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Wilderness Walk - And so it begins...

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NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-Tampa Bay Lightning at Pittsburgh Penguins
OMG! He touched it! THEY'RE DOOMED!!!
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And then there were two.

The NHL season is winding down folks, but there is still one more score left to settle. The San Jose Sharks from the West against the Pittsburgh Penguins from the East for the Stanley Cup. This should be lots of fun.

The Sharks of course are making their first appearance in the Stanley Cup Final, while the Penguins will be looking to hoist the cup for the first time since 2009. The final does feature a couple of high profile former Minnesota Wild players. For the Sharks we've got Brent Burns, the walking talking wookie, while the Penguins bring with them the ageless Matt Cullen who has had a phenomenal post-season with the Pens.

Unfortunately for Cullen, who I would love to see get a cup, he plays for the Penguins. I just can't root for them because I'm a bitter old man who watched Jaromir Jagr and Mario Lemeuix beat the North Stars for the cup way back in 1991. I'm not much for grudges, but hockey grudges I can carry for a lifetime. #GoSharksGo

And so it begins.

Please welcome to the stage, They Might Be Giants!

Wild News

Anaylsis of Bruce Boudreau's Effect on a Team in his Career | The Hockey Writers
A look at how Bruce Boudreau has effected the xGF%, CF%, and HSCF% of each team he has coached. Plus, how ANA was before Bruce, and how WSH has been after.

Minnesota Wild: Vanek or Pominville Buyout Not Simple | Gone Puck Wild
If you have to pick between the two of them, who do you choose and why?

Minnesota Wild Fifteen Greatest Players: #10 Pierre-Marc Bouchard | Gone Puck Wild
The PMB spin-o-rama was legendary.

Parise rehabbing back injury without surgery, ‘no question’ he’ll play in World Cup – ProHockeyTalk
Parise is still on the mend, which means no buyout.

Wild’s Zach Parise ‘excited’ to play for new coach Bruce Boudreau – Pioneer Press
Who wouldn't be excited to play for Boudreau?

Wild fundraiser for Alberta fires: big crowd, good cause - StarTribune.com
A big event supporting the devastating fires in Canada over the last month.

Tending the Fields

Monsters heading to Calder Cup Finals | The American Hockey League
Not the energy drink, the AHL affiliate of the Columbus Blue Jackets.

On Frozen Pond

Tyler Nanne: Hockey Is Where His Heart Is | KSTP TV - Minneapolis and St. Paul
Tyler Nanne was a hockey player who had it all. The legendary Nanne family name, all the talent in the world and a full ride to Ohio State. But the young man who had it all, almost lost it all.

Off the Trail

NHL -- 2016 Stanley Cup playoffs -- Game 6 loss leaves St. Louis Blues, captain David Backes with an uncertain future
Both St. Louis' free-agent-to-be captain and his team face an uncertain future after their loss to San Jose. But as one selfless gesture showed, this tight-knit group went down fighting together.

Who makes the final cut for Team USA World Cup of Hockey roster? | Puck Daddy - Yahoo Sports
Projecting the lineup that will be announced later today.

Here are the times for tomorrow’s today's World Cup roster announcements – ProHockeyTalk
A full day of roster announcements for the upcoming World Cup of hockey.

No changes coming to CHL-NHL agreement: Branch – ProHockeyTalk
The agreement does not allow for kids in the CHL not of a certain age to make their way to the NHL.

Detroit Red Wings acquire 'NHL prospect' Dylan Sadowy from Sharks | Detroit Free Press
Of course, they still have to sign him, which I would assume would be forthcoming soon.

A hockey fan followed through with his promise to tattoo Gary Bettman's face on his butt - SBNation.com
Amazing! Good for this guy for following through, even if it was stupid.

#BecauseItsTheCup

The NHL Threatened To Fine The Lightning If They Didn't Shut Down Their Watch Party
This is stupid. So a team is allowed 1 "official" event per series. Heaven forbid they put more eyes on the product a second time.

Why Sidney Crosby touched Prince of Wales Trophy despite jinx | Puck Daddy - Yahoo Sports
A move that will either make him a hero, or a villain. You just can't win against superstition.

Tampa Bay Lightning at Pittsburgh Penguins - CBSSports.com
Bryan Rust scored a pair of second-period goals and Matt Murray stopped 16 shots to lift the Pittsburgh Penguins to a 2-1 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals on Thursday night to send the franchise to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time since 2009.