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Wilderness Walk: 4-23-14

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Doug Pensinger

It’s amazing what a playoff win can do for the State of Hockey.

The sun is shining, the snow is melting, the birds chirping, and Minnesotans seem generally happy for the first time since Christmas. All that thanks to one glorious win, just imagine if we can acquire a second. For a state starving for success in sports, Monday nights victory was music to our heartbroken ears. Cheering for Minnesota sports is a curse I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. For those of you from out of state, our pro sports slogan reads something like this. "Minnesota Sports: crushing your hopes and dreams since 1858, unless you count baseball."

(just for the record I don’t count baseball, I feel players should have to actually sweat during a game for it to be considered a sport.)

On that note, I would like to note two things about Mondays playoff game.

We are undefeated in the playoffs with Dany Heatley in the lineup. #50 in 07
We are undefeated with Richard Park in attendance signing our national anthem.

If Yeo doesn’t alter this ingenious Heatley/Park combo for the remainder of the playoffs I can see only one conclusion for our beloved Minnesota Wild.  ...Start planning the Parade people!!! While just about everyone seems to be focusing in on the Matt Cooke hit, yes it looked questionable, I think it’s a shame to take attention away from a hard fought game that was easily the best of the series. But in all seriousness Colorado, its playoff hockey, put down your bongs and Dorritos and toughen up.

Here is the rest of your Walk. Enjoy.

Tuesdays Playoffs Results

Canadiens advance to second round with sweep of Lightning
Canadians sweep Lightning.

Boston Bruins vs. Detroit Red Wings - Recap - April 22, 2014 - ESPN
NHL Hockey Recap: Final statistics from the Boston vs. Detroit game played on April 22, 2014

Rangers beat Flyers 4-1 in Game 3, take 2-1 lead - Yahoo Sports
Rangers Flyers Recap

Wild News

Yeo, Roy Address Cooke's Hit - Minnesota Wild - Blogs
Both coaches address Cooke's hit

Game 3: Mike Doyle's Five Takeaways vs. Colorado - Minnesota Wild | Features
Game 3: Mike Doyle's Five Takeaways vs. Colorado

Minnesota Wild: Avs play on without Tyson Barrie -
With Tyson Barrie clutching his left knee on the ice Monday night, the victim of an MCL injury after a vicious collision with Wild winger Matt Cooke, the Avalanche lost a scoring defenseman and key member of their power play.

Souhan: Cooke’s return to goonish roots should be punished harshly | Star Tribune
If hockey were real estate, you could say that last summer the Wild went searching for a house, something more sturdy than flashy, built more for day-to-day living than curb appeal

Wild notes: Cooke facing long suspension | Star Tribune
Matt Cooke has been summoned to NHL headquarters in New York on Wednesday for a hearing stemming from the Wild winger’s knee-on-knee hit that injured Colorado Avalanche defenseman Tyson Barrie in Game 3

Fraser: A closer look at Cooke's knee-on-knee hit on Barrie
In depth look at the hit

Matt Cooke can be reformed and still be an injurious [expletive] | Puck Daddy - Yahoo Sports
From Yahoo Sports: Matt Cooke of the Minnesota Wild has been on parole since March 2011, when he was suspended for 10 games and the first round of the postseason while with the Pittsburgh Penguins. It was his sixth suspension and second one that season. His career in the NHL was in question: Could this guy actually contribute anything beyond headhunting and cheap shots?

Colorado News

Speculation: Who will be the 6th Defenseman? - Mile High Hockey
With our beloved Tyson "Clutch" Barrie out for the foreseeable future, someone needs to step into the lineup in a difficult situation and be reliable at worst and something special at best. Our...

Ryan O'Reilly, Avs forward, named finalist for Lady Byng Trophy - The Denver Post
The trophy is awarded to the NHL player "adjudged to have exhibited the best type of sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct combined with a high standard of playing ability."

Other News

NHL -- 2014 Stanley Cup playoffs: San Jose Sharks' onslaught has Los Angeles Kings stunned - ESPN
The mesmerizing two-game onslaught by the Sharks, outscoring the 2012 Cup champs 13-5, is nothing short of stunning, writes's Pierre LeBrun.

Post To Post: Top grades to Kuemper, Varlamov, Crawford

Ducks, Stars feel pain of Robidas' broken leg - Yahoo Sports

Blues-Blackhawks Preview - Yahoo Sports

NHL Play of the Year Showdown: Perry vs. Marchand

Commissioner Gary Bettman says potential New York Islanders sale drawing interest - ESPN New York
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said he spoke with New York Islanders owner Charles Wang as recently as Tuesday morning and that Wang has received a number of expressions of interest in the potential sale of the team.