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Fighting Sioux 23
09-20-2012, 09:53 AM
So I thought with the season just a few weeks away (and the other thread discussing everything but the product on the ice), that I would start up the season thread.

I always like to start off the season thread with my expectations for the squad:
1) A top 2 finish in the WCHA - I think this season really comes down to Minnesota and North Dakota fighting for the MacNaughton. The Gophers have the far easier schedule, so they certainly have the advantage (not to mention the lone series between the teams is at Mariucci). That being said, there is no reason this team should finish below second, and could very well win the MacNaughton one last time.

2) Make the Final Five Championship Game - Assuming this team gets a #1 or #2 seed, they should have no issues with getting to the Final Five and winning a game. I would love to see this squad four-peat, and I think they actually will. That being said, winning the Final Five is probably a bit too much to expect from any team, so I will leave it at playing for the title.

3) Make the NCAA Tournament - This is almost a no-brainer, but shouldn't be overlooked. This team is talented, and they should be able to garner a Top seed if they play up to expectations.

4) Frozen Four Appearance - This is a bit of a stretch for an expectation because the NCAA Tournament is so unpredictable, but I think North Dakota has the talent and ability to make it back to the Frozen Four this season. Anything less would be somewhat of a disappointment, so I threw it in the expectations category.

5) 25-28 wins - Our OOC schedule is a little more difficult this year (2 up in Alaska, BU, @ Notre Dame, Holy Cross), but we should be able to win 5 of those games. Throw in that in the WCHA 1st or 2nd place usually is somewhere around 34-40 points (equivalent to 17-20 wins). Throw in a first round WCHA win and a win at the Final Five, and that gets us to 25-28 wins.

So then, what equals exceeds expectations?

1) Winning the MacNaughton
2) Winning the Final Five
3) Winning the National Championship
4) 30+ wins

This team is talented enough to accomplish all of these goals. It certainly should be a whole lot of fun this season watching this team develop and seeing some of the new talent on the ice. Hopefully it ends the way it started...with a giant party, but this time on the ice in Pittsburgh.

D2D
09-20-2012, 10:22 AM
So then, what equals exceeds expectations?

1) Winning the MacNaughton
2) Winning the Final Five
3) Winning the National Championship
4) 30+ wins

5) Most of the players staying eligible! :p

Dirty
09-20-2012, 10:36 AM
5) Most of the players staying eligible! :p

Thankfully Minors and DUIs don't make you ineligible.

MinnesotaNorthStar
09-20-2012, 03:31 PM
Thankfully Minors and DUIs don't make you ineligible.However, getting drunk at a team party and getting a season ending injury does...

Fighting Sioux 23
09-20-2012, 04:03 PM
However, getting drunk at a team party and getting a season ending injury does...

Well...he's not ineligible. Bjugstad would have played through it and scored 50 goals...in October. :p:D:D

MinnesotaNorthStar
09-20-2012, 05:37 PM
Well...he's not ineligible. Bjugstad would have played through it and scored 50 goals...in October. :p:D:DSure he is...he's medically ineligible. :D

Happy
09-20-2012, 06:30 PM
So I thought with the season just a few weeks away (and the other thread discussing everything but the product on the ice), that I would start up the season thread.

I always like to start off the season thread with my expectations for the squad:
1) A top 2 finish in the WCHA - I think this season really comes down to Minnesota and North Dakota fighting for the MacNaughton. The Gophers have the far easier schedule, so they certainly have the advantage (not to mention the lone series between the teams is at Mariucci). That being said, there is no reason this team should finish below second, and could very well win the MacNaughton one last time.

2) Make the Final Five Championship Game - Assuming this team gets a #1 or #2 seed, they should have no issues with getting to the Final Five and winning a game. I would love to see this squad four-peat, and I think they actually will. That being said, winning the Final Five is probably a bit too much to expect from any team, so I will leave it at playing for the title.

3) Make the NCAA Tournament - This is almost a no-brainer, but shouldn't be overlooked. This team is talented, and they should be able to garner a Top seed if they play up to expectations.

4) Frozen Four Appearance - This is a bit of a stretch for an expectation because the NCAA Tournament is so unpredictable, but I think North Dakota has the talent and ability to make it back to the Frozen Four this season. Anything less would be somewhat of a disappointment, so I threw it in the expectations category.

