tUMD 1, Red Menace 3/tUMD 1, Red Menace 4
I think you get the point.
tUMD 5, UNO 4/tUMD 6, UNO 0
So this weekend has shown us one thing: the Blais-Sandelin relationship has officially gone from Mr. Miyagi/Daniel Larusso to Ra’s al Ghul/Batman. Sorry, Gappy McTooth, it might be time to hang it up.
I am, as I frequently am this season, of two minds about these past few weeks. They are unequivocally great, I am thrilled, I don’t care who the opponent is or how thin the thread is holding those teams together, two sweeps in a row is fantastic. You can’t ask for much more out of a regular season home game than a 6-0 win capping off a sweep of a conference opponent who had their way with us when last we met, on senior night, on a night honoring Kevin Pates.
The question is, was this team capable of winning like this a few months ago? Or were those losses and the subsequent lessons learned necessary to get the team to this point? tUMD is really only a few wins away from a respectable season, considering the personnel we’ve lost over the past 2 years, and there are definitely losses the Dogs have snatched from the jaws of victory. Denver, Wisconsin, UND, Tech, Ferris State, Buttmidji: there’s 6 games where tUMD held leads, sometimes commanding leads, and let the game slip away. If tUMD just wins those games, tDogs are 20-13-3 instead of 14-17-5.
This has been a frustrating season, for sure. Losing sure is frustrating when one gets used to winning, and when a team has the talent to win. There’s absolutely no reason why tUMD can’t go into Madison and get a second helping of revenge on those stinkin’ Badgers and claw their way to the last Final Five they’ll have a chance to make.
We’ll get to Kevin Pates’s retirement in a post of its own, but for now, I’ll just say: Pates told me he’s ready to cover as many games as the Bulldogs can give him, so let’s keep the momentum. I know those seniors don’t want to take off their Bulldog jerseys for the last time, so let’s hang around and make as many teams miserable as possible.
And p.s., guys, we’ve got another national championship coming in the next few years. Those Hermantown boys are going to come here and get redemption for the state championships STA stole from them!
tUMD 3, UMTC 5/tUMD 2, UMTC 2
I am, once again, of two minds about this past weekend. It seems like that’s happening a lot this season, but I guess success is a lot less confusing than… non-success.
This past weekend wasn’t a failure, not by a long shot, but I’m not going to call it a success. Really, I think we are past the point where “not getting swept” and “playing a good game” are successes. What simultaneously cheers and infuriates me is, that effort (and it was not the best effort ever in a hockey game, let’s make that clear) was enough to win probably half a dozen of our other games. I mean, tUMD had chances to win both of these games, and if not for some bad luck, they could have. (Of course, if not for some good luck, they would have lost in OT on Saturday night in the first 10 seconds, because I don’t know what happened there but I thought the game was over and the easiest OT goal over would have been scored.)
I certainly thought the games would be much more disastrous than they were. When tUMD went down 2-0 on a short-handed goal on Friday, I was ready to tap out on the evening. Justin Crandall was not, and the Dogs scored on the same power play. I can’t remember the last time I saw a SHG and a PPG on the same PP. I am sure I’ve seen it happen but haven’t noted it. Nevertheless, it’s a rarity.
The Gophers have to be glad they are parting ways with the Bulldogs at this point, because let’s face it: if Austin Farley was the groundskeeper in Caddyshack instead of Bill Murray, that gopher would have been dead and buried in like the first half hour of the film. Which unfortunately would have meant Judge Smails won the golfing competition.
