I’m a little pickier than Mariah. All I wanted for Christmas was the Best Wild Week Ever. That meant that Santa Baby needed to bring a Children’s Hospital visit, a huge donation to the Toys for Tots toy campaign and maybe a couple of Wild wins for good measure.
Apparently, I’ve been a good boy all season long, despite the fact that there was not a Best Wild Week Ever last week. Santa will sometimes overlook such transgressions if he’s feeling especially jolly.
I’m feeling especially jolly as well, and maybe it’s because my wishes all came true. So, for the first time in BWWE history, I’ll be offering a prize to the faithful readers of this column. See Tuesday, December 19 for more details, but don’t forget about Monday. After all, it takes eight days to account for the latest Best Wild Week Ever.
Monday, December 18, 2006
On Monday, Pierre-Marc Bouchard, Brent Burns and Kurtis Foster joined Wild broadcasters Brad Bombardir, Mike Greenlay, Tom Reid and Dan Terhaar for Children’s Hospital Visits. Bouchard, Burns,
Greenlay and Terhaar visited Children’s Hospitals and Clinics in St. Paul, stopping to visit kids and families in the Wild Teen Room. As usual, a Bubble Hockey game
broke out, and once again, a Wild player was dealt a handsome defeat. Bouchard was the victim on this day, getting pummeled by the tandem at left.
Following the Teen Room visit, the players spread out to visit patients who didn’t make it outside of their rooms.
Foster, Reid and Bombardir at Gillette Children’s Specialty Health Care followed the same formula. The group came away wowed by the courageous stories of the patients, including one young man named Skeet, who dove in front of his girlfriend to shield her from a bullet from a drive-by shooting. He was just one of the truly remarkable youngsters that graced the path of the players.
Hopefully, the visits brightened the day of the patients, but it was obvious that it bolstered the days of the players and celebrities making the visits. That certainly puts Bouchard, Burns and Foster as frontrunners for the Best Wild Week Ever.
Tuesday, December 19, 2005
The Week of Giving and good will kept right on rolling during Tuesday night’s Wild match up with the Vancouver Canucks. (Who would have thought that “good will” could ever appear in the same sentence with the “Vancouver Canucks?”).
Volunteers from the United States Marines collected toys and money for the Toys for Tots campaign, sponsored by Comcast and MSE Community Giving. The campaign was a rousing success, generating more that $2,000 and over 1,600 toys.
| These were only the best toys ever made, except for the fact that they were choking hazards. |
The only downside? I looked through every barrel, and I did not find one Battle Beast by Hasbro™.
Does anyone remember Battle Beasts? They were easily my favorite toys in the late eighties, but very few people that I’m now friends with ever want to play Battle Beasts, and many don’t even know what they are!
So here’s my challenge to anyone reading this column. If you can email a photo of you holding a Battle Beast by Hasbro™, I will send you a Wild Team Yearbook. No photoshopping, and no photos where the toy is barely discernable. Those are the rules. The first photo collected will be the winner, and will be showcased during next week’s BWWE.
By the way, all this talk about Battle Beasts nearly caused me to forget the Wild’s 5-2 pummeling of the aforementioned Canucks. Branko Radivojevic scored twice. Pavol Demitra, Brian Rolston and Mark Parrish each scored once, and Manny Fernandez held the fort with 20 saves, all in the name of the Best Wild Week Ever.
Wednesday, December 20, 2006
Jacques Lemaire livened things up at practice on Wednesday at the Xcel Energy Center, holding a three-on-three team tournament. Kim Johnsson, Pavol Demitra and Wyatt Smith were crowned the champions, although Johnsson’s game-winner came at the last second and was heavily disputed by Mikko Koivu, who can’t seem to capture that coveted gold medal (i.e. 2004 World Cup and 2006 Winter Olympics).
“That’s what Swedes always get – luck,” Koivu told the Star Tribune.
Above the rink level, the entire MSE staff gathered in the main concourse for the employee holiday party…Casino Night! Only play money was involved, but several raffle prizes were up for grabs, including Justin Timberlake tickets. I’m sure whoever won those duckets is having the Best Wild Week of his or her life.
Thursday, December 21, 2006
The Wild traveled to Detroit on Thursday for the start of Red Wings week. Over the next six days, the Wild would face the Wings three times over the next six days. Remember, you can’t say Merry Christmas and Have A Great Best Wild Week Ever without R-E-D-W-I-N-G and S.
Friday, December 22, 2006
The Wild faced the Red Wings on Friday, and things were looking good, especially after Stephane Veilleux bounced one in during the first period to tie the game at 1-1. But a couple of Wing goals in the second period and Dominik Hasek, ever the party-pooper, put a damper on what was quickly becoming the Best Wild Week Ever. Hasek stopped 34 shots in a 3-1 win for Detroit.
Saturday, December 23, 2006
| Scoring an overtime game-winner is not a bad way to make up for a mistake. |
The Best Wild Week Ever is all about quickly rebounding. For example, after losing one on the road to the Red Wings one night, you want to bounce back and pick up a win the next night against that very same team. Check. When you give up a late goal in the third period to go down 2-1, you want to bounce back with a Mark Parrish goal 16 seconds later. Check. If your name is Pierre-Marc
and you turn the puck over and it leads to the go-ahead goal for the opposition, you want to rebound by scoring the game-winner in overtime. Check.
Before you know it, you’ve quickly bounced back to have the Best Wild Week Ever faster than Bouchard can flip a backhand past Chris Osgood.
Sunday, December 24, 2006 and Monday, December 25, 2006
Here at BWWE, we normally stop at Sunday, but considering the fact that it’s the Holidays, and really nothing happened hockey-wise, we’ll give you two glorious holidays for the price of one BWWE.
We hope you had a fantastic, safe and thankful holiday season, and that you and your loved ones received all of their holiday wishes. Hopefully, your celebrations were enough for you to join in the joyousness with the person…
…Who Had The Best Wild Week Ever?
| You kids are having the Best Wild Week Ever, and that deserves a comforting hug. |
It may have been the kids in local hospitals who had the chance to meet their favorite hockey players. It could have been a kid that received a toy thanks to the generosity of a thoughtful Wild fan that attended Tuesday’s game. Or, it could possibly have been a kid that scored the game-winner against Detroit on Saturday. Let’s just say that kids had the Best Wild Week Ever.
The holiday season is all about children around the world, so BWWE would like to wish all of the kids and their parents a Happy Holiday and a spectacular 2007! You may not have opened a package that had Battle Beasts in it, but you still had the Best Wild Week Ever!