Sometime soon I hope to take a trip to a cabin, preferably in a countryside not too far from here where a fire crackles nightly, and long walks through wooded areas seem like heaven on earth. I’ll probably bring my warm Coleman boots, my Cannon DSLR (which I still have no idea what I’m doing with), my North Face hat and gloves, my high-tech-super-fancy base layer, and most importantly my earbuds.
Between my ears my synapses will be thumping to one of the greatest mood albums of the 1980’s, The Cure’s Disintegration.
It’s awfully dark album to be so good, but it teeters on the verge of accessibility enough that it feels comfortable and recognizable. I’ve always enjoyed The Cure, not necessarily for their artistic, dour value, but because they made some really nice, and surprisingly beautiful music.
Recorded in a post-pop turn for the band, it was a turn back towards the goth rock foundation that the band had laid for themselves nearly ten years prior. But in the yearning to return to their roots, they also embraced the sonic change of the late-80’s sound as rock would become less electronic sounding and more guitar aggressive. That was fine with Smith, who penned some of the most amazing dream-like sounds that the decade had seen.
“Pictures Of You”, the final single of four released from the album, is probably one of my favorites the band has ever released. On the heels of uber popular tracks “Lovesong” and “Fascination Street”, “Pictures” was a combination of both tours through front man Robert Smith’s brain. Where “Lovesong” was a torch song, and “Fascination Street” was dark and twisty, “Pictures of You” awakened both sentiments in one gratifying culmination.
If you’ve never heard “Pictures of You”, stop and go listen. It is a really good late 80’s romp that would pave the way for early 90’s alt-rock better than most acts of that time. Smith with the sentimental higher voiced gravitas released about as good a vocal performance as he has given. Rumors are that he nailed it live too.
Lyrically it’s magical. When the only thing you have left of a memory is pictures, and they seem to be the closest thing to reality that you could imagine in that moment – whoa, deep. It is a song about regret or missteps that led to regret, and who hasn’t had regret in their life? I have. You have. We all have. So the touching moments from a sincerely deep and dark Robert Smith connect with a wide audience. It will forever be one of my favorite spins from The Cure, as well as one of my favorite singles of the 80’s and 90’s.
Regret. Don’t let it happen. Choose to make decisions today that impact the future positively. That’s a broad analogy for our Oklahoma City Barons, but hey, it’s November, I’m cold, and this feels appropriate. So here is the challenge today – no regret, play hard, work hard, and never find yourself looking at pictures alone in a dark room. It isn’t good for anybody. (cue the windswept empty noise from “Pictures of You” finale)
The last time the Oklahoma City Barons played the Iowa Wild the “good” guys walloped the “bad” guys in back-to-back games both with two-goal victories. Luke Gazdic and Jujhar Khaira scored their first goals of the season, and Ryan Hamilton saran wrapped defenders to two goals for himself in game one. In game two four different Barons scored including C.J. Ludwig in his first pro goal in a pretty impressive game from the young defender.
The two Barons games included, the Iowa Wild would begin the season on a 2-5 skid. Post-Barons games they’d lose three in a row, and fire their first coach in franchise history, Kurt Kleinendorst.
On the firing, Tommy Birch had this to say (via Des Moines Register):
When the Iowa Wild took the ice last season, they did it with Kurt Kleinendorst leading them as the first coach in team history.
Kleinendorst is now just that — history.
Just 12 games into their second season in Des Moines, the Wild are making a change. According to a source with knowledge of the decision, Kleinendorst has been fired. The move is expected to be announced Tuesday morning.
He will be replaced by John Torchetti, the source said.
Torchetti was coaching the Houston Aeros before the Minnesota Wild’s American Hockey League affiliate made the move to Iowa. But, when he accepted a coaching job in Russia, the team went searching for a replacement and came up with Kleinendorst.
It’s been a disappointing tenure for Kleinedorst, whose teams struggled in his first and second season in Des Moines.
The Wild kicked off their first season in Des Moines finishing with a 27-36-7-6 record, finishing dead last in the American Hockey League’s Western Conference.
And so the team made a coaching move on November 10th. On November 12th they’d win for only the third time all season, but the first for Torchetti as Wild bench boss.
The plot thickens as the team hosts their first home game with Torchetti at the helm, and they will do so by welcoming the pretty-solid OKC Barons this Friday and Saturday at Wells Fargo Arena.
Let’s start with our own Oklahoma City Barons, whom are nearing 100% in the health department for the first time in about two weeks. The lone ranger on the day-to-day list remains Tyler Pitlick, and unless his concussion is worse than originally communicated, he gets back in the lineup tonight. Forward Bogdan Yakimov and defenseman Martin Gernat seem fully healthy, and look to increase their time on ice this weekend.
The squad only has one forward in the top 40 in league scoring, and that’s Jason Williams with eleven points in ten games. This doesn’t mean that the team isn’t scoring goals (nearly forty on the season), but rather that they are getting balanced scoring. By the end of the weekend Ryan Hamilton, Andrew Miller, Anton Lander, and the aforementioned Jason Williams will all probably be in double-digit point totals through thirteen games. That’s an interesting list as most aren’t considered true Oilers prospects in that they are filling gaps in the next two to three years in the NHL lineup. But that’s fine, and that’s why these players exist. With Iiro Pakarinen still churning out under-ten minutes a night with the Oilers, the team will certainly continue to lean on more seasoned players through the winter months.
Defensively we have seen the pairing of Brandon Davidson and Brad Hunt emerge as fourth and fifth forwards on the ice at times since the latter returned to AHL play. This is a product of “whom” Hunt is as a player, but the same can’t really be said for Davidson who has had to cover more defensive indiscretions for Hunt than you would probably like. This points to Davidson’s betterment, and Hunt’s ongoing defensive issues.
We will probably get a goaltending split this weekend. Look for Bachman on Friday and Brossoit on Saturday. The newly inspired Wild will give them everything they can handle under their new head coach’s tutelage. The Wild’s differential of nearly twenty goals is going to narrow with better coaching, and assume that they start to chip away at that almost instantly.
Turning our attention to the Wild, things aren’t completely doom and gloom for the team. They made a decision early enough in the season that the team could realistically gain ground on Charlotte and Grand Rapids in only a handful of games. Yet they are going to have to get big minutes defensively and in net if that is going to happen.
They’ve swapped a couple of players with parent club Minnesota in the last couple of days including Jonathan Blum for Stu Bickel, and Stephane Veilleux for Jordan Schroeder. The loss of Schroeder is monumental for the AHL Wild as he was their leading scoring through twelve games. But all is not completely lost as the sixth year AHL vet, Blum, comes back to Iowa after a one game stint in the NHL. And in an early morning transaction the Wild lose Justin Falk, and in return get back Christian Folin. Defensive swaps aplenty, and this might throw a bit of a wrench in the “gelling” of teammates. We will see.
Johan Gustafsson has logged nearly 500 minutes in net through nine games for the Wild, and he has averaged nearly three and a half goals in that span. Not good. And for a team somewhat anemic offensively, that’s even more discouraging. Stealing games is a tall order for a goaltender only playing his second pro season as a Minnesota Wild prospect. He will be fine…eventually.
The puck drops on Friday at 7:00pm, as well as on Saturday evening. Nestle in, Oklahoma, for a round of cold weather. Hug the radio or your wireless device for warmth. Cheer the Barons on, and GET A GOAL MITCH MOROZ!