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Best Wild Week Ever

by Staff Writer / Minnesota Wild

 My opponent.
My opponent would have you believe that last week was not the Best Wild Week Ever. He’s been quoted as saying that, “The Minnesota Wild can’t stay healthy,” and “The Wild lost on Saturday. That’s not good.” He also wants to eliminate schools, and apply a ban on apple pie and cheeseburgers.

My opponent ignores events like a Season Ticket Holder Halloween Party and a slew of player appearances. When confronted with the fact that the Wild won its 10th game of the year on Thursday night, my opponent waffled on whether or not he predicted a Vancouver Canuck win. He repeatedly ignores the fact that the Wild is 10-3-0, and in first place in the Northwest Division.

In my term as President of Best Wild Week Ever, I’ve stayed positive through good times and bad. My record speaks for itself. I believe in teamwork, Jacques Lemaire, and that last week was the Best Wild Week Ever. Please read below for evidence, and on November 7, vote Yes for October 30 through November 5 as the Best Wild Week Ever. After reading, you, like me, will approve this message.

Monday, October 30, 2006

No, the Wild wasn’t kicked out of the Xcel Energy Center on Monday because of a poor showing in Colorado the night before. They were kicked out because Dutch violinist and conductor Andre Rieu, the “Modern King Of Waltz” was rocking the house.

No worries. With another game not scheduled until Thursday, most of the team had the day off to design costumes for Monday’s team Halloween party. Apparently, some were better than others.

Keith Carney and his wife, Amy, drew rave reviews for their portrayal of Kevin Federline and Britney Spears. Nick Schultz and his wife, Jessica, went old school with the Joe DiMaggio/Marilyn Monroe combo. Derek Boogaard put on a Team Slovakia helmet with a visor and went as Marian Gaborik.

“I forgot to wrap my groin,” The Boogeyman told Mike Russo of the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Before we touch on Tuesday, I’m using this space to announce that from now on, I will be checking ids for

 A claw, a goalie mask and a skate. Now these are some creative costumes, and these kids actually qualify to Trick or Treat.
all Trick-or-Treaters heretofore. Is this something we can vote on this Tuesday? When “kids” are driving themselves to houses and their voices are lower than James Earl Jones’, it’s time for some new rules and regulations.

On to better news: the arrival of Halloween marks the first day of Gorging Season, which features Thanksgiving feasts, Holiday parties, Christmas dinners, Hanukkah dinners and New Year’s extravaganzas. Some people lament the imminent weight gain of Gorging Season. I say bring it on. Records were made to be broken, and I intend to do everything in my power to best my previous Gorging Season poundage gain of 25 lbs.

My feelings were shared by a large number of cherubs that came to the Xcel Energy Center on Tuesday night for a Season Ticket Holder Halloween Party. In addition to skating, partygoers could paint a pumpkin, or wrap Sales and Service representative Josh Simonson in toilet paper like a mummy. It’s a good thing, because I have it on good authority that Josh has a perspiration problem.

Wednesday, November 1, 2006

On Wednesday, the Wild announced that October captain Brian Rolston would retain his title for at least another month. The Wild was 9-2-0 in Rolston’s first month as captain, and to fiddle around with good juju like that would be buffoonery. There is not a buffoon in the Wild’s coaching bunch.

It appears the team has eschewed the traditional on-ice presentation of the “C” followed by a ceremonial lap around the ice. Wednesday’s ceremony was held inside the locker room, and was kept private.

Later that day, Nick Schultz was the featured guest for “Call of the Wild,” which was taped at Billy’s on Grand in St. Paul. During the fan Q & A session, Schultz was asked whom he would put on his “All-Time Team” (dead or alive). Now that is a good question.

