7 Minute Miles

The new Wild bar is nice

Posted Tuesday, September 29th, 2015 07:05 am GMT -5 in Hockey,Travel at 7:05 AM

Humphrey terminal, MSP

Originally published by DK on September 29, 2015 at 7:05 am

Lord Stanley loves Chicago

Posted Monday, June 15th, 2015 11:09 pm GMT -5 in Hockey at 11:09 PM

It’s a dynasty (so says the commish)

Originally published by DK on June 15, 2015 at 11:09 pm

Such a great tradition

Posted Sunday, April 26th, 2015 05:03 pm GMT -5 in Hockey at 5:03 PM

Ott shakes Duuuuub’s hand while Kaptain Koivu watches

Originally published by DK on April 26, 2015 at 5:03 pm

Playoff (gray) beard

Posted Friday, April 24th, 2015 01:32 pm GMT -5 in Fashion,Hockey at 1:32 PM

Way too much gray – go Wild!

Originally published by DK on April 24, 2015 at 1:32 pm

Wild Anthem

Posted Monday, April 20th, 2015 10:22 pm GMT -5 in Hockey,Music,Quotes at 10:22 PM

We will fight to the end. We will stand and defend. Our flag flying high and free…

Originally published by DK on April 20, 2015 at 10:22 pm

Wild Viewing Party

Posted Thursday, April 16th, 2015 07:49 pm GMT -5 in Food,Hockey at 7:49 PM

And for free, even

Originally published by DK on April 16, 2015 at 7:49 pm

A new angle

Posted Saturday, April 4th, 2015 05:32 pm GMT -5 in Hockey at 5:32 PM

Section 122, row 24 for Wild-Detroit

Originally published by DK on April 4, 2015 at 5:32 pm

Let’s! Play! Hockey!

Posted Saturday, March 28th, 2015 06:38 pm GMT -5 in Hockey at 6:38 PM

Wild vs. Kings @ Xcel

Originally published by DK on March 28, 2015 at 6:38 pm

So many scoring chances

Posted Friday, March 13th, 2015 10:32 pm GMT -5 in Hockey at 10:32 PM

That game should’ve been 8-2 Wild

Originally published by DK on March 13, 2015 at 10:32 pm

The new Wild restaurant at MSP

Posted Friday, February 13th, 2015 02:30 pm GMT -5 in Food,Hockey,Travel at 2:30 PM

Humphrey Terminal, MSP

Originally published by DK on February 13, 2015 at 2:30 pm

Progressives up, hockey down

Posted Monday, January 19th, 2015 11:30 pm GMT -5 in Casinos,Hockey at 11:30 PM

Konami game (and system) @ White Oak

Originally published by DK on January 19, 2015 at 11:30 pm

Thinking of Herb

Posted Saturday, January 10th, 2015 05:32 pm GMT -5 in History,Hockey at 5:32 PM

The Herb Brooks statue outside the X

Originally published by DK on January 10, 2015 at 5:32 pm

The Wild beating the Wild

Posted Saturday, January 10th, 2015 04:29 pm GMT -5 in Hockey at 4:29 PM

Losers to Nashville @ home

Originally published by DK on January 10, 2015 at 4:29 pm

Warm-up time at the X

Posted Friday, January 2nd, 2015 07:32 pm GMT -5 in Hockey at 7:32 PM

Wild vs. Toronto

Originally published by DK on January 2, 2015 at 7:32 pm

I miss the Bogeyman

Posted Friday, January 2nd, 2015 07:21 pm GMT -5 in Hockey at 7:21 PM

Derek Boogaard Memorial @ Xcel Energy Center

Originally published by DK on January 2, 2015 at 7:21 pm

Work Selfies

Posted Tuesday, December 9th, 2014 10:34 pm GMT -5 in Hockey,Work at 10:34 PM

Suite 4, Wild vs. Islanders

Originally published by DK on December 9, 2014 at 10:34 pm

Hockey Holidays

Posted Tuesday, December 9th, 2014 09:08 pm GMT -5 in Hockey at 9:08 PM

From Zach Parise

Originally published by DK on December 9, 2014 at 9:08 pm

Back in the Suites

Posted Tuesday, December 9th, 2014 08:01 pm GMT -5 in Hockey at 8:01 PM

Thanks, IGT (suites 4 & 5)

Originally published by DK on December 9, 2014 at 8:01 pm

Hockey’s Home

Posted Monday, June 23rd, 2014 02:48 pm GMT -5 in Family,Hockey,Travel at 2:48 PM

MK in Eveleth, Minnesota

Originally published by DK on June 23, 2014 at 2:48 pm

Finally visited it

Posted Monday, June 23rd, 2014 02:47 pm GMT -5 in Hockey,Travel at 2:47 PM

World’s largest hockey stick, Eveleth

Originally published by DK on June 23, 2014 at 2:47 pm

Happy for Gabby

Posted Friday, June 13th, 2014 11:49 pm GMT -5 in Hockey at 11:49 PM

Kings win! Kings win!

