Friday, October 31, 2008

Blech, Part Deux

Wild v. Canadiens – Thurs Oct 30 – View from All Over the House
We’ve seen a couple things play out in the Wild’s last 2 games. One is that against stiffer competition, the Wild are pretty much overmatched in the scoring department. Two is that a Wild team without Marian Gaborik is pretty punchless. Eric Belanger has reverted to invisible Eric Belanger, and Antti Miettinen can not pick up the slack for the goals the Wild will lose when Gabby is not part of this team.

Wild lose tonite to the Montreal Canadiens 2-1. One would say they didn’t lose too badly, that it was a close game. But if you watched the game, you saw no flow from the Wild offense for the majority of the game. They spent pretty much the entire 2nd period on the powerplay, including significant 5-on-3 time, and did not sniff a goal. Passes were not crisp, players were overskating the puck, and Montreal played a stellar penalty kill strategy. The Wild could not work the puck into the slot, so all the shots came from Bergeron or other defensemen from the point and would not get thru to Canadiens G Carey Price. The Wild had a total of 10 powerplay opportunities, and came up snake-eyes. The lone Wild goal came 1:30 into the game from Brent Burns, who was playing forward tonite with Owen Nolan out again with another “lower body” injury. Josh Harding got the start tonite, and he finished with 19 saves giving up 2 goals. The 1st goal was a little weak, but all in all he played a decent game.

The most exciting part of tonite’s game was at the end of the game, with about 20 seconds to play, there was a scrum in front of the Montreal net. The Wild’s Koivu was all up in the fracas, throwing gloved-fists and losing his helmet. The Canadien’s Koivu was on the ice as well, and he got into it with Wild F Andrew Brunette. If they’da let it go, it would have been interesting to see how it would play out if Koivu and Koivu met in the pile. Koivu v. Koivu droppin’ the gloves? Mikko is a bit of a crazy if he gets riled up…it coulda happened!

Then as he went back out on the ice for the final 20 seconds, he had Martin Skoula’s #41 helmet on. I thought it was pretty comical.

The Wild’s performance in the last 2 games has me worried for the games this season against the upper-tier teams in the NHL. It’s one thing to beat Atlanta and Tampa Bay, but the Wild have lost to Buffalo, Dallas, and Montreal – three good teams – and they haven’t looked particularly competent in any of those losses.

Next on the Docket – Wild @ Coyotes – Sat Nov 1
Phoenix is last in the Western Conference with 8 points so far this season, but tonite they beat the Penguins 4-1. This is a game the Wild need to get back on track. Wild 3 ‘Yotes 0 That’s right, I’m callin’ a shutout!

Closed Circuit to Kirsten
I hope you’re happy!!!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

View From Down South

Greetings from the Lone Star State! I was about to check the happenings in the suspended world series game and low and behold ‘da captain Brenden Morrow put one past Backstrum only 13 seconds into the game. Definitely a good way for this under achieving team to begin the contest. Stranger than the speed of the first tally is seeing a white helmet between the pipes in our defensive end. Anyone with Marty Turco on their fantasy team can confirm his poor play, so this unscheduled night off should do him good. I must admit I did not see Bergeron’s goal, only heard it. As I type this in the first period I’m going to put the call in for a high scoring affair. A pretty scrappy goal awarded to Steve “You Can’t Spell OT without Ott” put this team up 2-1. Brad Richards just made it 3-1 on a strange goal. When the Stars score three or more goals, every fan gets a coupon for free chips at Chili’s (albeit with the purchase of an entrĂ©e) Usually it takes a full three periods to accumulate this, so I guess we’re over achieving tonight.
The Hockey god’s have answered Jeremy’s question: Yes, Harding will play this season; sadly in relief. I find it ironic that the Wild’s perfect penalty kill record was ruined by Minnesota native Matt Niskanen (4-1). Next game I go to of theirs, I will be attempting to be in his good grace by wearing an old UMD jersey the J Dog gave me years ago. Otherwise an uneventful period. Sure hope Fistric is ok after that puck hit him.
Wild score to cut the lead in half, but otherwise the Stars lock it down. From what I saw tonight, I really think the Wild are going in a great direction with great offensive talent and pretty solid goaltending (everyone has a bad night, for example Turco’s had a bad season so far) It sure is bitter sweet to see Miettinen exploding for Minnesota after a lack luster career in big D. All the best to him. I do love how anytime someone so much as bumps Modano, the rest of his line comes to his rescue. Dallas appears to respect their elders. I don’t know how many aerial shots of the city they showed on the Minnesota broadcast, but they had quite a few here on FSN Southwest and I must say, we have some wicked cool looking stuff around the American Airlines Center. The rest of the city isn’t anything special (aside from the conspiracy theory tours of where JFK was shot) but they sure jazzed up the surrounding area. Enough about the city though. Dallas needed a win here, and that is what we came away with. The best way to describe it was the Stars were hungrier then the Wild.

