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Bonin21
06-15-2015, 03:49 PM
How confident are the gopher fans with the incoming players for this upcoming year? How about your goalie situation? Seems similar to Nodaks question marks.
Incoming players are decent. What they lost is huge. Not very optimistic, though the Big Ten will probably suck with what Michigan lost.

D2D
06-15-2015, 07:52 PM
Incoming players are decent. What they lost is huge.
Classic definition of a "rebuilding year"! After this past up, and down, and up, and finally down again year we can only hope they surprise us on the upside. At least one of the goalie candidates will need to rise to the occasion for this season's team to be successful.

Slap Shot
06-16-2015, 01:51 AM
I don't anticipate them lacking coming together as a team compared with last season when they tried to get it done on talent alone. This is not the first time they've lost this much talent between seasons and rarely have they not come back from it. I'm looking forward to seeing sophs take a step forward and they should be more physical and gritty. I'm not predicting Frozen Four good but they'll be better than many seem to think.

HarleyMC
06-16-2015, 02:22 AM
I don't anticipate them lacking coming together as a team compared with last season when they tried to get it done on talent alone. This is not the first time they've lost this much talent between seasons and rarely have they not come back from it. I'm looking forward to seeing sophs take a step forward and they should be more physical and gritty. I'm not predicting Frozen Four good but they'll be better than many seem to think.

Agreed, Gopher history is replete with examples of how vacancies often bring out the true potential in returning Gopher players. I'm even expecting Cammarata to turn his game around. I expect Fasching to have a better season as well.

The B1G should be very competitive this season. MSU and Penn St. have strong senior leadership and depth returning. MSU will most likely have Hildebrand back in net, the 2014-15 B1G conference player and goaltender of the year. Michigan has another good freshmen class coming in (i.e. Connor, Warren) along with returning players Compher (C), Werenski, Kile, Motte, Nieves, etc. The Gophers have scoring potential up front (Kloos, C. Reilly, Fasching, Romanko, Bristedt, Cammarata, Ramsey, Novak), but how the D performs with the loss of Reilly, Skjei and Marshall, who steps up in net to replace Wilcox and team leadership are question marks.

D2D
06-16-2015, 09:51 PM
Agreed, Gopher history is replete with examples of how vacancies often bring out the true potential in returning Gopher players. I'm even expecting Cammarata to turn his game around. I expect Fasching to have a better season as well.

The B1G should be very competitive this season. MSU and Penn St. have strong senior leadership and depth returning. MSU will most likely have Hildebrand back in net, the 2014-15 B1G conference player and goaltender of the year. Michigan has another good freshmen class coming in (i.e. Connor, Warren) along with returning players Compher (C), Werenski, Kile, Motte, Nieves, etc. The Gophers have scoring potential up front (Kloos, C. Reilly, Fasching, Romanko, Bristedt, Cammarata, Ramsey, Novak), but how the D performs with the loss of Reilly, Skjei and Marshall, who steps up in net to replace Wilcox and team leadership are question marks.

Great summary, HarleyMC. I think the real question that in the end will be most important in determining how far this team will go will be "who steps up in net to replace Wilcox in net".

HarleyMC
06-17-2015, 01:13 AM
Great summary, HarleyMC. I think the real question that in the end will be most important in determining how far this team will go will be "who steps up in net to replace Wilcox in net".

I agree, as the juggernaut in net since 2012 Wilcox definitely set the bar high for his replacement, ranked first all-time in career GAA (2.09) and SV% (.922), tied for first in shutouts (13) and tied for third in wins (75). An elite goaltender is a tough act to follow, but we've seen this scenario before.

Wilcox did not put up stellar numbers in the USHL. I'm reminded Gopher fans including myself, had similar questions about Wilcox in 2012 as the heir apparent to Kent Patterson whose 28 wins in his final Gopher season were the most by a Gopher goalie since Robb Stauber won 34 in 1987-88.

Then Wilcox comes out of nowhere and sets a new single season GAA record (1.88) as a freshman and ties Briggs for most wins in a rookie season. Credit Justin Johnson, who has done an amazing job in helping goalies elevate their game (Patterson and Wilcox). I'm optimistic we can see some surprises in net again this season in whoever gets the nod. Thanks D2D, appreciate your insights. :)

Hammy
06-17-2015, 10:25 PM
I think the real question that in the end will be most important in determining how far this team will go will be "who steps up in net to replace Wilcox in net".

Schierhorn should be the favorite. He faced the most shots in the USHL this past season (not a great D in front of him) but had the best save percentage in the league and was pretty close to being top 5 in GAA. 1st team USHLer. Of course, he has to prove it on this level too. However, he'd be my favorite to see the majority of the starts given the competition isn't overwhelming. I'd guess they might go with a bit of a rotation early on though.

