First things first.
I am officially pissed off at the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA).
After a rainy, cold, disasterous day yesterday, a group of five Minnesota Wild fans (myself and my wife included) were waiting for the #19 United Center Express bus yesterday, late in Chicago's hideous rush hour. We waited, and waited, and waited...for the bus that NEVER CAME, even though the schedule (last printed in 2006-07; go to http://www.transitchicago.com/ to see it) says it was supposed to, confirmed by employees at two separate North Michigan Avenue hotels.
Seems that the CTA truncated the route (for budgetary reasons), so that if you are staying in Chicago's Near North hotel district, you take any bus southbound on Michigan to Randolph, and transfer there to the express bus for last night's Wild-Blackhawks tilt at the UC. Of course, no signs at any of the stops no longer served by that route (the bus formerly started southbound on Michigan at Superior) and no way to ask anyone (most of the drivers don't know that schedule, either) to figure that out.
In our case, the CTA lost out on five fares thanks to that momentous decision. I wonder how many other visiting fans are in the same boat? And how many more will be, until the CTA puts out a new schedule with the new, truncated routing on it?
I've officially complained (via e-mail) to the CTA. Let's see what their excuse for not informing anyone (or, updating the schedules) will be.
And now that we've tried to straighten out part of Chicago's transit morass, can we do the same with the Wild?
This team is in deep, serious trouble. Most Wild fans knew that the team would be taking a step backwards this season; who knew, however, that this squad would be on its' way to the worst season (from a wins-losses-points standpoint) in franchise history?
If the current Wild trend continues, the Wild could win a total of 24 games, and maybe come up with 60 points. The current record for fewest points in a season is 68 in 2000-01.
No offense to speak of, precious little defense, no real hitting (except by Clutterbuck and, occasionally, Scott) and no support for the goaltending. This team could be down there in the NY Islanders category of all-time worst NHL teams by the end of the '09-10 season. They are already one road loss from being the second-worst team all-time in road history (only the '92-93 Ottawa Senators, the original expansion year for that club, is worse) and their 356-game sellout steak is in dire jeopardy (It almost ended last Saturday, as less than 100 over seated capacity saw the Wild defeat Carolina 3-2 in OT.)
The management needs to do something soon to at least stabilize the ship of state. Too many players look as if they are going thru the motions out there nowdays. Too many players are acting as if they know more about the game than they really do. Arrogance, dissention, lackadaisical attitudes, lack of effort, all that is rearing its' ugly head amongst those in St. Paul right about now. Even sniping at the press corps is in vogue. Time for a holiday fire sale?
And then, there's the Mikko Koivu bobblehead doll, $25 worth of hockey kitsch that really looks out of place when a team is going this poorly. (BTW: Weren't the Chicago White Sox in last place when 'Disco Demolition Night' took place??) I'm not sure that anyone who really isn't a Mikko fan will buy the thing...