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Best Wild Week Ever

by Staff Writer / Minnesota Wild

 
 Mikko Koivu, an obvious BWWE candidate, did his part in helping our team to the Best Wild Week Ever.
I’ve heard the rumors and whispers about the column that appears in this space on most Monday’s. Some have said that no matter what happens during the week, I’ll still proclaim the recently completed week as, “The Best Wild Week Ever.” Some have gone so far as to claim that I’m oblivious to any type of Wild loss or bad news on the injury front. These same people contend I just slap the “Best Wild Week Ever” title on a word quota and call it a day.

My friends, I wish it were that easy.

There is actually a BWWE team that spends hours upon hours in a dank, windowless room, crunching numbers and evaluating scores of data and coding. Sometimes, we’ll put a large bowl of ramen noodles outside their door and knock twice. That’s the sign that they can take a five-minute food break. They were offered cots, but some workers got a little too comfortable and thought they were entitled to some shut eye before determining that a Best Wild Week Ever had been attained.

Well, this week, thanks to three wins and a slew of events, the BWWE team had it pretty darn easy. They were even given a half day on Sunday so they could work in a weekly shower. Plus, their workspace was overdue for a serious lemony fresh cleansing.

My job in all of this is to translate their data into something readable, and lacking of the aforementioned code. Now that you know how a Best Wild Week Ever is determined, I implore you to examine the data for yourself.

Monday, December 4, 2006

Monday has always had an inferiority complex with the other days. But you have to hand it to the week’s opening day, because it does what it can to brighten people’s moods, despite the stigma attached to it.

Case in point: Petteri Nummelin appeared at the Monday taping of Call of the Wild, which was held at JW’s Bierstube in Oakdale. Now, I don’t care if your favorite hockey team has lost four games in a row, you’re going to crack a smile when a little girl asks a pro hockey player if he likes bratwurst. That there makes for good television, and it’s the perfect way to welcome Nummy into the world of public appearances.

While the smallest Wild player was in Oakdale, the largest was in Savage. Derek Boogaard appeared at Buffalo Wild Wings for an autograph session. While Boogaard doesn’t average a ton of minutes on the ice, he averages about 8,000 visitors per appearance. People either really like this guy and the way he plays, or they don’t like a lot of other people and they’re trying to get him on their side.

Tuesday, December 5, 2005

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 The move. Wow!
We’re big believers in karma here at Best Wild Week Ever. If you do something good for someone else, you in turn will be rewarded. It’s the circle of life, and it’s our mantra.

So, only good things could be in store on Tuesday night when Wild fans generated some solid juju by showing up with non-perishable food items and hard earned cash to donate to Second Harvest Heartland Food Bank. As part of the Toyota Tundra Food Drive, more than 800 pounds of food and $1000 was raised.

Not only did the good will generate a win over the Chicago Blackhawks, but also it brought about the most spectacular shootout goal imaginable, courtesy of Pierre-Marc Bouchard.

First things first, Todd White and Brian Rolston had to score goals in regulation just to force overtime. Then, a shootout lasted six rounds before Bouchard looped to the right, cut in front of Nikolai Khabibulin, then quickly spun around as he was falling to tuck a backhand into a gaping net.

There were more gasps than there were cheers inside the Xcel Energy Center at the sight of the move. The shot highlighted highlight shows and even earned the top spot on ESPN’s Top Ten. Of course, it wouldn’t have mattered if it didn’t win the game, but thanks to Manny Fernandez, it did.

Wednesday, December 6, 2006

The donations supplied at Tuesday’s game only got us half way. We still needed to transport the items to the Second Harvest location in Maplewood. Feeling the holiday spirit, I volunteered my Toyota Corolla S Series, but it turns out, we were all good. Toyota allowed us use of four beautiful Toyota Tundra pick up trucks.

Shawn Belle, Brent Burns, Stephane Veilleux and Wes Walz offered to drive, and they also did the heavy lifting upon arrival (my quadriceps were barking). The four Wild players loaded the food into bins, and then posed for a few photos.

Everything flowed along smoothly until Brent Burns drove off in his own car, with the key to one of the Tundras in his pocket. Burns had already reached downtown St. Paul by the time he was called back to Maplewood by Brad Bombardir.

