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Thread: Minnesota Golden Gopher Season 2019-2020: Motzko 2.0

  1. #81
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    Re: Minnesota Golden Gopher Season 2019-2020: Motzko 2.0

    Sweep!
    Potential downside is Nanne was not on the bench in the 3rd and no word yet as to why.

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    Re: Minnesota Golden Gopher Season 2019-2020: Motzko 2.0

    Quote Originally Posted by Greyeagle View Post
    Is this a trick question?
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vjOrOMVFCbs

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    Re: Minnesota Golden Gopher Season 2019-2020: Motzko 2.0

    Quote Originally Posted by Greyeagle View Post
    Sweep!
    Potential downside is Nanne was not on the bench in the 3rd and no word yet as to why.
    In his post-game comments Motzko said Nanne was injured while delivering a big hit on a Niagara player. He tried to go after that ("He's a really tough kid") but was not at full strength and sat the rest of the game. But preliminary doctor exam post-game indicates nothing too serious. They'll know more on Monday or Tuesday.
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    Re: Minnesota Golden Gopher Season 2019-2020: Motzko 2.0

    From the USCHO write-up for the weekend:

    10. A B1G start

    The Big Ten was 8-2-0 on the weekend against nonconference opponents, bolstering its inter-conference record after two weeks to 16-6-2 for the best (.708) win percentage so far in Division I.
    Obviously this doesn't mean it's the best conference in any way, but it can only help (if mostly maintained) when the PWR starts becoming a factor next year.

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    Re: Minnesota Golden Gopher Season 2019-2020: Motzko 2.0

    Quote Originally Posted by Slap Shot View Post
    Obviously this doesn't mean it's the best conference in any way, but it can only help (if mostly maintained) when the PWR starts becoming a factor next year.
    Yes a small sample size and it's still early in the season, but there's little question that it's a promising start for the B1G
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    Re: Minnesota Golden Gopher Season 2019-2020: Motzko 2.0

    Gophers sneak in at No. 20 in today's poll. With their 1-3 start the two-time defending national champion Bulldogs fall to No. 8. Of course this means nothing, other than the experts still judging UMD to be the better team.

    https://www.uscho.com/rankings/d-i-mens-poll/

    There is no question that gaining split would be a major accomplishment for the young Gophers. After last season's early loss and tie there is also little question that the Dogs will be out to right the ship and seek revenge against their in-state rival.
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    Re: Minnesota Golden Gopher Season 2019-2020: Motzko 2.0

    Quote Originally Posted by D2D View Post
    Gophers sneak in at No. 20 in today's poll. With their 1-3 start the two-time defending national champion Bulldogs fall to No. 8. Of course this means nothing, other than the experts still judging UMD to be the better team.

    https://www.uscho.com/rankings/d-i-mens-poll/

    There is no question that gaining split would be a major accomplishment for the young Gophers. After last season's early loss and tie there is also little question that the Dogs will be out to right the ship and seek revenge against their in-state rival.
    UMD is 1-3 and they were severely outplayed by the BADgers last weekend. They'll come out of the gate strong Friday night, desperate for a W. I expect a hard fought series. But I think the Gophers will defend home ice.

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    Re: Minnesota Golden Gopher Season 2019-2020: Motzko 2.0

    Quote Originally Posted by SteveO View Post
    I expect a hard fought series. But I think the Gophers will defend home ice.
    Sure hope you're right!
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    Re: Minnesota Golden Gopher Season 2019-2020: Motzko 2.0

    Quote Originally Posted by D2D View Post
    Sure hope you're right!
    So do I. Despite a few miscues, I like what I see. Their resilence and energy earned them three come from behind wins and the new guys are beginning to step up and contribute. LaFontaine has been very good in net, and sees this as a chance to showcase his talent against the defending champion. His previous two seasons in the NCAA were not good. So he's got something to prove.

    UMD will probably run a 1-2-2 forecheck, so Nanne jumping up in the rush and getting pucks behind the Bulldogs D will be keys to zone time for the Gophers. Gopher PP is at 31.25% and ranked 6th in the nation. UMD has struggled on the PP (16.6%) and the PK . I think with the pace and physicality, the Gopher PP could be a game changer. Good test for this team and all things considered they've got a shot at defending home ice.
    Last edited by SteveO; 10-24-2019 at 06:59 PM.

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    Re: Minnesota Golden Gopher Season 2019-2020: Motzko 2.0

    Game day!!

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    Re: Minnesota Golden Gopher Season 2019-2020: Motzko 2.0

    Quote Originally Posted by Slap Shot View Post
    Game day!!
    Looking for a big crowd and a much improved atmosphere in the building tonight!
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    Re: Minnesota Golden Gopher Season 2019-2020: Motzko 2.0

    Was Bobby Brink ever a UM recruit? for some reason the name sounds familiar now he's at Denver
    Last edited by UMD21; 10-25-2019 at 02:30 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by UMD21 View Post
    Was Bobby Brink ever a UM recruit? for some reason the name sounds familiar now he's at Denver
    Not certain if they recruited him or not. I know his father was a Gopher, but that's about it.

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    Re: Minnesota Golden Gopher Season 2019-2020: Motzko 2.0

    Are you sure you're not thinking of Brinkman?
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    Re: Minnesota Golden Gopher Season 2019-2020: Motzko 2.0

    Quote Originally Posted by state of hockey View Post
    Not certain if they recruited him or not. I know his father was a Gopher, but that's about it.
    Of course they recruited him.

    He chose DU

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    Re: Minnesota Golden Gopher Season 2019-2020: Motzko 2.0

    Quote Originally Posted by Bonin21 View Post
    Of course they recruited him.

