Tuesday, October 06, 2015

Division I NCAA Hockey: Odds to NCAA Title

Well, the early line out according to Bovada. Apparently, the oddsmakers like Boston College. Like the weekly polls, these things are fun to look at, but mean very little.

Boston College - 4/1
Minnesota-Duluth - 13/2
Boston University - 15/2
Providence - 17/2
North Dakota - 17/2
UMass Lowell - 10/1
Minnesota State - 11/1
Harvard - 11/1
Minnesota - 11/1
Miami - 11/1
Denver - 12/1
Michigan - 12/1
Nebraska Omaha - 15/1
Yale - 28/1
Michigan Tech - 28/1
Bowling Green - 28/1

(s/t B.C. Interruption)

Monday, October 05, 2015

NHL Bans Raffi Torres 41 Games (Suspension History)

When I first saw this story emerge on twitter I thought it was a miss print. The NHL's Department of Player Safety has hammered on Raffi Torres, and rightfully so. The San Jose Sharks forward will miss the first half of the 2015-16 NHL season. Some feel Torres has been given enough chances and he should be given a life ban from the NHL. His next transgression might actually end his NHL career.

First, the standard has been set, targetting the head will not be tolerated this season. Right? We will soon see. I remain skeptical. This suspension should open some eyes. It should put the dirty players that have trouble playing within the rules on notice.

Now, will the NHL's Department of Player Safety remain vigilant against the dirty head shots or will they continue to pick and choose who they suspend. Below, I laid out Torres' suspension history.

May 28, 2013, Missed the last 6 playoff games (suspended by NHL).
May 16, 2013, Suspended by the NHL for the remainder of Round 2 against the Los Angeles Kings.
Feb 02, 2013, Missed 8 games (suspended by NHL).
May 22, 2012, Missed the last 13 playoff games (suspended by NHL).
Apr 21, 2012, Suspended by the NHL for 25 games.
Jan 02, 2012, Suspended by the NHL for 2 games.
Apr 17, 2011, Missed the last 2 games of the regular season and 2 playoff games (suspension).
Apr 07, 2011 Suspended by the NHL for four games.
(s/t TSN)


Rk. School (First place votes) Record Pts. PR
1. Boston College (18) 21-14-3 469 14
2. Boston University (5) 28-8-5 436 2
3. Minnesota Duluth (7) 21-16-3 422 7
4. North Dakota 29-10-3 373 3
5. Harvard 21-13-3 348 11
6. Denver 24-14-2 318 5
7. Providence (3) 26-13-2 262 3
8. Minnesota (1) 23-13-3 242 10
9. Minnesota State 29-8-3 234 6
10. Maimi 25-14-1 198 8
11. Omaha 20-13-6 160 4
12. Yale 18-10-5 144 15
13. Michigan 22-15-0 142 NR
14. Massachusetts-Lowell 21-12-6 116 NR
15. Michigan Tech 29-10-2 50 9

I honestly don't know how they can legitimately rank teams after one week of exhibition hockey games.

More on the Oshie and McQuaid Fight

The regular season should be a dandy in the Eastern Conference. It's not very often that you see T.J. Oshie fighting. Sounds like we missed one heck of a preseason game between the Boston Bruins and the Washington Captials.

Per Chuck Gormley, CSN Mid Atlantic:
“Any time you get into a fight your hands take a beating,” said Wilson, who knocked Miller’s helmet off with a hard right uppercut in their first bout. “He was going after Ovi a little bit. He’s the best player in the league and our captain. That’s one reason.

“(Bruins defenseman Adam) McQuaid kind of goes after (T.J.) Oshie and (my) second fight followed that. ... He's a pretty tough kid and he's been pretty mouthy in the past. My hand’s pretty sore, so that’s kind of one of the reasons you want to be careful in the preseason. But at the end of the day it’s all good. ... It didn’t really feel like a preseason game. It felt almost like a playoff game last night. It was pretty intense.”
Depending on which team you lean towards,  you're going to see this a little differently. First,  I think Oshie laid a legit, legal body check on Adam McQuaid. The Bruins defenseman took exception with the hit and challenged Oshie to a fight.

Personally, I think players should learn to take a hit. If Oshie had laid a cheap hit on McQuaid, that would be a different story. But that's the culture of the NHL, hit someone with a legal check and still have to fight. Just for the record, Oshie has been in three NHL fights. So, he's not afraid to drop the gloves.

Sunday, October 04, 2015

Adam McQuaid vs T.J. Oshie (Video)

Former Fighting Sioux forward T.J. Oshie doesn't fight very much, but I think that he held his own against Boston Bruins defenseman Adam McQuaid who does do his fair share of fighting. Finally, I am also not sure what McQuaid is upset about, the hit looked good to me.

