Her Wild Side Hockey Podcast

In this episode, Mikki shares her optimistic view of the Wild and playoffs, what books each Wild player should read over the summer, and dips her toe into the hockey and money argument. She also quickly says Hi to Ek and compliments his curls.

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Creators & Guests

Wild Hockey Fan | Cozy Mystery Writer | Mom of 2 | MN Raised | She/Her | Hockey Takes that No One Asked For

What is Her Wild Side Hockey Podcast?

Her Wild Side combines hockey knowledge with a side of vibe checks. The weekly show will have game breakdowns, any topical news about the MN Wild, and fun things going on surrounding Wild's social media. This show aims to be informative while also sparking good conversation about the Wild and hockey in general without having to keep everything serious.


welcome to Her Wild Side Hockey Podcast.

I am your hostess, Miki,

aka HockeySheWrote,

and we are getting to the

end of the season.

Sadly enough,

because we have not had a game,

when I'm recording now, Wednesday morning,

we have not had a game for four days.

And I'm not sure...

So we had a snowstorm in those four days.

I had sick kids.

And so between that, like, yes,

I was busy.

But it's so weird to think

of life without hockey.

And that kind of segues into

my first topic here,

which is can the wild make the playoffs?

And I know people are going

to hear that right now and be like,

absolutely not.

You're completely delusional.

get it I get your point I do

have a rational side of my

brain that understands um

but I also have my other

side of the brain which is

just always going to be

rosy colored always

positive and until the

until the numbers say that

we aren't in the playoffs

I'm going to assume we're

going to go to the playoffs

and that kind of goes back to

What is a hockey season without playoffs?

You know, this might be a,

I don't remember what year they didn't.

I mean, they've made it for the past,

how many years?

Three seasons at least.

And so I don't know how to

function in the late spring

without playoff hockey.

And like,

obviously I can watch another

team and yes, I will watch other teams,


But it's just a very strange

idea for me to think that

the wild might not make it.

So I actually just wrote an

article about this this

morning just because I

wanted to kind of put out

there the things that I

think of that are strong

suits of the wild or that

can help them if they

really try to push through all of this.

So first of all,

Let's see, there's 11 games left.

Five of those are against

teams that the Wild should beat.

Now, obviously,

should beat is not going to beat.

They still have to push and

they still have to play hard,

which someone commented like a week,

two weeks ago about how it

seems like the Wild,

when they play a team that

they should win against easily,

it's like they lower their

level of play to the other team.

And so they might still win,

but not easily.

Whereas when they play the harder teams,

like, yeah, they play harder,

but it doesn't mean they win.

But so five of those games

are ones that they should win.

We also the wild also play

the Vegas Golden Knights twice.

Now, obviously,

we know that the Knights

are the ones that are in

the last playoffs,

the last wildcard playoff spot right now.

And that's who the Wild and the St.

Louis Blues are chasing.

If the Wild could win

against Vegas in both of those games,

that would be huge.

That would be absolutely huge.

Because in these games that

are in our division,

they are almost four-point games.

Because not only are our team getting two,

but the other team doesn't get any.

So it almost takes two away from them.

So we've got that.

And if we can beat Vegas,

and I think when I looked at our record,

we did last time.

We beat them in Vegas.

Yes, we beat them in Vegas 5-3.

So we can do it.

We've done it before.

We can do it.

We also are getting our Swedish boys back.

it looks like Jewel

Erickson-Eck and Jonas

Brodine will maybe play tomorrow.

I'm trying to like bench all

of this because John Hines

has been very like,

he doesn't want to say like

100% they're going to be playing,

which I get that.

But I feel like,

You know, I know, I know,

I think both of them have

skated in two full team practices,

both today and yesterday.

That seems like a really

good sign that they are

going to be coming back.

And we need them.

We absolutely need them

because the blue one has been trying, but

They're getting tired, man.

And if you put Brodine back in there,

that's already going to

just strengthen it.

