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  • Wilderness Walk: Wild Lose Season Finale, Just Playoffs Remain

    Image courtesy of © Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
    Thomas Williams

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

    Well, that's it. The Minnesota Wild visited the Nashville Predators on Thursday night for their season finale (and didn't play about nine of their regulars) and ended up losing in overtime. They ended up finishing with a 46-25-11 record and 103 points in the standings, and are now just waiting to find out who they will be facing in the first round.

    The Colorado Avalanche still have their season finale on Friday night, also against the Predators, that will end up deciding the Wild's fate. Colorado wins, they're facing the Dallas Stars. Colorado loses, they're facing the Avalanche.

    Which do you prefer? Because we can't really wrap our heads around it.

    That's Wild

    • Matt Dumba has been here for so long and is set to become an unrestricted free agent this summer for the first time in his career. Even with that looming uncertain future, he is just shaking it off and focusing on the short-term. [StarTribune]
    • During Thursday night's game, the Wild announced that they signed Frederick Gaudreau to a five-year, $10.5-million extension that will keep him in Minnesota through the 2027-28 season. We all knew that the team wanted to keep him around, but not by this much. [Hockey Wilderness]
    • By what he has shown the last couple games, Brock Faber should play in the playoffs over the depth defensemen like Jon Merrill, Alex Goligoski, and John Klingberg. [Hockey Wilderness]

    Off the trail...

    • We all know that the Boston Bruins will have the most pressure on them heading into the playoffs this year, but which teams could prove to be the biggest challenge for the historic regular-season team? [ESPN]
    • A player that has had an underrated career year is Toronto Maple Leafs winger William Nylander. 40 goals! Wow! Well, he was asked how he felt and he gave a hell of a quote. [Yahoo Sports]

    Think you could write a story like this? Hockey Wilderness wants you to develop your voice, find an audience, and we'll pay you to do it. Just fill out this form.

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    One more Rossi post. 

    The good: he played his best game last night imo

     the bad: bust-o-meter remains at 50%

    the ugly: he got pushed down/man handled multiple times in puck battles.  He folded like a lawn chair. That’s one more for the ‘cons’ column

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    I just wanna see Rossi do something impressive. He was a minus player again last night. He and Petan both -2. 

    I just don’t agree it’s good to wait for something we’ve never seen. Like what potential do we see with our eyes? What stats do we go off? OHL & AHL count, NHL stats don’t count? Just sayin...

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    Regarding who I want us to play in the first round, I've got to go with Dallas. First off, I don't think it's gonna matter if we play the Avs or the Stars, considering how good they both are. Plus, they're two very similar teams stat and standing-wise, so if we can't beat one, then I don't think we'd be able to beat the other. But also, I was born in Dallas and grew up watching the Wild, so there is no team that I hate more than the hometown team and their hometown fans. So if we can crush their souls, then I'll be happy. 

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    After watching the final regular season game, I think the above is correct, this was Rossi's best game so far.  He was noticeably more assertive, skated hard, though had some moments of gliding, and was physically knocked down a lot just by having a small shoulder bump him.  

    As for some of the others I didn't particularly like Damian Giroux's game, though, he showed more effort than I see out of Rossi.  Petan is meh. Swaney also showed hustle and a willingness to use the body even though his frame isn't that large.  Addison up on the wing was a waste of time.  I've got to believe he is trade bait. To me, Faber has jumped over him on the depth chart.

    So, that brings us back to Rossi. During the season, we were given a clip of his workout regimen and how he was trying to get stronger, and more endurance, and some of the stuff was impressive.  However, he's got a slender build and currently gets knocked down far too often.  How does one fix this?  Some things just aren't coachable!

    1. Rossi must bulk up including endurance, suggestion is Camp Ek this summer
    2. Rossi needs skating lessons specifically edge work and leverage
    3. Rossi needs compete level, and I have no idea how to fix this, psychologist? 

    Playing regularly in the NHL should not be his goal.  His goals need to include Stanley Cup Champion, and #1C in the NHL.  I don't think we've seen the best of Marco Rossi yet.  I think mentally he is damaged goods and has been when he faced the myocarditis.  I believe he has another gear, but for one reason or another is afraid to go there.  I don't think a trade is the answer, I think unlocking that gear is the answer.  

    From a player's perspective, hockey players tend to be more loyal to their drafting organization.  The Wild doctors pretty much saved Rossi's life, and that is a huge reason for loyalty.  The mind is the final thing to heal, and he's got to hit that gear and be convinced nothing bad will happen.  I would suggest wiring him up and getting that heart rate up while cardiologists are watching him.  


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    I won't be surprised by a game 1 beating from Dallas then a tough game 2 loss to them followed by a heartbreaking game 3 loss to the South Stars setting up a close game 4 win by the Wild and a game 5 snoozer-loss by Mn.

    Get the golf clubs dusted off and start the petition to change how the playoff seeding is done.

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