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Tag:Kim Johnsson
Posted on: October 18, 2009 6:28 pm
Edited on: October 18, 2009 8:25 pm
 

Minnesota Wild Pre-Season Comes to A Merciful End

premature articulations:

Officially, the NHL preseason ended a couple of weeks ago, but with Todd Richards keeping virtually all starters out of the lineup (and thus robbing them of the chance to get used to playing together with new teammates in a new system) the Minnesota Wild did their finest impression of sports fans everywhere -- paying a regular season price for preseason games.  But now that it looks like the good guys are getting ready for actual regular season play, it's time to fire up the Warpy Psychlotron and get some quarks flying.


dangling sub-atomic participles:

Top Quark(s):  There's not much in the way of Top Quarks for the Wild after an 0-fer road trip.  The most Top Quark worthy performance warped minds witnessed this week was the defensive play of the Anaheim Ducks and the Vancouver Canucks.  These teams have no trouble keeping the front of their net clear of opposing players -- and making said players pay a hefty price any time they venture near the crease area.  The same can't be said for the Wild defense; tapes of the Ducks and the Nucks playing D should be mandatory viewing for all Wild blueliners not named Schultz or Hnidy.  All too often, opposing players collapse into Niklas Backstrom's crease, and the Johnssons, Zidlickys and Zanons of the world are only too happy to let them set up shop there for as long as they please.

Up Quark(s):  Fellow Wild fan cmc18v (who has a damn funny blog on this site) has turned me on to Benoit Pouliot.  #67 has been doing a fine job of getting in front of the net and creating trouble for opposing goalies; if he adds a finishing touch to his scoring chances, Pouliot could put up some damaging stats this year.  James Sheppard has also picked up his play; #51 took a big step backwards last season after impressing the year before, but Sheppard looks to be returning to the form that made fans see him as a very promising up-and-comer.

I also have to give a shout out to #34 Shane Hnidy.  It took warped minds a few games to connect Hnidy's name with the TV commentators' constant references to "nightie" so I kept wondering what the hell kind of hockey name "nightie" was.  Turns out that it belongs to a solid defensive player who uses above-average size to push guys away from the Wild crease area.  As regular Warpy readers already know, warped minds pay special attention to defensemen, and dissect their play in far more detail than that of the forwards (heck, anybody can talk about goal scorers and recap their points, eh?) and I've gotta say that I'm warming up to Hnidy pretty quickly.

Nick Schultz hereby gets a permanent Up Quark for his reliably steady defensive play.  Schultzie seldom makes spectacular plays that garner media attention, but he almost always makes the routine plays correctly in any given situation.  And with the possible exception of Brent Burns and Shane Hnidy, #55 is also one of the only Wild defensemen who shows a willingness and ability to play the man on a regular basis.  Keep it going, Nick!

Down Quark(s):  Lots of possible choices here, but I've gotta give a Down Quark shout-out to Brent Burns for a continuing series of sub-standard defensive games, paired with less than stellar offensive plays that often as not leave his blueline partner hung out to dry in transition.  Burnsie's skating appears to be a tad slower as well, which makes warped minds wonder if he's as healthy as advertised.

Greg Zanon is getting dangerously close to entering permanent Down Quark territory.  I'm still seeing too much of the Martin Skoula-like "stand in front of the net facing the wrong way so it looks like I'm taking a leak by the left goal post" style of defense to get much in the way of warm and flocculent feelings when #6 is on the ice.  The fact that you can see his jersey number on TV when the other team is in our zone says it all for warped minds: unless he leads the league in blocked shots because he takes 'em all off his kiester, Zanon (and the fellow crease campers who allow opponents to crash Backstrom at will) need to turn around and see what they're missing.

Bottom Quark(s):  In order to reduce the amount of typing I'll need to do on future blog entires, I hereby award Kim Johnsson (a.k.a. "I don't wanna touch another guy because then people might think I'm gay") the Bottom Quark on a premanent basis, and will just fill in the necessary details on the next line(s) after each game.

