Thursday, October 23, 2008

Goldy/Becky Preview

The #7 ranked Gophers travel to Madison this weekend to take on the unranked Badgers. Wisco has started the season 0-4 and are giving up about 6 goals a game. I bet they wish Brian Elliot was still around. They do have some talent on the blue line, though, featuring junior Jaime McBain, highly-touted freshman Jake Gardiner, and sophomore Ryan McDonagh, whose name has been mentioned in Gaborik trade rumors. Minnesota's forwards looked very fast last weekend against JBSU, so we'll see if UW's D can keep up. Up front, Wisco will look to have some new faces pick up the scoring lost with the possible season ending injury to Ben Streete.

Minnesota needs to continue playing an up-tempo game. As already mentioned, they appear to be a very fast team. Minnesota's D seemed solid last weekend and were able to contain JBSU's top scorers. Aaron Ness made a few freshman mistakes, but looked pretty composed. At this point it looks like David Fischer should be back in the lineup. From what I read, Wisco's forwards aren't all that fast, but they are big. We'll see if Minnesota's undersized D are up to the task. Up front, Minnesota had consistent play from every line. Carman, Lucia, and Flynn are a solid line that can match up against anyone. Hopefully the Stoa, Barriball, and Schroeder line can heat up and put some more points on the board. Lastly, the Gophers are solid in net for the first time in years with sophomore Alex Kangas, who stopped 49 of 52 shots last weekend for a save percentage of .941 and a GAA of 1.50. Look for him to be steady again this weekend.

My heart wants to say the Gophers sweep this weekend, but my head says it will be hard to sweep on the road, and Wisco has to win sometime, so a split is more likely. I am going to be optimistic and predict Minnesota takes 3 points.

And Hammy, if there are any typos you feel the need to point out, go fuck yourself.