Saturday’s game was hilarious. After scoring the game-winning goal on Friday night, a certain over-hyped Rodent player took himself completely out of the offensive portion of the game by attempting to play agitator. His scoring line for the night? 0-0-0 with a non-goal from a blatant high stick and one penalty that led to a Bulldog power play goal. Is there a such thing as getting into one’s own head? Effective chirpers, such as Mike Connolly, don’t let their gamesmanship affect their ability to effectively play hockey. There was a lot of crying from the Rodentia about the officiating, including a very fortunate-for-tUMD non-call late in the third, but we all know that this is the Season of Excuses from the Southern Branch of the University of Minnesota System. Bad ice! Bad refs! Other teams are goons! Other teams play styles of hockey that don’t let us just walk all over them! Oh the humanity! Sadly, though tUMD had a stellar chance to make about half the Gopher fanbase throw themselves into oncoming traffic during the OT PP for, of all things, too many men (which Gopher fans blamed the refs for, rather than their own players or coaches for the miscommunication), they couldn’t quite get the dagger through the hearts of the 8,000 or so people using their corporate tickets to entertain clients for the evening. (The other 2241 were Bulldog fans or students.)
I have high hopes for this team to finish the season strong. There’s no reason why they can’t win out or at least go 3-1 in the final two series of the season, and make some noise in the playoffs and get back to the Xcel. And then get an auto-bid to the NCAA tournament. And then win four games. 9 wins in a row isn’t unheard of; most of the members of this team were part of a 17-game unbeaten streak just a season ago. Seems totally possible to me!
Hi everyone! I assume we’re all still alive after last weekend and didn’t shuffle off our mortal coils in disgust or despair over the season. I don’t know why you would, we’ve hardly hit rock bottom! Oh yes, it can, and might, get much worse.
This weekend we’re facing UMTC, and expectations are low. This takes a lot of the pressure off. We’re expected to lose! So just win! Freak everyone out! It’s possible. It’s not like we’re playing the Gopher women’s team. Their seemingly-unstoppable basketball team has dissolved into a gongshow, so it’s about time the men’s hockey team does the same thing. Think of how demoralizing it would be to lose to a team who hasn’t won a game in weeks. Oh wait, we already know, because it happened last weekend. Let’s pass on that lovely feeling to the fans of the southern branch of our fair school.
I got interviewed by The Daily Gopher, which surprisingly is not a blog with a new picture of a gopher every day. You can read it here and enjoy some vintage RWD hostility. Do it.
ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED?????????????????????????????
Hello, everyone. Congratulations on surviving the losing streak. We’ve now been upgraded to a winless streak. And now, instead of a post about the game, we have to have a talk.
Why do we have to have so many talks? I mean, seriously, it seems like there’s a Come to Jesus moment every freaking week. But, here we go.
To what, exactly, are we as fans entitled?
Well, if that wasn’t a loaded sentence, I don’t know what is. I still think it’s a valid question.
The easy answer is that we are entitled to nothing. We are not on the ice, we are not coaching, we are not recruiting, we are not running practices, we are not working out, we have not played at this level, therefore we should take what we get and like it. That’s just stupid. Fans pay for tickets, make donations, buy concessions and apparel, and justify advertising dollars that fund the education and development of the players. Demand, not supply, is what makes it possible for these guys to play at tUMD.
I believe the price of admission grants us the right to be entertained. Not the privilege, the right. I don’t mean inalienable life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness More Perfect Union rights, let’s not be silly. No one is going to war over something as trivial as a bad hockey game, we are not in Mother Russia.
So what happens when we are not entertained? What are we supposed to do?
Nothing. Stew in our own juices. Rage at unsuspecting pets. Leave. Boo. Burn season ticket packages in protest. Jump off a cliff. Cry. Drink heavily. Eat an entire pizza. Tweet. Shake our heads in disgust. Write letters to the editor of the DNT. Watch reruns of the Simpsons instead of the game. Volunteer Friday and Saturday nights at a soup kitchen. Move to another state. Shrug. Watch highlights of better days. Look for people to blame and blame them. Listen to “We Didn’t Start the Fire.” Write a boring blog post.
Obviously some of those are valid and some of them are not. Drinking heavily, totally a legit response to a bad hockey game. Moving away, probably a little drastic and perhaps should be thought through. But what about criticism? Does the price of admission buy a fan the right to complain or criticize? If not, then what does? Season tickets? A donation of a certain amount of money? A demonstration of a certain level of hockey ability?