News flash!  The Five Million Dollar Salary Cap Boat Anchor goes quarkless in the last three games!  After an absolutely brutal first week, Johnsson actually played three pretty good games in a row.  Nothing spectacular (after all, he did botch a handful of power play chances by allowing the puck to get by him at the point -- a common occurence when #5 is on the ice) but Johnsson also goosed out enough "attaboy, Kimmer, nice play!" shouts from the Warped One to escape this week with a total wash.

I still say a "break even" type of player isn't worth anything close to $5 million a year, but it is what it is, and this is the final year of Johnsson's contract, so there is light at the end of the proverbial tunnel.  Besides, Wild fans are used to seeing far worse play from Johnsson, so if he keeps the Warped Johnsson Meter from going down too much farther, I can live with it.

Strange Quark(s):  Slowly but surely, the Wild are getting the hang of throwing pucks at the net willy-nilly and getting guys down low to sniff around for rebounds, deflections, and the occasional garbage goal.  The Wild keep reverting back to old habits of spending too much time along the boards (three forwards all behind the goal line on the back wall?!) and constantly bypassing shots in favor of the tic-tac-toe highlight reel goal (especially on the power play) but warped minds are still optimistic that it's only a matter of time before our goalies get the luxury of regular goal support.

Charmed Quark(s):  Nobody can accuse the refs of being homers lately; the Wild got more than their share of PP chances on the road trip, but seemed less and less inclined to shoot as the games went on.  Considering how many pucks were finding their way in earlier, I really can't figure out why the Wild don't just throw the puck at the net every chance they get -- junk goals count the same as pretty goals on the stat sheet, and there's nothing like traffic in front of the net to turn a low percentage shot into a goalie's nightmare.

Earth to Wild players:  SHOOOOOT!!!  And shoot some more!  Who cares if ya can't see a good shooting lane to the net?  If you can't see the goalie, he probably can't see you either (and is most likely praying that you'll pass the puck somewhere else so he can see the damn thing again...)


The Warped Kim Johnsson Meter:  Three consecutive games of Even Steven performance keeps the season total at minus 4.  His +/- numbers may have gotten worse in the official NHL stats, but the Warped Johnsson Meter counts goals that Kim Johnsson directly costs the team (minus) with credit points (plus) for goals he either scores or directly enables (or *gasp* actually prevents with his defensive play, tho I don't expect this part of the equation to come into play very often.. ha hah) 

For those folks who might've thought Warpyland was nothing more than a Kim Johnsson haters blog, I've got one thing to say:  good game, Kimmer!  Keep it going!  OK, that's technically two things, but Johnsson's improved play lately calls for two pats on the back.


post-dramatic sin drones:

And in Kihnclusion:  The unofficial regular season kicks in Wendesday at home against a red-hot Colorado Avalanche squad.  Warped minds weren't expecting too much on the road trip that just ended (tho a point here and there would've been nice) but now that the guys have had some time to gel, the Wild will need to avoid settling for 4 or 5 shots on goal per period in order to keep the sellout streak alive in a post-Bush-but-thank-goodness-it's-not-a-McCain economy.  Personally, I'm seeing enough progress in the right direction to give the good guys a few more mulligans for early season growing pains; methinks it's too early to write this season off as a lost cause yet.  LET'S GO WILD!!!!!


...and now, a word from our spawn's heirs:

If my wife-to-be (or not to be) is watching, it probably wasn't meant to be.  To the rest of you, thanx for tuning in, and remember: if at first you don't succeed, destroy all evidence that you tried.

quando omni flunkus moritati

Posted on: October 11, 2009 3:49 am
Edited on: October 11, 2009 12:55 pm
 

San Jose Sharks Ride Kim Johnsson's D to Victory

premature articulations:

OK, maybe that's exaggerating things a bit; the San Jose Sharks were plenty good enough last night to win without Johnsson's help -- but Kimbie once again proved himself more valuable to the opposition than he did the Minnesota Wild, so let's dispense with the usual preamble and proceed directly to the Warpy Psychlotron and dissect last night's performance.


dangling sub-atomic participles:

Top Quark(s):  No question about it: Evgeni Nabokov has gotta get the Top Quark for his performance in nets last night.  The Wild threw 40 shots on goal in the game (thanks in large part to 8 power plays) but Nabokov stonewalled several quality chances in the first half of the game to keep the Sharks within striking distance.  And strike they did -- I sure didn't see any of the soft goaltending from Nabokov that I've been reading about elsewhere; the Wild would probably have put the game away against a lesser goalie.

