After last night's head shaker, the Minnesota Wild now find themselves leaving home on what could be their toughest road trip of the season. On this trip, the team will make stops in St. Louis, Phoenix, LA, and their last stop is at the Madhouse on Madison against the Chicago Blackhawks.
Tonight two huge points are on the line as the green and white invade Scottrade Center in St. Louis to play the first place Blues. In the two teams last meeting at Xcel, Minnesota would rally for one point as they would fall in the shootout. However, many positives would come from this game. One, this proved that the Wild are capable of skating with the top dogs in the NHL. Two, they are able to overcome adversity coming from behind, tying the game in the third, and sending it to overtime and eventually the shootout.
Tonight's game may be a little different though. Minnesota, who just played last night, is coming into St. Louis after a 5-2 loss against the Vancouver Canucks. Yes they would throw 31 shots on goal, but had major struggles to capitalize on premium scoring chances, and had a few costly turnovers. I would expect Ilya Bryzgalov to get the call in St. Louis tonight as the Wild look to get the much needed two points and remain the top wild card team.
After tonight, Minnesota travels to face a Phoenix team who sits just three points behind the Wild for the top wild card spot. This is probably the biggest game of the season for Minnesota, and a must win in regulation. The Coyotes are a team that not many talk about, so there is no pressure on them making their season a lot less stressful on this team.
From the desert the Wild will travel to Hollywood as they face-off against the LA Kings at Staples Center. Minnesota really has not done too well in LA in recent history, but need to change history in order to keep their playoff push strong. LA is also the new home to the first ever Minnesota Wild draft pick Marian Gaborik. Although Gabby would have many injury problems towards the end of his time in Minnesota, New York, and Columbus, he is always a threat to score when he is on the ice and makes this LA offense that much more lethal. The Minnesota defense is going to have to be at the top of their game or LA will blow this one wide open.
Finally, from LA Minnesota travels to the Windy City to play the Chicago Blackhawks. These two teams have had a lot of history in the last two seasons, including last year's playoffs, and look to have another tight battle on the ice. Minnesota has found some success playing in Chicago this season and lets hope they can continue to have it.
The road doesn't get much easier as the season draws to a close for Minnesota, but this tough end of season schedule might be just what this team needs to prime themselves for the playoffs. It is looking like right now the Wild will be playing the winner of the Pacific Division, provided no major changes in the standings between now and the second week in April.
Thursday, March 27, 2014
Thursday, February 06, 2014
Ha, ha, ha... In retrospect, it appears that the Wild were very smart to not resign Pierre-Marc Bochard.... Sounds like you can get a bag puck for him now. Garth Brooks is doing a hell of a job in New York.
#Isles have traded Peter Regin and Pierre-Marc Bouchard to Chicago for a 2014 4th-round pick.
— Arthur Staple (@StapeNewsday) February 7, 2014
Sunday, December 01, 2013
This is a gruesome injury to say the least. If you have weak stomach, you might not want to watch this video. On thing about the sport of hockey, if you watch the sport long enough, you will see something like happen.
Mike Heika, Dallas News-- Most of it, however, was washed away by the loss of Robidas.
“It didn’t look good,” Ruff said. “Robi is a battler, and he’s been playing really hard for us.”
Robidas was diving to stop a pass from Chicago’s Jonathan Toews as the two skated hard toward the Stars’ goal line. Robidas’ right
leg was pinned underneath his body and was twisted when it hit the boards. Robidas immediately grimaced in pain and pointed to his
right leg. He was taken to a hospital, and Ruff said Robidas has a fractured bone in his leg.
- Stars D Robidas out 4-6 months (wyff4.com)
Monday, September 09, 2013
"...he's a guy who is full of character." RT @SchlossmanGF: Andrew MacWilliam impressing Toronto so far http://t.co/t92UwnTuce
— North Dakota MHockey (@UNDMHockey) September 9, 2013
Former Fighting Sioux defenseman Andrew MacWilliam is making an impression on the Toronto Maples Leafs. It also sounds like he has been throwing some punishing checks as well. The Toronto Maple Leafs wrapped up their rookie tournament last night with a 6-2 loss. The Leafs finished the tournament with 2-1 record.
If you want to make Spott smile, just mention the name Andrew MacWilliam.
"Oh boy, he's big, strong and powerful," the Marlies coach said. "He's going to be one of our alternate captains and he's a guy who is full of character. He's probably going to catch somebody early with their head down in this tournament.
