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MrGopher
03-06-2009, 07:29 PM
.....just lost in OT to Michigan Tech. By far the worst team in the conference. How does this even happen? Is there anyone to blame for this? What needs to be done to fix this team? Is the season a throw-away, or can there be any late-season miracles?

I'm a huge gopher hockey fan, but I don't even know what to think anymore. Are any other hockey fans also frustrated to no end with this team?

FiveStarFan
03-06-2009, 07:40 PM
I have watched many games and this is by far the WORST defense and goal tending I have seen from a gopher team as long as I can remember.

MrGopher
03-06-2009, 07:57 PM
I have watched many games and this is by far the WORST defense and goal tending I have seen from a gopher team as long as I can remember.

I whole-heartedly agree! Before the season started, Kangas was the player i was most looking forward to watching. What happened? It definitely is not entirely his fault though.


Is the team simply too young? We have two seniors this year (and Stoa). Next year we will have seven (before any NHL defections, of course). Can we assume that this team will improve with age? Or does the success of this program hinge entirely on whether or not players leave early for the NHL?

FiveStarFan
03-06-2009, 08:24 PM
Both! need to get more consistency which comes with age. I really feel Lucia was counting on Fisher to be the leader on the blue line and time and time again he is the one making mistakes. Both goalies are young, but I'm not sold on either one.

MrGopher
03-06-2009, 08:50 PM
Do you mean David Fischer, or Drew Fisher?
The one who stands out to me as the shaky one (at least lately) has been wehrs.

FiveStarFan
03-06-2009, 09:48 PM
David, numerous times I have seen stares from Don towards him that a coach gives a player when he expects more from. Wehrs isn't much good right now either. I expect Ness to be a beast next year.

Son of a Badger
03-06-2009, 10:58 PM
That was awful. Both goalies repeatedly let in soft goals (the one in overtime was pathetic). I never thought I'd miss Kellen Briggs...

MRJ
03-07-2009, 06:58 AM
.....just lost in OT to Michigan Tech. By far the worst team in the conference. How does this even happen? Is there anyone to blame for this? What needs to be done to fix this team? Is the season a throw-away, or can there be any late-season miracles?

I'm a huge gopher hockey fan, but I don't even know what to think anymore. Are any other hockey fans also frustrated to no end with this team?

I talked about this in another thread, but I think it bears repeating. No one on this team or in the hockey program is willing to accept any accountability. There is no dedication to going out on a consistent basis and getting the job done. Frankly, I'm tired of hearing all the excuses these guys have trotted out the past two years about key players leaving, younger guys being tired after the world juniors, we're not getting any bounces, etc...

Even the coaching staff seems to coddle these guys to no end, especially after embarrassing performances. They don't rebound with better efforts after games like this. Rather, they come back with the same lazy, aw-shucks attitude and get pasted again. The biggest reason for it appears to be that they're too concerned about their NHL draft status and the dollars that come along with it.

The fact of the matter is this: Most of these guys don't care about the program. They may say that they've always dreamed of being Gophers, but to me, that's just lip service. There is a big difference between saying "I've always wanted to be a Gopher" and then going out and showing it. Guys that "dream about being Gophers" don't come out and go through the motions as much as these guys do. Guys that "dream about being Gophers" don't lack such focus when they step on the ice that they make the same mistakes over and over and over again. When it comes right down to it, this is a group of guys that consistently take games "off" and then bolt at the first sign of any dollars a pro contract can guarantee. It's a complete joke.

I'm not ready yet to start up the "fire Lucia" chants quite yet. But if this coaching staff and these players don't seriously get their act together over the next year or so, it's going to be time to start considering heading in a different direction. This is Minnesota hockey. It's time to start acting and performing like it.

MrGopher
03-07-2009, 09:53 AM
So if you're saying that the Gophers we have now aren't the ones who 'dream about being Gophers', are you saying the problem lies in this program's recruiting? Is it the players who are just not motivated enough? Or does the problem arise once they get on campus (the coaches' inability to keep them in line)?

Sometimes I wonder about the impact of Tony Lucia being on the team the last three years. Ive got no particular problem with Tony: he has his ups and downs like any college player... but maybe his presence has made Don change his demeanor towards the entire team? Maybe this is one of the sources of 'forgiveness' and 'coddling' you mentioned.

I say this because this thing seems to have started when Tony was a freshman (06-07).

FiveStarFan
03-07-2009, 10:56 AM
So if you're saying that the Gophers we have now aren't the ones who 'dream about being Gophers', are you saying the problem lies in this program's recruiting? Is it the players who are just not motivated enough? Or does the problem arise once they get on campus (the coaches' inability to keep them in line)?

Sometimes I wonder about the impact of Tony Lucia being on the team the last three years. Ive got no particular problem with Tony: he has his ups and downs like any college player... but maybe his presence has made Don change his demeanor towards the entire team? Maybe this is one of the sources of 'forgiveness' and 'coddling' you mentioned.

I say this because this thing seems to have started when Tony was a freshman (06-07).

