Yes, the Wild were a meager .500 on the week, BUT Super Gabby came back from injury, as did two-way force Marc Chouinard. PLUS, the Minnesota Wild/Xcel Energy/Salvation Army HeatShare programs were announced. AND, the Wild made the year of a Mini-Mite team.
And you’re pretending that it wasn’t the Best Wild Week Ever? Let’s recap.
Monday, November 21, 2005
The week that was kicked off with the launch of the cleverly titled “Wild Fantasy Hockey,” on . Now, everyone and their grandmother has money invested in some type of fantasy league at this time of year.That’s why this league is free AND it’s played on a weekly basis with weekly prizes. Does it get any better?
All fans have to do is choose three forwards and three defensemen playing in each Wild game that week (Monday through Sunday), to accumulate points. Whoever has the most points, or has the closest answers in the tiebreaker at the end of the week, is the winner. It’s just that easy. But it’s even more fun. So join in on the action. You may not have won in the first week, but you can make next week your Best Wild Week Ever.
The launch of Wild Fantasy Hockey was slightly overshadowed in the local media after the Minnesota Vikings took down the Green Bay Packers in Lambeau Field. Even though Brett Favre is a mythical creature on par with Zeus in the eyes of John Madden, he couldn’t overcome Devonte Edwards and the golden foot of Paul Edinger.
Tuesday, November 22, 2005
Following a Wild practice at the Xcel Energy Center, Wild netminder/public appearance All-Star, Dwayne Roloson joined Governor Tim Pawlenty to announce the launch of the HeatShare program.
| Your political beliefs aside, there is no questioning that Tim Pawlenty is the best goaltending governor in the United States. |
The HeatShare program is a partnership between the Wild, Xcel Energy and the Salvation Army to help raise funds for energy assistance to low-income families. Wild fans have the opportunity to support the HeatShare program through the Xcel Energy Puck Wall, located on the main concourse of the Xcel Energy Center.
Throughout the remainder of the 2005-06 season, when fans purchase a personalized puck to be displayed on the puck wall for $100 through Minnesota Sports & Entertainment (MSE) Community Giving, the funds will be directed to the HeatShare program. In turn, the Xcel Energy Foundation will match each donation to the HeatShare program for a total contribution of $200 for each puck purchased.
Basically, it’s a win-win situation.
During the press conference, “Roli” presented a check for $2400 to the Salvation Army on behalf of the entire Wild roster. He then blasted a shot at Pawlenty. Well, more accurately, he lightly flipped a shot at Pawlenty, who snared the puck with his glove in a pressure-packed situation, which got me thinking...
If I’m starting a hockey team made up of United States governors, Pawlenty will be my first pick to tend goal. In fact, I feel a political hockey game would be a great way to resolve any more government shutdowns. In fact, it would be the equivalent to the NHL instituting the shootout. If you can’t get things resolved at the Capitol, you’re heading over to Xcel and figuring things out on the ice. You can’t tell me that political interest wouldn’t skyrocket if this were the case.
Wednesday, November 23, 2005
The Minnesota Wild locked horns with the Edmonton Oilers in a Northwest division battle on hump day. Unfortunately, the Wild came up short in this back-and-forth affair, succumbing to the Oil, 4-3.
While every Wild loss is disappointing, this one didn’t hurt like some of the other crushing defeats this season i.e. the 3-2 loss at Calgary and the 2-1 loss at Vancouver.
First of all, Marian Gaborik returned to the lineup after missing the previous 11 games with injuries to his hip flexor and groin. “Gabby” wasted no time in ripping up the competition, picking up the first goal for the Wild, and adding an assist later on in the first period.
The other bright spot was the return to form of Pascal Dupuis. The left winger bucked the gorilla off his back, and beat it with his Koho, scoring his first two goals of the year and picking up an assist.
Pascal and Gabby, it was good to have you guys back. You two are doing your part in making this the Best Wild Week Ever.
Thursday, November 24, 2005
| Any week that includes a Thanksgiving feast has a head start on becoming the Best Wild Week Ever. |
With all due respect to All Saints’ Day and Veterans Day, Thanksgiving once again ran away with the title of “Best Holiday In The Month Of November.”
While the rest of us were enjoying the wondrous creation that is a forkful of turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy and corn kernels in one bite, the Wild were upping their metabolism at practice on Thursday. It was not the day to load up on calories, as the St. Louis Blues were coming to town for a Friday matinee.
Friday, November 25, 2005
Wild fans blew off the fighting, the clutching and the grabbing on Friday, eschewing a black Friday shopping spree to watch some hockey. Those who braved the horrendous driving conditions on Friday witnessed a spirited win by the boys in the red third jerseys.
Kurtis “Bananaz” Foster bagged a pair of points with a goal and an assist. Pierre-Marc Bouchard was the hero, tallying the game-winner, and an insurance goal in the game’s final minutes.
And, Marian “Two Scoops” Gaborik doubled his pleasure again, picking up two points with a goal and an assist. Gabby has notched a pair of points in all five games he’s played this season, making fans wonder where the Wild would be had the Slovakian Sensation been healthy all season.
What’s done is done. Gaborik is back, and on pace for 130 points this season.
Saturday, November 26, 2005
With four days off before the next game, why not give the guys a Saturday off?
Sunday, November 27, 2005
The Wild capped off the Best Wild Week Ever with a heartwarming story coming out of the team practice at the Inver Grove Heights Ice Arena. A scheduling glitch had a mini-mite team on the ice when the Wild were also scheduled to practice.
What followed brings us to…
…Who had the Best Wild Week Ever?
The Rosemount Mini-Mite 2 Team is having the Best Wild Week Ever!
The Rosemount Mini-Mite 2 team. Rather than wait out the mini-mite practice, each Wild player and coach suited up and joined the seven and eight-year-olds on the ice for practice. After running through drills, the big guys and the little guys played a little shinny hockey to everyone’s delight.
Following practice, the Wild players signed autographs and posed for pictures with their biggest fans.
It was tough to discern who was having more fun. Wild forward Brian Rolston told the Star Tribune, “I hope they enjoyed it because I know it was fun for us.”
Emails from happy parents flooded the Wild offices on Monday, including this one from Rosemount Mite coach, Mike Burr:
From the players, parents and coaches of the Rosemount Amateur Hockey Association we would like to express our heartfelt gratitude to the coaches, players and staff of the Minnesota Wild for joining our Mini-Mite 2 players on the ice on Sunday, November 27. It was an incredible experience for the players, families and coaches, a once in a lifetime experience that they will remember for the rest of their lives!
Keep up the good work in your community involvement!
You got it Mike! And thanks to your team for being a part of the Best Wild Week Ever!