5) 25-28 wins - Our OOC schedule is a little more difficult this year (2 up in Alaska, BU, @ Notre Dame, Holy Cross), but we should be able to win 5 of those games. Throw in that in the WCHA 1st or 2nd place usually is somewhere around 34-40 points (equivalent to 17-20 wins). Throw in a first round WCHA win and a win at the Final Five, and that gets us to 25-28 wins.

So then, what equals exceeds expectations?

1) Winning the MacNaughton
2) Winning the Final Five
3) Winning the National Championship
4) 30+ wins

This team is talented enough to accomplish all of these goals. It certainly should be a whole lot of fun this season watching this team develop and seeing some of the new talent on the ice. Hopefully it ends the way it started...with a giant party, but this time on the ice in Pittsburgh.


I am pretty surprised that a UND fan would be whining about other teams having an easier schedule. You have brought this up many times recently. Just stop. It was explained to me by many UND fans in the past that whining like that when UND had a really easy schedule was wrong, so I expect they will also come on here and tell you the same. Just warning you.

Fighting Sioux 23
09-20-2012, 09:41 PM
I am pretty surprised that a UND fan would be whining about other teams having an easier schedule. You have brought this up many times recently. Just stop. It was explained to me by many UND fans in the past that whining like that when UND had a really easy schedule was wrong, so I expect they will also come on here and tell you the same. Just warning you.

:p:D:D I'm scared ;)

I don't think I was whining. I have stated elsewhere that I think these two squads are essentially even when it comes to talent. When that is the case, one must look to intangibles to separate as far as league standings are concerned. Fact is, North Dakota (on paper) plays a more difficult schedule than Minnesota, and the lone series between the two teams is in Minnesota. Consequently, that is why I think Minnesota should be favored to win the MacNaughton, and why my expectation is for this team to at least finish in the top 2. Had the situation been the reverse, I would say the same thing (i.e. North Dakota and Minnesota are pretty even on talent, but w/North Dakota's schedule being easier they should win).

North Dakota's WCHA schedule (using last year's conference standings):
2 @ #1 Minnesota
2 @ #3 Denver
2 @ #5 CC
2 @ #6 SCSU
2 @ #7 UNO
2 @ #8 Tech
2 @ #11 Minnesota State
2 vs #2 Duluth
2 vs #3 Denver
2 vs #5 CC
2 vs #6 SCSU
2 vs #9 Bemidji
2 vs #10 Wisconsin
2 vs #12 Anchorage

Road:
8 games against top half teams, and only 2 against the bottom quarter

Overall:
16 games against the top half of the league (8 on the road), and only 6 against the bottom quarter.

North Dakota's average game: (1 being most difficult, 12 being the easiest)
6.285 (if you take Minnesota out then it is 6.615)

Minnesota's WCHA Schedule:
2 @ #5 CC
2 @ #6 SCSU
2 @ #8 Tech
2 @ #9 Bemidji
2 @ #10 Wisconsin
2 @ #11 Mankato
2 @ #12 Anchorage
2 vs #2 Duluth
2 vs #3 Denver
2 vs #4 North Dakota
2 vs #7 Nebraska Omaha
2 vs #10 Wisconsin
2 vs #11 Mankato
2 vs #12 Anchorage

Road:
0 games against Top-third teams, 4 games against top half teams, and 6 games against bottom quarter

Overall:
10 games against top half teams, and 12 games against bottom quarter

Minnesota's average game:
7.85 (if you take North Dakota out then it is 8.15)

In other words, North Dakota averages a game against the #6 team in conference, while Minnesota averages a game against the #8 team in conference. Granted, these numbers are using last year's rankings, which are not exactly fair, but even if you assumed that North Dakota's schedule and Minnesota's schedule were basically equal, the fact that the Gophers host North Dakota tips the scales ever-so-slightly in their favor, assuming the teams are equal (which I do).

You can call it whining, but I simply used schedules to tip the balance one way or the other in determining who I thought would win the MacNaughton this year. We really won't know until the end of the year who played the harder schedule. I certainly don't blame Minnesota for having what I perceive to be the easier schedule...they are made up far in advance. In 2010-2011 North Dakota benefited from having an easier schedule than Denver (where I thought the teams were very similar in talent). It happens, but don't tell me that I can't use schedules to determine where I think teams will land in the conference standing.