I'm going to have to disagree with the talk about Tony Lucia. He is game in and game out one of the few kids giving 100%. If anything its kids like Carmen, Flynn, Fairchild, and David Fisher who were expected to take the reins of this team with Stoa and Barribal and instead have played at a very inconsistent and disappointing level. Every class should have its leaders and play makers, next year could be ugly in that department if some kids don't step up. I do think Hoefel is on the verge of it.

MRJ
03-07-2009, 11:05 AM
So if you're saying that the Gophers we have now aren't the ones who 'dream about being Gophers', are you saying the problem lies in this program's recruiting? Is it the players who are just not motivated enough? Or does the problem arise once they get on campus (the coaches' inability to keep them in line)?

Sometimes I wonder about the impact of Tony Lucia being on the team the last three years. Ive got no particular problem with Tony: he has his ups and downs like any college player... but maybe his presence has made Don change his demeanor towards the entire team? Maybe this is one of the sources of 'forgiveness' and 'coddling' you mentioned.

I say this because this thing seems to have started when Tony was a freshman (06-07).

It could possibly be a problem with the program's recruiting, although I tend to think its more a mindset problem within the locker room than anything else. There are too many guys that are thinking about their future careers as NHL players and are therefore not selling out to do good things while they are here. So, I guess I would say that when it comes to recruiting individuals, it might not be a problem but when it comes to the group as a whole, there is obviously a problem.

What has been lost is the idea is that playing for the Gopher hockey program is a privilege, not a right. These kids seem to think they are doing the U a favor by coming in and playing here and you can see it in how they play on the ice. I say, if that's going to be the prevailing thought amongst the players, then our program is going to sink lower than low. It's time to start kicking these guys in the proverbial ass before every practice and every game, because it's painfully obvious that they need it.

All I see at this point is a whole lot of selfishness amongst the players in their performance. They lack effort, heart or desire and it has been this way for several years now.

MrGopher
03-07-2009, 12:50 PM
I'm going to have to disagree with the talk about Tony Lucia. He is game in and game out one of the few kids giving 100%.


That's not what I was getting at. Tony is just fine.

What I was trying to say is that maybe Coach Lucia has become a little bit more of 'Daddy Lucia' to this whole team (by giving them the benefit of the doubt when he should be whipping their asses into shape) as a result of having his boy on the team.
My point is that maybe Don has changed since Tony came on board. The whole team seems undisciplined and without motivation....and that is the coaches' department (added to the lack of veteran leadership due to early NHL exits).

The team really needs some sort of chip on its (collective) shoulder....something to prove to someone.

Im not talking about proving anything to NHL scouts, because that is only individual motivation. Hearing the fans chant 'Gopher Rejects' clearly works to inspire Mankato, St. Cloud, and Duluth players to really stick it to the gophers lately. We need something to rally the entire team around.

(PS I know we swept St. Cloud this year.... Im talking about the last few years in general.)

amateurdwarftosser
03-07-2009, 01:50 PM
This team has lacked any sort of grit over the last few years. They either jump out to an early lead, blow it, and hang their heads in the process or they get down early and hang their heads. They rarely seem to have a fire under them.

I do blame this on recruiting. This is what happens when you get the best kids in the state who have known it since they were 8. I can't stand it when kids (in general) struggle and dont work hard in response. This team has folded up like a cheap tent time and again when tehy are presented with a challenge. This season's turning point was the UND series right after some of the guys came back from the world juniors. I dont know what exactly happened, but this team has had no fire or jump since.

MrGopher
03-07-2009, 05:24 PM
So, If we win tonight at MichTech, we get home ice (deservedly or otherwise).
And we're off to a decent start with a Stoa goal. 1-0 gophers.

P.S. Is anyone else glad there is no jerk with a cowbell at every game at Mariucci? Wow that guy is annoying!

The Big L
03-07-2009, 07:01 PM
So, If we win tonight at MichTech, we get home ice (deservedly or otherwise).
And we're off to a decent start with a Stoa goal. 1-0 gophers.

P.S. Is anyone else glad there is no jerk with a cowbell at every game at Mariucci? Wow that guy is annoying!

Yea that cowbell is awful. Up 2-0 now, things are looking good. Still doesn't cover up the fact that this team has underperformed. I'm hoping these last couple years are a blip, and not a trend.

MrGopher
03-07-2009, 07:21 PM
Okay its over. 2-0. Whew!! I'll take home ice and run with it.
Now I get to go to a game (on Fri) that i know wont end in a tie! Ive seen 5 ties at home this year. Very frustrating.
Good game for Kangas. He needed that badly.

