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Wilderness Walk: Turn on that Goal Light

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The Wild keep the home point streak alive, Europe may be outpacing North America in star production, and the Ranger rebuild invites questions.

NHL: New York Rangers at Minnesota Wild Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

It’s Valentine’s Day and the Wild gave a sweet treat to their fans one night early with a 3-2 victory over the visiting New York Rangers. Although the early 3-0 lead appeared like it might totally evaporate as it did at the start of the homestand against the Arizona Coyotes, the Wild locked things down pretty well after the Rangers’ second goal and controlled the action in the third period.

I recently watched the film Moulin Rouge! with my wife. It’s a tragic love story, much like the story of Minnesota sports fans and their teams, just with significantly more singing, dancing, and Ewan McGregor. If you enjoy the spectacle of over-the-top visuals and music, then you’d probably like it too. My favorite bit was “El Tango de Roxanne” which blends “Roxanne” by the Police with “Tanguera” by Mariano Mores and features the surprisingly excellent voice of McGregor and sounds-like-he-gargled-carpentry-nails voice of Jacek Koman. It’s great! Also, with a little bit of rewriting, “Roxanne” could be a weird hockey song.

Roxanne, go ahead and turn on that goal light.

The time has come to split the defense and wheel, dangle, and snipe.

Roxanne, you have to wear the home sweater tonight.

Walk the blue line on the power play and shoot it just right.

Enough of my meanderings and failed songwriting. On to the Walk!

Wild News

Wild hangs on after storming out to big lead on N.Y. Rangers - StarTribune.com
The Wild dethroned King Lundqvist, at least for one evening.

Wild hold on for 3-2 win over Rangers after jumping out to early lead
Scratching and clawing their way up the standings seems like the way it’s going to have to go for the Wild to make the playoffs.

Tending the Fields

Europe Producing Better Rookies than North America
An interesting look at why high prospect rookies from Europe seem to transition more quickly to the NHL than their North American counterparts.

On Frozen Pond

Hey, Chance: In Lakeville, Brady Skjei's S, K and J are a definite 'Yes'
It was a fun sketch, but it definitely shows that hockey as a ways to go before it truly is for everyone.

Men's college hockey: Minnesota State ends its regular season with a crucial WCHA stretch at home | NCAA.com
Fifth-ranked Minnesota State, fresh off a WCHA sweep at Alabama Huntsville, is back home riding a seven-game winning streak

Five Ring Circus

Minnesota's Olympians are on TV: Here's how to find them | Minnesota Public Radio News
Fun fact: they aren’t all either Lindsey Vonn or on the hockey teams.

Minnesota native Ryan Stoa finds way to U.S. Olympic hockey team | Grand Forks Herald

I’m still disappointed that the NHL isn’t participating but it did make for some cool opportunities for guys like Stoa.

Off the Trail

31 Thoughts: No shortage of Rick Nash suitors ahead of deadline - Sportsnet.ca
Stay away, Fletcher. Rick Nash and the crazy high price to get him doesn’t concern you.

Could any other NHL teams announce a rebuild like the Rangers? - Sportsnet.ca
Somehow I think it’s going to take more than a letter to make fans of Blueshirts okay with a rebuild, but maybe the Wild beating last night helped.

Senators & Kings Swap Phaneuf & Gaborik
The Wild’s original Gabby is on the move again.