Originally published by DK on June 13, 2014 at 11:49 pm

Playoff hockey @ Mystic

Posted Wednesday, May 28th, 2014 09:32 pm GMT -5 in Casinos,Hockey at 9:32 PM

LA – Chicago, tied in the third

Originally published by DK on May 28, 2014 at 9:32 pm

Hockey night with kid two

Posted Sunday, April 13th, 2014 06:31 pm GMT -5 in Family,Hockey at 6:31 PM

Wild vs. Preds – last regular season game of the 2013-14 season

Originally published by DK on April 13, 2014 at 6:31 pm

Ghosts of Wild Past

Posted Friday, April 4th, 2014 07:19 pm GMT -5 in Hockey,Mini Posts at 7:19 PM

OK, not all of them – Koivu and Veilleux are still here. I miss the days of the first-come, first-serve Minnesota Wild player appearances. Once they changed the autograph policies, it basically became impossible for me to attend these any longer. More samples after the jump.

Originally published by DK on April 4, 2014 at 7:19 pm

Go Wildcats!

Posted Friday, March 7th, 2014 12:11 am GMT -5 in Hockey,Schools at 12:11 AM

Eagan 3, Duluth East 0

Originally published by DK on March 7, 2014 at 12:11 am

End of an era

Posted Thursday, February 27th, 2014 08:45 pm GMT -5 in History,Hockey,Schools at 8:45 PM

One of the last high school hockey games at Warner Coliseum (Eagan vs. St. Thomas Academy), Minnesota State Fairgrounds

Originally published by DK on February 27, 2014 at 8:45 pm

Congratulations, eh

Posted Friday, February 21st, 2014 06:26 pm GMT -5 in Hockey at 6:26 PM

A book report I wrote on Canada, Ramsey Junior High School, St. Paul, Minnesota

Originally published by DK on February 21, 2014 at 6:26 pm

Every screen in the place

Posted Friday, February 21st, 2014 01:17 pm GMT -5 in Food,Hockey at 1:17 PM

USA-Canada Olympic semi-final at BWW, Eagan

Originally published by DK on February 21, 2014 at 1:17 pm

Free jersey T’s

Posted Thursday, February 6th, 2014 07:42 pm GMT -5 in Family,Fashion,Hockey at 7:42 PM

Dad and I at the Wild-Preds game

Originally published by DK on February 6, 2014 at 7:42 pm

Polar vortex sea of white

Posted Thursday, February 6th, 2014 07:39 pm GMT -5 in Hockey at 7:39 PM

Free shirts tonight at the X – Wild vs. Nashville

Originally published by DK on February 6, 2014 at 7:39 pm

Love the new HD for hockey

Posted Tuesday, February 4th, 2014 11:15 pm GMT -5 in Casinos,Hockey,Running at 11:15 PM

Fortune Bay Resort Casino, Tower, Minnesota

Originally published by DK on February 4, 2014 at 11:15 pm

Pond Hockey!

Posted Sunday, January 19th, 2014 11:55 am GMT -5 in Hockey,Sports at 11:55 AM

The view from Sandcastle, Lake Nokomis, Minneapolis

Originally published by DK on January 19, 2014 at 11:55 am

The return of Burnsie

Posted Sunday, December 8th, 2013 06:12 pm GMT -5 in Hockey at 6:12 PM

Wild – Sharks at the X

Originally published by DK on December 8, 2013 at 6:12 pm

Still great game ops

Posted Sunday, November 3rd, 2013 09:54 pm GMT -5 in Hockey at 9:54 PM

Wild-Devils at the X (with no pukers)

Originally published by DK on November 3, 2013 at 9:54 pm

The new rivals

Posted Sunday, November 3rd, 2013 08:00 pm GMT -5 in Hockey at 8:00 PM

Western Conference – Central

Originally published by DK on November 3, 2013 at 8:00 pm

Let’s Play Hockey 2013

Posted Thursday, October 3rd, 2013 09:01 am GMT -5 in Hockey,Mini Posts at 9:01 AM

I’m pretty excited for the start of the Wild season tonight. My aunt and uncle still have their season tickets, so I’m hoping to get to a few games this year. It will be nice to have a full regular season again and see what Coach Yeo can do with these guys in the last year of his coaching contract.

