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Dutch Schnell: Duck Trickery

Friday, 03.03.2006 / 2:22 PM / News
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Dutch Schnell: Duck Trickery

altDutch Schnell, goalie-racer here, and as you can tell by scrutinizing the photo to the left, I am not my usual chipper self. It may have something to do with the Wild’s gut-wrenching 3-2 loss to the Kings last night, but it’s more likely due to my jalopy getting pulled over for speeding this morning.

I tried to explain to the officer (who will remain nameless) that when driving in full goalie-racing gear, my feet are bound to be a little heavier on the pedals. He was having none of it. I could tell by the steely look in his eyes that he has no sympathy for anyone, be it a goalie racer, or an adorable little cherub riding a mini-Harley.

Needless to say, I’m $128 in the hole, and this distraction couldn’t come at a worse time with a goalie race looming on Sunday.

 alt
 The trooper who nabbed Dutch was a busy man this morning.
Despite my driving difficulties, I am still ready and willing to serve as your captain on this journey/column for the next five to 45 minutes depending on whether you are at the tortoise or gazelle reading levels. Remember, the slower you read, the better the likelihood of you finding a spelling or grammatical error, in which case you can email be by clicking here. Then, I can berate Andy the Intern for flubbing my column.

It’s fun times for the whole family!

Has it really been two weeks since we last had a heart to heart? My how times have changed. We have a new Olympic champion, a new Minnesota Ms. Hockey, a new State champion in girls hockey and I got a haircut! And in case you’re wondering, my goalie-racing nemesis, Egg Olson still hates cute and cuddly puppies that like to curl up and sleep with their tiny heads on your feet.

But that’s neither here nor there. The real reason I’m vehemently shouting into my Dictaphone so Andy the Intern can get to work transcribing, is because we are in the throes of “March Insanity” (Not as catchy as March Madness but that’s trademarked by the lesser sport).

You couple the Wild’s current playoff chase with last weekend’s Girls State Tournament, next weekend’s Boys State Tournament, and the impending Cinderella run of the UMD Bulldogs to the WCHA Final Five Championship starting with this weekend’s sweep of the Gophers, it does not get any better for hockey gurus such as you or me.

The Wild suffered a setback last night, but the fact remains that the boys are still just five measly points shy of the eighth place Edmonton Oilers, and you can take your “games in hand” argument and feed it to your Vietnamese pot-bellied pig. I haven’t the time for such meaningless statistics. I hate to speak for myreaders, but neither do you.

We just need to get the Wild home again so they can rekindle that Xcel Energy Center magic we have all grown to love so much.

There’s work to be done in the Sunshine state however. We must march on, because this is no time to start thinking about next year.

The Wild has a quick shot at redemption tonight, wrapping up this current road trip against the Anaheim Ducks. That’s right, I said Anaheim DUCKS. But don’t let the name fool you. These are the same Ducks that the Wild has whooped up on three times this season. Apparently, the same organization that introduced triple dekes and flying V’s, is trying to pull a fast one by recently dropping the “Mighty” from its name.

Let’s hope Wild media relations guru Aaron Sickman notified the boys of this so they are not caught unawares tonight.

 alt
 Consider yourselves warned Ducks. Expect this imposing figure outside your locker room tonight.
I don’t know if he’s been slacking because of his quest to meet Brian Cox (the guy who has been in every movie you’ve ever seen), but Sickman has obviously been off his game on this current trip. I certainly hope he realizes that our playoff hopes hinge on these next three games against the Ducks, Avs and Kings. I would hate Jacques Lemaire to have to sic Sick on the Ducks, considering how fond I am of players like Teemu Selanne and Zenon Konopka, owners of severely cool hockey names, but these are desperate times.

Lemaire has no choice but to plant this man in front of the Ducks locker room at about 5:00 PM (west coast time) tonight so it is the first and last the Ducks see before taking the ice.

I know Lemaire doesn’t want to do this to Anaheim and its rabid hockey fans. He feels he owes it to them.

Far be it from me to argue with a coach with 399 career victories on his mantel. After all, don’t forget that…

I am Dutch Schnell, and I…am a goalie racer.

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