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Wild Fan

Minnesota Wild and Playoffs Chances posted by Wild Fan

Minnesota Wild will be facing the Chicago Blackhawks and St. Louis Blues in the Western conference. Both teams are good enough for the playoffs and they are most likely going to dominate the central division of the western conference. However, the Wilds can match up with its skillful players.

Skilled Players

They have good forward corps that can showcase a good offence for most of the teams. They happen to have a lot of depth. Young skaters such as Nino Niederreiter, Mikael Granlund,  have had a season of experience and can only get better this season. They also have veterans such as Mikko Koivu, Zach Parise.

The talent in Thomas Vanek gives the team an edge in terms of the offence and the forward corps talent. The Chicago Blackhawks have a good defence pairing in Oduya and Hjalmarsson, who can practically shut down the opposing team’s offence. However, the Wilds offence has improved since the last season and they can put up a good fight.

Defence and Goal Tending

The wilds have an excellent defenseman in Ryan Suter.  Without him, the defence ceases to be as excellent and unshakable as it is. Suter is also one of the most overplayed defence men and gets the most ice time in the league. The team also has to deal with losing Nate Prosser and Clayton Stoner. Jonas Brodin, Jared Spurgeon and Marco Scandella talent can complement Suter but they are still far from elite.

Goal tending is another problem that the wilds need to deal with if they are to make it through the western conference to the playoffs. The team veteran Niklas Backstrom has not been at his best and Chuck Fletcher and Mike Yeo are yet to name a new goalie. If this is sorted the Minnesota wild has a good chance of making it to the playoffs.  

Continue reading "Minnesota Wild and Playoffs Chances"

Richard Kagan

Indoor LaCross Riot posted by Richard Kagan

I gotta tell you, I saw a video of a LaCross game brawl that got out of control.  The fight worsened when one team left their bench and raced onto the playing surface.  This was indoor LaCross.  I don't know what level of teams were competing.  It looked like high school or semi-pro.  But what really got me was this act of crazy behavior was scored to hard rock music!  Oh, let's look at athletes gone wild and rock out of some badass guitar.  I'll tell you what has gotten out of control, is the packaging of this violent, unsportsmanlike brawl gone bad.  It ssems like hey, you know the video "Girls gone Wild", well, let's see some guys gone wild.  Glorifying fights of this nature doesn't diminish it, it gives it a license to continue unabated.  I saw the officials who were totally overwhelmed.  How are you going to stop 20 guys from hitting each other?  Get on the PA system.  I turned off the video because I had enough.  I didn't want to hear this wierd scene and listen to music.  Give it a rest.  Next thing you know they'll be selling tickets to see the brawl go out of control.  Nobody wins when that happens.Continue reading "Indoor LaCross Riot"

Jeff Ponder

Weak Northwest Division Could Benefit Blackhawks posted by Jeff Ponder

Vancouver is the heavy favorite heading into the 2011 NHL playoffs to win the Stanley Cup.  Their Northwest Division foes can vouch for that.

 The Vancouver Canucks, who won the President’s Trophy by a landslide-ten points over the East’s Washington Capitals, posted an impressive 54-19-9 record for a league-leading 117 points in the regular season.  Obviously, the Canucks head into the Quarterfinal Series as the top seed in the Western Conference where they will meet the eighth-seeded Chicago Blackhawks.  But how much did Vancouver playing in the Northwest Division help bloat their point total?

The Northwest Division, which features the Canucks, Calgary Flames, Minnesota Wild, Colorado Avalanche and Edmonton Oilers, saw only one of its teams make the playoffs.  This is the only division in the NHL to do so.

The Canucks had a whopping 18-4-2 record against their Northwest Division foes.  With a record like that, it is easy to see how the Canucks can steamroll through parts of the regular season.  Still impressive?  Yes, very much so.  Anytime a team can dominate in their own division usually means that team will be a top-seed in the playoffs.  But what if Vancouver played in a better division?

