Friday, January 18, 2008

ADN Profiles Mat Robinson

Andrew Hinkleman from the Anchorage Daily News wrote this great profile of Mat Robinson today. As those of us familiar with the program already know Mat is an important offensive driving force on the blueline. In the article Coach Shyiak says,
"His greatest asset is his skating ability. He's got good hockey sense on top of that. For a smaller guy he brings a tremendous physical presence. He's out there in every critical situation. He's a person who represents everything we want in our program. He's a solid citizen, a great student, he'll probably be on the all-academic team this year, he's over a 3.0. He leads by example. When he does say things, other people listen to him."
The article talks about Mat from the time he was 4 through coming to UAA with his good friend Jay Beagle to his possible future in hockey. Mat is a favorite of every fan that appreciates a skating defenseman with great eyes and hands; and what hockey fan doesn't appreciate those things? Here's what I said about Mat in my post called Early Season Player Evals,
"Mat Robinson couldn't rate any higher in my book. The first time I noticed him was in his first game when he made an absolute laser of a cross ice pass from deep in his own zone onto a rushing forwards stick. It was a thing of beauty and since then that sort of play has continued consistently. As an undersized defensemen his play is huge. How many beauty hip-checks has he delivered this year? There was a word I used last year to describe the play of former Gopher Tyler Hirsch. It applies to Robbie as well ... that word is elegant. He is smart smart smart. He is quick as a bee. And he'll rock your world with a hit out of nowhere. He's great along the boards coming up with the puck out of a scrum. He is leading the blueliners with 1 goal and 5 assists and there's no reason to expect those numbers won't grow into something real nice by years end."
In my Sophomore Class preview following Mat's first year at UAA here's what I had to say about "Robbie",
The freshman I was most excited to see before last season started was Mat Robinson. He came out of Calgary with all sorts of good buzz about his abilities as a skating defenseman. And in the first two games at UAA he put up 1 goal and 6 assists (1 goal and 2 assists in the exhibition vs. whatever Canadian school we played and 4 assists vs. RPI). His season total? 1 goal and 6 assists. I don't think its unreasonable to think that Shyiak probably asked Mat to play a defensive role last year. The fact that he played 35 games means that Shyiak likes the kid and the way he plays. I hope Shyiak also likes Mat's offensive upside. The kid has great eye-hand coordination and is as smooth a skater as UAA has. I mention his eye-hand abilities because frankly ... Mat is "Mr. TakeThePuckOffYourStick" ... he's quite possibly a poke check genius and he positions himself on the boards in his own end to steal the puck and skate away. In the RPI game Mat made a cross ice pass from deep in his zone that was definitely one of the best passes I've ever seen made. He has the best rink vision on the team and could grow into a powerful quaterback-style defenseman in all situations. Obviously I don't think that the role Mat played last year (in the last 33 games) really gave him a chance to be all I think he can be. Hopefully this season we'll get to see him put his best skills to good use.
I'd expect that Mat will get some consideration this year in terms of All-WCHA teams. Where that will be depends a lot on the teams success through the remaining 14 games. A lot of players get probably more recognition than they deserve simply because of their team's success. A player like Mat doesn't get the recognition he deserves because of the Seawolves overall lack of success. So when you read something in the national press about a kid like Chris Butler at DU you should be thinking about Mat Robinson. He actually brings more to the ice than Butler but the disparity of UAA and DU's records gets one kid recognized.

Now get your butts to the Sully tonight and make your appreciation known to Mat and all the Seawolves. With wins tonight and Saturday UAA will climb out of it's lone position in the basement and join a number of teams (including Wisconsin) in a logjam of teams pushing for a WCHA home ice playoff spot.


Suze said...

My you're up early today Donald! Great article! And it's nice to see the ADN finally do a feature article on one of our guys.

Matt is really fun to watch ... I just wish his buddy Jay Beagle were still here.

Play with an attitude tonight, Seawolves, I want to see some spunk.

Anonymous said...

man Thank God its friday and there's UAA hockey 2night. Went to watch the aces last friday and thought i was @ a pee wee game with all the fans acting as if they were the players parents. Whiny Bitches anyway GO SEAWOLVES kick some badger ass tonight.

Donald Dunlop said...

I had to make myself wake up. I was having one of those long "movie" dreams and enough of it was slipping through to my consciousness that the absurdity of it was becoming bothersome. Man ... where does some of the stupid shit we dream come from?

I'll find sometime today though for a nice nap :-)

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