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KnowItAll
06-05-2012, 09:08 AM
Didn't the Gophers win with Adam freakin Hauser? Goaltending doesn't matter! :D

Hauser did not matter, it was Piotrowski who mattered in the last game

ExileOnDaytonStreet
06-05-2012, 10:26 AM
I think they'll be in the top 3 in the WCHA, which should put them in the top 10 overall. I don't have a problem with UW where they are at.

Despite all the talent we have on board right now, that would still be a turnaround for the ages. We were pretty bad last year.

mnstate0fhockey
06-05-2012, 10:53 AM
Despite all the talent we have on board right now, that would still be a turnaround for the ages. We were pretty bad last year.

Pretty bad to begin last year, but the team was much improved by the end of the season.

Wicked Slappaahs
06-05-2012, 10:55 AM
I think Cornell is poised to overtake Union as the token ECAC team in the top 10. Cornell came within 2 points in the ECAC standings this year, and if not for an inexplicable inability to beat the 10th best ECAC team, would have been clear of them by 2 points. Both Cornell and Union return a lot, but several of Cornell's key returnees are rising sophomores, who often make a bigger jump than rising juniors and seniors. Union had a good season, but their 32-point finish in the ECAC is well below the 34.6 point average for first place, and nowhere near the "special" teams (Harvard '89, Cornell '03, etc), so I don't see them as a lock for the national top 10 at all.

In the last 3 years, Union has shown the ability to reload. They lost Kincaid and Grosenick steps right in and took the reigns in net. Easily one of the best 2-3 keepers in the country. Last year in league play, Union scored 10 more goals than Cornell and allowed 8 fewer, the year before that spread was even wider. Cornell is always well coached and well prepared. But Union has been the class of the league the last two seasons -- they roll three lines that can bury pucks. Last year's Union team was truly special by ECAC (or any) standards. ( and I'm no Union fan).

Tipsy McStagger
06-05-2012, 11:13 AM
Pretty bad to begin last year, but the team was much improved by the end of the season.

They didn't improve that much, since they still finished 10th. If you want to give them credit for sweeping Bemidji and getting splits against Minnesota and Denver, that is reasonable, but that doesn't make them a top 10 team heading into this year. Even Wisconsin fans know this is absurd.

mnstate0fhockey
06-05-2012, 11:28 AM
They didn't improve that much, since they still finished 10th. If you want to give them credit for sweeping Bemidji and getting splits against Minnesota and Denver, that is reasonable, but that doesn't make them a top 10 team heading into this year. Even Wisconsin fans know this is absurd.

I think they'll be much better than people think, so a top 10 ranking doesn't bother me too much. But I understand what you're saying.

Fighting Sioux 23
06-05-2012, 11:34 AM
I think they'll be much better than people think, so a top 10 ranking doesn't bother me too much. But I understand what you're saying.

Agreed. I think Wisconsin will be a good team, and they could very well be a top 10 team (potentially a Frozen Four team) by March. They have a pretty good recruiting class coming in, and if Zengerle (my Preseason Player of the Year in the WCHA at this point) can pair up with a pure goal scorer, the sky is the limit. The Badgers should get solid goaltending, and they have a strong blueline. Add that altogether and Wisconsin could have a nice season next year. That being said, I don't think I would include them in my top 10 right now, but they definitely have the potential to be a power next year.

ExileOnDaytonStreet
06-05-2012, 11:46 AM
We've had a lot of "we have the talent, but they just can't put it together" seasons lately. The only thing about this year that makes be optimistic is the fact that (a) the talent actually is a lot better than usual, if unproven and (b) we've really only lost Schultz early, which puts us in a better position than usual with returning talent.

The upper limits of what this team can possibly do is pretty high, but that hasn't done much to improve my expectations, especially given how bad things have gotten in the last two years. Barring a bounceback, you'll start hearing the pessimists like myself start griping about how we're back in the late 90s all over again.

brassbonanza
06-05-2012, 11:47 AM
INCH has taken a surprising downturn in the past few years. The staff used to be very knowledgeable and kept their reports free of bias. Now I think they hired a bunch of BU fanboys to take over. Disappointing.