"He's just a big, strong man that has an edge. He's going to relish the physicality. I don't think a lot of people know him so he's going to open some eyes here this week."
MacWilliam was a physical force in Toronto's game against Chicago rookies Thursday night. He lambasted Chicago's Chris DeSousa late in the second period with the hardest check of the game. DeSousa left the contest.
MacWilliam, 23, scored two goals and 13 points in 41 games with North Dakota last season to go with a team-high 116 penalty minutes. It is his penalty total - 327 minutes in four seasons - that is the best indicator of what to expect from the six-foot-two, 230-pound Calgary, Alta., native.
In the previous two seasons with the Camrose Kodiaks of the Alberta Junior Hockey League, MacWilliam totalled 350 PIM in 111 games. You get the picture
Saturday, July 06, 2013
|Jul 6||Summers, Chris||D||Phoenix||Phoenix||$550K||1||$550K|
|Jul 6||McNeill, Patrick||D||Washington||Columbus||n/a||1||n/a|
|Jul 6||Roy, Derek||C||Vancouver||St. Louis||$4M||1||$4M|
|Jul 6||Jones, Ryan||RW||Edmonton||Edmonton||n/a||1||n/a|
|Jul 6||Pardy, Adam||D||Buffalo||Winnipeg||$600K||1||$600K|
|Jul 6||Santorelli, Mike||C||Winnipeg||Vancouver||n/a||n/a||n/a|
|Jul 6||Samson, Jerome||RW||Carolina||Winnipeg||n/a||n/a||n/a|
|Jul 6||Gordon, Andrew||RW||Vancouver||Winnipeg||n/a||n/a||n/a|
|Jul 6||Sulzer, Alexander||D||Buffalo||Buffalo||n/a||1||n/a|
|Jul 5||Khabibulin, Nikolai||G||Edmonton||Chicago||$2M||1||$2M|
|Jul 5||Johnson, Chad||G||Phoenix||Boston||$600K||1||$600K|
|Jul 5||Cooke, Matt||LW||Pittsburgh||Minnesota||$7.5M||3||$2.5M|
|Jul 5||Iginla, Jarome||RW||Pittsburgh||Boston||$6M||1||$6M|
|Jul 5||Bolduc, Alexandre||C||Phoenix||St. Louis||$550K||1||$550K|
|Jul 5||Mancari, Mark||RW||Buffalo||St. Louis||$600K||1||$600K|
|Jul 5||Pouliot, Benoit||LW||Tampa Bay||NY Rangers||$1.3M||1||$1.3M|
|Jul 5||Ryder, Michael||RW||Montreal||New Jersey||$7M||2||$3.5M|
|Jul 5||Lapierre, Maxim||C||Vancouver||St. Louis||$2.2M||2||$1.1M|
|Jul 5||Koivu, Saku||C||Anaheim||Anaheim||$2.5M||1||$2.5M|
|Jul 5||Adams, Craig||C||Pittsburgh||Pittsburgh||$1.4M||2||$700K|
|Jul 5||Olesz, Rostislav||C||Chicago||New Jersey||$1M||1||$1M|
|Jul 5||Desbiens, Guillaume||RW||Vancouver||Colorado||$600K||1||$600K|
|Jul 5||Wyman, J.T.||RW||Tampa Bay||Colorado||$750K||1||$750K|
|Jul 5||Holden, Nick||D||Columbus||Colorado||$1.2M||2||$600K|
|Jul 5||Hamilton, Ryan||LW||Toronto||Edmonton||$1.2M||2||$600K|
|Jul 5||Johnson, Aaron||D||Boston||NY Rangers||$600K||1||$600K|
|Jul 5||Brennan, T.J.||D||Nashville||Toronto||$600K||1||$600K|
|Jul 5||Richardson, Brad||RW||Los Angeles||Vancouver||$2.3M||2||$1.15M|
|Jul 5||Schultz, Jeff||D||Washington||Los Angeles||$700K||1||$700K|
|Jul 5||Weber, Yannick||D||Montreal||Vancouver||$650K||1||$650K|
Sunday, June 23, 2013
|English: NHL Commisioner Gary Bettman in 2007. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
The Big News off the bat is that both teams suffered key losses in this game. In the second period, Bruins star Patrice Bergeron left the game having only played 49 seconds of the second period. He never returned. He went to the hospital via ambulance between the second and third period.
