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View Full Version : Minnesota Golden Gopher Season 2018-19: The Motzko Era Begins!



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Bonin21
01-09-2019, 11:34 AM
Forward unit has the talent but not the consistent effort.
D maybe has the effort but unfortunately not the talent.

D2D
01-09-2019, 11:50 AM
As bad as the D core supposedly is the forwards are not getting it done.
This sums it up perfectly. But if the entire team can somehow replicate the way they played this past Saturday night - for the rest of the season, not just for the next game - there is reason to be more optimistic. That's a big IF, however.

trixR4kids
01-09-2019, 12:06 PM
This is pretty simply stuff guys... getting out shot and out chanced every game is a function of shots for and shots against. This team is tenth worst in the nation in terms of even strength shots against, that's primarily a function of the terrible break out, turnovers, horrible puck retrieval from slow Dmen, Clayton Phillips flailing around like Kris Russell, etc. You can basically just watch what happens every time the oppositions enters our D zone, they either give the other team a ten foot cushion to carry the puck in with ease or when the other team dumps it in often they get beat in the foot race. When they do win the foot race they handle it like a live hand grenade and throw it up the boards straight to the other team. Last game was actually a step in the right direction as they seemed to exit the zone with speed more often and stretch the ice via stretch passes more often than I've seen in a while but I think part of that is due to PSU not being a strong defensive team and their forecheck not being as effective on big ice.

In terms of even strength shots for they're 31st, mediocre. So they certainly deserve some of the blame for being out shot (and to be fair Dmen are allowed to take shots, pinch, carry the puck into the zone cleanly, and contribute offensively, ours just aren't capable of doing that consistently) but certainly not the lions share.

SteveO
01-09-2019, 12:31 PM
This is pretty simply stuff guys... getting out shot and out chanced every game is a function of shots for and shots against. This team is tenth worst in the nation in terms of even strength shots against, that's primarily a function of the terrible break out, turnovers, horrible puck retrieval from slow Dmen, Clayton Phillips flailing around like Kris Russell, etc. You can basically just watch what happens every time the oppositions enters our D zone, they either give the other team a ten foot cushion to carry the puck in with ease or when the other team dumps it in often they get beat in the foot race. When they do win the foot race they handle it like a live hand grenade and throw it up the boards straight to the other team. Last game was actually a step in the right direction as they seemed to exit the zone with speed more often and stretch the ice via stretch passes more often than I've seen in a while but I think part of that is due to PSU not being a strong defensive team and their forecheck not being as effective on big ice.

In terms of even strength shots for they're 31st, mediocre. So they certainly deserve some of the blame for being out shot (and to be fair Dmen are allowed to take shots, pinch, carry the puck into the zone cleanly, and contribute offensively, ours just aren't capable of doing that consistently) but certainly not the lions share.

I tend to agree with you Trix on what's happening in front either Robson or Schierhorn. Gap control does not apply to your own zone!! :rolleyes: 1) Too much space for teams to setup in our own zone, 2) Don't play the walls if there's no one there, 3) Win more puck battles, 4) How about hitting some guys... like hard and skating them off the puck.

Featured USCHO article on the Gophers showing improvement --> ARTICLE. (https://www.uscho.com/2019/01/09/minnesota-on-the-upswing-as-gophers-playing-better-hockey-having-better-depth-throughout-the-lineup/?fbclid=IwAR1nlEXSO7ZUutQWaGrZPDLeDjUU2zureNh6Dqk6 Wbhp1wSy5oRGlW56E1E)

Slap Shot
01-09-2019, 12:42 PM
This is pretty simply stuff guys...

Yeah which my post clearly spelled out for you. To add only 4 players are averaging > 0.5 PPG and the team GAA is 2.63 while they are only averaging 4 less shots/game. They are 32nd in GPG scored, 25th in GPG allowed. I already noted what part the D plays in generating offense but giving up goals is not their primary problem.

trixR4kids
01-09-2019, 01:22 PM
Yeah which my post clearly spelled out for you.Yeah and my post very clearly spelled out why you're wrong.

To add only 4 players are averaging > 0.5 PPG and the team GAA is 2.63 while they are only averaging 4 less shots/game. They are 32nd in GPG scored, 25th in GPG allowed. I already noted what part the D plays in generating offense but giving up goals is not their primary problem.You're basically crediting the D for what Robson is doing.

Slap Shot
01-09-2019, 01:56 PM
Yeah and my post very clearly spelled out why you're wrong.

