Posts tagged Minnesota Wild
They say playing sports are good for the heart. They never mention that watching sports can induce labor, cardiac arrest and an extreme bout of manic depression.
In stark contrast to last year, the Blackhawks’ dreams of actively defending their Stanley Cup came down to one point in one game. All they had to do was gain a point in yesterday’s tilt with Red Wings and they were in - maybe even as high as a five seed. Lose in regulation and odds were the golf clubs would be out, as the Dallas Stars could tie the Hawks with a regulation or OT win, and take the last spot by virtue of winning the tiebreaker.
I was in Milwaukee Sunday morning, after spending Saturday night at Miller Park with my girlfriend and her parents watching the Cubs lose (as usual). We were on the road shortly before the game started. Thankfully my girlfriend offered to drive home or you might have heard a story on the news about a Honda Fit careening off of 94 shortly after a goal was scored in the game.
The first period was scoreless. I missed going into the newly constructed Mars Cheese Castle so I wouldn’t miss a second of the game. I am so dedicated. We were approaching the Chicago ‘burbs when Frolik scored to give the Hawks a 1-0 lead in the second. Shortly thereafter the wheels came off. The Wings scored two in quick succession. We got home right before the second ended, and I had barely taken a bite of the falafel I was having for a late lunch when the Wings scored again to take a 3-1 lead early in the third.
I couldn’t handle it. This is how the season is going to end? Losing on home ice to our hated rivals when there were SO SO MANY points left on the table throughout the entire season. I flipped to watch something mindless (Major League) and followed the game action on Twitter. I flipped back when the Hawks made it interesting (3-2, then 4-3 because of course, the Wings scored yet again), only to have to turn away after a minute or two. When the Hawks had to take a draw outside the zone with 45 seconds left, I was done. And so was the Blackhawks’ 2010-11 season. My heart hurt.
Because there was no way the Minnesota Wild, they of the terrible second half of the season and two full lines of starters injured was going to beat the Dallas Stars. Right?
I sat in my recliner post game in a daze. And angry. SO SO ANGRY. Angry at a team that at times looked liked they couldn’t be bothered to care. A team that let so many games slip away in the last period, that if they had just held it together for a few minutes more, their ticket to the postseason would have been punched already. A coaching staff and front office that made so many mind boggling personnel moves during the season that I actively questioned their sanity.
I was also pissed that I would not be getting the $43.78 in Ticketmaster fees from the three playoff games I had purchased refunded. $43.78 for printing out four tickets, stuffing them in an envelope and sending them standard mail. Fuckers.
By the time the Wild-Stars game had started, I had occupied myself by editing photos on my computer. I couldn’t bring myself to witness disappointment again, even though the game was on NHL Network. I kept checking my Twitter feed for updates. The Wild scored first - a small glimmer of hope flickered. It was quickly extinguished with two consecutive Stars goals. I glared at my playoff tickets so hard I thought they would burst into flames.
By the time the third period had rolled around, the game was tied at 3. I was basically watching my Twitter feed as I still couldn’t bring myself to turn on the TV - I’ll jinx it, I thought. I bargained with any deity that would listen. I promised never to badmouth Basil McRae again. And I said I could donate that $43.78 to a Minnesota charity if the Wild could pull this game out. Because I was going to lose it anyway, right?
The Wild scored to make it 4-3 in the third.
At this point, I was convinced I was hallucinating. Or that I would wake up, sitting in the recliner in the living room post Hawks game, willing myself not to cry. The chinese food we had ordered for dinner had arrived at this point, so I sat down in front of the TV for the last five minutes of the game. How my fried rice did not end up on the ceiling is a mystery.
The Stars pulled their goalie. The Wild fans were going…well, wild. And Mel is willing herself not to jump out the open window, pee herself or both.
The Wild scored the ENG to put the game away at 5-3. “YES!” I screamed. “THANK YOU JESUS!” Later, this would be comical to me as the storefront church next door was having services and probably thought I was a church member in the back row speaking in tongues.
A team that had no business winning, who had nothing to play for but pride, booted the Stars right out of the playoffs. And the Chicago Blackhawks, who don’t deserve it, have a chance to defend that Stanley Cup that they won in the most magical summer of my life.
Thank you Minnesota Wild. Because of you, the Minnesota AIDS Project is now $43.78 richer.
Bring it, Canucks.
P.S. GAME 82 TOEWS-FACE. FOR OLD TIME’S SAKE!
|Bill Smith/NHLI via Getty Images|
It’s NYE, so of course we’ve been inundated with year end lists for the last week or so. Let me add to it. After careful consideration (about 4.3 minutes), here are my Top 10 Blackhawks hockey moments of 2010. I limited this list to events that I personally witnessed or attended - this helped narrow down the choices quite a bit. The top five picks were pretty easy (and shouldn’t be a surprise), but the bottom five took a little more thought.
#10: 3/5/10 - Blackhawks 6, Vancouver Canucks 3
Game Twelve: Edmonton Oilers 7, Chicago Blackhawks 4
- Much was made prior to the game about how terrible the Oilers have been as of late and are even more terrible on the road. I told my gf that therefore we’d probably lose 5-1. Gee, I was such an optimist.
- Dave Bolland didn’t play at all in the third period. As of now, he’s on IR - the earliest he can play is this weekend. I have it on good authority he hurt his ribs. As much as that sucks, thank god it wasn’t his surgically repaired back. Hopefully he can use this time to get his head back on straight and play the way we all know he can.