Up Quark(s):  #15 Andrew Brunette gets an Up Quark whether or not he ends up with credit for the first Wild goal.  At first, the goal was credited to Shane Hnidy, who took the shot, but it was later changed later to Bruno on a tip-in.  Warped minds are still undecided on whether the puck actually touched Bruno on the way in, but seeing #15 camped in front of the net on Hnidy's shot (and seeing Mikko Koivu buzz in to sniff around for a possible rebound) was a thing of beauty.

Nick Schultz hereby gets a permanent Up Quark for his reliably steady defensive play.  Schultzie seldom makes spectacular plays that garner media attention, but he almost always makes the routine plays correctly in any given situation.  And with the possible exception of Brent Burns, #55 is also one of the only Wild defensemen who shows a willingness and ability to play the man on a regular basis.  Keep it going, Nick!

Down Quark(s):  Lots of possible choices here, but I've gotta give a Down Quark shout-out to Marek Zidlicky.  Zids mishandled the puck several times in the offensive zone, allowing Sharks players to break up some promising opportunities for the Wild.  #3 sure didn't do the good guys any favors by taking a lazy penalty in a 5 on 3 situation, either, effectively killing what was up to then a one-sided momentum freight train for the Wild.

Brent Burns also gets a Down Quark for his sub-standard play last night.  He looked lost in the offensive zone, and blew more than his share of defensive assignments to boot.  Burnsie and Martin Havlat both need to look for open passes more often and spend less time hot-dogging with the puck.

Warped minds haven't seen enough of Greg Zanon's play to form a strong opinion one way or the other yet, but constantly seeing the back of his jersey on TV when the puck is in our zone reminds me too much of Martin Skoula's "stand in front the net facing the wrong way so it looks like I'm taking a leak by the left goal post" style of defense, so I'm not getting a lot of warm and flocculent feelings right now.

Bottom Quark(s):  In order to reduce the amount of typing I'll need to do on future blog entires, I hereby award Kim Johnsson (a.k.a. "I don't wanna touch another guy because then people might think I'm gay") the Bottom Quark on a premanent basis, and will just fill in the necessary details on the next line(s) after each game.

Yep, the Five Million Dollar Salary Cap Boat Anchor strikes again.  Johnsson displayed vintage form on the first Sharks goal, making a lame effort at a stick and arm check on Patrick Marleau as he crossed the blue line.  Needless to say, Johnsson's excuse for a "check" was about as effective as a Swedish turnstile in terms of forcing Marleau to change his direction.

But Kimbie wasn't done yet.  After his non-check, he decided to make a bee line toward the front of the net (also known as the Official Johnsson No Contact Zone) to guard against a pass.  This would've been OK had he stayed there, but good old #5 proceeded to immediately abandon this spot and chase the same puck carrier behind the net that Eric Belanger was covering, leaving Jed Ortmeyer wide open to slam the puck home (which he managed to do without collapsing in laughter at Johnssons "defense")  The look on Johnsson's face after the goal was priceless -- though all too familiar to Wild fans: looking up at the ceiling as if to say "why do the other guys always have score every time I screw up?"

Johnsson's defense was just as lame on the third Sharks goal, though this time the error wasn't quite egregious enough to pin the goal directly on him when tallying up the season-long Warpy Johnsson Meter.  Kimbie did his usual body-free stick checking job on Joe Thornton, who was apparently intimidated enough by this display of defensive toughness to dish the puck off to a wide open Dany Heatley for the deciding goal of the game.  Niklas Backstrom had no chance with Ryane Clowe camped in front of the net setting up a perfect screen -- Johnsson apparently wanted no part of defending a piece of ice actually occupied by a hockey player.

I've long given up hoping that Johnsson will learn to clear guys out in front of the net, but he has now hit on a new technique that bears further watching: in addition to his usual "turn a one man screen into a two man screen" trick, now he's liable to grab the guy's stick and take a penalty for good measure.  Coach Richards has gotta cut down Johnsson's ice time if the Wild are to have any chance of going somewhere this season.

