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Frozen4sioux

University of North Dakota 2018-19 Season

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9 hours ago, siouxfan512 said:

You’re not wrong about it being irrational, even though I’d love to see Hak back. The more concerning part than the losses is the lack of grit we have seen over the past two years. The teams seem out skilled and out worked. Even when Haks teams didn’t have as much skill they just seemed to have a different mentality. 

I agree with the out skilled, most nights. I don't agree with the outworked. I think this team, in particular, works very hard. They have to because they lack overall skill. 

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6 hours ago, Sioux1988 said:

I agree, that 5-1 game against St. Cloud we saw a lot of toughness and grit. The boys pushed back or even pushed first. That is something we don't see often from this group. Personally I'm in the camp that one or two classes has killed this team, specifically the juniors. Rhett is a leader, supposedly, but he just seems so apathetic (and constantly takes stupid penalties) and it's bleeding into the way some of our team plays (Mismash). I want guys like Senden leading the team, not the most talented guy but he never just goes through the motions, he's always on.

Does everyone think Rhett doesn't care? Honest question. I've heard this before and I'm not really sure and I don't see it. IMO, you get a letter at UND if you don't care or don't work hard. 

I 100% thinks he takes careless penalties and that has a lot to do with not being able to control emotions. He seems to get frustrated easily. However, I think the kid works hard, for sure. Watch him in the corners and in front of the net. Maybe it's because he's bigger and doesn't seem like he has to "work hard" to win a physical battle?

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5 minutes ago, stoneySIOUX said:

Does everyone think Rhett doesn't care? Honest question. I've heard this before and I'm not really sure and I don't see it. IMO, you get a letter at UND if you don't care or don't work hard. 

I 100% thinks he takes careless penalties and that has a lot to do with not being able to control emotions. He seems to get frustrated easily. However, I think the kid works hard, for sure. Watch him in the corners and in front of the net. Maybe it's because he's bigger and doesn't seem like he has to "work hard" to win a physical battle?

Sure he cares, a lot I’m sure.  Certain folks seem to think he’s something that he’s not.  He’s a typical 2nd/3rd line center that is great at draws and defensive responsibilities.  He’s a tough guy to play against 5x5.  He probably should be nowwhere close to a PP however.

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So now Jones is hurt...again. What is going on?  I’ve never seen so many guys get hurt during the week before.

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2 minutes ago, scpa0305 said:

Sure he cares, a lot I’m sure.  Certain folks seem to think he’s something that he’s not.  He’s a typical 2nd/3rd line center that is great at draws and defensive responsibilities.  He’s a tough guy to play against 5x5.  He probably should be nowwhere close to a PP however.

Yes! He's UND's standard Pogo, Brad Malone, etc. type. Big body, great in traffic, awesome on the draw, fantastic defensively. 

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3 minutes ago, scpa0305 said:

So now Jones is hurt...again. What is going on?  I’ve never seen so many guys get hurt during the week before.

Not sure, but I bet it's Bubbs' fault :D

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4 minutes ago, stoneySIOUX said:

Not sure, but I bet it's Bubbs' fault :D

If Jones is hurt we'll just blame it on bad "puck luck" like everything else that goes south for this team.

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2 minutes ago, Oxbow6 said:

If Jones is hurt we'll just blame it on bad "puck luck" like everything else that goes south for this team.

I guess he could have stepped on the puck :D

I am really curious, though. How could this or any injury be blamed on Bubbs? I don't understand this (not saying you're saying that, Ox). Are some suggesting that players are faking injuries?

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37 minutes ago, scpa0305 said:

So now Jones is hurt...again. What is going on?  I’ve never seen so many guys get hurt during the week before.

Say what? Can't find that news. 

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7 minutes ago, The Sicatoka said:

Say what? Can't find that news. 

From one of Brad's stories for Friday Ice Time:

Jones, whose goal drought is only at five games, might not have a chance to get back on track this weekend. The senior center practiced most of the week but didn’t go Thursday and is questionable for tonight.

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1 hour ago, stoneySIOUX said:

From one of Brad's stories for Friday Ice Time:

Jones, whose goal drought is only at five games, might not have a chance to get back on track this weekend. The senior center practiced most of the week but didn’t go Thursday and is questionable for tonight.