There probably won’t be a lot of hockey posts here this year, as you can read everything you need to know about the Wild from the always excellent Mike Russo at the Star Tribune.

I will say I’m very happy about the new conference and division alignment (fewer late nights) and the hybrid icing decision (finally). As for the team, I hope Granlund has a breakout year and that Zucker is ready to jump in when someone gets hurt. I’m somewhat worried about the goaltending situation and will miss Clutterbuck, Cullen and Butch. Neutral on Matt Cooke at this point.

Go Wild!

Originally published by DK on October 3, 2013 at 9:01 am

2013-14 Wild Media Guide

Posted Wednesday, September 18th, 2013 08:52 am GMT -5 in Hockey,Links at 8:52 AM

http://wild.com/MediaGuide

Originally published by DK on September 18, 2013 at 8:52 am

The Home of Badger Hockey

Posted Wednesday, June 26th, 2013 06:41 pm GMT -5 in Hockey,Travel at 6:41 PM

Kohl Center, Madison, Wisconsin

Originally published by DK on June 26, 2013 at 6:41 pm

Thank you NHL

Posted Saturday, June 8th, 2013 11:08 pm GMT -5 in Hockey at 11:08 PM

All of the playoff games should be streamed online in HD

Originally published by DK on June 8, 2013 at 11:08 pm

Finally.

Posted Tuesday, June 4th, 2013 02:07 pm GMT -5 in Hockey at 2:07 PM

NHL Network on the new steakhouse bar TV, Tower, Minnesota

Originally published by DK on June 4, 2013 at 2:07 pm

Fight to the End

Posted Sunday, May 5th, 2013 02:00 pm GMT -5 in Family,Hockey at 2:00 PM

Kid one at the Wild-Blackhawks playoff game

Originally published by DK on May 5, 2013 at 2:00 pm

Because it’s the Cup

Posted Sunday, May 5th, 2013 01:44 pm GMT -5 in Hockey at 1:44 PM

Section 219, row 7, seats 7&8, Wild-Blackhawks, Game 3

Originally published by DK on May 5, 2013 at 1:44 pm

Hockey day at Cossetta’s

Posted Sunday, May 5th, 2013 12:33 pm GMT -5 in Family,Food,Hockey at 12:33 PM

Pre-game pizza on the new patio, Cossetta’s, St. Paul, Minnesota

Originally published by DK on May 5, 2013 at 12:33 pm

Snuck in the last two minutes

Posted Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013 09:43 pm GMT -5 in Hockey at 9:43 PM

Thank you Bäckström – Wild beat the Kings 2-1, Fortune Bay server room, Tower, Minnesota

Originally published by DK on April 23, 2013 at 9:43 pm

iowawild.com

Posted Monday, April 22nd, 2013 11:28 am GMT -5 in Hockey at 11:28 AM

Quicker turnaround, road trip options…

Originally published by DK on April 22, 2013 at 11:28 am

Stupid Wild

Posted Monday, April 1st, 2013 08:33 pm GMT -5 in Biking,Hockey at 8:33 PM

Wild down 3-1 to St. Louis

Originally published by DK on April 1, 2013 at 8:33 pm

Final – Wings 3, Yotes 2

Posted Tuesday, March 26th, 2013 12:23 am GMT -5 in Hockey,Travel at 12:23 AM

Suite 1213 @ Jobing.com Arena

Originally published by DK on March 26, 2013 at 12:23 am

Chip Scoggins

Posted Sunday, March 10th, 2013 12:01 am GMT -5 in Hockey,Quotes at 12:01 AM

State championships should be celebrated, not mocked.

Originally published by DK on March 10, 2013 at 12:01 am

Does he play for Phoenix?

