Thursday, October 28, 2010

You want answers, road trip edition

PucKato's not going to Alaska this weekend. Just staying home to answer your pressing questions ...

From Nation: What is the status of Galiardi's injury? Will he be making the trip to Alaska?
Nation, Galiardi is out this week and, I suspect, a few more. After being checked out this week, he got some good news, namely that the injury was not season-ending. When asked about his return at practice on Wednesday (he wasn't on the ice), he said only, "Back soon." Coach Troy Jutting said he wasn't ready to say how "soon" exactly and said the Mavericks would be cautious with their captain.

From Sam: What is the goalie situation looking like for this weekend? Cook started both games last week, and did pretty well. Does Austin get the nod on Friday, and maybe Saturday if he does well? Or are they going to stick with Cook until he has a rough outing again? ... Have you ever asked Michael Dorr for his opinions of Minnesota State versus Minnesota? Gophers fans love referring to MSU as a "junior college." Sadly, a substantial amount of MSU students even view their university in a lesser light than the U, which has always bothered me. You've got to have pride! (I'm talking about more than just the two hockey clubs and their histories. I'm talking about the schools themselves.)
Sam, if you've followed MSU hockey for awhile, you know that Jutting likes to stay with the hot goalie. Cook will start on Friday and should after last weekend's performance. WIth this long road swing the Mavericks have ahead of them, I wouldn't be surprised if Lee plays at some point this month in order to keep both goalies fresh. But you gotta go with Cook on Friday. ... As for Dorr, I've never really asked him questions specifically about the two colleges. Fans are fans, though; I wouldn't be too bothered by what they say about your school.

From BIGhkyfan: Saw your column about the road trip. Don't you think this could speak well for the Frosh/Soph guys? As their JR schedules can be rather intense between buses and planes. Maybe not so much the Midwest team players, but looking at Wenatchee, WA where Mosey played, Alaska is in that division which meant plenty of air travel I assume. These young Frosh/Soph legs could be key over this period? What say you...
BIG, Come on, It's not like the juniors and seniors are 35-year-old veterans. There might be something to the idea that the freshmen are used to tough travel schedules since they went through that just a year ago (before the trip to Michigan Tech, some of them laughed about the 9-hour bus trip and basically said, "That's nothing"). The Mavericks have to make sure they're getting good rest and staying healthy over the next month, no question. But I still believe, when it come to winning games, they need the old guys to play well, as they did last Friday against CC. Andy Sackrison, Eriah Hayes and Adam Mueller really stepped up their games in that win.

From Nation: What about Zuck and Mosey on the injury status report? I forgot to mention them in my above post. Will either of them make the trip to Alaska?
Nation, both Zuck and Mosey were back at practice this week and appear to be in the lineup tonight. Zuck is excited about being back because he is from Anchorage. I believe the team will have dinner at his family's house there tonight. Mosey, who hasn't played since opening night, should help out the power play with his return.

From Five Hole: Do you think the next four weeks will provide an opportunity for some team "bonding"? I can't help but feel that the rough travel schedule the Mav's are facing will only provide benifits of the intangible "chemistry". It certainly seemed to help Mich Tech after their Euro trip this past summer. They came back a different team with the same core group of players.
Five Hole, I certainly think there's something to that. This is different from Tech's European trip in that the Mavericks still come home for practice and school in between trips. That's where the grind of all of this travel comes in: bus trips to Minneapolis, flights to Anchorage, Denver and Boston, bus trip to Omaha. And then the players all have to keep up with their classes. But I can't help but think all of that time together is good for team bonding. How that translates on the ice, of course, remains to be seen.

From Alex: Who are the extra players making the trip? What is up with Brett Peterson is he still injured? Is Evan Karambelas redshirting this season?
Alex, D-Josh Nelson and F-John McInnis will be the extras on the trip. Danny Heath was practicing as a forward this week, with Galiardi out and I thought that maybe he would go. But it's probably best to bring a freshman forward who has been skating in the Mavericks' system since the start. ... Peterson is not injured but he's just someone who's not going to play much. Part of that is because his past injuries have slowed him down. It's too bad because he's a great guy (players and coaches love him, which is why he's still around), but that's just the reality of things. I thought that maybe he'd be on the trip this week, but Zuck got healthy. ... As for Karambelas, I don't think he's officially a redshirt, but it's probably a situation much like Lee was in as a freshman when he was behind Zacharias and Tormey. If they don't have to play Evan, they won't, and then they will get another year from him if they need one. 

From Maverick: Whats your opinion on the play of Corey Leivermann so far? Are the 10 best players on the power play? i noticed last weekend that may not have been the case.
It's not too hard to see that Leivermann is not the best skater out there. That's been the knock on him since high school. However, I think we're already starting to see why he was able be such a good player at West and why he adapted quickly in the USHL. He's a smart player who seems to find ways to be in the right place at the right time. He works really hard and always seems to end up around the puck. Does he look as comfortable as Chase Grant right now? No. But you can see a player there who looks like he's figuring out more and more every time he plays. ... As for the  power play, injuries have caused the Mavericks to mix things up on the PP. Mosey and Zuck being out, Galiardi injured mid-game on Friday. There has been a lot of mixing and matching so far, and that's OK early in the season. Some guys you might want to see on the PP are actually using that time to rest because they're figured to be important penalty killers -- Schiller and Mueller have found roles there, it appears (and each has a short-handed goal). In my opinion, the power play isn't a reward for the 10 best players. Rather, teams need to find the best, most-effective combinations that can move the puck and create quality scoring chances. 

From Billb: On a really important topic. What is the new song the Mavs are using during pre-game introductions. My daughter says she needs to have it on her ipod.
Billb, I wish you had sent this one in earlier. I honestly don't know the answer to this. Can anyone help us here?

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