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Wilderness Walk: Running Into a Brick Wall

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The Wild discovered an immoveable object, the Bruins - Canadiens rivalry takes an interesting turn (again), and more.

John Gibson is wanted by the SPPD in connection with a robbery that took place last night. Unfortunately, authorities may be too preoccupied with Antoine Vermette to follow up on any investigations of the young netminder.

That’s how it goes sometimes. The Wild played an excellent game, but were unable to outfox Gibson and complete the series sweep of Bruce Boudreau’s former team. Even so, Gabby has to be pretty pleased with how his new team has played against the Anaheim Ducks. All three games were pretty close, with a total goal differential over the three games of 7-5 in the Wild’s favor. It’s unlikely, so if these two teams faced each other in the playoffs, we could be in for a great series.

Another great potential series in the playoffs with a slightly higher chance of happening is developing in the Eastern Conference. The Montreal Canadiens have fired Michel Therrien in order to hire Claude Julien... again. That’s right, this has happened before although the first time saw Julien step into the NHL head coach role for the first time. Despite playing poorly enough that both teams’ GMs felt they needed to make a change in coaching, they are in playoff position currently and could meet in the second round. The Bruins and the Habs are already pretty staunch rivals, but a head coach getting the chance for a little payback against his old team will certainly turn up the heat. As the standings shift and teams try to play themselves into the postseason, keep an eye on this potential storyline of revenge and rivalry. It’ll be like The Count of Monte Cristo, except instead of a French serialized novel, it’s a sport played on ice and takes place in North America.

Wild News

Wild's 37 shots on net not enough in 1-0 shutout loss to Anaheim's Gibson - StarTribune.com
The Wild won the straight up puck possession battle but didn't score. Maybe they're better off the other way round.

Wild struggle to solve John Gibson in 1-0 loss to Ducks
That was frustrating. Is this how other teams feel playing against Devan Dubnyk all the time?

Ducks winger Antoine Vermette slashes linesman in game against Wild
There must be something in the water of the visiting locker room at the X.

Tuch struggles in first game back from AHL - StarTribune.com
If he keeps that up, we might see Mario Lucia sooner rather than later.

Wild's Matt Dumba joins fight against childhood cancer
Dumba has decided it's tilly time for cancer.

Tending the Fields

Gulls continue to roll in all facets of game, beat Iowa at home - The San Diego Union-Tribune

The Iowa Wild don't get great newspaper coverage. I feel like I'm always going to the other team's paper for the recap.

On Frozen Pond

Lou Nanne shares take on success of Gophers, Wild | KMSP
Mythical figures in Minnesota Sports: 1. Bud Grant 2. Lou Nanne 3. Everybody else

Celebrating 50 years | Community Leagues | hibbingmn.com
Stories like this are why Minnesota considers itself the State of Hockey.

Off the Trail

Canadiens' Marc Bergevin leaves no doubt he's all in on 2016-17 - Sportsnet.ca
If your road to the Final goes through either the Capitals or the Penguins, is this wise?

30 Thoughts: Decision on Galchenyuk looms for Canadiens - Sportsnet.ca
Kaprizov sighting in the vicinity of Thought #13.

Coaching changes seem to work in NHL Power Rankings - Article - TSN

The bounce in coaching changes are nice. Not needing to change coaches is nicer still. #Gabby4life

Crosby gets point No. 999; Pens rout Canucks - Article - TSN

On the cusp of one of those nice round numbers people like so much.

Laine nets third hat trick as Jets down Stars - Article - TSN

I think the best way to beat this kid is with a stick while he's asleep in bed. That or staple Erik Haula to him.

Wishful Thinking: 2018 Team USA Olympic Roster - Part 1
Not a bad lineup and the philosophy behind it is sound, but Blake Wheeler and possibly Charlie Coyle should be on this list.

Meet the Chinese billionaire who wants to grow hockey in the world's biggest market | The Hockey News
The NHL should be able to capitalize on groundwork being done by the KHL to grow interest in the sport. That's found money.