Sunday, April 05, 2009

Sunday Potpourri: Leave it to the Beavers


I played my first game of cash poker in many many many years this past week. While I'm sure the winners (I spread it around ya know) enjoyed or at least appreciated raping a virgin, let me assure you that this victim didn't. I won't do that again for a very very very long time. All their exhortations that I didn't play badly are nothing more than pleas for me to step up and spread em again. I won't though. Be assured dear readers that your favorite blogger is safe from such future harm. Seriously, it sucked.

We're a couple of weeks into the off-season today. There hasn't been any real jonesing moments for me. A couple of times last weekend while watching the NCAA regionals, I was envious of teams that I knew weren't as good as the Seawolves. But hey, I know my team didn't get there honestly so I accepted it gracefully and cheered for UMD and Bemidji. The Bulldogs didn't have enough interest in satisfying my need to see someone do well. But the Beavers did.

Bemidji State's success in the tournament this season shows that the talent margin is thin enough in Division 1 hockey to allow just about anything to happen come tourney time. Certainly, it tells us all that any WCHA team could get to the Frozen Four in pretty much any year. Getting to the tournament is a whole other problem of course.

Good on Bemidji, here's hoping they give a good enough showing to keep any naysayers quiet. The excitement of their fanbase doesn't deserve to be diminished by negative nellies. They're there and they got there honestly. I find nothing compelling enough about the other participants so next weekend I'm a Beaver fan.

I don't think their success will have much if any bearing on the admittance to the league issue. Their success against WCHA teams the last few years has been enough for the WCHA to realize they'd compete well. But the quality of Beaver hockey isn't the issue. There are probably still four "no" votes. DU and CC don't want to lose dates with teams that pack their arenas. League expansion advocates will use "clustering and designated rivals" to appease those Colorado fears. You can count on DU and CC being named primary designated rivals (or some such term) with the biggest draws which are typically Minnesota, Wisconsin and UND. Only a guarantee that Magness and World Arena attendance numbers wouldn't suffer will get CC or DU to vote yes.

MTU and UAA have valid questions about how adding Bemidji benefits them. Neither MTU or UAA have to worry about attendance. In UAA's case there aren't big changes in attendance that are connected to the opponent. And they're both "state" schools so athletic department budgets don't feel the same pressures as at private schools like DU and CC. I don't see any tangible benefit to admitting an 11th (or 12th) team for UAA unless it comes with a reduction of the league mandated 28 game schedule.

I continue to advocate that measure because it would be very positive for UAA as well as a positive for the league come tournament time. The "Alaska exemption" provides UAA with a strong advantage when it comes to scheduling. It's one that UAA hasn't been able to really use to it's advantage because of the overwhelmingly obtuse rule of playing 28 league games.

With 8 additonal non-conference games the WCHA's perennial domination of other leagues would become a strong RPI/PWR determining factor. Note to WCHA: Play only 20 league regular season contests and you'll see 5 teams from the WCHA in the NCAA tournament every year. Yes, it might dimish the shine on winning a WCHA regular season title by some small amount. Small price to pay to get more league teams into the bigger NCAA show.

Yes, coaches will have to make more phone calls in the off-season. Yes, you can still play your rival four times a year. Two of the games won't count in the regular season standings. Big deal. You still beat them 4 times. Does it really matter that it isn't reflected in the standings? Isn't playing every team once a season more fair than some subjective preconcieved regional designated rival cluster-fuck? Duh ... of course it is. Then lets not have some bullshit 3 or 5 year rotation with 11 teams and 28 games. Keep it simple stupids.

I've got a good lead on someone to add alumni content to the blog. In case you haven't heard me say it, I limit the content to current Seawolves because it works for the amount of time I desire to put into the blog. If this association comes to fruition you can expect regular updates about all your former Seawolf hockey favorites.

And as always, if you've got something to contribute then send me an email and we'll work out getting it onto the blog in post form. Next season is going to be a good one for the team and I anticipate more traffic here. I'll start with "please" but I'll also do whatever I can to encourage those of you with knowledge and/or information and/or quality opinion and analysis to share that here with a growing community of Seawolf fans. As always psuedonyms will be perfectly acceptable.

11 comments:

seawolvesfan said...

If you havent already checked this out you should:

http://jtbourne.wordpress.com/2009/04/03/the-wcha/#comments

Great to see Bourne giving props to UAA and the WCHA

and DD, thinking of making a post for your blog, if you can manage it can you please post it?

Donald Dunlop said...

Email it to me ...

seawolvesfan said...

hey sorry, yesterday i forgot to update you, my post was gonna be short, sweet, and to the point. but ive expanded it(making it 3 times as big as i had planned) and its probably gonna be done at the lastest late friday night

seawolvesfan said...

http://everything-ak-hockey.blogspot.com/

for the first edition, anyways

sitkafan said...

From various sites I have gathered somewhat of a upcoming schedule

Oct. 9/10 Kendall Hockey Classic with UAF, Michigan and Umass

(guessed on date since it is after the Kendall)Oct. 16/17 Brice Classic with UAF, Robert Morris and RPI

Oct. 23-24 UND at UAA

Dec. 4-5 SCSU at UAA

Feb. 5-6 UAA at SCSU

Mar. 5/6 UMD at UAA

Mar. 12-14 WCHA First Round

Mar. 18-20 Final Five

Mar. 26-28 NCAA Regionals

Apr. 8 NCAA National Semifinals

Apr. NCAA National Championship

Anonymous said...

What players participated in the scrimmage against the under 16 team, how could the coaches jepordize these players scholarships. Ten players were involved, I am sure the players parents are worried especially after the curfew issue earlier in the year.
Fan
Not impressed

Anonymous said...

There scholarships are not in jeopardy at all. It was a secondary violation which schools can get if they sneeze without covering their mouths! The NCAA throws secondary violations out like lollipops at a doctors office! The team was just trying to help these kids get ready for Nationals by playing a fun high paced game of shinny hockey. If had been played at any other rink in Anc or even outdoors this wouldn't have been a problem. I see it as a great way for the team to reach out to the local hockey community and help out Alaska youth hockey but the NC$$ doesn't see it that way! Oh well! Nothing will come of this "violation."

Donald Dunlop said...

I have to agree that nothing note-worthy will come from this incident.

It is a self-reported minor violation of the rules.d

Anonymous said...

Looking forward to next season already, home series for uaa, and a trip to the wcha final.
Wish all the players a well deserved summer break.

Fan

Anonymous said...

Took a trip back East and hooked up to see a Devils game while I was there. The team was on a 6game losing streak and even with that there was still so much electricity in that arena with the fans and the music. Wow....if the music at the Sully could even be 1/4 as good as it was at the Rock, it would be so sweet!

Anonymous said...

Don't get us started on the music at Sully...that's what you get when you leave old people in charge.

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