Oh well, pour me a glass of Coca-Cola and I’ll get over it. After all, it’s been a great year, and we can’t let your insensitivity ruin the night. We started this thing last October with a little rinky-dink column to recap the week that was everything Wild on, and off the ice. It’s still a rinky-dink column, but that first one didn’t have pictures. This one does.
What better way to celebrate the one-year anniversary of the column than with two home victories, a Hockey Unplugged, Call of the Wild, and much more?
So re-light those candles on the dinner table, I’ll go rent Bridget Jones’s Diary, and in the meantime, you can recap October 23 through October 29, which was the Best Wild Week Ever.
Monday, October 23, 2006
Coming off last week, which was the Best Wild Week Ever, the Wild needed to start off this week with some good, if not great news. Lo and behold, that’s exactly what they got on Monday when the results of Marian Gaborik’s magnetic resonance image (some people term it an MRI for short) came back on his injured groin. The findings showed a mild strain, but it was located in the muscle and won’t sideline the sniper for as long as originally feared. While Gaborik won’t get much pub this week, or possibly next
| Undaunted by a haunted set, Kurtis Foster delivered a stellar performance on the latest Call of the Wild. |
week, he should be back on the ice in a matter of 14 days or so.
The day just got progressively awesome from there. Kurtis Foster was the guest for the latest taping of “Call of the Wild,” and the big defenseman brought the house down, literally. The entire set came crashing down during the taping, but thanks to amazing editing technology that TV folks have nowadays, you can watch the entire episode and be none-the-wiser. That is of course, only if you forget to read Best Wild Week Ever.
Of course, what would happen if Mark Parrish failed to make a public appearance in a week? My guess is Armageddon. Fortunately, we’re safe for at least another seven days. Parrish appeared on behalf of Coca-Cola at the Wal-Mart in Vadnais Heights.
Tuesday, October 24, 2006
A third day in a row without a Wild game came and went, but luckily Wild fans had an outlet for their hockey fix. They showed up in droves to Champp’s in Eden Prairie, for the latest edition of Wild Hockey Unplugged.
The French connection of Pierre-Marc Bouchard and Stephane Veilleux was the featured guest tandem of the evening. Kevin Falness, the host for the event, was up to his usual shenanigans and revelry. But Butch and Steph aren’t there to take a verbal beating. They are happy to give it right back.
The quote of the night came from Bouchard, when a fan asked what the players do in the locker room when Jacques Lemaire “blows a gasket.” Bouchard responded by saying, “We stay quiet. We don’t say too much. We don’t want to move. We don’t want to talk. We just breathe and listen.”
That’s some valuable advice to you youngsters out there. Be quiet. Listen. And, remember to breathe. You can’t get in trouble for that.
Wednesday, October 25, 2006
It was finally game day on Wednesday, and the Wild hosted a game at the Xcel Energy Center for the first time in 10 days. The Los Angeles Kings were the opponent, and after 60 minutes, the victim. The line of Brian Rolston, Todd White and Bouchard could not be stopped.
Rolston scored the first two goals of the game with Whitey and Butch assisting on both. White then scored the third goal of the game, set up by yet another assist from Pierre-Marc. White could have added to the 3-0 lead in the second period on a penalty shot, but he missed wide.
The Kings finally scored midway through the third period, but the rest, as they say, was academic. Minnesota won its sixth home game of the season, and took a major step toward solidifying this week as the Best Wild Week Ever.
Thursday, October 26, 2006
| Ian Andersen shakes off the 20 goals he just surrendered during a practice drill. |
There’s not a bad apple in the Wild bunch, but when a team is 8-1-0, the mood around the locker room is downright cheerful. Players are joking around with one another. Guys go out of their way to say “hello” and make conversation. They even throw 20 dollar bills at anybody who so much as smiles at them.
Okay, that last part wasn’t true, but if it wasn’t for the salary cap, they probably would.