I don’t like to criticize the team at all, and when I do, I usually couch it in humor or at least do it gently. I really don’t like to criticize individuals, either. (Yes, I just wrote that post about Derik Johnson, but it’s a rarity.) Friday night, I’d had enough. I wasn’t entertained anymore. I was tired of seeing the team melt down and give up once again. I was tired of what I perceived as a lack of effort, and I was tired of seeing the leaders of the team let that happen and in fact contribute to the impression of laziness I had.
Part of me feels badly for posting the mild criticisms of the team leaders and some of the upperclassmen. Part of me felt badly even as I was typing. Obviously not badly enough to keep my tweets to myself. I think I went about it respectfully. I didn’t call anyone names, I didn’t @-reply them so they could be sure to see my angry little rants. I said I wanted to be proven wrong. And I guess last night, I kind of was. A little bit. I wouldn’t say I was overjoyed with the game last night, but they did score a 3rd period goal and end the losing streak, and Danberg did get that monkey off his back with a goal. I still wouldn’t say I was entertained for any length of time, but there were some bright spots toward the end that game me hope I might be entertained at some point in the future.
We can all learn something from this stretch of games. We haven’t seen such a bad stretch in years, and we know we are all lucky we have not, so we can keep that in mind when we’re frustrated. We can maybe be a little nicer in our criticism, maybe remember we’re talking about humans who, while they are effectively being paid in the form of education and living stipends, are not making millions of dollars. But the players can learn something too, that while they don’t owe the fans everything we ever demand, they do owe us their best efforts to entertain us. That is, after all, the reason they are there.
tUMD 0, Colonizers 3
Well. When was the last time both of tUMD’s hockey teams were shut out on the same night? That was depressing all around. But there’s a more pressing issue.
Today was Derik Johnson’s 23rd birthday. He celebrated in a somewhat unfortunate way: by taking two penalties, one of which led to a PPG for Denver. I guess we should be thankful they were not major penalties? And the second one was a bit suspect, but I speculated it was a reputation call.
But why the reputation? Why so many penalties? An average of 4.5 minutes per game is probably not a good plan for success, either individually or for the team. Especially for a defenceman. You are tied for first in the WCHA in overall penalty minutes with Andrew MacWilliam… and he has more total penalties than you do. This is a problem, since MacWilliam is generally considered insane/rabid/homicidal.
I get that you like to play with an edge. I know this is nothing new (just look at the Penticton stats, oh my!), and on one level I kind of enjoy that you are a BAMF, but we need you on the ice, not in the penalty box. We need those penalties to be smart penalties, either breaking up scoring chances or setting a physical tone for the game or standing up for teammates who are getting mugged (like Farley was all night). I’m not going to be mad about that. It’s just the needless, dangerous boarding/CFBs that have to go. I mean, that’s really not a lot to ask.
So, just take it one day at a time, one game at a time, and try your best to avoid clobbering anyone unnecessarily. Then everyone will be happy!
*Please note, this is not a post blaming Derik for the loss, just a post I’ve been thinking of for awhile, and what the heck else was I supposed to write about tonight? Holy disaster, Batman!
Excuse me while I lose my freaking mind all over this blog post. This is a tl;dr if you’ve ever seen one, but please, stick with me.
Twitter comrade @rope_terson pointed me in the direction of the New York Rangers’ post today called “A Girl’s Guide to Watching the Rangers.” Good god, do my followers know me well. Even though I am treated by some as though I’m a shrill, shrieking harpy having a heavy flow day whenever I choose to bring up sexism (because women can’t ever be right, we can only be crazy and marginalized), I’m not going to be shut up that easily.
It’s like the Rangers are deliberately trolling me (along with the legions of other female hockey fans.) The article has been taken down after a Twitter you-know-what-storm (which I missed because I was at work), but the entire text of the article as well as screen grabs are available for our dissecting pleasure. The screen grabs are all from Sarah Kwak, @SI_SarahKwak, a Sports Illustrated writer-reporter and OMGGIRL!!!!!SPARKLES**~~~*~*~*~*~* Thank you, Sarah, for not allowing the Rangers to sweep this under the rug.
