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gopherjay
02-07-2009, 09:45 PM
get guys back from the NHL? Brutal

parkinglotgopher
02-10-2009, 10:13 AM
Now we're seeing the downside to a recruiting strategy that lacked a little bit of foresight.

The staff went out and landed the biggest fish they could. If this was the 1970s, we'd have banners on top of banners from the past 6-8 years (to be fair, we have several), but with early defections, there's more to hockey recruiting now than just landing the best kids in the nation. It's a similar situation to basketball. Loading up on talent is great, but getting the right mixture of superstars and four-year players is what's become essential.

I'm confident the staff has noticed this as well, having had one of the youngest teams in the nation several years in a row now. I would imagine you'll see more recruiting that will focus on a balance of top-flight talent that may only play for a year or two and solid players with full Gopher careers ahead of them.

GopherFan75
02-11-2009, 06:33 PM
True, but how do you say no when someone like Kessel, Johnson, or Okposo wants to come play for you? Even if you know they may not be here long, it's tought to not take some of the best players out there.
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parkinglotgopher
02-11-2009, 07:06 PM
True, but how do you say no when someone like Kessel, Johnson, or Okposo wants to come play for you? Even if you know they may not be here long, it's tought to not take some of the best players out there.

The operative word is some. There has to be balance between a couple of these superstar-level guys and some guys that are going to be around for a few years. These guys staying longer aren't bad players - they just aren't 1st round NHL draft picks like so many recent Gophers and recent Gopher recruits have been.

MRJ
02-14-2009, 07:26 PM
The biggest problem I've had in recent years with Gopher hockey is there is almost a sense of apathy about mediocre efforts from the coaching staff and the players. They lose an embarrassing game and they don't buckle down and take of business the rest of the way. That's what the title teams did in both 2002 and 2003. When they lost, they were upset about it and came back harder and stronger as a result.

The past few years, these guys haven't done that. They've kind of shrugged their shoulders and said "oh well, what do you do?" and then proceeded to lally-gag their way through the rest of the season because they are looking for those pro dollars anyway. Personally, I'm getting tired of it.

If you can't come in here and play hard every time out, I don't want you as a player. This is Minnesota hockey and the players represent both the program and the university. If that isn't enough to get you to go hard and smart, then get the heck off the team.

There really isn't any excuse for the lack of effort and the presence of as much stupidity as there has been the last few years. Time to get back to playing Gopher hockey the way it was played early in coach Lucia's tenure, not the way it has been played the past two years.

maroonfive
02-14-2009, 11:09 PM
and if we are one of the elite programs there is no excuse for what is going on. All good things must come to and end. It is time to get a new coach.

Go Gophers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

TCF=UnitedWeStand
02-20-2009, 09:54 AM
I'm with you MRJ. I just posted the following to the blog entry in today's startribune regarding academic achievement by the WCHA Mens and Womens hockey teams (ZERO Gopher men!):

"What is going on w/my Gopher squad? I was such a big fan of the don (how you could you not be w/two national titles in back to back years), but I’m starting to really question things there. It’s starting to make me think back to Woog’s last few years where none of the recruits ever got better. They either stayed the same, or degressed. That’s what appears to be happening nowadays. I don’t have a problem w/them getting the top-end talent, those players that may sign w/NHL teams after their first or second year. I do have a problem with the other guys not developing into better players as they get further along in their college careers. Barribal, Fischer, Lucia, Anderson, Flynn, White (only a sophomore)… All decent players, but I don’t know if they are any better then they were a year or two ago.

It seems we're getting back to the late 90’s when it appeared the primary goal of some of those guys was to just get to the U, not to get there and win. It also seems these guys assume they will get better just by getting older, but that clearly isn’t the case. I just don’t see the grit and determination that guys like Johnny Pohl, Jordan Leopold, Paul Martin, and Keith Ballard brought to the ice.

And those guys were good students too! Now we don’t even have that to hang our hats on!

It’s really disappointing what is going on here."

