First thing I want to post is a list of truths that college hockey has. It's an incomplete list and certainly could use some additions, so I welcome anybody that has anything to add.
- There are goons in college hockey. They are not very good
- The best player doesn’t always win the Hobey
- East Coast bias is alive and well. It always will be
- Each fanbase has its douchenozzles
- Most fanbases have fans that actually know the game of hockey. Some don’t
- Minnesota will always have a target on its back
- Michigan will too…but not as big as Minnesota
- DU will always have a good recruiting class. So will North Dakota. So will Wisconsin
- The Engelstad is a palace. It’s a great place to watch a game. Its ice is soft and slow
- BU has the best student section in college hockey. No one comes close
- Northern Michigan fans have one NC to claim. It’s all they have. Remind them of this. It upsets them greatly
INCH has its WCHA Preview out. There's a couple interesting things to note in here.
- Jess Myers, a longtime Sioux hater, nails his "breakthrough team" and "primed for a fall" in Minnesota-Duluth, and Wisconsin, respectively. Duluth is a lock for top 3 in the WCHA, and damn well could give North Dakota a run for the top spot. Wisconsin, no matter how good their recruiting class is or their coaching is, will struggle this year.
- Jess says the "pressure to perform" team is Minnesota. I disagree with him here, and can think of two teams that are under more pressure. One is North Dakota, being that they have the depth and the return of Chay. Everyone is picking them to do well; time to step up. But the team that I think is under more pressure then anyone realizes is Bemidji. Making the long-awaited jump to the WCHA, Bemidji is not that far removed from their 2009 Frozen Four appearance. They have fared well against the WCHA in the past; it will be interesting to see how they fare full-time.
- He's got North Dakota as 1, but also says that Hak is under a lot of fire for "can't win the big one". Personally, I've never attacked Hakstol for that. It's the players that need to play the game. It's not like Hak hasn't gotten them to the title game before.
Overall though, this is one of Jess's better season previews.
Also, Jay Barriball voiced his frustration with the WCHA coaches in the Star Tribune, saying "we should never be ranked #5 in the preseason poll." Arrogance, Jay? Your team finished 7th last season, missed the Final Five, and the NCAA's. First time in 17 and 8 years, respectively. If anything, you should be thanking the coaches for picking you as high as they did, being that your team still lacks the scoring line it once had, has defense that can't fill any holes, a goalie who is hot and cold to the nth degree, a coach that clearly checked out last year, another coach that is unworthy of coaching a mites team, and fans that turn on your team in a heartbeat. Let's keep in mind that the Gophers are still a team that lacks chemistry. They have some ridiculous talent, but they can't seem to harness that talent and get it to play well together.
Other then that, looking forward to finally opening the Sioux season tonight!