Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Wednesday Night Link Central: Mustache March

Wisconsin State Journal Columnist Andy Baggot sat down for five good minutes with junior defenseman, first round draft pick of the Montreal Canadiens, and tri-captain of the Wisconsin Badgers Ryan McDonagh. McDonagh got to vote on the All-Conference WCHA teams this season and he talks about who he voted for.

In case you were wondering, his first team was the exact same as mine: Geoffrion, Fontaine, Rahkshani, B. Smith, Wiercoich, and Cheverie. Geoffrion was his player of the year, Craig Smith was his freshman of the year, and Bob Motzko from St. Cloud was his coach of the year. He put himself on the third team, a pretty humble assessment if you ask me.
According to Badger senior forward and tri-captain Blake Geoffrion, the Badgers are rocking "cheesy" mustaches to St. Paul for the Final Five and beyond. Blake (@blakegeoffrion) tweeted the above photo of junior defenseman Cody Goloubef while the Badgers were on the bus from Madison to St. Paul.

Let me just say this to Mr. Goloubef, if your NHL career doesn't work out, I think you've got a future in the porn industry. That stache is straight dirrrrrty. In a good way. Mustache March baby.
Some stats to look at while we're waiting for the Badgers to play on Friday at the Final Five vs St. Cloud State courtesy of the Weekly Media release:

*The Badgers, 11-time winners of the Broadmoor Trophy which is awarded to the WCHA playoff champions, have a chance at reaching the conference title game for the first time since 2000. The Badgers have reached the semifinals three times since 2002 and the start of the Mike Eaves’ coaching era, but have never advanced to the title game.

*Senior forward Michael Davies leads the Badgers into the postseason with 48 points and a league-best 1.37 points-per-game average, while four Badgers have at least 40 (Derek Stepan – 45, Brendan Smith – 44, Blake Geoffrion - 41). Geoffrion shares the WCHA lead with 23 goals, including a league-best 19 in WCHA games.

*Wisconsin boasts the second-highest scoring team in the nation with a 4.03 goals-per-game average. The Badgers lead the nation with 149 goals scored. The Badgers rank second in the nation with a 1.46 goals-per-game scoring margin, and are 14th in the country with their 2.57 goals-against-per-game mark.

*Wisconsin’s power play had gone 14-for-50 (28.0 percent) over eight games before hitting an 0-for-20 patch that spanned parts of four games. Wisconsin broke out of the slump by scoring on two of its last five power-plays last Saturday against Alaska Anchorage.

UW’s power play still ranks 12th in the nation at 20.3 percent (43-for-212). That is third in the WCHA.

*Junior defenseman Brendan Smith (Mimico, Ontario) leads the nation’s defensemen
with 15 goals, 44 points and a 1.22 points-per-game mark. Only one other defender in the nation is averaging at least a point per game. He has nine more points than the nation’s next closest defenseman, while outpacing the next closest WCHA rear guard by 16 points.

*Freshman forward Craig Smith (Madison, Wis.) fi nished as the WCHA rookie scoring
leader with 25 points in WCHA games. His 29 points overall are second, four off the WCHA pace-setter.
United States College Hockey Online Bracketologist extraordinaire Jayson Moy has put out his weekly bracketology. He currently has Wisconsin as the #1 seed in St. Paul opening up against the Vermont Catamounts. Other teams in St. Paul are St. Cloud and Northern Michigan.

The current bracketology features 5 teams from the WCHA, 4 teams from the CCHA, 2 teams from Hockey east, 2 teams from the ECAC, 2 teams from the CHA, and 1 team from Atlantic Hockey.

With Alabama-Huntsville winning the CHA's automatic bid to the NCAA tournament. That is going to force an at large from a bigger conference to be sitting at home when the seeds are announced. As of right now, Michigan State and New Hampshire are the ones hurting from this scenario.