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Wilderness Walk: Game Day Edition

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Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning Wilderness! It's Friday, and you know what that means. It means I'm getting closer to moving across town and my personal schedule is starting to clog up heavily while we get things ready to go. Speaking of which, anybody out there want to take apart a big, heavy wooden swing-set and castle and move it for me? I'm seriously not looking forward to that part.

None of that really matters though, because we have made it through 2 off-days and now it is game day! Tonight, your Minnesota Wild will welcome the Anaheim Mighty Ducks to St. Paul. The Ducks are coming off a loss at the Sadledome against the Calgary Flames Wednesday night. Right now, the Ducks sit in a 6-way tie for the Presidents Trophy race with the New York Rangers, St. Louis Blues, Montreal Canadiens, Tampa Bay Lightning and the Nashville Predators. This is because Montreal, Tampa and Nashville lost their games last night. Montreal lost 5-2 against the Ottawa Senators, Tampa lost 3-2 to the Boston Bruins and the Preds were shutout 2-0 by the San Jose Sharks.

The Ducks being the only team of those 5 in action tonight, will definitely be hungry to put themselves at the top of the league tonight. That, and they will want to get the bad taste of losing to the Flames out of their mouth. Tonight's test for the Wild will be extra tough, but they will also be looking to get a little redemption tonight as well. The Wild are 0-2-0 against the Ducks this season, so it's about time for them to put one in the win column against these Ducks that once were mighty.

The Wild currently sit 2 points ahead of the Los Angeles Kings who hold onto the final wild card spot in the Western Conference, and are 3 points ahead of the Winnipeg Jets who lost last night to the Florida Panthers (thank you Florida). A win tonight can put some breathing room between the Wild and the Kings and Jets. Either way, win or lose, we should be in for a good show between 2 hungry teams tonight.

Today's musical selection is very dear to me. This is the late Shannon Hoon, former lead singer of Blind Melon who happened to show up studio a little early one day and lay down some solo tracks. Just him and his guitar (with a very special guest harmonica). Very intimate, and very cool. A great treat for any Melonheads out there who haven't heard this before. Take it away Shannon!

Wild News

Minnesota's Prospect Pool Lacks an Elite Game Changer - Wild Xtra
A lot of teams prospect pools lack elite game changers.

March Madness Proving Ground for Playoffs (WildWednesday) HockeyBuzz.com - Tony Dean
The Dean touches on a few topics here, also provided is the latest edition of Wild Wednesday with Jeff Dubay which is always worth a listen.

Wild hunker down for rare full-squad practice - TwinCities.com
Minnesota Wild follow up Wednesday's off-day with a "rare" full-squad practice at Xcel Energy Center on Thursday.

Wild's Dumba has been tough on goalies, especially his own | Star Tribune
Maybe Dumba55 should only be allowed to fire slap shots in practice at an empty net. Maybe toss one of them goalie cutouts in there. I have visions of Rick Vaughn ala Major League taking the head off a batter cutout.

NHL Preview - Anaheim Ducks at Minnesota Wild - Mar 13, 2015 - CBSSports.com
The Anaheim Ducks are still looking for answers after coming up short again in their last game.

Tending the Fields

Mallards sign rookie defenseman Coldwell | The ECHL
Quad-City getting on some early college free agent action.

Alaska Aces Trade For Dean Chelios, Landon Oslanski | Gone Puck Wild
The Alaska Aces made 2 trades Thursday, one of which had them acquiring Dean Chelios, son of NHL legend Chris Chelios. Landon Oslanski was also acquired.

On Frozen Pond

Gophers hockey: Big Ten title secondary to salvaging NCAA hopes - TwinCities.com
The Gophers have a bit of work ahead of them if they have dreams of making the NCAA tourney this year.

Off the Trail

Norris Trophy race has no clear-cut favorite - Super 16: NHL Power Rankings
A nice look into the race for the Norris Trophy, and then they nose dive hard into the ground with their "power rankings". I swear, I will never understand how they come up with that crap.

Mike Reilly on free agency rumors: "I'm not putting any time into it" - SB Nation College Hockey
The Minnesota junior defenseman is a 2011 4th round pick of the Columbus Blue Jackets. He leads all college hockey defensemen in points and assists.

Jets lose game, Myers vs. Panthers in key contest for Wild Card races | ProHockeyTalk
Thank you Florida Panthers!

Video: MacKenzie dives forward to score incredible goal | ProHockeyTalk
This is pretty sick kids. Give it a watch.

Steven Stamkos broken stick toss leads to misconduct (Video) | Puck Daddy
As the great Red Green is want to say, "Keep your stick on the ice."

Who are the leading scorers for each nation in the NHL? | Puck Daddy
Guess which Minnesota Wild player made the list. No peeking now!

Doug MacLean hired private investigator to spy on Nikolai Zherdev | Puck Daddy
Well, that's different.

NHL's college free agency season officially open thanks to Bruins, Flyers - CBSSports.com
What say you Wilderness? Any potential college free agents you have your eyes on with hopes they will wear Iron-Range Red?

RECAPS!!!

NHL Recap - Edmonton Oilers at Pittsburgh Penguins - CBSSports.com

NHL Recap - Ottawa Senators at Montreal Canadiens - CBSSports.com

NHL Recap - Winnipeg Jets at Florida Panthers - CBSSports.com

NHL Recap - Tampa Bay Lightning at Boston Bruins - CBSSports.com

NHL Recap - Philadelphia Flyers at St. Louis Blues - CBSSports.com

Duck Hunting

Be sure to go visit our friends down at Anaheim Calling for all the latest Ducks news.

Anaheim Ducks' Josh Manson sent to AHL; Sami Vatanen nearing return | FOX Sports
Injuries are starting to heal up for the Ducks, with Vatanen close and Matt Beleskey much closer to returning to the lineup.

NHL Recap - Anaheim Ducks at Calgary Flames - CBSSports.com