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  • Re: WISCONSIN Hockey Vol. 22 - Let's not have another cheesy thread title... Wait, W

    Originally posted by Gurtholfin View Post
    Nobody else is calling for a coaching change after every weekend either. It's been years of mediocrity with a couple of peaks. There's no excuse for this considering the inherent advantages we should have over at least 45 other programs.

    A bad season or underachievement is understandable every once in a while, but we have the opposite here. Good seasons happen every once in a while.

    I didn't just arrive at frustrated Saturday night at 10pm.
    So what has changed since the Badgers were a more concistant program during the Bob Johnson glory years and the first half of the Sauer era? I proposal several things have.

    First...mens hockey position in the heirarchy of Wisconsin Athletics has dramatically changed. Football and basketball have gone from mediocre at best (and more often then not aweful) to a really good product for going on 2 decades. For a long time hockey was argueably the marquee sport and event to go to and Wisconsin was a hockey school. Yes part of that shift has been self inflicted that if hockey were a concistant national contender, it retains some of the luster it has been losing.

    Next facilities are an issue (or I should say have been more of an issue before Labahnn was completed). Practicing in a dump like the collosium when the majority of other power programs are practicing on their own home ice surface is an issue. The Kohl Center is as big and bad as just about anyone's barn...but when you spend most of your week in a rat infested hole, that is a difference. One of the downsides of a multipurpose facility at a school like UW is that you are limited in access to your own facility when you have other tenants that are sucessful and higher up the priority chain...aka basketball for a while now. I also think there is a downside to the size of the Kohl...yes the capacity helps you win the attendance title annually, but when you have a downturn or are playing a bad opponent (or fans figure out the upper tank ends are horrific seats to watch hockey from), the place is harder to fill and the aura/atmosphere suffers some. A 12,000 seat hockey only facility would be the ideal, but I understand the economics of why you do a multipurpose facility and why it has to be more like 15K for basketball.

    Last, the recruiting has been good, but I think always lacking that extra forward to get over the hump. The dman recruiting has been pretty stellar and we have had some highly regarded forwards to come through...Turris, Geoffrion, Stepan but I think we've often that one guy short. That guy that could give you enough depth that you can split the talent into two pretty potent lines and not allow teams to focus on one primary line. I wonder what might have been in gagner had followed through and shown up and he and Turris decided to stay a couple season. Also producing NHL players does not necessarily translate into sucess in college....having kids roll into Madison for a year and then roll out of town makes it hard to develop continuity and only exasperates some of the problems of the massively unbalanced classes that have been rollercoastering through the program for a while now...it's a feast or famine veteran or incredibly young team with no inbetween.

    All that said, the buck stops with Eaves and he is the CEO and responsible for the results and figuring out the solutions and the results have not been on an acceptable level at a place like UW. All the slight warts of UW still outweigh anything most schools can compare with and winning concistantly fixs lots of those blemishes.

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    • Re: WISCONSIN Hockey Vol. 22 - Let's not have another cheesy thread title... Wait, W

      Originally posted by solovsfett View Post
      good points all. I know UW can't win every recruiting battle and I also agree that w/some of the NHL talent that's come through madison (Craig Smith, Derek Stepan, Brendan Smith to name a few) it's baffling they haven't put up more wins (although I'd submit as well that given the 3 years prior to 2010 and 2 years after it that run seems more and more like an anomaly)

      regardless there don't seem to be answers on the horizon and I wonder how long this continues before Alvarez actually notices the avg to subpar seasons are beginning to hurt attendance and enthusiasm for the team
      I wish I could partition the problems between Eaves and how much was the result of the assistant coaches.

      The 2008-09 and 2009-10 years correspond to when UW had a peak in that talent (an elite NHL caliber Blueline, significant NHL quality forwards). I will concede that the talent isn't at that same level with this team, but I don't think that this years team (or last years team for that matter) was that much different than the 2004-05 and 2005-06 teams talent wise. These current teams just have a complete lack of any cohesion and leadership. Either it has not been recruited or it has not been cultivated, in either case that shortcoming is the responsibility of Eaves and him alone.

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      • Re: WISCONSIN Hockey Vol. 22 - Let's not have another cheesy thread title... Wait, W

        Originally posted by markwojo View Post
        Last, the recruiting has been good, but I think always lacking that extra forward to get over the hump. The dman recruiting has been pretty stellar and we have had some highly regarded forwards to come through...Turris, Geoffrion, Stepan but I think we've often that one guy short. That guy that could give you enough depth that you can split the talent into two pretty potent lines and not allow teams to focus on one primary line. I wonder what might have been in gagner had followed through and shown up and he and Turris decided to stay a couple season. Also producing NHL players does not necessarily translate into sucess in college....having kids roll into Madison for a year and then roll out of town makes it hard to develop continuity and only exasperates some of the problems of the massively unbalanced classes that have been rollercoastering through the program for a while now...it's a feast or famine veteran or incredibly young team with no in between.
        What has constantly amazed me is that players at UW just don't seem to show much offensive improvement over their time at UW. They may make incromental improvements from year to year, but never seem to have that "breakout" season where they can become an offensive threat. Since once they leave UW they start RACKING up the points in the ECHL and AHL it's clear that they are improving, implying that it is the system that UW wants to run that is the problem. A coach that is unable to adapt to his changing personel isn't going to be successful on a consistent basis.