Raffi Torres Has not Learned his Lesson, Ejected for Brutal Head Shot

While he's not considered a repeat offender per the CBA, this hit could land Sharks forward Raffi Torres a long suspension.

ESPN Coming Back to Fargo

You have to hand it to the NDSU Bison football team, they've won back-to-back-to-back-to-back FCS titles and they're getting the accolades that comes with having an awesome football team. Hat's off to them.

Saturday, October 03, 2015

Update: UND Smokes Bisons in Exhibition Game

Some quick takes from last night's exhibition game. 

UND kicked off the 2015-16 season with a convincing 8-2 win against the Manitoba Bisons. The score could have been worse if the Manitoba goalie hadn't stood on his head for most of the first half of the game. 

First, last night's game was a bit sloppy, but that was expected after 150-day break from live action. I am not sure what we can take from last night's game. 

I am not going to mince words, Manitoba isn't a very good hockey team. I don't see the Bisons winning a lot of CIS games either.  That being said, UND did pretty well for having very little face time with the coaches. 

I am predicting that you will see the umbrella power play more this season. According to coach Brad Berry, that's coach Matt Shaw's handy work. 

Offensively, I think this year's team has a couple of finishers that can bury the puck. 

Brock Boeser (1g-1a—2pts) I have a feeling that the the highly touted rookie is going to get a lot of ink this season. Last night, Boeser made quite a first impression on the UND hockey fan base. Boeser is a good as billed and has a shot that will give goalies fits. I wouldn't be surprised if he scored 15-20 goals this season. 

Shane Gersich (2g-0a—2pts) was very impressive in his first game wearing a UND uniform. Again, I wouldn't be surprised if he also scored 15-20 goals this season. 

Johnny Simonson who didn't score a goal all of last season scored (3g-0a—3pts) in the win against the Manitoba Bisons. 

Last night, UND's d-core was very active in leading the rush up ice. I think they will continue this throughout the season. The defense will probably tighten up a bit and not be so loosey-goosey as they were last night. For the fans that hate the dump and chase, I don't recall UND playing a lot of dump and chase last night. 

Friday, October 02, 2015

Grand Forks Herald: Former Bismarck Mayor Marlan “Hawk” Haakenson UND can't use my trade names

First, what's this guy's end game? President Robert O. Kelley isn't budging either. Maybe I am wrong, but I don't see him putting North Dakota on the nickname ballot.

I know I am not a lawyer, nor did I stay in a Holiday Inn Express last night. But I don't see how one guy, who happens to be an NDSU guy, can derail the whole nickname process.

If I was the University of North Dakota, I would just ignore him. Don't like it, sue us in court. This would be tied up in the courts for years.
Per the Grand Forks Herald:
Former Bismarck Mayor Marlan “Hawk” Haakenson urged UND President Robert Kelley to add “North Dakota” to the ballot for a new nickname, saying he will not authorize the school to use four names he has registered as trade names.

In a handwritten letter sent Sept. 28, Haakenson said he owns rights to four names, having added “Roughriders Sports Team” to three names he registered earlier in September. “I will not sell the rights to use my trademarks. I will not let anyone use them.”

Haakenson also has registered trade names for Fighting Hawks, North Stars and Nodaks.

“You have time to add ‘North Dakota’ to your ballot, as an overwhelming percentage of your qualified voters have asked you to do. That’s the right thing to do,” he wrote. “You give the appearance of rigged ballot and vote.”
I know I have said this 100 times. I love the Fighting Sioux nickname. I also realize that this fight should have taken place about 5-7 years ago. It seems like some have been late to the party. The Fighting Sioux nickname is gone and not coming back. If UND had refused to change the Fighting Sioux nickname, there's no way that UND would be able to host a NCAA regional.

I also don't really like any of the nickname choices that we get to vote on. I could accept, Nodaks, Rough Riders/Roughriders (Not really sure how they will end up spelling this), and Fighting Hawks. These are the best choices in my opinion. I honestly don't know which of the three I will vote for. My friend Mafia Man from Sioux Sports, actually kind of swayed me towards Fighting Hawks. This seems to be the option that is trending as of late.

Again, I am pro-Fighting Sioux nickname, I will always be. I am worn out with the argument surrounding the nickname. I am (reluctantly) ready to move on, I will vote for a nickname in October. That being said, I will always wear my Fighting Sioux gear with pride when the opportunity arises. Last Wednesday, I wore a golf shirt with the Fighting Sioux logo on it to the hockey presser. I didn't even realize I was wearing it. Just came out of the wash that way.

NHL Hockey: Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook Points Totals

According to the Sporting News: Point totals and division odds for the 2015-16 NHL season have been released at the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook.

Looking at the numbers, I believe that the Wild are probably a little low.  Looking at the expected finish of the Bruins, they're not expected to finish very high this season.


