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Koho
03-01-2015, 12:00 PM
(Never done this before, so...)

Gophs jumped to 11 in Power once all the dust settled. Looks like they need to keep splitting to move up. ;)

Hopefully they learned from this last weekend that they can beat anyone, even if they spot them a few goals, if they out work the opponent, and that anyone can beat them if they don't put in a full 60 minutes. It is pretty much playoff hockey from here on out. Let's hope they can gel and start playing like the team we all know they are capable of being.

JoeGopher
03-01-2015, 12:15 PM
Given the results this past Friday and other similar results against trapping teams, I wonder why after 10+ years of facing the trap, tDon and the coaching staff have not been able to solve for it? It's not like it can't be expected. Is it execution? Gopher teams not "built" for trap breaking? What do you think is the solution?

D2D
03-01-2015, 12:15 PM
(Never done this before, so...)Gophs jumped to 11 in Power once all the dust settled. Looks like they need to keep splitting to move up. ;)
That's a real surprise. When I checked last night they were #14, and it had just been updated. Obviously their move up to #10 wasn't because they split with Michigan State. It was due to what other teams did or didn't do.


Hopefully they learned from this last weekend that they can beat anyone, even if they spot them a few goals, if they out work the opponent, and that anyone can beat them if they don't put in a full 60 minutes. It is pretty much playoff hockey from here on out. Let's hope they can gel and start playing like the team we all know they are capable of being.
That's about the positive and optimistic spin you can put on it after Friday night's performance. Although I mostly share your opinion and outlook, and am hoping for the best, you just never know what to expect, effort-wise, from this team. That's my biggest concern. And it's why I'm not sure they have what it takes to put a string together when we get to the "lose and you're done" stage which is coming up soon.

Stauber1
03-01-2015, 12:24 PM
(Never done this before, so...)

Gophs jumped to 11 in Power once all the dust settled. Looks like they need to keep splitting to move up. ;)

Hopefully they learned from this last weekend that they can beat anyone, even if they spot them a few goals, if they out work the opponent, and that anyone can beat them if they don't put in a full 60 minutes. It is pretty much playoff hockey from here on out. Let's hope they can gel and start playing like the team we all know they are capable of being.

Sitting at 11 right now, but their RPI is closer to 17th than it is to 10th.
They are teetering in their current position and could drop several spots in the blink of an eye.

MN really can't afford a loss next weekend. And OSU is starting to play some much better hockey now that they have been healthy for a few weeks with a full squad at their disposal.

It's hard not to let disappointment cloud perspective after Friday night. That was a series this team needed to sweep, and the performance was just dismal. You can kind of understand it in the middle of the season, but with the end in sight and the position they are in...really disappointing. Especially after seeing the team seem to make some progress and start playing closer to their potential.

Given the time of year and the Gophers' position, every game should feel like a play-off game. Friday most certainly did not.

Stauber1
03-01-2015, 12:30 PM
Given the results this past Friday and other similar results against trapping teams, I wonder why after 10+ years of facing the trap, tDon and the coaching staff have not been able to solve for it? It's not like it can't be expected. Is it execution? Gopher teams not "built" for trap breaking? What do you think is the solution?

I usually get annoyed by fans that only focus on what their team is doing without recognizing what the opposition brought to the table to account for a particular outcome. But Friday really wasn't as much about what Mich St did as it was about how badly MN executed. That was the worst I have seen the team play, on whole, since the first game of the home Duluth series.

JoeGopher
03-01-2015, 02:38 PM
I usually get annoyed by fans that only focus on what their team is doing without recognizing what the opposition brought to the table to account for a particular outcome. But Friday really wasn't as much about what Mich St did as it was about how badly MN executed. That was the worst I have seen the team play, on whole, since the first game of the home Duluth series.

I think you may have missed part of what I was saying. MSU played a great game Friday and executed their system really well. They didn't make many mistakes and shut the Gophers down (while they played horribly).

I was looking back over the years and the trap has always caused them problems, whether it's MSU, Wisconsin, OSU (at times), and others that employ such a rigid neutral zone system. Other teams have been able to crack the code over time, but Minnesota seems to struggle.

D2D
03-01-2015, 04:47 PM
Other teams have been able to crack the code over time, but Minnesota seems to struggle.
Sure seems that way. Makes you wonder if it's something to do with the way most Minnesota kids grow up playing the game, or a shortcoming with the coaching staff. Maybe they should consult with the Wild's coaches (with 3 ex-Gophers on their team)? They deal with the trap all the time and have had a lot of recent success scoring enough goals to win pretty consistently.

