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|
Click here to view the WCHT photo gallery.
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…)
As trite as some believe it is, winning the turnover battle is every bit as important as what ADRIAN PETERSON (212 and 1) did today. In our four most impressive games this year (wins versus Detroit, Chicago and San Fran.at home and today vesus the Rams) we have won the take-give, and that we are scoring on defense is huge this time of the year.
Adrian obviously is BOSSBERG'S "A Topic" out of the game because he has gone eight consecutive with at least 100 yards and has a big shot at eclipsing ERIC DICKERSON'S 2,105 set in 1984. When he split the Rams' defense for the 82-yard score he was stuck on eight runs for a paltry eight yards. Then he tilted the game and momentum the way of Our Favorite Colors with the visually impressive burst. Love the kid, love calling his games and love that he's a legit MVP candidate with two to go.
The Rams front seven is very good and tough and we dominated it today. We are dominating everybody we face in the running game no matter their stats or level of play. This rush offense is the greatest in Minnesota Vikings history thanks to the OL , the TE's and FB JEROME FELTON, who should go to the Pro Bowl.
That we didn't give the Rams the ball via turnover was huge, too, and analyst PETE BERCICH was loving on our defensive schemes all game. He obviously knows what he's talking about given he played and coached defense, and in my six years of calling games with him never have heard him praise a defensive approach the way he did today's.
We dropped EVERSON GRIFFEN into coverage from the LDE spot and he picked SAM BRADFORD for a TD. We blitzed WINFIELD from all over the place, and it worked. DC ALAN WILLIAMS called a terrific game, and our defense most of the last three games has been playoff-sound. Likewise for the running game and kick coverage, which allowed an average return of 14 yards. That amazing.
BLAIR WALSH not only is the best rookie kicker in the NFL he's arguably the best, period. He is 8 of 8 from 50 and beyond and will set an NFL record for most made FG's from 50 or longer (currently tied with MORTON ANDERSON and JASON HANSON with eight).
Then there's THE QUARTERBACK, who did exactly what was expected of him for a second consecutive game. I defended him on the radio last week against those who refused to appreciate the nuances of the game and strictly settled in on the 91 yards passing and the bad pick. Christian was better against the Bears than people credited him for and was terrific today. His fortitude on the five-yard TD run -- he bounced off ROBERT QUINN -- was gritty and game, and that he didn't thow a pick is very important.
The kid took a step in the right direction for our season and his future with the team. He silenced The Negatives because he's doing almost exactly what the coaches' want him to do, and buying into that plan is important.
Our third-down convertiing stunk, we gave up too many passing yards late and allowed STEVEN JACKSON too many YPC, but the win kept us alive in the NFC playoff race, and off the diseased 3-and-13 last year fans should be proud.