Mike Ribeiro
One word to describe this guy. Potential. Don’t get me wrong, he’s good right now, but every game he receives great opportunities and makes great moves but lacks one thing: finishing. He has Crosby-like attributes, but until he learns to find the back of the net on a consistent basis, he will remain in the potential category.

Arena Music
Is it just me, or do they seem to play more and better music at the games you don’t attend?

Next on the Docket- Stars @ Blackhawks- Friday, Oct. 31st

Last time the Stars had a big win, they were embarrassed in the next game. This time they have some time to recover, so I’m calling for a win to get us back into the division. Stars win 5-3

Gotta Lose Sometime Right?

Wild @ Stars – Wed Oct 29th – View from my Recliner
Watched tonite’s game while pounding away on the work laptop, editing Word docs that were slow to respond through the VPN connection. Blah. That’s really how the game felt too. Blah.

Wild were seemingly out of it from the get go, with Stars F Brendan Morrow scoring from a sharp angle just 13 seconds into the game. Wild D Marc-Andre Bergeron tied it with a laser shot on the powerplay, and then it was all downhill. Stars F Brad Richards created a goal for Steve Ott by forechecking, Brad Richards scored thanks to a fortuitous bounce that put the puck on his stick with a wide-open net, and Virginia MN native Matt Niskanen scored in the 2nd with a nasty wrister. Wild F Andrew Brunette finished the scoring in the 3rd with another powerplay goal.

Wild G Niklas Backstrom was pulled after the 1st period, giving Josh Harding his 1st minutes of the season. Took long enough for Coach Jacques to put him into a game. It will be interesting to see who gets the start tonite v. Les Habitants.


  • The Wild finally gave up a goal on the powerplay.
  • The Wild have not won in Dallas since March 2003.
  • Disappointing game given it was the first test against a playoff-proven team.

Next on the Docket - Wild v. Canadiens - Thurs Oct 30
It's the big Koivu v. Koivu matchup. They're both captains. They're both centers. They will match up in the faceoff circle. Who will win? I gotta go with the older brother here. Montreal is a good team. Canadiens 4 Wild 1

As a side note, there's a nice story on Mikko Koivu on today.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Wild v. Stars Tonite

Just a note to look for 2 recaps for tonite's Wild v. Stars from me and one from my crazy Stars-fan cousin.

Oh, and since I didn't get a chance to recap the Wild v. Hawks from the other nite...nice win for the Wild, but we gotta stop letting teams back in to the game after being up early. It's going to come back to haunt us eventually. Niklas Backstrom won that game for the Wild.

That said, 6-0-1 is a sweet record, and I am looking forward to tonite's game to see how we play against one of the good teams in the Western Conference.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Disallowed Goal-Gate 2008

Wild v. Blue Jackets – Sat Oct 25th – View from my Recliner
What was a relatively uneventful game turned into great drama in the last 15 seconds tonite v. Columbus. Wild win 2-1. The ‘Jackets appeared to tie the game with 15 seconds to go on a deflection by F Rick Nash, but the goal was disallowed by the NHL War Room in Toronto, ruling that Nash’s stick was above the crossbar when he deflected the puck. Columbus players and coach Ken Hitchcock went ballistic, and Coach Jacques was had a look of absolute surprise. The final definitive view came towards the end of the stoppage on FSN – an ice-level view showed without a doubt that Nash’s stick was above the crossbar, and the correct call was made. Sorry Nashie. Now go try and pick a fight with Antti Miettinen. Even the FSN broadcasters were screwed up. They could not believe the goal was disallowed. Darby Hendrickson, who played in the NHL for however many seasons, afterwards said that above the shoulders is a high stick disallowed goal…but I am clearly smarter than FSN. I know that the crossbar is the benchmark. Seriously…sometimes FSN…well, I digress. Mike Greenlay clarified later.

