Paul Allen Proudly Endorses:
|WEDS., JUNE 19 (subject to change)|
OPEN: AARON GLEEMAN IN-STUDIO
|9:20: aarongleeman.com stays|
9:33: COREY CHAVOUS joins
|9:55: more with draftnasty.com|
|10:20: RICK ANDERSON twins pitching coach|
|10:33: SPORTS ESSENTIALS/TREVOR MBAKWE|
|10:53: MARNEY GELLNER FSN IN-STUDIO|
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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…)
Mashing on the adversary to get ready for Thursday. Taping "Vikings Gameplan" TV show tomorrow and "Vikings Live at Winter Park" for KFAN tomorrow night and just got done watching the Bucs loss to the Saints.
WR VINCENT JACKSON had a big, big game but is anything but fast. He's smart and big and shifty, but we have done a wonderful job against number-one receivers, and I do not envision him killing us. MIKE WILLIAMS on the other hand always has been a tough cover, and he has to be accounted for all over the place. QB JOSH FREEMAN only has been sacked nine times, is pretty mobile, bounces off defenders and doesn't hold the ball too long. He's looking pretty solid.
The thing that sticks out to me watching back that game and doing some intel on the Bucs is their pass rush is anemic. They have just eight sacks this year, 29th in the NFL. We are up to 22, which is third best. These Bucs have to blitz to apply pressure, and the defensive ends should have little chance getting to our guy.
And this is a big, big game for CHRISTIAN PONDER. He's off one of the worst games of his career and should be able to hang in the pocket and make plays. Off a game against Arizona, which is fast and tenecious, I am hoping CP goes for at least 250. The Bucs will have to flood the line to slow ADRIAN, who is going very well right now, and he just put a buck 50 and change on tape for them to ponder.
Tampa's pass defense is pretty bad, the rush is slow and predictable and overall it allows 323 YPG, which is second worst in the NFL. Plus its best CB AQIB TALIB is suspended. This HAS to be a game Ponder makes the adversary pay via the passing game. This cannot be a game he throws a couple of picks. This should be a game JEROME SIMPSON breaks out on national television.
Tampa is at a major disadvantage having to travel on the super-short week, and only one road team has managed a win this season on Thursday-night FB (Giants at Carolina). We are undefeated at home, the crowd will be lubed up and loud and many are second guessing our starting quarterback.
Christian needs to take more chances and the game needs to start coming more naturally to him. He's very calculated and follows the plan to a tee. I want to see him start to improvise and put the rock in spots only our guys can catch it. He very rarely makes that pin-point pass and needs to say "bleep it" and just let the bitch fly. Interceptions via aggressiveness are different than what we have seen the last three games. Christian has little gunslinger to him and at times plays like he's afraid to make mistakes.
BRETT FAVRE controlled the huddle, knew what was coming at him, took chances and had fun every step of the way. He's going to the Hall of Fame. Christian Ponder may never be as accomplished as Favre but needs to assume some of the swagger role to lead this team to postseason wins. He has it in him and it needs to start emerging Thursday night.