Monday, December 31, 2007
The Sharks are in town tonight for an early 6pm game. Hopefully I can sit on my couch, eat some crab legs and enjoy a 2-1 Wild victory, although the way they've been playing in their own zone I wouldn't be surprised for a 6-5 loss.
Saturday, December 29, 2007
Monday, December 24, 2007
Sunday, December 23, 2007
For those scoring at home, right before the game I called a dinner audible and picked up food from the 88 Wok instead of the New Dragon II. While the spring rolls and rice were inferior to ND2, the General's Chicken and Lo Mein are vastly superior. Leftovers will be eaten shortly while watching "On the Fly: Final" on the NHL Network.
Saturday, December 22, 2007
Measuring stick game tonight. Just how good are the Minnesota Wild playing right now? Tonight around 9:30 we should have a pretty good idea. It was about 2 weeks ago that this team got beat in every aspect of the game to a Wings team that has clearly become the class of the league. The Wild are playing better now (winners of 4 in a row), but I still can't get a feeling for where they stand among the better teams. I've seen them ranked anywhere from 4th to 12th in various power rankings, but that's no barometer. For me, if they win a close game tonight I'll be convinced. Another loss to Detroit and I think we're back to where we were a few weeks ago.
Tonight's menu for the game includes some asian food from the New Dragon II. By the time the 2nd period rolls around I hope to be onto my second spring roll. And to wash it all down, tonight I'm featuring a few Newcastle Brown Ales.
Friday, December 21, 2007
Wings in town tomorrow night in what should be a great Saturday night game. I think Marian will be ready for Hasek this time if he manages another breakaway.
Thursday, December 20, 2007
In any event, I am looking forward to tonight's game a great deal. I'm especially curious to see if netminder Henrik Lundquist is as good as advertised, here's hoping he gets the nod. For the Wild I expect Lemaire to go with the hot hand and play Josh Harding once again.
For great Ranger coverage, check out this blog.
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
Saturday, December 15, 2007
Friday, December 14, 2007
Switching topics once again, it's been real cold here in the Twin Cities for the past 2 weeks, so my son's mites team begins outdoor practice next week. Although playing outside can take away the feeling in your extremities, there's nothing like playing under the stars. The ice is harder, the air fresher and the practices shorter. I'm looking forward to it again this year and have stocked up with plenty of hot cocoa and baileys (not for the mites) for after practice.
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
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?
Sunday, December 09, 2007
Turning attention elsewhere, is anyone else becoming a big Aaron Voros fan? This guy's got some spunk, I'll tell you that, and he can score. He's exactly the type of player this team needs and here's hoping some other guys follow his example.
Saturday, December 08, 2007
I no longer have much hope for the squad tonight in Columbus. Backstrom's going to have to be rock-solid once again and the team has to, and I can't emphasize this enough, has to find some offense. From where, you ask? That's one good mf'in question.
A quick side note: did you see this quote from Pavol in today's Star-Tribune?
"I like to play behind the net. That's my game. I like to set up guys. Now I have to worry about more defense."
Mikko can't come back fast enough.
Friday, December 07, 2007
This team continues to miss it's heart and soul, Mikko Koivu. Until he returns I hope we can stay in the thick of the Northwest Division race. When this team's at full strength I like our chances against anyone, but like all teams, injuries play a major role.
Wednesday, December 05, 2007
So very glad I picked this game to be my first recap! Clearly, it's my fault we lost. Yep, that's it guys. No more wins this year on my watch!
I missed the first period of the game because I thought my DVR was functioning properly, but in fact decided to start recording at 8, which was the start of the second period. I'm sorry, DVR, but I like my hockey games to have three periods in them. I don't know what planet you came from.
Or, after a quick peek at the Wild's Professional Live Recapper's review of the first period, maybe it was just trying to save me from going into violent fits, because I can't stand it when we don't score 5 on 3. In fact, I am usually disappointed if they don't get 2 goals, because I'm greedy.
The Wild scored on the Power Play! I'm not used to seeing that! Thank you, Voros, for drawing so many penalties. Sorry only one ended up worth something. It's interesting to note that even the Flyers's goal scorers (Briere, looking in your direction) are cheap a$$ goons. Who do they think they are, Anaheim? It's pretty sad that the highlight of the period happened almost immediately. Gaborik, who is just amazing to watch, had some great chances, including this bizarro setup where he lifted a defenceman's stick, fed the puck back in front of the net, where it went through the linesman's legs (he had a nice screen there) and to Demitra. It would have been majorly sweet had it been a goal, but it just goes to show that Marian Gaborik just makes plays happen. He is just magical to watch. I wish it had gone in. I wish a lot of the plays he made went in.
A few things:
Messin' with Sasquatch is the greatest commercial ever. I love them all. I also like those Real Men of Genius radio commercials.
What is wrong with Sean Hill's face? Is that what steroids does to you? No wonder Juan Rincon looks so messed up.
I really wish they would get rid of Mr. No Personality, Brad Bombardir. Not everyone is cut out for commentary. But I guess the broadcast standards are kind of low. I mean, look at how LaP just keeps moving up!
They showed clips of the suspension-resulting hits, and they are just brutal. Seriously, Boulerice, DO NOT CROSS-CHECK SOMEONE IN THE FACE. Am I watching Slap Shot? They just showed the hit on Niskanen, which made me mad all over again, although he certainly is lookin' fine.
They showed a figure-skating guy (yay!) with cornrows (boo) and saggy leg-warmers (I can't imagine what the Go Fug Yourself! girls would think of that trend. I'm sure the Olsen Twins will be rocking that look later today!)
I was listening to the CCO broadcast on my way home today, and Kurtz mentioned the Wild have 8 healthy defencemen for the first time in the history of the world. Well, maybe he should have knocked on wood, because now Nick Schultz is hurt. Shame. I like Nick, he's always funny when he's on the 93X Half-Assed Morning Show.
I think I would have preferred to watch the first period to the third period. First of all, someone (I'm not naming names here) lost the point on the power play, though I don't know why, as I outlined my dislike for that in my last post, and I'm assuming that Wild players read this site religiously, so I'm taking it as a personal insult. The power play was pretty gross this period in general. Another 5 on 3 gone to waste. That Flyers PK looked sick tonight, jeez. The bizarro 3rd goal, which Backstrom should not have let in (he can attend group therapy with Jeff Frazee and Jean-Philippe Lamoureaux to deal with giving up dump in goals from outside the zone), seemed to really put the game out of reach for the Wild, even though it was still entirely within their grasp. I knew it wasn't going to happen, and I'm not one to give up easily on a team. More cheap-assery from the Flyers, as three of them mugged Dominic Moore for daring to try to put a rebound behind Niittyymmaakkii. FOR SHAME, DOMINIC.
A few parting words:
You miss 100% of the shots you don't take. And 96.6% of the ones you do. Ugh.
Mike Ramsey was on a picture-in-picture confessional at one point and said "you’re gonna have a lot of success if you work hard.” Yeah, and hugs, not drugs, kids! Stay in school! His comment reminded me of the current Real Men of Genius commercial, about the Ex-Pro Football Player Commentator.
In other news: Scott Niedermayer did the Anti-Walz.
Next game: New Hockeytown USA team visits Old Hockeytown USA team. Have a good night, folks!