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View Full Version : Minnesota Golden Gopher Season 2018-19: The Motzko Era Begins! Pt. 2



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SteveO
02-13-2019, 11:34 AM
With the sweep last weekend, the Gophers have now lost 6 straight to Penn St. and feasibly could see them again in the B1G tourney. Surprised by the comment on the D by Sheehy after a 7-2 loss last Friday night:


“If we were to look back at it, I don’t think it’s as bad as the score shows,” Sheehy said. “Our execution wasn’t there. Our effort was fine. We beat ourselves. We’ve been a pretty good defensive team all year and able to shut down some really good offenses. We weren’t there tonight as far as getting pucks out. We weren’t able to stop their attack.”

The Gophers battle @ #2 Buckeyes who are riding a 7 game winning streak.

OSU is getting some amazing goaltending from SO Tommy Nappier who has the #1 W% in the nation at .857 (11-1-2), GAA 1.60 and SV% .946.:eek:

Can the Gophers get at least a split?

D2D
02-13-2019, 11:54 AM
Given the difference in how the two teams have played all season I think coming out of Columbus with a split would be a huge achievement for the Gophers. Anything's possible, but in this case, just barely.

SteveO
02-13-2019, 12:05 PM
Given the difference in how the two teams have played all season I think coming out of Columbus with a split would be a huge achievement for the Gophers. Anything's possible, but in this case, just barely.

Send the Women's team instead? ;)

trixR4kids
02-13-2019, 12:10 PM
We have two Gopher threads now?

D2D
02-13-2019, 12:13 PM
Send the Women's team instead? ;)
https://www.uscho.com/rankings/d-i-womens-poll/ :)

SteveO
02-13-2019, 12:32 PM
We have two Gopher threads now?

If things don't workout for Bob, the other one will be relevant in about 3-5 years. :D

SteveO
02-13-2019, 12:47 PM
It used to be, it certainly wasn’t last year other than when Mittlestadt was on the ice. The team clearly got slower the last few years of his tenure and the D weren’t capable of making the types of stretch passes Reilly, Skjei, and other better dmen of gopher yesteryear used to make.

Motzko no longer has CM and his best player is playing a position he didn’t play during his first two years, not exactly shocking that the team took a step back this year, they’re simply not as talented as a year ago.

I was talking about the playbook, not execution. IMO CM's numbers overall fell short of the hype. This years squad will most likely pass last years in total goals scored. FR line and top line have been better in transition lately.

trixR4kids
02-13-2019, 02:58 PM
Even in terms of the playbook I feel like last year's team and even the year before just relied on the forwards getting super deep in their own D zone and breaking it out themselves. Whereas previous better Lucia teams with a more functional blue line would thread more stretch passes and transition quicker catching the opposition in more odd man situations.


This years squad will most likely pass last years in total goals scored.Having a top 5 PP (or whatever it is now) vs a horrific one probably accounts for most of the difference.

purpleinnebraska
02-13-2019, 04:05 PM
IMO CM's numbers overall fell short of the hype.

Probably a little true, although hard to compare. His post-draft season's PPG was considerably less than Keller, drafted one spot higher the year before, but were better than Norris or Bowers, 1st round picks taken after Mittelstadt, and essentially equal to Poehling's numbers from his post-draft season. Still, I'd consider Mittelstadt's year to have been a good one, even if it fell short of epic.

Bonin21
02-13-2019, 07:23 PM
Yes expectations were high, yes his surrounding cast was weak, and yes the last few series he dominated, but CM's one season with us was not great overall. Still we have to support him now in the show even though he should have played one more year with us.

