Minnesota Wild (1-1-1) 3pts 7th in the Central
2.0 Goals For Per Game
2.7 Goals Against Per Game
0% Power Play
81.8% Penalty Kill
Top 5 Scorers:
1. #16 Jason Zucker ~ 2G 1A = 3pts
2. #11 Zach Parise ~ 1G 2A = 3pts
3. #20 Ryan Suter ~ 1G 2A = 3pts
4. #12 Eric Staal ~ 1G 2A = 3pts
5. #24 Matthew Dumba ~ 1G 0A = 1pt
Top 3 PIM’s:
1. #17 Marcus Foligno ~ 5 PIM’s
2. #9 Mikko Koivu ~ 2 PIM’s
3. #29 Greg Pateryn ~ 2 PIM’s
1. #40 Devan Dubnyk (1-1-1) 1.93GAA .945%SP
2. #32 Alex Stalock N/A
Carolina Hurricanes (3-0-1) 7pts 1st in the Metropolitan
4.3 Goals For Per Game
2.8 Goals Against Per Game
10% Power Play
71.4% Penalty Kill
Top 5 Scorers:
1. #20 Sebastian Aho ~ 2G 4A = 6pts
2. #79 Michael Ferland ~ 2G 3A = 5pts
3. #11 Jordan Staal ~ 3G 2A = 5pts
4. #37 Andrei Svechnikov ~ 2G 2A = 4pts
5. #14 Justin Williams ~ 0G 4A = 4pts
Top 3 PIM’s:
1. #44 Calvin de Haan ~ 4 PIM’s
2. #79 Michael Ferland ~ 4 PIM’s
3. #14 Justin Williams ~ 4 PIM’s
1. #34 Petr Mrazek (1-0-1) 3.53GAA .841%SP
2. #35 Curtis McElhinney (2-0-0) 2.00 .930%SP
Welcome (back) to the 1980s.
Depending on the age of those reading this, the 1980s can mean many things. You may have been old enough to be raising a family of your own. Or, you were in elementary school, high school, or college. And then there are those of you who weren’t even born yet. For myself, when the decade started, I was 3 going on 4, and most of the decade was spent in elementary school. For those of us old enough to remember the decade, it was about the fashions (some of it pretty questionable) and the music. There are some classic albums that came out during the decade, I think of Thriller by Michael Jackson and Purple Rain by Minnesota’s own native son, Prince. Along with the music of the 1980s came the birth of music videos and in particular MTV on cable television. It brought our musicians into our homes on a regular basis, which if you lived in the middle of no where, were hundreds of miles away from one of the major cities where bands made tour stops, you could finally see them perform. Sure, it wasn’t live, but it was one step closer to seeing your favorite singer or band. While the song I think best defines the 1980s as a whole was written in 1979, it was the song and video that christened MTV’s debut. I give you the Buggles’ Video Killed the Radio Star.
For Minnesota hockey fans, the 1980s weren’t exactly something to write home about. With the exception of the Minnesota North Stars making the Stanley Cup Finals in 1981, there wasn’t much to write home about. Now mind you, in that decade they missed the playoffs only two seasons, 1986-87 and 1987-88. However, let’s keep in mind you had to be really horrible to not make the playoffs back then. Don’t believe me, just look at their record in the 1990-91 season where they also lost in the Stanley Cup Finals. Many of those appearance were ended in the first or second round. With the exception of the Cup final season of 1980-81, they only made it past the second round in the 1983-84 season. And of course the 1980s took us into the 1990s which led to the ultimate demise of the North Stars. But with that in mind, the Minnesota Wild have decided to host a 1980s themed game today. For those of you heading to the game today, you will be gifted with a “puzzle cube” or as you better know them, a Rubik’s cube. So pull out your hair band wigs, your Aquanet, and your leg warmers. Perhaps certain slower players should don some leg warmers to keep their legs a bit more limber. With the age and slowness of this team, it certainly wouldn’t hurt.
I know there are plenty of people out there who are still riding high on Thursday night’s win against Chicago. Yes, it felt good to get the first win of the season, but let’s not pat ourselves on the back and start planning the parade route because we beat Chicago. That was a Chicago team that missed the playoffs last season altogether and are also not the same Chicago teams that won the Stanley Cup. This Chicago team is a mere shadow of its former greatness. Sure, they still have Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane, but even they’re getting older. However, Chicago’s fourth line certainly had more pep than Minnesota’s, yet that could be addressed by calling up players like Kyle Rau and Justin Kloos from Iowa. No, this isn’t a ploy to get more “one of us” players on the team. It’s simply that they have far more speed than say Marcus Foligno, Eric Fehr, and J.T. Brown. The NHL has become a league of speed, but for whatever reason, the Minnesota Wild haven’t gotten that memo (or they’ve chosen to ignore it). On many nights, it feels like the only spark of speed this team has is Jason Zucker. It’s going to be a long season if we have to rely on one player to sprint up the ice to try and create something.
Today’s opponent, the Carolina Hurricanes are looking pretty good out of the starting gate. They’re boasting a 3-0-1 record, which compared to the Wild’s 1-1-1 record, it’s certainly much better. The test will be whether or not the Hurricanes can continue on that pace, or at least a respectable one. Not only are the Hurricanes playing well, this is actually their best start to the season in team history, since they’ve been in Raleigh. The only season the franchise posted a better start was in the 1995-96 season when they were still the Hartford Whalers. I’ll admit, I’m not a big fan of the afternoon game, as I feel they often don’t bode well for the Wild. But perhaps it’s the kind of “out of the ordinary” kind of game that will help get this team out of their funk. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think it will be enough to start them on a long winning streak, but this team has become rather monotonous that maybe they need something different. Eric Staal’s brother Jordan Staal like his team, is off to a good start as well. In five games played, Jordan has 3 goals and two assists. But the first step in trying to build on Thursday night’s win is to not spot your opponent two goals relatively early in the game. When you’re struggling, you can’t afford to give goals to the opposition and then have to dig yourself out of your self-dug hole. Sure, it can create some drama and a good byline for the writers, but I’d rather not have to watch the continual need for rallies night after night.
So as we relish in the decade of the youth of many of use, and we sign along to Video Killed the Radio Star, I have to think, wouldn’t it be nice if it was RADIO that killed the video star. Like many fans, I know for sure I much prefer Bob Kurtz and Tom Reid doing the game on the radio over Anthony LaPanta and Mike Greenlay on television. One can dream, because to quote another 80s class “sweet dreams are made of this.”