Saturday, March 25, 2006

I Appreciate Your Concern

I am touched that many of you have expressed concern over my mental state after the Gopher loss to Holy Cross, but relax, except for a pounding headache, I am fine. It is not like I have no experience with pre-mature departures from the NCAA Hockey tournament (in fact, every year except 2002 and 2003).

* The worst thing about the season ending the way it did is the joy that certain disreputable types (Sioux fans, Badger fans, Patriot Insider hosts, etc) take in our misery.

* The Holy Cross victory was not a “miracle”. The term “miracle” implies not only an improbable event, but a POSITIVE improbable event. This was disastrous.

* Unlike some seem to think, just because a team has a religious name like “Holy Cross” doesn’t mean that they are favored by God. If God likes Holy Cross so much, why didn’t he put them in the WCHA?

* The good news for the Gophers is that they have a young team and a solid group of incoming freshman (including 6-5 227 pound defenseman Erik Johnson, whom the NHL scouting combine rates as the top North American player in the upcoming draft). They will not lose a lot to graduation: Gino Guyer who had a disappointing senior season, Chris Harrington who was capable of making the big play – but all too often made it for the other team, and P.J. Atherton who was a big solid defenseman who will be missed. The big risk for the Gophers is losing underclassmen to the NHL. We will be on pins and needles throughout the off-season to see what Phil Kessel, Blake Wheeler, Danny Irmen, and Alex Goligoski decide.

* Enough talk about how this is the first time a number four seed has defeated a number one seed. The NCAA didn’t expand to sixteen teams until 2003, so this is only the fourth year a number one seed could have possibly been defeated by a number four seed.

* Shortly after the Gopher defeat, I was notified that George Mason’s victory over Wichita State clinched a victory for me in one of my NCAA basketball pools. I am also in excellent position to win my other pool. I haven’t watched a basketball game from start to finish all season, but have been watching two college hockey games a week for six months. So why am I so much better at picking basketball?

NOTE: This will likely be my last hockey post until fall.


Blogger Chad The Elder said...

Glad to hear that you're okay Sisyphus. Good point on the whole #1 versus #4 seed history too. However, a better way to look at it is that the overall #2 seed lost to the overall #15 seed. That rates a mention.

Are you assuming that Mr. Potulny is as good as gone? I've heard speculation that Kessel is pretty likely to go too.

4:11 PM  
Blogger Sisyphus said...

Actually, I'm assuming Potulny comes back for his senior year. He doesn't really have the size the NHL loves. He's a lot like Johnny Pohl and Brian Bonin. I think he'll be back, but who knows.

I think Blake Wheeler is the most likely to leave. He has the prototypical NHL body plus a lot speed and skill (and Phoenix drafted him 5th overall a few years ago and may be getting anxious to finally sign him). Irmen is probably the next most likely to go because he has good size and is good in the corners (don't even think about it Wild).

Everyone assumed Kessel would be here a year and then go to the NHL when he signed, but I've heard a lot of people say that he may stick around another year. Remember, if he hadn't skipped a year, this would have been his senior year in High School. Kessel would definitely benefit from another year of college hockey, plus would be a likely Hobey Baker finalist and All-American. It probably depends on who drafts him (it will likely be a team with a bad record that may be willing to wait a year for him to mature).

7:22 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Go Badgers!
(Sorry, just had to say it. After enduring the triple OT this weekend, I'm still giddy!).

11:19 PM  
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