Quick Turnaround: Ohio State at Minnesota 11.23.20 & 11.24.20

stocker08

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Not too much rest for the boys. Ohio State series kicks off at 7:30 CT. Tuesday's game is also at 7:30. Televised on BTN.

Keep the train rolling.
 

Ignatius L Hoops

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Randy Johnson:

Gophers at a glance: Minnesota (2-0, 2-0 Big Ten) completes a four-game homestand with its second series over the span of six days, and the 11th-ranked Gophers couldn’t have much happier the way their season started in a 4-1 and 3-2 sweep of Penn State on Thursday and Friday. G Jack LaFontaine stopped 60 of the 63 shots he faced, and the Gophers never trailed against the Nittany Lions. Led by Scott Reedy, who scored in both games, Gophers centers were a force, combining for five points and controlling the faceoff circle. Ben Meyers won 11 of 14 draws on Thursday and 26 of 37 for the weekend, and Jaxon Nelson was 9-2 in the opener. … Coach Bob Motzko said during the preseason that he expects to play more than one goalie early in the season, so don’t be surprised if sophomore Jared Moe starts one of the games.
 

Ignatius L Hoops

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Solid 4-1 win in opener. And we apparently will get to see power play goals this season. As a bonus we are getting some two hour games.

 

bonin21

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This team can play. I can't underestimate how different the team is with Faber and Koster instead of Nanne and Zuhlsdorf.
 

UncleSam'sMisguidedChild

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This is a fun team to watch. They're fast. They're tenacious. They're playing with chemistry. Goaltending looks solid. Faber really stood out again, even if you look past the goal he scored.

How good is OSU and PSU? Jury's still out on them both. We'll know more about how good the Gophers actually are after they play Michigan.
 


MUgopher32

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Another really solid game. Winning tomorrow to get the opening week 4 game sweep would be sick.
 

bonin21

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How good is OSU and PSU? Jury's still out on them both. We'll know more about how good the Gophers actually are after they play Michigan.
PSU is not good.

OSU looks better than PSU, but not great. The class of the Big Ten is likely UM, UMN, and uw.
 

GopherJack

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I'm a huge Gopher fan of all sports, but more of a hockey novice. Do you guys in the know think and feel this years team is MUCH better than last years? Is Motzko's system and his players becoming more evident. Any thoughts, comments and feedback would be appreciated.
 

UncleSam'sMisguidedChild

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PSU is not good.

OSU looks better than PSU, but not great. The class of the Big Ten is likely UM, UMN, and uw.
I dunno. I thought PSU put way more pressure on us offensively. Not just looking at the shot totals either. They were able to control the puck more than OSU did tonight. I thought the Gophers skated circles around the Buckeyes. I agree with you that Michigan and Wisconsin will be much better measuring sticks.
 



UncleSam'sMisguidedChild

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I'm a huge Gopher fan of all sports, but more of a hockey novice. Do you guys in the know think and feel this years team is MUCH better than last years? Is Motzko's system and his players becoming more evident. Any thoughts, comments and feedback would be appreciated.
In my opinion, yes they are. I know they sorta came on a bit at the end of the year last spring, but they just look different now. Fast. You can SEE the effort. At times it seems like there's 6 skaters on the ice. Guys are flying all over the ice. The D corps is the most noticable to me. I'm not cringing when the opponent carries the puck into the Gophers D zone. Very smooth and they seem to know where their partners are (going to be).

It's early, so I'm not making any grand predictions, buuuuut it looks encouraging so far.
 

MUgopher32

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I'm a huge Gopher fan of all sports, but more of a hockey novice. Do you guys in the know think and feel this years team is MUCH better than last years? Is Motzko's system and his players becoming more evident. Any thoughts, comments and feedback would be appreciated.

Definitely better. Keep in mind this was a team that while still very flawed they were playing their best hockey late in the year last year. Pretty much every major contributor is back with a off season to continue to get better. The D core is drastically improved and there are also some solid additions of Motzko recruits to help up front as well.

Still need to see bigger sample size to know if we are more of a top 10 contender or legit top 5ish team. But either way if COVID allows, this definitely should be a team not needing to run the BIG10 tourney just to get a ticket to the dance.
 

PMWinSTP

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I'm a huge Gopher fan of all sports, but more of a hockey novice. Do you guys in the know think and feel this years team is MUCH better than last years? Is Motzko's system and his players becoming more evident. Any thoughts, comments and feedback would be appreciated.
No question with my eyes that they are playing better. Definitely think Motzko has them playing his style. Fundamentally very solid, strong defensive play.
 

bonin21

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I dunno. I thought PSU put way more pressure on us offensively. Not just looking at the shot totals either. They were able to control the puck more than OSU did tonight. I thought the Gophers skated circles around the Buckeyes. I agree with you that Michigan and Wisconsin will be much better measuring sticks.
PSU blows
 



Ignatius L Hoops

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2-0 win which means this was a nice way to start a game.

