Every Player - Every Shift...Yeah, Right
I knew it wouldn't take long before Craig and his PR Minions would be regretting that whole Every Player - Every Shift motto for this season but I thought perhaps it would take a little longer than the third game into the season. It only took 2 games this year and the Wild players, old and new alike, are back to taking shifts and entire periods of each game off. I'm not sure why they bother coming out of the dressing room sometimes since it appears to be such a horrendous strain on them. I suppose a warm body is better than no body? Actually I think I'd prefer no body than having to watch lifeless blobs skate around the rink collecting a big, fat paycheck while not actually earning it.
It's bad enough when the players decide to make a mockery of the game when playing teams like Ottawa, Columbus and Edmonton. But Saturday night the Wild players decided they were All That & A Bag of Chips after mounting a 2-0 lead over the Red Wings by early in the second period. See, here's the problem(s) with that kind of mentality:
1. It's the Red Wings
2. There were still 35 minutes of hockey left in the game
3. The Red Wings were already outshooting us 23-9 at that point
4. The Red Wings were starting to outskate, outpass, outperform us at that point
5. It's the Red Wings
In short order the Hockey Town team made fools out of the State of Hockey team and never looked back. The Wings passed with laser precision. They gained and owned our zone without any hesitation, nor was there much in the way of resistance from our players. The Wings skated circles around the Wild and had our players chasing their own shadows. Thank God for Josh Harding. He faced 41 shots and was SCINTILLATING to use Russo's usual description of Backstrom's performances (shootouts notwithstanding).
The silver lining in tonight's debacle:
1. Josh Harding - welcome back, buddy!
2. Greg Zanon's goal - first one since December of 2009
3. The way the team played in the 1st period
4. 5 games played: 6 points, 2nd place in the conference (3 way tie for first place).
5. It is just the 5th game of the season, after all
Fun Things to Read and Follow
I have a new favorite NHL blog and I'm betting it's going to be yours as well. Head over The Score website and click on the NHL tab or the BLOGS tab. The Backhand Shelf blog will have you falling out of your chair laughing while at the same time making some serious hockey sense.
Humorous must reads from the blog include:
"The Backhand Shelf Advice Columns; Streaky Goalie Edition"
"The Top 5 Easy To Verbally Abuse Players"
"4 Thoughts From Last Night's NHL Action"
"Tea With Ms. Conduct: The Puckbunny Conundrum"
For those of you who actively tweet or simply like to lurk about here's a few of the hockey folks I follow:
burnzie88 (Brent Burns)
msconduct10 (Ms. Conduct)
wyshynski (Puck Daddy)
russostrib (Michael Russo)
walz3737 (Wes Walz)
styleswild (Tony Da Costa)
rstanzel (Ryan Stanzel)
thirdintermission (Houston Aeros)
For Vicki: who fell in love even more (is that possible?) with Mikko after finding out who his all time favorite band is