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FadeToBlack&Gold
03-15-2014, 09:49 PM
"Winning is a habit; unfortunately, so is losing" -Vince Lombardi

Should Mel be feeling the heat going into his fourth year? Which recruits will join the team this fall? Will there still be ice on Lake Superior in June? Will Fade get a contact high just walking around Denver? The answer to these questions and many others, coming soon.

bigblue_dl
03-15-2014, 10:39 PM
For the first time in 35 years this team is terrible because they underachieved, instead of just not having talent. There is no reason this team couldn't have finished near the top of this league. There is no reason this team shouldn't be going to the Final 5. Like I mentioned in the last thread, this season is a failure, and there's no other way to see it. Quite pathetic, actually.

Wi.Huskies Fan
03-15-2014, 11:06 PM
For the first time in 35 years this team is terrible because they underachieved, instead of just not having talent. There is no reason this team couldn't have finished near the top of this league. There is no reason this team shouldn't be going to the Final 5. Like I mentioned in the last thread, this season is a failure, and there's no other way to see it. Quite pathetic, actually.

Agree ...100%

bose301s
03-15-2014, 11:20 PM
Keeping in mind the talent that Ferris and Mankato have, Tech should have finished 3rd this season, 5th is a huge disappointment and a definite failure. TO me the biggest problem is we definitely seemed to take a step up when Mel came in over where we were with Jamie, but again we seem to have plateaued and in some aspects even taken steps backward. I won't be happy until we are finishing at or even slightly above .500 consistently, and then from there go further.

mtu_huskies
03-16-2014, 03:20 PM
I agree this season was disapointing, but we were picked to finish 4th by the coaches and we finished 5th.

I do agree, the difficult non-conference schedule was not good, and I would've liked to get some confidence with some more winnable games.

I'll be curious to see if the goalie situation stays the same and Kero waits a year to come in or not.

The_Commissioner
03-16-2014, 04:27 PM
TO me the biggest problem is we definitely seemed to take a step up when Mel came in over where we were with Jamie, but again we seem to have plateaued and in some aspects even taken steps backward.

There you have it, bose301s: the effect of the Perpetual Losing Culture at Tech. Even bringing in a well-qualified coach, albeit MTU alum but first time HC, is not enough to change the PLC.

I think that Tech being tech, people there think the problem requires solving for a variable or two...maybe a little plug and chug, and voila! there's the answer. At least in the last 30 years or so that's how they've approached the problem of losing. Obviously, that is not working because the problem cannot reduced to an equation. It's a bunch of intangibles wrapped around a contagious mindset in the hockey program. Other teams like basketball and football came out of the 30 year dark ages of perpetual losing. Even a startup like soccer excelled.

I've said it before and will say it again, but Tech needs an AD just for the hockey program. Someone demonstrating a record of accomplishment with turnarounds at the D1 level and charged with the authority to make the necessary changes. Let Mel concentrate on coaching/developing the team and bring in a Boss who isn't infected with the PLC mindset to run the program. If MTU hockey was a private enterprise, unless it was owned by the likes of the late William Clay Ford, it would have undergone major restructuring or gone out of business. Yes, it will take more money. But we dug this hole and now we have to pay for the ladder.

JohnsonsJerseys
03-17-2014, 01:34 AM
I've refrained from posting after this weekend until I had some time to think it over. Of course we would all love to be booking our tickets to Grand Rapids for next weekend and then after we posted two shut-outs there, on to the NCAA tourney. However, let's be realistic - 10 days ago 9 teams in the conference realistically were thinking the same thing.

There are always two sides to every plot line of the story. Sure Tech finished 5th in the WCHA and we didn't get home ice. How many years in the last 30 would MTU fans have been thrilled to finish 5th? Yes, we all think the WCHA should be a cake walk, but it isn't right now other than UAH (no offense to their effort this season). You can say Tech finished 5th, or you can say they missed 3rd place by ONE point.

In my opinion Tech got smoked in three games this year - a brutal job of re***** in Notre Dame and the awful homestand against UAF. Other than that, Tech did have a chance to win pretty much every other game on the schedule, including the BRUTAL early season non-conference run. Just a few years ago Tech was taking losses by three or four goals every single night. Games were over before the end of 1st period horn sounded. There were classes of players in the not so distant past that barely won a dozen games in FOUR YEARS coming through the program.