Koho
03-01-2015, 06:31 PM
Given the results this past Friday and other similar results against trapping teams, I wonder why after 10+ years of facing the trap, tDon and the coaching staff have not been able to solve for it? It's not like it can't be expected. Is it execution? Gopher teams not "built" for trap breaking? What do you think is the solution?

It is all about effort. MSU couldn't stop the Gophs on Thursday from the middle of the first on, because MN won all the battles, not because they were playing a different style of game. A hustling team connecting on passes and winning races to dumped pucks will still be able to beat a trapping team. And MN had it in MSU's zone several times where the problem was not winning battles on the boards, or if they did, not having a player in front to feed. If MN plays like they played for 2/3 of the game on Thursday, the trap wouldn't have stopped them.

D2D
03-01-2015, 06:47 PM
Koho makes great points. We are all searching for answers, but more than anything it comes down to effort. And, given the talent this team has, if the effort's there execution will follow.

Stauber1
03-01-2015, 09:25 PM
Was I talking to myself? :p

Maybe I just worded it really poorly, but what I was trying to say is that game plan, strategy or the inability to deal with the opposition isn't what gave the Gophers problems. The Gophers gave the Gophers problems. If you don't execute and don't compete, it doesn't matter what game plan you or the opposition is employing.

MN has beaten trapping teams in the past. They could have done the same on Friday but they never gave themselves the chance.

So, yeah, Koho is making a lot of sense to me too.

Koho
03-01-2015, 11:08 PM
Was I talking to myself? :p

Maybe I just worded it really poorly, but what I was trying to say is that game plan, strategy or the inability to deal with the opposition isn't what gave the Gophers problems. The Gophers gave the Gophers problems. If you don't execute and don't compete, it doesn't matter what game plan you or the opposition is employing.

MN has beaten trapping teams in the past. They could have done the same on Friday but they never gave themselves the chance.

So, yeah, Koho is making a lot of sense to me too.

Sorry. You lost. I won. Just semantics that we said almost the same thing.

HarleyMC
03-02-2015, 01:56 AM
Given the results this past Friday and other similar results against trapping teams, I wonder why after 10+ years of facing the trap, tDon and the coaching staff have not been able to solve for it? It's not like it can't be expected. Is it execution? Gopher teams not "built" for trap breaking? What do you think is the solution?

Good question Joe. I've got a different take on Friday's game. IMO to assume the Gophers hit the ice on Friday and just didn't feel like putting forth an effort to win the game is ludicrous. I have more faith in these guys in knowing how crucial these remaining games are and their need to win than that. I do think they left a lot on the ice on Thurs and didn't have the fresh legs and edge on Friday. IMO Friday's loss was all about execution for both teams, not lack of effort.

I agree with Lucia and Anastos that MSU's forecheck trap was much improved on Friday and that gave the Gophers problems on zone breakouts and transitions all game. They kept the Gophers on their heels and played much better offensively too. IMO that had a lot to do with them being out of sync all game.

The best way to beat the NZ trap is camp in front and look for dirty goals. MSU boxed well 5 x 5 and on the PP and shut that area down. Kyle Rau, who scored both goals on Friday, also commented that MSU kept them out of the paint and on the perimeter. All 4 goals ex. ENG on Thurs were dirty goals, Friday we got two.

But the Gophers also missed some golden, game changing opportunities. Both Boyd and Lettieri missed wide open nets and Bristedt hit a pipe in the third. Wilcox let in a softie by Keller and let the puck trickle in under his arm. Like any sport, college hockey can be a game of inches and missed opportunities.

MSU lost a key D on Thurs. (Walsh) and they appeared quite focused on D to fill in for him. They were strong on the walls, they were physical and executed well in the Gopher offensive zone with their own version of cycling.

The 1-2-2 trap with added physicality is strategically very effective against fast, offensive cycling teams and even if you've seen it for 10 years, if executed properly it works against teams like MN. The Gophers appeared frustrated with it at times with a few players trying some solo stunts which typically doesn't work against the trap either. Thurs. the Gophers hacked the source code on the trap and executed well for 5 unanswered goals, Friday MSU built a better Gopher trap.