Let’s say Vancouver goes .500 against the Northwest Division (12-12-0).  Their record drops down to 48-27-7 and they post 103 points.  While these are still very respectable numbers, that drops them to the third seed (keep in mind that they would still hold onto the division title), and puts them just six points ahead of their current playoff matchup, the Chicago Blackhawks.

Continue reading "Weak Northwest Division Could Benefit Blackhawks"

Richard Kagan

A Goal Is A Goal And Kane Gets Cup Winner posted by Richard Kagan

I've seen the the replay 10 times and it still feels sort like you stole cookies from the jar and didn't get caught.  No one said, "Hey, no dessert."  In this odd ending to a helter-skelter Cup Finals, nobody said "No goal, Patrick"  and the Hawks survived Philly's onslaught to steal the game on Kane's great shot, and thus win the Stanley Cup.

The Flyers had the momemtum going to OT, tying the game with just under 4 minutes left on a Scott Hartnell goal in a scrum near the Hawks net.  The fans went wild.  The energy was back in the building and it seemed the Hawks were lucky to get to an OT.  Then the OT started and Niemi came up with some great saves to keep the Hawks in the game.

But Chicago, who seized the early action and looked like the better team in this all important game 6.  It was a home team win series until game 6 when something had to give.  The Hawks took a 3-2 lead into the clincher and although gave their hungry fans fits and grief, their talented winger stepped up to make the huge shot.

It seemed like a phantom goal.  No light went on.  Nobody made an annoucement.  All one saw was Kane skating down the ice in jubilation, throwing off his gloves, and helmet.  Players pounded him near his own net...then, as a stunned crowd sat in silence, the Hawks learned the goal was a good one.  And the expectant joy turned into a euphoria. 

The Hawks had done it.  Won a game they had to win, not to force a game 7 in their building.  They had been there before in 1971 and lost to the Canadiens at the old Chicago Stadium.  They weren't going to let the Series go to a game 7.  And Kane, who faked like a wide-receiver with the ball, zoomed 20 feet and let off a shot to the net that eluded goalie Michael Leighton.  It crossed the goal line in the blink of an eye.  No one saw it except Kane.  Game over, and Hawks win a championship. 

Continue reading "A Goal Is A Goal And Kane Gets Cup Winner"

Johnny Matheis

Illinois Derby the most betable prep today posted by Johnny Matheis

The Wood is a six horse field, and the two chalkier runners look tough, while the other 4 need improvement. Improvement is possible. But this not a betable race. There are many words for people who bet this race, but "handicapper" is not among them. To win money on races like this involves nothing but "dumb" luck.

 If Eskendereya does get beat, and still runs a good second or third, then the winner deserves note.

The Illinois Derby is the most betable, with Calfornia being more of a form filler race.




7 BACKTALK 6-1 Amoss has emerged as one of the secret handicapper's trainers the last few years. This one comes off a track that probably wasn't that rock hard, and figures to be healthy. Expect a better time here.

1 AMERICAN LION 5-2 Has just a little bet better forward move so far than Dixie, but it's close

6 DAVE IN DIXE 9-5  runs even, but needs to step it up a bit in his fifth lifetime start

3 BOULDER CREEK 8-1 looks 4th best

9 GAME BALL 30-1 looks well outmatched,but is well bred for distance

5 TURF MELODY 8-1 closes well, and could hit the board

4 YAWANNA TWIST 8-1 looks to have run his best races, and has an outside shot at best

2 STEPHEN'S GOT HOPE 50-1 is a maiden and would be a huge upset

BEST BETS: WPS on 7. Exact Wheel 1,7 over 1,3,4,5,6,7: Trifecta Box 1-3-6: Superfecta: Wheel 7 with 1,3,6,9 with 1,3,5,6,9 with 1,3,5,6,9, Wheel 1,7 with 1,7 with 3,5,6,9 with All, Wheel 1,7 with 1,6,7,9 with 1,6,7,9 with All. 