Wild F Owen Nolan gets the game winner on his 1st goal as a member of the Wild, and F Pierre Marc-Bouchard got his 1st of the season. The Wild had some stretches of great puck control and seemed to have a ton of space before Columbus put a man on the puck. But, they need to finish. Puck control and fancy-pants passing is great, but it doesn’t do anything for the scoreboard.

Wild G Niklas Backstrom kept the Wild in this game. He played a very strong game. I really thought we’d see Josh Harding tonite, but more Backstrom. Will Harding play at all this season?

Tonite was the 2nd game in a row that the Wild let a team back in after leading comfortably. That was a problem last year that I thought would go away with Demitra and Rolston leaving. Apparently not.

So the Wild stay undefeated in regulation. Owen Nolan gets his 1st Wild goal. The penalty kill stayed at 100%. FSN voices Dan Terhaar and Mike Greenlay look like muppets demonstrating fights on-ice after the game. I DVRed the Hockey Night in Canada games from NHL Network tonite, so tomorrow I have more hockey to watch. Beauty!

Next on the Docket – Blackhawks @ Wild – Mon Oct 27th
Wild v. Blackhawks are the national game Monday on Versus in HD. Make sure you watch. No “what channel is Versus” jokes, please. This is a great opportunity to get national perspective on our team and to watch superstars of tomorrow Patrick Kane and Jonathan Towes. Unless the Wild can figure out how to bury the puck more often, I think the Hawks win, 3-2.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Glorified Jots

Just a few random babbles on a Wild off day…

Mark Parrish
Former Wild F, St Cloud State alum, and Bloomington Jefferson grad Mark Parrish signed a minor-league contract with the New York Islanders. I was really excited when we signed Parrish and I liked him while he was here. He was good with the media, one of the players on the team that was easy to identify with because he loved to talk. But, he never scored goals the way the Wild expected him to because he’s an in front of the net guy. It’s hard to score when you’re getting beat up every game. So the Wild cut ties, and now he is trying to work himself back into the big show.

Bret Hedican
SCSU alum, St Paul native, and Kristi Yamaguchi husband signed a 1-year deal with the Anaheim Ducks. He’s 38 years old; I’m not sure how much he’ll play, but I’m glad he’s getting to put in another year.

Demitra Injured
Former Wild underachiever Pavol Demitra is out 3-4 weeks for the Canucks with a “torso” injury. Sounds like it’s a rib injury.

Dubay Fired
Following up on my Glorified Jots from a couple days ago, Jeff Dubay was fired by KFAN today as a result of his cocaine charges. You certainly can not blame the FAN for making that decision. I wish Puffy the best and hope he can straighten things out for himself and his health most importantly. Meantime KFAN will need to replace him on the PA and Dubay show. I’m cool with Justin Gaard or Corey Cove.

UMD Bulldogs
As I write this I’m having my very own UMD Bulldog Hockey Night, watching the Dogs v. Alaska Anchorage Seawolves thanks to The Dogs are down 4-2 at the start of the 3rd period right now. I just have to say, the UAA internet video feed looks pretty darned good. I’ve seen alot of ugly looking games streaming over the ‘net because Minnesota-Duluth games are not on TV here in the Twin Cities unless they’re playing the Gophers. But this game looks quite good, especially when you factor in that it is free, and most other games you have to pay $7. I hope they’ve improved the video over at B2Networks for the games at the DECC this season.

Oooh, make it 4-3 Seawolves with 17 minutes to go. UMD just scored a pretty powerplay goal.

And now it’s a tie game, another powerplay goal for UMD. 10 minutes to go. Oh bugger…looks like they’re going to review the goal. And…it’s no goal. Bunk. They didn’t gave a reason on the broadcast why they waived it off, and they didn’t show a replay. That sucks. 4-3 final, Anchorage defeats Duluth. Apparently there was a man in the crease on the waived-off goal.