Also on Wednesday, Finnish icons Mikko Koivu and Petteri Nummelin were in Minnesota’s eighth largest city, Eagan, for the latest Hockey Unplugged at Joe Senser’s. Legend has it that if you haven’t scored a goal yet this season, and you appear at Hockey Unplugged, you’ll score a goal by the end of the week. We’ll see later how that turns out for Mr. Nummelin.
Thursday, November 2, 2006

 We almost forgot. Thursday was also the day that "Hockey Day Minnesota" was announced. On January 20, FSN North will broadcast 11 hours of hockey coverage, including an outdoor game between St. Paul Johnson and Lake of the Woods. Click here for more details.
The Vancouver Canucks came-a-calling on Thursday. While always nice to see the Nucks again, many have come to a realization this year. The Canucks are no longer the mosquito bite on the middle of your back that you just can’t reach. Jarkko Ruutu is no longer running our best player and then hightailing it away from anyone that confronts him. Ed Jovanovski is no longer scoring goals for the Canucks, and then celebrating by “paddling the canoe.” Marc Crawford is still screaming, but he’s doing it with a different team. And Todd Bertuzzi is laid up with a bad back in Florida.

Only Matt Cooke, who has been a shadow of his former irritating self this season, remains. Perhaps Vancouver is just another team that the Wild must focus on beating, which it did on Thursday.

The Canucks jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the opening period, but a late Todd White goal at the end of the first helped turn the momentum. In the second period, Niklas Backstrom made his second appearance of the season, and he shut the door the rest of the way. Brian Rolston tied things up with a flabbergasting slapper on a penalty shot, and it was all Minnesota from there. Nick Schultz, Pascal Dupuis and Branko Radivojevic scored third period goals, and we’re in double digits folks!

That’s 10 wins, 20 points, and four great days in the Best Wild Week Ever.
Friday, November 3, 2006

Wes Walz returned to the ice for his first full practice after sitting out the two three games with a leg injury. Derek Boogaard also practiced, despite being hampered by one of those ever-annoying lower body injuries.

Other than that, there’s not much to discuss regarding this chilly day. Let’s move onto the weekend.

Saturday, November 4, 2006

It’s tough to not respect the Nashville Predators. They’ve got a great coach who has been there since the team’s inception. The roster is filled with talented, likeable players. And, whenever they come to the Xcel Energy Center, they seem to bring out the best in the Wild, which provides for an entertaining game.

Much like the second game of the year, which Minnesota won, 6-5, the two teams kept trading goals. Petteri Nummelin scored his first NHL goal since April 1, 2001 to start the scoring, proving the Hockey Unplugged legend to be true. Now, we just have to get Jason Morgan to one of these things.

Pavol Demitra and Mark Parrish both scored tying goals in the second period. But Shea Weber’s goal early in the third period, and Tomas Vokoun’s goaltending halted the Wild’s perfect streak at home.

The loss overshadowed some brilliant performances by Mikko Koivu and Pavol Demitra, who may be linemates until the return of Marian Gaborik.

Sunday, November 5, 2006

The day before leaving for two weeks, Wild players wanted to make sure they said goodbye to everybody. Parrish and Manny Fernandez made Coca-Cola appearances in Minneapolis and Maplewood, respectively. Boogaard appeared at Festival Foods in Brooklyn Park on behalf Edy’s Ice Cream. And, to close out the week, Schultz appeared on Rosen’s Sports Sunday, which showed a feature of a Ping-Pong match between Stephane Veilleux (in his All England Club garb) and Pierre-Marc Bouchard.

“Butch” throttled his buddy, but it wasn’t enough to surpass the glory of…

…Who Had Best Wild Week Ever?

 There’s really not much to discuss. Nick Schultz (right) had the Best Wild Week Ever.
Nick Schultz. It’s been a good year for Nick Schultz, but it’s been an even better week. He started off the week by dressing as the Yankee clipper, and things just progressed from there for the longest-tenured Wild defenseman. On Wednesday, he appeared on Call of the Wild. On Thursday, he scored the game-winning goal for his second tally of the season. He had never scored one goal before November 29 prior to this season. And, on Sunday, Nick thankfully gave us a respite from Vikings talk by appearing on Rosen’s Sports Sunday. I mean really, how long do we need to break down a loss in which all the scoring came on field goals.

On behalf of hockey fans in this state, we thank you, and we salute you. You had the Best Wild Week Ever.

To view past Best Wild Weeks, click here.

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