Dutch Schnell, goalie-racer here, and as you can tell by peering at my photo on the left, I am a bit on the cranky side today. I know what you're thinking State of Hockey legion. You're sitting at your computer (while you should be working), and trying to fathom how someone can be cranky on a Friday. Stop slamming your fist on your desk, and I will explain.
As many of you know, Halloween is just a few days away, Monday to be exact. For most, Halloween consists of going to parties, acting silly, and putting on crazy get ups while begging for candy. For me, it means putting up with a weekend of strolling around town with people laughing at me, and saying, "What are you supposed to be?" or "Great costume! Where'd you get that mask?" Like I've never heard those before.
Couple that with one sleazy, butterfly-hating goalie-racer named Egg Olson, and his annual lighting a bag of dog droppings on fire on my front porch, forcing me to stamp it out with my goalie-racing skate.
I look forward to Halloween about as much as Dan Cloutier looks forward to facing the Minnesota Wild at the Xcel Energy Center. What would you do, if, every year, kids swarmed around you, asked you to "take off your mask!"? Then, you ask, "What mask?" And they respond by kicking you in the leg and dislocating your patella.
And speaking of injuries, that leads me to the other genesis for my surly attitude today. Injury bugs! Who needs 'em? I certainly don't. And, I know Marian Gaborik, or as I call him, "Gabby," doesn't either. What did Gabby do to deserve such a fragile groin/hip flexor area?
Gabby's injuries, and the Wild's two-game mini-slump, has everyone and their brother coming out of the woodwork, thinking they know how to fix the Slovakian Sensation. I just know that the only thing that can help Gabby right now is rest, or...Mr. Miyagi.
If only he were here to fix Gabby's hip and get him back on the ice to torment opposing goalies, making them wish they could have made it as goalie-racers.
The more I thought about how much we need Miyagi in our corner, it dawned on me that maybe we already do! If there is a Mr. Miyagi of the National Hockey League, it is our beloved legend, known as head coach Jacques Lemaire (Just go with me on this one, because the powers-that-be are all over me about deadlines, and I've got to fill this space up with something).
Think about it. They are roughly the same age (60-ish), yet much wiser than their years would indicate. Both have an irresistible foreign accent. Both sport similar *ahem*... hairstyles?
Mr. Miyagi was able to turn a flimsy Daniel Larusso into the best karate artist in Southern California during the eighties (when karate was at its peak). Lemaire was able to take a third year "expansion" team and turn it into a Western Conference finalist in just its third year.
The similarities are uncanny. I half expect Lemaire to jump the boards and go one-on-five with the opponents and take them down like Miyagi did when he took on the Cobra Kai. Then again, that's what "The Boogeyman" Derek Boogaard, is for.
So, while we've never seen Lemaire stand over Gaborik on the trainer's table, clap his hands together and rub them together really fast, I wouldn't put it past him. He's probably just waiting until its absolutely necessary, like Game Seven of this year's Western Conference finals.
Don't fret State of Hockey legion. Lemaire will fix Gabby up when we really need him the most. Right now, we've got a winning record, and we'd qualify for the playoffs if they started today. Until then, Gabby can rehab by putting a fresh coat of lacquer on Lemaire's fence.
Thanks everybody, for letting me vent. I already feel better, and I'm sure I'll be a full fledged circus clown after tonight's Wild at Columbus tilt. Speaking of which, I'm sticking to the no-prediction policy laid down by "the man," but know this: the Wild have never lost to the BlueJackets on Friday nights. Minnesota is undefeated (2-0-0) in such situations. Take that insider information, and do with it what you will.
I am Dutch Schnell, and I...am a goalie racer.