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Wilderness Walk: Texas Ramblings

The Wild are in Texas, trade grades, and the WJC all on the Walk

NHL: Preseason-Minnesota Wild at Dallas Stars Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Wild are in Texas and so am I, although not to see the game tonight (as much fun as road trip games can be). While the Wild will be looking to make that “holiday push” in Dallas, I’m getting set to return home after spending the holiday with family in El Paso. Texas is a big place, and El Paso being only the fifth or so largest city despite sprawling out in every direction as far as the eye can see is a great illustration of that fact. The Wild need to take a page from their surroundings and start playing big. It seems every time things start to go their way, they expect it to continue. Lucky bounces will continue to break their way, opponents will be snakebitten, or beleaugered Alex Stalock will cover up any mistakes they make in their own zone. The reality, of course, is that lucky bounces break both ways, opponents will frequently be on a hot streak instead of a cold one, and no goalie can paper over blown plays every single time.

Instead of playing like the win is a given, the Wild need to play like the world itself is trying to oppose their victory but they want to win anyway. Battle for the loose pucks, take the hits to make plays, and push, jostle, and shove your way into the goalie’s line of vision. Play big even if you aren’t big.

To say farewell to El Paso for me is Marty Robbins.

Wild News

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Off the Trail

Down Goes Brown: NHL Western Conference trade grades -
Our annual trade grades post continues today, as we look back at every deal from 2017 that involved at least one player. Yesterday, we went through the Eastern Conference. Today, it's the West's turn.

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