If we are honest, Wilcox did not have a top notch final year. He had his moments but not nearly as dominant as we became used to. He didn't set the bar high for his replacement based on last year's .912 save percentage (yes, I realize not every goal is on the goalie but Wilcox didn't "steal" as many goals last year as he had the prior few seasons either).

D2D
06-17-2015, 11:27 PM
Schierhorn should be the favorite. He faced the most shots in the USHL this past season (not a great D in front of him) but had the best save percentage in the league and was pretty close to being top 5 in GAA. 1st team USHLer. Of course, he has to prove it on this level too. However, he'd be my favorite to see the majority of the starts given the competition isn't overwhelming.
Thanks for the info. Sure hope he quickly adopts to the higher level of play.


I'd guess they might go with a bit of a rotation early on though.
Very reasonable guess. Given the minutes Wilcox played during his career, which leaves a real hole as to who ends up playing the majority of minutes going forward, it's easy to envision Lucia giving more than just Schierhorn an opportunity at earning real playing time.

QUOTE=Hammy;6171788]If we are honest, Wilcox did not have a top notch final year. He had his moments but not nearly as dominant as we became used to. He didn't set the bar high for his replacement based on last year's .912 save percentage (yes, I realize not every goal is on the goalie but Wilcox didn't "steal" as many goals last year as he had the prior few seasons either).[/QUOTE]

Couldn't agree more. Overall, a great career at the U. Too bad his last season wasn't his best. I would, however, like to see some stats on how many lone breakaways the Gophers gave up this past season compared to the two seasons before. I might be imagining things, but could it be true that in one game this past season they gave up five????

HarleyMC
06-19-2015, 07:05 AM
Interesting NHL scouting report on incoming Gopher recruit Thomas Novak (http://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/nhl/prospect-of-interest-the-411-on-thomas-novak/):


Like many young NHL prospects, growing up Novak was usually the most talented player on his team and a star in whichever league he competed. If he hopes to continue that trend in the NHL, he can’t rest on his laurels. “Like most players that make that jump, he needs to play harder on a more consistent basis,” NHL Central Scouting’s Greg Rajanen told NHL.com in November. “However, he is making strides in that area. He has Patrick Kane-like hands and puck handling ability,” Rajanen added. “He has quick hands. He’s quick out of the blocks in all directions and handles the puck very well with creative puck play seen. He’s a point-producer type.”

Another comment by Lucia on Brock Kautz (http://www.kttc.com/story/29221679/2015/06/02/gophers-happy-to-have-former-century-player-on-board).

HarleyMC
06-21-2015, 06:02 AM
Although Wilcox has the best single season SV% since 2004, Alex Kangas deserves a lot of credit for his performance in 2007-08 at #2 with a poorer performing Gopher team in front of him. The Gophers had a record 16 OT games under Kangas that season (3-4-9), the most during Lucia's tenure. Wilcox SV% last season (#6) is identical to Kellen Briggs in 2004-05 (#7), the Gophers lost 4-2 in the F4 semis to UND that year.

.........................................Top 10 Save Percentages (2004-15)

.....Season.........Goalie........GP...........Min ........GA.....SV....Shots...SV%....GAA.....Record .....Win%

1) 2013-2014.......Wilcox.........38........2281:37.....75 ....1035....1110.....932......1.97.....26-6-6.......763
2) 2007-2008.......Kangas........31........1966:45.....65. ....861.....926......930......1.98.....12-10-9......532
3) 2012-2013.......Wilcox.........39........2331:00.....73 .....855.....928......921......1.88.....25-8-5.......724
4) 2010-2011.......Patterson....30........1737:13.....73.. ...833......906.....919......2.52.....14-9-6........586
5) 2006-2007.......Briggs.........26........1518:37.....54 .....600......654.....917......2.13.....17-7-2........692
6) 2014-2015.......Wilcox........38...... ..2252:20.....91....943.....1034.....912......2.42 .....22-12-3......635
7) 2004-2005.......Briggs.........34........1953:35.....79 .....821......900.....912......2.43.....21-12-0......636
8) 2009-2010.......Kangas.......33........1934:28.....84.. ...858......942.....911......2.61.....16-15-1......516
9) 2011-2012.......Patterson....43........2557:19.....99.. ...966....1065.....907......2.32.....28-14-1......663
10) 2005-2006.....Briggs.........32........1832:24.....78.. ...737......815.....904......2.55.....21-6-3........750

D2D
06-22-2015, 11:08 PM
Interesting NHL scouting report on incoming Gopher recruit Thomas Novak (http://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/nhl/prospect-of-interest-the-411-on-thomas-novak/):



Another comment by Lucia on Brock Kautz (http://www.kttc.com/story/29221679/2015/06/02/gophers-happy-to-have-former-century-player-on-board).

