Sunday, November 16, 2008

Sunday Potpourri: Random Pontification

I thought today while watching the Minnesota/Michigan Tech game that I'd take a look at the rest of the college hockey world i.e... all things not Seawolf. It turned into more than just that ... blah blah blah ... eh? I looked for a better picture. But I decided against using another Gretchen Mol picture for fear of being accused of being obsessed with her.

Colorado College so far this season has compiled a record of 7-2-3. That's the 2nd best record for a college hockey team in Colorado Springs. Air Force is unbeaten in 10 games. What the hell is that about? Well they haven't exactly played any powerhouse teams, in their conference they've beaten Sacred Heart twice, American International twice, Bentley twice and Holy Cross twice. In their only non-conference games so far they stomped Bemidji State twice. Things are likely to get a bit more difficult with CC and DU at the end of the month but not much else is on the horizon to keep these guys out of the NCAAs at the end of the season. They're a lock unless they suffer some crazy breakdown. Why are they kicking everyone's ass? A Lamoureux (Jacques) is lighting it up. Mrs. Lamoureux is apparently a hockey player factory having popped out one after another; both boys and girls. Her menopause is a loss for the hockey world.

After Air Force guess which team is the only other undefeated team (that's played more than a couple of games that is)? Minnesota is the answer; they haven't had any cupcakes on the schedule either but 4 ties is perhaps a small sign of some possible vulnerability. Out east, Northeastern leads Hockey East and sports a 7-1-2 record overall. B.C. is right on their tails and UMass is somewhat of a surprise in third. I doubt many Manuh's would have figured their team would be 6-3 at this point in the season but they're in the Hockey East mix tied for 4th. Former uaF bench boss Guy Gadowsky has Princeton right in the mix this season as they're currently tied with Dartmouth and Hahvad for 1st place in the ECAC. The CCHA looks similar at the top as it has over the last couple of years (Miami in 1st and Michigan in 2nd tied with upstart Ferris State) with the exception of Michigan State 2-4-2 in conference so far.

This is likely the last season for the CHA. The big question is what is going to happen next year. Of course, there are all sorts of mostly unfounded ideas. The one thing that is going to have some bearing on the situation is a vote next week by WCHA members on whether to remove the current moratorium on expansion. If they do vote to lift it (and it's only a majority vote) then following the season they'll likely be voting on whether to admit Bemidji as a member. I understand that vote will have to be unanimous. I'll cover that whole situation more in depth at another time.

Crap. Minnesota just notched it's first goal against MTU on a 5-on-3 power play. That means spelling practice for the repressed teachers at Mariucci of course. Oh curiste, I barely get those two sentences typed and da Gophs net another one. Sigh. How many kids does MTU have whose last names start with K? 4? What's up with that? There's only 4 other "K" names in the entire WCHA (I looked it up). Mazzacco just said, "Justin St. Louis looking for Kitti". Beavis and Butthead would be laughing their asses off at that. I only grinned slightly.

If you watched yesterday's game you would have seen ultra-fan (that's higher than a superfan) MEg (MeanEgirl) on TV jumping up and down. Always cool to see someone you know on TV but um ... MEg darlin ... get a new entourage. Tech's 1st power play looks pretty good. They moved the puck around nicely and had a couple of good chances. Hey ... I'm "live blogging" (sorta). Aren't I cool?

Denver got swept this weekend. And while I'd normally think that's a cool thing, unfortunately it was St. Cloud that did the deed. I guess that's not too horrible since the Bluffskies have sucked until now. The word is that if you bang Lasch and Roe at the beginning of the game that you can nullify them. I don't know if I buy that. Especially concerning Roe. He's a fairly resiliant little prick with a bit of an attitude. I still think DU has issues. We'll see though.

Bucky took 3 points on the road at Duluth. My bud Donna at RWD won't be happy with that but she'll write something creative and funny anyway. UAA visits the "Kohl Disco Dance Club" the first week in December to face the BADgers. Si Si and MSU-M split this weekend. The first 7 teams in the WCHA standings are within 3 points of one another. If Minnesota wins today's game that won't be the case as they'll be 5 points ahead of UAA, UND and MSU-M.

