Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The Top 13 Stories of '13

Photo: Bruce Kluckhohn/NHLI via Getty Images
Since we are winding down 2013 today, it makes sense to take a look back at the best stories from 2013. So to commemorate the year 2013, we will take a look back at the 13 best stories for the Wild.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Time To Take Charge

Photo: Andre Ringuette/NHLI via Getty Images
This is not a post that comes easy to write. But in the wake of one of the more gut wrenching losses of the season and a mob out there ready to bash heads, it was time to let this one loose.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Chalk Talk: Blame Defense, Not Backstrom

Last night, in an ugly display of defense by both teams, it was the Jets defeating the Wild 6-4 at MTS Centre last night. Now before you all sit there and try to say that Niklas Backstrom is terrible, please take a look at some of the goals that were scored on him last night.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Stephane Veilleux Returns

For what seems like the 1,000,000th time this season, the Wild have recalled Stephane Veilleux from Iowa in time for tonight's tilt with Winnipeg. The move was made to give the Wild another body on the roster since it appears that Zach Parise will be out for a few games after not giving his foot adequate rehab time (this rant will come a different day).

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Wild Prospects in the World Junior Championships

Photo: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images
Today, the 2014 World Junior Hockey Championships kick off in Malmo, Sweden. If you haven't seen already, Canada got off to a blazing start with a 7-2 pouncing over Germany.

Mikael Granlund: Top Line Center?

Photo: NHLI via Getty Images
Over the past week, its been suggested that Mike Yeo try and switch up the lineup (not like he hasn't tried this already) and make a change on the top line. The Mikko Koivu-Zach Parise tandem has been in existence since Parise signed here in the summer of 2012. Without a doubt, they are the faces of the team's top line.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Take A Break

Photo: Matt Slocum/AP
Last night, the Wild limped into the Christmas break with a 4-1 loss at Philadelphia. The loss marked the eighth loss in nine games for the Wild on the road and they have now dropped to ninth in the West standings.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Free Fallin

Last night, the Wild took another one on the chin and lost 4-1 to the Rangers in Manhattan. The loss marked a seventh loss in the past eight road games for the hometown team. It also brought the Wild's road record to 6-10-3, which currently ranks as the second worst in the Western Conference (only Edmonton 6-13-2 is worse).

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Top Guns

Maverick and Goose are in good company. Photo: Nino Niederreiter
On Halloween, young players Mikael Granlund, Nino Niederreiter, and Charlie Coyle all took to dressing up as characters from the movie Top Gun. And as we look back nearly two months later, the wardrobe is rather ironic considering what the three young players have done this season.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Calm Down

Photo: Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images
Yesterday the Wild announced that Josh Harding has been placed on IR due to a change in his MS treatment. He is expected to miss the next three games and return for the game in Winnipeg on December 27th. The move signals the return of Niklas Backstrom, the number one goalie to open the season, as the primary goalie for the Wild.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

3 on 3: The Upcoming Road Trip

Photo: Joe Sargent/NHLI
After narrowly defeating the Canucks 3-2 last night, the Wild are back out on the road for four games that stretches from tomorrow through the 27th (they come home for Christmas though). Had the Wild had a trip like this two years ago, we would be saying our prayers right about now as they would be playing three elite teams (Pittsburgh, New York Rangers, and Philadelphia) heading into the Christmas break.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

This Rivalry Is Dead

Please watch that video above. Because after that game, the Wild-Canucks rivalry has been non-existent.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Lack of Even Strength Goals

5 on 5 scoring has not been easy this past month. Photo: Carlos Gonzalez/Star Tribune
Mikael Granlund has been out. Charlie Coyle has been centering the second line. Mike Yeo has shuffled the lines more times than you can count. Add all that up, and what has that gotten the Wild?

Friday, December 13, 2013

Haula At Your Boys!

Erik Haula has returned and should be back for a while. Photo: Jason Mowry/Icon SMI
Wednesday, we sent a telegram to Jason Zucker. Clearly, he did not get that telegram.

Today the team announced that they are sending Zucker back to Iowa and have recalled Erik Haula. This move was an exact swap of what they did on Monday/Tuesday when Haula was sent down and Zucker was recalled.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Lifeless Road Efforts

Photo: Gary A Vasquez/USA Today Sports

"Personally, I think we’re built for the road. We don’t want to go out and make everything look pretty. We’re a team that’s going to go out and play responsible and take care of our own end and capitalize on our opportunities."-Matt Cooke

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Telegram to Jason Zucker: Make It Count

The door is wide open for Jason Zucker. Photo: Brace Hemmelgarn/USA Today
Mikael Granlund: Out indefinitely. Justin Fontaine: Fourth line. Dany Heatley: Coaches doghouse, moved to fourth line. Erik Haula: Sent back to Iowa.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Gary Bettman, Get Rid Of This Garbage

Photo: Matthew J Lee/Boston Globe
Hey Gary Bettman, did you watch that Penguins-Bruins tilt last night? Because the rest of the world is laughing at your league right now.

We saw two despicable acts of violence in this game last night. The James Neal knee to Brad Marchand's head was just given a two minute minor. Seriously? A two minute minor for a blatant knee to the head of a player who is on the ice? That's just pathetic.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Chalk Talk: Nino Niederreiter Is Pretty Good

During this past NHL Draft, Chuck Fletcher sent Cal Clutterbuck and the team's third round pick to the New York Islanders in exchange for forward Nino Niederreiter. The trade was hailed by both sides as a success as the Isles got a good checking forward (yeah...ok) and the Wild got a forward who needed a fresh start with a lot of upside.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

3 on 3: Josh Harding

No bottle of water can cool off Josh Harding. Photo: Jack Dempsey/AP
Josh Harding was named the NHL's #3 star of November, becoming the first Wild player to ever be named a Star of the Month. He was also named the third star of the week ending on November 18th. So to commemorate his accomplishments on the season, lets give him the nod in three on three today.