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Wilderness Walk:Game Day Edition

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The Wild charge into the District of Columbia to take on the Capitals

Cooke gets in Ovi's grill.
Cooke gets in Ovi's grill.
Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Tonight the Wild head to the nation's capital and meet a red-hot Alex Ovechkin led Washington Capital team.  Washington is the only team the Wild have not played yet this season.  The Capitals have won two in a row following a three game slide to end the month of February.  They currently sit in the first wildcard spot in the East with 80 points.   Ovechkin has 26 goals over his last 29 games and continues to wreak havoc on adversaries.

With Ottawa beating Winnipeg 3-1 last night, the Wild have a chance to leap frog the Jets into the first wildcard spot with any kind of win and pull within 4 of Chicago for the 3rd spot in the Central.  The Wild have options to substitute guys in and out of the lineup for the back-to-back, so they should come out with some jump and continue to build chemistry with the new additions.  Sean Bergenheim was all over the ice against Ottawa and is looking more comfortable every shift, and the same should happen for Stewart and Leopold.

The Wild must stay out of the penalty box to stay in this game.  Washington has the 2nd ranked power play in the league with a success rate of 23.9%.  The Wild have been great on the penalty kill since the All-Star game, but streaks can be unraveled by a bad game against a good team.  The game should be a good measure of the team's compete level for the playoffs.

On to the Walk:

Wild News - Tony Dean - WildHBcommunity: Fletcher Adds at Deadline Yeo Must Find Right Mix Now
Tony's blog nearly as MEATY as Russo's

Wild survives blowing two-goal lead, beats Ottawa in a shootout to improve to 14-2-1 since the All-Star break | Russo's Rants |
Sloppy as expected, but still find a way to win and continue their hot streak

Rand: Bill will eventually come due for Wild's decision to 'win now' | Star Tribune
Rand questions if GMCF has mortgaged the future, though he made some of the shrewdest deals in the league.  We all know what Dubnyk has done and he and Bergenheim are steals in a market that saw other teams overpay for lots of players

Wild GM Chuck Fletcher ope about timing of Devan Dubnyk trade | 1500 ESPN Twin Cities - Minnesota Sports News & Opinion (Twins, Vikings, Wolves, Wild, Gophers) | Sportswire: Minnesota Wild
Mackey talks with GMCF about acquiring the Dub.

Chris Stewart Should Spend Time With Charile Coyle
Put  #Gritz in the Dawghouse and HULK SMASH!

What to Expect from Chris Stewart and Jordan Leopold
Player profiles for the guys we got a peak at last night.

The View from Japer's Rink in Washington

Wednesday Caps Clips: Chaotic Win in Columbus - Japers' Rink
Daily Washington Capitals news and notes

The Noon Number: Holtbreakout - Japers' Rink
A feature on another high-performing netminder

Tending the Fields

Minnesota Wild Prospects Report: More Injuries
Gone Puck Wild's weekly Minnesota Wild prospects report, with updates on Chase Lang and Alexandre Belanger's injuries. Plus NCAA rankings.

On Frozen Pond

Welcome to the Minnesota State High School League!
Scoreboard updates and game summaries for the boys state tournament

Eight Gophers Take Home WCHA Awards - University of Minnesota Official Athletic Site
Hannah Brandt and Rachael Ramsey take home top WCHA individual honors for the second-straight season.

Off the Trail

NHL Report Card: Grades for third quarter of 2014-15 season -
Grades for the entire league.  Dubnyk continues to be the toast of the season.

Hilary Knight working with 'Like A Girl' campaign to tear down stereotypes - - NHL Insider
Hilary Knight, a star of women's hockey in the U.S., is contributing to Always'

NHL trade deadline -- Boston Bruins gave it their all to load up before the deadline - ESPN

Puck Daddy Power Rankings: 42 thoughts about the NHL trade deadline | Puck Daddy - Yahoo Sports

Matt Martin of New York Islanders faces hearing with Department of Player Safety - Department of Player Safety News
Look who's in trouble.  Karma for hurting #OneOfUs

MUST SEE: Karlsson scores incredible no-look goal from his stomach Video - NHL VideoCenter


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