It's the end of the 1st in Twinkietown. Doug and Rug have been joined in the box by WCHA Supervisor of Officials. Yawn. Listening to him explain over and over and over how the game is being called is boring. Enough of the insipid text questions too eh? Puhlease. I could care less how many years he's been involved in refereeing. The new rule changes haven't changed the "even it up" attitude of WCHA referees. Shepherd says there's no "evening it up" as the third period starts. Laughable.

Who in Yahweh's name dresses John Hill? And by the way, could Dave Hakstol look any more miserable behind the bench? That cat is a future candidate for some mandibular joint issues with all the jaw clenching. Dave ... take a Xanax dude.

Typical!!! MTU dominates the first 4 minutes of the 2nd, hits the post and the first rush up the ice and into the MTU zone and Minnesota scores. Ugh. Doug is wondering how MTU will respond. Puhlease Doug ... if you don't know by now that Jamie Russell teams don't quit then you should quit the TV gig. Ugh ... another 5-on-3 for da Gophs. It occurs to me how ironic it is (after my incendiary posts this past week) that UND fans and I are both cheering against the Gophers right now. OMG ... what a ridiculous hooking penalty on Justin St. Louis.

3-0 at the start of the 3rd. Tech is playing well but haven't been rewarded for the effort. Another power play for Tech and they looked good but of course the referees couldn't allow them to get back into the game so they call Tech for a penalty. Another penalty on Tech. This one for CFB. That pretty puts the game in the bag for Minnesota. Even if they kill off he 5 minutes there's little chance they can come back from the 3-0 deficit. Not much chance that they would have called a 2 minute minor since there was a fair amount of force behind the check. I think the rules changes have eliminated a lot of physical play in the league. Perhaps this particular penalty isn't a great example but it comes to my mind because of it. Of course, now the refs call a questionable hooking call on Minnesota to offset the 5 minute major.

Half the Mariucci crowd looks to be gone already and there's still 10 minutes to play (spoiled jerks). Tech continues to put out a good effort. I think they allowed (or were forced to) play the Gophers game. And now with a little over 2 minutes they call a meaningless penalty to give MTU a 4-on-3 chance. Maybe they can ruin the shutout? Good possesion as they've had all night and the refs see another opportunity to call a penalty when Anderson taps the back of an MTU players boots and he goes down. I say it was a dive.

And the 68 folks left at Mariucci cheer for the Kangas shutout and practice their spelling again.

Another WCHA game ruined by over-officious referees who now have an edict to insert themselves into the game more often. We all know that the ego of referees means there is already a tendency to make themselves visible and/or important to the game. Why else would anyone become a referee? I fear this new enforcement could be more negative overall than everyone anticipated. We'll see.

Well that's it. I'm sure I could continue all day with endless rambling but ... Oh what the hell. Here's a Gretchen pic anyway.


Suze said...

I listened to Shep as well, and didn't buy half of what he said. They want "more scoring", what better way to get it than to call a ton of penalties? I doubt it will stop by January as he predicts.

They are ruining the game. It is too damn choppy. Let them skate! As JJ pointed out on the USCHO, the players can't even go for the puck anymore or they get a stick infraction called on them.

What I don't understand is why WCHA refs don't need sanctioning? Just the okay from Shep and they are in. Bullcrap. They need an overhaul of refs in the WCHA.

Anonymous said...

The first mistake was going to the two-referee system. Now it's a question of oneupmanship. Refs once set the tone (and players and coaches followed). Now refs too often think they're part of the show. But, hey, they only do what they're told.

Donald Dunlop said...

I think there's been many more incidents of refs getting in the way too. Especially along the boards. There's not much that can be done about that part though.

My biggest concern about WCHA refs in particular is that they aren't pre-scheduled. So Papa Shep doled out assignments on a weekly basis. No doubt there are some gigs/towns that would be considered "plum" by the referees.

With that being the case, when some poor boob gets his marching orders on a Tuesday and finds out he has to come to his least favorite rink (the Sully), I would think his frame of mind might not be conducive to him doing the best job. It's only human nature eh?

Advanced scheduling (arbitrary) would fix that issue.

I know for a fact there is one particular referee that has a number of friends among certain fanbases with whom he shares adult beverages after the game. I don't have a problem with that except that when that ref is in Anchorage he knows he isn't going to get to "party" after the games. Could that affect the way he calls the games here?

Just asking ...

Anonymous said...

Well shoot, If that ref comes to town, let's take him out before the game!!

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