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michael kors purses A time for tinkeringHead c

A time for tinkering

Head coach Brent Sutter was putting his charges through the first full practice prior to today game against Switzerland in Fribourg 130 kilometres away when into the rink, carrying their Chicago Blackhawks equipment bags, strolled Patrick Sharp and Duncan Keith.

hours late for a coach Sutter prac michael kors purses tice? I call that a veteran move, laughed Sharp.

The two Hawks were delayed flying out of Chicago, but they suit up against the Swiss.

haven been off long; it probably easier for them than the guys who come from teams that missed the playoffs, said Sutter.

Keith and Sharp took the ice together for their own private prac michael kors purses tice after the team completed their session.

it took off, it was an easy flight . and I feel good, reported Keith. hasn affected my breathing. said he didn think twice about accepting the invitation.

was healthy. It exciting to come and play for the group they put together this year, he said.

Sutter watched them for a few minutes and smiled.

really happy with our practice, he said.

looks like we really have our legs under us already. Islanders with Jeff Skinner of Carolina and Andrew Ladd of Winnipeg.

The other lines are to be determined.

Sutter said he plans to start Oilers goalie Devan Dubnyk against the Swiss and go with Carolina Cam Ward, the Sherwood Park product, iTuesday in Kloten prior to opening the tournament against Slovakia in Helsinki on Friday.

a little bit of a shock to the body, Ward said of facing a full barrage of shots Saturday after the team had mostly just skated at a short practice the day bef michael kors purses ore.

it exciting, too, said the goalie who won the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP after leading Carolina to a Stanley Cup victory over Edmonton in 2006.

Dubnyk is expected to start Canada second game, against Team USA on Saturday.

certainly expect to get in a couple of games. It doesn feel michael kors purses like that long ago I was on the ice with the Oilers. who practised in Calgary with Eberle and Flames defenceman Jay Bouwmeester before flying to Europe, has drawn Nugent Hopkins as his room mate.

michael kors purses A tightwad tours Target Field

A tightwad tours Target Field

Sixteen months ago, I wrote what was billed as a “Fan’s eye perspective” of the new Twins ballpark. It wasn’t Target Field then, and existed mostly on paper, so I did my best to compare schematics to the Metrodome.

Friday afternoon, I had the chance to check out the place for the first time. And I went with a mission: to give you the tightwad’s perspective.

Since I voluntarily ejected myself from the press box several years ago, I pay for my seats like the rest of the world. It’s a come down, because I’m a cheapskate. I was in agony paying $31 apiece for centerfield Dome seats during the Red Sox series, a function of late decision making, online fees, and an eager 11 year old. Sway me not, Satan, with your stadium clubs and behind the plate views; I’ll only enjoy those if the ushers are especially inattentive and in new parks, they usually turn as vigilant as the Secret Service.

Kenney indulged me but not before walking me through valet parking into the watering hole where the $275 a ticket swells will tipple and nibble. We exploded into the sunshine, where the looming stands seem to encompass you like a first baseman’s glove; the thumb in centerfield and the fingers curling around to the right field foul pole.

Everyone should be introduced to their ballpark this way, with no advertising save for a giant Twins logo above the gargantuan scoreboard, and an ignorable Budweiser sign atop the club’s offices. No Top 40 blaring from the speakers, no overpriced concessions; you fill in the dreamscape. (And you’ll have to; one of the Twins’ counterproductive conditions was no photos.)

A surprise in left

The team has already released its 2010 ticket prices at least for folks buying 20 , 40 or full season plans. As I guide, I decided to concentrate on what for now are $20 and under seats. (Full pricing and a clearer delination of what’s on which deck here.)

No piece on lower priced tickets can be written without noting there will be less of them. Over 15,000 fewer fans will fit int michael kors purses o Target Field than at the Dome. The sections listed below hold a few hundred to a few thousand fans. You’ll have to work harder to get inside (at least in the early years), but if you’re like me, you will.

I didn’t expect that the left field s michael kors purses tands would make the first strong impression. Their geometry is starkly different from the Dome’s. Target Field’s triple decker stands rise as high as the Dome’s suite level, but go perhaps half as far back. (See comparison at right; Target Field’s stands are in black.)

There are no handrails at the new park yet, and I experienced more than a bit of vertigo. But the best way to think of left field is that it employs the Xcel Energy Center theory of sightlines stay as close to the field as possible and go up, not out. It doesn’t hurt that the left center power alley is 8 feet closer.

The uppermost deck (navy blue in the top diagram) hits our $20 price point, and completely kicks the ass of the Dome’s home run porch, which is currently a buck cheaper.

Down the first base line

I won’t be sitting out there, though.

Although it’s like causing a stampede to your favorite fishing hole, my wallet quivered like a divining rod when we ascended to section 302 (darkest green in the top diagram). That’s in the upper deck’s uppermost half way down the first base line.

These are the cheap seats in the new park $10 per game on the 20 game plan, the starting point for any serious penny pincher. ( michael kors purses You can get significantly closer to the plate for the same price in Section 307, but I wanted to check out the least rosy scenario.)

From my earlier analysis, I knew this section rises as high as the Dome’s and is pitched nearly as far back. The rough equivalent is the top several rows of the current “family section.”

Another concern: while everyone knows the football centric Dome has many seats pointing anywhere but home plate, this part of Target Field isn’t as angled as much toward the battery. The last thing down the line denizens need after 27 years of neck strain is another generation of it.

Having renewed acquaintances with Baltimore’s seminal Camden Yards last y michael kors purses ear, one of that beauty’s flaws is beyond first and third base, where seats every bit as vertabreaking as the Dome’s. Past the bags, you need to angle the sections, or angle the seats or both.

Target Field’s architect promised me last year he’d twist the seats to make up for the down the line orientation. Fortunately, I could check: They’d just started bolting in the classic green chairs, in of all places, 302.

Here, as in most non premium areas, the seats are as wide as the Dome’s (19 inches) but with at least 2 more inches of legroom. It makes a big difference, and the architect’s promise was mostly fulfilled. The seats are gently cocked toward home. Staring straight ahead, you’re looking at short center, but there’s little strain looking toward home.

Were we too high up? It sure didn’t seem that way, though there was a crane, not a pitcher, where the mound would be. You’ll lose a few balls down the right field line, which angles ever so slightly underneath the upper deck, but all the Justin Morneau plaza homers should be gloriously visible.

Wind blows, for good and ill

The biggest gamble in Section 302 is the wind.

I happened to tour on a perfect 75 degree day, wind blowing gently but steadily to right. The beautiful zephyrs, channeled by the park’s large, wing like canopy, washed over us. The breeze wouldn’t have dislodged a toupee, and only enhanced the perfection.

The stainless steel canopy much more beautiful than the overhyped Kasota stone will frustrate tan seekers, but should make any summer day bearable. At the disaster that is Milwaukee’s Miller Park, there’s an absolute lack of a breeze in the stands. (Our family calls it The Terrarium.) While the Twins haven’t installed all the exterior panels yet, Target Field seems to have the lovely circulation you’d expect of a non dome.

Still, the flip side will manifest itself during those April cold spells and late September gales, when mid winter layering and hot toddy catheters will be musts. While the concourses will, thankfully, have heat lamps (plus nifty upper deck warming shelters with field views) there will probably be no place more bone chilling than 302. Pick your games accordingly, if you can.

About that skyline .

One of the section’s other little treats, at least at the tip top, is the best view of the skyline anywhere inside. The problem is that you have to look away from the field. The Graves 601 gets front row play, framed by the IDS Center’s blue.

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