida Panthers win 2014 NHL Draft lottery, leaping over Buffalo | Puck Daddy - Yahoo Sports- The Panthers won the lottery, leaving the Oilers to pick third.
Good-bye, NHL Regular Season!- Granltand- And hellooooooo, playoffs!
Predicting the outcomes of the Western Conference quarterfinals | Backhand Shelf | Blogs | theScore.com- And predict things, they did!
2014 Jersey Aesthetics: Ranking the 8 first-round playoff series on visual pleasure | Backhand Shelf | Blogs | theScore.com- The Wild's awesome jerseys save this series from being last. Thanks for having super ugly uniforms, Regressing Wife-Beaters!
NHL’s new playoff format is all about gambling, isn’t it? | Puck Daddy - Yahoo Sports- The bracket format was actually really fun to fill out. You can, again, fill out our Hockey Wilderness SCP Bracket Challenge. Winner gets a free T-shirt. You guys wear clothes, right?
Rookie Freddie Andersen to get Game 1 start for Anaheim Ducks? | Puck Daddy - Yahoo Sports- I was really surprised to see the incredible slump that Jonas Hiller has gone through.
2014 Stanley Cup playoffs -- Burnside: 4 deadline deals with playoff payoff - ESPN- Matt Moulson is among those.
Boston Bruins top 2014 NHL playoff team power rankings - NHL - SI.com- The Wild are 7th in their conference.
Hertl: Rematch vs. Kings ‘personal’ after Brown hit, injury | ProHockeyTalk- Another day, another person who thinks Dustin Brown is a piece of shit.
Flyers give Andrew MacDonald 6-year, $30 million deal | Puck Daddy - Yahoo Sports- Ger is super depressed the Wild didn't get to hand this contract out.
Puck Daddy’s NHL 2013-14 NHL Award Picks: Calder, Adams, Selke | Puck Daddy - Yahoo Sports- It's gotta be Justin Fontaine, Mike Yeo, and Mikko Koivu, right? #WhyNotThem?
Oates: Mike Green’s ‘an enigma’ | ProHockeyTalk- Oates is also about to be 'fired'.
Sorry, I Just Can't Help Myself
"I can't really hear what #fancystats say, because I got my husband's fists plugging my ears."- Patrick Roy's wife on Avs regression.— Tony Abbott (@TonyWiseau) April 15, 2014