10.) Branko Radivojevic stepped it up. I have been really hard on him in the past, but you know what? Towards the end of this season he got better, and all his hard work paid off.
9.) Stephane Veilleux tried to be a French Wes Walz. This is not to knock Walz, but I'm fairly certain that since he is from Alberta, he doesn't speak French. Veilleux plays with a lot of heart, and works his butt off each game. From what I hear he's also a really nice guy, and he's certainly good for an entertaining inverview.
8.) The aquisition of Todd Fedoruk. Let's not lie here, when I saw who we got, I laughed. I wondered what good he would really do for us, but in addition to entertaining me with his dancing, he has turned out to be a pretty decent hockey player, and for free no less. (Free to aquire him, he still had to be paid)
7.) Marian Gaborik scored five goals. He finally lived up to the hype, even though he was really streaky this season, he showed us glimpses of what he could be like if he worked harder, learned to play with linemates that are not his best friends, and stepped it up as a leader. Giving him the C sort of was a good thing.
6.) I got my Mark Parrish sweater signed. I know, this has nothing to do with the actual team, but I'm stoked anyway. I'm hoping he comes back, refinds his niche, and has a better season next year. Congrats again to the Parrishes, I'm sure they will have a busy summer ahead of them with their new little girl.
5.) Sheppard learned a lot this season, and while he wasn't always spectacular, I think the future is bright for him. If we hadn't been so short on centers, we might not have seen Pouliot and Shepp as much as we did, but I'm glad for it. I'm also glad that Pouliot showed that he's not as lazy and douchey as he seemed.
4.) This was the year of three players, and Nick Schultz is definitely one of them. He became captain for the first time in his career, and he really stepped it up. I think one of the main reasons the Wild left early was because we missed him and Foster so much. (Foster can be a good player and he's improving, shut it, haters.) I have been fairly indifferent towards Schultz, and sometimes downright mean to him such as when I invented the game to count how many times in a game he would get completely annihilated (I also learned how to spell annihilate this season). This season I was really, pleasently surprised to see how well he played, led the team, and he really seems to be a well-spoken, intelligent guy.
3.) Brent Burns learned some sick moves this year, and was named one of Pierre McGuire's Monsters. http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/feature/?fid=11413 He elevated his game for the second season in a row, and even though he will miss Carney should he not return, I think he will be just fine on his own. He has really matured out, and is very entertaining as well. He and I have a very similar vocabulary, and he would probably agree with me that Dan Terhaar and Mike Greenlay should not try to be cool like us and steal our favorite words/phrases.
2.) Mikko Koivu has shown the world that he's a legit stud, and will be as good as his brother if not better. He can finally kick the "Saku's little brother" status and come out from Saku's shadow into the sun. God knows he could use a little sun that one. He was awesome for us in the playoffs, and the quarter of the season that he was missing due to Ohlund sucking at life, the team was hurting for him. I can't wait to see what he does next, and I fully expect him to be named captain soon, possibly even permanent captain if Lemaire chooses to retire at some point.
1.) WE WON THE DIVISION TITLE! May there be many more to come. I'm sad about the early playoff exit, but stoked about the banner. I wish I could be there to see it hung. It was a fun ride watching the intense fight for said banner, and it reminded me why I love being in this division. (Besides getting to watch the Oilers a lot.)
-The awesome dude that sits next to my parents season tickets. Awesome Dude, if you ever read this, I enjoyed watching games with you and hearing all your stories about the Twins and North Stars back in the day. I hope you have a good summer and renew your seats!
-Watching Harding and Backstrom burn each other.
-Getting the double bonus of spring break games that I didn't think I'd get to see.
-The great rookies that emerged in the league this season.
I'm still cheering for the Habs in the east and my western allegience is up for grabs. I'm now accepting reasons as to why I should cheer for the team of your choice.