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Wilderness Walk: Slow Starts Suck

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The Wild fall to the Caps, no Wild players feature on a "most disappointing" list, and Boudreau’s tie game is put on notice.

NHL: Minnesota Wild at Washington Capitals Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Sorry that the Walk is a little late today, everyone. Staff meeting got off to a painfully slow start and that threw off the rest of the day. Does that sound familiar to anyone?

The Wild are currently stuck in a stretch of bad outcomes, which shouldn’t be too surprising giving the unfortunate confluence of illness, injury, and lack of time between games. Personally, I’m taking some encouragement from what I’ve seen from the Wild. Yes, they lost to the Blackhawks and Capitals, but they faced excellent goaltending in both games and played well in many ways (although 1-7 on the powerplay won’t cut it), except for slow starts to both games.

There won’t be a long wait for the Wild’s next game, but in the meantime, catch up on some hockey news.

Wild News

'Passive' Wild loses grip on conference, division leads after loss to Capitals - StarTribune.com
The Wild on Tuesday lost for the fifth time in seven games, and coupled with Chicago's victory over Montreal fell out of the Western Conference and Central Division lead by one point.

Wild can't overcome slow start in 4-2 loss to Capitals
MN Wild can't overcome slow start in 4-2 loss to Washington Capitals. That loss for the Wild allowed the rival Chicago Blackhawks to jump them in the Western Conference standings.

Wild's Suter sets up memorable D.C. tour for Wild - StarTribune.com
Wild defenseman Ryan Suter set up a behind-the-scenes tour of the U.S. Capitol building for himself, teammates Eric Staal, Jason Pominville and Jared Spurgeon and video coach Jonas Plumb.

Wild coach Bruce Boudreau made fun of for brutal tie job - Sportsnet.ca
Bruce Boudreau was back in Washington coaching with the Minnesota Wild, and got a lot of attention on line and during the broadcast for his "unfinished" tie job.

On Frozen Pond

AP Minnesota prep hockey player of year: Casey Mittelstadt | The Olympian
Casey Mittelstadt is the Minnesota Associated Press Player of the Year for high school boys hockey.

Off the Trail

NWHL Isobel Cup Playoffs Preview
Unlike last season (best-of-3) this season will be single elimination games. All 4 teams will have a great chance to become 2017 Isobel Cup champions.

THN Roundtable: Which player has had the most disappointing season? | The Hockey News
Expectations too high? Players in decline? It's all here in our picks for players who haven't been up to snuff in 2016-17.

Ryan Smyth injured by player who shouldn't be sharing the ice with him | The Hockey News
Former Oiler Ryan Smyth is playing senior hockey in Alberta because he still loves the game. That his season was likely ended on a dirty hit by a minor-league goon is another blight on the game.

Rumor Roundup: Stars need to make big changes in goal | The Hockey News
The Stars can't continue on with Kari Lehtonen and Antti Niemi between the pipes. Here's how they might be able to fix things, and who they should target.