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Wilderness Walk: One More Night

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The Wild practice at home today before heading out on back to back games at Arizona and San Jose.

Don't anger the Scandy man.
Don't anger the Scandy man.
Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

While the Wild are taking advantage of one more day at home to prepare for Max Domi and the Arizona Coyotes, the biggest question on people's minds is the goaltender situation.  The Wild did not practice yesterday, so Devan Dubnyk was not able to return to the ice.  He did however welcome the newest addition to his family, Parker Dubnyk, to the world, thus ending #BabyWatch.  Today we will find out just how bad his groin strain might be and whether Dubynk, Darcy Kuemper or Niklas Backstrom will find themselves in the cage on this short road trip.  A lot of fans would like to see Dubnyk rested to preserve him for later in the season, but doing so might require giving Backstrom a start in back-to-back games.  This writer has a hunch that Dubynk will find his way back in to the lineup for one of the two games, as he has shown his ability to be an ironman and also recover from injuries quickly.  It may be important for him to get some time in to keep up the trajectory of his last few games in which he has played like the Dubnyk of last year.

Today also brings news of a tough upbringing from Patrick O'Sullivan (2003 Wild draft pick) and the retirement of two former Wild players, Pascal Dupuis and Keith Ballard.  We wish them well in life after the NHL and are glad they made the choice to live a safer life for their families.

Today's Walk music influenced by the longing feeling brewing across the Wilderness.  Shame on you if you thought I would give you Maroon 5.  Walk on.

Must Read - Not safe for young readers

Black & Blue | The Players' Tribune
Incredible and chilling words from the former Wild draft pick

Wild News

Keith Ballard, a year after final concussion, retires from hockey - StarTribune.com
A year later, we learn the hit did truly end his career.

Keith Ballard: A Retrospective - Articles - Articles - Homepage - Wild Xtra
A nostalgic trip back in time through the days in the life of #OneOfUs

The Minnesota Wild Christmas List
Have they been naughty or nice?

Tending The Fields

Minnesota Wild Minor League Update: 12/9/15 - Minor Leagues - Articles - Homepage - Wild Xtra
OMG YOU GUYS THE IA WON A GAME!!!!!

Off The Trail

How Was Your Favorite Team Built? - Central Division
On rock and roll.

Pascal Dupuis forced to end NHL career due to medical condition | Puck Daddy - Yahoo Sports
So sad, but we've all seen this coming for a long time.

McKenzie: Dupuis' retirement a big loss for Pittsburgh - Audio - TSN
A good listen to a man we will all miss, Duper.

Women's Hockey Top 6: NWHL responds to Burke; Engstrom and discipline; Spoon trick? | Puck Daddy - Yahoo Sports
From Yahoo Sports: Women's Hockey Top 6: NWHL responds to Burke; Engstrom and discipline; Spooner's 5 goal game

Thumbs to the Stars and holding off expansion - Article - TSN
Let's get it right before we jump in. Thanks.

Gary Bettman was right, NHL compensation policy didn't work - Sportsnet.ca
Can't always agree with him, but he got this right.

Ken Hitchcock has coach’s challenge hack that annoys his goalies | Puck Daddy - Yahoo Sports
Nifty trick.

Gotta See It: Quenneville gets arm-wavingly angry over penalty call - Sportsnet.ca
Angry Q. HA!

Recaps