This is a HUGE loss for the Bruins, but a baffling loss for those of us fans who watched the game. The commentators tried to rationalize and tell us what happened but when you see his last full shift (playing on a 4 on 4 at the time) he seems to stand up straight and cannot seem to gather any speed or ability to quickly change direction. However, he doesn't favor any leg or even seem to wince in any sort of pain. Initially, I thought it might be a muscle spasm in his lower back, hip, or left side. But I have absolutely no clue. The injury occurred while he was along the boards alone. No one touched him. In fact, the replay showed that there was no other player in the picture. VERY odd.
The second injury came to former UND standout Jonathon Toews. He got absolutely CRUSHED by Bruins defenseman Boychuk. And yeah, folks, it was a CLEAN hit. Toews was between the circles lining up for a shot when Boychuk comes from out of the picture from center ice and a high rate of speed and absolutely destroys Toews. The hit occured on Toews' left shoulder. However, I believe the injury occured when Toews hit the ice. The hit occured so fast and so violently that Toews had no time to cushion is fall, so he took the fall on his right shoulder and his helmet bounced off the ice. Take into consideration that Boychuk also fell on top of Toews with his knee ending up either hitting his shoulder or coming awfully close to hitting Toews' head, and it's very plausible that the injury occured on the play. The Hawks have him listed as "Day to Day with an upper body injury." Toews did not play the entire third period but he was on the bench and skated out to do the stick salute after the game. To me, this is good news as I doubt Toews would be allowed to do this if he had a concussion.
In News that reeks of the more things stay the same...
Officiating was again brutal. I noticed several absolutely BRUTAL noncalls. To start the game, Chara armdragged Bickell (I think?) to the ice by his arm, an act that took Bickell from in front of the net to almost beside the goal post, and there was no call.
Second, Boston was assessed a hooking or tripping penalty when Frolik grabbed the stick of the Boston player and fell to the ice. It may have been a legit call on Boston but come on!
Third, absolutely loved the noncall when Lucic was high sticked by Kane. Saying that sarcastically really. First off, I don't like Lucic. Second, I'm no fan of Boston. However, you HAVE HAVE HAVE HAVE to make this call! YOU HAVE TO! It's a PLAYER SAFETY issue! I'm becoming more and more concerned that the only way you will see penalties in the finals is if there is an injury involved! Don Adam officiating is dangerous! Just ask Chay Genoway, Robbie Bina, and that UW player... Smith? I can't recall right now.
Finally, assist to the officials on the empty netter. Frolik (again) BLATANTLY tripped B's defenseman Krug that set up Bolland for the empty netter. You could come up with some hair brained excuses for the previous three penalties or non calls but this one? I was rooting for the Hawks (sorry Goon) and good LORD!
I'll reiterate my conspiracy theory and Doc Emerick stated part of it early in the first period: The officials aren't making any calls so there is lots of action! This is Gary Bettman's plan. The NHL is hurting for ratings and media attention. Instead of looking at the PR campaign that everyone knows was pretty poor, he decides to have the officials pretty much ignore the rule book. If everything goes, the game flows. Maybe that's Bettman and Campbell's slogan. Sorry, I don't buy the NHL officials being poor or incompetent. There's REAL accountability in the NHL (even if it is a moving target for players thanks to the sad interpretations by Shanahan). It doesn't go from "ok" to "Bad" depending upon regular season to post season. It just doesn't happen. This is all Bettman. All of it.
The first period was pretty even, in my opinion, if you take out statistics. Statistically speaking, Boston dominated the first period in shots on goal and hits. They dominated the entire game in hits to be honest. And they targetted Toews... A LOT. And Chara had a VERY poor first and second period, which was unusual.
In the end, Kane ended the first period on a high note for the Hawks with a cleanup play from an Oduya shot that had puck luck written all over it. The Oduya shot hit and broke the stick of Seidenberg (or maybe it was Ference? Memory is hazy). This alterred the path of the puck enough for it to get behind Rask and slightly wide and behind the net. Kane came in and tucked it home.
Kane again struck in the second period after a nice set up by Toews and Bickell. However, again Seidenberg may have helped Kane and the Hawks when it appeared that he got a bit tangled up in Rask's pads preventing Rask from getting all the way over to make a play on Kane's shot.
