Hey Wilderness, it's been a minute, but I'm back and happy to be dishing the Walk for you once again. I'm glad you've kept this team mostly honest while I was out and we are still experiencing a good old fashioned playoff chase that continues tonight versus the Calgary Flames and their shiny new netminder and very familiar face, Niklas Backstrom. Backstrom returns to Minnesota to face the only other team he has ever played for in the NHL besides his single start with his new team and total time on ice spanning just shy of 60 minutes. It will make for some interesting drama as obviously Backstrom will want to leave his mark on the city and team he has been a part of for so many years. On the flip side it will provide a nice opportunity for Wild fans to give him a ceremonious and proper sendoff. But make no mistake, Backy still believes he can play and must make the most of every opportunity he gets in order to earn himself a shot at an NHL contract for next year, so he will bring his best game to the ice. He did come out and surprise the Wild's morning skate, donning his new team colors:
Our friends in Colorado will faceoff against the Philadelphia Flyers, who recently put themselves back in playoff position and need the win as badly as the Avalanche. The Avs are currently a point back of the Wild but hold a game in hand, and the night could prove to have very profound effects on the Wild's playoff hopes in either direction.
I leave you with one of my favorite moments of my recent journey, which I spent with 155,000 new friends from all over the globe at Ultra Music Festival in Miami. The song seems very apropos of what this team needs to be focused on. Good to be back. Let's Walk.
Nilkas Backstrom scheduled to start Thursday vs. Wild
Niklas Backstrom won his first NHL start in more than 15 months Saturday at Montreal and will face his former team on Thursday.
Postgame: Two points are two points, and the Wild stole a pair - StarTribune.com
Well, this one made up for some of the games lately where the Wild got none or one point and deserved better.
Minnesota Wild's Jason Pominville nearing a return
Where will he find himself in the lineup?
Should the Minnesota Wild Buyout Thomas Vanek?
Thomas Vanek is underperforming and with such a high cap hit should the Minnesota Wild be seriously considering buying him out in the offseason?
Minnesota's Youth Soars Despite Sub Par Season
The 2015-16 season has not been the greatest for the Minnesota Wild, but the team's youth is showing that the future is bright.
Tending The Fields
Iowa Wild Hockey: Michalek Returns from Minnesota
Darcy Kuemper is available in Minnesota, so Michalek returns to Iowa
On The Frozen Pond
GOPHERSPORTS.COM Gophers Announce Award Winners :: University of Minnesota Official Athletic Site :: Ice Hockey
Minnesota celebrated its fifth-straight regular-season conference championship during the 2015-16 season.
GOPHERSPORTS.COM Notre Dame to Join B1G for Hockey in 2017-18 :: University of Minnesota Official Athletic Site :: Ice Hockey
Minnesota is 27-14-4 all-time against the Irish and has competed against Notre Dame in each of the last five seasons.
Off The Trail
30 Thoughts: Clearing up expansion draft questions - Sportsnet.ca
In this week's 30 Thoughts, Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman examines the Ottawa Senators situation, some questions about the potential expansion draft, an interview with defenceman Trevor Daley, NCAA prospects and more.
Gotta See It: Nugent-Hopkins leaves game after Murphy hit - Sportsnet.ca
If Ryan Nugent-Hopkins didn't have bad luck, he wouldn't have any luck at all as it seemed he had his bell rung by Connor Murphy in the second period that resulted in him leaving the game.
The Insider: Ignore those Auston Matthews rumours - Article - TSN
Bob Mack welcomes Auston Matthews to Canada.