Posted Thursday, February 28th, 2013 07:36 pm GMT -5 in Hockey at 7:36 PM

Animal in hockey gear

Originally published by DK on February 28, 2013 at 7:36 pm

New birthday Wild Gear

Posted Saturday, February 9th, 2013 08:17 pm GMT -5 in Family,Hockey at 8:17 PM

Colleen and kid two at the X

Originally published by DK on February 9, 2013 at 8:17 pm

Happy to have hockey back

Posted Saturday, February 9th, 2013 07:45 pm GMT -5 in Hockey at 7:45 PM

Wild-Preds Game, St. Paul, Minnesota

Originally published by DK on February 9, 2013 at 7:45 pm

Suite 4 at the X

Posted Saturday, February 9th, 2013 06:59 pm GMT -5 in Family,Hockey at 6:59 PM

Kid one and two before the Wild-Preds game, Xcel Energy Center, St . Paul, Minnesota

Originally published by DK on February 9, 2013 at 6:59 pm

Hockey Day Minnesota

Posted Saturday, January 19th, 2013 10:43 am GMT -5 in Hockey at 10:43 AM

Not quite the same with no FSN

Originally published by DK on January 19, 2013 at 10:43 am

Well done, Wild, well done

Posted Wednesday, July 4th, 2012 03:39 pm GMT -5 in Hockey,Links at 3:39 PM

http://wild.nhl.com/

Originally published by DK on July 4, 2012 at 3:39 pm

Ten Favorites – Twin Cities Metro

Posted Saturday, April 28th, 2012 09:45 pm GMT -5 in Biking,Concerts,Food,Golf,Hockey,Longform at 9:45 PM

The City Pages Best Of issue got me thinking about some of my favorite things to do around this wonderful part of the country. I’m sure I’m missing things (and may change my mind), but here’s an initial shot at a metro area list. Ideas for outstate Minnesota are floating around in my head too.

1. Minnesota State Fair (above)

I write about this every year, so I won’t rehash, other than to say there’s a reason I’ve been to this every year since I was born. Pure awesomeness in so many ways – food, entertainment, people watching and much, much more.

2. Twin Cities Marathon

This also gets a lot of coverage on this site, as I’ve now run it 8 times. The Most Beautiful Urban Marathon in America® earns that circle “R” with fall colors, loops of the Minneapolis lakes, a stretch along the Mississippi River and a great finish down Summit Avenue past the Cathedral and State Capitol. Plus you never forgot your first.

3. Lebanon Hills Mountain Bike Trail

If you like mountain biking, this is my “don’t miss” track for the entire region. I’m relatively new to the sport, but I could ride this every day and not get bored.

4. Mall of America

A lot of locals say they hate the MOA, but sorry Burnsville Center, you just don’t cut when it comes to shopping on a grand scale. It can be overcrowded at times and I’m not a huge fan of the restaurants, but it’s still the place your visiting relatives and friends want to go when they come to town.

5. Barbette and Prohibition at the W

So many good restaurants in Minneapolis, but Kim Bartmann’s Barbette in Uptown continues to be my favorite because of one thing: flat iron steak frites. Mmmm…frites.

I’m not really a bar hopper, but Prohibition’s combination of Foshay architecture and atmosphere, great service, lovely views from the 27th floor and the wonderful ephiphany martini (Grey Goose La Poire, St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur and Duvalleroy Champagne) could turn me into a regular.

6. Cecil’s Deli, Carbone’s Pizza and Ristorante Luci

Since I grew up in St. Paul, it’s much harder for me to pick one favorite restaurant in that fair city. Therefore I present three: Cecil’s Deli in Highland Park for the hot pastrami sandwich, the original Carbone’s Pizza on Randolph and Ristorante Luci for some of the best Italian food I’ve had anywhere. Rotating daily through these three for the rest of your life wouldn’t be a bad thing.

7. Hockey at the Xcel Energy Center

While this is the State of Hockey, our teams have had their ups and downs lately. One thing is certain, though, the overall hockey fan experience at the X ranks right up there with the best anywhere. Be it the NHL’s Wild, the hockey Gophers or the state high school tournament, I loves me some hockey in downtown St. Paul.

8. Chain of Lakes

Heading back across the river, the Minneapolis Chain of Lakes is really the crown jewel of the Twin Cities. That’s hard for someone raised in Saint Paul to admit, but it’s true. Whether you run, walk, bike, rollerblade, sail, kayak, swim, drive, ski or skate them, you’ll be hard-pressed to not feel good about it afterwards. All that plus great park facilities and food options too.