One improvement I want to see is two-fold. I want Tech to score 3.5 goals per game and allow 2.5 goals per game. This year in conference Tech scored and allowed 78 goals. That's about 2.7 per game in both categories. The four teams that finished ahead of MTU had the following goal differentials in conference: +30, +37, +20 and +16. (NMU was the only other team to have a plus goal differential in conference with +2). If Tech either gives up one less, or scores one more goal per game that's +28 and you're competing for a WCHA title and you have a lot less close games.

You can say what you want about this season being less than we wanted. However, I've been watching Tech hockey for 20+ seasons now. This year, I could honestly say that every time Tech took the ice, I thought we had a legit chance to win that night's game. It has been a LONG time since I felt that way about Tech hockey. Did anyone hear the term "doormat" used this season to describe Tech? Did anyone think we should be playing D-III hockey because we couldn't cut it in D-I? Were alumni calling for the program to be shut down because it was an embarrassment to the university. I don't recall any of those things being said this season. However it wasn't too long ago that people outside AND inside the university were saying these kinds of things about MTU hockey.

Tech hockey has almost accomplished more in the last three years than in all the years put together since Mel last wore a Huskies uniform. I don't think it is wrong to have high expectations, but I think the word "failure" has no business being associated with this year's team.

Find one goal per game in the off season and see where the chips fall next year.

Ryan J

manurespreader
03-17-2014, 07:27 AM
I think we have less talent than you think there BB, and what we do have is very young. I agree that it's a tough hill to climb and that the last few feet are always the steepest. However, considering how many freshmen D men started and played well, it's hard for me to be too critical. Disappointed,... totally.
I see a number of our young guys making significant steps,( like Gould, who I despaired would ever get there) and I think we will have better on ice leadership next year. I though Brett Olsen and Ryan Carpenter were the two best I've see in a long time at doing that. I also think the goaltending got better towards the end of the year. Early on it was on again off again, but lately it was better.

Huskiefan906
03-17-2014, 09:18 AM
I hope the team goes all in for the young guys coming in and the guys who did not have much ice this year.
The bottom 2 lines did little the last 2/3 of the season to warrant being fixtures in the lineup.
I would of rather seen set lines (groups of 3) rotated in to find chemistry.
Vallis, Heinonen, and Baltus did not benefit much this year.

FadeToBlack&Gold
03-17-2014, 09:49 AM
I'd like to see Phillips or Wintjes earn more starts next year. I know Mel likes to run with Copley when he's playing well, but that only lasts for 3-4 games. Then he gets too relaxed and secure, and it results in a bad game or two. I'd like to see him seriously pushed by one of the other two.

JohnsonsJerseys
03-17-2014, 10:02 AM
...Or for those of you with an engineering mindset, here is a graphical representation (time vs WCHA standings) of Tech Hockey fans' expectations since the signing of Mel Pearson as Head Coach. The flat section of the graph up to the point "Io" represents the week he spent moving into his office at the SDC. A few months later the curve flattens out three weeks into the first season as Tech's position in the WCHA should approach the limit of 1st place in the league standings at the point r(i). From this point forward MTU should assume Worldwide D-I hockey domination and remain undefeated as time approaches infinity... All good things take time folks. We've given other staffs waaaay more slack than this.
:rolleyes:
Ryan J

<img src="http://mathinsight.org/media/image/image/neuron_firing_rate_kink.png">

The_Commissioner
03-17-2014, 10:32 AM
...Or for those of you with an engineering mindset, here is a graphical representation (time vs WCHA standings) of Tech Hockey fans' expectations since the signing of Mel Pearson as Head Coach. The flat section of the graph up to the point "Io" represents the week he spent moving into his office at the SDC. A few months later the curve flattens out three weeks into the first season as Tech's position in the WCHA should approach the limit of 1st place in the league standings at the point r(i). From this point forward MTU should assume Worldwide D-I hockey domination and remain undefeated as time approaches infinity... All good things take time folks. We've given other staffs waaaay more slack than this.
:rolleyes:
Ryan J

<img src="http://mathinsight.org/media/image/image/neuron_firing_rate_kink.png">

Brilliant! :)

FadeToBlack&Gold
03-17-2014, 10:36 AM
We've given other staffs waaaay more slack than this.
:rolleyes:
Ryan J

Those regimes didn't have a base salary budget of $400,000+ per season, plus benefits and perks. ;)

lawdoggies
03-17-2014, 10:38 AM
...Or for those of you with an engineering mindset, here is a graphical representation (time vs WCHA standings) of Tech Hockey fans' expectations since the signing of Mel Pearson as Head Coach. The flat section of the graph up to the point "Io" represents the week he spent moving into his office at the SDC. A few months later the curve flattens out three weeks into the first season as Tech's position in the WCHA should approach the limit of 1st place in the league standings at the point r(i). From this point forward MTU should assume Worldwide D-I hockey domination and remain undefeated as time approaches infinity... All good things take time folks. We've given other staffs waaaay more slack than this.
:rolleyes:
Ryan J

