Paul Allen Proudly Endorses:
|THURS., JUNE 20 (subject to change)|
OPEN: LIVE FROM VIKINGS MINI CAMP
9:33: BEN LEBER/GM RICK SPIELMAN JOIN
|9:55: leber/rick stay|
|10:20: leber stays/chipmunk story?|
|10:33: SPORTS ESSENTIALS/NBA FINALS|
|10:53: PETE BERCICH/WOBBY JOIN FROM WP|
|11:20: see 1053|
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We celebrate the 1983 Wayzata Club Hockey Team and one of its stars, Jonny "The Mouse" Mikkelson, who once told me "Our team was so good the varsity wouldn't play us." When asked why he didn't play varsity Mouse said, "Too little." Cutest ever. So, we salute the greatest Club Hockey Team ever, a squad so vaunted even Jim Craig's Miracle team wanted nothing to do with it. Trottier, Bossy, Gretzky, Messier ... dead! Long live the 1983 Wayzata Club Hockey team!
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NHL DRAFT B/B ...
Even though we are closer to the 4th of July than Memorial Day, the NHL is still extremely intriguing to hard-core hockey fans. The playoffs have been outstanding. The Cup final is shaping up to be a classic with two classic, old-school squads. Two of the best uniforms in hockey too. Once the Finals are over, the much-anticipated NHL draft is next. Well, it’s probably as anticipated as the new phone books arriving at your house in that plastic bag which 98% of people just toss it into the recycling bin, but I digress….
That leaves Halifax Moosehead Nathan MacKinnon going to the hockey hotbed Florida Panthers. Me and my hockey-playing buddies have gone to visit Halifax for the past 8 years. Through business and friendships with Moosehead owner Bobby Smith (yes, former North Star Bobby Smith), we go up to Halifax, play against Moose coaching staff, trainers, and yes owner. We get our butts kicked. Hitting many of the local watering holes, golf, boat rides, more watering holes and going to Moosehead games is included. The Mooseheads got to the QMJHL finals against Sid the Kid back in ’05. Then got really bad. Then, through multiple trades, this year Bobby Smith got the Mooseheads to win the “Q”, then the coveted (well, in Canada anyway) Memorial Cup. Nathan MacKinnon being the main reason (hat trick in final game.) Smith traded 3 first-rounders for MacKinnon. Worth every penny. Projected to go right after the Shattuck-St. Mary product MacKinnon will be Jonathan Druin. He will go to Tampa Bay. I have seen these guys play in person and they’ve been jaw-droppingly good. (yea, I even have a #22 MacKinnon Moosehead t-shirt…)
I would love to see Chuck Fletcher make a move to get the 2nd pick, but it would cost the farm. The Wild don’t have the farm. It won’t happen. So, long story longer, you have read it here first. Nathan MacKinnon will be the best player in the NHL in a few years. The thing that sucks is it will be for a team nobody cares about, the freaking Florida Panthers.
(I’m guessing this will be the only NHL draft-related material on this website. PA, if you were going to break this down too, I apologize…)
Let's do a little "Reminiscing" this beautiful Friday. The last time the Minnesota Vikings were 2-and-0 was that glorious 2009 professional experience and, guess what -- the third team on the docket that year was San Francisco at MOA Field. FAVRE. LEWIS. Oh, my heavens! Undefeated.
We'll trip on the best team in the game next week -- the Niners -- but getting to that spot 2-and-0 is big stuff around the old Pigskin Covenant. I expect the Vikings to beat Indy this weekend and realize it'll probably be a close game. In fact, KID KICKER walking off a winner would not surprise me. Wouldn't that be awesome -- two consecutive weeks Blair Walsh is the cat's ass and we are undefeated into the San Fran. game. If that's the case, rubber, meet road. Nut-cutting time. See-exactly-where-we-stand spot. Cool.
Here's how we get there -- run at that 3-4 defense and make DWIGHT FREENEY'S replacements prove (a) they get it and (b) they can tackle. Just mash on this reconfigured bit. Then go play-action pass because it has merit off the running game and gouge them like Chicago did. ADRIAN, TOBY and PERCY running should do quite well Sunday. PONDER should be 65 percent or above and might not have to pass a ton early.
Defensively we need to make Indy's injury-depleted OL pay. The LG spot is a disaster, the center is new, the RG is average and the RT has been a bust all of his career. Our DL versus their OL is supposed to be a major advantage our way. BRIAN ROBISON and EVERSON GRIFFEN could have big games considering the Colts have to give added attention to JARED ALLEN and KEVIN WILLIAMS. We shouldn't have to blitz a bunch in this contest, should be able to bracket REGGIE WAYNE all game and drop six and/or seven into coverage, hopefully tricking ANDREW LUCK.
Luck is much, much better out of the shotgun at this stage of his career and sees the game more clearly when back there. We have to change the game with our DL, and if we do we win and head into the Niners game 2-and-0. Just like 2009. Cool. Ponder. BURTON. Oh, my heavens!! We edged the Niners?!