Not a ton of participation this week, but thanks to those who did ask questions ...
Can you give us more of a detailed update of the Mav injuries? Is there a reason they don't give any details of the exact injury? For example after the Mich Tech series, couldn't someone just say Sackrison is out with a concussion. I'm not saying that's what's wrong with him, only an example. Also, what exactly happened to the Mich Tech player that was hospitalized in the Twin Cities during their series with the gophers?
Much like the NHL these days, MSU and other teams are pretty tight-lipped when it comes to injuries. The rationale seems to be that other teams will "go after" those injuries if those are disclosed and the players try to play through them. Seems to me that an opposing player's ailment might be a little much to be worried about, say, if your power play is what really needs work. So you'll often just hear "upper body" or "lower body," if anything at all. So it goes. What I can tell you is that Mouillierat and Sackrison were back on the ice this week. I should find out later today whether or not they're in the lineup. As for Michigan Tech's Malcolm Gwilliam, he is done for the season. He spent several days in the hospital in Minneapolis, and even Tech hasn't released the full nature of his ailment, although they did say he's expected to make a full recovery.
What seems to be the problem with Justin Jokinen? He came to the Mavericks as the highest drafted NHL prospect on the team. Yet, he doesn't seem to be seeing much game action. Is it a matter of him trying to make the adjustment from high school hockey to college hockey, without playing any juniors? Or is there simply not enough ice time to go around?
I think you're seeing a couple of things with Jokinen right now. You're seeing the tough, tough transition for players who come straight out of high school, as you suggested. But you're also seeing him trying to fit in on a veteran team. This isn't like two years ago when all the freshmen played because they had no one else. This year's juniors have beein in the lineup almost every night since then. This year, there are basically two to five spots for freshman forwards, depending on how healthy the Mavericks are. Redshirt Mike Louwerese has obviously fit in nicely, and Tyler Thompson, who has two years of junior experience, seems to be ahead of the other rookies. Jokinen, Adam Mueller and Joe Schiller have pretty much rotated through the lineup. I don't think any of them have done anything poorly but none has distinguished himself so far either. I wouldn't worry about them, though. The good news for the Mavericks is they haven't had to count on those players yet. Their veterans are doing the job and that's a big reason why they're 8-3-3.
If Kurt Davis continues his incredible play, what is the likelihood the Mavericks might lose him to the pros after this season?
I don't think Davis is a flight risk. He's a small defenseman at 5-foot-9, 175 pounds, he's not real physical and he's 22 years old, having played two years of junior hockey. He's an excellent college player, as it turns out, but I'm not sure the NHL's going to come calling before he's done at MSU. There's no question Davis has been key to the Mavericks' success. He leads them in scoring with 20 points, has helped the power play get going the last few weeks and, most importantly, he moves the puck out of the defensive zone. I think he does the latter better than any defenseman I've seen in my eight seasons covering the team. Look for more on Davis in Friday's Free Press, as part of the St. Cloud State series preview package.