Sunday, January 06, 2008

Sunday Potpourri: The "Wow" Edition

On August 15th, 1977, the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) received a transmission on the Ohio State University Radio Observatory unlike no other signal received before or after. In SETI lore it is simply called the "Wow" signal because of the annotation that radio astronomer Dr. Jerry Ehman wrote in the margin. If you're not familiar with what SETI does it can be summed up simply by saying they listen. They listen all across the radio spectrum and all over the sky for any signal that isn't naturally occurring. Space is a relatively noisy place. Virtually every object out there emits some sort of radio noise. SETI's job is to separate the "noise" (which is usually just a steady buzz) from any possible source from some civilization out there. A signal from a civilization is dramatically different from the background quiescent noise. The "Wow" signal was never seen again. The scientists confirmed it's origin as coming from from somewhere inside the constellation Sagitarius but subsequent attempts to "hear" it again have all failed.

That's been the story for this blogger the last couple of weeks or so as well only times three. I made the call that Bryce Christianson from the Vernon Vipers would joining the Seawolves to replace the injured Matthew Gordon. Additionally, I've been expecting to hear about defenseman Jeff Carlson joining the team anytime now. Lastly, there was every indication that transfer Brian Bales eligibility would allow him to start playing as well (he's been in school all of the 1st semester and practicing every day). But just like the SETI "Wow" signal I haven't yet received any hard confirmation about any of those three sitations. I could publish here what I've "heard" but those things aren't much more than speculation and rumor. So I won't burden you with reading all that. I will say that by all indications Bryce should be in the fold. I will also say that Jeff Carlson should be on the squad from everything I've heard. And last but not least I honestly don't know when/if Brian Bales will be playing. With any luck there'll be confimation and/or some clarity on all three of these guys this coming week. Wow?

What a boring week eh? How many "off-weeks" have we sat through so far this season? Four of them. But that's the end of that. No more off weeks without the guys playing. From now until the end of the season they play every weekend. No breaks. 4 away series starting this weekend at Colorado College and 4 home series ending with Minnesota Feb 29th/Mar 1st. 16 games in 8 weeks is what remains. 48 more periods of regular season hockey; 960 minutes, 57,600 seconds. When that's done (and likely not before) we'll know if the team has earned a home ice playoff series. There is plenty of work to be done and plenty of opportunity to make up the 4 points that separates them from 5th place. That's right. Only 4 points. 5 of the 8 series are against teams that currently sit in 5th place or below. 3 of the 4 road series come against the three teams currently occupying 1st, 2nd and 3rd place in the league.

Truthfully, there are only two teams that look to have a home-ice spot locked up. DU and CC will be playing at home (brave prediction by me eh?). But after that it is still wide-open. UND continues to fail to live up to the ridiculous preseason predictions that had them dominating everyone all season long. They split with St. Nothingelsetodoville this past weekend. Minnesota-Duluth is looking vulnerable losing to the USNDT and splitting with Bemidji. Wisconsin couldn't score with a pocketful of cash in a Mexican whorehouse. The Gophers swept #58 Wayne St. this weekend but didn't look impressive by any stretch of the imagination. Mankato lost to a less than good UNO team recently but managed two wins against Ivy-leaguers Yale and Princeton. St. Cloud lost 6 in a row before going 3-2 in their last five. My point here being that nobody is tearing it up and everybody will be fighting hard for the critical league points to earn those home ice WCHA playoff spots.


Anonymous said...

Shyiak announced that Jeff Carlson was added to the roster.

Anonymous said...

Wow- that's a lot of defensemen.

Donald Dunlop said...

I'd tend to think it leaves UAA in a good position going into next season. They'll be one of the most experienced group of blueliners in the league in 08-09.

Anonymous said...

I believe to gain experience you have to play, and with 10 d-men now, that just means less ice time for some boys.

Donald Dunlop said...

Perhaps I should have been more clear.

First, walk-on Jeremy Smith hasn't cracked the line-up this year. I don't know whether he will or not. But he hasn't. One of the "ten" is (d/f) Jared Tuton who (it seems to me) has played about the same number of minutes up front and on the blueline.

So we're really talking about 8 defensemen who are likely competing for time. It does mean that there is some rotation in who plays and we've seen a fair bit of that already this season when all the d men have been healthy (maybe six games).

Since I was primarily talking about experience in 08-09 lets break it down ... next year here's what the blueline looks like ...

Mat Robinson SR
Shane Lovdahl SR
*(Jeremy Smith) SR
Nils Backstrom JR
Trevor Hunt JR
*(Jared Tuton) JR
Kane Lafranchise SO
Luka Vidmar SO
Jeff Carlson 1/2 SO

No announced recruits next season are defenseman. Jeremy Smith is * since he hasn't played and I don't know how likely it is that he ever will play. Jared Tuton is * since he is a "swing" player.

But with two SR and two JR and the rest being SO the team will have one of the most experienced set of blueliners in the league.

Thats what I meant. Everyone might not play the full 34 games but that's the case with the majority of D1 players at any school in any league.

Anonymous said...

Donald, I believe you are right. It sounds better when you explain it that way. Thanks

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