Thursday, March 31, 2011

Gameday, Wild vs. Oilers, 7:00 CST (Backs in Goal)

Backs has an incredible record at home against the Oilers, so he'll get the start tonight.

There are 5 more games after tonight.
There will be back-to-back games this weekend (Sat-Tampa Bay, Sun-Detroit.)
Then back-to-back games next Thursday (Vancouver) and Friday (Edmonton.)
Then they'll finish up with Dallas at home on April 10.

I'm hoping that José gets one of the back-to-back games this weekend, then one of the back-to-back next week. I figure Backs will get the last game of the season.

So fingers crossed for 2 more starts from our favorite goalie. And 2 more wins!!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Audio of Post-Game Interview with José 3/29/11

The Wild radio guys (Tom Reid specifically) talked to José after the shootout win last night. Here's the link:

I giggled when Reid referred to José as a "youngster" at the end of the interview. ;o)

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Gameday, Wild @ Blues, W, 3-2 in Shootout (Theo in Goal)

The Wild meet the Blues tonight for the last time this season. Theo will be the starter. Let's hope the team can pull themselves out of this hole and make a good showing. It has to be such a low point for them.

The game is blacked out on my Gamecenter feed since I'm in the St. Louis market, so I can't get screen captures. But Theo is in goal, and he's saved 10 of 11 shots on goal. He's done very well so far.

The Wild actually scored quickly, so it's 1-1. They've definitely looked better tonight than they did the other night.

Game still tied at 1-1. Theo faced 7 more shots for a total of 18 so far. He's looked good.
Wild win in a shootout!! Way to go, Theo!!
Ended up saving 27 of 29 shots.
Thanks to fellow Theo fan, Val, for these great screen captures. (You get better looking screen captures than I ever get!)

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Gameday, Wild vs. Blues, L, 6-3 (Backstrom in Goal)

There will only be 7 games after tonight. I'm really, really hoping for a Wild win. Not only for the guys and their mental well-being, but for us and our desire to see some goalie love!! How long's it been? A LONG time!!

Backstrom in goal...I'm hoping Theo gets the next start against the Blues on Tuesday night. I wish I had the nerve to drive in St. Louis myself, because I easily could've gotten tickets to that game. But I'm too chicken to drive in St. Louis and I couldn't ask my brother to drive me again on a weeknight.

Wild lost 6-3. Brutal. At least they scored 3 goals!! That's something!

Wild play Tuesday in St. Louis. I have a feeling Theo will get the start.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Video from Before the March 19th Game

Thanks again to Val for this video taken before the Wild's game against Columbus on March 19th. At about the 1:00 mark, Burns starts punching José in the arm. That kid just can't leave José alone. It's cute, and thankfully Theo seems to have a good time with it.

It's also cute to see José sitting next to little Spurgeon (I need to try to stop always calling him "little" Spurgeon. He probably wouldn't appreciate that.)

Here are screen captures of Spurge and Theo.

Photos from March 19th and 20th Games

Well, the Wild played last night. I didn't even blog about it. I just feel so bad for the guys that it's hard to blog about the games right now. They are in a horrible slide and have now lost the last 7 games with 8 games left in the season. Makes me very sad. The Wild lost 3-0 last night to Toronto, Backstrom in goal.

So let's focus on José rather than these losses. Fellow Theo fan, Val, attended the 2 games this past weekend (against Columbus and Montreal.) She was kind enough to share her photos with me, so here they are. Thanks, Val!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Some new photos I found

I found some new photos today.
This first group were from last summer (Aug 2010) at a show called Elvis Story that was performed at the Capitole de Québec. It seems José was there with his brother, Rock. The site says it's his brother Rick, but he doesn't have a brother Rick.

And I would like to point out that he is wearing my favorite shirt of all time of his. The black and white checked shirt that he also wore earlier this season at the Wild About Children Event, and last year at the check presentation for Saves for Kids. Love that shirt!

The first photo was listed as "Brendon, José, Jean pilote et Rick." His brother is the one on the right in the lavendar shirt (again, must be Rock), and the man in the middle is Jean Pilote, who I believe is the owner and CEO of the Capitole de Quebec. I don't know what Brendon refers to though.

Now there is supposed to be one of just José and Rock, but when I click on the thumbnail, it takes me to the photo above again. I'm really bummed about that, because it looks like a really adorable photo of the brothers. Here's the thumbnail.

And these photos were found on the website of a seemingly famous Quebecois photographer, Roland Lachance. Here is a photo of José with Roland. Roland does not look too happy to be on that side of the camera. But it's not just because he's with José...I saw numerous photos of him, and he always looked that...sour.

This is José with Micheline...don't know who that is.
And here he is, all alone with his pretty.