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        • Re: WISCONSIN Hockey Vol. 22 - Let's not have another cheesy thread title... Wait, W

          Originally posted by markwojo View Post
          So what has changed since the Badgers were a more concistant program during the Bob Johnson glory years and the first half of the Sauer era? I proposal several things have.

          All that said, the buck stops with Eaves and he is the CEO and responsible for the results and figuring out the solutions and the results have not been on an acceptable level at a place like UW. All the slight warts of UW still outweigh anything most schools can compare with and winning concistantly fixs lots of those blemishes.

          You make a lot of valid points.

          I think it comes down to what Almington references in whether Eaves is maximizing what he does have. A huge part of his job is to assemble the parts that he has into a cohesive team.

          Whether he assembles these during the recruiting process or once they're on campus, his success is based upon how effective he can put together a team.

          Can he get guys to buy into different roles? If not, should he be recruiting other people or different types of players for those roles?

          Can he identify and nurture leaders and captains? Can he step back and let those leaders lead?

          Can he identify and/or develop scorers? Sure would love to see a few one dimensional, defensive liability, snipers sprinkled in with our grinders. Someone's gotta fricken' score at some point.

          Can he keep a coaching staff together and when folks do leave, can he replace them with people who can actually do the job?


          Lots of questions and at this point, it appears that he can't do any of that.

          Comment


          • Originally posted by Gurtholfin View Post
            Lots of questions and at this point, it appears that he can't do any of that.
            To be fair, Eaves is doing every thing you mentioned, he's just not doing all of them at a consistanly high level.

            Given the resources at UW, I'd think that most coaches could deliver a 0.500 or better most years. I believe that UW shouldn't be content with an average coach who delivers average results.

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            • Re: WISCONSIN Hockey Vol. 22 - Let's not have another cheesy thread title... Wait, W

              It is quite remarkable to think of how well we recruit and how well they perform at the next level. Even with a lot of great individual seasons (one Hobey winner, a few Hobey-worthy, plenty of All Americans), there's very little to show for it.
              If you want to be a BADGER, just come along with me

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              • Re: WISCONSIN Hockey Vol. 22 - Let's not have another cheesy thread title... Wait, W

                Originally posted by Gurtholfin View Post
                Can he identify and/or develop scorers? Sure would love to see a few one dimensional, defensive liability, snipers sprinkled in with our grinders. Someone's gotta fricken' score at some point.
                I think this may be one of the critical components that ends being the missing ingredient...offensively elite forwards. I think Eaves has (unfairly a little bit) gotten the label of traping/defensive minded coach that has made it harder to bring in the elite scorers. And I firmly believe scorers are not developed in as much as it is a skill some guys have and other just don't. I had hoped Turris and Gagner would have broken the stereotype Eaves has been subject to an that they may have opened up other elite offensive guys to come...but alas Gagner never made it on campus and Turris got some really bad advise and left at least a year earlier then he should have.

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                • Re: WISCONSIN Hockey Vol. 22 - Let's not have another cheesy thread title... Wait, W

                  Originally posted by markwojo View Post
                  I think this may be one of the critical components that ends being the missing ingredient...offensively elite forwards. I think Eaves has (unfairly a little bit) gotten the label of traping/defensive minded coach that has made it harder to bring in the elite scorers. And I firmly believe scorers are not developed in as much as it is a skill some guys have and other just don't. I had hoped Turris and Gagner would have broken the stereotype Eaves has been subject to an that they may have opened up other elite offensive guys to come...but alas Gagner never made it on campus and Turris got some really bad advise and left at least a year earlier then he should have.
                  I agree. Heatley was a gifted scorer as was Jason Zent or whomever else you want to put on that list, Parise at Nodak, whatever. Eaves' almost manic attention to defense I think scares the elite forwards away.

                  and it sure sounds like the football team doesn't it? no way you'll get an elite quarterback to Madison when you run Montee Ball or whomever else 4,356 times per game.

                  the B10 hockey guys mentioned Minnesota as the more offensively creative team. well which team would Heater want to go to? If he had his choice today I bet it's Minnesota.

                  for the first couple of years I thought the trap was a way to make games closer with inferior talent. after that i thought Eaves would ditch it once he had Robbie Earl and Pavelski playing together at high levels. that didn't happen.

                  and what it's boiled down to is this, he might get a great forward once every two or three years or thereabouts (or the great forward flying under the radar) but you need a great forward like a pavelski or earl coming in EVERY year, that way you've generally got two on the team at any one time and are prepared if one bolts you've got one coming in the following year. if one doesn't bolt by jr year in that scenario you've suddenly got 3 on the roster and look out!

                  having the leading point getter in UW history as coach and Shuchuk an 80-point scorer as a senior as assistant and these guys aren't consistently landing high-end forwards is baffling...it MUST be the whole trap stigma that has really saddled them.
                  Last edited by solovsfett; 11-20-2012, 07:17 AM.
                  Everything in its right place, Wisconsin Hockey National Champs!