The second period was ALL Chicago. It surprised me that Boston didn't give up any more goals during that period. Likewise, the third period was ALL Boston. Chara's goal was an exercise in stupidity by Chicago. Watch the replay. You'll notice only ONE Chicago player making any play at all to defend (Bickell IIRC). The rest are standing and watching as Chara comes in uncontested and snipes a shot high and glove side.
By the way, can anyone else name a goaltender with a worse glove hand than Crawford to make it this deep in the playoffs as the #1 goaltender? I mean, Crawford has given up 13 goals this post season, which is good, but of those thirteen NINE have been high glove side. NINE!
It's my opinion that Tuokka Rask is by far the better goaltender of the two. Unfortunately, he can't win games by himself that often.
That being said, both sides missed golden opportunities. Sharp is still kicking himself over an open net and getting absolutely robbed by Rask (though to be fair, if he'd've elevated his shot it would have been an open net). I think he missed just wide again in the second period as well. Boston should have tied the game again but Jagr's shot went high over the open net.
Where I currently stand
Ok, after game 3, I told Goon that there is NO WAY the Cup doesn't change hands in Game 5 or 6. Now, I think the series goes 7 games. And, depending upon Bergeron and Toews, that may very well determine who wins the Cup. If Bergeron cannot play I think that Chicago will win it all even if Toews can't play either.
But the big factor (pun not intended) is actually Chara. When Chara was playing poorly, especially the second period, Chicago was running away with it. Chara was much better in the third and the Hawks almost (perhaps should have) lost the game.
With Game 4 being an anomaly, my player of the playoffs has to be Tuokka Rask. That guy has been amazing.... and he was basically a throwin player from Toronto in the Kessel trade. It isn't as bad of a trade as the Wild trading Leddy for Cam Barker, but looking at Toronto's goaltending situation.... Leafs fans can't be too happy about it.
Sunday, June 16, 2013
s/t Sioux Volley... There was an interesting article that was posted in the Madison Newspaper on June 11, 2013, that was written by Todd Milewski.
I think that you will find some of the points of the article to be very interesting to why Wisconsin Badgers "might" have experienced a drop off in attendance and ticket sales last season.
Friday, May 31, 2013
|Detroit Red Wings won 62 games in a single season (1995-96) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
To be brutally honest (and probably not the most ardent of Red Wings fan), I'm elated they went that far. Let's face it: Did ANYONE think the Wings would take the Hawks (who won the Presidents' Trophy this year) to the brink of elimination?
This gets me in trouble all the time with how I see things with UND as well but... yeah, the Wings aren't going to hoist the Cup... but I think this season was an overwhelming success looking back on the issues the Wings had to overcome this year. Babcock is truly a great coach.
I thought that, defensively, the Red Wings weren't exactly a force to be reckoned with. I really questioned depth all around at times this shortened season. I also wonder if the season had been a full one, if the Red Wings would have even made the playoffs.
I still think that Datsyuk is one of the best players in the NHL. I'm probably alone in this comparison but... I see a lot of Vladimir Konstantinov (who is probably my favorite Red Wing believe it or not) in Niklas Kronwall. And it sucks to have the dagger that ended the season go off his skate and into the net.
I think Jimmy Howard has REALLY stepped up. Goaltending was a huge concern of mine thanks to a lot of awfulness in the final years of Chris Osgood's career.
The Wings are YOUNG and they aren't as flashy as the young players on the Hawks (as an example). However I think that, if they continue to progress and Babcock remains as effective as he has been, the Wings will be a force to be reckoned with.
And the best news is that the media won't know where they came from. They'll be too busy fawning over the Penguins.
I know this is brief and kindof general but life's been hellish for me and I wasn't able to watch as many games as I would have wanted this year.
Go Wings and let's see a great draft and offseason!
I hope whoever wins, be it the Kings or the Hawks, hoist the Cup.
Monday, May 20, 2013
Ouch! That has to hurt... This is the end result of Viktor Stalberg’s attempted check on Detroit defenseman Jakub Kindl, as you can see by the video, the Red Wings defenseman moved at last second and Stalberg whiffed on the attempted hit.
Sunday, April 14, 2013
Talk about a violent hit as St. Louis Blues defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk blows up Chicago Blackhawks forward Andrew Shaw with a good clean hit. There was no penalty on the hit, nor should there have been. The game during the first period was a very physical and hard hitting game.