Dutch Schnell, goalie-racer here, and as you can tell by glancing at the picture to the left, I am ready to rock on this fine Friday.
I have accompanied the Minnesota Wild to Detroit Rock City, so named because it is the birthplace of musical virtuoso, Kid Rock. I’m fresh off a visit to 8 Mile, where I took down some cats in a few rap battles. I’m now ready to regale you with more insight into the Wild/goalie-racer life on the road.
The Wild brass deemed me eligible to make another road trip with our beloved boys in Forest Green and Iron Range Red. The approval came with a cost, however. I’ve finally paid off the hotel mini-bar bills I racked up in St. Louis and Chicago, and Wild management gave me the chance to redeem myself with the stipulation that I show some restraint, which is tough for two reasons:
Number one, you have to understand that I come from humble goalie-racing beginnings and I’m not used to things like bellboys, Jacuzzis, and phones right next to the toilets.
So when I see a refrigerator filled with available goodies, brother (and sister), you better put and electric fence in front of it, or I’ll be going through those snacks like Marian Gaborik through a mite team in Laredo, Texas.
Second, and I hate to say this, but the mentality of a goalie-racer is not restricted to the ice surface. We have so much pent-up aggression, which we occasionally need to take out on some Snickers bars and cans of macadamia nuts. I can’t explain it any better than that.
But, I am nothing if not scared out of my mind about losing my job. I’ve learned from my mistakes. I’ve moved on. And I’m a better goalie-racer because of it. I’ve just got less money now.
Hopefully, I can save a little cheddar during this next trip. Following the throw down with the Red Wings, we
| Families love Dutch. Why wouldn’t the Wanvigs? |
head to Calgary, Alberta, the hometown of Wild forward Kyle Wanvig, whose family still lives there.
I’m thinking a nice Sunday night sit down at the Wanvig abode would be a great way to save some money, stay out of trouble and listen to stories about our cherubic right winger growing up in Alberta.
I haven’t notified the Wanvig clan of my impending arrival, and I don’t know if I’ll have time before Sunday. I’ll probably just pop in, which I’m sure the Wanvig family won’t mind, considering they’re Canadian, and I’ve yet to meet an angry Canadian.
Let’s not get ahead of ourselves here. As Jacques Lemaire will tell you in his smooth French Canadian accent, “We have to deal with one game at a time.” Tonight, we must deal with these Detroit Red Wings here in so-called “Hockeytown.” Although, we all know that the real "Hockeytown" is none other than Warroad, Minnesota.
If you know me (and after a month of hockey, you should!), you know that I get straight to the point. And here it is…the Red Wings are a great team. If they win out, they’ll finish the year with a 79-2-1 record, which Wild media relations guru Aaron Sickman tells me would be a new NHL record.
The Red Wings are making other NHL teams look downright silly. But if anyone knows silly, it’s a goalie-racer, and there is nothing sillier than what Wild captain Filip Kuba is doing lately.
If you saw Tuesday night’s game against the Phoenix Coyotes, you saw that Kuba is tired of scoring goals from inside the opponent’s zone. That is so 2004.
| Wild captain Filip Kuba can score from anywhere. |
Kuba decided to showcase his skills by scoring from his OWN zone, which he did when he sent a 150-footer past Curtis Joseph. Now I probably shouldn’t broadcast this information on the World Wide Web, but at yesterday’s practice, Oh captain my captain was putting pucks off the Joe Louis Arena scoreboard and into the net.
New rules be darned, I think that when Kuba accomplishes this feat, referee Don VanMassenhoven will have no choice but to allow it. It will come to be known throughout the world as “The Filip Flip” and you will all tell your grandchildren where you were when you saw it. I am predicting that.
I am NOT, however, predicting a Wild win, but I have factual evidence to back up my theory that we’ll see a Filip Kuba goal off the scoreboard tonight. And I have a good feeling that the Red Wings will NOT win every game for the rest of the year. I think loss number three could come tonight if Kuba’s amazing goal can shatter the collective will of the Red Wings.
That said, I will see all of you in the State of Hockey legion back home next week. And Wanvig clan, I’ll see you fine folks on Sunday night.
I am Dutch Schnell, and I…am a goalie-racer.