March 11, 2010

What is the X factor in this series?

I listened to the WCHA Correspondent talk to both Hakstol and Lucia this week about the upcoming series. The tone of their voices and the way they described the upcoming series were very different. She talked to Lucia on Monday and he sounded extremely confident, if not cocky. He didn't even know the name of the arena! He said something along the lines of "it's not even the Engelstad anymore....the Ralph!" Can you believe that? To me, it sounded like he just figures the Gophers will win and that will be that.

Hakstol on the other hand, sounded very business-as-usual. She asked him about the rivalry and coach Hakstol said that it shouldn't be a factor...because if it is, the players and team aren't focused. It seems the two coaches have a very different viewpoint on this series.

That being said, I'm trying to figure out how the Sioux can win this series. I get that they are the better team and I get that they are riding a 7 game win streak into the playoffs. But that doesn't matter. Nothing matters at this point. People are trying to convince me that the Sioux will make the NCAA's regardless of what happens in this series. I disagree. The Sioux need to make the F5 to make the NCAA's.

So...both teams can score goals. Both teams can hold opponents to shutouts and one goal games. So what does it come down to? I'm gonna go with goaltending. The X factor in this series is going to be goaltending. Both goalies have shown signs of brilliance, and both goalies have shown total incompetence at times. Ultimately, whoever has the goalie that decides to show up will win this game.

That being said, I still see the Gophers making the trip to St. Paul next weekend.

13 comments:

SiouxSweepGophersChoke said...

what a great sioux fan you are. first you believe that the sioux need to win this weekend then you say the gophers are going to the final five. Glad you predict we are missing the tournament. I gotta stay away from "fans" like you.

Brandon said...

I like how making an honest prediction somehow makes me a "lesser" fan.

Shaun said...

I think its the fact that your site is looked at by Sioux fans predominantly, but you just voted against them. Im not voting either way, because the players, the team, decides who advances... but a pro-sioux site should never sound that unconfident. I think it the way you ended your article, the the fact that you said it, is the reason you got that reaction. Your not writing for the NY Times, and for all intensive purposes, you dont have to be unbiased. Students and fans of the SIOUX read your site, therefore, you need to be a little more upbeat instead of giving us reasons to not be the 6th man on the ice. no need for honesty here - get people pumped to watch the game! WOOHOO, thanks for the site tho - i like it!

Brandon said...

don't get me wrong Shaun, this series is going to be epic. And if the Sioux can win, they will be the hottest team going into the F5 and the possibility of a #1 seed in the NCAA's is certainly within reach. But I am also a realistic hockey fan. Unlike some fans who every single year think that it's their year, I am not like that. Maybe it's because I cheered for the Twins in the 90's or the Vikings in the early 2000's, but I just can't bring myself to put out something that I don't believe. And no matter what, I am still soured by what Bruce McLeod has said in the past about wanting the "hometown" team in the Final Five. It makes me wonder...

Goon said...

The Sioux are in the NCAA tourney already, they will gut out wins in this series...

Anonymous said...

If the Sioux dont take the penalties they can help (likely the retalitory type) and play largely 5 on 5 hockey, the Gophers will be on the bus early Sunday morning. If they let the Rodents goad them into chippy play with the occasional face-wash or elbow? We'll play 1 or 2 guys short most of the night, and could be home next weekend.

Anonymous said...

Hak is always business as usual. He won't come out and say anything to the contrary because he doesn't want to be seen as anything but a rock. However, I spoke with Coach Jackson and he was all confident. He said there was no way the Goofers were going to take 2 of 3 in GF this weekend and they were ready to take care of business. I tend to agree. The Sioux are poised to make a statement, and who better to do so on but the Gophers. Sioux in 2, and hopefully when we are up 3 on Saturday we don't get anyone hurt or kicked out for the F5.

Fire Helmet Guy #26 said...

I can't wait for these games, should be a couple good battles as usual! I don't really like the Gophers chances this weekend honestly but the Gophers "D" has been playing pretty solid the last few weeks, if they can give Kangas some help the Gophers will make some good games out of this series. And UND didn't have the best games against Tech last weekend, so if the Gophs can get on the board first or early it could be interesting.

I gotta give you props Brandon for picking the Gophers in this series, I'm sure you're going to get a lot of grief over it, but it doesn't mean you are a lesser fan just because you gave an honest opinion. Realistically when these two teams get together anything can happen.

Brandon said...

Believe me, if the Sioux win, I'll be ecstatic. They are a good team and let's face it. They are capable of winning this series. But so are the Gophers. Anyone that believes they have no chance is kidding themselves.

Runninwiththedogs said...

I see you're preparing for the impending flood with all of this sandbagging.

EsoxPirate said...

I saw the sioux on the road against CC a few weeks ago. They looked like a team the was on a real rollercoaster that weekend and they went from skating uber strong to flat and no wind in their sails. But they brought it toghether each night to put a "W" on the board. If that team shows up at home again the gophers who arn't as good as CC IMO I see the sioux moving on after some exstensive over time play this weekend...

Goon said...

RWD I think you are right on the sand bagging.

Goon said...

If the Sioux win... LOL... The Gophers didn't look like they wanted to be there last night. Before everyone sat down it was already 1-0.