Enough babble for one nite…

Thursday, October 23, 2008

How Facebook Ruined Wild Gamenite

Sabres @ Wild – Thurs Oct 23rd 2008 – View from My Recliner
Actually tonite I watched sporadically through the nite on the DVR…you know, baby stuff. I saw the ugly start the Wild had – they had no flow and were very sluggish. Just didn’t seem to have any step. Drew Stafford scored on a nifty play to put the Sabres up 1-0.

Then, when I was about midway thru the 2nd period, I made the mistake of logging on to Facebook…figuring I could avoid the news feed. Well, my eyes glanced to one, and only one status update, and that was enough. I won’t name any names (Niki) but the result of tonite’s game was spoiled for me. And ironically, this happened just Benoit Pouliot scored to tie it at 1-1, and shortly that after Stephane Veilleux scored to put the Wild up 2-1. So I was left to wonder how we blew the lead in the 3rd. Then, in the 1st minute of the 3rd period, Brent Burns got credit for putting the Wild up 3-1 when Sabres G Ryan Miller misplayed the puck into his own net. So now it’s “Really? We blew a 2-goal lead?” Then it turned into “Really? We blew a 2-goal lead with 4 minutes left?”

Sure enough, the Sabres scored on a weak deflection shot, then Thomas Vanek (former Goofer) tied it after being left wide open by the again-sluggish Wild D. In the OT, Derek Roy won the game on after a scrum in front of G Niklas Backstrom.

Moral of the story, if you’re going to be watching on the DVR, apparently not only do you need to seclude yourself from any interaction with anyone in real life, you need to turn your virtual life off also.

I was way off on my thought that this would be a fast-paced game. It really wasn’t a great game to watch, even when I didn’t know who won yet. I did have the score right, just the winner flip-flopped.

So, the only positive is the Wild are still undefeated in regulation and they have points in each game. But the overshadowing negative is the way they lost the game. Coach Jacques is most-likely not happy.

New Wild D Marek Zidlicky played his 1st game of the season, and I liked what I saw. He moves the puck well so that will create offense on the breakout. And he has a nasty shot from the point. He and Marc-Andre Bergeron will definitely help create offense.

Next on the Docket – Blue Jackets @ Wild – Sat Oct 25
Don’t know much about Columbus, except that they haven’t contended for a playoff spot since they came into the league with the Wild in 2000. Oh and they have Rick Nash. They’re 3-3-0. Maybe we’ll see Josh Harding. Wild should win, 3-1.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Glorified Jots

I’ve been meaning to put up a random post for about 5 days now. Long layoff for the Wild gives me a chance to muse about things I normally wouldn’t write about. But alas, Wild play tomorrow, so here is said post.

Wild v. Lightning
I had no game recap for Saturday’s game v. Tampa Bay. We went to a  nice Oktoberfest party and I didn’t get to see any of the Wild’s 1st game v. Barry Melrose and Wes Walz. Apparently I didn’t miss much. The final was 1-0 Wild in a shootout, with Antti Miettinen scoring the SO winner.

Special Feature Coming Soon
I have family in the Dallas area, and my cousin Matt is a big Stars fan. We’re going to work on a new feature for this blog for the 4 Wild/Stars games this season. The Wild are in Dallas next Wed Oct 29th and Matt is planning to go to the game, so look for my recap as well as a recap guest post from him. We’ll try a couple other things throughout the season as well for the games v. the team that I believe should be our biggest rival. If they would just realign the divisions…

Alot has been written in the mainstream media over the last few days about Marian Gaborik. Mostly the steam is that he is on the trading block because it does not seem that the team will be able to sign him. There are basically 2 sides to the Wild faithful on this issue…1 that says good riddance because he is an overpriced injury-prone prima donna…the 2nd that says we need Gabby in a Wild sweater to be successful.

I, like most under the Libra zodiac sign, tend to waffle. I see both sides to the argument and on any given day I might think if Gabby is gone we won’t score enough goals and we’ll miss the playoffs for the next 3 years. The next day I’ll be hatin’ on Gaborik and looking forward to the day the soap opera is over. But regardless of how I feel, Wild fans better get used to the idea of a Wild team without it’s superstar for the 1st time since it’s inception.
If you haven’t yet, head over to and check it out. I have been very impressed with its redesign. The feature stories are interesting. In-game stats are elaborate on NHL Gamecenter. They do a great job of highlighting the game and its players. You can watch the highlights of every goal over the last 3 years, and the NHL Network Online application collects the best features from each team’s website. is one thing I think the league is doing right in the marketing department.

