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Dutch Schnell's Playoff Updates

by Staff Writer / Minnesota Wild

Thursday, April 19, 2007 -- 2:37 PM Central

 John AhlersBrian Hayward
 John Ahlers and Brian Hayward offer an unbiased account of the action in the final minutes of Tuesday's game.
I'm sure the thought that's been running through your minds these past two days is, "What does Dutch Schnell, a goalie-racer of integrity and honor, think of Brad May's sucker punch on Kim Johnsson and Scott Thornton's jumping of Adam Hall?"

Well, what is left to say that hasn't already been said by the Anaheim Ducks' television tandem of John Ahlers and Brian Hayward. They obviously had the pulse of the situation, but I just have a few additional comments thrown in. Here are a few of their quotes as the events unfolded:

Ahlers (Thinking Kim Johnsson is Mikko Koivu): Koivu is down on the ice

Hayward: That's who Brad May was tangled up with.

Kind of like how the dinosaurs "tangled" with that asteroid that hit the earth. Must avoid temptation to post a replay on the site. Must avoid temptation to post a replay on the site.

Ahlers: You know, Scott Thornton may very well be given a third man in here.

What gave you that idea?

Hayward: I think he will, but the reason why he went after Adam Hall is that Hall is trying to goad Kent Huskins into a fight. Huskins isn't a fighter. So Thornton does his job.

That's his job? He gets an NHL salary to fight a guy who is already fighting a 6-foot-2, 209 pound defenseman? You could pay a goalie-racer a lot less to accomplish that feat.

Hayward: He will be given a third man in penalty. You know what? It was Kim Johnsson, excuse me. It wasn't Mikko Koivu. Johnsson went down and turtled when he had Brad May in the vicinity, which is understandable because that's not going to be a scrap that he wants to get involved in.

"Turtling" is sometimes used as a reference to a player who skates away from a fight. Apparently, it is also used for a player who takes an unsolicited sucker punch to the face.

Later in the same conversation

Ahlers: Now the fans are calling for Boogaard.

Hayward: Boogaard's saying, "I can't wait to get on the ice to knee somebody else."

Ahlers: And the discussion continues. Ryan Getzlaf telling him to "sit down."

Not only are they wise, but Ahlers and Hayward can read lips! It turns out, that's exactly what those two players were saying. Thanks for the insight guys! We'll see you on Saturday!

Monday, April 16, 2007 -- 3:32 PM Central

Severe case of the Monday's today my friends. It's been a rough week. The Wild's 2-1 loss last night put a damper on the festivities. I was hanging with MoNo (Justin Morneau) and Mow Mow (Joe Mauer) in a posh suite last night, but afterwards, we were in no mood to hit the town. They had to get up early today for a flight to Seattle, and I, well, I have my own things going on too.

In an effort to lift my spirits, I headed to Wild practice today to search for that elusive scoop. I may have found it when I spoke to Derek Boogaard, who said he feels much better and expects to play tomorrow. In your face Mike Russo!

Meanwhile, it's an awfully nice day in the Metro area, and I'm sure some of you have skedaddled off the Wild bandwagon and made knocked over old ladies on the way to the golf course. Not so fast my furry little fairweather friends.

If the Boston Red Sox can pull it off, anybody can. As I like to say sometimes, "we just have to take it one game at a time." It's a phrase I made up to capture the importance of not looking too far ahead and just focusing on the first win. The rest, as I also say, "will take care of itself." I own the rights to these quotes, but I have allowed anyone in the Wild locker room to use them when dealing with the media types.

Until tomorrow, I am Dutch Schnell, and I...am a goalie racer. 

Thursday, April 12, 2007 -- 10:20 Pacific

 alt
 I think I'd rather go through this trauma again than have to watch jubilant Californians wave orange towels after an Anaheim goal.
Well, I'm slowly recovering from last night's Wild loss. I'm pretty much over the disappointment of last night's heartbreaker, but my eyes are having trouble adjusting to all of those hunter orange towels the crowd was waving around. I haven't seen that much orange since goalie racer Easy Ed Finkbine caught me from behind and shattered my femur in eight places with his logic-defying body mass. But I shook off that injury, just like the Wild are sure to shake off last night's loss.

