"The Iron League, Huh? Lotta Fights?"

What is it with these people from Minnesota, where the once-proud Minnesota North Stars have been replaced by the dainty Minnesota Mild?

Our sister paper in Minneapolis (and we do mean sister), City Pages, posts this story suggesting that the Avs are "pussies" because the great goon squad of Derek Boogaard, Chris Simon and Todd Fedoruk has yet to, er, beat the crap out of anyone wearing a Colorado jersey.

Is it our fault the fearsome threesome can't get their perv on? Maybe if Derek Boogaard could skate better than the average four-year-old, he'd actually be able to catch one of the Avs in order to pummel him.

As it is, Mild fans seem upset that the Avs haven't been sporting enough to willfully drop the gloves with a 6-foot-7, 285-pound monster. This strikes us as a fine display of common sense, as well as a course of action recommended by nine out of ten dentists.

So far in the series, it's also been a winning strategy, which may be what's really riling up the walleye-eating hordes of the Great White North. There's also the matter of Mild fans piling on Denver Post columnist Mark Kiszla for complaining in print that the Mild were getting too chippy.

Putting aside our general distrust of the Mild, we're not about to defend Kiszla. In fact, it's borderline embarrassing to have our city represented by a sports columnist inclined to complain that a hockey team of all things is playing too rough.

Especially when there haven't been any truly decent fights yet.

If Kiszla isn't careful, he'll start sounding like the announcer in Slap Shot who gets upset when the Hanson Brothers start knocking heads. (By the way, if you haven't checked out the Hanson Brothers' real-world Web site, it's more than worth the effort.)

Kiszla's chirping aside, the closest thing the Avs have to an enforcer these days is the somewhat-less-than-scary Ian Laperriere.

Which is another reason for the Avs to keep cool in tonight's contest.

So enough of the complaining about the Avs not wanting to drop the gloves. If the Mild wants blood, they can come get it.

If they can skate that fast.

-- Andy Van De Voorde

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Sean Cronin