Yet again the little-dog yapping of the Minnesota Mild has gone for naught. As we discussed yesterday, the would-be Hanson Brothers of the Great White North -- Derek Boogaard, Chris Simon and Todd Fedoruk -- were itching for a fight last night. Instead, the Bruised Brothers got a big, bad dose of Irritable Goalie Syndrome, as Avs 'tender Jose Theodore executed an evening of artistry that had the lima-bean-eating masses of Minneapolis crying in their frozen beer.
Final result: Avs 3, Mild 2--and a big old case of puck envy for hockey purists in the Gopher State who, the many exploits of DU notwithstanding, still can't seem accept the notion of Rocky Mountain Superiority.
The Mild's latest case of the vapors was best expressed by center Eric Belanger, who told his hometown Minneapolis Star-Tribune that "We were shocked. Shocked."
Well said, Monsieur Belanger.
Also presented for your amusement, an evening of frustrated ambitions expertly described by our sister paper in Minneapolis, City Pages, whose editor grew so anxious during a live-blogging exercise last night that he resorted to callling Avs forward Ian Laperriere "Lapussy."
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But might it be noted that Lapussy skated off the ice victorious? Maybe they should make that "Big Pussy" instead. It might also bear mentioning that, far from engaging Lapussy in a fight, Boogaard, who's been making ominous remarks about Laperriere since the series began, resorted to "running into" the Avs star instead. Yes, this is what passes for tough-guy behavior in Minnesota these days--an "accidental" collision that in Boogaard's case could easily have had more to do with his lack of skating ability than any nefarious intent.
Also notable from last night: The Mild fans who brought signs to the game reading, "Swedish Diving Champion Peter Flopsberg." This represents a significant development in the growing arc of Mild excuse-making. Keep in mind that, previously, the rationalizers up North were complaining that the Avs wouldn't fight, and that this chicken-like behavior in some metaphysical way was angering the hockey gods.
Now the complaints have morphed into accusations that the Avs are flopping. What's next? Allegations that Theodore's pads are too big? Claims that Joe Sakic's on steroids? Either way, Avs fans would be wise to remember that the Mild came back from a 3-1 deficit against the Avs back in 2003.
The best approach? Keep up that "pussy" behavior for one more game. -- Andy VanDeVoorde