Saturday, December 27, 2008

It's (not actually) Friday, I'm in Love

Ok, so Friday has come and gone, but nonetheless it's a Badger Hockey Weekend, as the Badger Men host the Badger Hockey Showdown at the KC. (The Badger Women are still off this weekend.)

Saturday
4 PM - LSSU v. Harvard
7 PM - UW v. UAH

Sunday
4 PM - UAH v. LSSU/Harvard
7 PM - UW v. LSSU/Harvard

As Todd so nicely pointed out, the field at the Showdown is not necessarily the strongest. I find this somewhat disappointing; as a kid, I remember going to the Showdown in MKE. I only went a couple times and I wasn't necessarily the brightest kid, and as you may know my memory is somewhat less-than-stellar -- but I remember the Showdown as usually having a pretty good field, and it was always exciting when the Badgers won. To be fair, there weren't as many holiday tournaments back then, so it was probably quite a bit easier to get elite teams for the Showdown. But I'm disappointed nonetheless.

It might be a bit premature to talk about PWR, but I may as well point out that it's fairly important for the Badgers to do well in these non-conference games (as well as next weekend's games v. Northern Michigan), especially given their previous non-conference losses to BU and UNH. None of these teams, including Northern, are having stellar seasons.

UAH has won 3 games all season, including an exhibition victory over Tennessee (Tennessee?) and victories over Yale (they lost 6-0 to Yale the following night, btw) and Bemidji. Lake State's last win was on 11/21 v. Robert Morris; since then they are 0-4-3. Harvard's last win was on 11/15 v. SLU; since then they are 0-4-2.

Sure, the Badgers record this season isn't great, but unlike the above teams, the Badgers have been doing pretty darn well recently, going 9-1-1 in their last 11 games. So one would sure have to hope that they wouldn't disappoint us this weekend. I hope the boys didn't eat too much turkey this week; it seems like the Badgers have had a tendency to start the Showdown a bit sluggishly over the past few years.

By the way, the Badgers will be missing defenseman Ryan McDonagh and Cody Goloubef, as both are representing their countries in the IIHF WJC. I don't believe that the other 3 teams have any players at the WJC. (Not that I'm complaining, mind you. Missing 2 players isn't all that bad; it could be a lot worse. Gardiner is back from his injury, and Springer/Little/C. Johnson have all proved to be reliable D-men, so I think we should be fine.)

Anwyay, here's the stuff you're really looking for in this post:

Lines
Geoffrion may or may not play; here's the expected lineup if he doesn't:

Andy Bohmbach-Aaron Bendickson-Tom Gorowsky
Jordy Murray-Derek Stepan-Michael Davies
John Mitchell-Sean Dolan-Grotting
Patrick Johnson-Matt Thurber-Podge Turnbull

Brendan Smith-Jamie McBain
Ryan Little-Eric Springer
Jake Gardiner-Craig Johnson
Tom Gorowsky won the shootout this week and is the second repeat winner. (Brendan Smith has also won twice.) Unlike last season where winning seemed to be a bit of a jinx, shootout winners actually seem to score some points in the subsequent series.

Game Day Coverage
TV: Sunday only, FSN live and WPT tape-delay
video webstream: Saturday only according to uwbadgers game preview and game notes, but I don't see a video link yet
radio: WTSO 1070 Saturday, WIBA 1310 Sunday, yahoosports ($4.95/mo) both nights (for some reason, it's not listed if you search all teams by sport, but it's listed if you search by team)
livestats: see Badger Gameday page


Tournament Previews
uwbadgers: 'Tis the season for the Showdown, Game Notes
lssulakers: Lakers to make third Badger Hockey Showsdown appearance
gocrimson: Crimson in Wisconsin for Badger Hockey Showdown, Game Notes
McLauglin (Hunstville Times): UAH ready to get back at it after time off
Milewski (Icehouse): A field to forget?
Milewski (Icehouse): A few (more) short
Milewski (TCT): Wisconsin Badgers Men's Hockey in Badger Hockey Showdown
Milewski (TCT): UW hopes to avoid three-peat of Showdown title shutouts
Baggot (Badger Blog): Eyeing the competition (2nd-half of the post)
Baggot (WSJ): Wait over for three defensemen (page 2)
uscho: Badger Hockey Showdown Preview
chn: Tale of the Tape -- UW v. UAH, Harvard v. LSSU, UW v. Harvard/LSSU, UAH v. Harvard/LSSU


Other Articles
Baggot (WSJ): Wait over for three defensemen (Springer, Little, Johnson)
redwingscentral: Smith playing "more like a defenseman"
uwbadgers: North to Alaska . . . and back again (Craig Johnson, was in last game program, now on uwbadgers.com)
chn: The Power of Four (officiating in the WCHA)


Another Interesting Note
Apparently while I've been living under a rock for the past several weeks, Sebastian Geoffrion has committed to tonight's opponent. When did this happen, and how did I miss this? (He committed 12/12 per Heisenberg; Heisenberg doesn't speculate regarding how I missed it.)