Welcome to the Monday edition of The Cooler, where you never know what you’re going to get from Minnesota fans. Let’s get to it:
*Three key Wild players were traded leading up to this year’s deadline, and all three ended up in the playoffs. Mikael Granlund and Nashville are done after a first-round elimination, but Charlie Coyle’s Bruins and Nino Niederreiter’s Hurricanes are very much alive.
Coyle had the overtime game winner for Boston against Columbus in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semis (the series is now 1-1), while Niederreiter scored the game-winner Sunday in the third period against the Islanders to give Carolina a 2-0 series lead.
In times like this, I’m always curious: Are Minnesota fans hoping for good things for players they used to root for, or is it painful to watch them succeed elsewhere while the Wild sits idly after missing the postseason?
Not all situations are created equal, but my theory in this case was that more Wild fans than not were rooting for the guys who used to be here — and that if there was a preference for any of them, it was Niederreiter, whose Carolina squad has been adopted by several folks in these unpredictable playoffs.
It’s nice when data — even the unscientific kind found on Twitter — helps support hunches.
Per a poll I ran Monday morning, the majority of you are either rooting for one or both of the former Wild players to succeed rather than not. After 2 hours of voting, 41 percent of you said you’re rooting for both players/teams, while 29 percent said you’re rooting for neither. Another 23 percent of you said you’re rooting for just Nino, while 7 percent said just Coyle.
On that last part, I suspect it has little to do with a dislike for Coyle and more to do with Boston’s tradition of recycling former Minnesota players (David Ortiz … Kevin Garnett …) and turning them into champions.
There’s a decent chance one of those two players/teams will reach the Stanley Cup Finals, which would take this to another level.
*James Harden is pleading for officials to give the Rockets a “fair chance” after what he believes were several missed calls in a close Game 1 loss on Sunday. Here’s another idea: Don’t make getting fouled on a three-pointer part of your game plan.
*There were a lot of intriguing stories to emerge from the NFL Draft, but my favorite might be the one about all the bachelorette parties in Nashville who had no idea the draft was there and were bummed that all the football craziness cramped their style.
*The most amazing stat of the weekend came via Phil Miller’s story from Sunday’s Twins game. The Twins hit 23 home runs in six games against Baltimore this season, a team record for a single season vs. the Orioles. They hit 22 twice — but both of those were in seasons they played the Orioles EIGHTEEN times. So yeah, they set the record in one-third the number of games.