Friday, February 9, 2007

The Geriatric Line Starts

The Wild picked up a nice win last night against the Florida Panthers. I have to admit, even though I follow the NHL pretty closely, I forget that Miami (of all the places in the world) still has real team. They just fell off the radar after the Cup run in '96. They will remain "off the radar" with their current marquee players being Eddie Belfour, Gary Roberts, and Todd Bertuzzi. If you are indeed a casual fan, Eddie "The Eagle" Belfour and Gary "I Have No Shame" Roberts have a combined age of like 107. I'm not kidding. I think Roberts won a Cup in 1967 with Gordie Howe, that's how old this guy is. After the game, the trainers have crutches waiting for him when he steps off the ice. It's terrible.

And Eddie, poor Eddie, he looked absolutely awful last night. I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw him in net. He should be playing in B-list pro/am golf tournaments on the Hooters Tour. Instead, he's getting lit up on a nightly basis playing in South Florida (his save percentage is among the league's worst). Every time the Wild scored on him he looked stunned, like he couldn't believe he was still in NHL taking 90mph slapshots in the chest. At times, it looked like he was using the crossbar to prop himself up (not unlike Denis "de hair, de hair" Lemieux in Slapshot, although at this point Denis was a far better goalie than Eddie is now...think about that). Just like Roberts is crutching around the locker room after games, I swear the trainers must have to push Eddie into the crease before the puck drops. He can hardly move from side to side. Eddie, if you're reading this, it's time to retire. It just is. You're not going to win a Cup with the Miami Icecats or whatever. Just stop. Nobody can bear to watch anymore.

Other than seeing those two guys, the game was fairly uneventful. Even though Florida got close a couple times, the Wild responded with quick goals. There wasn't much rough stuff since Gary Bettman, the commish, was in the house. Apparently, Bettman was there to have a heart to heart with Bob Naegle (Wild owner). But, I think Naegle and Bettman just sat in the owner's box and counted their stacks of gold coins. That's what rich people do...I'm told. More on Bettman this weekend.

Related sidenote: Boogaard got his first point of the season last night. Everyone is talking about this. The Wild media all reported that Coach Jacques called out Boogaard, saying he should be playing better offensively, or something like that. I don't understand this. Jacques, help me out. You are asking your goon, your tough guy, your enforcer, to start making some plays in the offensive zone. Huh? This makes no sense. Especially for Boogaard. He's 6'7", 495 lbs., that's not his game. His game is to punch people in the face. That's what YOU hired him to do. Why put the extra pressure on him to score goals? If I had to choose between Boogaard scoring a goal and Boogaard bloodying Bertuzzi's stupid head, I'd obviously choose to watch Boogaard bloody Bertuzzi's head. Even if it was a game winning goal. I'd much rather watch Bouchard or Rolston score the goals. If Boogaard scores, it's going to be ugly anyway. It'll deflect off his shin pad or something. What's fun about that? Honestly. Can we stop talking about this now? There's a reason why he only has one point through 55 games this year.

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