You're aware they didn't rank BU there, right?

ScoobyDoo
06-05-2012, 11:47 AM
hauser did not matter, it was piotrowski who mattered in the last game

bs.

Tipsy McStagger
06-05-2012, 12:09 PM
Agreed. I think Wisconsin will be a good team, and they could very well be a top 10 team (potentially a Frozen Four team) by March. They have a pretty good recruiting class coming in, and if Zengerle (my Preseason Player of the Year in the WCHA at this point) can pair up with a pure goal scorer, the sky is the limit. The Badgers should get solid goaltending, and they have a strong blueline. Add that altogether and Wisconsin could have a nice season next year. That being said, I don't think I would include them in my top 10 right now, but they definitely have the potential to be a power next year.

I guess that is why they play the games, but I just don't see it. This UW team doesn't score enough to be a top 4 team in the conference this year. They were 9th in the conference in scoring last year and 6th in defense. They lose Schultz and not much else, but Schultz was a Hobey Baker finalist.

Fighting Sioux 23
06-05-2012, 12:25 PM
I guess that is why they play the games, but I just don't see it. This UW team doesn't score enough to be a top 4 team in the conference this year. They were 9th in the conference in scoring last year and 6th in defense. They lose Schultz and not much else, but Schultz was a Hobey Baker finalist.

What 4 teams do you see finishing ahead of Wisconsin in the WCHA? After Minnesota and North Dakota, any other contender in the WCHA is littered with question marks. Wisconsin returns 85 goals, which is more than SCSU and Denver, and the same as Nebraska-Omaha (of the teams that should compete for the 3-4 spots). Rumpel played well in net down the stretch for the Badgers, and Wisconsin's goalie situation is better than UNO's and at the very least even with SCSU's, while Denver perhaps has the best goaltending situation in the league for next season. As for the blueline, only SCSU has a slightly better defensive group heading into next season than Wisconsin. Given that, I would say that Wisconsin is probably a top-4 team, especially when you factor in the kids that they have coming in next season.

mnstate0fhockey
06-05-2012, 12:36 PM
I guess that is why they play the games, but I just don't see it. This UW team doesn't score enough to be a top 4 team in the conference this year. They were 9th in the conference in scoring last year and 6th in defense. They lose Schultz and not much else, but Schultz was a Hobey Baker finalist.

Kerdiles is my early pick for Frosh of the year, and should have the same type of immediate impact that Rau had for the Gophers last year. 10+ goals and 30-40 pts. Could be Benik too, but my early pick is Kerdiles.

Zengerle should be a beast this year. If Bjugstad returns, he's my pick for player of the year, but Zengerle isn't far behind.

I don't think the Badgers will score as much as Minnesota or North Dakota, but they will score more than they did last year. And if their goaltending is solid, I think they'll be solid defensively.

I think they'll finish in the 3-5 range in the WCHA and be a 3-4 seed in the tournament.

I hope I'm wrong though :)

Tipsy McStagger
06-05-2012, 01:53 PM
What 4 teams do you see finishing ahead of Wisconsin in the WCHA? After Minnesota and North Dakota, any other contender in the WCHA is littered with question marks. Wisconsin returns 85 goals, which is more than SCSU and Denver, and the same as Nebraska-Omaha (of the teams that should compete for the 3-4 spots). Rumpel played well in net down the stretch for the Badgers, and Wisconsin's goalie situation is better than UNO's and at the very least even with SCSU's, while Denver perhaps has the best goaltending situation in the league for next season. As for the blueline, only SCSU has a slightly better defensive group heading into next season than Wisconsin. Given that, I would say that Wisconsin is probably a top-4 team, especially when you factor in the kids that they have coming in next season.

Minnesota, North Dakota, SCSU and Denver.

Denver is usually littered with question marks due to their top players leaving after one or two years, but after last year I am not going to predict them for lower than a top 4 finish until they actually finish a year outside of the top 4. That hasn't happened in at least 10 years.

