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



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SteveO
01-25-2019, 08:19 AM
The river is frozen, so no fatalities, but some broken bones to go with the broken spirits and hearts. Thanks for caring.

Tell them all is not lost. You're playing the schizoid (emotionally aloof) Gophers. We're good at making bad teams look fantastic. ;)

trixR4kids
01-25-2019, 08:29 AM
Given their inconsistency, do the Gophers as a whole actually suffer from bipolar disorder?Honestly the team is pretty consistent, they tend to get out shot horribly at even strength but occasionally get some good breaks in terms of shooting luck and hope Robson is near perfect in the games where they do (Notre Dame game 1, Michigan, Duluth, and they were incredibly lucky to get two ties in the OSU series). Other days where they get out shot they don't have as much shooting luck and Robson isn't perfect (MSUM and MSU series) and they lose. It's similar to that CO team the Wild beat in 7 games many years ago or the Toronto team that got beat by Boston in that ridiculous game 7 comeback the same year, they have some guys with decent shots and great goalies but for the most part they're getting pummeled and then throw a wild haymaker that connects somehow (and then the year after with the same roster they miss the playoffs entirely as their luck regresses).

dxmnkd316
01-25-2019, 08:57 AM
It's kinda telling that there isn't a border battle thread, I don't think either fanbase is all that happy with their team or excited to watch them right now.

I'll probably watch unless I hear of something better to do tomorrow night, I've kinda been in the same place all year, mostly just watching to see the third line and how they play/improve from week to week and see if anyone or the team as a whole shows any improvement etc. Not seeing a whole lot of evidence of the latter, they still get outshot every game, the freshmen line seems to be the only one that forechecks hard and buys into what the coach is preaching, the D on the whole look more or less like they did a year ago, the even strength offense is still puttering along for the most part. I kinda hoped that there would be more signs of improvement by this point in the year but maybe that was an unrealistic expectation when most of the former regime's players are still here.

Game day threads have died. Only a select group of fanbases still do them.

Timothy A
01-25-2019, 09:13 AM
Tell them all is not lost. You're playing the schizoid (emotionally aloof) Gophers. We're good at making bad teams look fantastic. ;)

UW isn't entirely bad, as long as they don't take any penalties and avoid any faceoffs, they might just be ok.

trixR4kids
01-25-2019, 09:36 AM
Game day threads have died. Only a select group of fanbases still do them.There definitely was a thread for the first border battle this year.

Slap Shot
01-25-2019, 09:55 AM
Honestly the team is pretty consistent, they tend to get out shot horribly at even strength...

ES SOG/game are 21.5 for and 25.8 against or 4.3/game or 1.43/period less. TSA ES are nearly as close 41.2 for and 47.9 against.

It's still a disparity we're not used to seeing from Gophers teams and I think some if it stems less from puck possession and more from being too cute with the puck and making 1 pass too many. I admit that is only an observation as I couldn't find any advanced metrics regarding passing.

trixR4kids
01-25-2019, 10:46 AM
ES SOG/game are 21.5 for and 25.8 against or 4.3/game or 1.43/period less. TSA ES are nearly as close 41.2 for and 47.9 against.

It's still a disparity we're not used to seeing from Gophers teams and I think some if it stems less from puck possession and more from being too cute with the puck and making 1 pass too many. I admit that is only an observation as I couldn't find any advanced metrics regarding passing.For frame of reference that shot ratio would put them around 28th or 29th place in the NHL, near ANA and LA. Not good.

The bigger of the two issues seems to be shot suppression more than shots for, the shots against at even per game is 7th worst in the nation (shots for is slightly below average, which is certainly not where a typical good Gopher team would be either). Personally I don't mind the team bleeding that many shots if you have Robson in net and you put up PSU/Michigan/Duluth shot totals (padded stats aside). It makes for an exciting back and forth game. I think that's ideally how Motzko would play and is trying to get this team to play but they just don't have the pieces yet.

The gap control at the blue line and failed breakout attempts have a lot to do with the shots against. With the shots for being mediocre it's a combination of the D contributing nothing in that dept as well as a lack of center depth that was noticeable even before the year began. Pitlick switching to the center position and being the top line center isn't ideal, which isn't to say he's a bad player he's just a bit out of his depth. I remember when he was center earlier in his career before Lucia switched him to Kloos' wing and that was a common theme back then as well. He likely gets the most minutes of any center and his line generally gets out shot. Not entirely unexpected but that's just the state of our center depth. And we all know Novak never shoots the **** puck though he's almost even in shot differential, not entirely sure how to explain that one. Walker line is the one line that's on the right end of that equation. The fourth line gets caved in pretty regularly (not sure how much ice time they get but most seem to think too much).

I tend to give the D a lot of grief obviously but this isn't exactly a great group of forwards either. The fact that Pitlick had to switch positions to become the top line center tells you everything you need to know about Novak's progression here and how much losing CM sooner than expected hurt.

