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Wilderness Walk: Seriously?

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DPS fails to live up to its name, recaps of the playoff action, and the evolution of Taylor Hall and Nathan McKinnon

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-Winnipeg Jets at Minnesota Wild Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

You have got to be joking. One game suspension for Josh Morrissey for scratching an itch on Eric Staal’s ear with his stick. While I’m skeptical but sympathetic about the call being missed on the ice, a one-game suspension for deliberate, vicious headhunting is inexcusable. I don’t even want to think about what it would take for the Department of Player Safety (DPS) to take the latter two words of their name seriously.

So the Jets will be missing another defenseman for Game 5. That’s it. What a joke.

Wild News

Reusse: Wheeler's journey leads from Gophers star to Jets center of attention - StarTribune.com
From high school superstardom at Breck School in Golden Valley to an NHL journey that took him all over North America, Blake Wheeler picked up credentials that has made him the leader of the Jets.

Dubnyk is ready, not rattled, when puck fires his way in playoffs - StarTribune.com
Unlike starting pitchers or quarterbacks, goalies rarely ignite action. "You just have to go and be sharp and make sure you're prepared to be your best," the Wild's Devan Dubnyk said.

Winnipeg's Morrissey suspended for Game 5 vs. Wild - StarTribune.com
Defenseman Josh Morrissey had a hearing with the NHL Department of Safety Wednesday for his cross-check to center Eric Staal during the Jets' 2-0 win Tuesday.

Jets' Josh Morrissey suspended 1 game for 'vicious cross check' on Wild's Eric Staal
Winnipeg Jets defenseman Josh Morrissey was suspended one game by the NHL on Wednesday for a cross check to the head of Minnesota Wild center Eric Staal on Tuesday night in Game 3 of their first-round playoff series. Morrissey will sit out Game 4 on Friday night in Winnipeg.

John Shipley: Wild missing more than their high-priced veterans
With Zach Parise and Ryan Suter lost to injury, and a handful of their best young forwards without a point in four playoff games, the MN Wild avoid elimination Friday in Winnipeg without either of the two pieces that were supposed to make them good: veteran expertise and burgeoning talent.

Secret to Wild defenseman Matt Dumba's success: 'a short memory'
MN Wild defenseman Matt Dumba has needed a short memory at a few different times this season, most notably when he capped a rough game on Halloween with a no-look drop pass that Winnipeg Jets winger Nikolaj Ehlers intercepted and took the other way for the game-winning goal.

Morrissey punishment too late to help Wild vs. Jets. - Sportsnet.ca
It’s not a series until the referees botch their first call, it costs someone a game, and the two head coaches look at identical video of the incident and draw conclusions that are absolutely biased in favour of their own team.

Morrissey’s hit on Staal highlights NHL's acceptance of casual cross-checking | The Hockey News
The Jets' Josh Morrissey is facing supplemental discipline after a crosscheck to the head of the Wild's Eric Staal, but the play would never have happened if the NHL didn't allow players to get away with so much net-front stickwork.

Recaps

Forsberg, Rinne help Predators beat Avalanche in Game 4 - Sportsnet.ca
Filip Forsberg scored another creative goal, Pekka Rinne rebounded from a rocky performance with 31 saves, and the Nashville Predators withstood a furious rally by the Colorado Avalanche for a 3-2 win in Game 4 on Wednesday night to take a 3-1 lead in the first-round series.

Sharks edge Ducks to sweep round-1 series - Sportsnet.ca
The San Jose Sharks edged the Anaheim Ducks on Wednesday to sweep their first-round series 4-0.

Crosby leads Penguins past Flyers for 3-1 lead in playoffs - Sportsnet.ca
Sidney Crosby scored his fifth goal of the series and became the Pittsburgh Penguins' career post-season points leader in a 5-0 win over the Philadelphia Flyers on Wednesday night.

Kucherov leads the way as Lightning take 3-1 lead over Devils - Sportsnet.ca
A feisty Nikita Kucherov scored two goals, set up another and knocked New Jersey's top defenceman out of the game with a big hit, and the Tampa Bay Lightning moved within a game of making the Devils' first trip to the playoffs in six years a short one with a 3-1 victory on Wednesday night.

Off the Trail

Crosby passes Lemieux on Penguins' all-time playoff points list - Sportsnet.ca
You can add another impressive accomplishment to the ever-growing list Sidney Crosby has going.

Business as usual for Penguins as series lead turns to stranglehold - Sportsnet.ca
After a 5-0 pummelling on Wednesday in Philadelphia, this is no Las Vegas sweep. But it sure feels like one, as the defending Stanley Cup champions from Pittsburgh have pushed the Flyers to the brink.

Hall, MacKinnon continue move into NHL’s upper echelon with post-season play | The Hockey News
Taylor Hall and Nathan MacKinnon will be in the mix for the Hart Trophy thanks to their regular season play, but they're proving they can continue to dominate the opposition in the post-season (and one of them is still #18yearsold).