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Wilderness Walk: Locked Up

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The Wild are locked in at 3rd in the Central, the Ducks are in, and for others it feels like the offseason has already begun.

NHL: Minnesota Wild at Anaheim Ducks Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Well that was a weird one. Not much to take away from it except that Matt Dumba continues to pad his stats in what was already a career year. While Devan Dunbyk looked good overall, that probably isn’t the last tune up game he was hoping for. Getting beat by an unlucky bounce and a shot he didn’t see initially doesn’t leave him much meaningful input as far as final adustments to make in his game, but getting rest is critical for the playoffs. Jordan Greenway is clearly still adjusting to the NHL game, but he’s making progress in that process. Not his fault that he’s trying to do so with only a few games left in the season before the playoffs. Besides, with the current health of the Wild and lack of available extra skaters, his presence allows Boudreau to rest some of his forwards. That too is worth something.

Wild News

Wild opens season-ending road trip with loss to the Ducks - StarTribune.com
Despite the 3-1 defeat, the Wild sealed the third seed after the Blues lost earlier in the night and will face whoever finishes second, either the Jets or Predators.

Wild fall to Ducks in potentially Devan Dubnyk's final tune up before playoffs
Playing in what very well could be his last game of the regular season, goaltender Devan Dubnyk couldn't quite lead the Wild to victory. Despite a solid 27-save effort from Dubnyk between the pipes, Ducks winger Ondrej Kase scored the game-winning goal late in the third period as the Wild fell 3-1 on Wednesday night at the Honda Center.

Parise's recent outburst of goals balances offense - StarTribune.com
This recent stretch of games is the best Zach Parise has looked since he returned in January following back surgery that fixed a herniated disc.

Wild need fourth line to step up with postseason looming
Minnesota Wild coach Bruce Boudreau made it a point not to separate his fourth line -- Joel Eriksson Ek centering Marcus Foligno and Daniel Winnik -- and it has responded over the last two games following an awful performance last week.

On Frozen Pond

Minnesota’s ‘hockey town’? It’s Mankato | NewsCut | Minnesota Public Radio News
If Minnesota is the state of hockey, where is the city of hockey?

Off the Trail

Stanley Cup Playoff Push: Blues holding on by a string, Ducks can clinch - Sportsnet.ca
Here’s how the NHL's post-season picture is looking as we head into Wednesday night.

NHL Power Rankings: What Do We Do Now? Edition - Sportsnet.ca
In our final installment of the 2017-18 NHL season's Power Rankings, we wonder where your favourite teams goes from here, be it a playoffs concern, an off-season dilemma or into the abyss.

Power Rankings: Jets look set to take off as the playoffs approach | The Hockey News
The Jets have won three straight and are still in hunt for the Central Division crown, which puts Winnipeg at the top of the final in-season installment of the Power Rankings.

Who stays and who goes: A look at coaches on the chopping block this off-season | The Hockey News
There hasn't been a single coaching change all season, but the off-season could see a number of organizations change their bench boss following disappointing campaigns.

NHL Uniforms: A Look Back on the League's Uniform History
Have you ever wondered why referees wear striped shirts, or teams have to wear contrasting colours? We take a look at NHL Uniforms through the ages.