Now, I know a lot of you are dealing with what I like to call "inclement" weather back home in the State of Hockey. But let me tell you, you're not missing anything out here. I don't even know why someone would want to live out here. It’s sunny and hot all the time here, which means you can’t even wear white shirts because of the constant pit stains. Plus, it’s two hours earlier here than everywhere else.

Nevertheless, some people choose to live out here so to each his own I guess.

Now, I'm sitting in my hotel room which I have been calling home for the last two days. Brad Bombardir is in the room next door which means I can't get any sleep because he's constantly watching his personal highlights from his North Dakota playing days at full volume. And, he just knocked on my door asking if he could borrow my laptop power cord because he forgot his. Canadians! What are we going to do with them?

Pretty soon, I'll be braving the Southern California elements to head to Honda Center for today's practice. I will be in scoop mode because I realize that my nemesis, Mike Russo of the Star Tribune, has beaten me to the punch on the Ilya Bryzgalov start AND Mark Parrish's captaincy. I might have to hide his Blackberry today. You haven't seen rage until you prevent Mike Russo from blogging.

Until later, this is goalie racer Dutch Schnell, signing off.

Monday, April 9, 2007 -- 5:43 PM

Wild head coach Jacques Lemaire put his team through a rigorous workout in the final practice before an 11:30 AM departure tomorrow. Practice started at 11:00 AM and finished 15 minutes past noon, which is much longer than your run-of-the-mill regular season practice. This is likely because the Wild was given Sunday off with the understanding that the first game would take place on Thursday. That is not happening now.

Lemaire put his team through several special teams drills as players were in constant motion, and Lemaire shouted instructions at a torrid pace.

Following practice, the largest media horde of the season invaded the Wild locker room, and I saw several media members sneak a piece of gum. I won't say who, because I don't want to embarass Dan Terhaar. The largest throngs surrounded Brian Rolston, Mark Parrish and Marian Gaborik (who take up the first three stalls on the far side of the locker room) as well as Niklas Backstrom.

I tried my best to rattle Backstrom, just so I could be the first person to do so all season, but was unsuccessful. He talked about the playoffs being a dream, but how the game is the same, including the puck size and rink dimensions. He has a point there. But I have a hunch his calm demeanor would diminish quickly in a heated goalie race. We may never know.

Away from the rink, the Wild announced its television schedule for the first round, with the only unknown being the possible Game Six on April 21. Games One, Two, Four and Seven are slated for KSTC.TV Channel 45 and Games Three and Five will be broadcast on FSN North.

The next check in will come from sunny California. Until then, I am Dutch Schnell, and I...am a goalie racer.

Monday, April 9, 2007 -- 12:59 AM

Hello all,

Goalie-racer Dutch Schnell of Wild.com and The State of Hockey Game Program here. If you don't know me (and I don't expect that you would), I am the guy who wrote weekly contributions to Wild.com last year, but shifted this past season to write columns on the back page of The State of Hockey Game Progam, which is sold by cute little Minnesota hockey tykes for the low, low price of $2.00 US.  

However, with the return of the NHL playoffs comes new responsibilities for yours truly. That will include this page, which we will call "Dutch Schnell's Playoff Updates" in an effort to refrain from using the word "blog" which I refuse to include in my vernacular.

Because the plan is for me to be right there with the team at nearly every step this postseason, we figured some daily updates regarding Wild news and notes might be a good idea. But to me, this is more than a daily online meet and greet. My new chief rival, Mike Russo of the Minneapolis Star Tribune, who has surpassed puppy-hating Egg Olson, has his "Russo's Rants" on Startribune.com, and he won't stop bragging about how popular it is (and how great his fantasy hockey team is). So, I am going to use "Playoff Updates" as a personal challenge to Mr. Russo to "bring it" this postseason.

It will be my goal to break the big news each day here on this page, and while Russo uses his handy Blackberry, I will be relying solely on my laptop, my Zack Morris-sized cell phone, Wild media relations super stars Aaron Sickman and Wayne Carlson, as well as my own observations and intuition. Should be fun and educational.

Anyway, as my first installment, I figure I should let you know that this is being written at 12:58 in the AM at the Wild offices on Monday morning. So this is what the playoffs is all about!

The Wild had the day off today, but the breaking news is the schedule for the first round has been announced. Speculation the past week had the Wild opening in Anaheim on Thursday, so of course we find out tonight that the Wild and Ducks will go at it on Wednesday, and play every other day until one team is left standing.

To that I say, "Fight To The End!"

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