Saturday, March 6, 2010

A few notes I took while watching the BTN replay

- I get that the women's basketball tourney is a big deal... as far as women's basketball goes... but still, this was ridiculous. I get four seperate BTN feeds through Time Warner Cable, without having to pay extra for them, and not ONE of them had the game live?

- Seriously, Minnesota. Figure skating? This was moved to the Target Center for figure skating?

- What's worse is that, since the Xcel Energy Center was built and the Minnesota Moose had moved to Manitoba- there was very little use for the ice at the Target Center, and the existing ice was removed entirely to make the TC a basketball only arena. The ice that was played on tonight was only installed on Monday, and it was in terrible shape. There were a lot of bouncing pucks (such as the one that came to Smith for his second goal), and the game had to be stopped TWICE for ice repairs. Sound familiar? Remember how McLeod wouldn't sponsor a UW-UM game at Camp Randall because he didn't want a WCHA game decided on temporary (read: one week old) ice? Sounds sort of funny in retrospect if you ask me.

- So strange to see that many empty lower level seats for this game. I don't care how bad one of the teams is, or how many of the seats are taken up by corporate fools. It's just sad.

- Minnesota sloppy play: It wasn't just the ice that was sloppy. Both teams looked pretty rough out there. Minnesota gave up a few transition opportunities by lazily shooting the puck. And I mean LAZY. These shots weren't even close to the net. Stevie Wonder could have gotten closer. The first Craig Smith goal was a great example. Rodent shoots from an angle, but he shoots for the far side, instead of the near side. The result? He misses, and the puck runs all the way out to the neutral zone, setting up our rush.

- Also, right after the disallowed goal on the 5x3, Jordan Schroeder had a cupcake gimme goal set up for him. He was at Goody's right hand side, less than ten feet away, and had the entire net to shoot at. The puck comes to him, but he winds up to slap it in as if he was trying to win a hardest shot contest. Of course, he whiffs and we kill the penalty. Smooth move, Schroeder.

- Of course, UW wasn't immune. We had plenty of undisciplined penalties (including this season's most popular goats: Mitchell and Johnson). But the real killer was terrible passing. Especially on breakout plays. Take a look at the play that preceeded Cade Fairchild's stupid shot that eventually set up Smith's first goal. Minnesota is laying a 2-1 trap, but they aren't pressuring McD (it was McD, right?) too hard. Without much pressure, he still makes a lazy pass that turns into a quick transition play for Fairchild, which he promptly screws up (thank goodness).

- Cepis... what an unfortunate name. It sounds like a disease, doesn't it? It's not as bad as Darius Kasparitis, but it still seems like Cepis might have been made fun of a lot as a kid for it. Just a thought.

- Ben Grotting took a little journey into the Minnesota bench. I give him a 5.6 for his form, but only 1.2 for the landing.

- Top sign that you were watching a game in an NBA arena? During one of the timeouts for ice repair, we saw a few shots of Goldie The Hillbilly Bucktoothed Gopher firing T-shirts into the crowd with a pneumatic t-shirt gun. Is there anything that says "NBA arena" more than the t-shirt cannon? Well, that and Jock Jams.

- Another thought relating to the new rink that was put in: very lively boards. And certainly very noisy.

- Pat White's favorite dessert? I'm guessing its a turtle sundae.

- In my opinion, Pat Johnson played a much better game than we're used to seeing. His bad passing, penalty taking and inability to actually hit people was still on full display for all to see. But his forechecking was pretty solid. He helped create a few really good scoring chances, especially one that was right after the first Smith goal.