The next one has become one of my favorites...I just adore photos of him when he had braces. I can't explain why...just so cute. And look at this smile. From a golfing event in Aug 2005.

And this smile!

Here he is with Habs legend, Jean Béliveau, in May 2004.

Super close-up from 2004.

And at the airport in 2005.

There are a few more, but I need to get to bed now. So I'll blog the rest another time.

Gameday, Wild vs. Canadiens, L (8-1) (Theo in Goal)

So José gets the start this evening at home against Montreal. His old team. Oh, a victory would be soooo sweet. And it WILL happen! I have faith. I mean, the Wild are due! They've lost 5 in a row. Ouch. Not ideal for a team trying to make the playoffs. But no matter what, I'm going to enjoy these last 10 regular season games. 10?! Only 10 games left in regular season?!! OMG, that's a very sad thought. Off-season is let's just enjoy what we have left, shall we? And let's go Theo!!
Well, I didn't even know if I'd update this thread, but I feel I should. It was a pretty upsetting game. I felt so bad for José. Huge defensive breakdowns in this game all the way through. None of the goals were really his fault. He was pulled in the 2nd period after 5 goals. Backstrom then came in and endured 3 more. The only goal the Wild could score was on a penalty shot. It was a pathetic showing in front of Theo. And I just feel so bad for him.

Here was Coach Richards' quote after the game:
"Our execution was probably the worst I've seen in just about two years now here," Minnesota coach Todd Richards said. "Decisions with the puck, without the puck, our defensemen were chasing back a lot. I felt bad for Theo because we put him in some really tough predicaments on the ice."

"I need to be better as a coach, and the players need to be better as players."

Theo's stats: 12-10-3, .915 SV%, 2.78 GAA.
For the team that he's working with, and the low number of games he gets to play, I think that's outstanding.

Much love to Theo!!!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Gameday, Wild vs. Blue Jackets, 1:00 CST (Backs in Goal)

The Wild play an early game this afternoon at home against Columbus. Backstrom is starting. They play again tomorrow at home against Montreal, but they aren't saying who the starting goalie will be yet.

From Russo:
Niklas Backstrom starting today for #mnwild; goalie decision for tomorrow undetermined until after today's game.

Theo with Kids Photos

Found these adorable photos of José with kids (most from his Montreal days.)

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Gameday, Wild @ Sharks, 9:30 CST (Backs in Goal)

Backstrom will start tonight, but at least José is well enough to be practicing today and will be the back-up tonight. So hopefully his illness is totally gone and he's feeling fine. Found this cute photo a bit ago...José juggling pucks.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Theo Sick, Missed Practice Today

Poor Theo is sick today and couldn't practice. They said they'd make a decision tonight if they'd call up a goalie to backup Backs tomorrow night in San Jose. Maybe it was a 24-hour bug and he'll be able to dress. He has to be pretty sick to miss practice though...he hasn't missed one yet this season...even the optional skates. Our hard-working Theo.

I had some fun tonight with the LOL generator. You like? ;o)
You could insert your least favorite player's name...Ott is just about at the top of my list.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Ask a Pro with Theo (from InGoal Magazine)

Here's the Ask a Pro segment that José did with In Goal Magazine. Congrats to reader Janet (she got more than one of her questions answered and some nice compliments too!)

Here was the blurb about it in the newsletter:
"Last week we advertised a conversation with Curts Sanford. Unfortunately, due to circumstances beyond our control, we weren't able to make that happen - but we did find Minnesota's Jose Theodore - one of the most interesting guys in the league and definitely one with a huge fan following."

Ask A Pro with Jose Theodore: overcoming adversity in the NHL
by Kevin Woodley on March 13, 2011

Jose Theodore is no stranger to ups and downs on and off the ice.

From a Hart Trophy winner to unwanted in Montreal, he enjoyed a resurrection of sorts after being traded to Colorado for the immortal David Aebischer (and to make room for Cristobal Huet) by backstopping a first round playoff upset of his new team, the Minnesota Wild, in 2008. He continued the comeback after signing in Washington and posting 62 wins over two seasons, only to be quickly cast aside in the playoffs both times. But that was nothing compared to the personal loss Theodore suffered while with the Capitals.

In August 2009, as he prepared for his second season in Washington, Theodore and his wife, Stephanie Cloutier, lost their newborn son Chace to respiratory complications just two months after he was born premature. They paid tribute to his son’s short life by founding Saves for Kids, a program to raise funds for the Noenatal Intensive Care Unit at the Children’s National Medical Center.

Theodore won the 2010 Bill Masterton Trophy for perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication, but has admitted it still hurts to think about the loss. All of which put things in perspective when no NHL teams came calling for his services as unrestricted free agent last summer. But that didn’t make it any easier to deal with being out of a game that provided his best escape from the grief.