9. First Avenue & 7th Street Entry

My first show at First Avenue was Living Colour in 1993. Somewhere I have a scan of all the tickets from early shows I attended, back when they had cool sparkly ink and you could usually score free tickets to another show each time you left the building. Can’t wait to get back to see the latest enhancements to the room…

10. Hazeltine National and Interlachen Country Club

Minnesota has a lot of great public golf courses, but there is nothing quite like these two private clubs. If you have the connections, make it happen. Both have history, conditioning, great staff, strong layouts and a day on the course you’ll remember for a long, long time.

Any favorites I missed?

Originally published by DK on April 28, 2012 at 9:45 pm

This hotel room would make a good apartment

Posted Sunday, April 1st, 2012 08:23 pm GMT -5 in Hockey,Travel at 8:23 PM

Internet, hockey in HD, Cheez-Its, Feista and nice furniture, Marriott Marquis & Marina, San Diego, California

Originally published by DK on April 1, 2012 at 8:23 pm

Kids: OMG!, OMG!, OMG!

Posted Sunday, March 11th, 2012 08:40 pm GMT -5 in Family,Hockey,Photography at 8:40 PM

Kid one and two, row 5, section 105, Wild-Flames, Xcel Energy Center, Saint Paul, Minnesota

Originally published by DK on March 11, 2012 at 8:40 pm

Welcome back, chipmunk

Posted Thursday, March 1st, 2012 09:49 am GMT -5 in Hockey,Photography at 9:49 AM

Minnesota Wild Forward Stephane Veilleux, Xcel Energy Center, Saint Paul, Minnesota

Originally published by DK on March 1, 2012 at 9:49 am

A Boy Learns to Brawl

Posted Tuesday, December 6th, 2011 11:31 am GMT -5 in Hockey,Links at 11:31 AM

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/04/sports/hockey/derek-boogaard-a-boy-learns-to-brawl.html

Originally published by DK on December 6, 2011 at 11:31 am

RIP Derek Boogaard (1982-2011)

Posted Saturday, May 14th, 2011 10:10 am GMT -5 in Hockey,Longform at 10:10 AM

I was shocked and saddened to learn of the death of 28-year-old Derek Boogaard yesterday in Minneapolis. The 6-foot-7 enforcer played five seasons for the Minnesota Wild (2005-2009) before signing with the New York Rangers last year.

The Boogeyman was a fan favorite and my family loved him. We had the opportunity to meet him in person several times and his off-ice personality was a complete opposite from his tough-guy fighter image during games. Kind, soft-spoken and great with kids, his personal appearances were always well attended and appreciated by all.

A few personal memories:

  • The player appearance at the old Hockey Lodge at the Mall of America (above), when both of my kids got personalized autographs and had a chance to chat with him after the lines died down. The kids loved his pink glasses and I’ll always remember the image of him tucking a Wild Monopoly box under his arm and walking away alone through the Mall of America rotunda.
  • The night I went to Buffalo Wild Wings in Savage to get a signed “Get Well Soon” card for my daughter, which he happily signed, along with a “tell her I said I hope she feels better.”
  • Watching the video of his goal against the Caps, breaking his three year scoring drought (234 NHL games). Made me smile all day.
  • Hanging the life-size poster of Boogey and Butch in my office, which became a daily reminder of just how big he really was.
  • Watching him pull up in his black pickup truck outside the restaurant in downtown St. Paul where the team would usually eat lunch on game days, leave it running in the cold Minnesota winter, wolf down huge amounts of pasta, then hop back in the truck and take off.
  • According to the New York Times, Boogaard had 70 career NHL fights. I don’t know if I have a favorite, but here’s one against the prettiest man in the NHL.

The wonderful Star Tribune beat reporter Michael Russo has written an emotional blog post that has more insight into his life and the impact he had on those around him. My heart goes out to his family members, who I feel like I know after reading all of the Russo stories the past few years.

Rest in peace, number 24.

Originally published by DK on May 14, 2011 at 10:10 am

Wild Games 29, 30 and 31 at the X

Posted Monday, February 15th, 2010 08:34 pm GMT -5 in Hockey,Longform at 8:34 PM

It wasn’t under the greatest circumstances, but I was offered the chance to watch the last three Wild home games in my aunt and uncle’s seats. He suffered a stroke last week and had to spend most of the week in the hospital, but is now home and doing better.

The first two games, Phoenix and Atlanta, were frustrating losses. I felt the Wild played OK in both of them, though, and deserved at least a point both nights.