And then you throw Ek up

back on the top line, which number one,

they are like in the top 20

most producing lines in the league.

But also he is just so

defensively minded that

it's going to lift everything else up.

So that is huge.

Getting the Swedes back is huge.


Goaltending has been a struggle.

The Gus bus has been a struggle bus.

And I know that he, and he knows that.

He's given interviews that

he knows that he's not on his game.

He knows that people hate inconsistency.

You know,

you have to know how a goalie is

going to play behind you.

Right now, Marc-Andre Fleury,

everybody knows how he's

going to play behind the team.

His style does not change.

And honestly, he might have an off game,

but he's still playing the same way.

And he's got a winning record right now,


And Gustafsson, I just,

there are some people out

there that are willing to

give up on Gustafsson.

And I don't think that is a

good idea at all.

Here's the thing.

He is still pretty young.

And I'm pretty sure,

I'm looking up right now

because I'm pretty sure

that this is correct,

but I want to make sure I

have the right age for him.

Because I am pretty sure he

is still young enough that

it would be really,

really dumb to give up on a goalie.

Especially because we have

seen that he has the ability to...

play games.

I mean,

put up numbers that are Vesna level,

Vesna trophy level.

Oh, shoot.

Um, so let's see.

He is,

I clicked out of it right as I was

going to see.


He's 25.

You guys, he's 25.

He's almost,

he's going to turn 26 this year.

That is still young.

You know, I,


I don't think the answer to some of

the problems this year is

to simply trade away

because say that you trade

Gossips in a way.


Say you re-sign Flurry.


Even though Flurry is playing well,

He's not going to be here forever.

He's not going to be in the NHL forever.

And even if he's still playing great,

he might just come to a

season where he just decides to retire.

He still,

he's got a young family and he

wants to be around.

So it's, you know,

how many years down the

line do you think he's going to stay?

And yes, we've got Wallstead.

He should be up maybe two seasons, one,

two seasons.


So once Fleury's gone and

Wallstead is here, then what do we do?

If we don't have justice,

then what do we go out, you know,

who do we go out and get?

We have to remember that

once this salary cap is, you know,

once we get that 14,

15 million back in the salary cap,

we have quite a few players

that are going to be due for big,

big paydays.


who I know they were just talking

about what his new contract

could look like.

We've got, you know,

Kaprizov is going to come up for,

you know,

his next his next paycheck and

he will get a raise.

And then we've also just got

guys who right now are on the ELC.

But who's Nadinov?

You know,

if he is playing as well as we

know he can.

And he gets to that level,

they're going to sign him to some bigger,

probably not huge because I

think he's kind of middle six,

but a bigger paycheck.

And we have all sorts of

other prospects that are

expected to come up and

eventually are going to want to sign.

So where do you get another

goalie with the potential

to play a tandem without drafting them?

And even if we wanted to draft one,

it's going to be hard.

It's going to be hard.

We lucked out,

the Wild lucked out by getting Wallstead.

Honestly, like lottery number,

you won the lottery, we got Wallstead.

I don't think we can count

on that happening again.

There are only so many

goalies out there that are

going to be able to play at an NHL level.

So trading Gustafsson is not the answer.

He showed that he can do stuff.

We need to give him time to

get back on it.

I think it's also important.

I remember the beginning of

the season having an

argument on social media

about hockey players are humans.

They have a life outside of the rink.

They have families.

They have partners.

They've got kids.

They've got pets.

They've got extended parents and whoever.

They have a family and they have a life.

And while their job is to be

able to come to the rink

and try to shut that off, they are human.

If you just experienced your

grandpa had a heart attack,

you're probably going to go

to work and not be able to

function as well.

But it's the same as other

people going to work.

Yes, you try,

but it's always going to be

in the back of your mind.

And with Gustafson specifically,

he just became a dad.

And that is very, very different.

I can tell you as someone

who has had children,

it is incredibly hard to describe how

all of the changes because I

can tell you the changes,

but unless you have

actually like felt them,

you are not going to understand.