Only in your head. 32nd offense, 25th defense, better PK than PP and nearly identical SPG allowed vs taken. They need to score more. Thanks for playing.

trixR4kids
01-09-2019, 02:15 PM
So the 32nd ranked offense is mediocre like I said, the goaltending is really good hence the high save % and low goals against totals, and bottom ten in shots against would indicate that the D isn't very good at their job of suppressing shots and moving the puck in the other direction. But please tell us more about how the defense deserves credit for what Robson is doing.

Slap Shot
01-09-2019, 02:17 PM
They're averaging only 4 less shots on goal per game then they are giving up and have higher rated defense and PK than offense and PP - disparities that are greater than the 4 shots per game. So please tell us how the defense is at fault for their lack of scoring.

Seriously quit while you are behind.

trixR4kids
01-09-2019, 02:24 PM
Yeah... and that's good for tenth worst in the nation in terms of shots against at even strength per game. Not ideal.

And again you still haven't addressed the fact that Robson is largely responsible for them being "above average defensively" because when you actually parse out what they're responsible for, shot suppression, they aren't very good at it. That's not even getting into the fact that they contribute nothing offensively to the point that Motzko literally rolls with five fowards on the PP.

Bonin21
01-09-2019, 02:29 PM
Ignoring effort, if you think the defensive unit is more talented than the forward unit you need to get your eyes checked. The D unit takes more blame, but the forwards get a lot because of their inconsistent effort which is a trademark in recent years.

Brutal D unit gets 60% of the blame
Forwards get 50% of the blame
Robson gets -10% of the blame

trixR4kids
01-09-2019, 02:56 PM
The forwards deserve plenty of blame too, I have no issue with giving them their fair share of grief as they're quite mediocre. There's a reason (effort and buying into what Motzko is telling them most likely) that the best most consistent line is the all freshmen line, despite having a guy like Burke who doesn't have near the pedigree of many other guys on the roster. Pitlick didn't play much center at this level until this year so there was going to be some growing pains there. I think Gates is an alright passer and playmaker but he's slow, has an average shot, and doesn't forecheck very hard. Sheehy is largely the same except he's a mediocre passer/has a better shot. We all know how I feel about the fourth line though with Romanko out it might actually improve. Novak is one of the few centers drawing near even in shots/for against but he isn't contributing much offensively (zero goals :facepalm: ).

Slap Shot
01-09-2019, 03:07 PM
Yeah... and that's good for tenth worst in the nation in terms of shots against at even strength per game. Not ideal.

They're 13th overall in SATA Even Strength but only 20th in SOG Even Strength. Someone is blocking those shots. Also it's not just the job of the 2 defenders to get the puck out of their own zone.


And again you still haven't addressed the fact that Robson...

Because it's irrelevant to their futile offense. The fact is they are terrible at putting pucks in the net and with their current GAA should have far more wins than they do. I also remind you they have a better PK than PP, they're 35th in FO% and 22nd in Sh% and with being 13th in SV% they should be winning more games. Whatever you're dug in on an unenviable position and aren't going to budge so have fun.

trixR4kids
01-09-2019, 04:20 PM
They're 13th overall in SATA Even Strength but only 20th in SOG Even Strength. Someone is blocking those shots. Also it's not just the job of the 2 defenders to get the puck out of their own zone. I donít disagree that the blocked shots are an issue but guess which of the two groups is getting more of their shots blocked...

And I agree itís not only on the D to break the puck out but thatís clearly where itís stalling out more often than not. They throw away way too many pucks up the boards, icing it, weíve all noticed Sadekís turnovers etc. The breakout generally starts with them because theyíre responsible for the puck retrieval and the first pass to start the breakout, two things they arenít good at.




Because it's irrelevant to their futile offense.We can still analyze the two separately and compare, i promise you itís possible.


The fact is they are terrible at putting pucks in the net and with their current GAA should have far more wins than they do. I also remind you they have a better PK than PP, they're 35th in FO% and 22nd in Sh% and with being 13th in SV% they should be winning more games. Whatever you're dug in on an unenviable position and aren't going to budge so have fun.Ok but then why did Motzko move all of the D off the PP? Because he really wants to lose games? Or because they contribute nothing offensively?

And I agree that the offense should be better (even if you think the D bare no responsibility in creating offense which is dubious) but the only reason the D looks good in any of the goal based defensive metrics you cited (and barring the fact that you attribute the PK solely to the D and not the forwards) is because of Robson bailing them out. Thereís a reason nobody measures Dmen by goals against/sv%, its statistically unrepeatable. The shot rates on the other hand are and theyíre terrible at it.

And faceoff% doesnít really have much impact on winning games, 35th is pretty average so thatís not really a concern.

