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Wilderness Walk: Fourth-line excellence not enough

Your daily dose of Wild news, along with other interesting stories from around the NHL.

Minnesota Wild v Arizona Coyotes Photo by Norm Hall/NHLI via Getty Images

Last night, the Minnesota Wild played their second game without Kirill Kaprizov this season (we swear we won’t do this for every game they play while he’s injured) and despite getting the depth scoring that they have so desperately craved, they succumbed to the Arizona Coyotes in overtime by a score of 5-4.

Surprisingly, the fourth line of Ryan Reaves, Connor Dewar, and Mason Shaw played its potential best game since being put together when the team acquired Reaves mid-season. Each player left with two points, and in addition to scoring some goals, they had some not-great-but-entertaining fights.

Still, it is disappointing that with just 25 minutes left to play and a 4-2 lead over a bad Coyotes team, the Wild crumbled and let the home team get back into it. Maybe it was fatigue, having played in San Jose less than 24 hours before, or just not being able to lean on Kaprizov to be an endless supply of energy throughout the 60 minutes.

Either way, there should be enough to take from this game to make them more confident when they face the St. Louis Blues on Wednesday.

That’s Wild

  • In case you missed it, Hockey Wilderness has found a home! Almost two months after Vox Media let us know that they will no longer be financially supporting us, we have decided to move to Zone Coverage and be their home for everything Wild. [Hockey Wilderness]
  • The addition of John Klingberg solves the Wild’s biggest weakness. [10K Rinks]
  • Watch out for any potential update on Marcus Foligno, who had to leave last night’s game with an injury. Oh, and Ryan Hartman got banged up a little bit too, but he kept on playing.

Off the trail...

  • Chuck Fletcher was scared to say the “rebuild” word, but interim GM Danny Briere said it right away in his first press conference in his new role. The Philadelphia Flyers might finally know who they are. [Broad Street Hockey]
  • Is an exhausting MVP debate any worse than a boring one? [Defector]
  • Back home, Mahtomedi and Minnetonka were crowned the 2023 MSHSL Boys Hockey Class A and Class AA champions!
  • And in other non-NHL news, the NCAA playoffs continue as St. Cloud ousted Minnesota-Duluth over the weekend, and the Gophers walked right over Michigan State to continue playing next weekend. U of M will be facing the Michigan Wolverines in a battle between the two collegiate hockey superpowers. Definitely a “drop and everything and watch” sort of game, even if you don’t support the Gophers.