You're not going to

understand because it's different.

I'm not going to get into this whole like,

no, parenthood is not for everybody.

Everybody gets tired sometimes.

So I'm just saying,

You know, it just,

I'm thinking back to my

first baby did not sleep.

And I was so tired.

And it was a different kind of tired.

I've been tired.

I've stayed up.

I've been tired.

But this was like a

different kind of tired

because while I just wanted to sleep,

I unfortunately had this

tiny thing completely

dependent on me for everything.

So it's just this different

experience because I get

the sense that Gustafson is

probably a pretty hands-on dad.

He seems like that's how he would be.

So when he's home,

he's probably very hands-on.

And I can see where then lack of sleep,

just getting used to changes in your life,

that's going to take a toll.

All right,

we'll move on because I feel

like I feel like this always, you know,

people always delve into this like, oh,

you know, parenthood and martyrdom.

And it's like,

that's not what I'm going for here.

I'm just saying that I think

that might have affected

Gustafson more than he thought it would.


All right.

So as we are sitting here

making the push to the playoffs,

we have 11 games left.

And I'm scrolling around to find my thing.

If you would like to go to

any of the wild remaining

home games or away games, I suppose,

will you please use our

link or our QR code to get

them via Ticketmaster?

This is one way to support

her Wild Side Hockey podcast,

to support the Inside the

Rink podcast network,

and just a way to do

something that you are already doing.

but kicking a little bit of

money back to us.

Because again,

I always want to make sure

people understand that an

affiliate link like this

does not mean that you are

paying extra through it.

It means that the chunk of

profit that Ticketmaster

would normally take,

they take some of that and

they kick it back to

whoever's link it is.

So you are not paying anything extra.

That was always something...

I talked about before that I

ran a mommy blog and that

was always something that

people didn't understand,

like we're concerned about.

It's like, no, no,

I'm not asking you to pay more.

Don't worry.

So anyway, that link is in my show notes.

And there's also the QR code

here in the video.

If you are watching on YouTube now.

We're going to get to some fun stuff.

I feel like we're doing a

little bit of you really

talk about the compliment sandwich.

Where you like say something good,

something bad, something good.

Mine's kind of the other way around.

So we talked about, you know,

maybe not making the playoffs.

Now here's a fun good part.

On social media just today,

there was talk of being in

school and the teachers

assigning you something to

read over the summer break.

And people were like, well,

what would you assign different players?

So I racked my brain.

And I tried to come up with

a book for every single player.

And I was successful.

I do have one for every player here.

And most of them make sense.

I mean,

because I'm sorry to some of the guys.

I feel like I just don't

know them well enough to

really match a book.

But like, you know, here, have a book.

Like here, you can still,

this is an entertaining book.

Read the book.

So I'm going to start with

some of our favorites.

Young Boys.

Matt Boldy and Rock Faber.

Now, Faber has said that he does not read.

I also get the feeling that

Boldy does not read.

So what I did is I assigned

each of them a classic book.

So Boldy,

I have A Christmas Carol by

Charles Dickens.

And Faber, I have Treasure Island.

And if anyone is also

someone who loves Muppets,

then you will understand

that I have assigned them

books that the Muppets

remade into movies.

So if they are having trouble,

they read it and they didn't understand,

all they have to do is pop

in the Muppets and they'll get it.

Jonas Brodine,

I match with Wuthering Heights.

I mean,

he's got kind of that quiet seriousness.

I feel like he would just

kind of connect with the

darker side of it.

Zach Bogosian,

I picked 11-22-63 by Stephen King.

And it is very long,

which I know would be a

total blockage for most hockey players,

most likely.

But I just feel like he

would get a kick out of

whole like alternate

timeline um conspiracy

theory kind of side of

things it seems like that

would fit um declinchism he

talked about how he listens

to folk in the car and that

just it's kind of like I

don't want to say he's our

new doer but kind of that's

kind of the player that I

thought would appreciate a

novel like rebecca


just a classic sort of darker novel.

