The Minnesota Wild fell in the shootout to a very beatable Chicago Blackhawks team. Under normal circumstances, that would be disheartening, and it kind of is. I guess. But it's not, thanks to Dallas dropping a very winnable game themselves, falling to the Carolina Hurricanes in regulation.
That means that Minnesota gains a point in the standings on Dallas and Phoenix, and have a 5 point lead on each, who have 6 and 5 games remaining, respectively. That's pretty good news for the Wild, who can go .500 (2-2-1) the rest of the season, and guarantee themselves a playoff spot. The Wild play
Phoenix Pittsburgh on Saturday.
I am also going to plug the Hockey Wilderness Podcast again, which will be recording on Sunday. Please send questions in to the HWP Twitter feed (@HWildernessCast), or post questions in the comments here, and I'll make sure they find their way into the discussion.
A lot to talk about, on to the Walk.
Minnesota Wild: Bollig's hit on Parise bothers Yeo - TwinCities.com- He's not the only one it bothered. It bothered Mike Rupp's agent, who is Twit-campaigning for the Wild to introduce his brand of face-punchery back into the lineup.
Wild ponders how to keep Granlund healthy | Star Tribune- This is a pretty big concern, as it's absolutely in the Wild's interests to make it so Granlund isn't "PMB 2.0".
Josh Harding taking things day-to-day after return to Wild practice | Puck Daddy - Yahoo Sports- We knew this yesterday, but here's the Puck Daddy article on it.
Cautious Wild will sit Nino Niederreiter against Blackhawks - TwinCities.com- The same cautious Wild threw out Zach Parise back out on the ice mere minutes after being elbowed in the back of the head- the head that would hit the ice after the elbow. Parise noted that he had a bit of a headache, too, so that ought to be fun.
Wild: Christian Folin already intriguing his NHL coach - TwinCities.com- He may have to play forward in the last week and a half.
Tending the Fields
Jack Eichel & Minnesotans Headline U.S. Under-18 Team Announcement- The US U-18 team is going to be super good, then.
Off the Trail
The Best Possible NHL First-Round Matchups — Ranked!- Grantland- A Blackhawks-Kings matchup would be a treat to see...
NHL playoff format: Is the new system working for you? | Puck Daddy - Yahoo Sports- But because of the stupid format, it can't work. So boooooooo, NHL. Boooooooooo!
The post-injury self-exam, and why Jonathan Toews’ return will be difficult | Backhand Shelf | Blogs | theScore.com- Mikko Koivu's already had to deal with this, luckily it wasn't a playoff match.
Canucks GM Mike Gillis makes ‘John Tortorella or me’ ultimatum | Puck Daddy - Yahoo Sports- And guess who doesn't have a 5 year contract?
Evander Kane faces civil assault suit, which should quiet his critics | Puck Daddy - Yahoo Sports- Ah. That's not good, if the allegations are true.
Washington Capitals should strip Alex Ovechkin of captain's C | Home Ice - SI.com- STRIP THE C! STRIP THE C!
Offseason compliance buyout candidates include Marc-Andre Fleury, Brad Richards - NHL - ESPN- Remember, Niklas Backstrom can't be bought out.