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Wilderness Walk: Back to Work Edition

The Wild have gotten some much needed rest before the final push for a playoff berth. Now, can they get focused quickly?

Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Yesterday was a quiet day on the Wild front as the team chose rest over refinement and took a consecutive day off following their mandatory day on Monday.  The team has been in the midst of a grueling stretch of hockey as multiple 3 and 4 day breaks at the beginning of the season started to catch up to the Wild, who played 15 games over 27 days including 8 games in the last 13 days and a back-to-back with travel between over their last two.  The grinding schedule showed in the team's latest effort against the Blues, but they still found a way to battle back and make it a game, which is an encouraging sign against a team who played them very physical from the beginning and capitalized on their tired legs.

With 15 games remaining, it is hard not to scoreboard watch, and I am guilty as charged.  The Avalanche put up a good battle against the Coyotes with a strong performance from Semyon Varlamov and grabbed two points to even the standings with the Wild.  The Wild still have a game in hand, so they retain 8th place and the second Wild card spot as the Avs faceoff against the resurgent and white-hot Anaheim Ducks tonight.  The Wild will have two games in hand when the puck drops against Edmonton, so the playoff picture continues to develop.  Due to the strength of schedule for the Wild and the Avs, their playoff chances are looking pretty disparate:

I'll be taking a personal hiatus from the Wilderness next week as I attend the biggest EDM festival in the world and today's music selection comes from two of the artists I'll be seeing for the first time.  We Walk:

Wild News

Tough times in Iowa hone NHL game for Wild's Reilly - StarTribune.com
There was a point earlier this Iowa Wild season where every time Mike Reilly dipped a toe onto the ice, it felt as if he was being scored upon.

3 Thoughts on Torchetti's Wild
The Wild have experienced a resurgence under new head coach John Torchetti. An 8-4-0 streak has them in playoff contention. Here's 3 thoughts on 'Torch'.

Wild to raise 2016-17 season ticket prices an average of 4 percent - StarTribune.com
Rest on, #MNWild

Tending the Fields

Iowa Wild Hockey: IRVING CARRIES WILD PAST MOOSE 2-1
IRVING CARRIES WILD PAST MOOSE 2-1

On the Frozen Pond

Riley Tufte Wins Minnesota Mr. Hockey - SB Nation College Hockey
Blaine's Riley Tufte wins the Minnesota Mr. Hockey Award

NCAA Women's Hockey Tournament Bracket Announced - SB Nation College Hockey
The bracket has been announced for this year's women's NCAA Tournament

Off The Trail

30 Thoughts: Making the NHL's development model better - Sportsnet.ca
Really nice bit about Chowdah at #24

Fan-created NHL draft lottery simulator is simple, brilliant - Sportsnet.ca
Why one Buffalo fan created a simple NHL Draft Lottery simulator that will appeal to fans of all seven Canadian NHL teams this spring.

NHL releases statement to squash expansion rumour - Sportsnet.ca
NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly released an unexpected statement on Monday regarding the league's expansion process.

Which teams are legitimate Stanley Cup contenders? - Sportsnet.ca
The Chicago Blackhawks, Washington Capitals and Los Angeles Kings are all usual suspects to win the Stanley Cup. But the stock is rising for several other NHL franchises as legitimate Cup contenders.

Predators fans need not be pessimistic this time around - Along the Boards
A tale of two seasons. Last year the Predators came out of the gate like wildfire. This year has been the opposite. Is this a recipe for success?

Canadiens Forward Galchenyuk Belongs at Center
No sooner did Michel Therrien finally relent and put Alex Galchenyuk at center with Max Pacioretty and Brendan Gallagher did fate have other ideas.