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Coyotes Fan

Arizona Coyotes defeated by former goalie in Minnesota. posted by Coyotes Fan

For better or worse, there was no way Saturday's game between the Arizona Coyotes and Minnesota Wild could be anything but a goaltenders duel.

Just days after the Coyotes shipped off back-up netminder Devan Dubnyk to the Wild for a third-round draft pick, they were victims of a 25-save performance by Dubnyk en route to a 3-1 loss in Minnesota.

Mike Smith performed quite admirably in his crease as well, stopping all but two of the 32 shots he faced. However, he was unable to get a win, dropping his season record to 7-19-2.

Minnesota scored the first two goals, controlling play for much of the game's first two periods. Then the Coyotes went on their second power play of the game.

Antoine Vermette cut Minnesota's lead in half at the 13:47 mark of the second period with his 11th goal of the season. It was all the offense Arizona would muster.

Zach Parise potted the empty-net goal for the Wild in the final minute, dropping the Coyotes to 16-24-4 on the season after a fourth consecutive loss.

Devan Dubnyk recorded his second career assist on Minnesota's second goal. Dubnyk's last point came on Feb. 27, 2012 as a member of the Edmonton Oilers.

Despite Arizona's rough season, their power play has been a bright spot for the team. The Coyotes went 1-for-2 on Saturday night, bettering their unit to 21.7 percent for the season. That ranks seventh in the NHL and second in the Western Conference.

Saturday's game was the first game of Arizona's franchise-record eight-game road trip. The Coyotes do not play on home ice again until February, leaving the Valley while the NFL's Pro Bowl and Super Bowl come to town.

Continue reading "Arizona Coyotes defeated by former ..."

Wild Fan

Wild rallies for big third period, falls in shootout to Detroit posted by Wild Fan

After Tuesday night’s 5-4 shootout loss to the Red Wings, despite the Wild executing a three-goal, third-period comeback against one of the NHL’s best defensive teams, the Wild couldn’t grab that crucial extra point at Joe Louis Arena.

“There was still another point available for us that we didn’t get,” Parise said after the Wild’s final game before All-Star Weekend. “That’s disappointing because we’re not in a position right now to be losing them.”

The Wild also is in a position where it must grasp any positive it can at this point, coach Mike Yeo inferred. And after a miserable 2-7-4 stretch, the Wild hopes grabbing five out of eight points before the break can be a launching point next week when the schedule resumes in Western Canada.

“Do I wish we got the second point? Of course I do,” Yeo said. “But we also could have easily had zero points the way that game had gone. That could end up being a huge point for us, who knows? Bottom line is if we keep bringing that same kind of character and focus and more than anything else, that kind of play, we’ll get rewarded.”

Kuemper stopped all 14 shots he faced in 37:35, but in the shootout, Pavel Datsyuk — who is tied with Parise and Koivu for the most shootout goals in history, 38 — and Nyquist scored and Parise and Koivu couldn’t.

“I think you have to look at it as a win,” Wild forward Ryan Carter said. “Third period, down three goals, find a way to come back and get the point, shootouts, there are cheesy wins and cheesy losses.

Continue reading "Wild rallies for big third period, ..."

Stars Fan

Dallas Stars 'pay a big price' to get back into contention posted by Stars Fan

Is there a better breakout candidate in the second half of the season than the Dallas Stars?

OK, we know that we’ve been waiting for the Stars to take the NHL by storm – pretty much since the summer.

Ales Hemsky was brought in. Captain Jamie Benn was going to be amazing and so here comes the Dallas Stars Juggernaut!

Instead the most productive element of the Stars operation this season has been the jumbotron.

Benn and Seguin have indeed been prolific – but the Stars have been up-and-down all year. But as of Monday, Dallas is back in the playoff race just two points behind Calgary for the last Wild Card spot. How in the world did that happen?

It has occurred by ensuring all parts of their game have clicked at the same time, which wasn’t the case earlier in the season.

Spezza made them better down the middle. Hemsky added depth. But the Stars never really dealt with an area of weakness. Defense. It was basically ‘score enough goals and hope Kari Lehtonen stops everything that comes his way.’

As talented as Lehtonen is, that’s not a recipe for success, unless Ruff thought he was back in Buffalo in the late '90s with Dominik Hasek.