If no outright suggestion of injury, likely sickness and hopefully ready to go again for tomorrow. (AKA Bubs had an early week hoorah kegger with the boys and a couple of casualties were had)

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6 minutes ago, SiouxSherm94 said:

If no outright suggestion of injury, likely sickness and hopefully ready to go again for tomorrow. (AKA Bubs had an early week hoorah kegger with the boys and a couple of casualties were had)

Hahahaha blame Bubbs, for sure.

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3 minutes ago, SiouxSherm94 said:

It's a joke.

Right. I wasn't saying you were blaming him, but laughing that others could think it's Bubbs' fault.

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Just now, stoneySIOUX said:

Right. And I was going with the premise that Bubbs is being blamed for it.

Everything in the parentheses was 100% a joke. All fun and games, no fingers being pointed at anyone. Try not to hurt your brain thinking deeply about this. Not worth the effort.

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4 minutes ago, SiouxSherm94 said:

Everything in the parentheses was 100% a joke. All fun and games, no fingers being pointed at anyone. Try not to hurt your brain thinking deeply about this. Not worth the effort.

Got it. I wasn't saying you were blaming him, just to clarify. I thought you were going with the idea that Bubbs was being blamed for everything and thus, joking about that. 

Ugh. Sorry I jumped too hard. Been a rough few days on here, by me lol. 

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2 hours ago, Oxbow6 said:

If Jones is hurt we'll just blame it on bad "puck luck" like everything else that goes south for this team.

Since we can't use the Scheel being hurt mantra if we don't score, they thought they would sit Jones so that excuse is still in play.  We can also use the stats of when Jones is in and out of the lineup from this year and last.  ;)

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49 minutes ago, stoneySIOUX said:

Got it. I wasn't saying you were blaming him, just to clarify. I thought you were going with the idea that Bubbs was being blamed for everything and thus, joking about that. 

Ugh. Sorry I jumped too hard. Been a rough few days on here, by me lol. 

Haha, all good man. We're here for the same reason; credit to you on conveying our mutual line of thought when trying to identify the crux of this season's woes. 

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8 minutes ago, SiouxSherm94 said:

Haha, all good man. We're here for the same reason; credit to you on conveying our mutual line of thought when trying to identify the crux of this season's woes. 

To a fault, recently. I'm doing my best to stay off a pulpit :D hahaha.

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That's great news.
Now the only question would be if UND's season gets extended long enough to have him playing again.
 

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14 hours ago, jk said:

More than 15 years ago, I used to spend time here defending the program, as it had stumbled after Mr. Blais's two titles.  Then I defended Mr. Hakstol, who was a terrific GM and coach who just barely failed to win national titles.  I feel that Mr. Hakstol's main problem was that he built teams to win seven-game series, rather than a single-game elimination tournament.  With a different format, he probably wins titles in 2004, 2005 and 2011, perhaps also 2006 and 2007, and maybe a few others.  But it's tiring defending the program on the internet, so I haven't lately.  Now I feel the need again, and it's comical that some of the detractors are the same ones who were on Mr. Hakstol's case, and who probably were Mr. Berry's biggest fans almost three years ago.  Also, sadly, some current detractors are long-time reasonable fans that have surprised me.

I feel that the state of the program is not materially different than it was under Mr. Hakstol.  UND had a run of NHL first-round talent at forward from 2002-2008, and again from 2014-2017.  In between, the teams usually looked a lot like this one, with more skill up front but less at defense, but with a similar tight-checking style of play.  But "two missed NCAAs!"  2018 was basically no different from a number of seasons under Mr. Hakstol.  Pairwise #14 usually gets in, and last year it didn't.  From a rational evaluation standpoint, that's the same kind of season UND had a few times during the NCAA streak.  This season, although they may still qualify, it seems more likely that they actually miss with a Pairwise finish between 15-20.  But a top 20 Pairwise is not a sign of a program in disarray. 

