So...can't sleep...might as well blog about my favorite team, right?
I've been pondering over the past few days about the Sioux team that we've seen this season. They have both delighted us and let us down as fans. We have seen flashes of brilliance and letdowns that leave us scratching our heads. Any way you try to spin it, this is a team that is barely above .500. And I can already hear the "second half team" argument coming from a lot of you...but as I have said in the past, the Sioux team cannot count on that every single year to get it done.
That all being said, I'll present you with some grades for the team:
This offense has shown consistency in the previous weeks, but against who? Harvard and St. Cloud? The offense has been inconsistent for most of the season, with former Hobey Baker winner Ryan Duncan not leading the team in scoring. Evan Trupp has missed the past few weeks with a shoulder injury. I will say the freshman are playing pretty well though, with Brett Hextall and Jason Gregoire paving the way with 10 points apiece. I look for this offense to continue it's good play into the second half of the season.
I'm trying to think off the top of my head how many times the defense has given the puck away leading to a direct goal. And I can't count how many. Simply put, the defense has struggled this year. The presence of Joe Finley would be huge, but he has been out nearly all season. The freshman have a steep learning curve and I wouldn't exactly say I'm impressed with their play thus far. I do like that Zach Jones got his first collegiate goal, however. This unit must step it up in the second half to allow the Sioux to make a run.
I am saying it for the 3238437101th time: The Walski experiment was a failure. Like OJ being guilty of murder, everyone knows it. Brad Eidsness had huge shoes to fill and stepped in nicely. I am seeing him grow every single weekend. He is still prone to mistakes, but he will learn from them. This kid has talent. And he has kept the Sioux in some close games.
I'm carrying some bitter feelings over that Hak didn't start another goalie last year sans one game. Not too smart. And at the beginning of the season, I was tired of hearing him say "we're one step away, bad bounces, yadda yadda yadda." Seriously man, get your team ready to play, and if you blow it, say you blew it! He has done better as of late, as the team has. He had them well prepared for St. Cloud and the 2nd Harvard game. Hak is a great coach and I believe he can get it done.
I look for this team to do well in the 2nd half. Not a surge that will propel them to 2nd or 1st in the WCHA, but home ice is not out of the question. This is an exciting team and an exciting year. I'm looking forward to the 2nd half.