- Initially seen as just someone to solidify the defensive depth of the Minnesota Wild, Jake Middleton has been a consistent presence on the blue line since he was acquired at the trade deadline just months ago. Now, against the St. Louis Blues in the first round, he finds himself in a prominent role on a team that is fighting for a significant run. [The Athletic]
- In other news, the Wild signed prospect Pavel Novak to an entry-level contract on Monday, making him the fourth of the five players drafted by Minnesota in 2020, to sign a deal. [Hockey Wilderness]
- Turnovers and costly bounces proved to be too costly in Game 4. [10K Rinks]
Off the trail...
- The Boston Bruins were without Charlie McAvoy in Game 4 against the Carolina Hurricanes because, unfortunately, Covid is still a thing. [ProHockeyTalk]
- Everyone but the Colorado Avalanche really need to get it together. [Defector]
- Somehow, someway, the New York Islanders decided to part ways with ultra successful head coach Barry Trotz, and now, just about every team is poking around at bringing him behind their bench. [Lighthouse Hockey]
- And speaking of the teams interested in Trotz, which of the 32 teams make the most sense, and which are just plain not going to do it? [The Athletic]