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Old Pio
04-01-2010, 08:27 PM
Random observations in no particular order.

The vast majority of concerns/problems expressed by Swami and DG are, IMHO, valid. And the solutions for most of those problems are behind the bench. I'm making no argument for change here, I'm simply pointing out the implications of what we're saying.

Yeah, I think sometimes we're too much a finesse team. And yet bad azz North Dakota (which ALWAYS peaks at the end of the season) got bumped by Yale and that intimidating style played in the Ivy Leauge! There was a time (mandatory historical reference) when DU was also a finesse team--Tom Miller, Cliff Koroll, Jim Wiste, Craig Patrick and George Morrison just to name a few. But they were also quite capable of knocking your d**k in the dirt if need be. And one would think, based on the talent level of the players we've recruited over the past several years, that we would be able to play either style when appropriate. I remember a game between the US Nationals and the Soviets at the Broadmoor. The US came out very chippy in the first period. Then, suddenly, one US player went down with a mouthful of blood, followed by another and another. And then the US calmed down and played their normal style. The Russians had temporarily adjusted their style of play and put the US back in its box.

And not being mentally prepared for the NCAA's is a huge puzzler. What is it about Tom Izzo, for instance, that has enabled him to get MSU back to the Final Four six times in the last 12 years in a much bigger tournament? Upsets are part of the huge attraction of these "one and done" tournaments. But why has the "done" been us lately? And is there anything that can be done about it? Gwoz has shown that he can win with a team of over achievers and a team favored. So what's the problem? Swami inferentially suggested that somehow the game or coaching or something has passed Gwoz by. Well, if that's true, it's time to figure out what it is and fix it. Why does DU seem to get to the post season and consistently play under its potential (at least for the last 5 years)? How could we have lost to RIT, playing in its first-ever NCAA game? It's time to get an answer to these questions and fast. Else all the good work that been done by DG and others to improve school spirit will go to waste.

I reiterate: the answer to the majority of these questions comes from behind the bench.

manurespreader
04-01-2010, 08:43 PM
Random observations in no particular order.

The vast majority of concerns/problems expressed by Swami and DG are, IMHO, valid. And the solutions for most of those problems are behind the bench. I'm making no argument for change here, I'm simply pointing out the implications of what we're saying.

Yeah, I think sometimes we're too much a finesse team. And yet bad azz North Dakota (which ALWAYS peaks at the end of the season) got bumped by Yale and that intimidating style played in the Ivy Leauge! There was a time (mandatory historical reference) when DU was also a finesse team--Tom Miller, Cliff Koroll, Jim Wiste, Craig Patrick and George Morrison just to name a few. But they were also quite capable of knocking your d**k in the dirt if need be. And one would think, based on the talent level of the players we've recruited over the past several years, that we would be able to play either style when appropriate. I remember a game between the US Nationals and the Soviets at the Broadmoor. The US came out very chippy in the first period. Then, suddenly, one US player went down with a mouthful of blood, followed by another and another. And then the US calmed down and played their normal style. The Russians had temporarily adjusted their style of play and put the US back in its box.

And not being mentally prepared for the NCAA's is a huge puzzler. What is it about Tom Izzo, for instance, that has enabled him to get MSU back to the Final Four six times in the last 12 years in a much bigger tournament? Upsets are part of the huge attraction of these "one and done" tournaments. But why has the "done" been us lately? And is there anything that can be done about it? Gwoz has shown that he can win with a team of over achievers and a team favored. So what's the problem? Swami inferentially suggested that somehow the game or coaching or something has passed Gwoz by. Well, if that's true, it's time to figure out what it is and fix it. Why does DU seem to get to the post season and consistently play under its potential (at least for the last 5 years)? How could we have lost to RIT, playing in its first-ever NCAA game? It's time to get an answer to these questions and fast. Else all the good work that been done by DG and others to improve school spirit will go to waste.

I reiterate: the answer to the majority of these questions comes from behind the bench.
Sorry guys but I can't help but comment on this. First and foremost the coach doesn't play. And I can tell you that at least when I played, it was hard to know even in the locker room before a game, if the team was really up or not. It wasn't until we actually got on to the ice and were in the game that it became obvious. Often big games were up games, but not always.Sometimes we'd have a good week of practice and good attitudes and in the game we were flat. Personally the coach has some input to this of course but to tell the truth, to blame him for the players not being up is a bit of a stretch.
Second, this does not give credit to the opposition. College hockey is very even across all the leagues, and there is just not that much difference between teams, so it is not that hard for even a relatively bad team to play well and beat one of the better teams, Miami for instance lost to Michigan the 7th place team in the ccha playoffs. Couple that with injuries to a few key players and it's easy for a team to go from top notch to average.
Not excusing anyone but something to think about.