Strange Quark(s):  Slowly but surely, the Wild are getting the hang of throwing pucks at the net willy-nilly and getting guys down low to sniff around for rebounds, deflections, and the occasional garbage goal.  The Wild reverted back to old habits in the latter stages of the game, spending too much time along the boards and constantly bypassing shots in favor of the tic-tac-toe highlight reel goal, but warped minds are definitely seeing steps in the right direction here, so it's probably just a matter of time before our goalies get the luxury of regular goal support.

Charmed Quark(s):  Eight power plays in the other team's rink?  Nobody can accuse the refs of being homers last night.  The good guys put on lots of pressure in the first few power plays, but went downhill fast after Zidlicky snuffed out a glorious 5-3 chance; they never did fire on all cylinders after failing to cash in on that opportunity.


The Warped Kim Johnsson Meter:  Minus 1 last night, for a season total of minus 4.  This doesn't reflect his +/- stats; it's a running meter of the goals that Kim Johnsson directly costs the team (minus) with credit points (plus) for goals he either scores or directly enables.  To date, I have him with 6 minus points and 2 plus points in that regard, for a net minus 4.

Going forward, warped minds will award half points (for good or bad) on the Johnsson Meter when the situation calls for it.  Goal 3 for the Sharks last night would've counted for a minus .5, but I caught myself saying "nice play, Johnsson" in an earlier game where he would've gotten a plus .5 in the new improved scoring system, so we'll give him a mulligan for last night and consider it wash.  See?  Believe it or not, I really am trying hard to not turn this into a Johnsson haters blog...


post-dramatic sin drones:

And in Kihnclusion:  I probably could've scored Kim Johnsson at minus 2 last night on the Warpy Meter, but am giving him the benfit of the doubt since I don't think the third Sharks goal was totally his fault (tho he sure as hell didn't help any on that play..)  Next up is three days off, followed by three games in four nights, starting with a rematch against the Dirty Ducks of Anaheim.  The Ducks appeared to be in a mood to goon it up at the end of Tuesday's tilt at the X, so we could see some early fireworks on Wednesday.  LET'S GO WILD!!!!!


...and now, a word from our spawn's heirs:

If my wife-to-be (or not to be) is watching, all this talk of Swedish stuff makes me think of meatballs and massages, tho not necessarily in that order.  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.

quando omni flunkus moritati

Posted on: October 9, 2009 12:35 am
Edited on: October 9, 2009 12:37 am
 

Kim Johnsson Strikes Again..and again..and again

premature articulations:

Greetings, sports fans!  Warpy is trying hard not to turn this into the Official Kim "The Swedish Turnstile" Johnsson Haters blog, but it's getting harder and harder to do with every passing goal against.  #5 singlehandedly cost the Wild at least one point in the standings with his pathetic excuse for defense in Minnesota's regular season opener against the Columbus Blue Jackets, and his refusal to touch anybody in front of the net cost the Wild another goal in Tuesday's tilt against the Dirty Ducks of Anaheim.

As if that's not enough, The Master Of Hands-Free Defense has already doubled his GAA output in the first period alone in tonight's game against the Los Angeles Kings.  Needless to say, Johnsson has already cemented the Bottom Quark award tonight, so we might as well proceed directly to the Warpy Psychlotron.


dangling sub-atomic participles:

Top Quark(s):  A delayed Top Quark is in order for Martin Havlat after a fine performance in Tuesday's tilt against the Ducks.  Warped minds were too preoccupied with the Twins/Tigers classic to do more than watch the Wild game in fast-forward mode, but that was a heckuva Dome-mojo inspired comeback, eh?  Havlat looks like he's well on the way to another Top Quark in tonight's game, which is now just past the halfway point (with Johnsson The Dildaphonic One chipping in yet another helper for the Kings -- warped minds are surprised that se7en's hat didn't fly on the Staples Center ice to salute Kimmer's efforts:).

Up Quark(s):  Nick Schultz gets an Up Quark for just potting a PPG to cut the Kings' lead down to 4-2 (and he damn near just got another one a minute later).  Aside from his increased participation in the Wild offense, Schultz has been doing his usual unspectacular but utterly reliable work on the defensive end of the ice.