Pascal Dupuis took part in a full practice to take one step closer to making an impressive comeback from a knee injury. Manny Fernandez was given the day off to rest, and that meant that emergency goaltender/Wild video coordinator Ian Andersen was summoned to tend goal for practice.
Following practice, Lemaire was asked about Andersen’s performance.
Not to worry Ian, because you’re still featured on the front page of NHL.com. Click here to read the story.
“I’m glad we signed Manny to a long-term deal,” he said.
Friday, October 27, 2006
Thursday’s jovial attitude metamorphosed into an intense, “don’t tread on me” attitude by Friday. The Anaheim Ducks, the only team to have defeated the Wild this season, was coming for a visit. The contest featured two of the top Western Conference teams, and is not often the case; it lived up to the hype.
Derek Boogaard basically established himself as the most feared person in Disneyland since the bad guy in “Who Framed Roger Rabbit.” The Boogeyman manhandled Shane O’Brien and Todd Fedoruk. Surrounding the Boogey beatdowns was a fantastic hockey game. Nick Schultz and Brian Rolston scored goals to give Minnesota a 2-1 lead after two periods. But Anaheim’s Chris Kunitz forced overtime, and eventually, a shootout with an equalizer at the 3:53 mark.
Mikko Koivu and Manny Fernandez in shootouts have moved right behind death and taxes in the rankings for life’s certainties. Fernandez doesn’t miss in shootouts, and Koivu doesn’t NOT miss.
Koivu scored the only goal of the shootout with the unstoppable forehand-to-backhand flip move. Fernandez doesn’t have a “move.” He just keeps the puck out of the net better than anybody. He denied all three Duck shots to improve his shootout record to 7-2, and 3-0 this year.
Anyone strolling out of the Xcel Energy Center following Friday’s game was ready to lay claim to the Best Wild Week Ever, but we still had two days to go!
Saturday, October 28, 2006
On Saturday, the Wild traveled to Denver, Colorado, or as I like to call it, “The Mile High City.” Immediately following touchdown, the team bused to the Colorado Avalanche practice facility, where it was met by its newest member, Jason Morgan. Morgan was called up from the Houston Aeros to replace Wes Walz, who stayed back in Minnesota with a leg injury.
Sunday, October 29, 2006
Generally, we like to end the Best Wild Week Ever on a positive note. It’s just how we do. But, for the sake of filling a word quota, let’s quickly recap the stinker in the mountains. Milan Hejduk scored two goals. Ian Laperriere notched his 100th career goal. Former St. Cloud State Husky Tyler Arnason scored. Do you see a trend here?
Fernandez did play an outstanding game, and that was the difference needed to push this week over the top as the Best Wild Week Ever. There’s your positive note, and now, the only agenda item left is finding out…
…Who Had Best Wild Week Ever?
Wives of Wild players.
| Jessica Schultz is just one of the Wild Wives having the Best Wild Week Ever. |
On Tuesday, wives and girlfriends of Minnesota Wild players and management took part in the “Wives of the Wild” Reading Tour. One of 10 lovely ladies appeared at local elementary schools to read two books from Mary Shaw’s “Brady Brady” collection.
Good deeds like that go a long way towards establishing some good karma, but it doesn’t end there for the Wild betrothed. It was announced on Friday that four Wild wives – Jen Rolston, Jessica Schultz, Nicholle Parrish and Sarah White – will take part in a Celebrity Bake Sale next Sunday to benefit Toys for Tots. That means treats like Mark Parrish’s Pumpkin Cookies, Todd White’s Brownie Bites, Brian Rolston’s banana pudding and Nick Schultz’ ginger cookies are going to be available at a live auction.
If BWWE has a vice, it’s sweets. So how can we not reward these fine women?
To top it all off, these women are married to members of a professional hockey team that is 9-2-0 and in first place in the Northwest Division. That can only mean a happy home.
Congratulations Wild Wives! You’re having the Best Wild Week Ever.
Click here to view past Best Wild Weeks Ever.