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Wilderness Walk: Old Timey Goalie Edition

The Wild won! Alex Stalock looked good! Let’s talk about it!

NHL: Ottawa Senators at Minnesota Wild Marilyn Indahl-USA TODAY Sports

Alex Stalock could be here for a while, folks. He looked really solid in his first game with the Wild and first NHL game of the ’16-’17 season. It was not at all surprising to see him come up and play well, and it was equally unsurprising to see the Wild play such a good game in front of him. You could just feel this game coming.

Watching Stalock is a lot of fun, because he’s a total throwback to the early 2000’s. Back then, size was not valued in goaltenders like it is now. Instead, quickness and athleticism were paramount for determining a goaltender’s abilities, which meant that cutting off angles and playing an aggressive game was key to being effective.

Most goaltenders in today’s NHL are monsters, so they get away with playing deep in the goalcrease, which limits the distances they have to travel to make saves. If it seemed like Stalock was sliding all over the place last night, it’s because he absolutely was, but that is how a goaltender of his stature, at 6’-0” (which seems generous to me) and 187 pounds can be effective. It is truly fun to see for somebody like me, because growing up at the same time as Stalock and in the same area, I was trained to play exactly the same way that he plays. The only difference is that he has made it to the NHL, whereas I made it to beer leagues and blogging about how much better he is than me at goalie.

I also love that he takes little field trips to the corner at whistles, as that too is very Jim Dowd’s Pants of him. Maybe he watched me play a couple beer league games at some point and was inspired.

Because it feels like we may have made it out of the woods, Barry Manilow takes us through today’s Walk.

Wild News

New arrivals bolster Wild to much-needed win
The Russo Recap.

Long road back to NHL for SSP’s Alex Stalock ends in win for Wild
A little more Alex Sta-talk from Dane.

Top prospect Eriksson Ek returns to Wild ‘bigger and stronger’
Speaking of newcomers o the lineup who made an impact last night...

Look who’s already back on the ice: Wild winger Zach Parise
We have dodged a bullet.

Karlsson’s ironman streak comes to an end as Sens visit Wild
Not really Wild news, but Minnesota caught a huge break having the pirate out of the lineup.

On Frozen Pond

Quartet of Gophers sign professional contracts
The Kloos is loose!

With new deal, US women’s team back on the ice
Just an enormous victory for female athletes everywhere. It’s very impressive that USA Hockey actually listened, and was willing to work with the athletes to find a solution. Perhaps the NHL could learn something from this?

UND cuts women’s hockey and leaves recruit out in the cold
On the other side of the coin...

Tending the Fields

Alex Tuch named Man of the Year for AHL’s Iowa Wild
There’s something for Tuch to hang his hat on... Might we see him with the big club again this year?

Off the Trail

Weise records Gordie Howe hat trick after spirited scrap with Hamonic
It was allegedly the fastest GH Hat Trick ever, and teammate Simmonds joined him in achieving the feat later in the game.

Former Sens exec sues owner Melnyk, alleging ‘abusive’ behavior
Uhh... What?