TCF=UnitedWeStand
02-20-2009, 10:59 PM
Well, there's another loss!

ditt1605
02-25-2009, 04:47 PM
I really don't think it's all Lucia's fault. We don't have much veteran leadership in the form of players. Other than Stoa, none of the other (2) seniors are really making an impact on the ice, and with the amount of turnover the past few years, we aren't getting lines that have been together for 2/3 yrs like we did in the past.

That said, the overall talent level of the teams we've had recently have been rediculous. Don needs to figure out how to coach guys that are only going to be here for 2 yrs.

I wonder how many of the guys on the championship teams would have been on team the past few years...(comparing the talent levels as recruits)

GopherFan75
02-25-2009, 05:59 PM
Stoa is a junior
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TCF=UnitedWeStand
02-25-2009, 10:42 PM
Where's Grant Potulny when we need him?

mnboiler
02-26-2009, 08:47 AM
I don't follow Hockey really closely but what I have gathered from this thread it that Minnesota has/is becoming the Ohio State of hockey. Meaning recuit the best one and done players then they all leave early. USC and Texas would also fall in this catagory. Am I getting the right idea here?

ditt1605
02-26-2009, 04:55 PM
Stoa is a junior

4th Yr Junior (not sure yet if he's coming back)

ditt1605
02-26-2009, 05:02 PM
I don't follow Hockey really closely but what I have gathered from this thread it that Minnesota has/is becoming the Ohio State of hockey. Meaning recuit the best one and done players then they all leave early. USC and Texas would also fall in this catagory. Am I getting the right idea here?

Kind of... A better turnover analogy would be Basketball. With football, guys are usually in the program for 3 yrs. In hockey, they can go pro at any point, but most highly rated pro prospects that go to college will play at least a year (like with basketball).

But unlike basketball, one player (unless it's the goalie) has less impact on the overall game because of the amount of players that get in a game. Most really good players don't really play more than 20-25 minutes a game.

Hockey is different than football because most of the action is on the fly (not set plays) so players need to gel to be most productive. The longer you play with someone, the more likely you know where they'll be and what they're going to do. It's harder for a line to gel if you're playing with a new person every year.

anonymous
03-01-2009, 03:21 PM
Clearly Don isn't going to get fired this year, but I do think he needs to prove he can turn this around. Last year they had to rally like crazy just to get into the NCAA tournament. Right now they have a lot of work to do to get in the tournament this year. Since the first of they year they are 4-8-2 in WCHA play and they haven't won consecutive games in more than a month.

Clearly with the defections to the NHL, it is difficult to sustain a program year after year, but the Gophers have as many advantages as any hockey team in the country. Talent base, tradition, television package, etc. They are the college hockey equivalent of Duke basketball or the Yankees.

I personally don't think that having to go on the road in the WCHA playoffs in consecutive seasons is unacceptable considering Minnesota's advantages.

The thing to me is the recruiting. He needs to find a way to have more balance in his classes and not be super young every year. Talent is great, but so is toughness, leadership and stability.

mnboiler
03-01-2009, 04:25 PM
ditt1605 I meant basketball sorry for not being clear. But I see what you are sayingare you are right is is really hard to get any type of "gelling" going on when people are always leaveing early. That's not to say not to recuit any blue chippers but you need some balance. Meaning your one and done's and your 4 year players.

gold04
03-02-2009, 06:37 AM
Next school year this Gopher team should be stellar. I'd give Lucia one more year before I'd think about firing him.

dlw4gophers
03-02-2009, 06:24 PM
When USC and Texas get stud football players they have them for 3 years. Big difference than a one and done.

ditt1605
03-03-2009, 04:00 PM
ditt1605 I meant basketball sorry for not being clear. But I see what you are sayingare you are right is is really hard to get any type of "gelling" going on when people are always leaveing early. That's not to say not to recuit any blue chippers but you need some balance. Meaning your one and done's and your 4 year players.

You know, I think Lucia did try to get more 4 yr players this year and some of them ended up leaving because of playing time. I'm not sure what the solution would be other than to tell players flat out that their here as an insurance policy incase someone leaves early or tell them to stay in the USHL until they're needed...