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Wilderness Walk: Lucky 13

Iowa has scored 13 goals en route to a 2-0 series lead, a couple game sevens in the NHL, and players sound off on their NHL rules likes and dislikes, plus news and notes from around the league

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Minnesota Wild v Vegas Golden Knights Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

After the Iowa Wild dropped a touchdown on the Milwaukee Admirals in the first game of their best-of-five Central division semifinal series on Sunday, you might have thought that level of dominance to be an unsustainable aberration.

You’d have been wrong.

Led by Luke Kunin’s two goals, the AHL’s Wild routed the Admirals to the tune of 6-1 on Tuesday night, heading to Milwaukee with a 2-0 series lead and having scored 13 goals in the team’s first two Calder Cup playoff games in franchise history. The Wild can close out the series on Thursday at 7 p.m.

As for the Stanley Cup playoffs, two game sevens were on the docket last night. The first tilt had the Boston Bruins knocking off the Toronto Maple Leafs 5-1, ensuring (a) a long, dark and lonely spring north of the border as no Canadian teams will make it past the first round for the second year in a row, and (b) that the Wild will get a fourth round pick as part of the compensation in the Charlie Coyle trade.

The late game was everything an NHL game seven should be, especially from the third period onward. An unbelievable third period comeback where the San Jose Sharks overcame a 3-0 deficit to take a 4-3 lead, only to see the Vegas Golden Knights force overtime, tying the game with 47 seconds remaining. In overtime, multiple chances, incredible saves, some big hits, and just a beautiful move to the net by Barclay Goodrow to beat Marc-Andre Fleury, sealing the series win for the Sharks.

Lastly, a couple interesting tidbits from the Associated Press/Canadian Press player poll, that asked a few questions of NHL team player representatives:

* Players overwhelmingly like the 3-on-3 overtime setup

* About half the players dislike the current playoff format

* When asked what their least favorite rule is, the most common responses were the automatic delay of game for puck over glass, goaltender interference, and offside reviews

Check out the walk for more on all of these topics.

Seven series down, one game seven to go tonight. Let’s walk.

Tending the Fields

Central Division Semifinals: Admirals drop Game 2 to Iowa Wild |
DES MOINES, Ia. -- A nightmarish nine-minute stretch from the end of the second period into the third saw the Admirals surrender four goals and take a 1-1 game into a 5-1 deficit as Milwaukee dropped game two of the Central Division Semifinal series 6-1 to the Iowa Wild.

Wild News

Wild prospects: Filip Johansson talks about his tough year; Duhaime arrives – The Athletic
Russo's tour of Iowa continues with a trip to the Baby Wild's Black Aces practices and a chat with two notable Wild draft picks.

Central Division Semifinals: Admirals drop Game 2 to Iowa Wild |
DES MOINES, Ia. -- A nightmarish nine-minute stretch from the end of the second period into the third saw the Admirals surrender four goals and take a 1-1 game into a 5-1 deficit as Milwaukee dropped game two of the Central Division Semifinal series 6-1 to the Iowa Wild.

Wild winger Zucker is King Clancy Award finalist -
Jason Zucker was also a finalist last season, when the award was shared by Vancouver's Sedin twins. It's given for "leadership qualities on and off the ice and significant humanitarian contribution to his community."

Hockey great Neal Broten cited a 3rd time for drunken driving -
Authorities say he failed to obey a stop sign before his arrest in western Wisconsin, where he lives.

Reusse: For Boudreau and Wild, it's torture on the outside looking in -
On Monday, Boudreau was starting his third week of digesting the fact that the 2018-19 Wild was only his second team in a dozen NHL seasons to miss the playoffs.

As family grows, so does Zucker's community impact
Jason Zucker looked down at his sleeping four-week-old daughter and let the gravity of his experiences the past two years sink in for a moment.

Because It’s The Cup

Early goals help lift Bruins beat Maple Leafs 5-1 in Game 7 -
Joakim Nordstrom and Sean Kuraly each had a goal and assist, Tuukka Rask stopped 32 shots and the Boston Bruins beat the Toronto Maple Leafs 5-1 in Game 7 on Tuesday night to wrap up their first-round Eastern Conference playoff series.

Coach speak -- VGK's Gallant calls DeBoer 'clown'
Golden Knights coach Gerard Gallant responded to accusations of chirping from Peter DeBoer by calling the Sharks coach a "clown" prior to Game 7 of the teams' first-round playoff series.

Off the Trail

AP/CP survey: Players pan delay of game, goalie interference -
NHL players sound off on their likes and dislikes when it comes to the NHL rules.

Dear NHL: Please don't ever change a thing about the playoff format - TheHockeyNews
There are those who believe the NHL should return to the old one-versus-eight playoff format, but the current system has produced one of the most exciting and interesting first rounds in memory.

The five longest NHL games in post-expansion playoff history - TheHockeyNews
The Sharks its their season alive with a double-overtime performance on Sunday, forcing Game 7 after the longest game of the post-season. The extended contest inspired this look at some of the longest marathon games in NHL history.

Winner Take All: How has each franchise fared in Game 7s? - TheHockeyNews
The first round of the post-season is set to feature three Game 7s, beginning with a clash between the Maple Leafs and Bruins on Tuesday night. How has each NHL club fared in winner-takes-all games in the past?

This Predators team isn't good enough. It's time to break it up - TheHockeyNews
General manager David Poile gave last year's Presidents' Trophy team another shot, and it regressed. To get back into the Cup contenders' circle, he'll have to get aggressive this summer – even if it means breaking up the Big Four on defense.

NBCSN broadcaster drops f-bomb during Game 7 of Leafs-Bruins series
Game 7 between the Leafs and Bruins is probably not an ideal time to casually drop an f-bomb while broadcasting to one of the largest hockey audiences of the season. Unfortunately for NBCSN colour commentator Mike Milbury, that’s exactly what happened during the first period of Tuesday’s pivotal game.

Where it went wrong for Predators, and how they could fix it
There has been a changing of the guard in the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Despite delays, Seattle 'fully motivated' to host NHL Expansion Draft, NHL Draft before first season
Hockey fans in Seattle will have to wait a little longer to take a step inside their future NHL team's new arena.

Dominik Hasek's 70-save playoff shutout - An oral history, 25 years later
Martin Brodeur, Bobby Holik and others recall one of the best goaltending performances ever: Hasek's 1994 four-OT masterpiece.

From SoCal to Europe and back, Ryan Johnson is ready to follow his dad to the NHL – The Athletic
The 17-year-old son of former NHLer Craig Johnson has the chance to follow in his dad's footsteps, possibly in Southern California.