That question will be addressed in great detail on a future blog entry, where warped minds reveal a couple of new death clues (supplied by the Beatles themselves, over two years before the "Paul is dead" hysteria started) that as far as I know are genuine Warpy originals. At least, they are strong clues that I haven't seen presented in any form of media to date -- and when it comes to the Fab Four, I've seen and read more than my share. But enough with the "off topic" stuff, eh? It's time to fire up the Warpy Psychlotron and see if the Minnesota Wild offense has any signs of life:
dangling sub-atomic participles:
Top Quark(s): There are a few strong kihntenders from Sunday's win against the Edmonton Oilers, but the Top Quark has to go to Mikko Koivu. In addition to his usual sterling defensive play, Koivu dished off a work of art assist to Antti Miettinen, and finished off the game with a shootout clincher against former teammate Dwayne Roloson. The only downside was Koivu's "cellie" which no doubt got him lots of grief from his teammates, not to mention a couple dozen fellow Finns who happened to be at the X for Sunday's game.
Up Quark(s): Cal Clutterbuck adds an Up Quark to his rapidly growing collection for his continued hard-nosed play, and also for getting under the proverbial sphincters of several Oilers players. Last year, it was Derek Boogaard who goosed Oilers agitators into taking runs at him while drawing the penalties, but nowadays the guys are on their best behavior whenever #24 is on the ice. It's good to know that the Wild have their own agitator now (even though Clutterbuck is too clean and too good at backing up his actions to qualify as a true Matt Cooke or Cody McLoudmouth type of agitator..)
Props are also in order to Nick Schultz for one of the better games he's played in quite some time. #55 was not only solid defensively on Sunday, but he also threw in some nice offensive charges, and picked up a well deserved assist on the Koivu to Miettinen beauty.
Down Quark(s): Not much in the way of downers in Sunday's massively entertaining game, but a Down Quark call has to be given to the refs for their questionable pattern of calls and non-calls. The refs set the tone early by calling everying tight (actually, too tight for my liking, since this sort of micromanagement deprives players the chance to police themselves) but at least they get credit for being consistent early on. In later stages of the game, the calls and non-calls were sporadic (to put it tactfully) and the penalty minutes were way too one-sided given the all-around evenness of the game. So much for the marble theory, eh? The interference call on Pierre-Marc Bouchard with less than a minute left in the third period was an absolute joke. After calling nothing for the entire period, how does a ref justify awarding a potential game deciding power play on a ticky-tack play like that?!
Bottom Quark(s): In order to cut down on the amount of typing I'll need to do on further entries, I might as well put Martin Skoula's name here on a permanent basis.
Once again, Skooly actually played pretty darn well. #41 did make a handful of his usual bumbling plays, and also did quite a bit of his usual standing by the goalpost facing the wrong way routine, but Skoula made enough good plays to cancel out the bad plays and end up with a quarkless game. Since he seems to play better when I leave him permanently in Bottm Quark Land, I'm not going to repeat my earlier mistake of removing his name from this section, but will give due props when called for.
The real Bottom Quark goes to Brent Burns, hands down. #8 has looked totally lost since his return to the blue line. His defensive play, always physical and positionally sound before, is now looking more and more like Kim Johnsson's impression of a five million dollar turnstile, while his offensive play is declining almost as badly. Burnsie almost singlehandedly killed off the last Wild power play with his bumbling excuse for stickhandling by the blue line, and his offensive charges came more often than not at the wrong time. If I didn't know better, I would've sworn that #8 and #5 swapped jerseys before the game.
One can only hope that Kurtis Foster's impending return to the Wild's defensive corps induces Jacques Lemaire to put Burnsie back on wing, and forget about him being a defenseman for the remainder of this season. Then, if the Wild brass are smart, they will hire Keith Carney as a defenseman coach/consultant so he can continue to give guys like Burns and Schultz the tutoring they need so they stop looking to Johnsson and Skoula for veteran tutoring. If Carney gets too expensive, Warpy hereby volunteers for a negotiable fee.
Strange Quark(s): One of the surest signs that Doomsday is near? The fact that warped minds can say "Martin Skoula is playing way better than Brent Burns" and expect to be taken seriously. Yes, Lord Vader, it really is happening that way.
Charmed Quark(s): Gotta give a call to our old goalie, Dwayne Roloson. It's nice to see Rolli doing well, and he certainly did his share to pick up a point for the Oilers on Sunday. Just when the Wild's offense is rumored to be dead, the good guys threw 39 shots on goal, with at least a dozen quality scoring chances. Where the hell was this sort of game against the freaking Predators?
The Invisible Higgs Boson Award(s): At the rate things are progressing, the Europeans will fire up their Large Hadron Collider (LHC) and disCERN the real Higgs particle before Marian Gaborik is seen in skates again. It's enough to make warped minds fire up their THC (that would be "titanic hadron colliders", in case your twisted mind was thinking about chemistry instead of physics...)
Speaking of invisible, how 'bout Stephane Veilleux?
post-dramatic sin drones:
And in Kihnclusion: The Wild kihntinue to tease fans with the old "good game, bad game" routine. Unfortunately, time is running out for the good guys to put some space between themselves and the playoffs bubble. With a brutal schedule that sees the Wild play 12 of 16 games on the road against tough opponents in March, the good guys need to snatch up every point they can while the schedule is in their favor this month. GO WILD!!!
...and now, a word from our spawn's heirs...
If my wife to be or not to be is watching, now that you're finally showing some interest in football, whaddya say we practice the spread formation a few times, eh? To the rest of you, thanx for tuning in, and remember: If the women don't find ya handsome, they should at least find ya handy.