How has the team played at the end of the year for Mr. Berry?  In 2016, but for 25 minutes against Denver, they put on a four-game clinic.  In 2017, they absolutely dominated BU and suffered a fate that is exhibit A for how dumb this sport can be.  They didn't allow a shot on goal for the entire first overtime period, they actually scored in overtime but had the goal dubiously reversed, and ultimately two future NHL stars combined to score a goal against them.  In 2018, they played a very good St. Cloud team into overtime before losing, then beat Duluth in a game that Duluth felt it needed to win to get into the NCAA tournament, which it won three weeks later.  UND was basically playing as well as the best teams in the country in March.  This season, it just finished four weeks against teams ranked something like #1,3,5 and 9 nationally.  They split with SCSU, dominating them 5-1 one night;  Lost a "hot goalie" game 2-1, with Denver's goalie stopping 45 of 46, before tying the next night;  Split with WMU, dominating them 5-1 one night.  Split with Duluth, dominating them 4-1 once.  That was in Denver without Poolman, and against Duluth without their goalie and essentially what would have been one of their two scoring lines in Jones, Mismash and JJ.

With the "hot goalie" and injuries, you can say "excuses."  Whatever word you want to use, a level-headed analysis considers the actual facts of the situation, and those are occurrences that likely affected the outcomes.  To be fair, St. Cloud had ill players when they got waxed, and all teams deal with injuries.  Even setting aside these mitigating circumstances, the truth, both from the results and the play on the ice, is that UND is playing just as well as the top teams in the country.  Could a program in disarray do that?  

The main things I read here are: 1) They are much less talented than nearly everyone.  2) They are poorly coached.  3) They don't show up.  Given that they are playing as well as the best teams in the country, those three things cannot all be true.  All of those deficiencies would doom a team, they would be like Canisius (!).  In fact, even just one of them probably makes a team uncompetitive against top opponents.  Which suggests that actually none of them are accurate.

Of course Canisius will ultimately be the reason they fail to qualify for the tournament, if that happens.  It is unfortunately another one of those things that happen in hockey.  The much-derided shots on goal actually do usually reflect play, and if you drop two games when you outshoot the opponent 82-30, you just shake your head and try to make up for it the next week.

I'm personally proud of how they have persevered, the coaches and players.  My timing for this post may be off, because I suspect next weekend maybe as tough or tougher than the last four.  CC has been consistently good, and at times excellent, since Christmas, and they are hungry and playing at altitude.  I still expect another strong effort from UND, both this weekend and for the rest of the year.  I also think the next three or four years look to continue the run of excellence that started in about 1996, with only a few dips along the way.  

Well said

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16 hours ago, jk said:

More than 15 years ago, I used to spend time here defending the program, as it had stumbled after Mr. Blais's two titles.  Then I defended Mr. Hakstol, who was a terrific GM and coach who just barely failed to win national titles.  I feel that Mr. Hakstol's main problem was that he built teams to win seven-game series, rather than a single-game elimination tournament.  With a different format, he probably wins titles in 2004, 2005 and 2011, perhaps also 2006 and 2007, and maybe a few others.  But it's tiring defending the program on the internet, so I haven't lately.  Now I feel the need again, and it's comical that some of the detractors are the same ones who were on Mr. Hakstol's case, and who probably were Mr. Berry's biggest fans almost three years ago.  Also, sadly, some current detractors are long-time reasonable fans that have surprised me.

I feel that the state of the program is not materially different than it was under Mr. Hakstol.  UND had a run of NHL first-round talent at forward from 2002-2008, and again from 2014-2017.  In between, the teams usually looked a lot like this one, with more skill up front but less at defense, but with a similar tight-checking style of play.  But "two missed NCAAs!"  2018 was basically no different from a number of seasons under Mr. Hakstol.  Pairwise #14 usually gets in, and last year it didn't.  From a rational evaluation standpoint, that's the same kind of season UND had a few times during the NCAA streak.  This season, although they may still qualify, it seems more likely that they actually miss with a Pairwise finish between 15-20.  But a top 20 Pairwise is not a sign of a program in disarray. 

