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Best Wild Week Ever

by Staff Writer / Minnesota Wild

 
 Wild players celebrate a perfect 3-0-0 record during the Best Wild Week Ever.
Life as Minnesota Wild player ain’t too shabby these days. You’re winning road games like nobody’s business. You’re kicking back by the pool at the Ritz in Phoenix, Arizona. You’re enjoying a meal on the tab of several team rookies. You’re beginning to sniff the pungent aroma of a possible playoff berth. And, even though the terms of your contracts are not disclosed as per club policy, it’s safe to say you’re making the long green.

Yep, life is pretty good if you’re a Wild player.

If you’re a Wild fan, well life is downright blissful. We’re watching games that mean something every night. We’re watching our team score late, clutch goals to dispatch of other teams trying to claw back into the Western Conference playoff race. We’re stuck on the side of the freeway with a dead battery and smiling from ear to ear. We’re smack dab in the middle of some character-building weather.

Yes, Wild players are enjoying life right now, but as you’ll see at the bottom of this page, it’s a Wild fan that is having the Best Wild Week Ever.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Getting a head start on enjoying the Best Wild Week Ever was Minneapolis Star Tribune Wild beat writer, Mike Russo. Russo was awarded his own special section on StarTribune.com for a daily blog that chronicles his two passions in life: hockey and references to his days covering the Florida Panthers. He also uses it to break daily news updates, which we believe is his attempt to phase out the relevance of Wild.com.

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 Mike Russo now has a blog at his disposal. The hockey world will never be the same.
We’re not sure if Mr. Russo has ever slept between the months of September and June, but if he has, you can read all about it in his daily musings by clicking here (but only after finishing this column).

Proceed cautiously.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

The first game action of the week brought the first meeting of the season with the St. Louis Blues, an upstart team looking to catch the Wild in the playoff chase.

The Blues will have to keep looking, because Pierre-Marc Bouchard and former Blue Pavol Demitra would have none of their feistiness on this cold Missouri night. Both players scored twice to spearhead a 5-2 win and put 10 points between the two teams in the standings.

With the contest deadlocked at 1-1 midway through the third, Bouchard roofed a shot from in tight before getting bowled over by Keith Tkachuk. Demitra then rocketed a shot past Manny Legace on the power play. St. Louis crept within one with less than two minutes to play, but Demitra and Pascal Dupuis each scored in the final minute to put this one away.

The only dark cloud on this day was Manny Fernandez aggravating his knee injury, which kept him out of a game last week and could sideline him for another couple weeks. With Manny on the shelf for the rest of the week, it could be up to Niklas Backstrom to preserve the Best Wild Week Ever.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Mark Parrish scored a point for Minnesotans on Wednesday when he was named the first native team captain since Darby Hendrickson in the team’s first season. Parrish followed October, November and January captain, Brian Rolston, and December captain, Keith Carney, which means that an American has been wearing the “C” for every game this season.

“Good leaders,” joked Parrish to the Star Tribune.

Calgary, Alberta, Canada-native Wes Walz chimed in with, “Maybe I should get my green card.”

Thursday, February 1, 2007

Typically, the Wild does not enjoy visits to Denver to play in Alternative Cola Arena, probably because they don’t serve Coca-Cola. But the lack of the team’s favorite soft drink did nothing to hinder the team in another impressive road win against another playoff contender.

Marian Gaborik and Mikko Koivu each scored twice, and Bouchard bagged another by whacking one clean out of mid-air at the side of the net. Backstrom came up with 12 big saves in the third period to earn a 5-3 win; the Wild’s sixth road win in the last seven.
 
Friday, February 2, 2007

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 Best Wild Week Ever accountant Mitch carries Sebastien Bordeleau outside. Yes, we require all BWWE staff members to wear top hats. It’s all about dressing for the position you want, not the position you have. Remember that.
Perhaps you didn’t know this, but the BWWE staff owns a furry little naughty pet groundhog that we only see once a year. We’ve named him Sebastien Bordeleau, and he emerges from an air duct in the basement of the Wild corporate offices once a year on Groundhog’s day.

While Punxatawney Phil is routinely scared of his own shadow, Sebastien Bordeleau is scared of nothing. Plus, his prognostications are much more accurate.

If he shimmys up on a BWWE staff member’s desk and breaks a pencil in half, we can expect another six weeks of Wild hockey following the regular season. The last time he did this was in February of 2003, but he showed his muscle once again on Friday.

He ambled up on the desk of Mitch, our accountant, and snapped one of those mechanical pencils with re-loadable lead clean in half. Mitch was understandably distraught over the loss of his $1.49 number two, but he was rather excited about six more Best Wild Weeks Ever (at least until we told him that those weeks were never budgeted for).
 
Saturday, February 3, 2007

Yet another team on the outside looking in wanted a crack at the Wild on Saturday. This time, it was the Phoenix Coyotes who were lurking 10 points behind Minnesota in the West.

The night belonged to Backstrom, who stopped 29 shots to preserve a 1-0 shutout win, and an undefeated Best Wild Week Ever. A second period goal from Gaborik was all that was needed to ensure victory.

Thanks to Backstrom, the Wild fans in attendance never had to listen to that obnoxious howling dog after every Phoenix goal.

Sunday, February 4, 2007

A day off in Arizona spent watching football and eating a free meal on the rookies is not a bad way to close out the Best Wild Week Ever. The only guys that probably didn’t enjoy it were the rookies (Josh Harding, Shawn Belle and of course, Backstrom), who were saddled with the dinner bill.

And just think, Niklas was well on his way to enjoying his second-ever Best Wild Week Ever. Then, the server dropped the tab in front of him and he immediately dropped down to second behind the person…

…Who Had The Best Wild Week Ever?

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 How about that symbolism? Dave DeCambeliza sports his Parrish captain sweater in subzero temperatures with the American flag blowing in the wind. America: home of the brave and Wild captains.
Dave DeCambeliza. You may be asking yourself, who is Dave DeCambeliza besides the owner of an obviously radical hockey name? Well, here’s what we know about Dave: On New Year’s Eve, he purchased a Mark Parrish Number 21 sweater, and he had it special ordered with the captain’s “C” on the chest in hopes that the Bloomington native would be named captain some day.

DeCambeliza attended one of Parrish’s player appearances last week in Rogers, and showed Parrish his prized jersey/prediction. Parrish saw the “C” and said, “That’s a first. I like the sound of that!” He then autographed the sweater.

On Wednesday, DeCambeliza’s premonition rang true when Parrish was named captain. We are now encouraging him to buy a strip of tickets for the Wild postseason.

Congratulations Dave! You beat out a long list of contenders to earn the distinction of having The Best Wild Week Ever.

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