And I feel like he would be

one to get into it.

Jewel Erikson Eck, he is haunted.

The poor man is haunted.

So I picked a book that does

have some obviously bad things happen.

I mean, it's not, you know,

we're not reading Rebecca

of Sunnybrook Farm here.

The Poisonwood Bible.

Because let me tell you, it's a thick book,

but the story goes so fast.

I'm a fast reader,

but when I first picked it up,

I thought it would take me

a while just because it was

big and it was summer.

I clipped right through that thing.

It's a good story.

It's really entertaining.

Yes, bad things happen,

but I didn't want to give

Eck any of the gothic

novels because I feel like

he would be really affected by that.

Marcus Foligno,

I picked Pride and Prejudice.

He seemed like one that

would like just a classic romance tale.

Marc-Andre Fleury, I picked Dracula.

He gives off vampire vibes, I think.

I don't know.

I feel like maybe part of

that is just the way he is

always immaculately dressed

and his hair is always immaculate.

I thought that Dracula kind

of went with that.

Freddie Goudreau,

we all know he's going to

become a dad in the near future.

So I picked a book that's

it's not that it's long.

It's maybe just a little bit difficult.

It's a little bit of a slog

because you have to really

be paying attention,

which is House of the

Spirits by Isabel Allende, which I mean,

I her books are top notch.

So it felt like, you know,

as he's sitting there,

he's going to be he's going

to be hands on dad to as

he's maybe rocking baby to sleep,

taking the nighttime shift.

He can read the book.

You know, it's a good book.


Alex Goligosky is seemingly already

retired, except in name.

So I gave him a thicker book

of 100 years of solitude.

Again, thicker.

Really, you need to pay attention,

but it's a good book.

Philip Gustafson, The Hobbit,

or The Lord of the Rings trilogy.

Really, any of those.

Something by J.R.R.


Do I have to explain that one?

Because I don't think I do.

Ryan Hartman,

I feel like he would really

enjoy Lord of the Flies.

But I feel like afterwards,

someone would have to talk

to him about why it's problematic.

right because I just I think

that he could get really

into like rap mode with

that now here Marcus

Johansson I just I don't

know him that well you know

I don't nothing good or bad

nothing against him I just

don't really know him so I

picked gone with the wind

and again someone's gonna

have to talk to him about

how problematic it is and like

why it is both a great novel

but also a a terrible novel

because let's be real it is

if you've read gun with the

wind it is actually I

always I enjoyed it you

know I enjoyed the story I

enjoyed how much of a you

know how much both of the

main characters like

they're both really crappy

and you don't really know

who you're rooting for

because like the one person

that you really root for

ends up dying like anyway um

But yeah, it's problematic.

Now, Murat Kuznetdinov,

he has a grasp on English,

which is great.

But, you know,

I kind of went back and

forth for a long time trying to think of,

I don't want to throw him

something that's super hard.

But I also want to make sure that,

you know,

everyone else is getting kind of

like books that are...

classics or books that are well-known,

books that lots of people read.

So I wanted to make sure it

wasn't something like super

infantile and also not super unknown.

So what I ended up picking

was the collected works of

Emily Dickinson because her

poems are usually short.


don't all,

they don't necessarily have kind

of those flowery pros.

You know, you know,

so I'm thinking right now of, I saw,

what is it?

I saw a fly when I died and if, you know,

death could not stop for me,

I'm trying to,

it's been a while since

I've read them titles.

She didn't really title her stuff.

That's also the problem.

But I feel like that is

something that he could

understand maybe with like a

Which, I mean, hey,

if you want to have a book club,

I would love to get together.

I would discuss Emily

Dickinson with you because

I was an English major.

So I got it.

Kirill Kaprizov,

he is so smiley and he is so happy.

So I did not want to bring

him down with something super tragic.

So I picked Little Women because, again,

sad things happen.

But it's generally a happy,

positive kind of a story.

Jake Luchini, again, I'm sorry.

I'm sorry, Luchini.

