The 8th seed team can thank Kim Johnsson for turning a Minnesota Wild 1-0 shutout win against the Los Angeles Kings into 1-1 tie and shootout loss, courtesy of The Shot Heard Around His Own Net. Just when warped minds were getting optimistic about the Wild's chances to put some points between them and the playoff bubble, the Swedish Salary Cap Boat Anchor strikes again. But there's more about Johnsson later in the Bottom Quarks sector of the kihntinuum, so it wouldn't do for the Warpy Psychlotron to give everything away now, eh?
dangling sub-atomic participles:
Top Quark(s): Mikko Koivu received the #1 star in last night's game, but I've gotta give the Top Quark to Antti Miettinen for his stellar performance. I addition to the sweet, jock strap shredding move he put on Kings goalie Jonathan Quick in regulation time, #20 also potted the only shootout goal for the good guys (though Koivu drew iron on his SO effort after putting the move on Quick). Miettinen's hustle on defense wasn't too shabby, either, which has to please Jacques Lemaire to no end.
Up Quark(s): Koivu gets a huge Up Quark for his assist on Miettinen's shorthanded tally. #9 generated the whole play by jumping a pass route in a manner reminiscent of Darren Sharper picking off another Brett Favre interception. It's a shame that he hit the post on the shootout, because he had the goalie beaten crisp and clean with no caffeine. Speaking of Kings goaltending, Quick gets an Up Quark for his insane glove save on Koivu earlier in the game, when Mikko appeared on the verge of finishing off a sweet backdoor play.
Down Quark(s): It's hard to find much in the way of downers in a low scoring, evenly kihntested game, but warped minds were less than thrilled with the officiating. Some Wild players got sent to the box on really marginal ticky-tack calls, whereas Cal Clutterbuck was getting worked over all night by the Kings while drawing only one whistle. Kings fans also have a right to scratch their heads at the refereeing last night: as weak as some of the calls against the Wild were, the calls against the Kings were even worse, and appeared to serve no purpose other than as make-up calls in order to keep the marbles somewhat balanced between the proverbial pockets.
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 Kim Johnsson's name here on a permanent basis, and fill in the needed details later. The Swedish Salary Cap Boat Anchor plays "defense" as if he's afraid people will think he's gay if he's seen touching another guy. The closest thing Johnsson does to "checking" is the occasional sticking out of the arm or stick, which forwards easily skate through on their way to the net while #5 spins around like a five million dollar turnstile.
Yep, no doubt about it: Kim Johnsson piles up another Bottom Quark to add to his dildaphonic collection. As if non-checking and non-defending isn't bad enough, now #5 feels the need to shoot pucks into his own net. Granted, Johnsson wasn't actually trying to score on Backstrom on the play, but what kind of chowderhead decides to try clearing the puck by throwing it across the crease two inches in front of the goal line in any defensive situation?
Strange Quark(s): What's up with Pierre-Marc Bouchard not even getting a sniff at trying to win the game for the Wild in the shootout? #96 has been on fire for the last couple of weeks, and has been on one of those rolls where even his bad shots find a Midas touch. With the shootout knotted at 1-1 after the first three shooters, the Wild brain trust had a prime chance to put the game in the hands of the hottest player not named Owen Nolan. But noooooooo -- they decide to go with Brent "Lost His Mojo" Burns for all the marbles. Aside from playing sub-standard defense for several weeks, Brent Burns has left much to be desired in shootouts this year. As readers of earlier blog entries will no doubt remember, I've used lots of adjectives to describe what I think of Brent Burns doing his silly impression of Pavol Demitra on shootouts ("let's go far off to one side, and give the goalie only one angle to worry about..")
Charmed Quark(s): When Niklas Backstrom stopped Anze Kopitar cold on the first SO shot, warped minds were sure that two points were in the bag for the good guys. That sentiment lasted all of about five seconds, when some genius decided to go with Marek Zidlicky for our first shooter. It's amazing how some defensemen (*cough* Keith Carney or Erik Reitz) can stay in Jacques Lemaire's doghouse indefinitely, while others get a free pass in a matter of days. Lemaire has been reaming Zidlicky a new one for the last couple of games, but all of a sudden when the game is on the line, he decides to throw up a big, juicy bone. Brilliant. If he was gonna throw a bone to a defenseman, Lemaire could've at least picked Martin Skoula -- he has been on a scoring roll lately (heck, any time Skooly gets a point, it qualifies as a "roll".) Can you imagine the noise at the X if #41 were to get a shootout goal?
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 collider", in case your twisted mind was thinking about chemistry instead of physics...)
post-dramatic sin drones:
And in Kihnclusion: One point is better than none, but with home games running out faster than 401k balances in American dollars, the Wild let one get away. Next up is a western road trip that starts with the inevitable loss to the Calgary Flames, followed by an entertaining wax job on the Edmonton Oilers, which Derek Boogaard will no doubt be looking forward to GO WILD!!!
...and now, a word from our spawn's heirs...
If my wife to be or not to be is watching, the butterfly position isn't just for goalies anymore. To the rest of you, thanx for tuning in, and remember: the sooner you fall behind, the more time you will have to catch up.