Slap Shot
01-09-2019, 05:33 PM
No one said the d is not culpable on either end of the ice. But the FACT is the lack of scoring is the biggest detriment to their current WL and debating it even further is a waste of time and facts.

trixR4kids
01-09-2019, 06:20 PM
Yes, not scoring is a problem. Thatís a factor of zone time and shot quantity. The D bares a lot of responsibility on both of those, you canít get to the offensive zone if youíre stuck in your own end and you canít sustain pressure if you pass the puck and they throw it away aimlessly or shoot it right into someoneís shin pads. Itís not like the forwards can endlessly cycle and pass it solely to other forwards in the offensive zone, at some point you need to pass it to the D and have confidence that theyíll do something that doesnít kill the play at the very least.

If that wasnít the case youíd have one of them on each power play, the fact that they went to five forwards illustrates my point perfectly, the coaches have no confidence in their ability to do anything offensively and they figure the team is better off with them not on the ice in those situations. It also tells you a lot about why this team struggles to score at five on five. Thereís a reason Motzko mentioned moving Novak to D, your coach doesnít do that if you have even an average defensive unit. You canít just argue the the forwards get all the blame for the offense, none of the credit for the PK, and the D get all the credit for the good goals against metric, itís absolutely ludicrous.

If they were even mediocre at their job weíd probably be better than 35th in that area (and not bottom 10 in shots against).

Slap Shot
01-10-2019, 01:28 AM
Ok you've convinced yourself so you have that going for you.

SteveO
01-10-2019, 06:31 AM
Wow...and here I thought I was the only STAT NERD on this thread. Welcome aboard gentlemen! ;):D

The Fenwick For Pct. (FF%) stat is used a lot in the NHL and measures % of unblocked shots taken vs opponents. The Gophers are 51st out of 60 teams in FF% even strength indicating:

1) The offense has been severely outshot in unblocked shot attempts.
2) The defense has been allowing too many unblocked shot attempts

So you're both right...kinda.

Since the Gophers are 13th overall in SV% (.917 right behind OSU) that would suggest that despite the D allowing too many unblocked shot attempts, good goaltending (Robson and Schierhorn) has often bailed the team out. That correlates with the current overall GA @ 2.63 which is identical to last season and lowest over 5 previous seasons, the next lowest being the FF runner-up team of 2013-14 (2.10)

Shot totals per period indicate the Gophers have been outshot in every period, the third being the worst with a ranking of 50th. Their GF% and ranking of 32nd (2.79) would improve with an increase in SOG. This is mainly a problem with offensive production, not defense. Although D driving pucks from the perimeter into the shins of opposing players was a problem early, it seems to be happening less over the past few games.

Fenwick For Pct. (FF%) Close, % of unblocked shots taken vs opponents with a one goal difference in the score, may have predictive value indicating who will be left standing in the postseason given the majority of the top PWR teams currently rank high in this metric. The Gophers are 54th which may support the Gophers 3rd period SOG meltdown in close games this season.

For the record, the Gopher's overall SOG avg. is the lowest in recent history (27.6) and the Gophers rank 41st. There was never a team during Don Lucia's tenure with a SOG avg. less than 30+ even in his transition season of 1999-2000.

They've scored no more than two goals in nine of their 15 first-half games. Five of those nine games were losses and four were ties.

Two important road series with Notre Dame and Sparty on deck and the Gophers are ranked 56/60 in road goals (2 goals/game). As teams gear up for a second half surge, that's not gonna cut it. Gophers must find a way for quality SOG to increase road goals/game and the D needs to play better D. :)

trixR4kids
01-10-2019, 09:33 AM
Having better Dmen couldn't possibly help our offense go from mediocre to good and Bob is going with five forwards because he wants to make his PP worse :rolleyes:

SteveO
01-10-2019, 12:45 PM
Having better Dmen couldn't possibly help our offense go from mediocre to good and Bob is going with five forwards because he wants to make his PP worse :rolleyes:

I have to admit I haven't seen the configuration, but if Bob is sending out 5Fs on the PP, then it's a modified 1-3-1 four-forward Torpedo system which I've personally skated on in the past. The 5Fs setup is most likely two torpedo Fs, two halfbacks and a point (F instead of a D).

The emergence of a four-forward power play has become something of a norm in recent seasons in the NHL. Some teams (i.e. Panthers, Maple Leafs, etc.) have gone with a 5Fs PP based more on the principle that Fs naturally have better offensive skill, not necessarily because the D is bad. I think that may be the case with Bob trying out some new things on the PP.

Moreover, most SH goals are the result of a breakaway, often times because of a soft pass at the blue line which can be defended against with either a F or D. Therefore, some argue that a D’s defensive skill is not essential on the power play, and his lack of offensive skill may hinder PP success. In a sport where converting on a single power play can mean winning that game, NCAA teams may start to get a bit more creative in who they send out on those man-up opportunities.