In Trevor Daley and Alex Goligoski the Stars had two solid No. 2 or 3 defensemen, but no clear-cut No. 1. And once they started to realize this, Dallas began to slowly, methodically turn its season around.

Earlier in the year, the Stars essentially tried to load their offense on Benn and Seguin. Now everyone is joining in, but it still leads back to defense. If they can tighten that up even more and GM Jim Nill can add a defenseman, maybe the Stars can go from bust to burst and fulfill our offseason prophecies! At very least they still have the jumbotron. 

Continue reading "Dallas Stars 'pay a big price' to ..."

Blue Jackets Fan

Wild's win streak ends at two with 3-1 loss to Columbus posted by Blue Jackets Fan

The Columbus Blue Jackets ended what was a glimmer of hope for the Minnesota Wild as they strung two victories together but failed to capitalize on a third. Wild coach Mike Yeo didn’t allow himself to get overly excited. “I don’t know how much momentum we have going,” he said when asked if his team was on a roll. “We’ve won two games.”

That’s where the mini streak ended after Monday night’s 3-1 loss to Columbus at Xcel Energy Center. The Minnesota Wild played energetic, urgent hockey from the second period on, but too many missed opportunities stalled its quest to further distance itself from a wretched month. Bobrovsky stopped 25 shots and shut out the Wild over the final 41 minutes, 17 seconds, dropping it to a 2-4-4 record over its past 10 home games.

Goaltender Devan Dubnyk absorbed his first loss with the Wild, stopping 20 shots in his third game since the team acquired him last week. His teammates didn’t lend him much support. The Wild hit crossbars, whiffed on point-blank shots and couldn’t get its sticks on fat rebounds.

Parise scored the Wild’s only goal, on a beautiful deflection during a first-period power play. Neither he nor Yeo was interested in playing woulda-coulda-shoulda, not on a night when two desperately needed points were lost.

“How long can we use that excuse?” Parise lamented when asked about the near-misses. “We had some good chances. It’s just a matter of capitalizing on them.

Columbus Blue Jackets coach Todd Richards, who coached the Minnesota Wild from 2009 to ’11, defeated his former team for the fourth time in a row. His team did exactly what Yeo predicted, clogging the neutral zone and employing a highly structured defensive game.

Continue reading "Wild's win streak ends at two with ..."

Sabres Fan

Sabres know they aren't paying the price. posted by Sabres Fan

The Sabres faced a Minnesota Wild team on Thursday that had won two of 14 games. Buffalo proceeded to lose 7-0 for their worst loss ever in this building.

Philadelphia comes to town with three losses in four games and has not scored a goal in two games. Yes, in the last two games the Sabres have outscored the Flyers 1-0!

Overall the Flyers have 10 more points than Buffalo and scored 44 more goals.

Before the shutout string, captain Claude Giroux had five points in four games. Giroux has 48 points in 44 games.

Also before the streak, Mark Streit had assists in 15 out of 19 games.

Rob Zepp has been in goal the past three games going 1-1-0 with a 1.90 goals against and a .917 save percentage. Zepp is 33 years old and was a fourth round pick of Carolina Hurricanes in 2001. This is first stint in the NHL after stops in Lehigh Valley, Berlin, SaiPa Lappeenranta, the Florida Everblades and Lowell.

Buffalo had been doing very well at home, but have lost four straight here to fall to 10-12-2 overall.

Buffalo has just seven goals in eight games. Ted Nolan said on Friday that the players are wondering why they aren’t scoring goals. He said it’s because they don’t pay the price. Matt Ellis is a player that pays the price every shift and he said, “We 100 percent have to pay the price. One thing I’ve noticed is we do a lot on the outside. In order to score goals in this league you have to get to the gritty areas in front of the net and you do, you have to pay the price if you want to score goals.”

Continue reading "Sabres know they aren't paying the price."


Wild Fan

Minnesota Wild and Playoffs Chances posted by Wild Fan

Minnesota Wild will be facing the Chicago Blackhawks and St. Louis Blues in the Western conference. Both teams are good enough for the playoffs and they are most likely going to dominate the central division of the western conference. However, the Wilds can match up with its skillful players.

