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Wilderness Walk: Here Comes The Cavalry

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The reinforcements arrive just in time in Iowa, plus NHL news and notes

NHL: Minnesota Wild at Detroit Red Wings Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

The Rohirrim in Lord of the Rings. Captain Blumburtt and his forces in The Temple of Doom. Henry the Red in Army of Darkness. The Jibari in Black Panther. In TV and film, the cavalry always arrives when the heroes need them the most, just in time to save the day.

So just at the Iowa Wild were on the verge of following in the footsteps of the main club and falling out of playoff contention, Ryan Donato, Luke Kunin, Aragorn, Legolas and Jordan Greenway showed up to lead the baby Wild to a 7-3 victory over the Grand Rapids Griffins.

Yes, #thehuntisstillon.

That’s pretty much everything that happened on Wednesday night.

What? What’s that? Oh yeah, the NHL playoffs started too.

Let’s walk with the ultimate last-second, comeback victory song.

Wild News

What can the Wild do with No. 12 pick in the NHL draft? – Twin Cities
What can the Wild do with the No. 12 pick in the upcoming NHL Draft?

Zach Parise’s window is closing, and he knows something needs to change – The Athletic
In a candid set of comments, the Wild's leading scorer opened up about the importance of getting the team back to contention — and quickly.

Tending the Fields

On Frozen Pond

Duhaime, Swaney take center stage at Frozen Four
Although it's special for a new participant, making it to college hockey's final weekend does not lose its luster the second time around.

NCAA Frozen Four preview - StarTribune.com
Thursday's semifinals and Saturday's championship game are in Buffalo, N.Y.

All Things Gritty

Gritty becomes the (unofficial) face of stopping street harassment - On top of Philly news
A local art group used the mascot's likeness for its annual anti-catcalling campaign.

Off the Trail

Down Goes Brown: The bandwagon-hopper’s guide to the 2019 playoffs – The Athletic
The playoffs begin tonight, as we start a journey that will see 16 teams battle it out until only one is left to lift the Stanley Cup.

Tampa Bay Lightning will win Stanley Cup according to EA Sports simulation
The Lightning coming away with Lord Stanley’s mug in the NHL 19 simulation may have been more predictable than the ending to Marley and Me.

10 stunning numbers from the 2018-19 NHL regular season
Throughout the 2018-19 regular season we have looked at some stunning numbers from around NHL. What stood out to us most as the Stanley Cup Playoffs are set to begin?

As cancer fight continues, prospect Owen Brady finds himself a home in the OHL - TheHockeyNews
Diagnosed with osteosarcoma in November, Owen Brady is now in the midst of chemotherapy as he battles to get back on the ice. Drafted by the OHL's Oshawa Generals, Brady is keeping his "head down and (rolling) with the punches" as he eyes a return to action by the 2020-21 season.

Blues' Binnington addresses controversy over his tweets from 6 years ago | Morning Skate | stltoday.com
His verified Twitter account contained culturally charged tweets from five and six years ago, two of which derided Muslims.

Who has the edge in the crease? A goaltending primer for every playoff matchup – The Athletic
Win the goaltending matchup and you have one foot into the next round. So, who has that edge with the playoffs set to begin?

Creators of chaos: NHL players shoot at pads, end boards, even helmets to generate rebounds and goals – The Athletic
“Goalies are so good today ... it’s a challenge to beat them point blank. You have to get them moving and ... find different ways to score."

Around the League

Bailey lifts Islanders past Penguins 4-3 in OT in Game 1 - StarTribune.com
Josh Bailey scored on a rebound at 4:39 of overtime and the New York Islanders beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-3 on Wednesday night in the opener of their Eastern Conference first-round playoff series.

Blue Jackets rally from 3-goal deficit to beat Lightning 4-3 - StarTribune.com
The Columbus Blue Jackets rebounded from a dismal start to stun the team that had the NHL's best regular-season record.

Bozak's late goal lifts Blues over Jets 2-1 in Game 1 - StarTribune.com
Tyler Bozak scored with 2:05 left in the third period to give the St. Louis Blues a 2-1 victory over the Winnipeg Jets on Wednesday night in Game 1 of their Western Conference opening-round playoff series.

Heiskanen scores 2, Stars beat Predators for 1-0 series lead - StarTribune.com
Rookie Miro Heiskanen scored two goals in his first postseason game, and the Dallas Stars beat the Nashville Predators 3-2 on Wednesday night in Game 1 of their first-round Western Conference series.

LeBrun: Scotty Bowman marvels at Jon Cooper and Tampa’s record during an era of parity – The Athletic
Scotty Bowman offered congratulations to Jon Cooper, the only two men from the 62-win NHL coaching fraternity.

Voynov appeals suspension for 2019-20 season
Slava Voynov is appealing the suspension imposed by the NHL after it determined he committed acts of domestic violence. On Tuesday, he was suspended for the 2019-20 season and the 2020 playoffs for what the league called unacceptable off-ice conduct.

Mock draft: Three players in running to be picked after Hughes, Kakko
NHL.com experts split on which top-end forwards will be selected after Hughes, Kakko

What the No. 2 overall pick means for the New York Rangers' rebuild - TheHockeyNews
Will Kaapo Kakko don Broadway blue in June? Whatever the Rangers do, they're getting a franchise-altering player who could accelerate their turnaround.

Conn Quest: Pre-playoff MVP picks from each post-season team - TheHockeyNews
From playoff first-timers to potential record-tying winners, who headlines the field of potential Conn Smythe Trophy winners this season? Here's your early look at a playoff MVP favorite from each club.

The Bright Side: Positives for each team that missed the post-season - TheHockeyNews
For 16 teams, the post-season is on the horizon, but the other 15 franchises are prepared for a long summer. But it's not all bad. Here's the bright side for each non-playoff club.