‘Thriller’, the 1982 follow up to Michael Jackson’s ‘Off The Wall’, needs no introduction. Nine singles, four authored by Jackson himself, is all it took to amplify Jackson and his electro-funk-soul-rhythm-pop sound to the top of the charts in the early parts of 1980. Where ‘Off The Wall’ fell short in its contrived, disco ways, ‘Thriller’ would more than make up for.
The title cut from the album of the same name has reached pop legend status. Quincy Jones’ production, the Landis helmed video, and a bit of luck thanks to the emergence of MTV, this is a cut for the ages.
The synth heavy, sound effect layered song is instantly recognizable, and insanely Jackson-ish. It was the rare complete song that fulfilled creepy and poppy simultaneously and that’s a good thing.
The day after Halloween, my costume reeking of Snickers and sweat, “Thriller” seems more appropriate for a game preview than perhaps ever before. After all, these Oklahoma City Barons can thrill, they can also spill, but mostly thrill.
This weekend the Barons host the Iowa Wild – “’cause this is thriller, thriller night.”
Five games in and the Iowa Wild hadn’t won a game. Game one they lost to San Antonio by a single goal. The next game by two goals to the Texas Stars. Then came a two-set with the Milwaukee Admirals where the Wild were outscored eight goals to three. A week later they’d have a soul-crushing moment against the Charlotte Checkers. However, they’ve resurrected themselves in the last week or so. The losing streak ended, and a two game winning streak began. The last two games have been a “real good thing” for the Iowa Wild as they’ve dished out back-to-back multiple goal victories. So the Wild travel to Oklahoma City on Saturday and Sunday to continue their winning ways while the Barons look to nudge themselves over .500.
Jordan Schroeder signed a two-year contract with the Minnesota Wild, and he be earning his paycheck, son. Ten points in seven games is good enough for sixth in the league for him. And he is only beginning to heat up as four of those points have occurred in the last two games. The Wild needed that too, as they struggled early on to score goals in bunches.
With a team filled with nine active rookies, scoring is going to be a problem, but so is defending, goaltending, consistency, and just about everything else. They are hoping to end a bit of the inconsistent streak as they receive three decent defenders from NHL Minnesota in Stu Bickel, Jon Blum, and Justin Faulk – all reassigned in the last three days.
John Curry and Johan Gustafsson are manning the pipes for the Wild these days, and both have a below .900 save percentage. As the team cooks up offensively, and the defense gels, expect one or both to get hot once mid-November early December rolls around.
For Oklahoma City, they get Richard Bachman back. This is huge. Although it comes with a bit of trepidation as Frans Tuohimaa has played excellent minutes with Laurent Brossoit’s back tweaked just a bit.
Luke Gazdic, who had shoulder surgery in April, will suit up for Oklahoma City on a conditioning stint. That likely begins this weekend, and gives Gazdic some good minutes back in the AHL where he has lent his services for 200+ games as a member of the Texas Stars.
Also returning to the Barons is Brandon Davidson after a hernia situation that has kept him from play for the entire month of October.
All three are very interesting additions to the team, and with their induction comes change to the roster.
The official report is that Iiro Pakarinen and Curtis Hamilton will be the healthy scratches tonight, and Richard Bachman will start in net. Sitting Iiro and Curtis is odd, if winning is something you enjoy, but it is more about giving equal minutes to everyone. Let’s hope this experiment doesn’t backfire, as it almost has on a number of occasions.
Tonight’s game is at 7:00pm with the one on Saturday a matinee of sorts at 4:00pm. Won’t you join us?