Nabokov. Marlowe (okay, so it's spelled Marleau, whatevs). Carle. Literary giants? No. We're talking about hockey players here.
The Sharks get on the board early thanks to former Badger Joe Pavelski. Uh, Backstrom... the goal was about a meter(!) to your right. Who do you think you are, Alex Stalock? But really, Pavelski is good. I never noticed that much when he was in college, probably because offense isn't exactly a "focus" over there. I guess he did win an NC. Marian Gaborik had a nice semi-breakaway a bit later but missed the net. He really struggled in this game, partially because of the Sharks gooning it up, and partially because he kind of didn't play at his normal awesome level. (On a side note, I know this would never happen and is totally crazy, but it would be awesome if the NY Jets and the SJ Sharks were to compete with each other in some way. And also if they would periodically break into song during their game.) PMB also had a fairly good chance, but really, I'm not going to give him any props when he is scoring so little these days. Hey, man, I'm pretty sure Jacques was talking to you when he called out the skilled guys. Yeah, I'm not afraid to name names. And hey, if you're one of the Wild guys who isn't skilled, then by all means, carry on.
Intermission the First
Oooh, the FSN Face-Off is possibly my least favorite part of Wild games, other than LaP, of course. The three topics are "Who is the best current hockey player in California?" "Who is the best playmaker in the NHL?" and then of course the useless question, "What is the best Christmas movie of all time?" For the first question, Gorg picks Thornton, and then Greenlay picks Chris Pronger. Literally as I am typing that I hate Chris Pronger, Greenlay pre-empts me by saying that hate is what makes him great. No, Mike, hate is what makes him a major blankety-blank. For the second question, Greenlay says Lidstrom, and Gorg comes firing back that there's no way a defenceman could be a playmaker, as "a playmaker is someone who can make plays" and Gorg watches Martin Skoula on a regular basis, he believes that no defenceman makes plays ever, except for the other team Gorg picks Datsyuk. It's interesting that they both pick Redwings, but who am I to argue, since they just steamrolled us. Thank goodness I didn't recap that one. For the stupid lame question, Gorg picks It's A Wonderful Life, which got a snort from Mr. RWD, and Greenlay picked A Charlie Brown Christmas, which isn't really a movie but is totally awesome, and then he suggested LaP could play the "wah wah wah" teacher/parent/generic adult. If only they never showed his face on FSN again.
I hate the name Cheechoo. It’s so… phonetic. I wish it was spelled Xixiu or something. He is from somewhere called Moose Factory, Ontario. I find that interesting, as I assumed pretty much all of Canada could be considered either a moose factory or an elk factory. Unless they are referring to some sort of moose-rendering plant rather than a moose-making plant. I hate that we sucked during this game despite Roenick and Cheechoo playing spectators tonight. Kyle McLaren must have taken the phrase “go for the jugular” in the literal sense, as he gets Voros in the throat as he shoves him into the glass. And then he got away with it!
Backstrom is pissing me off in this game. He's down so much it looks like he’s making snow angels in the crease. He was just lying flat on his back in front of the net. Please try not to lay down so much, it may come back to haunt you. Not that I am foreshadowing or anything... And then there's the second goal. I have to say, the SJ version of Rock and Roll Part 2 is very new-age. In contrast, their announcer is very boring. I think we need a more dominant goalie. Backstrom is better suited to a team that actually scores goals. Terhaar says “Skoula has been very involved in the offense so far.” That might explain why we have a big fat 0 and they have 2 goals.
Oh, the names, they just keep coming! They have a guy named Vlasic! Listen, buddy, you'd better not come to Minnesota. This here is Gedney country! With 8 minutes to go in the second, I'm starting to wonder if we're going to score a goal. And look, we've got the Anaheim Destroyers of All That is Good and Pure in This World on deck. We're primed for an offensive outburst against them, I'm sure. The third goal happened (I didn't make any snarky notes), and then the 4th goal. THERE WERE 4 WILD PLAYERS THERE. LIFT A FREAKING STICK OR SOMETHING. Backstrom couldn’t do anything, he had the leg over but if he moved it wouldn't be protecting the post anymore. Schultz was inside of the net, getting a nice view of the puck as it crossed the goal line. With two to go in the 2nd, Voros got a great chance, and almost went flying Gabo-style. I give that a 4.0/10. There wasn't even a somersault!
Intermission the Second
Hey, Amy in Brooklyn Park, before you email your question, make sure they haven’t answered the question TEN TIMES ALREADY. They already talked at length about Koivu's return date. I think there should be some rule that if you hurt someone and it warrants a suspension, your suspension should be AT LEAST as long as the injured person is out.
You know, with the impending return of Nummelin and Koivu, you’d think there’d be more guys trying to prove they should stay with the team. YOU’D THINK. Voros is all about it, but there are some other guys out there that should be playing with a whole heck of a lot more determination than they are. The first power play we have looks like crap. I am unsurprised that we are clicking along at 9% since Koivu's injury (I saw that stat before the game and magically recalled it just now).
The game went from 0 to Ugly in about 30 seconds. First Voros and McLaren drop the gloves, which had been brewing for quite some time (note the non-penalty in the second period). I always enjoy how they manage to drop their gloves simultaneously. It looks so cool. Voros doesn't win, but he continues to show his willingness to play any and all roles within the hockey game. Watch out, Backstrom. He's coming for you. Then Gaborik gets tackled or something and Veilleux dives in like he is Greg Louganis or something. Play stops, we get a TV time-out, and then milliseconds after play starts again, Fedoruk gets into it with Semenov, who is some kind of giant. Wow, it's almost like they... planned it. The arena is playing BTO. Fedoruk doesn't actually hit Semenov (three strikes and you're out!), but Semenov goes down anyway rather than get his jersey any more stretched out. Fedoruk is no Boogaard, but I doubt anyone has to tell him that. I'm sitting there hoping that Gaborik drops the gloves next. (No, Gabo prefers the cross-check.)
The moronic Sharks fans boo a textbook hook/trip which the Wild guys say would make Mr. Miyagi proud.
And FINALLY we get on the board, with a power play goal, no less! If I were the arena music person, I would put on the Hallelujah Chorus from Handel's Messiah, because I am unsportsmanlike. Branko gets the goal, but I don't know that I would be putting him on the power play. Oh well, a goal's a goal. And 10 seconds later, a great chance for another one, but nobody to cash in. Man, that would have made it a completely different game.
Bernier tries to lay one on Skoula, but Marty ducks out of the way and Bernier shatters the glass instead. Skoula is certainly glad that wasn't him. Carney takes a shot to the back of the knee, which sounds unbelieveably painful, and then one of the Wild guys (I can't tell their voices apart) asks the other one if the has a special name for hockey socks, since he has a special name for hockey pants. How the heck has he never heard of breezers? What planet does he live on? Parrish hits the pipe on a shorthanded attempt, and whoa mama did that clang loud and clear. Couldn't it have dropped a few cm farther back? Geez.
I didn't like this game very much, but the weird thing is, it seemed like they played better than a 4-1 game. But, what can you do?