RochGopher507
03-07-2009, 11:27 PM
I agree it is getting old having to listen to the players and coaches give reasons for poor performances. I do however think that all of the early defections have made it really hard for the team to gather any sort of chemistry together, last year they lost Bickel and Wheeler. Wheeler was tied for the team lead in goals last year and Bickel while he didn't provide much offense he provided a presence, he was 6'3 210 lbs. Our defenseman this year are all undersized except for schack and David Fischer and neither of them have performed well and have been outskated by the younger more skilled defensemen. I love Aaron Ness but when you are 5'10 170 lbs you are going to be pushed around like a rag doll in front of the net. The "problem" is that some of our recruits are so talented they bolt to the NHL in a year or two and that creates a hole. Yes, some of the defections are foreseeable (Okposo is a good example) but defections like Bickel are not foreseeable but a premium has been placed on big defenseman in the NHL which gave him an opportunity. I'll agree that the Don has seemingly been lax in his discipline but I don't think you can blame anything on him or the goaltending. Kangas has underperformed against the expecations of him this year but the team he has in front of him is also different then what he was playing with before.

MrGopher
03-08-2009, 12:15 PM
So we play St. Cloud state this weekend in the WCHA first round. We beat them four times this year. But a few were far from convincing victories.
We really need to make some noise in this tournament in order to get into the NCAA's, so a couple of wins in the first round is absolutely crucial.
This is when a similarly young gopher team really stepped it up a year ago.
Can we pull off two more at home? What are people's thoughts? predictions?

GopherFan75
03-08-2009, 12:25 PM
Couldn't ask for a much better draw in the first round. Wehave played St. Cloud very well this year and should win at least 2 of 3 at home. Might take a little more to get in the tourney though.
________
Dodge ram srt-10 (http://www.dodge-wiki.com/wiki/Dodge_Ram_SRT-10)

RochGopher507
03-08-2009, 01:55 PM
With the split with Michigan Tech and the various other happenings around the wcha our pairwise ranking is 13. The pairwise ranking is generally how teams for the NCAA are chosen and the top 13 get in. Last year the top 12 got in and one of the teams that was tied for 13 got in as well. Denver and UND are the only teams in the WCHA that have better rankings than the U (4 and 7 respectively if memory serves me right) so they are locks to get in. It will be interesting to see what happens though. I predict that the Don will have our guys ready to play and the intensity will be high. Kangas will most likely start but I think the Don will have a quick hook with him if he sees him struggling.

MrGopher
03-08-2009, 02:48 PM
i used to know where to find the pairwise rankings. where can i find this list?
I remember last year wisconsin got in over some more deserving teams (mankato comes to mind). Most people were saying that it was because they hosted a regional. Do we expect the same sort of handicap this year? I really hope we don't end up needing it.

RochGopher507
03-09-2009, 07:12 PM
i used to know where to find the pairwise rankings. where can i find this list?
I remember last year wisconsin got in over some more deserving teams (mankato comes to mind). Most people were saying that it was because they hosted a regional. Do we expect the same sort of handicap this year? I really hope we don't end up needing it.

Here ya go MrGopher

http://www.uscho.com/rankings/pwr.php

MrGopher
03-10-2009, 10:40 AM
Thanks a bunch, Roch!

RochGopher507
03-10-2009, 12:16 PM
no problem man

MRJ
03-19-2009, 08:05 PM
I'm thinking we might need to stick a fork in the Gopher hockey team.

Look lazy and uninspired during WCHA Final Five play-in game. Pathetic effort by the players and the coaches. It's bad enough that even Mazzocco and Woog have started ripping the team. Then, coach Hill says there's no energy or urgency on the bench whatsoever while standing on the bench right next to the players. All of 'em, from the coaches right down the players, need a swift kick in the pants.

Coach Lucia and his team should be on notice from the beginning of preseason practice next season following the two messes that have been the last two seasons.

ditt1605
03-20-2009, 03:09 PM
I'm also thinking the gophs are done for the year unless we get really lucky with the pairwise and remaining tourneys. Feel bad for Kangas as he's was great the past 3 games, but if he wasn't feeling well maybe he should have defered to Patterson to start with. I give him all the credit in the world for toughing it out and trying to play, but can't help but feel the 1st period goal he gave up put the team in the "here we go again" mindset.

I don't think Lucia's in the hot seat just yet. I think he's still got free rein next year. The thinking being that Maturi will chalk up his struggles to the medical issues (Seeing as the team went flat after he went to the hospital). But, if it's another down year, then he'll be on notice.

The Big L
03-20-2009, 07:22 PM
If we have the same flat mediocre season as we have had the last two seasons, people will be very upset and Lucia's seat will be very hot.

maroonfive
03-20-2009, 09:27 PM
We are the Yankee's of college hockey. The team should coach itself. Anyone off the street should be able to coach this team. This is unacceptable.

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

gophersfan
03-21-2009, 07:12 PM
it doesn't matter now. the Gophers season is over. we cannot make the NCAA. life will go on.

gold04
03-22-2009, 06:57 AM
Next year we will be as good as anyone in college hockey!

Border Gopher
03-22-2009, 08:59 AM
Next year we will be as good as anyone in college hockey!

How do you figure?

ditt1605
03-23-2009, 02:53 PM
We're only expected to lose both seniors and Stoa...an extra year for the core of the team can only help.

Gophers4Life
03-23-2009, 04:39 PM
We are the Yankee's of college hockey. The team should coach itself. Anyone off the street should be able to coach this team. This is unacceptable.

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

The coaches can only do so much...the PLAYERS have to go out there and play hard.