“I would be the guy to do that,” said a sheepish Burns upon his return.
 
Thursday, December 7, 2006

Like a tiny snowflake snowballing into an avalanche, the stellar week just gained momentum as the weekend drew near. The Calgary Flames came into town, setting up the first meeting of the season between the Northwest Division foes.

Mikko Koivu and Brian Rolston built a 2-0 lead, but those pesky Flames, along with chronic party pooper Jarome Iginla, fought back to even the score. As per usual, the Wild needed a shootout to decide this one, and it was the usual suspects providing the clutch plays.

Rolston scored with his patented howitzer, and Koivu went to the fail-safe backhand roof shot to the glove side of Miikka Kiprusoff. Fernandez turned aside each Calgary bid to seal the deal, and guarantee a winning record for the Best Wild Week Ever.

Look out below naysayers! This avalanche named BWWE is barreling right toward your melon!
 
Friday, December 8, 2006

The holiday shopping season is in full effect by December 8, and a handful of Wild players were able to wrap two gifts with one square of wrapping paper – make a public appearance and get some loot for the loved ones.

The Boogeyman appeared at the Grand Opening of the Hockey Lodge at the Mall of America. He signed autographs for an hour, and then I’m sure he bought up a few customized Wild Monopoly games and bought a GEAR sweatshirt so he was eligible to enter to win an iPod.

Meanwhile, Pascal Dupuis and Veilleux also knocked a few things off their family wish list, assuming someone in their respective families enjoys sporting goods. Veilleux and Dupuis took part in a “Wild in the Aisles” shopping competition at Dick’s Sporting Goods in Woodbury. It was an event similar in style to the Cub Foods Food Dash, which took place last week.

However, instead of racking up the largest bill possible, the goal was to gather enough merchandise totaling $1,000 without going over that number. Veilleux teamed with Steve Jaqua of Mankato, and Dupuis paired up with Dave Roth of Hugo.

Technically Team Dupuis won, but the event was called a draw because both teams came in under a dollar shy of a grand. Both Roth and Jaqua ended up with a $100 gift certificate to Dick’s. The big winner was Toys For Tots, which was given $2,000 worth of sporting goods from the Sporting Goods Empire.

It’s a good thing I didn’t compete, because I would have just bought a pair of tube socks in hopes that both teams would over bid.

Saturday, December 9, 2006

After five days, the Best Wild Week Ever was already in the bag. A win would be icing on the cake, but a hat trick by a local boy with the third goal coming in overtime would be a mint chocolate chip ice cream cake with extra crunchies in the middle.

The Wild took on the Blackhawks for the second time during the Best Wild Week Ever, and once again, the fans got some bang for the buck. Pavol Demitra returned to action and ignited a line with Koivu and Mark Parrish. The trio combined for all five Wild goals, and each picked up three points on the night.

Parrish stole the show when he joined the Wild Hat Trick club with a game-winner in overtime. The club includes Antti Laaksonen, Marian Gaborik, Marc Chouinard and Brian Rolston. I’m pretty sure they get a velvet robe and a pair of slippers upon entrance into the club.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Wild players are competitive by nature, and that goes for off days as well. One Wild player fed is inner tiger by entering a Ping Pong tournament in Bloomington. Out of 25 entrants, this man emerged as the champion, and he became the man…

…Who Had Best Wild Week Ever?

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 Stephane Veilleux didn’t get to keep all of this loot, but he did win a Ping Pong Tournament, and he had the Best Wild Week Ever.
Stephane Veilleux. The fiery winger is heading toward his best season as a professional, but until now, he had yet to achieve the Best Wild Week Ever. Veilleux didn’t need to mark in the scoring column; he just needed to make his presence felt. That’s exactly what he did in the community.

Veilleux drove one of the Tundra pick up trucks to drop off food at the Second Harvest Heartland Food Bank. Then, he tore through a Dick’s Sporting Goods store to help out Toys for Tots. He then capped off the week with a victory at a LifeTime Fitness Ping Pong tournament.

Not only all that, but the BWWE team found out that red hair is the new brunette. There you have it Steph! You just had the Best Wild Week Ever!
 

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