I just I feel like I don't

know you very well,

but I picked the Odyssey.

I think you can handle it.

It just, you know,

the Odyssey is just a great epic story,

a good adventure.

And while it may be a little

bit difficult to understand,

there's so many stories

like within it that have

kind of filtered out through other media.

Vinny Letary.

We all know his background.

So I thought,

what's something that could

have to do with that?

And I came up with The Great Gatsby.

Because is there not a, you know,

this is not the worst story

about wealth and how it affects people.

And yeah,

I'm just going to leave it there.

Jake Middleton.

First, I was going to pick,

was it The Art of Fixing Motorcycles?

But I thought that felt a

little on the nose and also

I have not read it.

So I picked something that

will keep his attention

because I feel like he's

got a shorter attention span.

And again, it's exciting,

which is First Meetings in

Ender's Universe.

Ender's Game is part of that.

It's, I believe, three stories,

three interconnected stories.

I enjoyed it when I read it.

It may be a kid book,

but it's not really for kids.

It's for everybody.

Dakota Mermis, he has been a journeyman.

He has been through a lot.

And he's also got some young kids.

I thought that maybe he

could read together with them.

They could read Journey to

the Center of the Earth.

Just a fun Jules Verne, I believe,

story about, you know,

just a sci-fi adventure story.

Back before people really

knew what was going on in

the center of the earth.

But do we really know?

John Merrill, 1984,

just felt like something he would enjoy.

Marco Rossi,

I kind of went back and forth

with him because I'm going to be honest.

I think that he is probably

one of the most book smart

players on the team.

There's lots of different

types of intelligence.

We're not going to delve into that,

but just the most book smart.

So I figured I could give

him something a little bit more

a little bit tougher.

So I ended up giving him

Frankenstein because it's

an amazing story and it is

an amazing book altogether.

But it was written at a time

where it's difficult language, you know,

and just trying to kind of

piece things together.

I feel like he could be

someone who would actually

sit down and like, like delve into it.

We're getting to the end here.

Just, you know, Mason Shaw.

Once again,

is this a little too on the nose?

I picked Animal Farm.

I just animals.

I feel like he's going to be

all in and he's going to be like, yes,

I will read this book.

It is about animals.

Jared's Virgin.

Now he's got some time where

he is still recovering.

I'm not sure.

I mean,

I think he just had his second

surgery last week or something,

I believe.

And he's also got a lot of kids.

So I figured he and his kids

can maybe have a little

book club where they read Harry Potter.

And we are, let me just address,

the author is incredibly problematic.

Please do not give her any

money by buying any of her products.

What you can do is you can

find Harry Potter books secondhand,

borrow them from a friend.

Because they're still worth a read.

Let me tell you that.

The Harry Potter series is worth a read,

well written for the most part,

and enjoyable.

But we do not want to give

any money to her.

And lastly, Matt Zuccarello.

Now, I felt like beneath those crazy eyes,

he was also very book smart.

So I gave him Norwegian Wood.

by Haruki Murakami.

Because it is, again, difficult.

Also, he's Norwegian.

Again, maybe a little on the nose,

but I couldn't help it.

And then the whole team,

if I was going to give

something for the whole team to read,

I tried, I mean,

I couldn't think of

something that was going to be like, rah,

rah, be a team, rah, rah, be friends.

So instead I thought,

what are some things that I

could get them to read that are short,

But like, well, wow them.

So I came up with two short stories.

The yellow wallpaper.

And the lottery.

Both just amazing pieces of short prose.

Enough to keep you around, surprise you,

be enjoyable.

You know, it just,

I would love to hear their

takes on those.

All right.

So I am going to kick it

over to the quick little

one minute commercial that

I play for ESPN+.

And after that,

I have one more serious

topic and one more fun topic.

So I will see you in one minute.

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Welcome back.

So I'm going to touch on

this really quick.

I. I did not watch the video

about the guy who is

ragging on Zach Hyman and his 50 goals,

which had a lot of weird

political takes that people

were taking from it.

