Sunday, December 09, 2007

Sunday Potpourri: Empty Shirt Version

That isn't Todd Anderson's shirt. It's Randy Schmidt's. More about that at the end of this entry.

Here's what I said about the WCHA before this season started:
Last season saw the highest degree of parity in the WCHA in memory. The difference in points between first and last place was the smallest in more than a decade.
Take a look at the standings. 3rd place 13pts, 4th place 12pts, 5th place 11pts, 6th place 10pts, 7th place 9pts, 9th place 7 pts. 3 of the 4 teams clustered at the bottom have only played 10 league games while everyone above them have played 12 with 3rd place Duluth having played the most with 14. Duluth's position in third is clearly tenuous and the 3 teams with games in hand all look in good position to move up the standings. Thats two things that will almost certainly lead to an even tighter race than we have already. Wow is all I can say. Getting points every weekend is more important this year than it's ever been.

Quite a Saturday night for Paul Crowder eh? Both Crowder and DU's Rhett Rakhshani had 3rd period natural hat tricks on Saturday night to lead a come from behind victory for each of their teams. Crowder had a trifecta; 1 shorty, 1 even-strength and 1 power play. In the ADN Shyiak noted that the energy play on a couple of early 3rd period shifts by Grant, Haddad and McCabe sparked the team. As I did yesterday he also noted the excellent play all weekend by Waldrop, Cartwright and Tassone. It will be interesting to see who the WCHA chooses for it's WCHA offensive player of the week. My bet is that Crowder and Rakhshani share the honor. The three points this past weekend are really a good thing to see. 2nd place DU comes up here on quite a roll. They are highly ranked (#1 and #2) on the early season KRACH and Pairwise computer rankings. Since I linked to those two methodologies, it is important to note that it is still a little early for them to be considered really accurate since they both utilize comparisons to reach their conclusions and we're not even halfway into the season. I believe DU is over-acheiving somewhat which must be pleasing their fanbase who overall expected less than they are getting. I'll have more about DU this week of course. I hate them.

There is a bit of a local buzz about a replacement goaltender now that Matthew Gordon is injured. The University indicated they're probably looking for someone to add to the roster for the second half and I've had comments here and questions about Bryce Christianson. He's been a good prospect for a couple of years now from more than a couple of NCAA teams. He had what most people would consider to be an off-year which might have scared some coaches away from committing to him. Take a look at this blog entry from Doyle Woody. I might have more information about this tomorrow. I might not too.

A quick update now on the incoming players. Gustav Bengtson has had a reasonably good start with Texas in the NAHL since his trade. In 7 games he has 2 goals and 2 assists. He isn't tearing it up (yet) but I'd tend to think he is still adapting so hopefully when he settles in he'll pick up the production rate. Tyler Moir with the Drumheller Dragons has added to his scoring line with three goals last week in two games; he currently has 15 goals and 28 assists in 32 AJHL games and interestingly has 146 penalty minutes. He is 11th overall in points, tied for 9th in assists and is 5th overall in penalty minutes. Mickey Spencer is tied for 4th in goals scored in the BCHL so far this season. He added one this past weekend to make his current numbers 23g, 9a and a grand total of 32 penalty minutes.

I'm shaking my head. I don't get it. LetsGoDU is reporting that WCHA commish Bruce McLeod is going to issue an apology for a bad call this weekend that went against SCSU. Kane Lafranchise's former teammate Jesse Martin carried a puck wide right on a 2 on 1 rush against SCSU, one defender played off Martin while Kyle Ostrow went to the net hard on the left side. Ostrow tries to pull up and ends up going into the net on the left side while Weslosky is on the right side defending the upcoming shot. The announcers incorrectly note that there is clear contact between Ostrow and Weslosky. I've watched this replay a dozen times at least and I don't see any contact between Weslosky and Ostrow. If there is any at all it is of a marginal nature.

So what you have is a controversial goal in a tight game. Nothing really new in the WCHA. There are 5 or 6 of these controversies every year. UAA fans will remember a few weeks ago when an SCSU forward skated through the crease and hacked Jonny O's stick out of his hand as a shot got past him. And that's just one example of a bad call. We had an equally bad call last year down in St. Nothingelsetodoville thaat cost us a win. So with all that explanation my only real question here is: Does Bob Motzko have naked pictures of Bruce's wife or something? It's ridiculous to the nth degree for McLeod to choose this play as one to make a statement that his is genuinely concerned about the refereeing fuck ups in this league. There are plenty of mistakes made by WCHA zebras and to choose one that to me looks like it went the right way is beyond ridiculous Bruce. Really mah man. Really? You're setting a really bad precedent here chief. Really bad. Really! The message your sending is that when you're in the building and something controversial happens you can be bullied or coerced or whatevered into an apology. If you're going to referee after the fact then you ought to just lace up a pair and put some stripes on and hit the ice bud. Do you really want to make your referees nothing but empty shirts? I'm way disappointed.


Kris said...

