Well, we're a few hours away from puck drop. I have a couple thoughts on this series.
- The Sioux need to stay out of the box. We've seen how well they roll when all 4 lines are clicking and Hakstol has the depth to do so. When they players are constantly in the box, it disrupts this flow. Wisconsin is a talented team and also very physical, so it will be interesting to see how they do
- Whoever is in net needs to take charge. I'm not a huge fan of splitting the goaltender duties, but right now, the Sioux don't have a clear-cut #1 goaltender. Eids has not played like he did last year and Dell, while filling in nicely, isn't exactly stellar. Neither seems capable right now of making huge saves to keep the team in it. This weekend, that might have to happen. We'll see if either goalie is up to the task
- Gregoire and co. need to find a bit of puck luck. We've seen a lot of hit pipes, pucks bouncing over sticks, etc. The old cliche of "good teams make their own luck" I guess can apply here, but seriously. The boys are in some dire need of good luck
- Be physical. I want to see the Sioux not afraid to hit guys this weekend. Wisconsin is always a big, physical team and never have been afraid to throw their weight around. The Sioux need to match that intensity from the first drop of the puck.
A lot of people are calling this a statement series. A sweep at the hands of Wisconsin will not be crushing to the Sioux, but certainly will cause doubt to creep into the players' minds. A lot of Sioux fans will be reaching for the panic buttons and the "Fire Hakstol" threads will show up. I think a split is doable, likely, and will be just fine for this series.