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Wilderness Walk: Deadlines

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The Wild won an ugly game for goaltending, U of M vs UMD showdown in college hockey, and, oh yeah, the trade deadline.

NHL: Los Angeles Kings at Minnesota Wild Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Maybe the Wild thought they needed to make up for the boredom of the bye period by scoring all the goals (and allowing nearly as many). 20 total goals over two games is absolutely insane. Less insane, but still unexpected, has been the play of newly acquired Ryan White. Two goals, an assist, and three shots over two games has him looking like the centerpiece of the Wild’s deal with the Coyotes. To be fair to Martin Hanzal, he has been playing fairly well too with two assists and four shots in his first two games as a member of the Wild. Both have performed admirably considering they’ve had no time to learn the system, adjust to their new teammates, and were forced to play in significant roles with the recent losses of Zach Parise and Jason Pominville to the NHL’s smallest but most persistent menace: the mumps.

Stick around the Wilderness today for updates on any moves the Wild and their Central Division rivals may make today. This trade season has been peculiar to say the least. Almost every deal seems fairly reasonable (Bishop to the Kings still has me scratching my head), but taken as a group it gets strange. The Wild paid somewhat dearly for Hanzal and White (although it has looked pretty good so far!), but the Capitals managed to acquire Kevin Shattenkirk for less somehow. The Kings and the Lightning swap goalies, and both teams still face losing those goalies to the Vegas Golden Knights. It’s been weird, but entertaining. Here’s hoping there are a few more cherry bombs on the deadline day to keep hockey life interesting.

Wild News

Wild 'lucky' to come out victorious at Winnipeg -
Ugly win is still a win.

Four games in four days for Wild's Graovac -
Graovac hasn't panned out to be the reliable fourth line center we hoped, but this took some real heart and I thought he played okay.

Wild edge Jets 6-5 on Jason Zucker's late goal
Second game of a back-to-back and coming off the bye meant I would take a win no matter how the Wild got it.

Wild hope mumps just a little bump in road

Wild sign defenseman Mike Weber to two-way contract
Depth I hope we never have to use.

On Frozen Pond

GOPHERSPORTS.COM Gophers to Face Bulldogs in WCHA Semifinal :: University of Minnesota Official Athletic Site :: Women's Ice Hockey
I love the maroon and gold color combination, so this game will be fun for an extra reason, but don't players get confused playing against their own team colors?

TMQ: Looking forward to the second season :: :: U.S. College Hockey Online
I'll admit it stings a bit to admit that the better college hockey overall is being played out east.

Off the Trail

Rumor Roundup: The latest on 10 prominent players who could be moved | The Hockey News
Colorado is playing hardball, but it appears no team is prepared to do me the favor of getting Gabriel Landeskog and his cheap tricks out of the Central.

Down Goes Brown: Eight tough questions NHL GMs face at deadline -
One further complication not mentioned in the article: only one team ends up perfectly happy with their season. So you could make all the right decisions and still end up wondering if you shouldn't have done something differently.

Jets loss symbolic of their season - Video - TSN
I'm just glad the Wild could be a part of something so... meaningful?

Trading Shattenkirk was about saving face for the Blues | The Hockey News
The Blues GM decided to become a Captials bandwagon fan by trading them Shattenkirk despite being in playoff position themselves.

Anything short of a Stanley Cup will be a failure for, temporarily, stacked Capitals | The Hockey News
This team is STACKED. Of course, they were pretty stacked last year too and ran into a red hot Penguins team, so the real message is Luck is a lady, and the lady is a tramp.

How the rest of the Metropolitan can respond to the Capitals’ splash | The Hockey News
Open auditions in the Metro for the role played so well by the Penguins last year.