- The Hawks had 41 SOG while the Oilers only had 22. The Oil had only *2* shots in the third - and one went in. While I’m glad the shot disparity echoed what it was like for much of last year, that doesn’t mean shit when the final score is what it was.
- In all seriousness, you can pin only one of the four goals given up by Turco as a softie. The other three are on the D and the inability to transition. I’m thinking Q pulled him to save him for Saturday night.
- How much does it suck for Corey Crawford to come on in relief at a 4-2 deficit and get saddled with the loss? But since he gave up the fifth tally to Cogliano, that’s how the rules go. Still, giving up 2 in 8 shots is nothing to crow home about either.
We hung around at the bar after the game not only to drown our sorrows, but also because my brother and part of the rest of the gang we were going to the game with the following night had just arrived in town and wanted to join us. I had forgotten what it was like to close a bar down at 2am – I’m an old fart now when it comes to that. My brother obviously got the party genes out of the two of us (I got the artsy-nerd genes apparently). We stayed so late at the bar that we missed the Blackhawks entering the hotel – they were staying at the same one our group was lodged at. Not that we could have done anything, we were expressly forbidden to talk or take pictures of the guys by the hotel management. Besides after that nightmare of a game, I’m sure John Scott would have been sicced on us had we tried. Still, it would have been nice to see them all dolled up in their suits. We did see the equipment guys unloading the duffel bags and such which was a moment of excitement. Whee.
Prior to Saturday’s nights game, we spent a little time around St Paul. I took some pictures of an abandoned brewery which is something that excites me probably way more than it should. During my urban exploration my brother got to wish Duncan Keith good luck as he entered an elevator at the hotel and saw several other players in the lobby. One of our group also had the door held open for her by Jonathan Toews who apparently was very nice. I went to Rainbow Foods – ARGH. We pregamed back at Tom Reid’s which was full of Blackhawks & Wild fans with some college football fans sprinkled in for good measure. Photographer and Blogger extraordinaire HockeyBroad was also in town to see the game and joined us for a bit as well. We left the bar shortly before 6 to pick up our tickets at Will Call. I have to say I liked the Xcel Energy Center quite a bit. It’s a smaller arena (then again most arenas compared to the UC are tiny) but has good sightlines and a nice open concourse. They also have an excellent gift shop. I contained myself – we only bought three pucks (a North Stars, 10th anniversary Wild & Minnesota State of Hockey) and I got an awesome Norris Division T-shirt while my gf bought a North Stars one. She grew up in North Central Iowa, so I’m willing to give her a pass for that one.
Game Thirteen: Chicago Blackhawks 3, Minnesota Wild 1
I was apprehensive about this game. I had bad luck the other two times I roadtripped for a Blackhawks game. 1) the Hawks won when I went to St. Louis, but I spent the third period in the ER getting stitches. 2) The less said about that trip to Columbus the better. I needed not worry though. Either the Hawks were embarrassed enough the night before to come out and play, or Q threatened their manhood. I care not, the Blackhawks probably played their best complete game in the last couple of weeks. The defense was excellent, there was solid goaltending by TK-421 and we got timely scoring when it mattered.
- I’ve always been a Troy Brouwer fan, and was glad to see him break out with a 2 point (1G, 1A) night. You could tell he was relieved - I have some shots of him after he scored and he’s grinning ear-to-ear
- Duncan Keith’s offensive game has picked up - he also had 1G and 1A and scored 9 points in 4 games to get the NHL’s third star of the week. His defense still makes me a little twitchy at times. With Soupy back as of Monday, this should stop. I hope.
- With his empty-netter, Jake Dowell had a three game goal scoring streak. Good for him, you always gotta love when a grinder gets a little recognition.
- No one is harder on Jonathan Toews than Toews himself. He missed a pass and I could hear the FUCK he uttered all the way from row 25. When he missed potting a goal on an open side, you could tell he beat himself up all the way back to the bench. I almost want to tell him not to be so hard on himself, but I think it makes him play even harder. I am so proud he is our captain.
- Nice to see John Madden again even if he was only a Blackhawk for a lone season. I also feel a twang of sympathy for Marty Havlat. I’d never take him over Hossa, but he was my gf’s favorite player when he wore the Indian Head
- I felt like belting “It’s Beginning to Feel A Lot Like Christmas” when the Wild took the ice. That red/green color scheme is too funny.
- You have to wonder how many shutouts our goaltenders would have if we could clear the zone consistently. I feel bad for TK-421 that his shutout was denied because his team played hot potato with the puck in front of him.
- 6:11 TOI for John Scott at forward. *sigh*
- Ben Smith is really fast - I see good things for this kid. He’ll need a little more time in the A to put it all together. Also glad to see Ryan Potulny to get the call up for the injured Bolland. I thought he looked solid in Rockford.
Overall I enjoyed my experience at the Xcel Center. It’s a great place to catch a game. There were a surprising number of empty seats, and I’d say the crowd was about a third for the Blackhawks. We had two rows for our group in the 100 level in the end the Hawks shot at twice - a great view. We had some playful banter going on between us and the Wild fans in our area - good times.
No awards for either game as I’m trying to get this post done, but I will give you…
That one’s classic Toews-Face
I took this one myself during warmups. What a little goofus.
I’ll do a picture spam post of all the photos I took of the trip. But now I’m off to work on getting them all uploaded…