Tonight's mystery: How did a two on nobody break away with Walker handling the puck not result in a goal?

 


bonin21

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They do. However, I still feel like they posed a bigger threat than Ohio State. Which doesn't say much for them, either.
OSU is better, but not great. The Gophers should be 6-0 heading into the Michigan series, in which a split would be completely acceptable.
 

#2Gopher

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No doubt were better than last year based on current results. You do have to remember though that our opponents were practicing on smaller rinks. Coming in to first games with us it was an adjustment for them with the larger rink. It will be interesting to see what happens when we start playing games on the smaller rinks.

The curse of a large rink in my opinion will continue to be a problem in the long haul. Never understood the Gophers reasons for building a large rink when most everyone else along with the pros have a smaller rink.
 

PMWinSTP

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No doubt were better than last year based on current results. You do have to remember though that our opponents were practicing on smaller rinks. Coming in to first games with us it was an adjustment for them with the larger rink. It will be interesting to see what happens when we start playing games on the smaller rinks.

The curse of a large rink in my opinion will continue to be a problem in the long haul. Never understood the Gophers reasons for building a large rink when most everyone else along with the pros have a smaller rink.
Won two titles on that ice. It only seems to be an issue when Gophs are underperforming.
 

Bob_Loblaw

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No doubt were better than last year based on current results. You do have to remember though that our opponents were practicing on smaller rinks. Coming in to first games with us it was an adjustment for them with the larger rink. It will be interesting to see what happens when we start playing games on the smaller rinks.

The curse of a large rink in my opinion will continue to be a problem in the long haul. Never understood the Gophers reasons for building a large rink when most everyone else along with the pros have a smaller rink.

We think we can recruit more skilled players. I think Ohio State would be all for a larger field if they could choose. I'm not saying it's the right move, but I think that's the theory.

I don't think we've struggled because of the big rink. The year we were blasted in the championship game, we would have really struggled in a larger rink that game. We've struggled because we have struggled at the blue line. That's improved this year and so have our fortunes so far.
 

Ski U Mah Gopher

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Correct me if I'm wrong, but don't the Gophers practice a few times at Ridder before road games?
 

Gophers1992

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Absolutely love this D core. If Lafontaine maintains this level of play all year, look out. He gave up a softie vs PSU, which has always been my issue with him, but otherwise he has been stellar.

My only “complaint” is that we seem to lack high end finishers to capitalize on how well we are possessing the puck. Would be nice to have more guys who can just put the puck in the net, but that might come along as the year progresses if possession stays this high. Overall couldn’t have asked for a better start. Looking forward to getting tested more against the top BIG teams.
 

Gophers1992

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Also I love that the hockey message board on here is starting to get some activity going.
 

GopherJack

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Isn't the final stage of the Mariucci remodel, making the sheet of ice smaller? I know this has been discussed on other threads.
 


MUgopher32

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Absolutely love this D core. If Lafontaine maintains this level of play all year, look out. He gave up a softie vs PSU, which has always been my issue with him, but otherwise he has been stellar.

My only “complaint” is that we seem to lack high end finishers to capitalize on how well we are possessing the puck. Would be nice to have more guys who can just put the puck in the net, but that might come along as the year progresses if possession stays this high. Overall couldn’t have asked for a better start. Looking forward to getting tested more against the top BIG teams.

That is one thing I am a little reserved on too is the finishing chances. Reedy does a pretty good job getting to the middle and burying chances. But we don't really have bonafide goal scorers, as you said....yet. But if we keep up the high possession numbers goals naturally will come.

Walker is one that I would like to see dance around with a little less and just get it towards the net. Hes so fast and skilled, sometimes in the O zone I think he stick handles around looking for the perfect play, when his skill can settle for less to create a chance.
 

#2Gopher

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Isn't the final stage of the Mariucci remodel, making the sheet of ice smaller? I know this has been discussed on other threads.
Water table issues. That's why also you have to walk up a ton of steps to get into TCF. They would have liked to have dug down deeper much like the entrance to the old Metrodome. They make make the rink smaller, but not much smaller.

Yes they won two championships on the larger rink but that was a pretty special group of guys who made that happen. St. Cloud has had their issues as well with the larger rink.
 




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