Sunday, October 29, 2006

What "We" Want to Know

So what is it that "we" fans want to know? We want to know if this team is going to break our hearts. We want to know if they're going to live up to some internet blowhard's word or if ultimately we'll be disappointed. And it's hard for us to forget. We saw what I'd call a decent start last season (1-1 in tournament and a split with Fairbanks) only to go out and lose 7 of the next 8 games to WCHA opponents by a combined score of 35 - 11. What's it gonna be? That's what we all want to know. Hows it gonna go? Well the honest truth is that in terms of statistics and numbers and quantifiable evidence there just ain't enough data to predict. But for whatever it is worth I'm much inclined to believe that the positives will greatly outweigh the negatives especially in terms of building to more success in the WCHA(sooner rather than later). So here's both sides of where we are ...

Six regular season games have past. There's been a mix of successes and failures with a measure of humiliation thrown in. We see the team playing it's systems at a higher level acoss the board. We see the crisp passing, the faster pace and the hard work. We see the committment defensively going down blocking shots. We see the highly touted youngsters doing many positive things both in terms of playmaking and goal scoring. In fact, there is much undeveloped potential among all the freshman and as the season goes along the benefits of those things will be evident. We don't need the good PK percentage to know the team is better in that area, we've seen them do it. We've seen the upperclassmen display leadership in all areas.

On the negative side of the equation I'd first say that finishing isn't what it could be. The close chances (the almost goals if you will) have been fairly frequent but conversion on breakaways and 2 on 1's would not be a proud statistic if you calculated it. Having witnessed the power play "clicking" I'm always a bit taken aback when one goes awry. And more than a couple have been so. The number of undisciplined penalties isn't particularly high and those have been by freshman whom I'd expect will learn the lesson of such things sooner than later. The last negative would be what I'd call utilitarian average goaltending overall but with enough indications that much more positive play is likely.

Thats where I think we are. Whatever it adds up to depends on how you do the math I guess.
By the way ... I think it's a great thing that Wisconsin is coming here after getting swept by BC. More on that next time ... and I'm not being sarcstic.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Bourne breaks in alone on the Tech goal in the 2nd game.........and does not score. You have to bury those consistently to stand a chance of winning in the league. But there are more positives about this team than we've seen in a number of years.

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