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Wilderness Walk: Wild lose Dumba for three months as they take on the Blackhawks tonight, plus NHL news and notes

Wild fans got the answer to a lingering question yesterday, but it wasn’t good news. Defenseman Matt Dumba had successful surgery on his ruptured right pectoral muscle, but will miss an additional three months. Meanwhile, the Wild will have to continue playing without one of their leading scorers as their season resumes post-holiday break against the Chicago Blackhawks at United Center.

In the rest of the world of hockey, the World Juniors started yesterday, with the US winning close (2-1 over Slovakia), and the Canadians winning big (14-0 over Denmark).

Let’s hope through Dumba’s rehab that he finds himself feeling stronger every day, and that the Wild can shake off the post-holiday coma and earn the win in Chicago tonight. Let’s walk.

Wild News

Wild-Chicago game preview – StarTribune.com

Wild says Dumba will miss at least three months – StarTribune.com
He had surgery to repair a torn right pectoral muscle.

Wild’s Dumba to miss at least three months after surgery
MN Wild defenseman Matt Dumba will miss at least three months after surgery Wednesday to repair a chest muscle, general manager Paul Fenton announced.

World Juniors

World Junior rosters stacked with NHL potential
The struggles of the Chicago Blackhawks in the present could be short-term issues if the 2019 IIHF World Junior Championship is any indication. The Blackhawks (13-20-6, 32 points), who are last in the Central Division and have the third-fewest points in the League, will have seven prospects at the under-20 international tournament, tied for the most among NHL teams.

Comtois scores four, Frost has five points as Canada routs Denmark – TSN.ca

U.S. Tops Slovakia, 2-1, in 2019 WJC Opener
Anderson and Barratt Provide Goals as Keyser Makes 13 Saves in Win

Tending the Fields

IOWA SHUTS OUT ROCKFORD 4-0 | Iowa Wild

On Frozen Pond

Mariucci Classic Returns in 2019-20 with All-Minnesota Lineup – University of Minnesota Athletics
MINNEAPOLIS – After a two-year hiatus, the Mariucci Classic will return to the Gopher Hockey schedule in 2019-20 with a new twist as for the first time in tournament

All Things Gritty

Stories of 2018: Hello, Gritty | NHL.com
NHL Tonight takes a look at the Flyers‘ new mascot Gritty and the immediate impact he has had in only half a season

Off the Trail

Down Goes Brown: How I’d fix the NHL’s playoff format – The Athletic
We’ve outlined the NHL’s history of bad playoff formats. Now it’s time to fix it once and for all.

Glen Goodall & Guyle Fielder: The faces of Seattle hockey were separated by a generation and united by production – The Athletic
The stories of Glen Goodall and Guyle Fielder, who dominated hockey in the Seattle area for decades.

Jim Rutherford: Penguins are at their best when Evgeni Malkin, Phil Kessel are split – The Athletic
Jim Rutherford believes Phil Kessel playing on the third line is best for the Penguins moving forward. He also shared his thoughts on Tanner Pearson, Derick Brassard and Marcus Petterson.

Year in Review: Top 10 women’s players of 2018 – TheHockeyNews
The Olympics weigh heavily into the rankings, but the two-week tournament wasn’t the be-all and end-all in the women’s game as play in the professional ranks and NCAA also factored into our list of the 10 top performers of the past year.

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