Everything is ramped up in playoffs: The focus and intensity of the players, the speed of the game and the rowdiness of the crowds. Even the size of the media covering the Minnesota Wild swells like the Mississippi River in the spring. Ah, playoff time.
As Nino Niederreiter and Mikko Koivu battled hard in the corner with the puck along the boards, a lady next to me muttered in a thick Minnesotan accent worthy of a role in “Fargo,” “Oh, they’re getting rough.”
Minnesota Wild forward Mike Rupp has been suspended for four games, without pay, for a late illegal check to the head of St. Louis Blues forward T.J. Oshie during NHL Game No. 1201 in Minnesota on Thursday, April 10, the National Hockey League’s Department of Player Safety announced today.
It may be a struggle to think about hockey on such a beautiful day—with the sun blazing, kissing your skin and bringing some life to those winter-weary bones—but alas, it’s game day.
The Wild can lock up the seventh seed and top wild-card spot in the Western Conference tonight with a win against the best team in the East, the Boston Bruins. Minnesota needs a single point to lock up a playoff berth (shootout or overtime loss), but a ‘W’ will ensure the seventh spot regardless of any other outcome around the National Hockey League.
The Minnesota Wild will host a school supply drive tomorrow (April 5) as the club skates against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Xcel Energy Center.
Help local schools and teachers finish the year strong by participating in the BIC School Supply Drive from 6 p.m. until the 10-minute mark of the first period at Gates 1 – 5. All donations will benefit the Kids in Need Foundation, which provides free school supplies to Minnesota teachers and students. Fans who donate a BIC writing instrument or other school supplies will receive a custom Wild pen. Lean more about the Kids in Need Foundation at the organization’s website.
Mystery Puck Sale
The Wild also will have a Mystery Puck Sale against the Pens.
A $40 purchase guarantees you a Wild puck autographed by one of the following Minnesota Wild Players: Charlie Coyle, Jonas Brodin, Ilya Bryzagalov, Mikael Granlund, Mikko Koivu, Darcy Kuemper, Matt Moulson, Nino Niederreiter, Zach Parise, Jason Pominville, Jared Spurgeon and Ryan Suter.
Pucks will be sold near sections 104 and 121 from the time gates open and while supplies last. Proceeds benefit the Minnesota Wild Foundation.
The Minnesota Wild’s four-game road trip has gone by in a breeze, tonight concluding in the Windy City. The Wild closes out its season series against a banged up Chicago Blackhawks squad. After last year’s first round exit to the hands of the Hawks, the Wild has owned Chicago this season, going 3-1-0 against the defending Stanley Cup champions.
After a long day of travel yesterday, the Minnesota Wild was back on the ice at the Chicago Blackhawks’ practice facility, Johnny’s Icehouse, just down the road from the United Center, and was met by a friendly face.
When Jonathon Blum started playing hockey, it wasn’t on the ice with a pair of skates like many of his more northern counterparts. The Long Beach, Cal., native started playing in tennis shoes on the cul-de-sac in front of his house with a ball, using the gutters as goals.
It’s not a do-or-die game for the Minnesota Wild, but after consecutive losses, it sure does feel that way. Currently holding the first Wild Card and seventh spot in the Western Conference, Minnesota is one point ahead of tonight’s opponent, the Phoenix Coyotes.