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Wilderness Walk: Game Day Edition

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It all comes down to this. A loss tonight and the Wild are dispatched quietly by the Blackhawks for a third consecutive postseason.

Marilyn Indahl-USA TODAY Sports

With their backs firmly against the wall, the Minnesota Wild take the ice at Xcel Energy Center with their season on the line.  The Wild have a lot to prove in this familiar must-win situation.  The team is focused only on tonight and not concentrating on the mountain climb it will take to advance to the Western Conference Finals.  But the way this series has gone so far, it will be an incredible challenge for the Wild to not just roll over and die.

Wild fandom has been scorched by #hottakes that abound across blog forums and social media.  It's been a hard pill for Minnesota fans to swallow another playoff behemoth nearly bouncing the local team out of many playoff series (see: Yankees, NY) but the similarities end there.  The Blackhawks are a well managed, well coached defensive force with a lineup full of finishers that is built to last.  They are in their prime and know how to win playoff games.  The Wild aren't quite there yet - but had shown signs of having something special that could take them to another level, but that has completely disappeared since this series started.  It's a frustrating situation to be in at the end of such an incredible run to make the playoffs.

There will be plenty of time to conduct post-mortem reviews of the season when necessary, so fans, like the team, should focus solely on getting through this game.  The Wild will need all the positive vibes they can get to extend their season.  I couldn't find a more appropriate song for this moment.  We Walk to avoid the golf course.

Wild News

Wild at a loss to explain missed opportunities in Game 3 loss - TwinCities.com
SO FRUSTRATED!!!!!!!!!

With season on the brink, frustrated, dejected Wild faces one mighty tall task | Russo's Rants | StarTribune.com
#MoarFrustrated

Chart: Wild history after three playoff games | Star Tribune
Ugh. Things are not pretty when the Wild trail by 3.

Chart: Wild faces bad odds down 3-0 in playoff series | Star Tribune
So, you’re telling me there’s a chance?

The Chicago view: 'State of hockey in state of shock' | Star Tribune
Here's some of what was being said and written in Chicago-area media after Tuesday's Game 3 victory by the Blackhawks

Post 2 Post: Crawford tames the Wild - Article - TSN
TSN ranks postseason netminder performances - Guess who scored well?

Wild postgame by the numbers: Dominant, except where it mattered | RandBall | StarTribune.com
#SNAFU

Tom Powers: Wild go from helpless to hopeless - TwinCities.com
Tom and his cliche catchphrases entertain me.

One Simple Request - Minnesota Wild - Articles - Homepage - Wild Xtra
Friend of the HWPodcast Ben Remington brings a great perspective to where the season stands.

Chicago's Bickell leaves new mark on Wild | Star Tribune
His contributions have changed, but the effect remains the same

#BecauseItsTheCup

NHL Recap - New York Rangers at Washington Capitals - May 06, 2015 - CBSSports.com
WASHINGTON (AP) Rookie Andre Burakovsky scored his first two playoff goals and Braden Holtby saved a penalty shot, giving the Washington Capitals a 2-1 victory over the New York Rangers on Wednesday night for a 3-1 lead in the Eastern Conference semifinals.

WATCH: Tyler Johnson beats the buzzer to give Lightning Game 3 win - CBSSports.com
The Tampa Bay Lightning have a 3-0 series lead after Tyler Johnson's buzzer beating goal on Wednesday night.

Off The Trail

Home | General Fanager
Introducing the heir-apparent to CapGeek.com, stick taps to both

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman can be deposed in concussions lawsuit | Star Tribune
Ruh roh.  Would have been convenient to have a concussion protocol for PKane last night.  Just sayin'

NHL Awards: Hartley, Laviolette, Vigneault named Jack Adams finalists - CBSSports.com
Bob Hartley, Alain Vigneault and Peter Laviolette are your three finalists for the 2014-15 Jack Adams Award as coach of the year.