<img src="http://mathinsight.org/media/image/image/neuron_firing_rate_kink.png">

Well . . . I guess I learned something today. :confused: As Tom Magliozzi (Car Talk) says: "it's great being stupid because the amount of stuff you can learn on a daily basis is unbelievable!" :p

Huskiefan906
03-17-2014, 11:47 AM
Mel said on the radio show this morning, there were a few injuries to the players thinking about coming in this fall.
That might change the plans and have a couple play another year of junior hockey. Not sure what this means??
Can anyone enlighten on prospects locked in, L'Esperance, Blacklock, Gillies, Hannoun, Jackson, Anderson, Schuldt, Auk for next year?

He also said they spoke to 3 players who are potential flight risks to see where they are at now in the process

I would think these would be Phillips (maybe looking elsewhere), Pietila, and D. Johnstone.
I think all but possibly Phillips will be back. It is really difficult to have a 1A and a 1B on an NCAA program.
I think Phoenix showed he is the #1, but is not elite yet. Jamie may want to go somewhere where he can be the man or just turn pro and play in the ECHL?

bigblue_dl
03-17-2014, 11:52 AM
Mel said on the radio show this morning, there were a few injuries to the players thinking about coming in this fall.
That might change the plans and have a couple play another year of junior hockey. Not sure what this means, but it may impact Jackson in for next year?
Can anyone enlighten on prospects locked in, L'Esperance, Blacklock, Gillies, Hannoun, Anderson, Schuldt, Auk for next year?

He also said they spoke to 3 players who are potential flight risks to see where they are at now in the process

I would think these would be Phillips (maybe looking elsewhere), Pietila, and D. Johnstone.
I think all but possibly Phillips will be back. It is really difficult to have a 1A and a 1B on an NCAA program.
I think Phoenix showed he is the #1, but is not elite yet. Jamie may want to go somewhere where he can be the man or just turn pro and play in the ECHL?I would not be surprised to see Pietila sign a professional contract. I don't think either goalie is actually good enough yet to go pro, maybe in a few years, but I think they need more experience at this level, but I could see one leaving in a misguided decision, or Phillips leaving for more playing time (and I actually wouldn't blame him for that)

mtu_huskies
03-17-2014, 11:58 AM
Mel at times seemed frustrated, but also excited for next year. Good last show.

And he was passionate about Hanna not being on an all WCHA team.

Mel Pearson show summary for 3-17:
Mel was a bit late, Dirk talked about results from around WCHA

You could tell they are playing some of their best hockey, knew that from watching tape, real good against BSU the week before us
Their seniors had played 3 previous playoffs and won 1st round each year, seniors/juniors are playoff hardened team with some success, know how to win
Mel picked BGSU top 4 at start of year, goalie outstanding this weekend
Saw the matchups they wanted, played Senior line against Sturos/Pietila/Johnstone line to check them, threw us off
we did not score on our chances, for most part got goaltending, but we did not do good job taking advantage of scoring opps, Friday and Saturday we had first 2 Grade A chances, don't finish

Friday:
BGSU lead, tough goal to give up, tough read by one of our PKers, player in position should've gone to their guy, but didn't and Williamson scores, all starts with faceoff, they won, and we collapsed too much, Dman should've gone to that player, but retreated to the net and acted as screen, just a misread
D. Johnstone PPG, he's found a home on the PP, he can shoot it, they were going to try to take that shot away, big goal for us
We had a good 1st period, 23 attempted shots to 13
BG lead 2-1, Carpenter rebound goal, 2x1 with a MTU backchecker coming on, 1st Dmen good job pushed BGSU wide to take a wide shot, Pheonix kicked rebound right out, may try to smother puck or put it in corner next time
Carpenter had a guy with him, their guy won the battle, Tech player tried to tie him up, but Carpenter willed his way/strength/determination, became GWG
tough goal to give up, played well on road in 1st game of series, but can't give up goals like that and expect to win
Dirk -Is achilles heal of season, D play in front of net? Probably, have to get stronger/grittier in front of our net. Have to really improve on that, their Dmen really made it hard on our forwards to get to the net, and when we did, they were physical.
D. Johnstone 6 shots, no one else had more than 2, we didn't have many Grade A chances, but didn't give up many either, we played good enough to win, but offensively did not burry our chances
We had opps in 2nd and 3rd period