I don't believe SCSU is littered with question marks. Wisconsin may return 85 goals, but 20 of their goals last year came in 4 games against Mercyhurst and RIT. Their number of goals in conference play, which I believe is a more accurate comparison, was 76 for UW to 86 for SCSU. UW loses Schultz, we lose Festler, Eddy, and Novak (Reid and Macmillan left halfway through last season). We get back Leblanc, who scored 39 points in 10-11. I haven't seen Rumpel play outside of the series' against SCSU and Minnesota. He played well the last weekend against Minnesota and did not look good against SCSU. He may be better than Faragher, but not by much. Their save percentages are pretty similar. SCSU lost one inconsequential player (Zabkowicz) from their D-core last year. UW lost Justin Schultz. UW gave up 83 goals in conference play vs. 74 for SCSU. So I think SCSU will have more than a slightly better defense than UW.

So there is my 4. I think people are overrating UNO and UW for next season.

KnowItAll
06-05-2012, 02:35 PM
bs.

watch the game.
watch when Todd Jackson was NEAR Hauser and watch what Piotrowski was watching.
you can say bs all you want.

I suppose the soviets won in '72?

sterlippo1
06-05-2012, 02:50 PM
You're aware they didn't rank BU there, right?

I don't think that matters ;)

Fighting Sioux 23
06-05-2012, 02:51 PM
Minnesota, North Dakota, SCSU and Denver.

Denver is usually littered with question marks due to their top players leaving after one or two years, but after last year I am not going to predict them for lower than a top 4 finish until they actually finish a year outside of the top 4. That hasn't happened in at least 10 years.

I don't believe SCSU is littered with question marks. Wisconsin may return 85 goals, but 20 of their goals last year came in 4 games against Mercyhurst and RIT. Their number of goals in conference play, which I believe is a more accurate comparison, was 76 for UW to 86 for SCSU. UW loses Schultz, we lose Festler, Eddy, and Novak (Reid and Macmillan left halfway through last season). We get back Leblanc, who scored 39 points in 10-11. I haven't seen Rumpel play outside of the series' against SCSU and Minnesota. He played well the last weekend against Minnesota and did not look good against SCSU. He may be better than Faragher, but not by much. Their save percentages are pretty similar. SCSU lost one inconsequential player (Zabkowicz) from their D-core last year. UW lost Justin Schultz. UW gave up 83 goals in conference play vs. 74 for SCSU. So I think SCSU will have more than a slightly better defense than UW.

So there is my 4. I think people are overrating UNO and UW for next season.

20 of SCSU's goals came against New Hampshire and Anchorage. When you play bad teams, you will score more goals than normal. It wasn't just Wisconsin who had those types of games. Against the league's top teams, Wisconsin scored 9 goals to SCSU's 7 against Minnesota. They each scored 5 against Duluth, and SCSU scored 7 to Wisconsin's 5 against DU. Wisconsin scored 15 against North Dakota, while SCSU scored 10. So, against the top 4 teams in the conference last season, Wisconsin scored 34 goals in 12 games, while SCSU scored 29 goals in 12 games. Both squads went 5-6-1 in those 12 games. In other words, SCSU feasted on teams with losing records scoring nearly 60% of their goals against the bottom half.

As for next season, IMO, Denver will struggle to score, but their goaltending should keep them in most games. That being said, I think the WCHA as a whole is quite a bit better than last season, and I think Denver will find themselves on the shortside of 3-2 type games more often than not. I do think the Pioneers are a 5th or 6th place WCHA team though because of Gwoz and their goaltending. The Pioneers also have a decent freshman class coming in that should help. As for SCSU, I think they are probably the favorites to take that 3rd spot, and could inch up a spot if either Minnesota or North Dakota flounder. SCSU is good enough to win the league next season, and I have them in my top 10 at this point for next season. I agree with you that UNO is probably overrated, but they have a very young squad and a coach that has proven he knows how to lead that type of squad to great things. I also think Michigan Tech will have a strong squad. That being said, I think Wisconsin lands in at 4th. They have an easier conference schedule than Denver (DU is in a pod with CC, UND, and SCSU, while Wisconsin is in a pod with MN, Anchorage, and Mankato), and have more talent and firepower than either UNO or Tech. Wisconsin should be able to score goals at or above the league average, and they will be just fine defensively (they almost always are). That is a formula for a winning record in league play. If all goes well for Wisconsin, I could see them climbing as high as 2nd or 3rd, but realistically 4th is probably where they land. FWIW, I see Denver coming in 5th and Tech 6th, narrowly edging UNO for home ice.

