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Wilderness Walk: Game 3 Day Edition

They're here, Wilderness: the Wild and the Blues are in St. Paul, and it's time for the Wild to take back their ice. To say the Wild "Struggled" later in the season at defending the X would be pretty accurate, and that can't happen here. Time to take 2 more games, and finish the Blues in 5.

We'll be providing a bunch of coverage, so stick around all day, and see you here tonight for The Game.

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Wild News

Walk The Line | Wild Xtra
You can't out-Blues the Blues and win. Don't try.

Zucker, Fontaine expected to play Game 3 as Wild hopes for home-ice edge | Russo's Rants |
"The Wild were 19th in the NHL with a 22-13-6 home record, including 15-12-6 in its last 33." In other words: this could be interesting.

Chirp, slash or rub, Blues' Ott is at his agitating best | Star Tribune
Rub? You know what kinda joke goes here... also something mean about Ott. Really mean. Like "Steve Ott only showers once per day" or something.

Wild notes: Ballard gets big role for prospects' visit | Star Tribune
I've been as rough on Ballard as a player as anyone, but obviously we at HW hope nothing but the best for him in recovery. If he can become a part of the Wild organization as a coach and do well, that would be fantastic. He is, by all accounts, a quality human being.

Jim Souhan: Wild is poised for big things — if it can win at home | Star Tribune
I'm torn between agreeing with Souhan (HELP) and knowing full-well how obnoxiously he is presenting his case.

Wild notes: Blues' depth makes shadowing Tarasenko less likely | Star Tribune
nitpicky whine: I know he (technically) scored 3 goals, but gaining a hat trick via empty net is the lamest possible way to do it.

Wild counting on boost from X crowd as series shifts to home ice |
Here's hoping the Home Ice Advantage is back... it's been AWOL for a while now.

Tom Powers: Bob Gainey recalls North Stars' epic 1991 playoff run |
Norm Green (still) Sucks.

Wild's Zach Parise feels fans' desire for deep playoff run |
"Zach Parise grew up in Minnesota. He understands the frustration of sports fans in the Twin Cities." ONE OF US. ONE OF US.

Wild: Playoff hockey brings heavy traffic in front of net |
Maybe my favorite part of this is the picture, in which someone is (lovingly I'm sure) tapping Doobie on the head with their stick.

Enemy News

Vladimir Tarasenko: The Blues' Russian on the rise | Star Tribune
Hmm. Sounds like he's rather "enigmatic."

Off the Trail

Oilers Win Lottery: Does Drafting Connor McDavid Equal a Championship? | The Hockey Writers
An interesting view of the draft lottery, and what effect McHockey could have on the Eulers.

Randy Carlyle wants to coach again: 'In a lot of ways, it's who I am' | theScore
Please... PLEASE come to the Central Division (but not MIN).

GIF: Predators' Gaustad whacks Blackhawks' Bickell in the head with stick, gets minor penalty | theScore
Wrong Bickel, dude. Nice try, though.

Ilya Kovalchuk leads SKA St. Petersburg to Gagarin Cup victory | theScore
Extra points for wearing a hat that says "Ska is my life." Dude's got style.

Day after voicing disappointment with No. 2 pick, Murray praises Eichel | ProHockeyTalk
Open mouth, insert foot. #Whoops