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Wilderness Walk: Running Out of Time

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The Wild hope to get back a couple key players, a first look at Canada's possible Olympic squad, and some KHL rumors.

NHL: Minnesota Wild at Colorado Avalanche Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

The Wild are running out of time. Not to make it to the playoffs, of course, or even to secure their place as the second seed in the Central Division. No, the Wild are running out of time to work out the remaining kinks in their game and ready themselves for the grind that is the NHL’s second season. Because in just a short time, the 16 remaining teams will all be staring at a win total of zero. First team to reach 16 will win it all. Missteps and mistakes will carry grand stakes. In short, it’ll be time for the team to go to work.

Wild News

Zucker, Spurgeon close to returning for Wild's final games - StarTribune.com
Greetings from Xcel Energy Center, where the Wild recently finished practice.

Wild considers resting veterans before playoffs - StarTribune.com
With home ice for the first round secured, coach Bruce Boudreau is weighing the balance between possibly resting a couple of veteran bodies vs. not taking the proverbial foot off the gas.

With nothing to play for, Wild will proceed with caution in final two games
Nothing good can come out of the final two games of the regular season for the Minnesota Wild, who have locked up home-ice advantage in the first round of the NHL playoffs and will play either the St. Louis Blues or Nashville Predators next week.

Wild hope practice reps got Darcy Kuemper out of his funk
MN Wild goalie Darcy Kuemper has struggles for much of the season in Minnesota, but the Wild hope Kuemper took advantage of added practice time while Alex Stalock was relieving Devan Dubnyk in net.

Off the Trail

30 Thoughts: Could Russian NHLers bolt to KHL over Olympics decision? - Sportsnet.ca
Could the ripple effect of the NHL's Olympics decision include forcing Russian free agents to head to the KHL? Elliotte Friedman breaks it down in the latest 30 Thoughts.

Projecting NMC Waive Requests for the Expansion Draft
Players with effective no movement clauses (NMC) must be protected by their teams unless they agree to waive their clauses.

Why Bobrovsky has overtaken everyone in pursuit of the Vezina | The Hockey News
Devan Dubnyk was the mid-season favorite to win the Vezina Trophy, but he's been overtaken -- as has the rest of goaltending cadre -- by Sergei Bobrovsky.

Power Rankings: Capitals will clinch Presidents' Trophy, but it's not their goal | The Hockey News
The Capitals remain No. 1 in the final regular-season power rankings of the season. But they will only be measured on their post-season success.

Who will build Canada’s Olympic B squad – and who makes the team? | The Hockey News
News of the NHL bowing out of the Olympics gut-punched the hockey world, but the Olympic nations were prepared for it. Canada has been building a contingency plan all year, led by Sean Burke.