KFAN’s Jeff Dubay
I’m not going to get into any speculation or anything here, but I did want to send out positive vibes to Jeff Dubay of KFAN’s PA and Dubay show. I have listened to PA and Dubay for probably around 7 or 8 years and I was disappointed to hear about the recent charges against Puff. I’m not going to pretend that I know what he is going through, but I do hope he pulls through OK and we can get back to hearing him on the FAN talkin’ hockey, Twins, and everything else Minnesota sports.

Tampa Bay Rays
Am I the only one rooting against the Rays in the World Series? The Twins should be the only under-achieving team winning in a bad stadium. FYI, they’re down 1-0 to the Phillies as of right…about…now.

Next on the Docket – Wild v. Sabres – Thurs Oct 23rd
Sabres are 5-0-1, Wild are 4-0. Something’s got to give…unless it goes to overtime. Should be a pretty fast-paced game. I’ll go with the Wild, 4-3.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Offensive Show

Wild @ Panthers – 10-16-08 – View from My Kitchen (Then My Recliner)
Quite an impressive victory for the Wizzy tonite, a 6-2 shellacking of the Florida Panthers. I watched tonite’s game while I made dinner, then on the DVR after dinner. So I didn’t get a gauge for the flow in the 1st 2 periods, but I did see the goals. And again some of them were downright pretty. Who is this offensive juggernaut that we figured was going to struggle to score goals?

Wild Goals
1st period goal from Andrew Brunette, 2nd period goals from Kim Johnsson, Antti Miettinen, and Benoit Pouliot, and 3rd period goals from Mikko Koivu and a another from Miettinen. The only bunk goal was Johnsson’s goal…his soft shot from the blueline bounced off a couple skates on its way past Panther G Thomas Vokoun. The Wild powerplay goals were pretty tick-tack passing plays, and Koivu was unconscious tonite, finishing off a nite full of beauty passes with a wicked wrister through a screen for the final goal.


  • The Wild scored 3 goals on the powerplay.
  • Mikko Koivu had 4 assists to go with his 1 goal for a 5 point nite.
  • Antti Miettinen now has 5 goals in 3 games. 
  • Wild G Niklas Backstrom played his 3rd solid game of the season, making 24 saves en route to the win.
  • Oh yeah, Gabby is hurt.

Next on the Docket – Wild @ Lightning – Sat 10-18-08
The Wild are off to another fast start. They went 5-0 before losing last season, and the year before they went 6-0. But they have to lose eventually right? We get to see Barry Melrose and former Wild F Wes Walz behind the bench for the Bolts, and Melrose is the kind of guy that is smart enough to tap into Wes for some insider secrets. The Bolts are winless so far, so I’ve got to read all that karma into a win for the Lightning, 4-1.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Did we Find Some Goals After All?

Wild @ Thrashers - 10-14-08 - View from My Recliner
Wild win 4-2 tonite, in front of about 13 people at Phillips Arena in Atlanta. All told the Wizzy played a pretty good game. Another slow start, but they got it going thanks to a bevy of power play opportunities.

Antti Miettinen
It’s early, and the sun shines on the blah blah sometimes, but Antti Miettinen sure seems to have some offensive promise. From what I remember he would show flashes in Dallas, but never was consistent. Well, he had both the game-winning and insurance goals for the Wild tonite. His 1st goal was on a semi-breakaway where he held off Thrasher D Mathieu Schneider and roofed a backhander over Thrasher G Kari Lehtonen. His 2nd goal came on a pretty give and go 3 on 2 with Wild F Andrew Brunette. He also had an assist on Bruno’s PP goal in the 1st period for a 3 point nite. Hopefully his new start in Minny is the key to realizing his potential.

Marian Gaborik Sighting
Gabby played a very strong game tonite. He had a handful of good scoring chances, and he scored a fabulous goal in the 3rd that gave the Wild the lead at 2-1. Brunette, Mikko Koivu, and Gaborik were pressuring as a Wild powerplay expired. Koivu got the puck to the front of the net where Schneider got control of the puck for Atlanta. Gabby lifted Schneider’s stick from behind and in one slick motion fired the puck past Lehtonen. And suddenly, I found myself really wanting Gabby to sign with the Wild.


