Wild Help Me Avoid Public Embarrassment

Wild. It was a pretty good weekend for the Wild. After beating San Jose in overtime, they capitalized on that momentum and took the Red Wings to overtime, and the Red Wings even had to cheat (photo from Russo’s Rants) to push it that far. Most importantly, watching the Wild-Wings game with my friend from Michigan wasn’t nearly as embarrassing as it could have been, and it was downright fun for the first minute or so of the 3rd period when the Wild scored twice right out of the gate. Then a solid 2-0 win over Colorado on Sunday night. Owen Nolan had 3 of the Wild’s 4 goals this weekend, 2 of them power-play scores.

Some Owen Nolan PPG facts:

Since returning on New Year’s Eve Nolan has a PP goal in each of the three games.

One of every 6 power-play goals for the Wild comes from Nolan (6 of 36) and he has scored all 6 of his power-play goals in his last 9 games (granted he has missed time, only playing in 9 of the Wild’s 19 games in that span).

In the last 20 games, the Wild have 20 PPG. In the 10 games Nolan was inactive the Wild have 4 PPG and a 2-7-1 record. With Nolan active they have 16 PPG in 10 games (6 from Nolan himself) and a 6-3-1 record.

Another goal-scoring fact that doesn’t involve Owen Nolan at all:

Andrew Brunette has one goal in the last fourteen games with more than 15 minutes of ice time per game. Nonetheless he’s still second on the team in goals (ugh, the Wild can come up with some depressing statistics now and then).

Sunderland Black Cats. I started following them last year, but that’s a story for another time. They won their initial FA Cup match on Saturday over Bolton, a fellow Premier League team, so that felt pretty good. After last years early exits in both the Carling Cup and the FA Cup (one and done in both), it was good to see them reach the round of 16 in the Carling Cup and put a victory on the board in the FA Cup this year.

The draw for round 4 has taken place and the Cats get either Blackburn (from the EPL) or Blyth (from Conference North, the 6th tier of English soccer) who play each other on Monday (around 1 PM here in Chicago). As a Sunderland fan, I’m getting awfully tired of seeing Blackburn in these things, they were the opponent that knocked the Cats out of the Carling Cup this season. Couple that with two meetings already in the Premiership season (Sunderland took 4 of 6 possible points in those matches), and we could be seeing the true rubber match of this matchup soon.

Twins. More on them coming later this week. I’m reading Josh’s Top 50 Twins Prospects list as he puts them up. It’s some really interesting reading, and I’m looking forward to heading back to Beloit this summer for some Snappers games if I get the chance. This summer is going to be a little bit crazy though, so we’ll see how often I can get away.

Vikings. They just keep doing well enough that they won’t change their approach, but not well enough to go anywhere. I find myself caring less and less every year.

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