Interesting comment in the linked article: "Our goaltending position is going to be wide open when the year begins."

5mn_Major
06-23-2015, 01:36 AM
We've got a couple of solid G's coming in for freshmen. I have to feel we'll get someone passable. Bischoff, Brodzinski, Collins, Glover, Johnson, Seeler, I feel pretty good about depth on D. I'm most concerned about putting the puck in the net. They'll have to cobble together consistent scoring from Kloos/Cammy, Fasching, C Reilly and a handful of freshmen. Who knows maybe Kloos/Cammy can turn into Potulny/Irmen. We'll see.

HarleyMC
06-24-2015, 12:05 AM
We've got a couple of solid G's coming in for freshmen. I have to feel we'll get someone passable. Bischoff, Brodzinski, Collins, Glover, Johnson, Seeler, I feel pretty good about depth on D. I'm most concerned about putting the puck in the net. They'll have to cobble together consistent scoring from Kloos/Cammy, Fasching, C Reilly and a handful of freshmen. Who knows maybe Kloos/Cammy can turn into Potulny/Irmen. We'll see.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed with Cammarata, and I'm sure the coaching staff is expecting to see more offense from him in the coming season. There's no question he's a talented kid with good full ice vision, good passing ability and short term speed, but his goal scoring drought last season was an obvious disappointment (3-24-27).

If he buries the puck more last season, the Gophers do better than 4-6 in 1 goal games, which was down from 10-2 in 2013-14. He did show signs of more physicality around the paint and on the walls as the season progressed, but he needs to turn the corner and resurrect some of the scoring consistency he and Kloos once had in the USHL.

The 2015-16 Gopher Hockey Schedule (http://www.gophersports.com/sports/m-hockey/sched/minn-m-hockey-sched.html).

Bonin21
06-24-2015, 12:26 AM
If he doesn't step up I could see him riding pine, because his skating is a liability at this level.

5mn_Major
06-24-2015, 01:45 PM
If he doesn't step up I could see him riding pine, because his skating is a liability at this level.

Could be...but I'd bet against it. We won't have the weapons we've had the last 3 years. He'll still be among the best players we can put on the ice regardless.

D2D
06-24-2015, 02:05 PM
Could be...but I'd bet against it. We won't have the weapons we've had the last 3 years. He'll still be among the best players we can put on the ice regardless.
Despite a disappointing season goal-scoring wise I thought he made progress last season, particularly in the 2nd half. At times he looked intimidated by physical play early on, but seemed to get more involved and fought harder for the puck in the corners as the season progressed. Hopefully we'll see him take another step right off the bat this year.

Bonin21
06-24-2015, 02:21 PM
I do seem to remember the end of the season being better, so it'll depend on how he comes in.

Hammy
06-24-2015, 04:08 PM
If Cammy starts scoring many more goals, it's going to likely be because he's shooting the puck more on the PP. He's not going to be given the luxury of floating out high like he did in junior hockey so I doubt we'll see a lot of extra goal production from him in 5 on 5 situations.

I am hopeful that they give Kloos a chance to play on a different line from Cammy. I think Cammy's mediocre effort on the defensive end puts extra pressure on Kloos... which is something I'd like to see reduced given he will arguably be the best offensive weapon the team has next year.

Lucia had two straight years in which some of the team leaders (highly respected guys) complained to him about Cammy's effort and it seemed to fall on deaf ears. If he refuses to bench a guy under those circumstances, it is hard to see him doing it moving forward (even if it is justified).

Cammy needs to be a much better presence next season. You can't be on that high of a scholarship and not be a much more productive guy (in all facets of the game).

HarleyMC
06-25-2015, 12:58 AM
It's long overdue for Cammarata and Kloos to be separated. It's clearly time to turn the page on that USHL pairing, it hasn't worked for the Gophers. Lucia sometimes tends to hang onto "hunches" about increased player performance (i.e. Kangas) even when the writing is on the wall it's not going to work. I would have preferred benching Cammarata last season until a marked improvement in his power skating ability, positioning and physicality level was evident. He would benefit immensely from developing more lower and upper body strength and overall conditioning this summer.

5mn_Major
06-25-2015, 01:44 AM
I don't see Cammarata going anywhere. This last year, Boyd could have played on any line and probably been a better player in having done so. But the goal was not to make Boyd better...it was to make the team better. This year, Kloos will be that guy. He doesn't need but could use a set up guy. Regardless of where the goals came from, Cammarata provided more assists than anyone last year (outside M Reilly). But right now Cammy needs a bull that goes to the net...and Kloos is just that in our top returning scorer. Likewise, I think you'll see Fasching and Bristedt stay together. Although C Reilly might end up being a power forward goal scorer...Fasching can put the puck in the net and Bristedt is a top notch passer. I don't think you'll see any structural changes here.