Skilled Players

They have good forward corps that can showcase a good offence for most of the teams. They happen to have a lot of depth. Young skaters such as Nino Niederreiter, Mikael Granlund,  have had a season of experience and can only get better this season. They also have veterans such as Mikko Koivu, Zach Parise.

The talent in Thomas Vanek gives the team an edge in terms of the offence and the forward corps talent. The Chicago Blackhawks have a good defence pairing in Oduya and Hjalmarsson, who can practically shut down the opposing team’s offence. However, the Wilds offence has improved since the last season and they can put up a good fight.

Defence and Goal Tending

The wilds have an excellent defenseman in Ryan Suter.  Without him, the defence ceases to be as excellent and unshakable as it is. Suter is also one of the most overplayed defence men and gets the most ice time in the league. The team also has to deal with losing Nate Prosser and Clayton Stoner. Jonas Brodin, Jared Spurgeon and Marco Scandella talent can complement Suter but they are still far from elite.

Goal tending is another problem that the wilds need to deal with if they are to make it through the western conference to the playoffs. The team veteran Niklas Backstrom has not been at his best and Chuck Fletcher and Mike Yeo are yet to name a new goalie. If this is sorted the Minnesota wild has a good chance of making it to the playoffs.  

Continue reading "Minnesota Wild and Playoffs Chances"


Richard Kagan

Indoor LaCross Riot posted by Richard Kagan

I gotta tell you, I saw a video of a LaCross game brawl that got out of control.  The fight worsened when one team left their bench and raced onto the playing surface.  This was indoor LaCross.  I don't know what level of teams were competing.  It looked like high school or semi-pro.  But what really got me was this act of crazy behavior was scored to hard rock music!  Oh, let's look at athletes gone wild and rock out of some badass guitar.  I'll tell you what has gotten out of control, is the packaging of this violent, unsportsmanlike brawl gone bad.  It ssems like hey, you know the video "Girls gone Wild", well, let's see some guys gone wild.  Glorifying fights of this nature doesn't diminish it, it gives it a license to continue unabated.  I saw the officials who were totally overwhelmed.  How are you going to stop 20 guys from hitting each other?  Get on the PA system.  I turned off the video because I had enough.  I didn't want to hear this wierd scene and listen to music.  Give it a rest.  Next thing you know they'll be selling tickets to see the brawl go out of control.  Nobody wins when that happens.Continue reading "Indoor LaCross Riot"


Jeff Ponder

Weak Northwest Division Could Benefit Blackhawks posted by Jeff Ponder

Vancouver is the heavy favorite heading into the 2011 NHL playoffs to win the Stanley Cup.  Their Northwest Division foes can vouch for that.

 The Vancouver Canucks, who won the President’s Trophy by a landslide-ten points over the East’s Washington Capitals, posted an impressive 54-19-9 record for a league-leading 117 points in the regular season.  Obviously, the Canucks head into the Quarterfinal Series as the top seed in the Western Conference where they will meet the eighth-seeded Chicago Blackhawks.  But how much did Vancouver playing in the Northwest Division help bloat their point total?

The Northwest Division, which features the Canucks, Calgary Flames, Minnesota Wild, Colorado Avalanche and Edmonton Oilers, saw only one of its teams make the playoffs.  This is the only division in the NHL to do so.

The Canucks had a whopping 18-4-2 record against their Northwest Division foes.  With a record like that, it is easy to see how the Canucks can steamroll through parts of the regular season.  Still impressive?  Yes, very much so.  Anytime a team can dominate in their own division usually means that team will be a top-seed in the playoffs.  But what if Vancouver played in a better division?

Let’s say Vancouver goes .500 against the Northwest Division (12-12-0).  Their record drops down to 48-27-7 and they post 103 points.  While these are still very respectable numbers, that drops them to the third seed (keep in mind that they would still hold onto the division title), and puts them just six points ahead of their current playoff matchup, the Chicago Blackhawks.

Continue reading "Weak Northwest Division Could Benefit Blackhawks"


Richard Kagan

A Goal Is A Goal And Kane Gets Cup Winner posted by Richard Kagan

I've seen the the replay 10 times and it still feels sort like you stole cookies from the jar and didn't get caught.  No one said, "Hey, no dessert."  In this odd ending to a helter-skelter Cup Finals, nobody said "No goal, Patrick"  and the Hawks survived Philly's onslaught to steal the game on Kane's great shot, and thus win the Stanley Cup.

