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Wilderness Walk: Playoff Game 1 Edition

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Tonight the Minnesota Wild play the Colorado Avalanche. It's the playoffs!

Mikael's baaaaaaack!
Mikael's baaaaaaack!
Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Before tonight's game, you need to go check out the happenings occurring on Hockey Wilderness. Stop by later today for EVEN MOAR reasons to hate the Colorado Avalanche (possibly involving their lazy, bottoming-out rebuild), our series predictions, and players who have a lot riding on this playoff series.

There's plenty to read here, and of course, there's also the matter of the game tonight. The Wild are healthy, aside from Darcy Kuemper, as Mikael Granlund is poised to make his playoff debut tonight.

This should be a fun (and hopefully, quick in the Wild's favor) series, so sit back, and enjoy yourselves. I know I will be. I'll be trolling my Avs fan friend.

On to the Walk.

Yesterday's Playoffs

Daniel Briere, playoff beast, sets up Canadiens’ OT winner vs. Lightning (Video) | Puck Daddy - Yahoo Sports

NHL - 2014 playoffs: Experience pays off for Pittsburgh Penguins against Columbus Blue Jackets - ESPN

Rapid Reaction: Ducks 4, Stars 3 - Cross Checks Blog - ESPN

Wild News

Wild pins playoff hopes on Bryzgalov | Star Tribune- I think there's a little too much focus on Bryz for this playoff series, as I think that Darcy would be able to step in sooner than later if things went south with Bryzgalov.

Wild looking for scoring from bottom two lines - And that's why Fontaine is going to be benched for McCormick and Veilleux.

Wild notes: Suter will get extra attention from Avs | Star Tribune- Everyone is so mean, hitting each other and stuff.

Wild don't plan to limit Ryan Suter's ice time against Avalanche - Look for Suter to play 60 minutes in at least one game.

Tom Powers: Minnesota Wild need to stick to the game plan - Where Tom Powers argues against Zone Entries.

Scoggins: Wild's No. 7 seed offers shot to overachieve | Star Tribune- However, if St. Louis hadn't collapsed, they'd have probably been better off in the 8th than 7th seed. But this worked out really well.

Goalie Ilya Bryzgalov is No. 1 in Minnesota Wild's universe - The Wild could use a humangous big performance from him tonight.

Minnesota Wild: Mikael Granlund excited about his playoff debut - And the Wild are similarly excited about it.

Wild: Stephane Veilleux's winding road brings him back to NHL playoffs - I'm surprised that Veilleux is going to start for the Wild in the playoffs, myself. Who would have thought of it when the Wild started the year off?

The Team of 18,001: Minnesota Wild Keys To Victory- Giles breaks down the keys to the Wild victory.

The Team of 18,001: Key Players For The Wild Against Colorado- As well as the key players.

The Team of 18,001: Wild vs Avalanche: Who Has The Advantage?- And breaks down the Tale of the Tape.

Regressing Wife-Beater News

MHH Meet Up: Playoff Edition - Mile High Hockey- Aaron is getting his ticket to Denver so he can go troll MHH in person.

Avalanche notebook: MacKinnon hopes to have fun | Star Tribune- Nathan MacKinnon isn't so much concerned about meditation. He just wants to have fun.

Avalanche goalie Semyon Varlamov has learned from the best - I'm not even going to touch this one.

Ilya Bryzgalov has "nothing to say" about opposing Russian countryman- Ilya Bryzgalov is my favorite person. What a baller.

Why I believe the Avs can beat the Wild and win the Stanley Cup - Mile High Hockey- #Faith

Better Know Your Enemy: What's A "Wild" Anyway? - Mile High Hockey- They're an animal that makes you go home early. Like this:

Avalanche prepare for Minnesota Wild in playoffs- They better hurry up, they don't have much time left.

Off The Trail

Your Guide to the Stanley Cup Playoffs- Grantland- I don't know if it was a joke or not that the goalie got "Goat Potential" for 14 of the 16 playoff teams.

Predicting the outcomes of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals | Backhand Shelf | Blogs |

2014 NHL playoffs preview: Picks, predictions and more - NHL - Allan Muir -

Blues are going to get all their injured players back in first round, says Hitchcock | ProHockeyTalk- Bad news for the Wild in Round 2.

Paul Maurice back with Jets next season; alas, so is Ondrej Pavelec | Puck Daddy - Yahoo Sports- So you won't have to worry about the Jets next year.

Puck Daddy’s NHL 2013-14 NHL Award Picks: Hart, Vezina and Norris picks | Puck Daddy - Yahoo Sports- That'll be Pominville, Harding, and Suter, right? #WhyNotUs?

The 2013-14 NHL Awards: A transparent look at one voter’s ballot | Backhand Shelf | Blogs | Justin Bourne throws his ballot out there.

Staal, Ward say they want to stay in Carolina | ProHockeyTalk- They apparently are OK with sitting on the couch, too.

Belov bolts Edmonton, signs in KHL | ProHockeyTalk- No alternative location is worse than Edmonton, apparently

Facebook knows your favorite playoff team, and they've made a really cool map (Photo) | Puck Daddy - Yahoo Sports- Yay?