Nuthin’ But Gravy And Giblets This Week!

Marc Elliott

CARLTON PEAK… Over the course of the weekend I had been reading through several topics of concern within the world of  Pro sports and I was going to touch upon at least two of them. By the time I was ready to apply fingers to keys it had dawned on me that both of these were contentious issues sports wise and that perhaps they were better left for another week. So that is my intent. We are on the doorstep to one of my favorite weeks of the year; Thanksgiving week. No matter where I have been or what I have been doing I have usually tried to take this as a week of vacation and convene with family members to celebrate and give thanks for all that we have to be thankful for. On Thursday we will be getting together with a healthy contingent of family members from both Minnesota and Illinois and I hope that you too will be sharing the day with the people that matter the most to you.

As a former Pastry Chef, and in preparation for Thursday I made a couple of Cheesecakes this afternoon and I will make a couple of more tomorrow afternoon, it’s not publicly spoken, but in my family I guess I am the designated dessert man. We are extremely fortunate as we will be sharing in a veritable feast on Thursday. I try my best to give thanks on a daily basis and have gratitude in all that I do. And as I move onward in this life I am trying to do more and more for those that have not been as lucky as I have been. I am acknowledging at this point in my life that I am no one special or unique and a lot of my history has revolved around timing, being in that right place at the right time. Whether it was having famous neighbors as a kid or living close to one of  the few hospitals in the country that could help me in an urgent time of need, it seems as if I have always had someone or something watching over me. Sure, I have had some bumps in the road, but the positives have absolutely overwhelmed those. This week, especially this week, I give thanks and have compassion for the less fortunate amongst us. 

So, after family, friends and feast I am looking forward to seeing a fair amount of hockey this week. Tomorrow eve the Fan Jr. William will see the Wild scrap with the NJ Devils in St. Paul. Tuesday evening my brother Paul and I will be in attendance to see the Edmonton Oilers versus the STL Blues. (and I won’t be cheering for the Blues) And on Saturday my great-nephew Jack “Mohawk” Marschel and I will be cheering on the Wild in the Gateway City. In between that action the big screen will be tuned into any and all things hockey. Also over the weekend, a certain Women’s collegiate hockey team from the Twin Cities will be in the STL area and I just might take in a game….

OVER THE PAST WEEK I have seen several games of interest, none more exciting then the Minnesota Wild’s epic come from behind victory over Nashville this past Thursday. On Tuesday eve the club posted a 3rd consecutive shutout, and 2nd over the Philadelphia Flyers. It was a fairly good outing for the boys and Devan Dubnyk looked pretty sharp once again in the 3-0 victory. He faced 30 Flyer shots in the whitewash while his counterpart, Brian Elliott, surrendered 1 out of 18 shots faced, the other two tallies were empty netters. This game was a yawner though compared to what would unfold Thursday versus the Predators. 

I got settled in to view this game and I was thinking that it would be a big test for the Wild. You have an opponent that made the Stanley Cup Final last season and might actually have built a more solid roster in the off-season then they had last year. Then they recently pulled off a trade for former Ottawa center Kyle Turris, and are suddenly looking very strong through the middle and didn’t give up a Kings ransom to do so. I have been a long time admirer of Nashville GM David Poile. He is a very smart hockey guy and a first class person. You can argue that the Preds aren’t off to a real hot start, but I believe in time they will rise toward the top of the Western Conference while I am still waiting to see what the Wild will ferment into. 

In a way I’m not surprised that just after the mid-point of the 2nd the Preds are up 3-0 thanks to another classic lifeless game start for the Wild. To my surprise, thanks to a couple of tallies late in the frame they pull within 3-2 by the end of the period. Then a really poor turnover makes it 4-2 Preds early in the 3rd and I’m starting to look at what other games may be of more interest. But I stick it out. At this time I am texting with my daughter Chels in regard to some Wild swag I was ordering for her. She is a huge fan but was also trying to get my 3 grandkids to hit the hay for the night. The next dozen texts were hilarious looking back. One said, be glad you aren’t watching, they look like peewees tonight. Her reply, that bad huh? (WARNING; we speak hockey in my family, the version that contains both English and profanity, so…) Then, Holy S*%$, it’s 4-3! A bit later, Holy F&%$#@ A, it’s tied!!! Shortly after that; I can’t F&%$#@ believe it, 5-4!!! Moments later, Empty Net 6-4!!!! Her response was something like, settle down Dad, go outside for a few minutes, breath deeply….

LAST NIGHT in DC versus the Capitals the team had a rough time of it and lost 3-1, the Caps were better in possession time and net minder Braden Holtby looked solid and in control meaning the Wild losing streak there was going to continue. They have never fared well in DC going 2-8-1 there all-time. THIS WEEK; vs. NJ Devils @H, vs. @ Buff, vs. COL @H, and vs. @STL. If the team can pull a 3-1 week that would be nice. THE ATHLETIC; 15th, 59% playoff chance, THE SAGARIN; 9TH on a 9-10 record, 2-5 vs. top 10, 4-7 vs. top 16. NHL STANDINGS by point percent; 22nd, .526%, 7th in the Central, 13th in the West. HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO ALL, PEACE