What a magical day for Vox in the Box at the X. Those nationally reading this via the tweet pop, Vox in the Box is a radio show on FM 100.3 KFAN from #92Noon that originates from the penalty box at Xcel Energy Center, home of the Minnesota Wild. I am the "Vox," a nickname given to me seven years ago by Minnesota Vikings Publicist TOM WEST.
We do radio for three hours and during morning skate. On days we have done Vox in the Box the Wild have won 17 of 18 games. The vibe is so hot the team and KFAN have secured a way for me to do Vox in Their Press Box Thursday from United Center in advance of game seven of this series.
If/after Wild win this evening there's no way I can watch the game from a stuffy press box and not cheer. I'll have to take my all-access UC pass and snipe a seat. Or, maybe, I'll watch the game from UC's Zamboni tunnel and cheer and flirt with their ice girls?
All of this dreamy stuff is cart-before-horse because to get to that Concrete Jungle we have to win tonight. And it's fair to note the Champs since 2009 are 7-and-0 in game-six clinching games and 5-and-0 on the road. PATRICK KANE has six goals and five assists in those games. Nothing easy about this task tonight and, in fact, it's quite daunting.
We did our part this morning with Vox in the Box. Vikings GM RICK SPIELMAN stopped by the Sin Bin for three segs of hockey-and-hope conversation, and Wild GM CHUCK FLETCHER joined for 20 minutes. It was awesome talking with those local-sports power brokers at the same time. Chatting football with Spielman during the Wild's morning skate was super cool.
FSN'S KEVIN GORG and the Strib's MICHAEL RUSSO offered elite analysis of the game tonight, HC MIKE YEO shared some ways to win, and the final hour was designed to provide the Champs with several distractions.
#92Noon unveiled all of its best tricks for the final 30 minutes of the show when the Champs were starting their morning skate. While texting and tweeting so they could see (that's all players do on buses and planes, and they love it), I allowed them to see the steam coming out of my thermos and from the triple espresso/french roast charge I brewed at home. They were thirsty and cold and desperately wanted a sip.
Then, the beautiful JAMIE HERSCH of FSN and RACHEL RAMSEY of the Gophers womens hockey team stopped by, and the Champs couldn't stop staring. JOHNNY ODUYA was gazing and flirting. He wasn't skating he was sauntering and wanted the girls to "ooh and ahh" at his skills. I always have liked Johnny Oduya. He took the cheese. Sweet.
Then, X Exec. Chef JASON STEIDEL and his staff delivered steak-and-shrimp meals for all of us to eat -- WHILE THE HUNGRY 'HAWKS LOOKED IN, COVETING OUR FOOD! Collective stomachs were grumbling. The smell of the food made even the Champs envious.
Brilliant, Jason. Saved the best for the biggest moment of the season -- shrimp and steak for game six. Very well played, Jason and staff. It tasted awesome and the kindness was just amazing. Jason, you are terrific at what you do, and that you knew I love brussel sprouts is a karmic konvergence only you and I have.
So, hot coffee, beautiful girls and elite food during the Champs skate. And they all -- even Kane, BICKELL and TOEWS -- couldn't stop looking, talking and focusing on the Vox in the Box Distraction Factor. They fired pucks at the glass, but we were not phased. We ate on.
Simply put, our work is done. The Wild's has just begun!