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Wilderness Walk: Class 2 Hurricanes

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The “jerks” knock off the defending champs in a double-overtime game seven thriller, the Iowa Wild look to sweep the Admirals, plus NHL news and notes

Carolina Hurricanes v Washington Capitals - Game Seven Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Is it just me, or does anyone else think it’s weird to hear “Staal to Niederreiter, Niederreiter back to Staal...”?

If you are like me, you’ll have to put up with it for at least four more games.

In thrilling fashion, Don Cherry’s favorite jerks, the Carolina Hurricanes, defeated the defending Stanley Cup champion Washington Capitals in double overtime on a tip in goal by Brock McGinn off the centering pass of “Mr. Game 7” Justin Williams. The Hurricanes complete the second round pairings as they’ll take on the well-rested New York Islanders.

What a strange playoffs so far. All four number one seeds (including the defending champions and the president’s cup winners), gone. Perennial cup contenders Penguins, done. Fan and media darling Las Vegas Golden Knights, slain. Powerhouse Winnipeg Jets, grounded.

To anyone who had Blues/Stars, Avs/Sharks, Bruins/Blue Jackets and Hurricanes/Islanders... congratulations. I’m not sure you exist, but congratulations nonetheless.

In local hockey news, the baby Wild look to eliminate the Admirals with a three game sweep and move on to the second round of the Calder Cup playoffs. Puck drops tonight at 7 p.m. in Milwaukee.

In honor of Carolina’s game seven clincher, let’s throw a hurricane party with a deep throwback. Let’s walk.

Tending the Fields

Iowa one win away from advancing to second round of Calder Cup Playoffs - StarTribune.com
Iowa leads its best-of-five series against the Milwaukee Admirals 2-0.

After year in NHL, Wild’s young stars in Iowa are making the most of AHL stint – The Athletic
Luke Kunin, Ryan Donato and Jordan Greenway are helping the Baby Wild excel in the Calder Cup playoffs, all while having the right attitude.

GRITTY WIN PUTS WILD ON THE DOORSTEP OF SERIES WIN | Iowa Wild
The gritty side of the Iowa Wild’s 6-1 playoff win over the Milwaukee Admirals Tuesday could be found on Mason Shaw’s face.

AHL Central News: Iowa Wild Take Stranglehold Over Milwaukee Admirals
These two rivals took different paths to the Calder Cup playoffs, but the Wild have dominated the first two games after stumbling down the stretch.

Because It’s The Cup

2019 NHL Second Round Playoff Preview: St. Louis Blues vs. Dallas Stars - TheHockeyNews
They entered the post-season as underdogs against two teams considered to have all the makings of Stanley Cup contenders, but the Blues and Stars defied the odds and moved on. Now who wins the wide-open Central Division?

2019 NHL Second Round Playoff Preview: Boston Bruins vs. Columbus Blue Jackets - TheHockeyNews
The Blue Jackets produced the most stunning sweep in playoff history, while the Bruins ensured history repeated itself with a Game 7 win over the Maple Leafs in the opening round. Who emerges from the Round 2 battle?

Off The Trail

Down Goes Brown: Finding positive thoughts for the non-playoff teams – The Athletic
Three positive thoughts for the 15 teams that didn’t make the playoffs as they head into the offseason.

Major penalty video review debate reignited in playoffs - StarTribune.com
NHL players and coaches were split Wednesday on whether changes are needed to video review protocol a day after a major penalty played a dramatic role in San Jose's Game 7 victory over Vegas.

An inside look at how officiating changes in the playoffs – The Athletic
Following Tuesday's Game 7 controversy, retired NHL referee Kerry Fraser explains how officiating in the playoffs is different.

Roundtable reaction: Did officials make the right call with Cody Eakin cross-check against Joe Pavelski? – The Athletic
Cody Eakin's major penalty in Game 7 gave the Sharks new life, but was it the right call? Our roundtable discusses.

Why the Golden Knights will be back with a vengeance next season - TheHockeyNews
The Golden Knights' controversial Game 7 loss will sting for the entire off-season, but Vegas shouldn't be discouraged. There's plenty of reason to believe they will be right back in contention next season.

The officials didn't cause the Vegas Golden Knights to lose – they did that all by themselves - TheHockeyNews
The decision to assess a major penalty to Cody Eakin is being blamed for the Golden Knights' Game 7 collapse against the Sharks, but the finger should be pointed back at Vegas, who blew a lead in the game and series en route to its first-round exit.

How to fix the NHL's goaltender interference problem
At least three times in the first round, a potentially important goal was at the heart of the NHL’s dumbest ongoing controversy.

Mike Babcock offers few answers after another Game 7 loss
It’s starting to get habitual, the frustrating post-Game 7 press conference with Mike Babcock. This year, the tone was disappointment mixed with a side of complacency. The Leafs’ head coach compared their consecutive first-round losses to the Boston Bruins, insisting the team has in-fact improved.

Part of Seattle’s NHL future is honoring its hockey past
SEATTLE (AP) — The preview center for Seattle’s NHL franchise overloads visitors’ senses with pictures and video providing a peek at what they’re going to get when the team begins play in its flashy new arena for the 2021-22 season.

Josi contract priority for Predators, says GM
NASHVILLE -- Roman Josi wants to stay with the Nashville Predators, and the feeling is mutual.

Messier NHL Leadership Award finalists unveiled
Giordano, Simmonds, Williams in running for trophy honoring leadership qualities, role in growth of game

The Predators had their chance and blew it. Now it’s time for change. – The Athletic
The Predators were eliminated from the first round Monday by the Dallas Stars in a Game 6 overtime loss.

Drop the Gloves: Do NHL prospects really gain by leaving high school early? - StarTribune.com
The Star Tribune's Joe Christensen and David La Vaque discuss whether the top players who leave Minnesota high school hockey early really benefit when it comes to the NHL draft.