Down Quark(s):  Johnsson is playing so brutally that a Bottom Quark simply doesn't do justice to the debacle that Wild fans are being forced to witness this year -- Kimmer bags the daily double for quarks on the wrong side of the psyhclotron.

Bottom Quark(s):  In order to reduce the amount of typing I'll need to do on future blog entires, I hereby award Kim Johnsson (a.k.a. "I don't wanna touch another guy because then people might think I'm gay") the Bottom Quark on a premanent basis, and will just fill in the necessary details on the next line after each game.

Yep, the Five Million Dollar Salary Cap Boat Anchor strikes again.  Johnsson wasted no time going to his patented Swedish Pansy style of defense, assisting on the first Kings goal before the game was even two minutes old -- his lame excuse of a clearing pass went right on the tape of the Kings' point man, but Kimmer wasn't done yet -- he then proceeded to set up camp in front of the Wild net and do nothing to discourage Kings players from setting up a screen in front of Josh Harding.

The second Kings goal -- minutes later -- was basically a carbon copy of the first, minus the helpful pass.  Opposing scouts have an easy job: just tell players to get in front of the net any time #5 is out there, and watch the scoreboard light up like a Christmas tree.

The Master Of The Screen really outdid himself on the fourth Kings goal, bumbling in front of the crease in classic Martin Skoula style and tangling up Josh Harding's skates at the worst possible time.  Johnsson even displayed a new move on this goal -- since there were no Kings players setting up a screen in front of the net, good old #5 decided to go out there and do it himself.  GWAAAAAGGGH!!  If Johnsson is going to camp in front of the net and screen goalies, it would behoove Todd Richards to move him to forward and at least get him to help the right team.

Strange Quark(s):  It's refreshing to see Wild forwards finally throwing pucks at the net and getting guys down low to sniff around for rebounds, deflections, and the occasional garbage goal.  At the rate Johnsson is going, we'll need all the goals we can get just to stay in the game.

Charmed Quark(s):  The Wild power play is officially on fire; warped minds wonder if Coach Richards read my last blog entry and felt insulted by the comparisons between the Wild offense under Jacques Lemaire and the current "up-tempo" style displayed against the Blue Jackets.  All I know is, the good guys are buzzing the net enough now to bring a joyful tear to my eye.


The Invisible Higgs Boson Award(s):  The Pittsburgh Penguins appear to have found the ideal way to use Martin Skoula on their roster... ha hah.


post-dramatic sin drones:

And in Kihnclusion:  Kim Johnsson is officially a disgrace to the sport of hockey.  There's not much more to say (tho #5 is apparently tired of setting screens for the Kings now, and just decided to take a break in the penalty box...)  It's too bad the ref didn't tack on a 10 minute misconduct to keep him off the ice longer, but the Wild are buzzing the net again, so the outcome of this game may not yet be decided.  GO WILD!!!!!


and now, a word from our spawn's heirs...

If my wife to be or not to be is watching, the spread formation isn't just for football anymore.  To the rest of you, thanx for tuning in, and remember: if it ain't broken, you're not trying hard enough.  quando omni flunkus moritati

Posted on: October 4, 2009 1:03 am
Edited on: October 4, 2009 1:07 am
 

Kim Johnsson Doubles Niklas Backstrom's GAA

premature articulations:

Greetings, sports fans!  The puck has dropped on the Minnesota Wild hockey season, with a new GM, new head coach, and new team members.  So Wild fans want to know: will the new allegedly up-tempo offense relieve our goalies of having to pitch a shutout in order for the good guys to win?  From the looks of tonight's 2-1 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets, the answer is "no".

Sure, it's only the first game of the season, but warped minds are ready to fire up the Warpy Psychlotron for the first of what may become a repetitious looking blog entry; it's hard to disCERN much of a difference between Todd Richards' and Jacques Lemaire behind the Wild bench.


dangling sub-atomic participles:

Top Quark(s):  A 2-1 snoozer doesn't make for much Top Quark material from either team, but the nod goes to Andrew Brunette for potting the Wild's lone goal, giving him an even 600 points in a fine NHL career.  Bruno had a few other nice chances in the game, and was one of the few Wild players who showed a desire to do business in front of the net.

