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Best Wild Week Ever

by Staff Writer / Minnesota Wild

 Brian Rolston celebrated his second consecutive 30-goal season during the Best Wild Week Ever.
Ms. Noblitt, my Kindergarten teacher at Congdon Park Elementary School in Duluth, Minnesota (we were the Cougars and we wore blue and white), always told me that there is no such thing as a stupid question. She changed her mind after I asked if she ever thought about retiring before the end of the school year.

I don’t think I need to be as harsh when dealing with the State of Hockey legion. We’ve learned there are many stupid questions, especially after watching all three seasons of Newlyweds on DVD. But here’s one for the top of the list: Was March 19 through March 25 the Best Wild Week Ever?

Come on people! The season finale of Hockey Unplugged? Josh Harding and Derek Boogaard signing autographs at a Swarm game? Three…count ‘em…THREE wins, and a nine-game winning streak? (In my the most annoying voice possible) Hel-looooooo!

Let’s get with the program here people, and buck up Gopher fans! You can’t expect to have the Best Wild Week Ever every single week. It’s the Wild’s turn now, and clinching a playoff spot is but a formality at this point. We hate to pump our own tires in this area, but we have to feel the run of success is due in no small part to the positive energy supplied by the Best Wild Week Ever.

Monday, March 19, 2007

A new Hockey Unplugged record was established on Monday night at the final showcase of the season. Keith Carney and Wes Walz were the featured guests, setting the record for combined offspring for Unplugged participants. Between the two of them, Carney and Walz have eight kids, meaning that the Woodbury Hockey Association is licking its chops if these two can be persuaded to live there for at least the next 18 years.

It’s no wonder Walz and Carney were seen sneaking out more than a few doggie bags filled with waffle fries and seasoned sour cream. These guys have some mouths to feed.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

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 Wayne, you''ve picked up some great awards in your day, but you have some work to do to earn Best Wild Week Ever accolades.
Ho hum. Another Tuesday, another Wild victory. The Phoenix Coyotes, who are rumored to have Wayne Gretzky as a head coach, visited Minnesota for the final time this season, and they left in a mood unbecoming of BWWE.

The Wild used this game to practice its two-minute drill by scoring three goals in the final minutes of periods. Pavol Demitra opened the scoring with seven seconds to play in the first, while Todd White and Marian Gaborik scored in the final minute of the second.

Someone forgot to tell the Coyotes to scram after that, and they actually made a game of it in the third by scoring two goals. The less than stellar Wild third period did not please head coach Jacques Lemaire, but apparently he didn’t get the memo. This is already shaping up to be the Best Wild Week Ever, so let’s not berate the boys too much. A win is a win.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

With all the tournaments and events taking place at the Xcel Energy Center, it’s been rare that the Wild has been able to use its home for its own practices. But on Wednesday, the Xcel Energy Center Marketing staff must have been slacking off because there wasn’t any type of game or concert taking place.

Lemaire stole the show with his bizarre, but hilarious forechecking demonstration. He started at the bench, raced behind the net and stopped, and then rushed back to the bench and hopped in to sit down. The players did their best not to snicker, but even Lemaire joked about being scared that he’d pull a groin.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Lemaire was much happier with his team on Thursday night and it showed as he turned his postgame press conference into a bit of a standup routine, especially during his imitation of Branko Radivojevic, who could only shrug during the Thursday night Gaborik and Demitra show.

From the outset, these two were clicking. The offensive explosion began in the second. Gaborik followed Demitra in on a lone breakaway for mop up duty, but it wasn’t needed as Demo tied the game by sticking one in the top shelf. Brian Rolston followed that one up with his 30th of the season. Then, Gaborik lit the lamp twice including a dazzling give-and-go with Demitra while Radio watched and waited with his stick cocked just in case. Mikko Koivu capped the scoring and a winning week was alive, as was the club’s win streak, which stretched to eight games.
 
Friday, March 23, 2007

Why do Josh Harding, Derek Boogaard and Dominic Moore Swarm? Well, because the Minnesota Swarm offered them a

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 Josh Harding rolled out the first ball at the Minnesota Swarm game on Friday night.
chance to help raise money to Fund The Fight against breast cancer on Friday night. Harding, whose sister, Stephanie, was diagnosed with breast cancer in November, brought along his buddy Boogey, who knows a thing or two about fighting. But this one is a little more important than pummeling D.J. King. Fans who bought a ticket were allowed through the autograph line.

Unfortunately, Harding, Moore and Boogey were unable to bring some of that Wild winning magic to the Swarmers, who lost 13-6, to the Toronto Rock. The bright side was that money was raised for breast cancer research, and MNSwarm.com guru Andy Weisbecker was able to utilize the headline, “Swarm Fought The Rock And The Rock Won.”
 
Saturday, March 24, 2007

Harding and Boogaard didn’t get too down about the Swarm loss, or at least they didn’t let it affect them against the Los Angeles Kings. Harding made his first Xcel Energy Center start of the season and stopped 32 of 33 shots to remain undefeated in regulation this year. Boogaard was named the third star of the game despite not registering a shot or a point in less than six minutes of playing time. He did however stick up for his teammates as they were getting run by several Kings, including enforcer, Raitis Ivanans. We’re sure it’s just a coincidence that former Vancouver Canuck head man Marc Crawford is now the coach of the Kings and oversaw the shenanigans.

Anyway, Boogaard won his bout, and the Wild won on the scoreboard. Brent Burns, Rolston, Pierre-Marc Bouchard and Koivu all scored goals as the homeboys rolled to nine in a row.

If you don’t think the Best Wild Week Ever was clinched at this point, you’ve been drinking way too many spring-cleaning detergents.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Wyatt Smith was having a good week up until Sunday, as he was one of many candidates for having the Best Wild Week Ever. His hopes were dashed, however, when the Minnesota Gophers were ousted from the NCAA Tournament by the North Dakota Fighting Sioux in overtime on Sunday.

My, how quickly things can change. Last week, it was Gopher hockey fans that were having the Best Wild Week Ever. Not the case this week. In fact, it was just one person…

…Who Had The Best Wild Week Ever?

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 If the cause is worthy, Derek Boogaard will drop the gloves if your name is Raitis Ivanans or breast cancer.
Derek Boogaard. It was a big week for the Big Man. As questions arose earlier in the week about whether or not fighting has a place in the game, The Boogeyman quietly went about his business.

On Thursday, he gave the St. Louis Blues fits throughout and after the Wild went ahead 5-1, he dropped D.J. King in his first fighting action in a long while. Afterwards, Blues head coach Andy Murray took shots at Boogey when asked if number 24 got in his players’ heads. Murray commented that Boogaard has no effect on the game because he doesn’t play.

With all due respect Mr. Murray, it was you who put King on the ice the next shift after the Wild scored its fifth goal in the third period. It was King who started the fight, and it was Boogaard who finished it.

Boogey also had his way on Saturday as he manhandled Ivanans after coming to the aid of Smith. While people love Boogey’s toughness, we were at BWWE love his willingness to participate in good causes. He did that on Friday, and for that, we reward Boogey the Best Wild Week Ever, and hopefully that keeps us on his good side.

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