Will the Real Troy Jutting please stand up. That was no coach of the year performance on Saturday. A chance to sweep the Sioux for the first time ever. This is not a great Sioux team. Galiardi on the PK couldn't cover the points if his life depended on it. (2 ND Power play goals with him up top with no pressure). Louwerse taking penelties in his own offensive zone (2). The real Louwerse shows his worth. What does Jutting see in him and Galardi? Jokinen? No excuses on the power play unit giving up the shorty. Davis quit on that one. Can't imagine where MSU would be without Zacharias. Maybe 1-3. We haven't faced a tough goalie yet. This seemed to be quite harsh for four games in, especially when the Mavericks were 10 minutes away from a 4-0-0 start. I can certainly understand fans' frustration from that game, though. As I commented earlier, it would not have been MSU's first sweep of North Dakota. They did it at the end of the 2002-03 season in front of crowds that, despite the stats, might have been the two biggest, certainly the wildest I have ever seen at the civic center. As for the PK, those killers were dead tired at the end of the game. The Mavericks had been killing the entire game, it seemed, and the Sioux were bound to put one in. Of course, one goal and the Mavericks immediate return to the penalty box changed the entire course of the game. But you have to give the kill credit for what it did up until that point, including Zach Harrison's three short-handed goals in Friday's game. You're right about the game-winner on Saturday and about Zacharais. Davis, who seems to make smart decisions most of the time, made a bad play on that one. Zacharias has been excellent so far.
I wish the Alltel Center was filled with that kind of passion on a weekly basis and not just against the Gophers and UND. It sucks that they gave up a two-goal lead in the third and that shortie at the end really hurt. I was speechless walking out of the building. Actually, I'm still bitter. I think fans like you are starting to become the rule rather than the exception. I think we're starting to see some real passion from Minnesota State fans and that has made the Alltel Center a fun place every weekend. The Mavs drew 4,000 a game for Bemidji State. That was almost unheard of a couple of years ago. Both UND games were sellouts. I think you started to see that passion before the Minnesota playoffs series last year, but the three games against the Gophers took it to a new level.
How do you think we will rebound going up against a Gopher team that seems to always handle the Mavericks no matter where the game is played? Do you think the Gophers handled the Mavericks in the playoffs last year? They won in double-OT, lost in OT and lost in double-OT. That series was about as even as you could get. Even the total shots/saves were virtually even. Minnesota's off to a good start, and I wouldn't be surprised if they sweep Wisconsin this weekend. Those are two teams going different directions right now. The Mavericks need to put that UND loss in the rear-view mirror. The good news was that it took place early in the year, so it shouldn't be too devastating. I suspect the Mavericks feel there is some unfinished business to take care of against the Gophers. I expect those to be two close games. Maybe more overtime?
I know the new rules have caused an increase in the penalties, but many of the Maverick penalties had nothing to do with the rule changes. Do you see this being the Mavericks downfall this year? Or can they turn it around and maybe play with a little more discipline the rest or the year? If it keeps up, it will be their downfall and the downfall of any team that doesn't figure this out. Not only do they have to adjust to the rule changes, but they have to eliminate the other -- call them dumb, selfish, whatever -- penalties in order to keep the penalty killers fresh. Last year, one of the reasons I felt Jutting was deserving of coach of the year was that he cracked down on penalties for maybe the first time in his career. The minutes dropped significantly. I think that was a big reason, among many, for MSU's good season. I suspect they'll learn from last Saturday's third period.
What is up with the lack of recognition by you on this blog and in the paper...and by MSUM letting fans know that RJ Linder is playing on a ECHL team? Both MSUM and yourself have reported on every other player to play at the next level (including Joel Hanson who was added to the Lynx roster just a little before RJ) but skip over reporting this. I guess we can wait for Kevin Allenspach at the St. Cloud times to cover it. First off, let me say that Kevin does a great job covering the Huskies up there in St. Cloud. Actually, I think the WCHA has many excellent writers covering it. As for Mr. Linder, that's just an oversight on my part. It's certainly nothing against him, whom I really enjoyed covering throughout his career. I'll admit, I haven't delved into the minor leagues too much in search of MSU alumni. When Hanson signed, MSU put out a press release. I'll try to track down a few guys and give an update in the coming weeks. I know that several players are in Europe too. Rob Rankin is playing in England, and Shane Joseph and Andy Hedlund are playing together in Germany.