Originally my blog was going to be on a different topic altogether, and I'll get back to that topic in the very near future. For now, however, we have to turn our attention to the Ducks vs. Wild series.
But the Wild are already out, you say.
You won't find one Wild fan anywhere homer enough to say we're still in it. Nor will you find one that can say anything other than we just flat out got beat by a superior team. Facts are facts. That's just the way it is.
I've been content with just sitting back and enjoying more quality (okay, semi-quality) playoff hockey as the march toward Lord Stanley's grail continues. I've been watching the rumor mill in town churning about the deal in the works to keep netminder Niklas Backstrom in a Wild uni.
And then Randy Carlyle and Brian Burke turned into buffoons.
First off, let me add this: I actually like Randy Carlyle. Liked him as a player and think he's an underrated coach. And I have always liked and admired Teemu Selanne. Brian Burke, though from Minnesota, I still think is a total jerk. (Burke hails from Edina, a wealthy suburb of Minneapolis, and the running joke here is that Edina means Every Day I Need Attention....seems fitting). This latest round of idiocy from Anaheim does very little to further the game or my opinion of the Ducks organization.
Let's back up, shall we.
Game 5 in Anaheim, Wild vs Ducks. Minnesota defenseman Kim Johnsson is not even in the city after sustaining a head injury on a sucker punch from thug Brad May in Game 4. Tensions are high. During the pre-game warmup, some slight skirmishing ensues. Depending on who you talk to, everyone started it, including the Iranians. Boogaard skated over the red line, reportedly so did Pronger. But face it, these two teams were itching for some rough stuff after the lunacy of Game 4 and no matter who started it, it ended pretty much without anything serious occurring.
So we were led to believe, because now the Ducks have unleashed "the Magic Bullet Theory."
Teemu Selanne in that same warmup, after all was said and done and separated out, took a puck to the eye. Selanne, who was not wearing a helmet, skated off the ice to have some stitch work done to a face that is more and more starting to look like a road map this playoff round.
Now, as the Ducks vs Canucks series was in its death throes, Randy Carlyle declared that it was a Minnesota Wild player that intentionally shot a puck that hit Selanne in the head. Brian Burke, according to the Orange County Register, has asked the NHL to investigate the issue. Some have implied that Derek Boogaard fired the shot that hit Selanne.
Okay, now let's take a look at a couple things.
1. Derek Boogaard could not hit Selanne if the Finn's head were ten feet high and six feet wide. That's pure fact. If Boogaard can't hit an open net from four feet away how does anyone expect him to hit a human head at no less than 60+ feet away?
2. Where was this sniper during, well, the whole damn series!? Wouldn't it have made more sense to slap the "C" on their jersey and send them out to snipe goals past Bryzgalov and Giguere?
The Wild have laughed at the insinuation but the Ducks brass are dead serious about this. One member of the Wild staff said he saw the moment out of the corner of his eye, saying that a Duck shot rode around the glass and deflected off one of the glass support stanchions, beaning #8 in the head.
If it were true, why did none of the other Ducks players indicate the infraction immediately? You don't think that this type of unsportsmanlike play wouldn't cause a major disturbance on the ice and lead to some severe repercussions and fisticuffs? Do you not believe that had a Ducks player fired a puck at, say, Marian Gaborik, that a sea of white wouldn't have delgued the Ducks zone for retribution?
The reason no one did anything is because it didn't happen. Which only leads me to wonder just what on earth Carlyle and Burke are doing.
The Ducks have beaten the Wild. Handily. They have dispatched the Canucks in fine fashion. (Oh, that high stick Selanne took from Pronger....was that Pronger or Boogaard in disguise?) Now they have advanced to the Western Conference Final and are one step away from playing for the Stanley Cup, and so now they throw this distraction into the mix?
So now the NHL, which already has its hands full reviewing every single goal scored in every single game and producing sub-par hockey (we'll get to that next time), and has to hand hold the Ducks staff and watch old video of a game long gone to point out how ridiculous they are. The real question is, does anyone honestly believe that when the NHL says that Selanne was not the victim of an Oswald-like shooting display from the incompetent Wild, do you think Carlye or Burke will apologize and admit the error of their ways?
Not a chance.