I honestly don’t know if I can even attempt an eloquent response to this, ahem, “article.” I am furious as well as sick to my stomach that anyone would feel this article was necessary. I am disgusted that it was written by a woman. It hurts me that there are women out there who think this way, and I fear for the next generations if there are not enough visible women modeling strength and self-respect to drown out women who want to infantilize and sexualize themselves in order to please men. I will do my best to stay coherent, but there are just so many egregious issues with this article that I can’t promise a linear post. To read the text of the article, click on each image.
Gender-traitor “Mirna Mandil” doesn’t waste any time getting to the stereotypes. She cares so little about sports that she did not even know what sport was on when she was attending some sort of sausage fest recently. First of all, this is most likely a lie, used as a literary (ahem) mechanism to start the story. Second, thank you, Mirna, for still believing the “dumb girl” persona is cute and sexy. “OMG!!! Like, I didn’t even KNOW what sport was on! Because I am so dumb and cute!!!! Tee hee!!!!! I’m not a gross butch lezzer who actually like knows stuff about sports!!!! Being smart is so ugly!!!!”
But you guys, Ms. Mandil like totally has standards and stuff. She won’t fake liking football, because she might break a nail or something. It’s soooo tiring, and the men she likes really like hockey. She’s got to prioritize how to best get a giant generic-looking Tiffany child-soldier-funding diamond on her tacky little talon. She’ll save her energy for faking the important stuff, like tans, and liking hockey.
How do I even talk about the second to last paragraph? I weep for the world if anyone reading this cannot see the problems with it, but clearly if someone wrote it, others might actually think it’s totally fine. Not all women love shopping. I hate shopping. I would like a 70% off sale… on season tickets to the Bulldogs, Vikings, Twins or Wild. Not all women love hockey, and that’s ok. But women do not need the concept of a lockout and why its terminus is significant explained in a cutesy metaphor. If I could explain nuclear fission to my academically mediocre high school boyfriend without resorting to a puppet show, I think women can grasp the lockout.
Look, I don’t like getting interrupted during games. I have told people, very rudely, to shut up before. However, I am usually telling people to shut up because I am panicked and simply cannot carry on a conversation, not because they are trying to pull my attention away from the game during an exciting moment. However, when I am in non-panic mode, I can usually field a basic question about hockey without lashing out violently.
But we’re not talking about crazy people like me, just regular fans. The author here assumes women have the intellect of a toddler and will sit there and badger their male companions until they get an answer, no matter what the circumstances, and ruin everyone’s night by petulantly demanding attention. Look, Ms. Mandil, you are not Jane Goodall, this is not Gorillas in the Mist. Do you really think women are so stupid they need to be told how to speak to men during a sporting event? That women should not speak unless they have carefully weighed whether or not the men in their life are in a completely open and receptive mood? Do you really believe that men are so disrespectful to their sisters/girlfriends/wives/daughters/friends that they will not be forgiving if their sisters/girlfriends/wives/daughters/friends ask a hockey-related question at an unapproved-by-Mirna time? If so, you have larger issues than simply not understanding hockey, and you need to stand up for yourself, or find new friends/boyfriends/whatever.
Again, the author assumes women are so stupid we cannot learn something other than a last name… and women are so simple-minded we’ll pat ourselves on the back because we recognize the last names of two players. Everything else is OMG hard!!!! And thank goodness there isn’t any math involved, because we all spent our math classes in high school doing our makeup and writing Mrs. Leonardo di Caprio on our Lisa Frank Trapper Keepers! But oh noes! Why didn’t she explain how to choose which names to learn? What if we pick a player who gets injured or is traded? Then we’ll be so confused! How will we look like we know things about hockey and therefore more attractive to men if we never hear that familiar name? Plus like how does a girl play for the Rangers? Marian? I thought hockey was for men only!!!!!!!