And again, I didn't watch it.


The point that he was kind

of inappropriately making

at that point in time, that part stands,

which is that to succeed in hockey,

you have to have money.

There is a barrier of entry to hockey.

And let me tell you, so I am a hockey mom.

My son has played for two years now.

He's little.

And the one thing that I

really like about our...

like our club that we're zoned into,

is that they make it very

affordable for mini mites.

For mini mites.

Because they want to draw children in.

And when they are that young, also,

at least my son didn't grow very fast,

so he was able to use the

same gear for two years.

You know, we bought a new stick,

but nothing else.



You know, it's not always super expensive.

At the same time,

I looked into maybe putting

my daughter on like a U10

team and she's never really

played hockey.

So we didn't end up going with it.

But looking into just the

cost of it was so

prohibitive that that was

the sticking point for us.

That was the sticking point.

And it's always been this way.

My dad always wanted to play hockey.

He was never able to.

He grew up in a family with

seven children.

They were a traveling army family.

And while they had enough

money to get all of the basics,

they definitely did not

have enough to buy a full hockey kit.

So when my brother was born,

my dad was really excited

to have him try hockey.

And my brother fell in love with it.

I've talked about we've

traveled all over with him.

He still plays on a beer

league when he can.

But the fact is that

My dad would specifically

work extra side jobs.

He would take on extra work

because he is a construction worker.

He would take on side

projects that he wouldn't normally.

He would work longer than he

would normally,

specifically to pay for my

brother's hockey equipment.

And as an adult now,

we understand how loving that is.

At the same time,

not everybody can just work extra.

That's not how life works for everybody.

And so it's tough to see

people try and play off

like money does not have

anything to do with success

in hockey because it does now.

The Minnesota Wild,

and I'm sure lots of other teams,

have initiatives to try and

bring hockey to underserved communities.

they have, you know,

the Minnesota wild have all sorts of, um,

sled hockey and special

hockey and blind hockey.

And they have, you know,

they help sponsor like all

the different other little

teams and to try and help

try and get them some gears

to try it out and, um,

to try and kind of get some

passion and see, but it's still,

it's still tough.


I also think that Minnesota does it

right in the sense that

it's high school hockey.

We don't have juniors.

We have high school hockey.

And so you can have kids go

all the way up through 12th

grade without having to

necessarily leave home.


Kids still do, but they don't have to,

they can play for their

local team and they can still, you know,

they can do hockey in the

off season at whatever camp

or wherever they want to go.


Whereas in other places,

once you get to like junior age,

it's like, well, you're done now.

So this turned into a little

more of a ramble than I wanted to.

But I just want to say that

if you think that the

social class that a family

is in doesn't affect a

child playing hockey.

I think you need to

reevaluate yourself and your biases.

One more fun thing before we go,

which is the quick little, you know,

this happens kind of once a month,

once every two months where

someone kind of like

reminds everybody that like, hi,

hockey players,

like or even just sports players,

whatever in general,

see your social media stuff.

They send it to each other.

They laugh at it.

They whatever.

So I've always tried to be

very like I might be I

might be silly and goofy

and I'd be like giggly

little girl sometimes.

But like I try not to be disrespectful.

But I'm going to say my my

my most running thing right

now that I really hope that

he has seen because I feel

like he's listening is Eck and his curls.

Because usually he does not

leave his hair this long

for this span of time.

So, Eck, if you are listening, thank you.

We love your curls.

And keep it up because I

think that's why you're on a heater.

So one more reminder that

down in the show notes,

I will have the Ticketmaster link.

I will have the link for ESPN+.

I will have a link to my

merch shop if you would like any merch.

I will have a link to the

article I wrote this

morning about the Wild and playoffs.

And other than that,

I need to wrap this up

because it has gone long.

So thank you if you've

gotten to this point.

Thank you for listening to my rambles.

I love you all very much.

Hot Girl Hockey Club is for everybody.

Thank you for joining me,

and I will see you next time.