Continue reading "Illinois Derby the most betable prep today"

john howard

NCAA East Region breakdown. posted by john howard

Here is how I see the east region and their chances of advancing to the final four.  I have them ranked on likely hood of reaching the final four, not on their seeding.  The seed is in paranthesis.

1--KENTUCKY (1)  The Wildcats are by far the best team in this region.  The biggest "scare" for this team could be Texas in the second round. But even if Texas plays at the level they were at before Christmas, the Wildcats are still better.  West Virginia will be the biggest challenge for the Wildcats.  The biggest weakness for this team is inexperience and that is why I'm not picking them to win it all and possibly fall in the elite 8.  They have 2 unbeleivable freshman.  But, Keven Durant, the fab 5 from Michiga, and Carmelo Anthony were freshman. They have a new coach this year. But Calipari is one of the best ever in the tournament.  What concerns me most is that at this time last year, they were in the NIT. 

2--WEST VIRGINIA (2). This team is playing as well as anybody right now.  They won the Big East tournament.  They play #2 and #3 seeds almost everyday in the Big East.  And, Villanova could easily be a one seed.  So, they play tough games against tough teams and were perhaps one win away from being a one seed themselvs.  I think they could upset Kentucky. 

3--NEW MEXICO (3).  This team is really intriuging.  If they make the final four, they would be a true Cinderella story. Steve Alford is an NCAA icon and he has become a very good coach.  This could be the year that moves him into another level in the coaching world.  The MWC doesn't have a very good track record in the tourney.  I just don't see this team beating both Marquette and West Virginia.  I say they make sweet 16 which is awesome, but that is it.

Continue reading "NCAA East Region breakdown."

Brad VanFossan

Golden Effort Falls Just Short posted by Brad VanFossan

A Golden Effort Falls Just Short By Brad VanFossan I know it’s more than just a hockey game when my 63 year old father is looking forward to watching, and has been watching most of the hockey games during this Olympics. I know it’s more than just a game when patrons at bars ask to turn the hockey game on, both the men’s and women’s games, as I have seen happen over the last couple weeks. This is about reliving nostalgia for those who were around for the 1980 Gold Medal team‘s “Miracle“ run. And it’s about wanting to experience that same feeling for those of us who were too young or weren’t around then. This is the kind of thing the brings generations of sons and fathers together creating memories that become part of family lore. More importantly, this is a message to the world that hockey isn’t a secondary sport in the United States anymore, but one we can excel at, and even be the best.  It’s almost time for the opening face off, winning twice on enemy territory won’t be easy, but I think if anyone can, it’s this group of relentless young men. No matter what the outcome, they will put forth an effort to be proud of.My in game thoughts from the penalty box: -In the first U.S./Canada match up the U.S. was able to score first, taking the crowd out of things for a bit, today Canada scored first, it’s the first time the U.S. has trailed all Olympics. -Jonathan Toews goal was off of a rebound, not too much cause for concern yet. The U.S. is still playing pretty well, theyContinue reading "Golden Effort Falls Just Short"

Jan Hoadley

2 year old Eclipse nominees posted by Jan Hoadley

Some nice 2007 foals hit the track as two year olds in 2009 and among the best are those nominated for Eclipse awards in the 2 year old division.

The top nominations for colts are Lookin at Lucky, Noble’s Promise and Vale of York while the top fillies nominated are Blind Luck, Hot Dixie Chick and She Be Wild.


Lookin’ at Lucky brings some strong credentials to the table and is among the early hard looks for the Kentucky Derby. A son of Smart Strike out of the Belong To Me mare Private Feeling, he has the classic connections of Mike Pegram (owner) and Bob Baffert (trainer) along with breeding that can get the job done. He went into the Breeder’s Cup Juvenile undefeated with two G1 wins and a G2 win following his maiden win. He ran second in the Juvenile to Vale of York but bounced back with another G1 win in the CashCall futurity at a mile and 1/16 and has earned serious consideration for the award based on performance.


