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  • Wilderness Walk: Middleton Earns Gold

    Image courtesy of © Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
    Thomas Williams

    Your daily dose of Wild news, along with other interesting stories from around the NHL.

    That's Wild

    • A member of the Minnesota Wild did get to experience glory in the spring. Defenseman Jake Middleton and the rest of his Team Canada teammates earned gold at the IIHF World Championships over the weekend. [Sportsnet]
    • Wild defenseman prospect Kyle Masters is playing for the WHL's Kamloops Blazers in the Memorial Cup this week but unfortunately suffered a terrible injury and had to be stretchered off the ice. The Blazers gave an update after Sunday's game saying that Masters was conscious and able to move.


    • Right now in the playoffs, we're seeing a fairly large blue line from each of the teams that keep on moving on. So, is the Wild's group of defensemen too small? [Hockey Wilderness]

    Off the trail...

    • Seven hard lessons that teams have learned during the Stanley Cup Playoffs. [ESPN]
    • The Dallas Stars just keep on staying alive. After going down 3-0 against the Vegas Golden Knights, they have clawed back to cut that to a 3-2 series deficit and could force Game 7 on Monday. [NBC Sports]

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    CHL Update: While Bankier scored on Friday night, he was an ugly -3. Last night he added a couple of apples and finished +2. The Master's hit was scary, he was leaning awkwardly having just gotten rid of the puck and is hit hard, off his skates and lands pretty much just at the base of the boards. He remained motionless until the stretcher came out.

    Here is the update from Kamloops:


    The Blazers statement:

    Following his injury during the May 28th Memorial Cup game, Kyle Masters was removed from the ice by stretcher. He was fully awake and moving all of his extremities and was transported to the Royal Inland Hospital emergency department for further evaluation.

    Thank you to the Blazers and Peterborough's medical staff and BCAS paramedics for their medical care on the ice.

    Looks like he may have avoided serious injury, but if I'm the doctors, I'm MRIing his back to make sure there aren't stress fractures. 

    Not to make light of any of this, but the article by Luke Sims on the size of the Wild defense is directly related to this news. Luke's article came out before the incident. While Masters was clearly off balance when hit, and likely any size defender gets wiped out, they don't get sent flying through the air like Masters was sent, larger defenders have the beef to absorb the hit and the damage would be minimal. 

    If you look at the hit, think about Addison as you watch it. There was not a lot of video of Addison getting crushed behind the play, as most people were watching the puck. But, you can see several times where he just gets pinballed around and has to collect himself for a couple of moments due to the impact. Now, when you project the smaller D we have drafted up to the higher leagues, you can see, if they don't have the weight, accidents get amplified and injuries can happen. 

    By the way, Kamloops won 10-2, beating the former Hunter Jones team, the Peterborough Petes.

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