Saturday:
Wanted a solid start, don't give BGSU any momentum, strong period until BGSU goal, it got away from us for 5-6 mins, a couple bad breaks, until then, were better team
Hietila got a point blank shot, we had better chances than them early on Friday and Saturday, but couldn't finish, can draw up X and Os, but if can't finish, becomes a fine line
Poor read on BGSU goal, 1-0, they were better at executing scoring opps, Dman bad read, started as 3x2 but had backchecker, we left the wide guy way too open and let him walk in on Pheonix, caught Pheonix off-guard, long pass 3/4 way across the ice
we continued to play well, got a PP, Pietila had a chance to tie it, wave off goal due to Sturos penalty, a lot going on, tough call for official, Reid & BGSU Dman tangled in front of net as puck comes toward them, if happened in our end, Mel would be upset if they didn't call it, go from tie game to 4x4
BGSU PPG 2-0, during 5x3, 3rd highest scoring team in our league,we took a penalty during 4x4, did not like it, cross checking in front of our net, have to manage the game, understand situation
BGSU 3-0, first 10 min of 2nd we were better team, we had 2x1 and 3x2 but couldn't execute, we had opps like that BGSU goal with deflections but puck doesn't go in, BGSU hasn't done anything for awhile, they take shot going wide, hits our Dman and goes in, sums up our series, couldn't get a break
We took another penalty after their goal, got away from our game a bit, disappointed how rest of period played out, can't take penalties down 3-0, high sticking/roughing when not saving a goal
PPG early in 3rd, 3-1, Sturos, liked our PP for most part all weekend, good puck movement and wrist shot, Reid got to the net
BGSU goal, 4-1, had a player in position, but not looking to guy at side of net
We got a break, 4-2, Sullivan shot it in his own goal trying to clear, they took a penalty shortly after that, had a few Grade A, including D. Johnstone off post
BGSU ENG 5-3, they have the playoff experience, BGSU coach said he didn't have to say much, Juniors/Seniors took over, that's what you need
It was a good series, a lot closer than 5-3, we couldn't execute offensively

They discussed other WCHA results
We've got a good league, people around hockey know how good this league is, you can look at non-conference record but most of those on the road
Our league will be good going forward, a lot of teams don't loose much, it'll be highly competitive next year

What series do you see at pivotal through the year?
BG series at home, we played really well, outshot them significantly on Friday
Next night we're up 4-2, less than 90 seconds, bad breaks/calls tie game, points so critical, it came down to that point for home ice
Proud of our players, we were right there, we've taken a step for regular season, need to work on non-conference and get better in playoffs
UAF series too, got swept at home, a split would've been in better shape, vs. Michgian State 2-0-1 this year, played well against them
We're doing a lot of good things, not perfect though.
We'll never be satisfied unless you win it all, that last year at Michigan Mel was as disapointed as he is this year, care about all good things, have to build on that, but not satisfied
We've done so many good things with this program, compared to 3 previous years, finished above .500 in WCHA, played .500 hockey on road in WCHA
Non-conference disapointed, played ND who beat BC 2 out of 3, we were right there
Played at UMD and Michigan, people say it's too adventurous, but it's not, we didn't get results, down the road it will help build your team, shows what you need to do to win, we'll continue to play a tough schedule
MI will be here next year, we have to take advantage of that game, UMD will be here next year
The way NCAA pairwise is, you get a lot more credit for beating good teams, Mel is on NCAA selection committee, knows the ins/outs to help team get in NCAA, we have to win more 1st, but also have to beat good teams, it goes a long way
Will always have disappointment if not winning that last game, even winning that last game, you can only enjoy it for so long then another year comes along
Mel looking forward to next year, lines/recruiting/flight risks for signing etc, Mel's excited


Dirk - With WCHA in current form is it more difficult to get recognized in the at large portion?
Yes & no, yes because 1 key is bonus for beating a top 20 team on road. If you don't have top 20 in conference no opportunity for bonus. Hockey East had a number in top 20, many bonus points.
If we don't have teams in top 20, no bonus points, some teams don't have that opportunity, that's not right in Mel's opinion, but having said that, if your team can win the tough non-conference games
If we went .500 agaisnt ND, UMD, MI that helps you, so yes & no

Questions for Mel:
Why is that you chose to leave Furne home, a senior with 40 goals when we've struggled to score?
We as coaches pick the lineup to give the best opp to MTU to win that night.
Ryan has been a big part of this program, all seniors have, thanks to all seniors for their contributions. If seniors can leave program in better spot, they've done a good job and these have.
We have to put best team on ice, we did that.