Sunday’s game versus Vancouver more than made up for it, with the Wild earning a 6-2 win in front of the third largest regular season home crowd ever. Kid two and her best friend were “bench buddies” before the game and got to sit on the Wild bench during pre-game warm-ups (pictures in the private section of the photo gallery).

The addition of Cam Barker was a surprise to me (Kimmy and our first round pick?), but I’ll give our new GM the benefit of the doubt. I don’t know what I’d do if I were him now – the playoffs seem like a long-shot, but I don’t think I’d go into sell-off mode either.

The Olympics stuff at the beginning of the game was nice. I was especially impressed that people applauded loudly for all of the Canuck Olympians, despite the intense rivalry (and general hatred) of that franchise. Minnesota fans know (and appreciate) good hockey players when we see them, even if they do play for the Canucks. 🙂

Originally published by DK on February 15, 2010 at 8:34 pm

Game 24 – Wild versus Red Wings

Posted Friday, January 22nd, 2010 11:39 pm GMT -5 in Hockey,Mini Posts at 11:39 PM

I know the Red Wings aren’t having their best year, but I’ve always admired the organization and it’s always a treat to get to see them play the Wild in St. Paul. I wrangled a last minute ticket from my aunt and uncle and got to see the return of Brent Burns to the Wild lineup. I thought he played pretty good for a guy coming back from missing 29 games. Gotta love his fitness quote in the Strib too:

“I can wash your shirt on my abs right now.”

We were one of the first 6,000 at the X who received the towel pictured above. I don’t really remember anyone waving them, but the start of the game was a little hard to watch. Harding was playing really well before he got hurt and it was extra painful to watch Bertuzzi with the breakaway goal.

As we’ve learned this year, never leave early. I usually would be happy with the loser point in this situation, but the Wild had so many good chances to win in the OT and shootout, that it really felt like a letdown.

Not much else to report – parking was a little harder to find for some reason and the pretzel I ordered was a little stale and way too salty. Oh yeah, I still long for free wi-fi in the building – will that ever happen?

Originally published by DK on January 22, 2010 at 11:39 pm

Game 12 – Wild versus Predators

Posted Thursday, December 3rd, 2009 04:49 pm GMT -5 in Hockey,Mini Posts at 4:49 PM

Last night’s Wild game against the Nashville Predators was some good entertainment. The second period was a bit of a drag, but the rest of it was great. Some random thoughts:

  • The yellow team kicked butt during the first intermission, so our side of the arena won free oil changes at that tire place.
  • I tweeted during the game about Havlat appearing drunk – not sure if he was winded at the end of a long shift or what, but wow did he look dazed and confused for a while. He had an assist, though, so I guess he can coast again for a few games.
  • My uncle and I looked for some new food and ended up with mini donuts. I wish there was a little more variety on the upper concourse.
  • Koivu’s post-score dance celebration was awesome. It sure would be nice if that power play unit was so smooth all the time.
  • Speaking of Koivu, the non-call in the third, followed by the hooking call with 2:20 left, was frustrating. Especially since the rest of the game was relatively event free from a penalty/ref standpoint.
  • Boogaard came this close to getting that elusive goal in the first period.
  • Ebbett’s game-winner was great, but I was more impressed with the 80% face-off win percentage. Not bad for a little guy!

Thanks again to my aunt and uncle for the invite.

Originally published by DK on December 3, 2009 at 4:49 pm

Game 4 – Wild versus Predators

Posted Thursday, October 29th, 2009 11:49 am GMT -5 in Friends,Hockey,Longform at 11:49 AM

Last night I took my friend Phil (above) to his second ever hockey game at the Xcel Energy Center to watch the worst team in the west play the second worst team. Now one of them is only the third worst team, and unfortunately it isn’t the Wild.

I don’t really know what to say about how the Wild have started the season. On paper, I like our team and the changes that were made in the off-season. The reality, though, has been total suckle:

  • Complete lack of ability to clear the zone
  • Out-hustled to the puck all the time
  • Way too much standing around and waiting for the play to come to them
  • No chemistry from any of the lines yet
  • Burns at -13, Koivu at -12 and Havlat at -10? How is that even possible?
  • Our leading goal scorer is Andrew Brunette with 7, then it drops down to 3 (Koivu)

The three goals in 1:47 was amazing, but only one shot in the remaining 17:42 of that period? And I agree with Russo – how do you scratch Sykora and play both Scott and Boogaard? On defense, I wanted Skoula gone as much as anyone, but Zidlicky and Hnidy seem to be battling for the new crown of Wild defensive goat. Zids and his turnovers make me cringe and Sheriff Shane can’t seem to hit an outlet pass to save his life – it’s either a turnover or icing almost every time.

