February 24, 2009

An Explanation and some number crunching

I'm not your typical homer.

What I mean by this is I'm a Sioux fan who is willing to call his team out when they perform poorly. Hell, I do that for any team I cheer for. As a lifelong fan of the Minnesota Vikings, Minnesota Twins, and to a lesser extent the Wild (I like the Wild, I just can't stand the NHL) I call it like I see it. A couple weeks ago I predicted a split in the Mankato/UND series. To me, it seemed justified. Mankato owned the Sioux earlier in the season for 110 minutes. The Sioux were coming off an off weekend. Mankato has just destroyed the Gophers. A split seemed justified as a pick. Yet people were calling me out on it, saying I'm not a true fan, how can I go against North Dakota, etc. While it may look like I'm not being a Sioux fan, it could just be a bit of pessimism on my part.

Talking with my buddy Steve, who just returned from a trip to Asia, he told me it's time to stop being pessimistic. And he's right. I've been reflecting over the past couple days about the Sioux season. How a team that at one point was 9th in the WCHA is now tied for first and has the tiebreaker edge over DU. How a team that got swept in the GLI by horrid Michigan State and Tech has lost one game in 2009. There's something special about this Sioux team. Talking with the WCHA Writer this morning, she asked me what makes this Sioux team capable of making a run. I told her a combination of no expecations and a bunch of gritty guys that are determined. There's no superstar on this Sioux team. There's no NHL caliber players on this team. But there are a bunch of GOOD players who can do great things.

I've been crunching numbers in my head left and right. The Sioux right now have 33 points. DU also has 33 points. Since DU plays one less game than the Sioux, the Sioux are in control here. Let's say they sweep CC this weekend. That gives them 37 points. If DU sweeps St. Cloud, that also gives them 37 points. This means the Sioux would have to at minimum split in Wisconsin to clinch a share of the McNaughton cup. However, let's say DU splits against Cloud. This leaves DU with 35 points. The best they can do then is beat CC the following weekend and finish with 37. This means that it's a moot point what UND does in Wisconsin.

The bottom line is, the Sioux need to sweep this weekend. They sweep and they are sitting mighty fine. This is a special team who will do some special things in March. And yes, I am now optimistic. But the team has given me reason to be so.

1 comment:

roper1313 said...

I agree with most of your points, I have to disagree that UND doesn't have any NHL Caliber players. There may not be any clearcut NHL super stars in the making, but there are certainly several players who will have a chance to play at the next level.

Finley will get a shot and will probably play as a 2nd or 3rd line dman. Vande, will play in the NHL. His size, coupled with his ability to cash in on garbage goals make him a top 3 line forward. He may be undersized byt Genoway will play in the NHL he's just too dynamic. Duncan, maybe, he can score, but it may just be at the AHL level. Gregoire (sp?) and Hextall look to have NHL potential as well.

I'm probably missing a few, but to say there is no NHL talent on this team is not quite accurate. No one off this team will just directly to the NHL like Osh or JT, but there's plenty of talent.