Monday, October 15, 2007

Upgrade/Downgrade

The first weekend of the season is in the books, and we've got a little more information on each team. I thought I'd take a look at each team's performance in the first week, and see if they looked better than expected, worse than expected, or pretty much the same.

Denver-They swept Maine at home. This may not be the greatest Maine, but they're always tough to beat, especially early in the season. The Pioneers were without one of their top forwards in Rhett Rakhshani, but proved they had some offensive depth with some of their freshmen. They could compete for second place in the WCHA this year. Verdict: Upgrade

Minnesota-The first two periods of the RPI game weren't pretty, but the Gophers managed to shake off the rust and finish the weekend 2-0. Their defense wasn't the disaster most were predicting, and Okposo and Wheeler look like they have made the jump to the next level. Verdict: Upgrade

Michigan State-They looked more like the team that finished 4th in the CCHA last year than the team that won the national title. Verdict: Downgrade

North Dakota-I don't think they could have done much more to prove they are the top team in the country. Verdict: Upgrade

St. Cloud-The two games against Canisius weren't going to prove much. They dominated on Friday night, and Saturday night, it took a great performance from Bryce Luker and a bad performance from SCSU's third goalie for the Griffs to manage a tie. Next weekend at Duluth should show a little more about the Huskies. Verdict: Same

Ferris State-They got swept by Union, and only managed one goal. A lone bright spot was Pat Nagle's 26 save performance on Friday night. Verdict: Downgrade

Ohio State-The Buckeyes came away from the weekend with two wins, including an impressive win over Wisconsin. If Joe Palmer continues to play that well all year, the Buckeyes could be a dangerous team. Verdict: Upgrade

Wisconsin-The win over Notre Dame will look really good at the end of the season. If they can keep scoring goals like they did this past weekend, they could make some noise in the WCHA. Verdict: Upgrade

Notre Dame-Jordan Pearce started both games for the Irish. They lost to Wisconsin which was surprising and dominated Mercyhurst like one would expect. Verdict: Downgrade

Alaska-Anchorage-They had an easy win over Wayne State and then tied BU. Playing in the WCHA will give them a strong enough strength of schedule. If they can boost their winning percentage in non-conference games, they may not do too badly in the RPI. BU wasn't very good this weekend, but still, getting a tie out of the Terriers isn't bad. Verdict: Upgrade

Michigan-Coming out of the weekend with a win was huge for a young Michigan team. A win over BC could help them keep their tournament streak in tact for another year. There are still serious holes at defense and in goal, but the effort from the team was outstanding. Verdict: Upgrade

Miami-They swept Vermont at home, which are two nice wins. Verdict: Upgrade

Minnesota-Duluth-Only managed a tie against Lake Superior, but rebounded with a convincing win over Northern Michigan. Verdict: Downgrade

Lake Superior-Tied Duluth and lost to Michigan Tech. Not the worst result against two teams that were favored to beat them. Verdict: Upgrade

Michigan Tech-They were upset at home by Northern Michigan, and came back with a win over Lake Superior. The loss to Northern really hurts. Verdict: Downgrade

Northern Michigan-Picked up a nice win against Michigan Tech, but couldn't generate much offense in their next game against Duluth. Verdict: Same

12 comments:

Jim said...

What a surprise Michigan gets an upgrade. I never would have guessed

Anonymous said...

Geez, what a surprise, someone bitching about Michigan getting an upgrade...

Jim said...

Geez, what a surprise a Michigan fan reached a wrong conclusion.

Chris said...

Michigan got upgraded because they beat an opponent ranked higher than them.

And apparently the pollsters agreed with me, since they bumped Michigan up from 9th to 6th.

Adam Wodon (CHN) said...

Hey Chris ... nice thoughts on the first weekend. Hard to argue with any of it. Any word on Rakhshani?

RSP15 said...

I think St. Cloud has the most talent they have had in the three seasons that Motzko has been coach, minus goal tending (Weslosky looked real sharp Friday). I thought the freshman looked pretty good this weekend and Luca Cunti who might be the most talented one of them did not even play. It might take a bit for them to gel, but I think this scsu team will be an upgrade this year with a bit of time.

Anonymous said...

DULUTH???? DULUTH????!!!! As a non-Duluth fan I would have to say i don't know how you would list duluth as a downgrade. They are suppose to be horrid this year. If a projected bottom feeder comes out of the weekend 1-0-1 against non-CHA-Atlantic schools it should be an uprade or at the very least be even.

Anonymous said...

Duluth should be an upgrade. St. Cloud should be slightly downgraded. A thorough sweep of Canisius should be a given. I also feel Wisconsin should be downgraded. The offense looks a little improved but the defense and goaltending look worse.

Anonymous said...

St.Cloud tied Canisius by playing a bunch of freshmen and their 3rd (not backup) goalie...and still outshooting them 46-13. The Canisius goalie plyed a great game. If Cloud would have played their regulars, they would have scored 6 or 7, but Motzko wanted to get the youngsters all on the ice in Non-Conf. action. The game really meant nothing.

Anonymous said...

Every game means something when it comes to making the NCAAs.

Besides, I see other teams playing their young guys in early non-conference games but not faltering. Especially not against a weak team such as Canisius. I don't buy that excuse. St. Cloud should be downgraded.

Anonymous said...

Anon at 6:17 PM:

GEt a life...you're taking these rankings much too seriously...got anything else to do?
You should be downgraded.

Anonymous said...

8:57 I'm not 6:17, but I guess you just can't handle the truth. Besides Lasch, Nodl, and Dey all played. Excuses, excuses.