Godolphin Racing’s Vale Of York has little to shrug at. The son of Invincible Spirit out of Red Vale by Halling did win the Juvenile. That wasn’t all he’d done, winning twice before then in stakes class in addition to a second in a G1, 3rd in G2 and 5th in G3 races.


Noble’s Promise was second his first out then broke his maiden in his second race. He put together three wins including a G1 before his third place run in the Breeders Cup Juvenile and second to Lookin’ at Lucky in the CashCall Futurity. The Cuvee son is out of the Clever Trick daughter The Devil’s Trick.

Continue reading "2 year old Eclipse nominees"

Goon Squad

Strike Three? posted by Goon Squad

Yes, I'm an Ovie fan.
He's fun to watch when he is on top of his game.

His show-boat style and wild goal celebrations are entertaining to me.
He may not be the games classiest player, but he does demand our attention, and usually gets it. Good or bad.

However, I am not a fan of dirty, cheap hits, or this double standard that the NHL denies exists.

It's alive and well and we all know it.

This is the second time in a week that Ovie has been in hot water for questionable hits, and I think this time it's karma coming back to get him.

Carolina defenseman Tim Gleason was nailed in a knee on knee hit last night that knocked the Russian star out of the game.

After being scraped up off of the ice, Ovie was was given a 5 minute major and a game misconduct.
Gleason was fortunate enough to skate away relatively unharmed.

Considering how Ovechkin was helped off the ice, kicking him out of the game was a moot point.
The punishment wasn’t going to affect him anyway because he wasn’t coming back to play anyhow.
But was that too much for a play that is questionable? Was it not enough for a guy that has started to pile up the questionable hits? Should reputation figure into the decision-making process?

Colin Campbell is going to have his hands full in deciding what, if anything, will be done to punish Ovie for this one.

Continue reading "Strike Three?"

Les Leonard

Big Daddy’s Unforgettable Halloween: posted by Les Leonard

     Big Daddy's spectacular Halloween weekend could not have ended any better than with a Darren Sharper pick to clinch the victory against the hated Dirty Birds on Monday night. Don’ t you feel sorry for people around the country living in cultureless gated communities whose neighbors are from anywhere USA, half of which will move within a year chasing a more lucrative job to fulfill the false illusion of sprawling malls, 401(k)s, mortgages, car payments, and college funds which define success in today’ s misguided America? In this edition on the Section 645 Saints Beat, Big Daddy thanks the Kingpin, reports from Section 645, recaps Monday night, covers the Voodoo Music Experience, plus gives a special Halloween report from Frenchmen St., and releases his World famous Pregame Information.

     If you missed the First Annual Big Daddy Tailgate BBQ prior to that Monday Night Party in Superdome, don’ t feel bad, but Wow! You missed a serious throw down. Big Daddy wishes to thank Ben, Steve, and Tamme for making the Kingpin feel like such a special place. When you combine that feeling the Kingpin exudes with grilling skills of Eric Labouchere and Nat Carrier (the master chefs of Martinique Bistro), the chemical reaction produces the best tailgating venue the Crescent City can offer. Loading up on an all-meat diet prior to football fuels those customary outbursts required by Big Daddy's Section 645 standards, teaching opponents that the Superdome has become the NFL's toughest place for visiting teams.

Continue reading "Big Daddy’s Unforgettable Halloween:"

Minnesota Wild News

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Eriksson's OT goal gives Bruins 3-2 win vs. Wild (Yahoo Sports)

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Kane's late goal lifts Blackhawks past Wild 5-3 (Yahoo Sports)

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Blackhawks D Keith to miss game versus Wild (Yahoo Sports)

CHICAGO (AP) -- Defenseman Duncan Keith has been ruled out for the Blackhawks' game against the Minnesota Wild due to an illness. [read full article]

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Pavelski leads Sharks past Wild 2-1 (Yahoo Sports)

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Wild D Scandella suspended 2 games by NHL for hit (Yahoo Sports)

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