The Sports Daily > Crease and Assist
Game #68: Minnesota Wild vs Phoenix Coyotes, Thursday March 8th, 2012 at 8:00pm (CST), Jobing.com Arena [GAME PREVIEW]

Record Pts Div. Rank G/G GA/G PP% PK%
Minnesota Wild (28-29-10) 66 4th Northwest 2.06 (30) 2.67 (15) 14.9% (26)

82.3% (13)

Phoenix Coyotes
(33-25-9) 75 2nd Pacific 2.51 (22) 2.45 (7) 13.0% (30) 84.2% (7)


Minnesota Wild
Top 5 Scorers: G A Pts
1. #15 Dany Heatley 20 26 46
2. #9 Mikko Koivu 10 27 37
3. #7 Matt Cullen 14 19 33
4. #21 Kyle Brodziak 16 16 32
5. #10 Devin Setoguchi 17 12 29
Top 3 Penalty Minutes: PIM
1. #22 Cal Clutterbuck 95
2. #21 Kyle Brodziak 62
3. #43 Warren Peters 50
Goaltenders: GAA SV%
1. #32 Niklas Backstrom (17-17-6) 2.44 .920
2. #37 Josh Harding (9-10-4) 2.85 .910
3. #31 Matt Hackett (2-2-0) 1.68 .950
Phoenix Coyotes
Top 5 Scorers: G A Pts
1. #13 Ray Whitney 21 40 61
2. #17 Radim Vrbata 30 25 55
3. #19 Shane Doan 20 21 41
4. #3 Keith Yandle 9 29 38
5. #28 Lauri Korpikoski 14 17 31
Top 3 Penalty Minutes: PIM
1. #37 Raffi Torres 55
2. #11 Martin Hanzal 49
3. #24 Kyle Chipchura 40
Goaltenders: GAA SV%
1. #41 Mike Smith (29-17-7) 2.32 .925
2. #1 Jason LaBarbera (3-8-2) 2.49 .915
. .


In the world of sports, I am an anomaly.  I love music in just about all forms and that includes classical music, in particular the opera.  I’ve never understood the great dislike that people have for music written prior to the rock and roll and country music of the 1950’s.  The arguments that people give, truly are laughable.  Some will argue that it is ‘highbrow’ or ‘elitist.’  Others will tell me it’s old-fashioned.  And of course the worst argument is “I just don’t understand it.”  Well, let’s look at those arguments.  The only reason that people say it’s elitist, is that we’ve allowed it to become so.  In its day, it was the rock and roll of its time.  People of all social classes attended the theater, and for the upper classes, you went to be seen.  Hungarian piano virtuoso, Franz Liszt was a celebrity in his own right.  As for it being “old fashioned” many forget that the music most of us listen to on a daily basis use the same chord progressions as J.S. Bach, W.A. Mozart, Ludwig van Beethoven, and the list goes on and on.  I would argue that the only true “new” music came from the likes of Arnold Schoenberg and Alban Berg.  Beyond that, everything else is a rehash of what has already been done.  Don’t believe me, check out the following skit by comedian Rob Paravonian:

See, we’re still using the traditional Baroque era chord progression.  Sure, we can make sound a little different, but at the heart of it, it is all the same.  Finally, for not being able to understand classical music, in particular opera, well that’s multi-faceted.  First off, any modern opera house will project what are called supertitles above the stage, even for operas in English.  So language should not be an issue.  Secondly, you do receive program notes, so even if you are unfamiliar with the story beforehand, you will have the basics in your hands.  Finally, opera is one of those performances that need to be seen live in order to fully understand it.  You need to see the interaction between cast members as well as the translations.  Plus, I would argue that a person’s first opera should not be the likes of Richard Wagner’s Die Walküre.  Start with one of Mozart’s comic operas if you want to give it a shot.

Now I’m sure you’re wondering, “what the heck does any of this have to do with hockey?”  Well, it’s quite simple.  As hockey fans, how many times have we heard “I just don’t understand it” when talking to people we know?  Many of the arguments for why people tell me that they don’t like classical music are the same for why people don’t like hockey.  People often do not like, what they do not understand.  Some argue against hockey because of its violence.  People will say, “but hockey allows fighting and that’s not what I want to watch (or my kids to watch).  Well let’s look at the fighting.  It is only “allowed” to a degree.  Not all levels or leagues allow fighting.  Secondly, in the leagues that do allow it, only do so to a degree.  There is always a five minute major penalty levied for that fight.  And then depending on what happened before, during or after that fight, additional penalties might be added on, for instance the instigator penalty.  Hockey fans, especially those of us that live in areas where lakes can and do freeze, have been accused of being elitist.  I personally don’t like sunbelt hockey, but we have seen growth of youth hockey in some of these areas.  And like the opera, hockey is definitely one of those sports that needs to be seen live.

The Wild’s current season can easily be compared some of the more tragic operatic stories.  Common threads in those operatic stories are love (both realized and unrequited), intrigue, betrayal, misunderstandings and death.  For fans, we love our team.  We try to do so through thick and thin.  In good times, it is easy, but throw in struggles and it becomes difficult.  We’ve seen the full gamut of emotions this season, and it’s getting harder and harder these days to stand by our team.  Even for die-hard fans like myself, it’s become difficult.  When it comes to intrigue, we’ve dealt with plenty of that as well.  We had the drama around Marek Zidlicky for a few weeks.  When that mess was finally dealt with, then came the speculation surrounding the trade deadline.  We didn’t know if we would buy or sell.  In the end, we seemed to get more than what we dealt, however we have to wait and see if we got the better end of the deals.  I know there are fans who feel betrayed by the team and management.  Many who feel that it’s absolutely ridiculous that we’ll become the first team who led the league in December and won’t make the playoffs.  We want to know where everyone has been for the past couple of months, because it seems like the players aren’t fully invested on the ice during games.  We saw what misunderstandings did to Zidlicky (although I think his opinions were the results of his own over-active imagination).  And in many of the classic operas, they end with a tragic death.  Now for the Wild, it will be a metaphoric death.  The Wild have been dead for a while now.  Unfortunately, the season won’t be officially dead until that last game on April 7th.  As the old saying goes, “it’s not over until the fat lady sings.”  Well right now, the fat lady is hitting all sour notes, much like Florence Foster Jenkins did back in the day:


I apologize for her horrible singing, but it’s quite applicable to how horrible the Wild have been playing.  Sadly, she thought she was a great singer as demonstrated by the name of the record she put out, kind of like some members of the Wild (both past and present) think they’re really great hockey players.  If you want to hear what her selection choice should sound like, well I give you the Detroit Red Wings version:

Injury Report:

Minnesota:  Mikko Koivu (undisclosed, questionable), Mike Lundin (lower body), Carson McMillan (lower body), Clayton Stoner (hip, might return), Guillaume Latendresse (concussion), Pierre-Marc Bouchard (concussion, groin),  Kurtis Foster (back, doubtful),  Nick Palmieri (upper body, questionable), Cal Clutterbuck (concussion-like symptoms, questionable)   

Kurt Sauer (post concussion syndrome), David Schlemko (foot surgery), Derek Morris (groin / personal?), Rostislav Klesla (upper body), Kyle Chipchura (wrist)         

Jack Jablonski  Jenna Privette

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