As Mr. Fletcher said during an interview in Chicago, “we’re still trying to get on the same page.” I was hoping that would have happened during training camp and the pre-season, but here we are 12 games into the season and the Wild sit in the western conference cellar with none of our “stars” hurt. Maybe that’s it – Johnnson and Butch are the secret sauce we need to turn it around.

If only it were that easy…

Originally published by DK on October 29, 2009 at 11:49 am

2009-10 Minnesota Wild Home Opener

Posted Tuesday, October 6th, 2009 12:56 pm GMT -5 in Hockey,Longform at 12:56 PM

Thanks to the Wild’s youth hockey donation offer, I picked up a free ticket to tonight’s home opener versus the Ducks. I’ll be in section 114, row 16 – should be a nice spot to watch the Koivu brothers mix it up. Late start (8:15PM), but the Twins game will be on in the X starting at 4PM.

I haven’t written much about the preseason here, as there are now so many good sources of local hockey news. I rolled up all of my Minnesota sports into this one (including Hockey in Minnesota), so I haven’t had a pressing need to write just for the sake of having something new up. I will post when I go to games and hopefully have something unique to add to the Wild blogosphere. I’ll probably keep the @hockeymn Twitter account going this season too for some occasional in-game commentary.

For good hockey coverage this year, check the links in the sidebar for the sites and people I read regularly. Also, if you aren’t following these people on Twitter, you need to add them ASAP:

There are a bunch of others, too, but I’m finding it’s becoming increasing easy to get overwhelmed with information (and a lot of repetition via re-tweets). Hell, between the team’s own PR group (which gets better and better all the time) and the superb work of Mr. Russo, you pretty much get all you need to know.

UPDATE:
Well, that turned out to be fun. Everyone in the arena was focused on the Twins for the first period, so I didn’t really notice how we got to a 0-0 tie at intermission. The second period was just horrible. I knew as soon as John Scott and George Parros lined up in the third period a fight was going down. People around me didn’t know why I starting clapping right away, but the coach said during the post-game interview that was the turning point of the game. I’d also like to thank Mr. Wisniewski for letting us have the extra point without having to go to the shoot-out.

Not much new to report from the arena experience tonight. Everyone got a team wall calendar, the sell-out streak is apparently over, they played the Twins rouser over the PA and the starting lineup sequence and national anthem were a little different (but that might just be due to it being opening night). Craig Leopold sat by himself in his suite for most of the game. I ordered some teriyaki chicken wings, but they are now Brakebush, not BWW (I think this actually changed last year). I think there may be a few new food items available this year, too.

Wild are away from the X for like two weeks now…

Originally published by DK on October 6, 2009 at 12:56 pm

Wild Preseason – Havlat, Hawks and Fisticuffs

Posted Sunday, September 20th, 2009 10:45 pm GMT -5 in Hockey,Longform at 10:45 PM

Tonight I was invited by my uncle to the second Wild pre-season home game against the Chicago Blackhawks. Normally, these early games that no one wants to pay for (or attend) are devoid of most entertainment value. This game was an exception to that rule for me.

Martin Havlat seemed intent to make an impression against his former team, scoring 86 seconds into the game by burying a nice pass from Pouliot. He added a second goal in similar fashion in the third, this time from Clutterbuck. His buddy “Siki” scored the third and final goal of the game with 2:57 left. I hope Havlat and Sykora stay healthy all year and get to play on the same line – seems like good chemistry there.

Chicago stars Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews were scratched, so you can’t take too much from the shutout part of the game, but Backstrom seemed strong in his two periods of play. Khudobin got some work in the third and made me feel a little better in the event we lose Harding this year to the trade pool.

There were five (!) fights in this game, and all were fun to watch:

  • Dowell vs. Smith
  • Bois vs. Scott
  • Lalonde vs. Cuma
  • Fraser vs. Sifers
  • Johnson vs. Kassian

Attendance was never announced (that I can recall), so I wonder if the streak is over. The first 5,000 people received the magnetic season calendar (pictured above), but it doesn’t indicate which games will be in HD. Food seemed to be the same – the Davanni’s stand sold us two garlic cheese bread orders and two regular soft drinks for $15.50.