    He chose DU
    There was some talk about the possibility of Brink being flipped to the U, but it was all hearsay.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bonin21 View Post
    Of course they recruited him.

    He chose DU
    Neat.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dxmnkd316 View Post
    Are you sure you're not thinking of Brinkman?
    Yea Iím sure. And maybe Iím mixing Brink up with who I was thinking of (his name was definitely mentioned a lot around Gopher boards though). Someone who was recruited/committed to the U but suddenly things turned around and decommitted for whatever reason, or academics, etc.

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    Re: Minnesota Golden Gopher Season 2019-2020: Motzko 2.0

    MN got owned along the boards last night and won very few 1:1 puck battles. They did show some signs of life, which made the game fun to watch, but then UMD would start throwing the body around and MN would disappear. Still saw some signs of hope and they will hopefully learn from the experience.

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    Re: Minnesota Golden Gopher Season 2019-2020: Motzko 2.0

    Quote Originally Posted by Greyeagle View Post
    MN got owned along the boards last night and won very few 1:1 puck battles. They did show some signs of life, which made the game fun to watch, but then UMD would start throwing the body around and MN would disappear. Still saw some signs of hope and they will hopefully learn from the experience.
    Here are many of my observations (some maybe tainted by Scoobiesque pessimism):
    1. Due to the age, I don't feel like this team is loaded in talent. I don't feel, like some have projected, 'wait til mid-season' because we have so much talent that is just too young. I don't know that we have replaced or improved in offense from last year. Comparing to last year, I don't know that I would say Walker is a clear replacement for Pitlick, or that they then have replaced Walkers production (BMW line) with one of the Freshman. (In other words, feel maybe lost more than gained.) So I don't see this team winning lot of games by out-finessing other teams. They will need to learn to out-work them for 60 minutes, using their speed. (This weekend, I feel like they lost a lot of races they could have won.)
    2. I think Brodzinski could have used the year of Juniors his Dad wanted him to have. Hope he starts to standout.
    3. Ranta looks to have matured and often stands out, just needs to stop gripping stick so hard and I think goals will start to come. He might have a very good season.
    4. Reedy, who a lot like to point out negatively, looks to be improved and is winning a lot of battles. Like the Ranta, Reedy, McManus line.
    5. There are a lot of detractors for Nanne, but I think he plays very well both ways and sets a good example.
    6. I am relieved to see goalies performing well. Too early to say if one of them will become a game-stealer, which would be nice to have with such a young team. They look like they will at least play at a level where they stop what they should to give the team a chance. Given the question mark with losing both goalies, that is a relief.
    7. LaComb sure is proving the definition of high-risk, high-reward. Very confident and skilled with puck, but can be counted on to make it interesting for his goalie too, so far. If he can start to reduce the risk side, and continues to develop offensively, he could turn into a special player in another year, or two if he stays.
    8. Johnson is also smooth and it is nice to see such an improvement in the D corp offensively. Haven't noticed as many mistakes either.
    9. I have to call out one play last night. When Gophs were on a PP, and the D pinched in, Burke went to cover the point and had worse positioning that a PeeWee. The Dog got around him and carried into the zone, and instead of getting between the player and his goal, Burke tried to reach around behind the player on the outside to play the puck. Could have resulted in a free path to the net. Even a forward should know basic positioning in that situation.
    10. Meyers definitely has some flashes of skill and I like him with MW. (Although the naming options don't sound as good as BMW: WMM, MWM, M2W? Think Motsko will try Walker on a different line for a home game and insert number 7 so they can be the 3M line to make the arena sponsors happy?)
    11. The other freshman forwards look like they will contribute at times, but none of them look to be surprise contributors as Freshman at this point.
    12. Overall, Watching this weekend, I just didn't feel like the talent matched what we saw from UMD. (Not that I expected them to be the most talented team in the country when so young, just assessing where they are and the projection that some seem to have that in a year this will for sure be a top team.) And more so, for this team to be the team that everyone needs to watch out for next year, I don't feel like this class is necessarily performing at a level that projects that. The forwards are doing well, but not exceptional, IMO. I have not watched any of their games, but it seems the buzz is that the new players on Wisconsin, for example, are having an immediate impact. (And obviously, that might mean some aren't here next year.) If those players on teams like Wisconsin stick around another year, it would mean that the Gopher players would have to accelerate more, to catch or pass them. (And I realize this is too early to know. I can think of players who did little in the beginning of their freshman year, and exploded in the later part, as well as kids who stood out in the first few games and faded.)

    Over all, I still think this is a good freshman class, especially on Defense, but I just don't think on the offensive side there are they types of players like Walker last year that stand out immediately as guys who look like they will be standouts in a year or two. But on the other hand, I don't see guys who look like they were complete misses either.

    Don't get me wrong. When people were 'hoping for a split' this weekend, I was hoping for a sweep, as I always do. Don't expect it, but that is what I'm hoping for. And I have gone to the last few Bulldog games in Duluth and am tired of walking out without a win. Worse because I go with a couple where the guy cheers for the dogs, because they are close by, but probably only watches them if I get tickets or if they are in the Championship because he isn't a big hockey fan. (I feel like it almost makes it worse when a guy is celebrating next to you when you know it doesn't mean nearly as much to him. A minute after the game is over it is out of his head.) I live for the day to see the Gophs in the Championship again, but realize that the landscape has changed, where any one team being dominant and a contender for a long period is much more difficult now given the parity. Probably more so now than 20 years ago, there is a certain amount of luck in both having some players turn out better than expected, and to generate the right chemistry to outwork even more talented teams. I think for this year trying to develop a team attitude of out-willing other teams is what will be needed. (And sometimes it seems that can be easier to do with young teams.)

    So, there is plenty for people to discuss if they read all of the above, and that is the point.......

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