The Flyers had the momemtum going to OT, tying the game with just under 4 minutes left on a Scott Hartnell goal in a scrum near the Hawks net.  The fans went wild.  The energy was back in the building and it seemed the Hawks were lucky to get to an OT.  Then the OT started and Niemi came up with some great saves to keep the Hawks in the game.

But Chicago, who seized the early action and looked like the better team in this all important game 6.  It was a home team win series until game 6 when something had to give.  The Hawks took a 3-2 lead into the clincher and although gave their hungry fans fits and grief, their talented winger stepped up to make the huge shot.

It seemed like a phantom goal.  No light went on.  Nobody made an annoucement.  All one saw was Kane skating down the ice in jubilation, throwing off his gloves, and helmet.  Players pounded him near his own net...then, as a stunned crowd sat in silence, the Hawks learned the goal was a good one.  And the expectant joy turned into a euphoria. 

The Hawks had done it.  Won a game they had to win, not to force a game 7 in their building.  They had been there before in 1971 and lost to the Canadiens at the old Chicago Stadium.  They weren't going to let the Series go to a game 7.  And Kane, who faked like a wide-receiver with the ball, zoomed 20 feet and let off a shot to the net that eluded goalie Michael Leighton.  It crossed the goal line in the blink of an eye.  No one saw it except Kane.  Game over, and Hawks win a championship. 

Continue reading "A Goal Is A Goal And Kane Gets Cup Winner"


Johnny Matheis

Illinois Derby the most betable prep today posted by Johnny Matheis

The Wood is a six horse field, and the two chalkier runners look tough, while the other 4 need improvement. Improvement is possible. But this not a betable race. There are many words for people who bet this race, but "handicapper" is not among them. To win money on races like this involves nothing but "dumb" luck.

 If Eskendereya does get beat, and still runs a good second or third, then the winner deserves note.

The Illinois Derby is the most betable, with Calfornia being more of a form filler race.

7th RACE HAWTHORNE 1 1/8 MILE GRADE 3 ILLINOIS DERBY

PROJECTED ORDER OF FINISH:

PROGRAM NUMBER-NAME OF RUNNER-ROBABLE ODDS-COMMENTS:

7 BACKTALK 6-1 Amoss has emerged as one of the secret handicapper's trainers the last few years. This one comes off a track that probably wasn't that rock hard, and figures to be healthy. Expect a better time here.

1 AMERICAN LION 5-2 Has just a little bet better forward move so far than Dixie, but it's close

6 DAVE IN DIXE 9-5  runs even, but needs to step it up a bit in his fifth lifetime start

3 BOULDER CREEK 8-1 looks 4th best

9 GAME BALL 30-1 looks well outmatched,but is well bred for distance

5 TURF MELODY 8-1 closes well, and could hit the board

4 YAWANNA TWIST 8-1 looks to have run his best races, and has an outside shot at best

2 STEPHEN'S GOT HOPE 50-1 is a maiden and would be a huge upset

BEST BETS: WPS on 7. Exact Wheel 1,7 over 1,3,4,5,6,7: Trifecta Box 1-3-6: Superfecta: Wheel 7 with 1,3,6,9 with 1,3,5,6,9 with 1,3,5,6,9, Wheel 1,7 with 1,7 with 3,5,6,9 with All, Wheel 1,7 with 1,6,7,9 with 1,6,7,9 with All. 

Continue reading "Illinois Derby the most betable prep today"

Minnesota Wild News

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Dubnyk helps Wild blank Flames 1-0 (Yahoo Sports)

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From Yahoo Sports


Wild send Kuemper on AHL conditioning assignment (Yahoo Sports)

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) -- The Minnesota Wild have assigned goalie Darcy Kuemper to their AHL affiliate for a conditioning assignment. [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports


Stars power play clicks in shutout victory over Wild

Erik Cole and Ray Whitney scored power-play goals, and theDallas Stars stopped a three-game losing streak with a 4-0 victoryover the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday night. [read full article]

From FOXSports.com News for NHL


Red Wings earn rare shootout win, 5-4 over Minnesota Wild (Yahoo Sports)

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From Yahoo Sports

Coyotes' Boedker has spleen removed after hard hit (Yahoo Sports)

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From Yahoo Sports

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