MadTownSioux
09-20-2012, 10:11 PM
I am pretty surprised that a UND fan would be whining about other teams having an easier schedule. You have brought this up many times recently. Just stop. It was explained to me by many UND fans in the past that whining like that when UND had a really easy schedule was wrong, so I expect they will also come on here and tell you the same. Just warning you.That's actually pretty funny - Harpy calling out somebody else for whining. He's the all time champ.

icehawk
09-20-2012, 10:23 PM
That's actually pretty funny - Harpy calling out somebody else for whining. He's the all time champ.Bingo.

MavHockey14
09-20-2012, 11:27 PM
Subscribed!

Goon
09-21-2012, 08:10 AM
Thankfully Minors and DUIs don't make you ineligible.
Depends if said players are on double secret probation or not. :)

mnstate0fhockey
09-21-2012, 08:52 AM
:p:D:D I'm scared ;)

I don't think I was whining. I have stated elsewhere that I think these two squads are essentially even when it comes to talent. When that is the case, one must look to intangibles to separate as far as league standings are concerned. Fact is, North Dakota (on paper) plays a more difficult schedule than Minnesota, and the lone series between the two teams is in Minnesota. Consequently, that is why I think Minnesota should be favored to win the MacNaughton, and why my expectation is for this team to at least finish in the top 2. Had the situation been the reverse, I would say the same thing (i.e. North Dakota and Minnesota are pretty even on talent, but w/North Dakota's schedule being easier they should win).

North Dakota's WCHA schedule (using last year's conference standings):
2 @ #1 Minnesota
2 @ #3 Denver
2 @ #5 CC
2 @ #6 SCSU
2 @ #7 UNO
2 @ #8 Tech
2 @ #11 Minnesota State
2 vs #2 Duluth
2 vs #3 Denver
2 vs #5 CC
2 vs #6 SCSU
2 vs #9 Bemidji
2 vs #10 Wisconsin
2 vs #12 Anchorage

Road:
8 games against top half teams, and only 2 against the bottom quarter

Overall:
16 games against the top half of the league (8 on the road), and only 6 against the bottom quarter.

North Dakota's average game: (1 being most difficult, 12 being the easiest)
6.285 (if you take Minnesota out then it is 6.615)

Minnesota's WCHA Schedule:
2 @ #5 CC
2 @ #6 SCSU
2 @ #8 Tech
2 @ #9 Bemidji
2 @ #10 Wisconsin
2 @ #11 Mankato
2 @ #12 Anchorage
2 vs #2 Duluth
2 vs #3 Denver
2 vs #4 North Dakota
2 vs #7 Nebraska Omaha
2 vs #10 Wisconsin
2 vs #11 Mankato
2 vs #12 Anchorage

Road:
0 games against Top-third teams, 4 games against top half teams, and 6 games against bottom quarter

Overall:
10 games against top half teams, and 12 games against bottom quarter

Minnesota's average game:
7.85 (if you take North Dakota out then it is 8.15)

In other words, North Dakota averages a game against the #6 team in conference, while Minnesota averages a game against the #8 team in conference. Granted, these numbers are using last year's rankings, which are not exactly fair, but even if you assumed that North Dakota's schedule and Minnesota's schedule were basically equal, the fact that the Gophers host North Dakota tips the scales ever-so-slightly in their favor, assuming the teams are equal (which I do).

You can call it whining, but I simply used schedules to tip the balance one way or the other in determining who I thought would win the MacNaughton this year. We really won't know until the end of the year who played the harder schedule. I certainly don't blame Minnesota for having what I perceive to be the easier schedule...they are made up far in advance. In 2010-2011 North Dakota benefited from having an easier schedule than Denver (where I thought the teams were very similar in talent). It happens, but don't tell me that I can't use schedules to determine where I think teams will land in the conference standing.

Except this isn't last season, so I don't know how much sense it makes to use last year's standings. For instance, Minnesota plays Wisconsin 4 times, and I know we are both in agreement that they will be much tougher this season than a 10th place team. CC, on the other hand, shouldn't be as strong as a 5th place team. And so on.

I haven't done the math, but based upon my predicted conference standings, UND has the tougher road schedule and Minnesota the tougher home schedule.

MadTownSioux
09-21-2012, 10:23 AM
Interesting - things I didn't know.
If you go to the NCAA Schools page for UND,
http://www.ncaa.com/schools/north-dakota
They are listed as belonging to the Eastern College Athletic Conference for both Men's and Women's ice hockey.