It seems like we struggled with forecheck against BGSU, did they change something?
No they didn't, at times we had problems. Our Dmen held on to puck too long instead of a read and move puck quicker.

Are you happy with recruiting long term?
Yes very happy. Going through process of figuring out which guys come in the fall. We had a few guys that had injuries and could use another year of junior hockey. Want them to step in like a Shane Hanna, lead WCHA in scoring for Dmen and rookies.
Congrats to him for all rookie, he should've been rookie of the year. He didn't make 3rd team, he's a plus player in the league! Hanna should've been on one of those teams.
Want guys over ready, like Petan freshmen year, Hanna this year.
One recruit made all prep team in MN, another played in state tourney. A goalie that was team MPV and made all rookie team, we have good recruits.

Any current underclassmen signing early?
we pulled in 3 players and talked about that already. Things happen quick, sometimes coaches are the last person to know.
There were NHL guys in attendance looking at BGSU and some of our players. We don't have any players ready to leave. Mel has coached 80 NHL players, Mel has a good feel for people being ready for NHL. We have guys that could go to AHL, want to make sure you're over ready for AHl, so you can make a good impression.

How much road watching of future recruits will you do?
A bit, but Mel is on NCAA selection committee next weekend. Mel has to go to a regional and Frozen Four. There will be a lot of watching incoming players though, to determine if they're ready

Are expectations unrealistic?
It depends on the expectations. It's good to have high expectations, Mel tells the team that. Have to set the bar high, otherwise always happy with underachieving or not being the best. We're here to take this team to the top.
As crazy as it sounds, we can do that.

Offseason contact with players?
We'll have a lot. Our guys will finish up school, then we'll have all our returning players for Track A, and working out with Tyler Shelast.
Some freshmen will be up this summer too.

Thanks to fans for all continued support. The future is bright here. Like the direction.
Thanks to the Tech band at BGSU added atmosphere.
Shoutout to the Mens BB program, good luck tomorrow night.

FadeToBlack&Gold
03-17-2014, 12:07 PM
Pietila was a -4 this season. He's not ready for the Devils system. ;)

Kidding aside, if NJ are serious about signing him and putting him in the AHL, I think he's gone. If they are just going to stick him in the ECHL, he is better off staying, and I hope he recognizes that. Phillips is only a flight risk if Winnipeg wants to him to get more playing time somewhere. Johnstone, I think, would be signing somewhere if he'd had a fully healthy season and led the team in scoring (as he likely would have). With his Jacob graduating, David's still a flight risk, but less of one because of his injury.

mtu_huskies
03-17-2014, 12:58 PM
Mel said on the radio show this morning, there were a few injuries to the players thinking about coming in this fall.
That might change the plans and have a couple play another year of junior hockey. Not sure what this means??
Can anyone enlighten on prospects locked in, L'Esperance, Blacklock, Gillies, Hannoun, Jackson, Anderson, Schuldt, Auk for next year?

He also said they spoke to 3 players who are potential flight risks to see where they are at now in the process

I would think these would be Phillips (maybe looking elsewhere), Pietila, and D. Johnstone.
I think all but possibly Phillips will be back. It is really difficult to have a 1A and a 1B on an NCAA program.
I think Phoenix showed he is the #1, but is not elite yet. Jamie may want to go somewhere where he can be the man or just turn pro and play in the ECHL?

I think before Mel has said Blacklock and Jackson are two that have had injuries. It still sounds like Blacklock will be here and Jackson may stay in the USHL.

Fillion will be a senior, but he'll probably transfer with no playing time this year I'd think.

bigblue_dl
03-17-2014, 01:31 PM
Pietila was a -4 this season. He's not ready for the Devils system. ;)

Kidding aside, if NJ are serious about signing him and putting him in the AHL, I think he's gone. If they are just going to stick him in the ECHL, he is better off staying, and I hope he recognizes that. Phillips is only a flight risk if Winnipeg wants to him to get more playing time somewhere. Johnstone, I think, would be signing somewhere if he'd had a fully healthy season and led the team in scoring (as he likely would have). With his Jacob graduating, David's still a flight risk, but less of one because of his injury.That is what I'm worried about, that the Devils see that minus and decide they need to have him in their system, learning from their coaches.