Friday, December 10, 2010

Random Friday Afternoon Thoughts

  • I can't remember when I posted it, but at some point earlier this season I said that I'd like to see more ES goals (and this was back when the team was actually scoring a lot of goals), saying that PP goals are nice, but at some point you have to score 5x5. Today, Andy Baggot addresses the same issue. In doing so, he discusses two factors that have been making me crazy lately:
    1.) not getting enough SOG (I was actually going to write a SOG post last week but just didn't have time.)
    2.) not creating enough traffic in front of the net
    I think the most telling point of this article was the final quote by Mike Eaves regarding the Badgers' current scoring approach:
    "I don't think it'll get us to where we want to be ultimately. We're going to have to forge up that part of our fort and find more offense."
    Now, the scoring approach has coaching aspects and player/execution aspects. I'd be especially interested in hearing more about how the coaching staff is addressing this, but I know that's just wishful thinking.
  • If Andy Baggot wants to talk about other things that bug me, I suggest he address the Badgers' lack of success in the face-off circle. I'm used to the Badgers doing better on the draw; there have been several games when face-offs won/lost were lopsided in favor of our opponents. I'd say that' I'm going to do a post on it next week, but I doubt I'll have time.
  • Since we're talking about things that bug me, I think I have to bring up this whole issue of outworking opponents / being outworked by opponents. Here's what Sean Dolan said prior to last weekend's games @ uaa: "
    We have success against them because we usually can outwork them and play harder than them. But we have to come ready to play from the drop of the puck, and bring it all three periods."
    And here's what Jordy Murray said prior to the Nov 19/20 games v. UMD:
    [UMD is] way different than NoDak also; they’re more skilled, but we don’t think they work as hard. We watched a lot of video on them this week, and we broke down their game. If we outwork them — which is what we plan to do — and get after their D and get after their smaller forwards. We match up good against these guys.
    The Badgers lost two OT games to UMD and split with UAA. Listening to Friday's UAA game and following Capo's blog, it was clear that the Badgers were outworked by the Seawolves. Stuff like this bugs me. It's one thing if a team has more talent or better execution, or if both teams are working hard with one team having an edge, but being clearly outworked is a problem. According to Baggot, Eaves said that players' efforts improved in practice on Wednesday. Let's hope this improvement carries through into both games this weekend.
  • Bemidji State is certainly on a roll lately. I remember earlier in the season being a bit surprised about UNO's success (I thought they'd do well but not as well as they did) and feeling kinda bad about Bemidji. Now Bemidji has won 3 of their past 4 games, including a 3-0, 3-1 sweep of UNO, and they're just 1 point behind the Badgers (although that may have more to do with the Badgers not having as many points as we'd like). CHN just picked them as their team of the week, and Scott Bakala was named WCHA Co-Defensive POTW, INCH POTW, and USCHO 1st Star. But the Beavers are still in the bottom half of the WCHA, with a conference record similar to the Badgers (although the Badgers have a better non-conference weekend.) Should be an interesting match-up, although I'm hopeful for 2 Badger victories.