This is getting scary. The Minnesota Wild are officially a hot team now, thanks to yet another second period victory. The Chicago Blackhawks became the latest victims of the Wild's second period attack, and the good guys have now bagged 13 of a possible 14 points to begin the season. Warped minds are still waiting for a complete, three period effort from the Wild, but if they keep going into third periods with the lead, it's hard to argue with success. But enough jabbering; it's time to fire up the Warpy Quark psychlotron:
dangling sub-atomic participles:
Top Quark(s): This one's a slam dunk: the Top Quark has to go to Mikko Koivu for his performance last night. Some of those passes he made were absolutely sick. The best one came in the first period and didn't result in a goal, but was a perfect no-look backhand feed from the end boards that made me swear Koivu has some kind of rear view mirror in his helmet. And as if assisting on all three Wild goals wasn't stylish enough, Koivu also made a pretty nifty pass to set up Chicago's third period goal, turning a 3-1 yawner into a more exciting 3-2 finish. No doubt about it: Mikko Koivu is now the face (and heart) of the franchise.
Up Quark(s): Martin Skoula gets a huge Up Quark for his game last night. Frankly, I don't know how he was left out of the 3 Stars of the game; Koivu was the no-brainer #1 star, but Skoula should've been the #2 star, or #3 at the very minimum. The fact that I'm saying this without the slightest hint of sarcasm no doubt has regular Warpyland visitors questioning my insanity, but a man's gotta give credit when it's due -- and Skoula definitely earned big time props last night. His play during the 5 on 3 penalty kill was a thing of beauty, and his 2 on 1 defense wasn't too shabby, either. I'm not sure who the Wild put in the #41 jersey last night or what they did with the regular Martin Skoula, but the dude they had in last night was pretty darn good.
Down Quark(s): It's hard to find much fault in a game that was basically a boring 3-1 victory until Koivu's fourth assist, but I've gotta add a Down Quark to Marc-Andre Bergeron's collection. His defense doesn't appear to be anything to write home about, and his slap shots are starting to miss the net more often than Brian Rolston. He did, however, prove that it's possible to say "Martin Skoula just bailed his partner out" while keeping a straight face.
Bottom Quark(s): In order to reduce the amount of typing I'll need to do on future entires, I'll just plug in Martin Skoula's name here on a permanent basis, and insert the needed details later.
Skoula is now 4 for 4 in decent games since I decided to make his name a fixture here, so if it ain't broke, there's no sense fixing it. If this keeps up much longer, we may have to add Kim Johnsson and Marc-Andre Bergeron as permanent fixtures to this sector of the Warpy kihntinuum in order to see if we can catch Lightning in a bottle again without exceeding Chandrasekhar's Limit.
The actual Bottom Quark goes in advance to Jacques Lemaire for his impending selection of next month's Wild captain. Koivu is definitely the heart of this team (and will soon take over as the face of the franchise seeing as how Old Whatshisface who used to wear #10 is nowhere to be seen), so if ever a player deserved to be named the permanent captain of this team, it's Mikko Koivu. Heck, #9 wearing the "C" may very well be the one legacy of the Bush adminstration that's worth making permanent.
Strange Quark(s): The fact that warped minds are voluntarily heaping praise on Martin Skoula can only mean one thing: Wisconsin must be freezing over.
Charmed Quark(s): The Wild special teams continue their fine play on both sides of the ledger. Our penalty killing remains perfect for the season, and the power play continues to pump its fair share of pucks in the net. If special teams had performed like this a few months ago, the Wild might've done a lot of damage in the playoffs. The improved play of our special teams (along with Lemaire's ability to get more value out of one timeout per game than Brad Childress does with three per half) should put Jacques solidly in line for taking over as the next Vikings head coach.
post-dramatic sin drones:
And in Kihnclusion: The Wild are officially on a roll now. Next up is a quick trip to Dallas to take on the Bloomington Stars. Martin Skoula will no doubt be pumped to show his old team what they're missing, and Antti Miettinen might be good for a hat trick if he makes himself available for Koivu's magician passes. It's been a while since the Wild left Dallas with two points, so tomorrow's game should be a good barometer of where the good guys are at. GO WILD!!!
...and now, a word from our spawn's heirs...
If my wife to be or not to be is watching, you're absolutely right about me needing to reduce my carbon footprint, so I took your advice to heart and got me a new graphite driver, which turns out to be more environmentally friendly than that diamond ring you were expecting. To the rest of you, thanx for tuning in, keep your stick on the ice, and remember: size doesn't matter, unless it's too small.