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                  • Originally posted by solovsfett View Post
                    having the leading point getter in UW history as coach and Shuchuk an 80-point scorer as a senior as assistant and these guys aren't consistently landing high-end forwards is baffling...it MUST be the whole trap stigma that has really saddled them.
                    I'm not sure that the trap is the problem, but an overall system that is excessively rigid that eliminates creativity overall by forcing players to think to much about on-ice position and not allow the goal scorers instinct to take control. Once players leave UW they have fantastic on-ice awareness and can really excel once that oppressive yoke is removed and they are given more freedome by the new coach.

                    My experience is that ears system is only as open to the level that he can trust he has in the bottom of the depth chart. I think that it would be a great system at a professional level where they can work on it year round, but it is always going to have issues at the college level with limited contact for half the year and about 30% of your regular lineup turns over every year.

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                    • Re: WISCONSIN Hockey Vol. 22 - Let's not have another cheesy thread title... Wait, W

                      IMO problem isn't grabbing an elite forward for every class, as I think you could go back through Eaves classes and (for the most part) say he brought at least one in. I think the problem is that he's grabbing too many secondary forwards with no offensive upside. He's had entirely too many misses on the offensive end lately and it's cost them. I obviously understand the need for balance in a lineup, you can't have 12 goal scorers. That said, the ratio of guys who can put the puck in the net to the guys that can play both ways, bring energy, etc. is trending in the wrong direction.

                      2012: Kerdiles, Zulinick?
                      2011:
                      2010: Zengerle
                      2009: C. Smith
                      2008: Stepan
                      2007: Turris (Gagner)
                      2006: Geoffrion
                      2005: Skille
                      2004: Pavelski
                      2003: Earl

                      FWIW, Eaves 2013 recruiting class is on pace to be (BY FAR) the worst of his tenure. And it's not even close.

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                      • Re: WISCONSIN Hockey Vol. 22 - Let's not have another cheesy thread title... Wait, W

                        Originally posted by Almington View Post
                        To be fair, Eaves is doing every thing you mentioned, he's just not doing all of them at a consistanly high level.

                        But doesn't that mean that he's failing at it? That's what we're talking about here. Raising the bar to a consistently higher level.

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by Gurtholfin View Post
                          But doesn't that mean that he's failing at it? That's what we're talking about here. Raising the bar to a consistently higher level.
                          Not excelling is not the same as failing. If you or I tried to do it we would likely fail miserably, Eaves is at least competent even if he isn't at the level that we all would like the head coach to be at.

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                          • Re: WISCONSIN Hockey Vol. 22 - Let's not have another cheesy thread title... Wait, W

                            Originally posted by Almington View Post
                            Not excelling is not the same as failing. If you or I tried to do it we would likely fail miserably, Eaves is at least competent even if he isn't at the level that we all would like the head coach to be at.

                            Well, no one's paying me to do it.

                            Competent is not good enough. A program like ours should have or should be looking for a coach who excels at it.

                            Otherwise, what the hell are we talking about here?

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                            • Re: WISCONSIN Hockey Vol. 22 - Let's not have another cheesy thread title... Wait, W

                              Maybe some of it is Eaves' personality is catching up with him in things like recruiting?

                              I realize its not like he doesn't land any quality talent but if you are lamenting the lack of scoring depth in recruiting classes, then you have to consider more than just the system's influence (although that always plays a role too).

                              I know one kid (not on the Gophers) that is currently among his team's leading scorers that eliminated UW on his way home from a recruiting visit from Madison because he simply didn't like Eaves' personality. He does have a reputation for being rather abrasive.

                              Recruiting is all about sales ability. Some of that is done by the school, facilities and tradition. But the "closer" is often times the coach and his ability to connect with the kid.
                              University of Minnesota

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                              • Re: WISCONSIN Hockey Vol. 22 - Let's not have another cheesy thread title... Wait, W

                                Originally posted by Hammy View Post
                                Maybe some of it is Eaves' personality is catching up with him in things like recruiting?

                                I realize its not like he doesn't land any quality talent but if you are lamenting the lack of scoring depth in recruiting classes, then you have to consider more than just the system's influence (although that always plays a role too).

                                I know one kid (not on the Gophers) that is currently among his team's leading scorers that eliminated UW on his way home from a recruiting visit from Madison because he simply didn't like Eaves' personality. He does have a reputation for being rather abrasive.

                                Recruiting is all about sales ability. Some of that is done by the school, facilities and tradition. But the "closer" is often times the coach and his ability to connect with the kid.
                                I've heard the grumblings too. Heard a story that a recruit eliminated UW depsite a relative having much success partially because how Eaves interacted with the relative. In the end, everyone don't have to like you, but it sure seems like not quite enough of the kids that need to do like you.

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