Thursday, March 26, 2009

Wild Win In New York, but only once

The Minnesota Wild schedule put the Wild in New York for back to back games against the Rangers and the Islanders. After a 1-2 pathetic loss against the Rangers on Tuesday, the Wild picked up the pace last night and slammed in six goals to beat the New York Islanders 6-2.

This season has been full of ups and downs so I guess I wouldn’t expect the final month of the season to be any different. Amazingly enough, the Wild are still in the NHL playoff chase. Everyone knows I fall into the “Gaborik hater” group, but for the sake of the Wild team and the fans, I hope Marian Gaborik can provide a magic spark to get this team into the playoffs.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Wild Players Analysis

I want to add a list of Minnesota Wild players that I think did well and a list of players that did not play to potential when I saw them last Tuesday night and no, I wasn’t too drunk off the green beer (which I couldn’t find at the Xcel anyway!) to read the jersey numbers to be sure I got my ‘facts’ straight:

Players that ROCKED:

Stephane Veilleux (always hustling! Got credit for the second period goal although I am certain he didn’t touch it – it was all Skoula – hard to believe, I know)

Andrew Brunette (tons of shots on goal, great passing and setting up plays)

Mikko Koivu (more than once I saw him talking to the guys before a face-off setting up plays and just rallying the players, great leadership and his sweet backhand in the shootout rocked)

Players that SUCKED:

James Sheppard (he was sloooooow and majorly out of position on several plays, I still can’t believe Jacques let him out on the ice so many times, Jimmy may need a hockey 101 brush-up)

Kurtis Foster (wasn’t as solid as I remembered him to be, I hope he gets better with each game)

Pierre Marc-Bouchard (although he did have couple of shots on goal, they weren’t very good ones and his passes were pathetic, plus he let a puck slip right by him during crunch time, this is the NHL, that can’t be tolerated)

BIG WILD GAME ON SUNDAY! Wild vs. Oilers. It must be a hot ticket too because local broker like Ticket King St Paul hardly has any Minnesota Wild tickets for sale!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Wild Avalanche Game Intense

I went to the Minnesota Wild Colorado Avalanche game on St Patricks Day – the Wild won in a shoot-out – whew! The overall intensity of the game was high. In the first period, the Wild were crashing the net like crazy, but just couldn’t get anything to go in. The overall play was pretty physical, but the refs didn’t let the punches fly and there were hardly any penalties. Just a lot of clean checking. Derek Boogaard almost got a goal, but he is so damn slow that the goalie had time to put his pad down in front of it in the corner of the crease. I could tell Boogie was disappointed (I was sitting right behind the goal).

The Wild looked slower in the second period, but came back in the third and tied the game up 2-2 with less than two minutes on the game clock. The crowd went crazy and no one went home early. I was nervous when the Wild couldn’t put anything together in overtime and had to go to a shootout. Colorado Avs players are known for their precision shooting. I screamed out, “Show us why you make the big bucks Backstrom.” He did (for the most part) and our Wild shooters proved to be more precise after all.

Still just barely out of the playoffs . . . come on hockey gods, be kind!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Gaboriks Popularity at All Time Low

Let’s face it, if they posted approval ratings for NHL players, Marian Gaboriks would be at an all time low. Fans are sick of him, the press is sick of him, the coaches are sick of him. Need proof? Read my past blog entries where I state how disgusted I am with Marian Gaborik and his lack of toughness. OR just read the paper today – When asked about Marian Gaborik, head coach Jacques Lemaire:

“rolled his eyes….then he thought for a minute.
‘I guess if he feels like skating, he'll skate,’ he said. ‘If he wakes up and feels like skating will be a part of his day, it will be. If he doesn't, it won't.’”

Rolled his eyes? Wow – approval rating = zero. If he feels like skating, he’ll skate – sounds very Randy Mossish. The Minnesota Wild doesn’t need a diva, they need a hockey player who wants to play, wants to score, and wants to win.

Wild play in Colorado tonight – two points are needed – plain and simple.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Wild Playoff Picture

The Minnesota Wild Playoff pictures looks bleak, but only because the team is not playing well. The Wild are only three points out of a playoff spot, but they aren’t really looking like a playoff team. The defense has been sloppy, but the scoring has been even worse. What happened to pass, pass, shoot? I hope the Wild can pull off two points tonight, we need it . . . or the playoff hopes may be over.

20 games left. Stay Tuned.

Niklas Backstrom is here to stay

Niklas Backstrom inked a big contract with the Wild this week. Backstrom signed a 4 year for $24 million contract, making his the 5th highest paid goaltender in the NHL and probably the highest paid Wild player on next year’s roster. This is the most the Wild has ever paid a goalie, but it makes sense that they secured a deal. It’s no secret that Backstrom has saved this Wild team more times than ever expected and that he is respected and liked in the Wild locker room.

March’s Minnesota Wild Captain Mikko Koivu said this to the press:

"I think probably the most important thing on a winning team is goaltending, and you get a guy like that for four years, obviously it's a good foundation.”

Let’s face it, Niklas Backstrom is the best player on the Wild team and the best player should be the highest paid. I need to buy a Backstrom jersey…it will be a good investment.