Old Pio
04-01-2010, 09:08 PM
Sorry guys but I can't help but comment on this. First and foremost the coach doesn't play. And I can tell you that at least when I played, it was hard to know even in the locker room before a game, if the team was really up or not. It wasn't until we actually got on to the ice and were in the game that it became obvious. Often big games were up games, but not always.Sometimes we'd have a good week of practice and good attitudes and in the game we were flat. Personally the coach has some input to this of course but to tell the truth, to blame him for the players not being up is a bit of a stretch.
Second, this does not give credit to the opposition. College hockey is very even across all the leagues, and there is just not that much difference between teams, so it is not that hard for even a relatively bad team to play well and beat one of the better teams, Miami for instance lost to Michigan the 7th place team in the ccha playoffs. Couple that with injuries to a few key players and it's easy for a team to go from top notch to average.
Not excusing anyone but something to think about.

All true. But don't we hire coaches to recruit, teach and and inspire players? Isn't that what John McInnes did? It's certainly what Murray Armstrong did. And it's certainly something Gwoz has done exceptionally well, except for the last three early-outs from the tournament. All I'm suggesting (I don't speak for anyone else, of course) is that if there's something Gwoz needs to do or needs to do better to get his team prepared for the tournament, he needs to do it. DU this season wasn't "one of the better teams," it was a team ranked #1 or #2 all season long, champion of the WCHA with two Hobey Baker finalists and 13 NHL draft choices, and the overall #2 seed in the tournament. Losing to RIT, especially the way the game played out, was embarrassing and shouldn't have happened. It is precisely a game like this where a coach, and his ability to keep his players focused, earns his keep--by getting good play out of them at the time it's needed most. Maybe we're not recruiting the right kind of kid, but then that's Gwoz' responsibility, too.

Let me offer an analogy. In the mid 90's Tom Osborne went to school on his Cornhusker football program and decided to make some changes, mostly on defense, where Nebraska was getting embarrassed by passing teams year after year in bowl games. He abandoned the 5-2 and went with a 3-4, and brought in some very athletic, but smallish linebackers. He also stopped recruiting those ernest, but slow white kids to play in his secondary and replaced them with some speedier kids from Compton and other places. The result: 60 and 5 over his last 5 seasons with appearances in 4 national title games and 3 NC's. I'm suggesting that perhaps Gwoz needs to take a look at what he's doing and how he's doing it to see if some changes need to be made. No more, no less.

And one more Osborne factoid: as far as getting consistently good performances out of his team--in 25 years as a head coach, averaging better than 10 wins a year, Osborne lost exactly one game to a team that finished below .500. In other words, with only one exception, under Osborne the Huskers always beat the teams they were supposed to beat. They weren't looking ahead, they were focusing on the game at hand. Seems to have worked out well for them.

Puck Swami
04-01-2010, 10:26 PM
So what's the problem? Swami inferentially suggested that somehow the game or coaching or something has passed Gwoz by. Well, if that's true, it's time to figure out what it is and fix it.

I wouldn't say that the Game has passed Gwoz by - he has clearly has built a high level program that draws talented players, wins games, accrues hardware, has great academics, and produces kids who represent the school well. That's what you pay a coach for, and for the most part he earns his pay and runs a great program that we can all be proud of...95% of college hockey teams would love to have this guy as coach.

That said, the five consecutive early playoff exits against lower-seeded teams have should have all serious DU fans concerned. When you these every year for five years, it's no longer the breaks of the game or the opponents- it's a full blown trend. And I think these DU fading acts have a much better chance of being reversed someday with the application of one very basic ingredient - hard work. In most of these playoff upsets, DU got outworked.

Whatver the coaching staff can do to keep the work ethic high must done.

Old Pio
04-01-2010, 10:49 PM
I wouldn't say that the Game has passed Gwoz by - he has clearly has built a high level program that draws talented players, wins games, accrues hardware, has great academics, and produces kids who represent the school well. That's what you pay a coach for, and for the most part he earns his pay and runs a great program that we can all be proud of...95% of college hockey teams would love to have this guy as coach.

That said, the five consecutive early playoff exits against lower-seeded teams have should have all serious DU fans concerned. When you these every year for five years, it's no longer the breaks of the game or the opponents- it's a full blown trend. And I think these DU fading acts have a much better chance of being reversed someday with the application of one very basic ingredient - hard work. In most of these playoff upsets, DU got outworked.

Whatver the coaching staff can do to keep the work ethic high must done.

That's basically what I'm saying, only less eloquently. :) And only the head coach can fix this. Speaking of coaching, you wrote: "clearly what worked in prior years no longer works."

Dmann
04-02-2010, 08:41 AM
That's basically what I'm saying, only less eloquently. :) And only the head coach can fix this. Speaking of coaching, you wrote: "clearly what worked in prior years no longer works."