How has the team played at the end of the year for Mr. Berry?  In 2016, but for 25 minutes against Denver, they put on a four-game clinic.  In 2017, they absolutely dominated BU and suffered a fate that is exhibit A for how dumb this sport can be.  They didn't allow a shot on goal for the entire first overtime period, they actually scored in overtime but had the goal dubiously reversed, and ultimately two future NHL stars combined to score a goal against them.  In 2018, they played a very good St. Cloud team into overtime before losing, then beat Duluth in a game that Duluth felt it needed to win to get into the NCAA tournament, which it won three weeks later.  UND was basically playing as well as the best teams in the country in March.  This season, it just finished four weeks against teams ranked something like #1,3,5 and 9 nationally.  They split with SCSU, dominating them 5-1 one night;  Lost a "hot goalie" game 2-1, with Denver's goalie stopping 45 of 46, before tying the next night;  Split with WMU, dominating them 5-1 one night.  Split with Duluth, dominating them 4-1 once.  That was in Denver without Poolman, and against Duluth without their goalie and essentially what would have been one of their two scoring lines in Jones, Mismash and JJ.

With the "hot goalie" and injuries, you can say "excuses."  Whatever word you want to use, a level-headed analysis considers the actual facts of the situation, and those are occurrences that likely affected the outcomes.  To be fair, St. Cloud had ill players when they got waxed, and all teams deal with injuries.  Even setting aside these mitigating circumstances, the truth, both from the results and the play on the ice, is that UND is playing just as well as the top teams in the country.  Could a program in disarray do that?  

The main things I read here are: 1) They are much less talented than nearly everyone.  2) They are poorly coached.  3) They don't show up.  Given that they are playing as well as the best teams in the country, those three things cannot all be true.  All of those deficiencies would doom a team, they would be like Canisius (!).  In fact, even just one of them probably makes a team uncompetitive against top opponents.  Which suggests that actually none of them are accurate.

Of course Canisius will ultimately be the reason they fail to qualify for the tournament, if that happens.  It is unfortunately another one of those things that happen in hockey.  The much-derided shots on goal actually do usually reflect play, and if you drop two games when you outshoot the opponent 82-30, you just shake your head and try to make up for it the next week.

I'm personally proud of how they have persevered, the coaches and players.  My timing for this post may be off, because I suspect next weekend maybe as tough or tougher than the last four.  CC has been consistently good, and at times excellent, since Christmas, and they are hungry and playing at altitude.  I still expect another strong effort from UND, both this weekend and for the rest of the year.  I also think the next three or four years look to continue the run of excellence that started in about 1996, with only a few dips along the way.  

Wait, THIS team with a lot of skill up front but less at defense? That perfectly describes the opposite of this team, so maybe you typed that backward.

I don't believe Brad Berry has driven (or is) driving this team into the ground, but I do believe it's obvious that he's out of his realm as a head coach at this level. I think his coaching style and personality are PERFECT fits for being a fantastic assistant coach, but he doesn't fit the bill as a Head coach. 3 seasons in and he still seems uncomfortable and hesitant a lot of the time. More importantly he's not making the hard decisions of cutting kids who didn't pan out, and that dead weight is holding this team back from competing at the normal high level you see from UND. Depth is tremendously important at this level due to the long hard season full of injuries and sicknesses. This team really might be 2-3 guys away from being top 5 in the country, but we'll never know with guys like Johnson, Yon, Rieger and Bob Anderson on the team. Great kids I'm sure, but they're dead weight to this team and could've been replaced by others either 1 or 2 years ago but were not. The Jr. class has been a failure to this program, so maybe things will start panning out after they get worked through.

The other big traditional hockey rich schools around the country are all struggling as well, so that gives me some comfort in knowing this isn't an isolated situation at UND, and that some of the blame goes to the changing landscape of college hockey. With that said, I think it's obvious UND has the facilities and campus+community support like no other hockey program in the country and should have an advantage over everyone for recruits, and it just hasn't been happening. I'm glad to see the pipeline coming in looks strong, because it makes me hopeful things are turning around after this long drawn out break-in period. It makes me glad because I know Berry is locked into a 5 year deal so he's probably not going anywhere. 

Pretty much every college team everywhere is going to have off-ice issues, so that's a given, but I feel like it's going to keep getting worse and will have repeating offenders under a soft coach. I would've been scare to piss off Hak or Blais, but I'm not too sure I'd really be too scared of messing up under Berry. 

So again, I don't think Berry is driving this program into the dirt, I just think he's going to do a good job at keeping the team about where they're at right now and where they've been the last few seasons: Middle of the pack, average, just missing the cut type of team with a good mix of a few highly skilled players, a larger amount of lower skill grinding style players, and a handful of good locker room style nice kids that bring nothing to the table and that'll hang around all 4 years providing no depth. 

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