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Wilderness Walk: Regular Season Finale

The Wild are set to face Nik Backstrom and his Calgary Flames in game 82 while the playoff picture remains cloudy until the final game of the season

Marilyn Indahl-USA TODAY Sports

Today marks an end, but another beginning follows as the Wild have managed to dodge an early start to the golf season.  Yes, folks the season is changing from regular to playoff.  14 teams are going home to think about their season, while 16 remain with dreams of the Cup pushing them on.  We still don't know who the Wild will face in the opening round as Saint Louis kept pace with Dallas as Vladimir Tarasenko potted the tying and game-winning overtime goal against the streaking Blackhawks.  However, the only scenario that leads the Wild to Saint Louis is if the Blues win AND Dallas loses (in regulation or overtime).  Should both teams win, lose or lose in overtime they will end up tied for points, and Dallas hides the tiebreaker with 3 more regulation+overtime wins.

But before all that, we get one last tune up to see if we can get a couple guys going.  A couple extras will get an opportunity as Thomas Vanek has been ruled out for at least a week and Zach Parise will rest his ailing body as well, giving him a full week between contests to heal.  But, the team could use this game to find a little mojo and give the fans a reason to hold onto some positive vibes as they head out on the road to open the playoffs.  There's plenty to get to today, so please enjoy the game as we bid adieu to the 2015-16 regular season.

Is it the end or the beginning?  We don't know, that's why they play the games.  Billy Corgan should make it clear to you.  We Walk:

Wild News

Vanek will miss the start of playoffs; Parise sidelined Saturday -
Wild veteran Thomas Vanek will miss the start of the playoffs with an upper-body injury, coach John Torchetti said after this morning's practice.

Wild will be without Vanek for start of playoffs - Article - TSN

It will be just like when he was scratched, except he won't be complaining to the press.

Thomas Vanek's regular season ends as worst of career
The Wild's Thomas Vanek's 18 goals and 23 assists are the lowest he has ever recorded in a full NHL season.

Wild face a balancing act in regular-season finale
Minnesota wants to stay healthy for the playoffs, but the Wild also need to find their game, and that requires the regulars


Co-founder of NHL/NHLPA substance abuse program under investigation for care of Boogaard - Article - TSN
The Boogey man won't be forgotten

On The Frozen Pond

Lindgren's debut adds substance to otherwise meaningless game -
It was a meaningless game for the Montreal Canadiens and Carolina Hurricanes, but that was certainly not the case for the Habs' newest goaltender, Charlie Lindgren.

Off The Trail

NHL Report Card: Penguins, Blues, and Stars earn fourth-quarter A's -
It is report card time, and the Eye On Hockey staff is here to hand out grades from the NHL's fourth quarter.

A painful list of injured NHL playoff stars -

Captains, starting golatenders and future Hall of Famers: The Stanley Cup playoffs will start with some of teams' most valuable players sidelined or banged up.

West Coast Bias: How good is Auston Matthews? -
Marc Crawford talks about Auston Matthews, saying he would have been an impact NHLer this season, had he been born two days earlier.

Would You Trade Taylor Hall for P.K Subban?
How about Auston Matthews?