Should be an interesting season – Go Wild!

Originally published by DK on September 20, 2009 at 10:45 pm

Boogaard Modeling at the Fair

Posted Wednesday, September 2nd, 2009 10:42 am GMT -5 in Hockey,Mini Posts at 10:42 AM

You know it’s almost time for hockey hibernation in Minnesota to end when you start seeing Wild players at the state fair. This year it was Derek Boogaard modeling the new third jersey and signing autographs last Sunday in the new Fan Central building.

Much has been written already about the new design and I’ll just say that I think it will grow on me, but it doesn’t knock my socks off. There are so many font styles battling that it seems a little disjointed (and that capitol “M” seems…weird). I guess I was just a big fan of the original Wild logo (that now only appears prominently on the white jerseys).

The new season is only 13 days away – let’s play hockey!

Originally published by DK on September 2, 2009 at 10:42 am

2009 Wild Prospect Camp Photos

Posted Sunday, July 12th, 2009 11:58 pm GMT -5 in Hockey,Mini Posts at 11:58 PM

I made it down to the X for the first half of the scrimmage. Couldn’t stop laughing at “Coach Burns” and how he and Clutterbuck kept going back and forth. Classic.

There are a bunch of pictures I took that I uploaded to the Hockey in Minnesota photo gallery. This was the first time I was allowed to bring in my 80-200mm lens, so I wasn’t really sure how well it would work. Still need more practice, but there are a few OK ones in there.

Another funny note – I thought I saw Boogaard sitting in the stands behind the bench, but after reviewing my photos, turns out it was Russo:
Don Russo
I’m not sure who will find that funnier – Russo or Boogaard… 🙂

Originally published by DK on July 12, 2009 at 11:58 pm

Wild 2009 Select-A-Seat

Posted Thursday, May 21st, 2009 12:01 pm GMT -5 in Family,Hockey,Mini Posts at 12:01 PM

Last night we went to the 2009 edition of the Wild Select-A-Seat season ticket holder event and had a blast. I’ll write more on this over at Hockey in Minnesota soon, but I just wanted to link to the photos in the private section of the 7 Minute Miles photo gallery.

Originally published by DK on May 21, 2009 at 12:01 pm

End of the Season and End of an Era

Posted Sunday, April 19th, 2009 10:38 pm GMT -5 in Hockey,Longform at 10:38 PM

I didn’t write many blog posts here the past few weeks, as I mainly used Twitter (@hockeymn) to write about the end of the Wild season. 140 characters at a time was about all I could manage then.

I’ve had to scrap this post several times in the past few weeks, as the news just keeps flying fast and furious. The three exciting final games, our slim playoff chances dashed, the departure of our only coach and then what I thought couldn’t possibly happen, the firing of GM Doug Risebrough. Lots of uncertainty everywhere in the organization now. Hell, we might not even have two newspapers covering the team by the time the 09/10 season begins.

The original title of this post was going to be “If I Owned the Wild,” but then Mr. Leipold stepped up and took charge. Until this week, I was going to ask how the State of Hockey ended up with a cheesehead owner who moonlights as a Republican delegate. Apparently he heard from enough armchair owners during the season to figure out what needed to be done to prevent the pitchforks and potential loss of revenue.

Some random thoughts:

  • Thanks, Jacques, for all you did here. I thought it was very interesting he knew nothing about the upcoming Riser events.
  • Thanks, Doug, for all you did here in the beginning. What you did then was great, but the organization needs different things now to bring a cup to the State of Hockey.
  • If half of the Burns concussion news is accurate, the medical team needs to go too.
  • I’d still like to see Gaborik return under the new regime, but I’d only do an incentive-laden contract. The days of long-term, guaranteed money NHL deals may never return – or shouldn’t (do you hear me Detroit?).
  • We probably can’t afford it, but if the new GM can get Mikko’s brother and Mr. Cammalleri to play in St. Paul, I’d be a very, very happy season ticket holder.
  • Hey NHL, having non-stop NHL games on every night in HD for free is the best. Could we have this during the regular season somehow too? Pretty please?

I won’t be writing here much during the playoffs and during the draft (see Golfing in Minnesota and Run in Minnesota), but I thank all of you who visited during the past year. I’m planning to do much more next season, so please stop back and see us again soon…

Originally published by DK on April 19, 2009 at 10:38 pm