Yes, I'm noticing even our most prestigious posters are off their game lately. Oh well, it's to be expected, we're all ****ed off. It's been a week and I'm no better off than I was last weekend. I'm now officially worried about this program, especially after reading all of these posts. I'm concerned that some top recruits might be having second thoughts about DU because of these early exits. We all knew that winning back to back championships would get us some great recruits, but I'm thinking now that it's all used up (the rich get richer phenomenon). I'm forced to make comparisons to Minny with their "back to backs"and how much trouble Lucia is in now. Granted, we did win the WCHA, I don't know about you, it's still an empty feeling. Again this was the post "back to back rich get richer team" that was created due to that success and we couldn't even beat RIT!!! We had everything, **** it, now I'm all fired up. I would like to hear what Gwoz has to say about all of this. Were they unprepared, if so, how can that possibly be? OK, I'm just rambling here, I'll shut up :mad:

vizoroo
04-02-2010, 10:21 AM
Ok, Dmann, lets not throw the baby out with the bath water :o

DU is still an elite program and has some great players coming back and some outstanding recruits coming in.

In '06 & '07 we didn't make it to the NCAA's. Now that was depressing.:( :( :( In'08 we played Wisconsin in what was basically a home game for them and hit more posts, that still ring in my head. In '09 we played without centers, except for Bozak in his first game back from a December injury, and Captain J.P. Testwuide with a knee the size of a basketball and lost to Miami, which almost beat BU for the Championship. Remember BU beat us 4-1 in the Denver Cup and I'm not sure the game was as close as the score indicated.

Now this year, I can only shake my head. :confused:
A team designed and seemingly destined to the FF :(
So frustrating.:mad:
Our expectations were so high, the fall is that much steeper.

But aren't you glad that RIT manhandled UNH? And aren't you glad that the "hostile and abusives" can't pass our Championship totals? I know they won, but aren't you glad BC looked so bad playing Yale?
At least aren't you glad that CC didn't even make the Tournament(s)? And aren't you at least somewhat glad that St. Cloud FINALLY won an NCAA game? And aren't you glad that Rico's Miami Redhawks have a chance to redeem themselves from last year's heart breaking last minute tie/loss?

I know its not the same, but at least down here in Mudville the sun will come up tomorrow.

dggoddard
04-02-2010, 11:21 AM
If you look at DU's recruiting over the past 10 years, one thing has changed. DU is getting elite players that they didn't have a prayer of landing in 2000. How the NHL grades players or assesses talent hasn't changed. Its remained constant.

The guys recruited in 2000 are now considered DU hockey legends and they may have been grittier, but its doubtful that 90% would make the grade at DU today.

DU's Senior Class in 2004 was huge. No one left early for the NHL, because no NHL team really wanted them. DU has a large Senior Class next season. We'll be in the hunt for sure.

One last interesting factoid about the 2000 recruiting class. They had a losing record in the WCHA playoffs over their career at DU 5-6-0. The won the Broadmoor & MacNaughton in 2002 and swept the NCAA title in 2004.



DU's 2000 recruiting class:
Connor James - 9th round
Lucas Dora
Greg Keith
Matt Weber
Scott McConnell
Matt Laatch
Justin Flaishans
Ryan Caldwell - 7th round
Max Bull
Adam Berkhoel - 8th round

DU's 2010 Recruiting Class
F Jason Zucker (U.S. Under-18) - Probable 2nd Round 2010
D David Makowski (Green Bay, USHL) - Top goalscoring USHL defenseman
F Nick Shore (U.S. Under-18) - Probable 1st Rounder 2011
F Beau Bennett (Penticton, BCHL) - Probable 1st or 2nd Rounder 2010
F Dan Olszewski (St. Louis, NAHL)
F Jarrod Mermis (Lincoln, USHL)

Bagman
04-02-2010, 11:53 AM
DG- back from NY,was nice seeing you in Albany and nice to meet the Dunker. Loved the hostile takeover of that luxury suite as well.It's good to be the King eh? Family commitments got in the way of more hockey. Sad end to the season,but the symptoms were plain to see all year. That said, still a pretty good year. However,it's not where you start but where you finish. Perhaps more focus on the ultimate prize is the answer.

Dmann
04-02-2010, 12:31 PM
If you look at DU's recruiting over the past 10 years, one thing has changed. DU is getting elite players that they didn't have a prayer of landing in 2000. How the NHL grades players or assesses talent hasn't changed. Its remained constant.

The guys recruited in 2000 are now considered DU hockey legends and they may have been grittier, but its doubtful that 90% would make the grade at DU today.

One more thing. DU's Senior Class in 2004 was huge. No one left early for the NHL, because no NHL team really wanted them. DU has a large Senior Class next season. We'll be in the hunt for sure.

