As impressed as Minnesotans are with the Wild's effort in its Game 1 loss to the Blackhawks, many in the Chicago media were chiding the Blackhawks for their performance.
In the Chicago Tribune, columnist David Haugh wrote: "The Hawks can beat the Wild in the first round but won't win another Cup this way. On CSN Chicago, the great Pat Foley accurately described the Hawks as 'out of sorts.'' On the ice, they opened the game as if they exhaled after seeing (Niklas) Backstrom leave. This didn't consistently look like the team that won the Presidents' Trophy. This looked like the team that had been ousted in the first round two straight years. The Hawks can say they were ready to begin a postseason that carries a Stanley-Cup-or-bust mandate, but that start was no way to show it.
Mark Lazerus of the Chicago Sun-Times lauded Wild goalie Josh Harding in his story about the game: "Josh Harding — the goaltender who was an utter disaster in his last start, three long months ago, a last-second fill-in for a suddenly and stunningly injured veteran starter — was brilliant from the outset, aided by teammates fanatically devoted to protecting him."
More on Harding from Nina Falcone of CSN Chicago: "It wasn't just the Wild that had positive things to say regarding their goaltender. The Blackhawks, too, tipped their hat to Harding. 'Of course (we're impressed),' center Jonathan Toews said. 'Everyone knows his story this year and he’s one of those guys, I’m sure, who wants to step up in the playoffs. He played a heck of a game, considering that, tonight. We can expect the same thing from him next game. We want to get on him more and make his job tougher than tonight.' "
Tim Sassone of the Daily Herald rubbed in the trade that sent Eden Prairie high school superstar Nick Leddy to the Blackhawks for the departed Cam Barker: "It was on Feb. 12, 2010, that (Blackhawks general manager Stan) Bowman, searching for veteran depth on defense for the Hawks' Stanley Cup run, dealt defenseman Cam Barker to Minnesota for veteran defenseman Kim Johnsson and Nick Leddy, who was the Wild's first-round draft pick (16th overall) in 2009. The Wild agreed to include Leddy thinking they were getting a top defenseman back in Barker, who was the third pick in the 2004 draft behind Alex Ovechkin and Evgeni Malkin."
And check out the final "Talking Point" from ProHockeyTalk's Joe Yerdon, in which he doesn't lavish praise on one of the Wild's stars.
Links to full stories:
Note: The Chicago Tribune has a pay site that allows you to view a limited number of stories for free with registration.
One benefit of being a Twins season-ticket holder, aside from no longer having to watch Drew Butera swing the bat and Alex Burnett come into close games, is the chance to do some weird stuff that mere single-game ticket holders don't get a shot at. For example, a bunch of us watched the All-Star Game last summer on the big screen while sitting in the Champions Club and eating a ballpark supper. The game wasn't a good one, but the atmosphere and the giveaways kept us there through the seventh inning.
Now comes this from the Twins:
"For several games this season, Twins Season Ticket Holders can register for the chance to sport one of five Mascot costumes and be on the field for the race before the 5th inning."
Sign ... us ... UP
Here's the deal: You have to be 18 and you can't be over 6-foot-5, which eliminates Kevin Love, Jared Allen and the Upload caretaker. And the Twins want you to know what you're getting into -- literally:
"The Mascot costumes can be a bit cumbersome and are not air-conditioned! The race is not recommended for those that are prone to claustrophobia. Cool clothing is suggested on warm days. Please wear tennis shoes and athletic clothing as you will be running a fair distance in the costume; a change of clothes is recommended (the costumes can get warm even on cooler days!)."
And this: "Photographs of the contestants in partial costume are not allowed."
You've been warned. Want to go for it?
We don't know what happened that led to Bemidji State college student (and Bemidji Pioneer sportswriter) Alex Berg telling Twins reliever Glen Perkins that his ticket order for Sunday's game had somehow gotten messed up. That's not the story here.
What we do know is that Perkins picked up the save. That is the story.
Without any comment, we present this Twitter exchange between Berg and Perkins:
Got screwed over online on the Twins tickets I bought last night for today's game. Any chance my fav.player @glen_perkins could help me out?— Alex Berg (@AlexBerg22) April 28, 2013
@glen_perkins 4 tickets. My girlfriend, my grandma, and my cousin. We were supposed to be in 129, but would be grateful for anything.— Alex Berg (@AlexBerg22) April 28, 2013
@glen_perkins Thank you so much! We all appreciate it! Go Twins!— Alex Berg (@AlexBerg22) April 28, 2013
In addition to messing with the sweet Boston Strong ceremony the NFL had planned for the first-round pick of the New England Patriots on Thursday night, the Patriots' deal with the Vikings didn't sit well with football fans who waited more than three hours for their team to make its move.
So there was some explaining to do when New England took four draft choices from the Vikings, who then went on to take the finely named (and well-dressed) wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson with the 29th pick.
At the Boston Globe, football writer Greg A. Bedard did some explaining to Patriots fans: "Yeah, you wanted action in the first round. But the truth is, most drafts don’t have 32 players with first-round grades. And this one was worse than most. I mean, six offensive linemen in the first 11 selections? And Florida State’s E.J. Manuel, who is a bit of a project, the only quarterback taken, with the 16th pick by the Bills? That just tells you what kind of stinker the first round was."
Like the Vikings, New England needs help at wide receiver. Bedard writes: "If the Patriots take two receivers that work out like tight ends Rob Gronkowski (42d overall pick) and Aaron Hernandez (113d) did in 2010, would anybody complain?"
Here's the rest of his piece, which also includes video of Nick Caserio, New England's director of player personnel, talking about the deal.
You've got some time before the draft to read a bit more about Manti Te'o, right?
Vanity Fair has this profile on the Notre Dame linebacker, who is said to be in the sights of the Vikings in tonight's first round. And, surprise surprise, there's a lot about the fictional girlfriend.
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