What about a real suggestion? I’ll give one for ALL hockey neophytes (because there are many men who don’t know anything about hockey, too, contrary to the author’s rigid adherence to stereotypical gender roles): watch some games by yourself. It is not that hard to learn the basics; the Wild even have an instructional after their games which breaks down some facet of the game. Be confused by yourself for awhile until you’ve gotten the hang of it, and then when you watch with friends, you can ask for an explanation of anything that still isn’t clear. But make sure to genuflect first and beg their pardon for daring to speak.
See, that was helpful without being patronizing. But of course I’m operating from the premise women are not delicate little feebs who need a Disney princess to explain life to us.
Here’s where everyone tries to trap me. “But RWD, didn’t you write those All-Hottie Teams? Don’t you call Lundqvist ‘Sexqvist?’ Didn’t you ask Mike Eaves for a booty call?” Yes, I did all of those things. Because being feminist doesn’t mean being asexual. It doesn’t mean I’m not allowed to ever find a hockey player attractive. But many, many of my favorite players are uggos, it doesn’t actually matter what players look like. I have been watching hockey since I was born. I do not watch hockey for hot guys. I do not use “hot guys!!!!!112321″ as a selling point for the game. It is not a reason to watch hockey, and it is insulting to women, to the players, and to the game of hockey to use that as a selling point. The author can’t even give a real hockey reason to like Lundqvist. He’s broken NHL records? That’s all you’ve got? Dr. Google could help you with that. But, we already learned, the author has to conserve all her energy for faking an affinity for hockey. There’s no energy left over for Wikipedia.
I don’t know what the first sentence even means. Since all Rangers fans are men (apparently), how can they be “expecting?” Can men get pregnant now? I am so confused. Congratulations! You are still a freaking moron when it comes to hockey!
I’m so pleased the author got permission from men to allow women to watch hockey. Guess what, Ms. Mandil? Hockey doesn’t belong to men. Angela Ruggiero would disagree with you. Jenny Potter would disagree with you. Hilary Knight would disagree with you. Jocelyn and Monique Lamoureux would disagree with you, and also beat the living crap out of you blindfolded with both hands tied behind their backs.
And remember, ladies! It’s all about pleasing your man! Don’t ask him questions he won’t like! Ask him who his favorite player is… because yeah, that’s totally going to be a crowd-pleaser. But of course, then you can say “Mine too!!! OMG!!!!” and pray he doesn’t ask any follow-up questions.
I can’t deal with this anymore. I can’t spend any more time picking this travesty of an article apart. You better believe I would be storming the gates of the Xcel Energy Center with a pitchfork and flaming torch if anything of this nature ever ended up on the Wild’s website.
Let’s be real here. This woman did not write the post she should have for her target market. I shall re-write it for her.
The Girlie Girl’s Guide To Pretending To Like Hockey In Order To Get Men To Like Her (Because Nothing Is More Important In Life Than Pleasing A Man)!:
1. Buy pink/vajazzled hockey gear, specifically if it is extra tight/shows cleavage.
2. Drink whiskey, because it is so provocative and daring for a “girl” to drink whiskey. Call yourself a “whiskey girl.” It’s sooo titillating.
3. Go to games with your best gal pal and feel each other up on the Jumbotron! Note: both of you must have flat-ironed hair and an orange tan.
4. Make every hockey phrase you hear into a double entendre. “Ooooh, is that stick made of wood?” “I’d like you to check me from behind!” “I love icing… drizzled all over my body!” Etc. Subtlety optional.
5. Take sexy poses of yourself in hockey gear and post them to your Instagram. (NOTE: NO FATTIES!!! OH WAIT WHO ARE WE KIDDING LIKE A MAN WOULD EVER PAY ATTENTION TO A FATTY!!!!) Duckface is required.
6. Trap some guy into marriage and then pout and whine and stomp your little foot every time he wants to watch hockey and make him watch “The Bachelorette” or “American Idol” or other horrendous television shows. BECAUSE YOU DON’T REALLY LIKE HOCKEY, YOU JUST HAVE NO SELF-WORTH WITHOUT A MAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Aaaaaaaand I’m done.