The Week in Sports


It was a busy and unspectacular week for the injury-addled Wild. Goalie Niklas Backstrom continued to prove he is one of the best netminders in the NHL at the moment when he remained calm and collected during a hard-fought 3-2 victory Monday against Chicago at home. As Michael Russo's piece in the Strib importantly notes, Marion "Lower Body Injury" Gaborik isn't the only top talent the Wild should be concerned about losing to free agency next summer.

Two days later, the Wild did something they had yet to do this season: lose in regulation. At Dallas, the former Minnesota squad had little trouble dispatching the Wild 4-2. Although losing in three periods was a new experience this season, falling to the Stars should have felt pretty natural for Minnesota-- they've lost NINE straight to Dallas, a pathetic streak of dominance that goes all the way back to 2003. The Wild looked to bounce back with a home game against Montreal on Thursday night, but after goalie Carey Price allowed Brent Burns a quick goal at 1:31 in the first period, he was lights-out and Minnesota went down 2-1. Finally the Wild recovered a bit in Phoenix on Saturday with a win over the Coyotes. Fittingly, Brent Burns went down with an injury warming up before the game. Although the Wild are currently in first place in their division with a record of 7-2-1, it does seem likely that with all the injuries they've sustained only 10 games into the season, they might start to falter a bit more regularly in the coming weeks.

Three games into the regular season, the Timberwolves find themselves in familiar territory: the Northwest Division cellar. After opening the season with a 2-point home win over Sacramento in which much-lauded rookie Kevin Love had 12 points and nine rebounds, the Wolves fell on Saturday night to Dallas 95-85. Then the Wolves became the victims of upstart franchise Oklahoma City Thunder's first win, 88-85 on Sunday.

How bad does an NFL team have to be to sign a retired quarterback who hasn't been successful in more than two years? It has to be Detroit Lions bad, which, is really, really bad. The no-win Lions announced they have agreed to a two-year contract with former Vikings QB Daunte "I can totally be my own agent… oh, crap, I know nothing about the art of negotiation or my value as a player. Screw it, I'm retiring" Culpepper who announced in September that he was hanging up his cleats. Culpepper, you'll remember, was the gunslinger who had the luxury of passing to Randy Moss while with the Purple, before getting injured, leaving Minnesota, attempting to become his own agent and failing rather badly at it before retiring because he was... well, unemployed and didn't have an agent advocating for him. Who knows, though, maybe all the Lions need to turn things around is a washed-up quarterback with nine so-so seasons to his credit. Maybe.

The Phillies brought the World Series title to Philadelphia for the first time in 25 years on Wednesday. In what has got to be the weirdest Series delay since the ten-day earthquake postponement of of game three in the 1989 Series, the Phillies and Tampa Bay Rays picked up game five on Wednesday night in the sixth inning following a rainstorm that canceled the games resumption. It was, as Jere Longman of the New York Times writes, a long time coming for a city that has simply become accustomed to losing.

Finally, for a change, some high school football news worth noting. Stephen-Argyle's nine-man football squad lost for the first time in almost six years, ending their 76-game winning streak. Kittson County Central (Don't worry, I've never heard of them, either.) beat the Storm 7-0 in the section 8 nine-man championship. Even if you don't care about prep sports, read John Millea's lovely profile of the team and the streak from 2007.