Sunday, September 28, 2008

Questions 4 and 5 Up at Deuce by Definition

Dan has new questions up on his Land of 10,000 Takes series. Question 4 deals with Cal Clutterbuck v. Colton Gillies and question 5 kicks around which Wild players need to step it up this season.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

New Questions up at Deuce by Definition

Dan at Deuce by Definition has posted the Wild Blogosphere responses to question #2 on the loss of Pavol Demitra and Brian Rolston and question #3 on the additions of Marek Zidlicky and Marc-Andre Bergeron. Zoom over and check it out!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Wild v. Wild @ Ralph Engelstadt Arena

Aaaah training camp. Team Passion v. Team Preparation. Green v. White. Sheppard v. Bouchard. Brunette v. Nolan. Nondescript tryout guy v. nondescript tryout guy. You get the picture. If preseason hockey is anti-climactic, then NHL practice is a glorified pregame warm-up. Even my wife’s non-hockey-fan relatives thought we were going to a game, and when we said we were going to practice, well, let’s just say we got a few confused looks. As if to say “You drove all the way up here to watch a practice?”

All that said, it was a good time Sunday at the REA in Grand Forks. For me it turned into more fun watching Adriana at her 1st hockey experience. I know, I know, she’s only 10 weeks old…she’s not going to remember a thing. But she was watching something down there on the ice, and I’m going to choose to believe that we’re planting the seeds for a lifetime love of hockey. I do, however, have some catching up to do, as she left the arena with more Fighting Sioux clothes and I am still looking for respectable UMD Bulldog infant garb.

I’m not going to recap everything that happened at practice and the scrimmage. I’ll leave that to Russo. But I do have some impressions that I’ll pass along:

  • Everyone hears this and I’ve been there many times so it’s nothing new to me, but the REA is sick. Every time I go there I can’t believe I’m at a college arena. There was a decent vibe in the town about the Wild. We went to Green Mill Saturday nite and we were asked if we were going to the practice, and we saw a good bunch of Wild clothing about town.
  • Marek Zidlicky can skate, and Marc-Andre Bergeron is tiny, although not quite Pterri Nummelin tiny.
  • During the scrimmage, Bruno set up shop once or twice behind the net. It will be nice to see that again this season.
  • Derek Boogard played the scrimmage like he was an offensive force. He stick handled and got shots on net. I’m sure that won’t transfer into the regular season, but it was interesting seeing a different side of his game.
  • James Sheppard looks funny wearing number 51, and Craig Weller wearing number 12 is just wrong.
  • Mikko Koivu and Colton Gilles were locked into a nice puck possession drill. Mikko clearly was dominant, but Gilles did show some grit.
  • Gabby did not practice or participate in the scrimmage. Apparently he is injured, but since we didn't know that at the arena I jumped to the "superstar in contract negotiation" card. I'm still suspicious.

Here are a couple pics…

Warmup Stretches Jaques Lemaire Skating
IMG_1366 IMG_1368
Josh HardingIMG_1398

And a video of some tryout players practicing that oft-used tip play from the opposite goal line.

If you’re interested, there’s more pics in a set on my Flickr site.

1st preseason game is tomorrow (Wednesday). I’ll have to read about it in the Blogosphere because I’ll be at Twins v. White Sox at Metrodome for the next biggest game of the season for the Twins!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Check out Deuce by Definition

Dan at Deuce by Definition is doing a series called Land of 10,000 Takes. He sent out 10 questions to the Wild Bloggers and is posting our responses to those questions along with his own take. He’s posting one question at a time, and today he posted question #1 about Marian Gaborik’s impending free agency. Head on over and check out the prognostication, including some great Wild-hockey-mind takes from yours truly.

Training Camp Teaser

It’s official! Hockey season is officially on as I’ve witnessed my 1st live hockey of the season. My family and I made the 4-hour trek to Grand Forks ND over the weekend to visit some family. We attended the Wild’s practice session on Sunday with roughly 1500 Wild fans from the Grand Forks area at the lavish Ralph Engelstadt Arena, home of the University of North Dakota Fighting Sioux.

I will be recapping the event shortly, complete with photos and a video or two. I would have had it up tonite, but I got totally caught up playing NHL 09, and suddenly it’s 1 AM. Typical.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Trippin to Grand Forks!

My family has just finalized logistics for an impromptu road trip to Grand Forks this weekend. My wife is from Grand Forks, so we have family there. So that means I will be in town for the opening of Wild training camp at Ralph Engelstadt Arena. Sunday's practice is open to the public, so check back Sunday (or Monday) for a full report!

If you have any suggestions for things you'd like me to look for, please leave them in the comments!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Wild Blogosphere Preseason Podcast Now Available

The Wild Bloggers are back at it, musing about Wild hockey in the Wild Blogosphere Podcast. In this preseason epsisode, we discuss the Wild's free agency wins and losses, depth at each position, and unavoidably speculate about Marian Gaborik's impending fate as the face of the franchise.

Click the button below to listen! And as always, please leave your feedback so we can improve the product!

Or, click here to subscribe to the RSS feed.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

NHL 09 "EA Hockey League" Mode

Slightly off-topic here, but regular readers know that I have an addiction to EA Sports NHL video game series. Well, NHL 09 comes out on the 11th, and the demo just came out for Xbox Live. I'm already hooked. 

One of the new features is online 6 on 6 games, where you take your created player and participate in the EA Hockey League. You and 5 friends can play together with your created player, against other teams on XBL. It looks real sweet, and here's a little gameplay video with the producers of the game, courtesy of IGN. Check it out, and if you play NHL on XBox Live, leave your gamertag in the comments!