  • Andrew Brunette got his 1st goal of his 2nd tour of duty with the Wild on the PP in the 1st period.
  • I am really falling in love with Marc-Andre Bergeron’s shot from the point. There are so many ways to score goals when you have defensemen that can shoot the puck…deflections, screens, rebounds, not to mention they can just go in, as happened in Saturday’s opener.
  • James Sheppard is really starting to look like a hockey player. He is so much more noticeable on the ice, and he seems so much more confident this season.
  • Possible injury issues already. F Pierre-Marc Bouchard is having back issues and has been flown back to the Twin Cities to rest. The Wild will for sure be without him for the final two games of the road trip. F Owen Nolan left in the 1st with some sort of lower body injury, prompting the Wild to call up Cal Clutterbuck from Houston. If these are lingering injuries, it could mean trouble for the Wild.

Next on the Docket – Wild @ Panthers – Thurs 10-16-08
The Wild should never lose to the Florida Panthers. Wild 3 Panthers 1

Monday, October 13, 2008

Northwest Division Banner Found!

I’m still bitter that I didn’t get to see the banner go up on Saturday nite thanks to FSN, but I found it on YouTube. Here it is…

Pretty sharp lookin’ banner if you ask me. Try this…close your eyes, picture this banner, then picture the Xcel Energy Center rafters FILLED with them – Northwest Division, Western Conference, and Stanley Cup Championship banners. Someday…

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Off and Skating!

Bruins @ Wild - 10-11-08 - View from My Recliner with Baby in Tow
Bugger it’s so good to have hockey back! It’s amazing how the shortest offseason of all the pro sports seems to take the longest. The Wild got off to a beauty start to the 2008-2009 season tonite at Xcel Energy Center with a win over the Boston Bruins, 4-3.

Standard Wild Hockey
Tonite’s game had a feel of standard Wild hockey. Slow start and trailing early. Turn it on late in the 1st and through the 2nd period, and hang on in the 3rd to pull out the win.

F Eric Belanger scored 2 goals, which last year would have really made me excited. But seeing him disappear in the 2nd half last year dampers my enthusiasm. Just think if he could score 30 goals…

Newcomers F Antti Miettenin and D Marc-Andre Bergeron scored for the Wild. Miettenin scored on a quick tip play and Bergeron scored on the PP with a razor slapper that bounced through Bruins G Manny Fernandez’s pads. Shades of Brian Rolston.

Great Atmosphere
The crowd seemed to be pretty amped up tonite. Of course I was not there, but it came across very well on FS North. The game was broadcast in HD and I was very impressed with FSN’s telecast. They have a new set of graphics and they did alot of flyover crowd shots. The flyovers did alot more to convey the atmosphere than the typical crowd shots we are used to. Good on ya FSN.

Not So Good on Ya FSN
I was very disappointed in FSN’s coverage of the raising of the Northwest Division Championship banner. As someone who made reference to the NW championship in most of my posts towards the end of last season, I was really excited to see the ceremony. Since I couldn’t be there, I expected FSN to cover something as historic as the 1st banner raised to the Xcel Energy Center rafters. Instead, all I got to see was 10 seconds of the banner as they came back from commercial. After an hour-long pregame of Darby Hendrickson and Kevin Gorg, I was blown away that we couldn’t see more of the banner going up. FSN got everything else right, but they screwed this important nuance up big time.

New Family & the Wild
Tonite was Adriana’s 1st Wild game experience (of MANY). She was pretty good throughout, content in looking at the TV in my lap. The funniest part of the nite was when I was changing her diaper and play-by-play guy Dan Terharr said something about Wild D Martin Skoula. I said, “What, Skoula” in an excited voice, and Adriana started giggling. She’s 3 months old, and she’s already laughing at Skoula. 


