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Wilderness Walk: Gone Fishin’

The Wild are after some mighty big fish tonight in San Jose.

NHL: Minnesota Wild at San Jose Sharks Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The Wild have their first game of the new year tonight and they face the Pacific Division-leading San Jose Sharks. Be prepared for a lot of coverage mentioning the trade that saw Chewbacca-lookalike and star defenseman Brent Burns leave Minnesota and brought in Charlie Coyle (among other pieces), especially as both players are having excellent years. The Wild should be hungry for the game as they’ve had a long break after their franchise record-setting win streak was broken by the Mongol Horde Columbus Blue Jackets, who are approaching the NHL record for a win streak. Hopefully the long break has given the Wild a chance to get over the disappointment of the loss, re-establish the gameplay that saw them go on their incredible hot streak, and start off the new year with a road victory that could see them take the top spot in the Central Division. I always found jazz to be helpful when trying to clear my head and find some focus, hence today’s music selection from one of the greats, Clifford Brown.

Wild News

Wild have learned a lot from past January swoons
Let's not kid ourselves. Boudreau was always going to be judged on how he sees this team through the winter months. He's off to a pretty good start though.

Wild gets a chance to recharge -
The poor scheduling was a blessing for a change.

Souhan: Next challenge for the Wild is navigating January -
January hot takes write themselves.

Tending the Fields

Iowa Comeback Bid Falls Short in 6-5 Loss at Grand Rapids - OurSports Central
The Iowa Wild are still not good, but they're at least playing some entertaining games.

On Frozen Pond

The Year That Was 2016 - SB Nation College Hockey
What lessons did we take away from 2016?

World Juniors

Terry the shootout hero as USA beats Russia in WJC semis - Article - TSN

All Wild prospects in the game scored at least a goal... it's pretty exciting.

Canada downs Sweden to set up WJC final vs. USA - Article - TSN

JEE got a goal on the power play, so EVERY Wild prospect in the tournament scored at least a goal in the semis. It's very exciting.

What's keeping fans away from world juniors? Hockey Canada hopes for better turnout in semis - Montreal - CBC News
Probably not the crazy expensive tickets and the wealth of other options. It's not like supply and demand mean anything.

Off the Trail

Maple Leafs trade rumors: Is James van Riemsdyk being traded? | Pension Plan Puppets
Read to the end. NO. THE VERY END.

Asking for taxpayer money, P.K. Subban and PDO (Puck Daddy Countdown)
Taxpayer money for sports arenas is the equivalent of political machines in the 1800s awarding public works contracts for kickbacks. Everybody, including non-sports fans and people that can't afford to go to games, are paying multi-millionaires for the privilege of hosting a sports team (which doesn't bring in enough cash to ever offset the outlay of money spent on the arena in the first place). Makes me furious.

Gallagher takes Weber shot to hand, leaves game (Video)
0 out of 5 doctors advise taking a Weber slapshot to a previously injured hand.

Service dog accompanies human to first game (Video)
This is nice.

Iginla and Duchene not letting trade rumours become a distraction - Video - TSN
Of course that's what they say. What else are they supposed to say? I don't see how trade rumors serious enough to merit discussion at a press conference could be anything BUT distracting. I'm sure it also doesn't help that no deals are getting done with the shadow of the expansion draft looming.

It’s a late game tonight, 9:30 CST, and you can watch the game on FSN.