“It’s one place where it’s easier – I wouldn’t say easy, but easier – to forget about some of the personal stuff,” Theodore said Sunday.

Not having that as August wound down and the phone didn’t ring, wasn’t easy to understand. But it wasn’t hard to get through either.

“Last summer wasn’t tough because I really had this sense – and whoever really paid attention to the season – I felt like I did everything in my power to make it easy on myself,” said Theodore, who was 30-7-7 for the Capitals and went undefeated in regulation the final 24 games of the season. “Not only that I had 30 wins and a .911 save percentage, which for an offensive team I was pretty happy about, but you can see this year their focus is changing their style and I had as many scoring chances there as I ever have. And overall I just felt like I did everything I could, and then in the playoffs it didn’t pan out like I wanted to. But then it’s out of my power if I don’t start after one game, you know, so I felt like I could look at myself in the mirror and say I did everything I could. But obviously when the phone didn’t ring I was disappointed because I felt like I was in good shape and I wanted to keep playing.

“I was really surprised,” continued Theodore. “I knew the salary was going to go down because of what was happening with all the goalies and it’s not like I was asking for too much money. I just wanted to play for a good team and it didn’t happen.”

The phone finally did ring after Minnesota’s Josh Harding tore his ACL and MCL in a September crease collision.

Five months later, Theodore is 12-9-3 with an impressive .919 save percentage, and even won an extra stretch drive start ahead of Niklas Backstrom as the Wild battled for a playoff spot in the tough Western Conference. More importantly, the soft-spoken, polite puck stopper is still around to graciously take questions from InGoal Magazine readers for this week’s Ask a Pro:

~ We’ll start with InGoal subscriber Janet Wamsley, whose thoughtful list of questions would have done any professional interviewer proud, covering off a lot of feature angles most reporters seek out from Theodore, and even generating part of the response used in the introduction above.

~ Wamsley starts by asking, how has your preparation (mental and physical) for games changed or evolved over your career?

Jose Theodore:
“Through experience you just learn to relax more before a game. You pretty much know what you have to do to be ready. You know if you are not feeling good what you should do to get yourself in the game, or if you have a bad goal how to react. Or some games that you don’t have a lot of shots and when you are younger you kind of lose your concentration because you have no shots, and now you know how ot deal with it. It’s more about knowing yourself. Maybe you are not as quick technically as you get older, but you can compensate with the experience.”

~ Wamsley continues: In situations where there’s something to prove about your play, how do you use that as motivation?

Jose Theodore:
“You know what, there is always something to prove, for whatever reason. It could be like you win the Vezina, you want to prove that you can do it again and try to do it again. Or if you have a bad season, you want to prove that you can bounce back. There’s always something to prove, but at the end of the day we’re playing a game and I’ve been playign in the NHL for what, 13 years now? So I’m still here and I feel great.

“Maybe there are times when you are not playing as much as you want so that it’s not as fun. But overall I find a way to have a good time. Even if I’m not playing I am going to have a good time with the guys, I am going to practice hard. Maybe the last year in Montreal after the lockout, when they traded me, those five orsix months weren’t much fun because it was at a point where everything got blown out of proportion and it wasn’t fun. But if I can complain only about six months out of 13 years, that’s pretty good.”

~ One last one from Wamsley: Over the course of your career, there have been very high highs, and very low lows on the ice, and difficulties and tragedy off it. From the more recent interviews and recent stories about you, it seems that you’ve been able to find strength to face your challenges honestly, without giving in to bitterness and/or despair. Can you speak to where you’ve found sources of strength and hope in that process?

Jose Theodore:
“I think it’s just about hockey as a place where you go and it’s one place where it’s easier – I wouldn’t say easy, but easier – to forget about some of the personal stuff. So when I am out here with the guys and practicing, I really rely on hard work and just having fun and a lot of times the arena was the only place I could kind of forget about anything else and let down my guards and have a good time. And a lot of time, until pretty much this year, I was able to always be a No.1 guy, even if some seasons didn’t go as well as I wanted to, but always bounce back and that’s something I’ve always taken a lot of pride in is bouncing back.”

~ InGoal reader JR Cruz asks: With the trend going to “bigger is better” for goalies, what kind advice would you have for younger kids or adults that do not have the luxury of a larger frame and “picks just hitting them?”

Jose Theodore:
“At the end of the day it’s all about stopping the pucks. You can say he’s small in the net or he’s a small goalie or whatever, and obviously when you are a smaller goalie you gotta play big and be quick and challenge, but at the end of the day if you win your games and have a good save percentage, I don’t care what size you are. Just make the big saves and make the difference.

