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Wilderness Walk: Flyover Country

Minnesota has classically been flyover country for the NHL. But with sustained success, that may be starting to change

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Chelsea Dagger is the WORST.
Chelsea Dagger is the WORST.
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

It's been creeping into the periphery for a couple weeks, with visions and analysis of your Minnesota Wild becoming the subject of articles from writers outside the state borders.  But with the Wild taking a commanding lead in the Central Division race with a victory over the Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday, the team has seemingly jumped into the national spotlight.  Writers from the far reaches are jumping off the Columbus bandwagon because they are so sick of writing about a Cinderella team winning, that they've fallen all the way to inquire about our home team - yet another unexpected success story for this season.  But, we're in on the secret, and as amazed as some of us might be that the Wild have been able to sustain the success they've been experiencing is starting to become downright convincing.  Sportsnet (see the first article in Off The Trail) has even gone as far as suggesting that this year is the Wild's year and that they should go all in on this season.

We're probably not quite ready to sign on to that just yet, with the season at the midpoint.  But, it sure is nice to sit back and appreciate a legitimate team being legitimately good and soak in the success.

Hey, Wild fans, we all know you're feeling it right now, so might as well just give in and let yourself walk on some sunshine.

Wild News

What we've learned in NHL: This trade is a Wild win, and balanced scoring fuels Capitals - LA Times
Wild are making news all over North America

NHL -- Morning roundtable - Devan Dubnyk, Eric Staal, Bruce Boudreau reasons the Minnesota Wild are better this season
With a comeback win over the powerhouse Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday, the Minnesota Wild took over the lead of the Western Conference and showed they are for real. But how are they doing it?

Are the Minnesota Wild Stanley Cup contenders?
Please don't start this conversation already.

Five reasons Wild can win the Stanley Cup
Please see above comment.

Tom Powers: Wild’s Scott Stevens has gone from terrifying to tactical
Ah, good ole Tom Powers is back on the Wild.

Wild owner Leipold is wrong, Wild do have what it takes to win a Cup - 1500 ESPN Twin Cities
#HotTakes from the hometown

Tending The Fields

Wolves' Sokolov scoring at a torrid pace | Sudbury Star
The Wild have another Russian prospect lighting up the scoreboard.

On the Frozen Pond

Top Games: Holy Family Catholic hosts STMA in battle of programs on the rise
Good games around the state

Off The Trail

NHL Trade Deadline Preview: Who's buying? Who's selling? -
After looking at each NHL team's needs, assets, salary cap space, and position in the standings, here is our best early estimation of which teams will be looking to buy, sell, or pass as the trade frenzy ramps up.

Jonathan Drouin scoring, maturing for Tampa Bay Lightning

Martin Jones' goal-scoring attempt goes awry, thanks to Mark Scheifele (Video)
There’s no doubt that every hockey goalie wants to score a goal. Martin Jones is a goaltender, and he sure wanted to score a goal Monday afternoon against the Winnipeg Jets.

Rumor Roundup: Blues keeping eye on trade market with Allen struggling | The Hockey News
Jake Allen’s recent struggles could have Blues GM Doug Armstrong scouring the trade market for help in goal as the post-season approaches. Meanwhile, trade talk surrounds the Flyers and Coyotes.