Bright days are ahead for the Minnesota Wild. Finnish prospect (and almost slam-dunk 2012-2013 Wild player) Mikael Granlund had a strong showing despite an unfortunate shootout performance in the semi-final round against eventual gold medalist Sweden. Wild captain Mikko Koivu called Granlund after seeing the game to lift his spirits. It’s obvious that there is a bond between the two Finns, and we’re looking forward to having them together at the Xcel.
The three Wild prospects on team Sweden suffered no such disappointment, with Johan Larsson, Jonas Brodin, and Johan Gustafsson taking home the gold. Larsson and Brodin will get full chances at a Wild slot next year, and Gustafsson will enter one of the NHL’s top goalie pipelines.
It’s an exciting time to be a member of the Team of 18,000. Despite the recent slump, the World Juniors have acted as a warning to the rest of the hockey world that the Wild will be a force in the NHL over the coming years.
No game today as the Wild prepare for tomorrow’s matchup in Calgary. The Wild will look to break out of the funk of the last few weeks against the Flames, having gone 6-3-1 in the last 10 meetings between these clubs. That said, after the thumping the Flames took at the hands of the Bruins earlier this week, both teams will be skating hard.
Short of any breaking news, look for a pre-game breakdown here before tomorrow night’s battle (hopefully Dave will be dropping by with his excellent analysis, otherwise you’re stuck with me). As always, I’ll be doing in-game commentary on Twitter @gonepuckwild
Enjoy the heatwave, Minnesota. Let’s hope the Wild return to being as hot as the recent weather here in the Twin Cities.