Tuesday, October 19, 2010

What I liked at the home opener

There was a lot to like, and it was great to be back at the Kohl Center again.  The offseason goes by so quick and life gets busy (this offseason especially) and then everything just sneaks up on you and its here.  So here are some thoughts from this weekend:

  • I've been looking forward to seeing 1st Star Zengerle in the Cardinal and White for a couple years after following him in the BCHL.  He didn't disappoint.  Sure it was UAH, but he is a big time playmaker that can pass the puck.  His vision on the offensive end was impressive, I look forward to seeing what he does against better competition, but a great start.  He chirps a lot at the officials though; they are incompetent WCHA zebras, get use to it.
  • Everyone loves Ryan Little, and why not?  He didn't score any goals this weekend, but does the little things (pub intended) to help the team succeed.  I liked him as a freshman because of his big hits and edginess.  We should not lose sight that his HUGE & clean hit on a gopher player two seasons ago led to Patrick White getting beat down by Ben Grotting during the ensuing scrum.  I think it will be nice to have a F/D on the ice in case a defenseman is injuried or ejected.  5 blue liners wears down the team faster than 11 forwards.  He has found a role on the team and making the most of it, thanks for sticking w/ it Ryan!
  • Patrick Johnson looked like the Ratty we all know and love on friday night.  The team needs his senior leadership and hard work this season.
  • Jordy Murray had a hat trick!  Enough said.
  • Blake Geoffrion was at the game on sunday, it sure would have been nice if UW had their s**t together and had a little pre-game or intermission ceremony honoring the first Hobey Baker award winner in school history.  W/ his brothers in uniform for UAH, it would have been fitting.  Regardless, any place Blake Geoffrion is at is improved by his presence.
  • The line combinations seem to be clicking really well early in the season which is a rarity under Eaves.  About the only change I saw on sunday was Michael Mersch was moved to LW w/ Derek Lee and Josh Turnbull, replacing Tyler Barnes.  A big body in front of the net.  I also sat next to this old man who was touting Mersch for Hobey in 2014, and told me his website is http://www.merschforhobey2014.hatchetjoe.com/
  • Speaking of big bodies, Jason Clark and Gavin Hartzog are big kids (along w/ Mersch).  Can't teach size.
  • First goals as Badgers: Zengerle, Hartzog & Barnes.
  • Justin Schultz is Jamie McBain reborn.  He can run the PP and is lethal w/ his own shot.  Some compare him to Brendan Smith, but Smith never ran a PP and wasn't great at defense.  Schultz is not one dimensional and is in line for a big season.
  • Jake Gardiner literally covered half the ice in one stride.  One second he was in his own zone, the next he had caught his teammates between the dots on the other end of the ice.
  • Eric Springer looked solid out there, and I like the rotation of Frankie Simonelli and Joe Faust. Don't forget, Springer was a USHL all-star in 2007/08.
  • Craig Johnson's skating has really improved, he looked good out there.
  • Lastly, thanks to everyone who came to our tailgate on sunday.  It was cool to meet a variety of Badger Hockey fans who check out our blog from time to time or regularly.  Tex welcome again to the blog.  We hope to do it again in the "Spring" depending upon the weather and what not.
I'm sure I missed something or many things; looking forward to what the team does against Denver this weekend.