D2D
02-13-2019, 09:30 PM
Even in terms of the playbook I feel like last year's team and even the year before just relied on the forwards getting super deep in their own D zone and breaking it out themselves. Whereas previous better Lucia teams with a more functional blue line would thread more stretch passes and transition quicker catching the opposition in more odd man situations.
I did think as the last season progressed, and especially in the 2nd half, that Ryan Lindgren began to really excel at breaking the puck out of the D zone. He often made that short, quick pass to an open forward who was in the open, away from the boards. The usual play for this year's D is to either throw it up the wall to a covered wing or to flip the puck high and hope for the best. :rolleyes:

SteveO
02-13-2019, 10:00 PM
Even in terms of the playbook I feel like last year's team and even the year before just relied on the forwards getting super deep in their own D zone and breaking it out themselves. Whereas previous better Lucia teams with a more functional blue line would thread more stretch passes and transition quicker catching the opposition in more odd man situations.

Having a top 5 PP (or whatever it is now) vs a horrific one probably accounts for most of the difference.

Agreed, the D & C early last season was getting really old. Tapered off a bit as the season progressed, but a more heavier dose of it was inserted early into the playbook. PP differential is +5, ES is -21 compared to last season.

Bonin21
02-13-2019, 10:02 PM
I did think as the last season progressed, and especially in the 2nd half, that Ryan Lindgren began to really excel at breaking the puck out of the D zone. He often made that short, quick pass to an open forward who was in the open, away from the boards. The usual play for this year's D is to either throw it up the wall to a covered wing or to flip the puck high and hope for the best. :rolleyes:

And Lindgren is a mostly defensive defenseman. There should be at least three guys on the roster at a time with the breakout skill he had. What we have is pathetic.

trixR4kids
02-14-2019, 01:15 AM
Yes expectations were high, yes his surrounding cast was weak, and yes the last few series he dominated, but CM's one season with us was not great overall. Still we have to support him now in the show even though he should have played one more year with us.It would've been far more fun to watch him on one of the better gopher teams.

Koho
02-14-2019, 06:17 AM
https://www.grandforksherald.com/sports/hockey/4569903-unds-recent-commits-give-window-recruiting-strategy

(See if that works, since I can't recall how to add a link.) If you haven't seen in other threads. Some interesting observations about programs age and performance this year.

ThePowerConference
02-14-2019, 07:44 AM
This is becoming to be quite a riddle. First, its fire Don! Then, hire Bob. Bob's gonna bring us to the promised land. Then, its fire Bob! Now what? The Motzko era begins part 2?

Slap Shot
02-14-2019, 08:01 AM
I sincerely doubt there are many out there calling for Bob's head and those that are should be ignored.

The Rube
02-14-2019, 08:02 AM
I sincerely doubt there are many out there calling for Bob's head and those that are should be ignored.

Which was the whole point of the real Part 2 thread. ;)

SteveO
02-14-2019, 01:09 PM
https://www.grandforksherald.com/sports/hockey/4569903-unds-recent-commits-give-window-recruiting-strategy

(See if that works, since I can't recall how to add a link.) If you haven't seen in other threads. Some interesting observations about programs age and performance this year.

As the article points out blue bloods typically attract the best 17 and 18-year-olds, many of whom have been or will be drafted by NHL teams. What we are seeing this season is the result many smaller schools in the top 20 going after players who will be 21-year-old freshmen. Entering college as a 21-year-old freshman means you’re 24 or 25 by your senior year, depending on your birth date. That means 17 or 18-year-olds going up against 24 or 25-year-olds puts blue bloods at a distinct disadvantage.

The Gophers have typically recruited young and I suspect Motzko will attempt to implement a new strategy over the next couple seasons.

A key in getting the right mix of young and old is identifying those promising late bloomers who have had a couple years in juniors. They’re typically older than average true freshman across the country, but they’re bigger, stronger, faster and more mature. They’re better focused in regards to academics as well.

trixR4kids
02-14-2019, 01:40 PM
I guess we'll see if that strategy pays off for UND, Berry is probably in desperation mode at this point and knows he needs some tangible results next year.


That means 17 or 18-year-olds going up against 24 or 25-year-olds puts blue bloods at a distinct disadvantage. Maybe, looking at some of the older teams there's a ton of consistently bad programs that are older and you have teams like Denver that have made the playoffs every year since 2008 that are consistently on the younger side (at least in terms of average age, maybe there's a better way to measure this). That said I'm just eyeballing it and haven't checked to see if there's any correlation there.