mnstate0fhockey
06-05-2012, 02:55 PM
Minnesota, North Dakota, SCSU and Denver.

Denver is usually littered with question marks due to their top players leaving after one or two years, but after last year I am not going to predict them for lower than a top 4 finish until they actually finish a year outside of the top 4. That hasn't happened in at least 10 years.

I don't believe SCSU is littered with question marks. Wisconsin may return 85 goals, but 20 of their goals last year came in 4 games against Mercyhurst and RIT. Their number of goals in conference play, which I believe is a more accurate comparison, was 76 for UW to 86 for SCSU. UW loses Schultz, we lose Festler, Eddy, and Novak (Reid and Macmillan left halfway through last season). We get back Leblanc, who scored 39 points in 10-11. I haven't seen Rumpel play outside of the series' against SCSU and Minnesota. He played well the last weekend against Minnesota and did not look good against SCSU. He may be better than Faragher, but not by much. Their save percentages are pretty similar. SCSU lost one inconsequential player (Zabkowicz) from their D-core last year. UW lost Justin Schultz. UW gave up 83 goals in conference play vs. 74 for SCSU. So I think SCSU will have more than a slightly better defense than UW.

So there is my 4. I think people are overrating UNO and UW for next season.

Well said. I certainly think SCSU will be right there in the mix as well. I mentioned Kerdiles for UW, but Benik has to be in any early discussion for freshman of the year front runner as well. He should have an immediate impact.

I hear what you're saying about Denver, but I am convinced they'll finish outside the top 5 this year. Yeah, it hasn't happened in years, but that just makes me think it will happen even more. They should be solid in net, but I think they'll struggle offensively.

I think UNO will take a step forward and be a home ice team this year, but I think they are another year from really contending. I think they'll be a tournament bubble team.

My top four are Minnesota, North Dakota, SCSU, and Wisconsin. After that I would group Denver, UMD, UNO, MTU in the next tier (no particular order).

The Exiled One
06-05-2012, 03:14 PM
Well said. I certainly think SCSU will be right there in the mix as well. I mentioned Kerdiles for UW, but Benik has to be in any early discussion for freshman of the year front runner as well. He should have an immediate impact.
I was thinking that Benik and Kerdiles should be the frontrunners from the forward position as well, but Blueger and Khaira could stand out on their respective teams. I don't think he's the next Rau (though I didn't think that Rau would start off so strong either), but Kloos will be another one to keep an eye on.

Lots of defensemen to consider though, and I wouldn't be surprised to see a blueliner take down FOTY. Zajac, Reilly, Skjei, Welinski, Schmaltz, etc.

Fighting Sioux 23
06-05-2012, 03:21 PM
I was thinking that Benik and Kerdiles should be the frontrunners from the forward position as well, but Blueger and Khaira could stand out on their respective teams. I don't think he's the next Rau (though I didn't think that Rau would start off so strong either), but Kloos will be another one to keep an eye on.

Kerdiles and Benik will be a lot of fun to watch. That award could go to a bunch of different players including any of the Reilly brothers at Minnesota, and Gothberg or Schmaltz at UND. Denver has a few players that could bring home that award as well. Also, I'm curious if Grimaldi is eligible for the award if he received a redshirt. I'm not sure if Blueger will put up the numbers at Mankato to be in the running, but Khaira could definitely be in the mix if he can help Tech into the upper half. Needless to say, I doubt there will be a clear pick for Rookie of the Year in the WCHA this season.