That's a real surprise. When I checked last night they were #14, and it had just been updated. Obviously their move up to #10 wasn't because they split with Michigan State. It was due to what other teams did or didn't do.

Bowling Green lost to AA and that sent the Gophers from #14 to #11. St. Cloud lost to UND on Sat. and they gained a COp and the Gophers went from #14 to #13. Then BG @ AA ended later and they gained another COp putting them at #11.

Slap Shot
03-02-2015, 03:03 AM
I think you may have missed part of what I was saying. MSU played a great game Friday and executed their system really well. They didn't make many mistakes and shut the Gophers down (while they played horribly).

I was looking back over the years and the trap has always caused them problems, whether it's MSU, Wisconsin, OSU (at times), and others that employ such a rigid neutral zone system. Other teams have been able to crack the code over time, but Minnesota seems to struggle.

I think you're only remembering the games they lost against a trap rather than the majority that they actually won.

JoeGopher
03-02-2015, 10:19 AM
I think you're only remembering the games they lost against a trap rather than the majority that they actually won.

That's entirely possible. Prior to the BiG, the only team they faced with regularity that employed the trap was the Awfulgers. Now that they are seeing MSU and OSU employ that type of system, it seems to cause problems. Maybe I am just looking at the performance against MSU over the last two years with an increased level of scrutiny since it's the team that has given the Gophs the most trouble in conference games.

SanTropez
03-02-2015, 10:36 AM
They should hand out penalties for teams who trap. It is a ****ty way to play hockey. It sucked when the lemaire led wild did it too, talk about boring crappy hockey.
You are right though, the Gophers play better when playing against teams who do not trap. (Michigan BC etc...) OSU doesn't have the D like MSU does, so even if they do try to trap it won't be as effective.

HarleyMC
03-02-2015, 11:14 AM
That's entirely possible. Prior to the BiG, the only team they faced with regularity that employed the trap was the Awfulgers. Now that they are seeing MSU and OSU employ that type of system, it seems to cause problems. Maybe I am just looking at the performance against MSU over the last two years with an increased level of scrutiny since it's the team that has given the Gophs the most trouble in conference games.

Dave Shyiak and UAA used the NZ trap all the time against the Gophers in the WCHA. BC is a similar smaller, highly skilled team like the Gophers. Notre Dame just beat BC on Saturday using the NZ trap. Jeff Jackson recruits for Notre Dame to combine it with some high end skill players to add a stronger offensive dimension to it.

HarleyMC
03-02-2015, 01:00 PM
They should hand out penalties for teams who trap. It is a ****ty way to play hockey. It sucked when the lemaire led wild did it too, talk about boring crappy hockey.

Disagree, but maybe you need to vent here.:D It depends on your perspective and whether you appreciate all the strategic aspects of the game of hockey. If you're a fan of defense, it's as entertaining and strategic as watching an offensive team. From personal experience, I can say it's tough to crack as an offensive player if executed properly. The Czechs were the ones who invented it to slow down the Russians in the 70s and called it the "Left Wing Lock". The trap also wins championships. Scotty Bowman used it a lot with the Detroit Red Wings and won 3 Stanley Cups. Bob Johnson brought it to Wisconsin and won 3 NCAA titles.

Just for fun.;) Left Wing Lock is a little different than the NZ trap, where the left wing drops back on D and each player is responsible for a zone, not a player.

<img class="mw-mmv-dialog-is-open" src="http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/4/46/Ice_Hockey_Left_Wing_Lock.gif/320px-Ice_Hockey_Left_Wing_Lock.gif" crossorigin="anonymous" width="199">

pgb-ohio
03-02-2015, 03:10 PM
<img class="mw-mmv-dialog-is-open" src="http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/4/46/Ice_Hockey_Left_Wing_Lock.gif/320px-Ice_Hockey_Left_Wing_Lock.gif" crossorigin="anonymous" width="199">Not a huge fan of the NZ Trap or Left Wing Lock. But I've got to admit that's a pretty cool graphic.:)

5mn_Major
03-02-2015, 07:09 PM
MSU and UW have been playing with MI and MN respectively for a long time. They hate to lose to us. Their systems have slowly adapted to both of our high octane offenses. The unfortunate outcome for us...is now we and MI are in the same conference and if nothing else, this should reinforce each of their systems.

Pirateasaur
03-02-2015, 07:28 PM
Maybe you guys should just adopt the trap if it's so unfair. With your 30 NHL draft picks, surely you will trap better than anybody else.