The Wild's season has turned into a disaster. Two-plus months of strong play had looked like it would overcome the negativity of another ugly start under second year coach Richards. But then a couple (key) injuries and the wheels have come off like no other Wild team I can remember. The team is a total shambles right now.
So it's exchanges like the one I had last night with Wild tv color analyst Mike Greenlay on twitter - with the Wild losing 3-0 - that give me some sense that the world is not ending, even though my Minnesota sports teams fan's heart feels like it is:
Me: @pulledgoalie would you please start saying 'shutout' on air now, or is that against the goalie code or something?
MG: @nickinnewyork Maybe I should just get out my goalie voodoo doll and then kill a chicken in the booth.
MG: @nickinnewyork Yessir...I'll bust one out soon
*At this point the Wild game goes to the sub-15:00 mark commercial. During which I bring my wife up to speed on the situation. When they come out of commercial, Greenlay starts in with something along the lines of 'Well the Wild has had some bad luck recently with a couple shutouts and they're looking at another shutout again tonight. And sometimes when a goalie's got a shutout going, the team he's facing gets to a point where all they see is the shutout...' And then even the play-by-play guy (Dan Terhaar) chimes in with a shutout mention. It was beautiful!*
Me: @pulledgoalie YOU SIR ARE A GOD!! #freakinawesome
MG: @nickinnewyork There you go...Four shutout references...plus Dan busted one out
So, obviously it's the little things. And Reimer completed the shutout nonetheless.
But it was still a moment of human-ness in what has become a completely de-humanizing experience for Wild fans. The coaches and team appear to have quit. It certainly looks that way on the ice and sounds that way in their comments. That's a frustrating way to see a season die.
And yet Greenlay and his partner are still up there doing their job. Selling season tickets during the 8-1 evisceration against Montreal had to have been the epitome of unpleasant. And dealing with idjit fans like me, on Twitter, while you're trying to call a game on tv can't be exactly fun either.
My hat's off to Mike and Dan for staying professional while keeping their sense of humor particularly when the team they're covering hasn't.