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Wilderness Walk:Running Through The Gauntlet

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The Wild are about to run through a Conference III gauntlet with the Blackhawks at home on Friday and the Blues in St. Louis on Saturday and then 4 days off to prepare for Nashville at the X

There's about to be a #HockeyHug
There's about to be a #HockeyHug
Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

he Wild rise today finding themselves staring down the proverbial barrel of the Central Division with the next three opponents being heavyweights Chicago, St. Louis and Nashville with the Blackhawks and Blues on consecutive days with travel in-between.  These games carry an incredible amount of weight and meaning with each matchup potentially representing a 4 point swing in the standings.  As we've seen so far, and as was expected, Conference III is an incredibly lethal division that is running away with points (except Colorado) and the battle for the postseason could well last the entire season.  Sadly, it's never too early to consider playoff qualification, and the Wild are certainly in the thick of it.  Their 13 points would have put them in first place in the Pacific Division before play began last night, but is only good for 4th place in the Central.

A reinvigorated Dallas team with competent defensive metrics thus far has thrust itself back into contention.  The Blues and Predators have picked up where they left off last season, and the Blackhawks and Jets are closer than they appear in the rear view mirror.  Buckle up, because this will likely be the scenario through game 82.  It makes for compelling games and playoff-style hockey throughout the season, but also leads to a lot of scoreboard watching.  The Wild are holding their own, but are about to be tested.

Today's music selection comes from Minneapolis Reggae Dubbers Jon Wayne & The Pain.  We Walk.

Wild News

For Minnesota Wild's Ryan Suter, minutes down, points up - TwinCities.com
Part of the reason the Minnesota Wild are trying to limit Ryan Suter's ice time this season is so that the defenseman can contribute more offensively.

Pow Pow Powerplay - Articles - Articles - Homepage - Wild Xtra
The story leading into this season was Zach Parise and Ryan Suter sowing their wild Oates this summer.

Wild: Rookie Tyler Graovac on pace for Nov. 5 return - TwinCities.com
Tyler Graovac, the Wild's biggest training camp surprise, skated with teammates Tuesday for the first time since suffering a groin strain in the team's season opener Oct. 8.

Minnesota Wild: After demotion, Charlie Coyle scores game-winner - TwinCities.com
In the midst of the Wild's struggles in the second period Tuesday night, Charlie Coyle sat on the bench as coach Mike Yeo shouted out orders for the next line -- Coyle's third line.

HockeyBuzz.com - Tony Dean - Wild Looking to Bounce Back from Loss Hosting Edmonton Oilers at the X
The Dean looks at the Wild season to date as well as the Edmonton game.

Tending the Fields

Wild farm report - Minnesota Hockey Magazine - Minnesota Hockey Magazine
A win in Des Moines

On the Frozen Pond

Gopher Hockey Notebook: Minnesota earns 1st & 2nd stars; Tuesday recruit roundup - SB Nation College Hockey
Eric Schierhorn and Michael Brodzinski were honored by the Big Ten and a Minnesota commit leads the USHL in points by a defenseman.

Off The Trail

Nine things we learned in the NHL: Canadiens' streak ends - Sportsnet.ca
A couple Wild bits in here.

Bruce Boudreau sounds like a coach about to be fired - Sportsnet.ca
"I don't know... I'm at a loss right now," Bruce Boudreau said, blank and empty after his team dropped another one, and this one they should've had.

At least 31 NHL players returned to games in 2010-11 after concussion: court papers - Article - TSN
Yikes

NHL Power Rankings: Caps' success getting upstaged by Habs' historic run - NHL - CBSSports.com
Firing on all cyclinders, the Capitals are off to a fast start, but it?s gone under the radar all because of the Canadiens? historic tear.

Dougie Hamilton fled Bruins after they didn’t acquire brother: Report | Puck Daddy - Yahoo Sports
Interesting...

Recaps

NHL Recap - Calgary Flames at Ottawa Senators - Oct 28, 2015 - CBSSports.com

NHL Recap - Pittsburgh Penguins at Washington Capitals - Oct 28, 2015 - CBSSports.com

NHL Recap - Nashville Predators at San Jose Sharks - Oct 28, 2015 - CBSSports.com