Fighting Sioux 23
09-21-2012, 01:43 PM
Except this isn't last season, so I don't know how much sense it makes to use last year's standings. For instance, Minnesota plays Wisconsin 4 times, and I know we are both in agreement that they will be much tougher this season than a 10th place team. CC, on the other hand, shouldn't be as strong as a 5th place team. And so on.

I haven't done the math, but based upon my predicted conference standings, UND has the tougher road schedule and Minnesota the tougher home schedule.

Like I said in my post, using last year's numbers isn't exactly fair. We'll find out at the end of the season who had the more difficult schedule, but I still perceive Minnesota as having a slightly easier schedule. IMO the Gophers pod (Wisconsin, Mankato, Anchorage) is easier than North Dakota's (SCSU, Denver, CC). I do think you characterized the situation fairly accurately (i.e. North Dakota has a tougher road schedule/Minnesota tougher home), but I think we both would agree that we would rather our teams play the more difficult games at home than on the road.

SJHovey
09-21-2012, 03:26 PM
Like I said in my post, using last year's numbers isn't exactly fair. We'll find out at the end of the season who had the more difficult schedule, but I still perceive Minnesota as having a slightly easier schedule. IMO the Gophers pod (Wisconsin, Mankato, Anchorage) is easier than North Dakota's (SCSU, Denver, CC). I do think you characterized the situation fairly accurately (i.e. North Dakota has a tougher road schedule/Minnesota tougher home), but I think we both would agree that we would rather our teams play the more difficult games at home than on the road.Their conference schedules are identical, with the following exceptions:

1. UND plays BSU at home, MN plays them in Bemidji (advantage UND?).
2. UND plays UNO on the road, MN plays them at home (advantage MN?).
3. UND plays CC at home, MN plays Mankato at home (advantage MN?).
4. UND plays SCSU at home, MN plays Wisconsin on the road (advantage UND?)

5. UND plays at Minnesota.

Sounds like a wash to me. :D

Fighting Sioux 23
09-21-2012, 04:13 PM
Their conference schedules are identical, with the following exceptions:

1. UND plays BSU at home, MN plays them in Bemidji (advantage UND?).
2. UND plays UNO on the road, MN plays them at home (advantage MN?).
3. UND plays CC at home, MN plays Mankato at home (advantage MN?).
4. UND plays SCSU at home, MN plays Wisconsin on the road (advantage UND?)

5. UND plays at Minnesota.

Sounds like a wash to me. :D

You may want to double-check the schedules.

as15
09-21-2012, 04:44 PM
Their conference schedules are identical, with the following exceptions:

1. UND plays BSU at home, MN plays them in Bemidji (advantage UND?).
2. UND plays UNO on the road, MN plays them at home (advantage MN?).
3. UND plays CC at home, MN plays Mankato at home (advantage MN?).
4. UND plays SCSU at home, MN plays Wisconsin on the road (advantage UND?)

5. UND plays at Minnesota.

Sounds like a wash to me. :D

UND plays Denver on the road, MN play Anchorage on the road (advantage MN?)

It is very close though.

jerryj
09-21-2012, 06:20 PM
However, getting drunk at a team party and getting a season ending injury does...

like the gophers or not, you shouldnt be creating a rumor about a kid that you have no idea about the circumstances of.. much less mocking his ineligibility and a year or his career

Fighting Sioux 23
09-21-2012, 06:25 PM
UND plays Denver on the road, MN play Anchorage on the road (advantage MN?)

It is very close though.

If we are going to look at it like that, I would put the differences/advantages as such:

1. UND plays BSU at home, MN plays BSU on road (Advantage North Dakota)
2. UND plays UNO on road, MN plays UNO at home (Advantage Minnesota)
3. UND plays DU on road, MN plays Wisconsin on road (Push)
4. UND plays CC at home, MN plays Anchorage on road (This season, this could potentially be another push, although historically it would certainly be advantage Minnesota)
5. UND plays SCSU at home, MN plays Mankato at home (Advantage Minnesota)
6. UND plays at Minnesota (Advantage Minnesota)

That is how I break it down, with Minnesota holding the advantage in at least 3, North Dakota in 1, and at most two as a push. Again, this is all just my opinion about the perceived strengths of the teams that each plays, but I feel that Minnesota has an easier schedule. Of course, we won't know for sure until the end of the season.

Regardless, the two teams are very close in talent. I'm sure it will be neck and neck for the top spot, and the series in January at Mariucci will likely be what separates these two.