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Wilderness Walk: Two Pair and a Spare

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Cullen and Staal both pick up a brace of goals, Jordan Greenway breaks a longstanding color barrier, and midseason rumors swirl

NHL: JAN 02 Panthers at Wild

Well that was something, wasn’t it? It seems the return of Zach Parise sparked a return to some classic winning strategies for the Minnesota Wild. Chief among them, getting in front of the net leads to good things happening. Except for Charlie Coyle’s empty netter, all of the Wild’s scoring came from deflections in front of the net or shooters in a high danger area. Hopefully this was not a once off but a return to a better way of playing. To celebrate the return to classic winning style of hockey, here’s a mashup up of some classical music.

Wild News

Wild wins big over Panthers in Parise's season debut - StarTribune.com
Cullen, Staal each score twice as Wild improves to 10-1-1 in past 12 home games.

Eric Staal, Matt Cullen flirt with hat tricks as Wild earn 5-1 win
On a Minnesota Wild roster ripe with talented players in the 20s, on Tuesday night at the Xcel Energy Center, a guy in his 30s, and a guy in his 40s guys stole the show. Eric Staal and Matt Cullen both netted a pair of goals to pace the Wild to a 5-1 win over the Florida Panthers who entered the night on a five-game winning streak.

Scoggins: For a healthy Wild, big picture can finally take shape - StarTribune.com
Nobody likes to use injuries as an excuse because every team deals with them, but the Wild has been treading water with key players sidelined for extended stints.

John Shipley: Wild's Zach Parise will make a difference, but wont be the difference.
The MN Wild will finally get Zach Parise back on Tuesday. His play will make a difference, but it will be more important for Minnesota to use his return as a reset on a disappointing season.

THE OLYMPIAN
Jordan Greenway is set to become the first African-American to play for USA Hockey at an Olympic tournament. The 20-year-old, who will break a color barrier nearly a century old, shares his story.

On Frozen Pond

WJC Prelim Games - Top 5 Unsung Heroes
THW takes a look at five underrated players through the preliminary round of the 2018 World Junior Championships. The players who are getting the job done for their teams but have remained out of the tournament limelight.

Off the Trail

NHL 2017: Photos of the Year | The Hockey News
Frozen in time: take a look at our selection of the NHL's best photos in 2017.

Rumor Roundup: Penguins' up and down season sparks Letang trade speculation | The Hockey News
The Penguins' failure to get inside the playoff picture has led to trade talk about top defender Kris Letang. Meanwhile, the Bruins could be looking to add, while the struggling Senators have a coveted trade chip in Mike Hoffman.

THN’s Newsmaker of the Year: Marc-Andre Fleury in the middle of it all in 2017 | The Hockey News
From a second straight Stanley Cup to the Vegas expansion experience to concussion pains, Marc-Andre Fleury was in the headlines for some of hockey's biggest stories in 2017.

Bringing Back NHL Arena Nicknames
Even if modern facilities don’t measure up with regards to quirks, defects and eccentricities, an NHL arena is still very much what the fans make it. Nicknames breed affection. Affection breeds loyalty. Loyalty breeds memories. And memories last forever.