Dutch Schnell, goalie-racer here, and as you can tell by perusing the photo to the left, I’m as jacked up as a bull in a china store.
You’ll note the lack of a capital “c” on “china” because of course I’m not talking about the country with the only human-made structure visible from the moon, but rather the fine and fragile dishware often…well, you get the idea.
You’ll pardon my edginess, or at least you’ll give me a polite smile as if you care about my feelings, when really you can’t get past my mismatching clothes and my lazy eye.
If you’re like me, these past few weeks made you aware of how a dog feels when I start shaking my keys and asking him if he wants to go for a ride, and then I go into my room to take a nap first. That’s what preseason is like.
Right now, our Minnesota Wild five games, 300 minutes and three wins deep, and yet, we’re still tied with Colorado, Detroit, St. Louis, Quinnipiac, St. Olaf, Prairie View A&M and Lac qui Parle Valley High School for the best, and worst record in the National Hockey League.
Captain Mike “Viper” Metcalf, my former flight instructor at the Top Gun Naval base always said, “There are no points for second place.”
| As Viper would say, the Minnesota Wild are "the tip of the spear, and they best be sharp." |
I’m certainly not one to disagree with a man in uniform who can so easily pull off a bushy mustache and an impeccable flat top, but he should have said “There are no points for preseason games,” because I’ve learned every September how painfully accurate that is.
I need games to mean something. Going to camp is all well and good. Our boys have put together a formidable power play. The breakouts seem to be free flowing and impeccably transitional. Koivoodoo is in full effect and the Slovakian Superpowers look unstoppable.
What do we, as fans get for this? Nuts!
I have wants, and I have needs. I also have curiosities and million-dollar ideas, but those can only be found in a Trapper Keeper underneath my pillow.
I just want to see some points on the line. I want to scoreboard watch someone other than the Detroit Tigers.
I want every Demitra-to-Gaborik hook up to induce full-fledged, stranger-hugging celebrations rather than that awkward moment of, “YEEEEH…wait…should I really be getting this excited about a preseason goal? I think I’ll just sit back down, politely clap and hope nobody noticed the nacho cheese I just spilled on the poor sap in front of me.”
I want the Vancouver Canucks to win their first two games so I can amuse myself by reading their fans declarations of an automatic Stanley Cup presentation in June, and the imminent election of Roberto Luongo as Prime Minister on the Wild message boards.
I need a free press meal.
I want to bask in the wisdom of Jacques Lemaire and play repeated recordings of his post-game press conferences as the Dutchess of Schnell and I drift off to sleep with the soothing sounds of his accent bringing docile grins to our relaxed faces.
I need to send a message during the Opening Night goalie race to two people. The first will be to apple pie-hating goalie racer Egg Olson, and it will be delivered in the form of a shoulder to his chin as a reminder that when you’re waiting for an elevator, you let the people inside get off first before you rudely jump on board immediately after the door opens and force them to maneuver around you.
The second message will be hand-delivered to rookie goalie-racer, “Easy” Ed Finkbine, the sixth entrant in this year’s goalie races, and it will be unmistakable. “This is my house! This is my spotlight! And that’s my neck protector you’re wearing. Take it off before you find a deceased shrew in your skate before the next race!”
I want tomorrow night’s preseason game to be a thing of the past, with the Wild posting preseason win number four, and the Colorado Avalanche on the horizon.
I want folks to remember that it’s a marathon and not a sprint and the Wild could possibly lose one or two games in the month of October. It won’t be time to jump ship.
Lastly, I want my parents to come to terms with the fact that I am Dutch Schnell, and I…am a goalie racer.
To check out past Dutch musings, click here.
To contact Dutch, click here.