One last interesting factoid about the 2000 recruiting class. They had a losing record in the WCHA playoffs over their career at DU 5-6-0. The won the Broadmoor & MacNaughton in 2002 and swept the NCAA title in 2004.

Justin Flaishans?:confused:

Puck Swami
04-02-2010, 12:40 PM
Justin Flaishans?:confused:

He was an Arizona kid who played hockey in the Detroit area prior to the Omaha USHL. He played in two games as a freshman at DU, and when he didn't get ice time, he went back to juniors in the NAHL. I think he played club hockey at Arizona State after that...

Chris
04-02-2010, 12:41 PM
Justin Flaishans?:confused:

Flaishans came in straight from midgets, I think Little Caesars. He wasn't ready and went to the NAHL then USHL, with the plan being for him to come back to DU after the USHL. But, I think he completely stopped playing hockey. His brother, Brad, did alright at UNH.

I guess he left DU for the USHL, then went to the NAHL the following season. http://hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/pdisplay.php?pid=49609

Puck Swami
04-02-2010, 12:44 PM
Flaishans came in straight from midgets, I think Little Caesars. He wasn't ready and went to the NAHL then USHL, with the plan being for him to come back to DU after the USHL. But, I think he completely stopped playing hockey. His brother, Brad, did alright at UNH.

He played club hockey at ASU after DU:

http://asuwebdevilarchive.asu.edu/issues/2002/10/29/sports/309232

Chris
04-02-2010, 12:58 PM
He played club hockey at ASU after DU:

http://asuwebdevilarchive.asu.edu/issues/2002/10/29/sports/309232

I hadn't realized he played club hockey. He was, at one point in time, considered a pretty good prospect. DU brought him in early just to assure that we had him. Hockey didn't quite work out for him as well as it was once projected it would...

Dmann
04-02-2010, 01:48 PM
He played club hockey at ASU after DU:

http://asuwebdevilarchive.asu.edu/issues/2002/10/29/sports/309232

You guys are amazing!!! I was just having fun trying to say his name.

Old Pio
04-02-2010, 02:24 PM
You guys are amazing!!! I was just having fun trying to say his name.

My thoughts exactly! I'd imagine some of our posters have a list somewhere of guys who thought about playing hockey at DU but decided to run away and join the circus instead. "Oh, yeah, Fred Knurlman, he's a catcher for Ringling Brothers." :D

dggoddard
04-02-2010, 02:37 PM
My thoughts exactly! I'd imagine some of our posters have a list somewhere of guys who thought about playing hockey at DU but decided to run away and join the circus instead. "Oh, yeah, Fred Knurlman, he's a catcher for Ringling Brothers." :DIf he's a "catcher" for Ringling Brothers he was probably considering Colorado College.
http://joeartistwriter.files.wordpress.com/2009/11/siegfried_roy_tiger_1_r.jpg

Chris
04-02-2010, 02:38 PM
My thoughts exactly! I'd imagine some of our posters have a list somewhere of guys who thought about playing hockey at DU but decided to run away and join the circus instead. "Oh, yeah, Fred Knurlman, he's a catcher for Ringling Brothers." :D

Kelly Hrycun, he left around midway through his freshman season in '93 or so. He was from some ranch outside of Edmonton and wanted to get back to the ranch, from what I heard. That's as close as I can come -- roping cattle and breaking broncos, I suppose.

vizoroo
04-02-2010, 04:19 PM
Kelly Hrycun, he left around midway through his freshman season in '93 or so. He was from some ranch outside of Edmonton and wanted to get back to the ranch, from what I heard. That's as close as I can come -- roping cattle and breaking broncos, I suppose.

I think DU was probably the highlight of his hockey career. He played for the Fresno Falcons of the Sunshine Hockey League, Eugene Snowcats of the North American League, Alaska Gold Kings, Idaho Steelheads, Bakersfield Fog and Condors of the West Coast Hockey League and ended his career playing 2 games with the Asheville Smoke of the United Hockey League in 1999.
Now he's probably back at the ranch.

(Had to look up the leagues because they no longer exist. I think the Steelheads and Condors play in the ECHL now.)

Puck Swami
04-02-2010, 04:23 PM
I think DU was probably the highlight of his hockey career. He played for the Fresno Falcons of the Sunshine Hockey League, Eugene Snowcats of the North American League, Alaska Gold Kings, Idaho Steelheads, Bakersfield Fog and Condors of the West Coast Hockey League and ended his career playing 2 games with the Asheville Smoke of the United Hockey League in 1999.
Now he's probably back at the ranch.

(Had to look up the leagues because they no longer exist. I think the Steelheads and Condors play in the ECHL now.)

He probably has some great memories from all those low-minor league places. To be paid to play a game you love for a living, even a low-minor living, is something that only .003% of all hockey players will ever do. Might not have made much money, but he probably had more fun than most of his classmates did driving a cubicle in some office park...:eek: