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..and good things happen.

Yes folks, as they say, karma is a bitch. Tuesday while the Wild were busy trying to goad the Avs into a pissing contest the Avs sat idly by content with their 5-1 beat-down and tried to get out of the game without any major injuries. Quenneville did an excellent job controlling his team and afterwards the Avs said and did all the right things. Meanwhile the Wild, the Minnesota Media, and many of their fans (but not their classy bloggers!) delved into whining about every little thing the Avs did, and even accused Ben Guite and Tyler Arnason of being goons, and going after their skill players, who are apparently James Shepperd (19 points in '07-'08) and Keith Carney (1G in '07-'08). The Avs built a lot of good karma for their classy handling of a potentially toxic situation.

The Wild apparently learned their lesson and they came out and played solid clean, yet physical, hockey. No thuggery, no questionable hits, no chippiness in general, just good, quality hockey. They hit the Avs hard, especially in the first 10 minutes, but it was all good & clean. Frankly it was some of the best and most exciting hockey I've seen any team play all season. I know what it's like to lose your cool in the heat of an intense match and do stupid things that you regret and are ashamed of. The Wild came out and showed that they aren't in fact the Ducks by playing the type of hockey they meant to play all series. So kudos to them for a clean game.

Normally the Wild's extremely clean play would be enough to overcome any karmic debt that they owed. Karma is big on repentance. But whatever bad karma Wild players were able to wash away was replaced with bad karma from the Xcel Energy center crowd which, quite frankly, was terrible for game 5. Most of the time a crowd is only labeled bad if they are apathetic, but the Wild fans weren't apathetic at all. The energy is what usually makes Minnesota crowds so great, but normally the St. Paul crowds bring positive energy. For game 5 they came in with so much rage, anger, and general complaining that karma had no choice but to pay attention. They boo'd every time a Wild player fell down. They boo'd at nearly every minor offsides, hand pass or played with a high stick call that went against them. They boo'd every time they took a penalty, even if it was an obvious call. In fact if that were the Atlanta or Tampa crowds there would be a million talking heads Friday morning talking about how ignorant those southern fans are.

The pinnacle of negative energy came when Derek Boogard and Ian Lapperriere inadvertently collided along the blue line. Ian Lapperriere was slow to get up, and the Wild fans cheered his injury, then boo'd when Lappy got up off the ice. [McNab] That may be the most classless display by a supposedly savvy fan base, that I have ever seen [/McNab]. I realize that Wild fans are mad at Lapperriere because he threw some extremely tame (gloves on) punches at Gaborik on the last game of the regular season, but you don't cheer for an injury and/or boo an injured player. I hate Dion Phaneuf, hate him, but I would never cheer for his injury. I'm sure there are some idiots at the Pepsi center who would (in fact there's no doubt there are) but the roar of the crowd while Lapperriere was face down on the ice was one of the loudest cheers of the night. The classlessness on display was almost deafening. Philly fans have taken a lot of flak for booing Michael Irvin when he was hurt in Philly, well the Wild fans were no better Thursday night. Based on the Media and fans (not the Wild bloggers though, they have been extremely classy through this whole overblown fiasco, as I mentioned yesterday) reaction, they should probably just alter the Wild logo a little:


The classlessness of the crowd nearly overshadowed a great playoff game. Minnesota was the better team. They were quick, they out worked the Avs, and they came ready to play. The Avs had no business winning this game, but with karma on their side José Thédore channeled his inner-peace into denying the Wild at every turn. He was fantastic (and truth be told probably eanred himself another decent to big contract with the avs, or someone else). I've aways maintained that Game 5 is the most important game, and Theo just stole it for us. Obviously the cane gives him karmic balance:
Théo deserves all the credit in the world, but let's remember that the Avs helped themselves with some good ol' fashined karma.

Note I realize I am severely misrepresenting karma here, but I am representing it in the same way that movies and pop culture do for this post.