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Best Wild Week Ever

by Staff Writer / Minnesota Wild

 Mattias Weinhandl celebrates his goal, which was the first scored during the Best Wild Week Ever.
This past weekend, I blew my nose so often; I had to go through an entire canister of Vaseline just to relieve the chafage on the bottom of my nostrils. My head felt like it was hosting a brawl between miniature versions of Derek Boogaard and Georges Laraque. My throat felt like Kim Johnsson just sent a clearing attempt right into it.

Wait, Kurtis Foster’s throat felt like that.

Anyway, the point is this. My shoddy immune system can put me on bed rest, but it won’t keep me from preaching the gospel of the Best Wild Week Ever.

I realize I’ll have my work cut out for me to sell you folks on the fact that November 27 through December 3 was the Best Wild Week Ever. Not only do I sound all “nasally”, but also the Wild picked up just one point and had more guys on the injury report than it did goals in the net.

Still, I don’t have to talk. I just have to write about how there were three days that included Wild losses, and four that did not. Plus, despite some recent struggles, we’re tied for first place in the division, and we’re about to see some reinforcements on the ice real soon (I hope). Focus on the positives here folks, and while you do that, I’m going to guzzle a few cans of chicken noodle soup.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Many so-called experts will tell you that the key to rehabilitating a nasty injury is to rest and/or stretch it, and slowly work your way back to top form. Sooner, rather than later, you should be ready to terrorize opposing goaltenders again.

Not so.

Marian Gaborik knows that the key to getting back into the lineup is to re-enter the public consciousness. That’s exactly what he did on Monday during a Coke Appearance at a Holiday Station Store in St. Paul. Gaborik signed autographs from 5:00 to 6:00 PM, but he was in a hurry to leave because he wanted to get to Buffalo Wild Wings in Apple Valley by 7:00 so he could get Kurtis Foster’s autograph. I hear he also likes Mango Habanero wings.

 Todd White and Christine Ganske raised over $2,000 for Second Harvest Heartland. But they also cost Cub Foods about $500 in spilled candy.
Also on Monday, Nick Schultz and Todd White went cart-a-cart with KARE 11’s Eric Perkins at the Cub Foods Food Dash to benefit Second Harvest Heartland Food Bank. Schultz is a five-time veteran of this event, having waged epic battles with Dwayne Roloson and Alex Henry in previous races.

Perhaps brimming with overconfidence, Schultz took it on the chin when rookie racer White and his partner, Christine Ganske, racked up a bill of $2,673.84. Schultz attributed White’s success to his role as the gatherer in a family of three females. I attribute it to White’s preparation, because he and Ganske were scouting the aisles for 30 minutes prior to the contest beginning.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Sure enough, Gaborik’s player appearance did his body good. On Tuesday, he took part in his first full practice since his injury on October 20.

He probably wished he could have made another public appearance on Tuesday. Alas, it was Schultz and Boogaard’s turn to bring down the house at the latest Hockey Unplugged.

The Saskatchewan natives and Minneapolis residents joined host Kevin Falness at Champp’s Americana in downtown Minneapolis. Whenever Boogaard is involved, a lot of the fan questions naturally shift towards fighting. But it was Schultz who recounted his glory days of pugilist exploits.

“I’m two and oh in my career,” he joked when asked about a tussle he had with Tony Amonte last season.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

The Wild hosted the San Jose Sharks in a nationally televised contest at the Xcel Energy Center. Things looked swell early when Mattias Weinhandl blasted a shot right through Evgeni Nabokov right off the bat. From there, it was tough swimming against the positionally sound Sharks.

Manny Fernandez was spectacular, but the lack of offensive help led to Minnesota’s demise in a 2-1 defeat. A deflection off Steve Bernier’s skate in the second period was the difference.

Let’s hope an unlucky bounce like that won’t put a damper on the week, because at least the Wild didn’t score but not have it allowed because the replay booth dude was asleep on the job. That would really stink.
Thursday, November 30, 2006

Kurtis Foster made consecutive public appearances on Monday and Tuesday, and look what happened on the first night of the week when he didn’t sign any autographs. He took a puck right in the jugular while sitting on the bench. I have a feeling that anytime Community Liaison Brad Bombardir is looking for volunteers for player appearances; Foster’s hand will instantly shoot up.

Foster was out for Thursday’s practice, and he’ll likely have to rest up for awhile. So, on Thursday, the Wild called up top defensive prospect, Shawn Belle.
Friday, December 1, 2006

The Wild hosted the Detroit Red Wings and lost 3-0. Let’s move on.

Saturday, December 2, 2006

We try to stay positive here at BWWE, and even when the chips are down, we can usually muster a fake smile and a nod. Perhaps, one day, our pent up anger will spill out at the worst possible time. While I hope that doesn’t happen, I’m pretty certain that if it does, an NHL replay official will be feeling the brunt of the wrath.

A Mark Parrish goal that wasn’t a goal was never reviewed during Saturday’s game in Dallas. Had it been looked at, officials would have seen Parrish’s shot from the slot cross the goal line before Marty Turco kicked the puck out.

Though it probably wasn’t his fault, I’m going to blame referee Mick McGeough, who was calling the game that night. Sometimes, an outlet is needed for anger, and I always have found that bemoaning McGeough makes me feel better. He could be officiating a game between Anaheim and Columbus, and I still enjoy pinning a Wild loss on him.

The Wild players stopped short of blaming McGeough, but they certainly weren’t pleased. Parrish’s shot would have given Minnesota a 4-2 third period lead. Instead, Dallas tied the game at 3-3, and went on to win in a shootout.

 We know this much: Brad Johnson did not have the Best Wild Week Ever.
The Wild mustered a point in the week, and you know what? That was enough to put them in a tie for first in the Northwest Division.

Sunday, December 3, 2006

The Wild had Sunday off to relax after playing three tough opponents in four nights. Hopefully they didn’t watch the Minnesota Vikings lay an egg in Chicago, because if there’s one thing a team struggling to score doesn’t need, it’s prolonged exposure to the Vikings offense.

But this isn’t about the Vikings. It’s about…

…Who Had Best Wild Week Ever?

 Robb Kline of Second Harvest Heartland would like to accept the Best Wild Week Ever.
Second Harvest Heartland Food Bank. With the holiday season upon us, we sometimes get so wrapped up in our Christmas lists, we forget about those less fortunate. Fortunately, there’s an organization like Second Harvest, which remembers those less fortunate and aims to end hunger through community partnerships.

The partnership with the Minnesota Wild paid dividends last week during the Food Dash. Combined, Schultz, White and Perkins raised $6,907.12 for the Food Bank, and there’s more to come.

It was announced on Friday that the Wild and Toyota will be collecting cash and food items at the Wild’s home game against the Chicago Blackhawks on December 5.

When fans place a non-perishable or two in the flatbed of a Toyota Tundra, we know they’ll have some warm fuzzies, which are all over the place here at BWWE.

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