Ostrow totally clips the back of Weslosky's legs. If you watch the right replay clip you can see it, plus goalies don't usually fall in that method unless something pulls them over (and by don't usually I mean never). It was absolutely a goalie interference.

I totally agree that this is hypocrisy. I have an email that is a few years old sitting in my box from Bruce McLeod about a Maverick, Backes I do believe, who ran into our goalie before scoring a goal at the Sully. I think the goalie was Lawson and I was upset about that. Ultimately though, St. Cloud and DU bring a lot more to the WCHA than UAA and Mankato. We might be making strides but as of right now, the WCHA could drop us and not miss a beat. I agree it is wrong but what are you going to do? I suggest a good shin kicking but that is just my opinion.

Donald Dunlop said...

I watched that entire replay at least a dozen times. It might "look" like there is contact but deciding there is contact based on Weslosky's "fall" (I'd categorize it as him sprawling to attempt to save the shot) isn't convincing to me.

This happened because Bruce was in the building. If he hadn't been there I think he would have ignored the bitching like he usually does. Referees in the WCHA aren't scheduled ahead of time. Big Shep schedules them based on I don't know what but they are done weekly. I'd imagine he looks at performance and somehow decides who the "best" referee is for whatever circumstances he imagines might occur in the coming week.

It's ridiculous. Until the WCHA schedules it's referees well in advance of the games we're going to have bits and pieces of stupidity happening. I plan on an open-letter which I'll email and publish on the blog at the end of the season to ask Bruce to start objectively scheduling the referees.

Subjectively scheduling them as they do now is just wrong.

Anonymous said...

The first slow-mo replay in that clip CLEARLY shows contact between Ostrow and the Goalie! Obvious, skate to skate contact then Ostrow's stick hits him too.

Shitty call obviously, but Donald is right about the apology from McCloud... Bottom line, WCHA refs SUCK...


dggoddard said...

You seem to be in an awfully bad mood after taking 3 points from Duluth.

Donald Dunlop said...

Your interpretation of my emotional state is entirely and completely inaccurate. Get your "emo-meter" calibrated. Forceful language and/or saying what I think does not equal "bad mood".

Anonymous said...

There was contact on the play with the goalie, that equals goaltender interference, since the DU skater was not pushed into said goalie. What part don't you get?

Let's say for a moment your ridiculous non-contact assertion is true, then theer still is a full DU player sitting IN THE NET when the puck goes in. What part of that wave-off scenario don't you get? Hello?

Donald Dunlop said...

What part of a player in the net that didn't make any contact ISN'T interference don't you get. Refresh yourself on the rules before you criticize me for what I've said. Simply being in the crease used to be reason enough to blow the play dead ... that isn't the case anymore ... see ... um .. they changed the rule a couple of years ago!

Plays like that always have more than one interpretation. It is what makes them "controversial". Get it?

Chris said...

1. The DU player definitely makes contact with Weslosky

2. Even if there hadn't been any contact, the goal still should have been waved off, because the DU player was obviously in the crease, and interfered with Weslosky's ability to stop the puck.

Anonymous said...

If you can't see contact, you need to get some form of vision enhancement

Donald Dunlop said...

Your Dicas induced SCSU bias is showing.

Lets assume for the moment that there was no contact. If Ostrow is laying in the back left hand side of the net (looking at the goal from the front) and Weslosky is challenging the shooter on the right hand side at the top (or even middle of the crease) then how is it possible for Ostrow to be interfering? It isn't ... there is 2 to 3 feet separation between them at that time. The only "interference" that could have occurred would have been so if there'd been contact initiated by Ostrow.

Now ... if there was "any" contact (regardless of the status of my vision) it was negligible and virtually every series in the WCHA you'll see that much contact with goalie (and more) go uncalled.

Want to know what caused the goal? Take a look at the idiot SCSU defenseman on Martin's side. The dolt never steps up and it looks like he is just watching the play. That was the cause of the goal. If SCSU had anything on the blueline (other than Swanson) that wasn't a roadcone then maybe it'd have been a different story.

Anonymous said... changed the crease rule, yes, but they did not change that if you are parked in the net (and not pushed by the goalie's team)...yes, we are talking INSIDE the net, then that should be an interpretation via replay to wave-off the goal. What part of that could our esteemed ref not see via replay?

So from what YOU are saying, a DU player could go skate and sit inside the net opposite the goaltender, and as long as he does not interfere with the goalie, if a goal is scored, it should count?? Huh?? Go try that and let me know how it works...just don't have Mr. Schmidt interpret that call. See how far it gets ya.

Donald Dunlop said...

SCSU Defense = RoAdCOnEsRus

Anonymous said...

Way to quit the topic at hand and start trashing the team you like to always trash for their angelic play. I guess you have no further points on this topic, so please just admit you made a gradeschool interpretation of the play and that the Peewees are alwayss looking for someone to attend their games. Dummy.

Anonymous said...

Ah, so now he has to bash the Huskies Defense instead of just admitting he's wrong, typical for you. Even with SCSU's D being bad, your Seawolves still couldn't beat them.
O-fer at the NHC.

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