Sunday, December 03, 2006

Thoughts About The Weekend

Losing a game sucks but hey ... the team has 10 points and is in 6th place. They're only 1 point behind the next two teams above them (UND and DU) and 2 points ahead of MTU. We saw some poor play but I think the quality stretches of play on Saturday were enough of a positve to be somewhat satisfied. There was an air of inconsistency that permeated the lineup and when mistakes were made the Bulldogs managed to capitalize. So there's plenty of places to improve. The Power Play doesn't "click" all the time. UMD seemed to pressure the puck more on the PK than other teams I've watched this year. So that was perhaps part of it. Next up is a road trip to Colorado Springs to play the streaking Tigers. Every week is a challenge and I think the team was reintroduced to that lesson this weekend. With a consistent effort against CC next weekend the Seawolves could consider themselves well rewarded if they can earn a split.

Charlie Kronschabel is out for 10 weeks with a broken leg. His leadership will be missed on the ice but no doubt that he'll be an influence off the ice until his return which early projections have for the February 2nd/3rd series. Charlie broke the leg on an odd collision in the corner. He got up to get back into the play and took another big hit after a few seconds THEN got right back up and got his body into a lane to help block shots on the PK. The guy "gave it up big time" for his team. His leg was broken and he gets up not once but TWICE and contributes defensively until the puck mercifully went out of play? Wow. Real Wow. Ya know? That says so much about his passion as a leader on the ice. If Charlie needs some help toting things around campus then I can think of 24 guys that oughta be more than happy to volunteer their assistance.

I think that Chad Anderson had a helluva good series on both ends of the ice. His rushes were well timed and he played solid on the blueline both nights. He skated with determination and helped create a number of good scoring chances. His game winning goal on Friday came on a play that was just damned smart on his part. He did have one bad penalty but I have no doubt he already knows that. Kevin Clark's play was impactful both nights and its good to see him playing smart. He made plays and got into Bulldog defensemens heads with his fearless and gritty play. Several of his passes were highlight reel material and I'm very impressed with his excellent vision. I expect as the season goes on we'll see Kevin begin to bury more of those close chances that he's "almost" connected on so far this season. Josh Lunden expressed himself this weekend with good physical play and forechecking. I like his "Glencross-esque" effort and approach to playing. He's pretty hard-charging and is going to bruise a few guys and put together a real fine rookie season I'd say. Jay Beagle (playing hurt with a cut/stitches on his hand/wrist) continued his hard and effective play netting a nice goal on the PP Saturday night. Jay should consistently improve his play as this season goes along. I think he's playing with good confidence and he is clearly one of the most determined players on the ice. Jay is currently tied for 5th in overall points among sophmores in the WCHA. That line has some chemistry and a good mix of skills. As the season progresses and they work together even better they'll give teams fits everytime they're on the ice.

The Bourne, Crowder and Waldrop line also continues to play well. Justin's nickname oughta just be "RE" because he is definitely "RE"born this season. It's great to see after last season. His leadership and effort is well worth noting. Merit Waldrop is quite frankly a buzzsaw. I'd doubt if there is another 5'10" player in the league that plays bigger than he does. He's in a bit of a goal scoring slump with only 1 so far this year but his 8 helpers show how hard he's been working. Paul Crowder just never disappoints. At any time and just about in any situation he can find a way to create a scoring chance: he's both crafty and strong. And from what I see he is about the only player on the team that seems to know how to shoot the puck effectively on the backhand. When did that skill get lost? When I played soccer I found it most useful to be able to score with either foot and scored more goals left-footed than with my natural right. Youngsters need more backhand drills I guess. I thought Mark Smith had another good weekend on the blueline. He was visible and just flat out solid defensively and contributed on Saturday with his 4th goal of the year. 14 games into the season the team has 11 goals from defensemen. That's a pretty nice number.

The 3rd and 4th lines continued to fill their roles well. Nearly everyone on those lines this weekend had a scoring chance at one point or another. Chris Tarkir's hard skating and competitive attitude were in evidence this weekend. I am wondering what was discussed during an extended conversation he had at one point with Alex Stalock during a break in play. I think Tarkir just wanted to get a close up view of the paintjob on his mask. Nick Lowe played well but I didn't think had as many offensive chances as we've seen in past weeks. But his PK work has been very effective. Adam Corrin showed a lot of energy Friday night and Saturday I liked what I saw from Ken Selby. He showed he can handle the puck in close and create offensive chances with his passing as well. Blair Tassone had a good outing on Saturday as well. Peter Cartwright has done his job consistently well all season. Jared Tuton continued his progress in his conversion from D to O. His speed and strength are his best attributes and I expect he'll only get better and better as the season goes on.

Lastly, I feel a need to apologize that the email address on my "profile" was incorrect. I have to assume I filled it out incorrectly when I started this blog. So it only took me almost a year to figure that out? If anyone tried to email me I apologize. If anyone wants to email me from here on out I'll actually receive it.

5 comments:

Runninwiththedogs said...

Donald,

Was your PA announcer the DI in Full Metal Jacket? He rocks.

Also, do you have an Argo?

And holy crap, Kronch is a stud.

RWD

Donald said...

RWD:
Lyle is a pretty good guy. I joked with him between periods after Clark got speared that he should have called it by misspeaking "2 minutes for spea-err slashing".

I have two argo's ... everyone up here does. I don't know why they advertise them.

And I have absolutely no idea what that fool of a creepy santa was up to. That guy has some shop in a mall that sells sports jerseys I guess.

Unfortunately for Charlie he'll probably be in street clothes when MeanEgirl and MTU comes to town. Poor bugger.

Suze said...

Charlie is a huge leader. I am so sad for him right now, after everything he did this past summer taking a loan from his brother to train and be ready for his senior year.

The teams gotta pick it up so they get home ice for the playoffs!!

We're praying for ya Charlie!

Anonymous said...

I just want my beard touched

Donald said...

creepy santa@9:33:
When my daughter was 5 I took her to the mall to do the traditional sit on Santa's lap cultural thing ... she wouldn't go anywhere near the guy.

I commend her on her instinctive wisdom.

Post a Comment