Slap Shot
01-25-2019, 12:01 PM
I don't care as much about where they rank for shots against I look at the disparity between what they give up and what they take. The fact is they're giving up 6.7 more TSA per game then they take (2.2/period) and 4.3 more actual shots on net per game or 1.43 per period. That's negligible in the grand scheme of things. I agree with you though they can do better here (and should) and could improve as simply as stopping unnecessary passes that result in turnovers.

D2D
01-25-2019, 12:15 PM
I agree with you though they can do better here (and should) and could improve as simply as stopping unnecessary passes that result in turnovers.
Do you mean me?
Tommy N.

Slap Shot
01-25-2019, 12:16 PM
Do you mean me?
Tommy N.

#1 with a bullet. :)

burd
01-25-2019, 12:17 PM
There are so many top programs losing a lot of games the last couple of years. I wonder if there is anything to take away from schools like Maine and MSU, which had very strong programs but just seemed to fade away. Minnesota will never do that, but still . . .

trixR4kids
01-25-2019, 12:31 PM
I don't care as much about where they rank for shots against I look at the disparity between what they give up and what they take. The fact is they're giving up 6.7 more TSA per game then they take (2.2/period) and 4.3 more actual shots on net per game or 1.43 per period. That's negligible in the grand scheme of things. I agree with you though they can do better here (and should) and could improve as simply as stopping unnecessary passes that result in turnovers.It sounds negligible but not many teams are successful at that ratio and over the course of a season it adds up. Some of the worst teams in the NHL are at that ratio and Anaheim was on a 12 game losing streak. Obviously this team is a .500 squad at that ratio with maybe the best goalie in the country.

Slap Shot
01-25-2019, 12:38 PM
It sounds negligible but not many teams are successful at that ratio and over the course of a season it adds up.

Well you're comparing their disparity to the NHL which is not necessarily apples/apples so unless I can see NCAA data imho 1 less SOG per period is highly unlikely to be their biggest undoing.

trixR4kids
01-25-2019, 12:51 PM
Well you're comparing their disparity to the NHL which is not necessarily apples/apples so unless I can see NCAA data imho 1 less SOG per period is highly unlikely to be their biggest undoing.Yeah but that's on the entire season and includes series against ****ty teams like Ferris and STL. Our ratio against teams that are actually going to make the playoffs is abysmal.

And the only real difference between the NHL and college (in terms of the distribution of this stat) is the talent disparity between the top and bottom teams which with the parity of the NCAA increasing, isn't as big a difference anymore.

SteveO
01-25-2019, 02:52 PM
UW isn't entirely bad, as long as they don't take any penalties and avoid any faceoffs, they might just be ok.

Doesn't matter. Even if we didn't do faceoffs, the Gophers would just take it down and shoot it into someone's shin guards. I must admit when I read the numbers you posted I have to agree. You guys are a **** show.

Mat Robson is unbeaten against the BADgers (3-0-0).

BTN Reporter: You're unbeaten against the Wisconsin Badgers, can you keep the streak going tonight?
Robson: Sure, no problem.
BTN Reporter: You look pretty relaxed out there, can you do that against this sometimes tenacious Wisconsin team?
Robson: Sure, no problem.
BTN Reporter: Well, thank you Mat.
Robson: (Fill in the blank) _____________.

Slap Shot
01-25-2019, 03:54 PM
Yeah but that's on the entire season and includes series against ****ty teams like Ferris and STL. Our ratio against teams that are actually going to make the playoffs is abysmal.

And the only real difference between the NHL and college (in terms of the distribution of this stat) is the talent disparity between the top and bottom teams which with the parity of the NCAA increasing, isn't as big a difference anymore.

Bottom line is your line of argument is not verifiable thanks.

trixR4kids
01-25-2019, 04:38 PM
What isnít verifiable? All the stats are publicly available and thereís a moderate correlation between getting out shot and losing games. Getting outshot by like 20 shots every time you play a good team like Duluth, OSU, MSUM (and maybe Notre Dame?) isnít a long term recipe for success, thatís certainly verifiable.

Heck the team is currently .500 and needs to win 9 straight for a PWR at large despite having one of the best goalies in the nation and an average shooting %, itís pretty obvious what the problem is.

Just eye balling it quickly thereís two teams (NE and WMU) in the top 13 of the PWR currently with a negative EV shot differential.

The Rube
01-25-2019, 09:51 PM
The good: scoring 9
The bad: our defensive play/giving up 4 goals
The ugly: almost blowing a 3 goal lead, while dominating during that time

state of hockey
01-25-2019, 10:04 PM
Scoring 9 is fun, sure. But I didn't leave the arena terribly impressed. Happy, but not impressed.

trixR4kids
01-25-2019, 11:07 PM
It was a weird game, Berry was awful and then later the two bizarre bounces bought the team some wiggle room though WI kept closing the gap. Robson low key had another great game even if he let in four, he faced a lot of good chances and eventually they started going in as the game wore on.

Glad to see Walker pot a couple goals to ice the game, Sadek showed some offensive instinct jumping into the play to pot the first goal (though ideally weíd see more of that from a Dman who isnít a senior), and the team was relatively disciplined in terms of staying out of the box.

I imagine tomorrow will be tighter and the WI goalies wonít be a total train wreck but this is a sweepable series.