  • FSN did a quick interview with former Gophers Blake Wheeler and Phil Kessel. Man, does Kessel sure seem like a dink.
  • Wild F Colton Gillies is much bigger than I realized.
  • Wild F Marian Gaborik didn’t figure much into the game. He had a couple nice moves, but they did not materialize into any real chances.
  • Boston and former Wild G Manny Fernandez could have changed up his mask a little. It’s the same one he had in Minny, but yellow instead of green.
  • Wild F Owen Nolan may be old, but I like his spark. I hope it lasts the whole season.
  • If you caught NHL Network’s simulcast of Hockey Night in Canada, or if you saw CBC’s actual coverage, you saw that they named a winner of the contest for the new theme song for HNiC, in front of a live audience. I thought it was actually pretty cool. Some random guy, wins the contest for composing the theme song. They cut to the new video intro, with his song accompanying. Had to be an awesome feeling for him. And the video intro is actually pretty cool, with computer animations of some of the most memorable moments in hockey history. They even simulated a faceoff between Sidney Crosby and Wayne Gretzky. Very cool.

Next on the Docket – Wild @ Thrashers – Tues 10-14-08
It is difficult to make predictions on individual games this early in the season. So, I will go with the home team here. Thrashers should win; Thrashers 4 Wild 2.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Wild Season Preview

The fine folks at contacted me to be a guest author for their site. I will be making periodic posts about the Wild throughout the season and I just posted a season preview. Check it out here

Thursday, October 9, 2008

The NHL is Back Tonite!

After a long 3 months off, the NHL gets rolling in earnest and our TV viewing is set for the next 9 months. There are 4 season openers tonite, and we can see most of them. Versus has Maple Leafs @ Red Wings where Def Leppard will play to kick off the season and the Red Wings will raise their Stanley Cup banner. Versus will follow that up with Bruins @ Avalanche. starts a free preview of NHL Gamecenter Live and tonite you can watch Ducks @ Sharks via the internet! A free preview of NHL Center Ice is also available for the next week if your cable or satellite company carries it.

Move on to Saturday when NHL Network will be broadcasting Hockey Night in Canada starting @ 5:30 CST with a pregame, then Canadiens @ Maple Leafs followed by Canucks @ Flames, then Hockey Night in Canada After Hours. If you’ve never experienced Hockey Night in Canada make sure you catch some of it Saturday nite. HNIC is truly like no other hockey television experience.

And to top all of that off, Saturday nite is also the Wild season opener v. Boston Bruins. They’ll be raising our 1st banner to the rafters @ Xcel Energy Center for last year’s Northwest Division title in a pregame ceremony starting around 7:15 CST. The game will be on FSN North and is scheduled to be in HD so it’ll be the next best thing to being there for me.

So hunker down, because life is good again. Hockey is back!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Hey! The Season Started!

So I’m watching Gophers v. Hoosers football, flipping channels, and I come across hockey on NHL Network. Makes sense right? Well, to my surprise, it’s Rangers v. Lightning from Prague, and it’s a real-life regular season game! I missed the memo on this one. I knew the season was going to open in Europe, but I didn’t realize it was this soon!

Penguins v. Senators from Stockholm follows this game. So if you read this in time, turn on NHL Network. And a quick check of shows that Lightning v. Rangers part deux will be on VS. tomorrow at 11 AM CST. 

The 2008 season is on hockey fans!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Wild now 4-1 in Preseason Play

With a 3-2 win over Buffalo tonite, the Wild improved to 4-1-0 in the preseason. Preseason means nothing, but it is encouraging that the Wild have been able to score enough goals and play strong enough defense to win most of their games. Hopefully it transfers over into the real season.

I haven’t been able to see any of the games, but from listening to Kevin Faulness’ post-game Pondcasts, sounds like the squad is getting used to each other. PMB, Gabby, and Burnsie have only recently gotten in the lineup due to injuries. Stephane Vellieux had his typical every-once-in-a-while offensive prowess and leads the team in plus/minus. Niklas Backstrom has been strong in net and improved in the shootout. Owen Nolan has been playing the tough and in front of the net game that Mark Parrish was known for. Marc-Andre Bergeron is getting in too many fights. And Coach Lemaire has already had some nice zingers in the post-game presser.

In tonite’s game, Martin Skoula’s stick somehow got into G Josh Harding’s facemask and cut his eye. Hopefully Hards is OK, but isn’t that Skoula for ya?

We’re 11 days away from the start of the real season. And now that the Twins are done, I can’t wait.