“That said, obviously when you are a small goalie you gotta learn to play big. You can’t be going down on every shot, you have to be able to read plays. I always think if you are a big goalie and you play deep, or you are a small goalie and you play out, at the end of the day it’s the same thing. It depends on the style you play, but at the end of the day it’s about stopping pucks and that’s all that matters.

“When I was with (new Canucks goalie coach) Rollie (Melanson during their time together in Montreal) – and he was a guy that really brought my game to another level – I remember we worked a lot on at least I would have my toes or my heels on the line so I was a little bit further out in the blue. For me what I remember was always toes on line or on top of the blue all the time. Not over the blue, like you don’t want to be two feet out – unless you read the play and sometimes that you can really challenge a shot. I think that’s a good spot for me is when my toes are on that line on the top of the circle.”

~ InGoal follow up: That sounds a lot like how Dwayne Roloson used to talk about his initial depth positioning under Minnesota goalie coach Bob Mason. What has it been like building a relationship with a new goalie coach yet again.

Jose Theodore:
“I remember my first practice with me, Bob and a couple of guys, right away I was really happy I was going to work with a good goalie coach and a guy that’s been there and he doesn’t over coach, he just gives you good advice. I really have a good relationship with him and he’s a big part of why I think me and Niklas things have been going well. And Niklas is a quiet guy but a good guy and he’s fun to work with and I am supporting him 100 per cent and when I play, even if I play a couple of games back to back, he is behind me and supporting me.”

~ InGoal follow up: Speaking of starting, will you look for a No.1 job this summer?

Jose Theodore:
“I think this year I felt like I could have played 40, 45 games, but obviously Nik is a great goalie and he’s had a great year. But we’ll see, things seem to change so much. A lot of teams have two goalies and they almost want to split, so we’re going to see what’s going to happen but for now I can only control what I can control.”

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Theo made the Top Ten Saves in the NHL 2 Times this Winter

So far...hopefully he'll make it again at least once before the season is over. I had gotten behind on looking at the NHL Saves of the Week, but when I caught up today I found that he was #2 of the week for 1/18/11 and then #2 for the past week, 3/8/11. I'll post both here.

"...a cool as can be guitar-playing tattoo-wearing goalie..."

While stalking InGoal Magazine to see if the Ask a Pro (Theo edition) had been printed yet (I know it's too soon, but whatever), I ran across this little blurb they printed after the Wild's outdoor practice a while back. I think they photo they used was a new one to me also, I'll include it here. They said:

"~Calgary wasn’t the only place NHL players were on outdoor ice this weekend. The Minnesota Wild took to the outdoors for a practice and it was there that José Theodore – a cool as can be guitar-playing tattoo-wearing goalie - took cool to a whole new level, donning a pair of shades for the practice:

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Theo Interviewed Sunday by In Goal Magazine

José will be answering subscribers' questions Sunday over at In Goal Magazine.

I will post the interview as soon as it's available. I'll be waiting with bated breath. ;o)

Friday, March 11, 2011

Gameday, Wild @ Stars, 7:30 CST (Theo in Goal)

José gets the crap assignment of playing in Dallas tonight. The Wild have not won there in the past 13 tries (since 2003.) Wow, that's a bad streak.

Here's what Russo said today in his blog when mentioning the Wild goalie situation: "My guess is the Wild signs an experienced backup (José Theodore or likely another because Theodore wants and should be a No. 1)"

I've never agreed with Russo quite as much as right now.

After the first period the Wild are down 1-0. There hasn't been a lot of shots on goal. José faced 9. But some of those were really good saves. And the goal scored was a really great play. Nothing he could do about it. And only down 1-0, I feel good about that.

Well, I guess I jinxed the team with my last statement there. That period started out pretty well, ended like hell. Can't really blog much about it. Too painful. Suffice it to say it's 4-0, and things aren't good. Playoffs aren't looking promising.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Gameday, Wild @ Predators, 7:00 CST (Backstrom In Goal)

Backstrom is starting in Nashville tonight, so I assume José will start tomorrow night in Dallas. I hate Dallas. Blech. Big roadtrip coming up that could possibly decide whether the Wild make the playoffs or not. The other teams in the West have not been helping their case. Lots of 3-point games between Western foes.

Since there won't be much José action tonight, here's a photo from before the Colorado game. Talking with his former teammate Hedjuk.

And I happened upon this gem the other day. Adorable.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Gameday, Wild vs. Avs, 7:00 CST (Backstrom in Goal)

Backs is in nets again tonight. There will be back-to-back games on Thursday and Friday, so José will get one of those. Big road trip coming up after tonight against Western Conference teams. Very important to this playoff race. It's not looking real promising, but it can certainly be done. Go Wild!

Since they're playing the Avs tonight, how about a few shots from when José was there.