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About jk

  1. I'm of two minds on this year's team. On the optimistic side, the team that showed up to play the last three games of last year was simply outstanding, and that evaluation doesn't have much to do with Boeser and Jost. Top to bottom, and from the net out, every player seemed to be playing championship style hockey. When they beat Denver in a beauty of a game to watch, I was pretty sure only Denver stood between UND and another national title. Of course I was wrong, but not by much. The ensuing loss to Duluth was a story of Poolman's injury and the team's adjustment to it. They were rattled, but regained their composure. And I can't complain about any aspect of their play against BU. Sometimes these unjust results happen in hockey. (Both ways. See UND's win over Ferris in the regionals a few years ago.) That's a roundabout way of getting to my point, which is that UND was a very good team at the end of last year, and a lot of that team is back. I personally think they're underrated both in the conference and nationally. On the other hand, stepping back to look at the bigger picture, this team resembles more the teams from the "in between years", those after the Parise/Toews/Oshie talent bubble and before the Caggiula/Schmaltz/Boeser run, than it does any of those loaded teams. When Spring arrived, I thought every one of those in-between-year teams had a chance to win it all, but most of them failed to even make the Frozen Four. These were the Yale, UNH type of exits. Which of me is right? We'll see in due time.
  2. It's not a huge deal for me either way, but I preferred the Target Center overall. I work in downtown Mpls., it's a much easier drive from my home, parking is a lot easier, and restaurants are more plentiful. The rink is better in St. Paul, but that's the only plus on my ledger.
  3. Prospective Sioux Recruits

    Pretty much not worried at all about recruiting. When you can only come up with maybe two schools that are outrecruiting you (and that's debatable) -- Denver and BU, you must be doing pretty well. Plus there are so many guys who were not hotshot 17 year olds who end up playing crucial roles. Ladue and the Poolmans (hopefully on the second one) come to mind. Also, UND played those two schools at the end of the year, and didn't appear to give an inch to either, to put it mildly in the case of BU. I'll take my chances with UND's team this upcoming year, and in future years given the recruiting pipeline.

    Denver was built to repeat, but Nick Schmaltz put an end to that.

    Although I wasn't pulling for them, Duluth looked a lot like a lot of UND teams in the third, taking the body, very aggressive. If some of those FF's had been officiated like tonight's game was, Hak would have gotten his title about ten years ago. Duluth could have spent a lot more time in the box. Also, besides the running-the-goalie thing, Pionk looks like a heck of a player.

    Was pulling for Denver, but gotta say Duluth really brought the heat. Very impressive.

    After the Denver game, I was pretty sure the only team that could stop the repeat was Denver. Then that abomination of a game the next night ended that, with Duluth taking out arguably UND's best player and certainly its best defenseman. Even without him, they were extremely impressive against BU, with only the bizarreness of hockey preventing a win. You can bring all your facts and logic into it, and a reasonable person would have to agree, but that's not me. The eye test said they were headed back to this game.

    Each of Denver's opponents have found themselves totally in over their heads. Just basically shocked at the level of play and unable to adjust. Sound familiar? Ask Northeastern, Michigan and Quinnipiac how it felt. Duluth will not be in shock. They are a veteran team and have been through the meat grinder NCHC. They are used to playing in close games, and they have a lights-out goalie. I think they've been lucky as hell to get here, and Denver is by far the better team, but I think it'll be close. If anything, Denver might be the team that needs to adjust to an upgraded opponent, as they haven't really met a worthy adversary since they played UND.
  9. Word on USCHO a while ago was that it was due to a DUI from a number of years earlier. I don't vouch for the info, but that is what the talk was.
  10. I've been kicking around a PP theory, although I haven't researched it. It starts with the premise that UND has underperformed on the PP since Blais was the coach. That may not be true, according to the numbers, but it feels that way. UND pretty much perennially has top 10 talent, and I think it's fairly often in the top 10 in goal scoring, but I feel like it's not often in the top 10 in PP success. If that's not true, then the rest of this is pointless. I recall wishing the great teams of the late 1990s could decline PPs, because they just seemed to rob the teams of their momentum. They were on their toes a lot, heavy forecheck, lots of energy. That style of play has carried over through two coaching changes, and you saw it on full display against BU. UND gave BU little time to get anything going, and were very aggressive. The Sioux had the puck most of the game. I think UND recruits guys who fit that style, and I'm not sure that is well suited to the standing-still game that is the PP. Think of guys like Gardner, Poganski, JJ, Hoff, Bowen, Yon, Smith. I think of them on the move, hounding opposing defenses. Then think of SCSU's PP, which I have to think is usually top 10; those guys are deadly. They ping the puck around, rarely giving you the chance to attack a bobble. If there's anything to this, we may not have the guys for an elite PP, not because they're bad, or the coaching is bad, but because they're better at other things.
  11. Without looking I was thinking goals from the defense may go up. You lose Tucker but everyone else, none of whom are defense-only mashers, matures. Then I looked and the numbers aren't as encouraging. Goals from the defense last year: 19 Goals from the defense in 2015-16: 26 Hard to see doing much better than that group a few years ago.
  12. Early departures 2017

    It's early.
  13. Early departures 2017

    I'm a big fan of both Hakstol and Berry, but you're joking, right? Numerous times they needed to go on a huge winning streak to get in.
  14. Early departures 2017

    Surprised by the one-and-done (pretty unusual here), but have to thank him and wish him well. Now the four incoming forwards make more sense.
  15. A fancy line: Adams Kawaguchi Gersich A heavy line: Gardner Olsen Mismash In your face forecheck line: Janatuinen Hoff Bowen Simonson, Gornall, Smith, Jones, Yon, Wilkie