Up Quark(s):  The Blue Jackets get a collective Up Quark for doing a much better job of getting bodies in front of the net; Backstrom had lots of company in the crease area, and played exceedingly well to limit the Jackets to two goals.  Columbus also did a much better job of utilizing the middle part of the ice, whereas the Wild continued to aggravate warped minds with their obsession for keeping the puck along the boards as if they expect to get quality shots there.

Down Quark(s):  Pierre-Marc Bouchard coughed up the puck just enough times to eke out a Down Quark.  In Butch's defense, he only saw limited time during preseason, so a little rustiness is to be expected.  The same can be said for several other Wild regulars, which makes warped minds wonder why Coach Richards gave them so little time to get a chance to gel with new linemates in a supposedly new system before the start of the regular season.  Sure, preseason is a chance to look at younger guys, but in reality, only a couple of roster spots were ever in doubt, so Richards missed an opportunity to give his lines some extra chemistry time, and he also denied them a chance to break old habits left over from the Lemaire regime.

Warped minds can't help but suspect that the Wild offense will spend several upcoming games paying for this mistake; the issue now is that the games are for real.

Bottom Quark(s):  In order to reduce the amount of typing I'll need to do on future blog entires, I hereby award Kim Johnsson (a.k.a. "I don't wanna touch another guy because then people might think I'm gay") the Bottom Quark on a premanent basis, and will just fill in the necessary details on the next line after each game.

Yep, the Five Million Dollar Salary Cap Boat Anchor strikes again.  Johnsson wasted no time going to his patented Swedish Pansy style of defense.  Nowhere was his pathetic excuse for "defense" more evident than on Columbus' winning goal: Johnsson not only decided to set a screen on his own goalie, he then all but invited a Jackets player to join him to make it a two man screen -- he sure as heck did nothing to discourage the player from setting up camp there, that's for sure.

The normally calm and serene Backstrom was livid after that goal, and he appeared to direct his emotions right at good old #5.  Who can blame him?  Johnsson probably singlehandedly cost the Wild enough goals last year to deny Backs a Vezina trophy, and he appears determined to pick up right where he left off this season (which is thankfully the final one in his contract)

Strange Quark(s):  It looks like the next half dozen games or so will constitue the real Minnesota Wild preseason, where players get a chance to gel with their new teammates and get the rust out of their system.  This does not bode well for a team that's used to starting seasons in red-hot fashion, then having to desperately hang on at the end of the season for a shot at the playoffs.  If Richards' up-tempo style comes to fruition, the Wild may pick up enough points during their normal mid-season swoon to make up for a slow start, but I'd sure hate to take that gamble in my first year on the job.

Charmed Quark(s):  The Wild power play showed some signs of life tonight, and I was impressed with the defensemen being more active participants in the offensive zone.  Once they get a chance to get used to playing with each other, the passing should improve noticeably, and opposing teams will have their hands full any time they're shorthanded.  Did I mention yet that this could have should have been accomplished during preseason?


The Invisible Higgs Boson Award(s):  For old time's sake, we'll give a shout out to Martin Skoula.  Warped minds were looking forward to glogging the next Wild/Panther tilt with Erin Brown and comparing Skooly notes, but it looks like the Panthers aren't interested in extending his glorious career long enough for that to happen.


post-dramatic sin drones:

And in Kihnclusion:  The Wild drop another preseason game, but pay a regular season price (kinda like we fans do normally anyway, eh?)  Next up is Tuesday's home opener at the X against the Dirty Ducks of Anaheim.  If the Wild can't pass, shoot or score in regular season form yet, at least fans might get treated to a healty can of Boogaard.  GO WILD!!!!!


and now, a word from our spawn's heirs...

If my wife to be or not to be is watching, the Beatles really did have a stand-in for Paul McCartney in 1967, as I shall kihnvincingly demonstrate in a future blog entry.  To the rest of you, thanx for tuning in, and remember: it's OK for guys to read instruction manuals before starting work on something.  The gals will think we're being smart and sensitive, but we guys prefer to think of it as getting away with cheating.Laughing

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com