DUCKS 104.5
BLUES 102.5
KINGS 100.5
WILD 97.5
STARS 96.5
JETS 95.5

New Yorks Times Article on Hakstol

Apparently, former University of North Dakota head coach Dave Hakstol is making an impression on the Flyers fans this fall. Reading some of the stories that have been posted online, it would appear that Hak has more or less brought the same techniques and concepts to the NHL.
Per Dave Caldwell, New York Times Sports:
Hakstol, 47, represents a radical culture change. A native of Warburg, Alberta, a prairie town of 789 that also produced Dallas Stars Coach Lindy Ruff, Hakstol was a defenseman who never made it past the International Hockey League in five professional seasons.

The Flyers are essentially the same team that last year finished 33-31-18, the 24th-best record in the 30-team league and 14 points out of a playoff berth.

What Hakstol says he will do is get the Flyers playing at a faster pace — partly because everyone is, especially elite Eastern Conference teams like the Rangers and the Tampa Bay Lightning. Despite a power-play unit that ranked third in the N.H.L., the Flyers were 21st in scoring last year.

“This is a hard-working team,” Hakstol said in a low, flat voice. “I believe it always has been. This game starts and ends with energy and work ethic and guys that are good teammates. That’s the baseline. The game is played at a high pace now, and we want to think in this room that we have the ability to get up the ice a little bit quicker, the ability to create a little bit more in the offensive zone and getting everybody involved.”

Thursday, October 01, 2015

Wild Claim Chris Porter off of Waivers

The Minnesota Wild have claimed former Fighting Sioux forward Chris Porter off of waivers from the Philadelphia Flyers. Porter is a former teammate of Wild forward Zach Parise.
Jeff Neiburg, Daily News Staff Writer - The Flyers lost a little bit of organizational depth Thursday afternoon when one of the two players they put on waivers yesterday failed to clear.

Chris Porter, who scored two goals in three preseason games, was claimed off of waivers by the Minnesota Wild. Colin McDonald, who the Flyers also waived yesterday, cleared.

Michael Russo talked to Zach Parise about the move:

“He’s a player who I think can help us and I’m happy for him that he gets to come back here and play,” Parise said of Porter, 31, an energy-winger who played against the Wild last season for St. Louis.

“He’s a big guy, he’s fast, he plays physical, so I think that’s going to fit in well with us and with Carts. He knows what his job is out there. There are no gray areas. He knows what he’s supposed to do. Just as important, he’s a great guy.”

Sure, why not? Crookston Times Letter: Prairie Dogs is a great nickname for UND

This one is too hilarious not to share with the blog readers, feel free to share your thoughts. This nickname suggestion is almost as bad as Sundogs. Close, but Sundogs still takes it for all-time bad nickname suggestions.

Per the Crookston Times:
I'd like to add my suggestion to that list of five, Prairie Dogs. Why Prairie Dogs? Because they're social animals, they keep a sharp lookout for their enemies, and they alert one another to danger by making loud barking or chirping noises. Also, just think about it. What are the prairie states? They're Montana, North Dakota, and Minnesota, and they border the prairie provinces of Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba. Go! Prairie Dogs! Go!

If you're curious about why I took such an interest in this "Name Game," I can tell you why. I grew up in Crookston, Minnesota and played ice hockey at Cathedral High School with Johnny Noah who died this month. Johnny was 87, and so am I. Johnny and other guys from Cathedral played for the first UND Big Ten hockey team which was coached by our former football and hockey coach, Don Norman. Of course, this was way back in the forties and early fifties, but it sure left an impression on me, and so did Johnny Noah who also played on the U.S. Olympic team.
By Chuck Dowdle
Cambria, California

WHKY: North Dakota opens season against the Rensselaer Engineers


The University of North Dakota women's hockey team will open its regular season on the road in upstate New York. North Dakota will face RPI in an ever-important non-conference game right out of the gate.

When playing in the WCHA, non-conference games can make or break a team's post-season hopes. This weekend is no exception and North Dakota hopes to win its first game in Troy, N.Y. this weekend. Veterans returning to this ice for the green and white understand that importance of this weekend. "We know what it's like to drop games early and, I guess, be punished for it at the end of the season," senior, forward Layla Marvin said.

Head coach Brian Idalski said that the focus is to win hockey games, but that the team needs to be patient with where its at at this stage in the season.

The last time the teams met at the Houston Field House, RPI swept North Dakota. Last season, the Engineers traveled to The Ralph for the season opener where North Dakota took the game 7-1.

Last weekend North Dakota struggled offensively in their exhibition against the University of Manitoba Bisons. The lone goal credited in the second to Anna Kiponen. The puck came off the skate of a Bisons player before entering their net. North Dakota gave all three goaltenders a workout during the exhibition.

Live stats will be available for tomorrow's game (5:00 p.m. CST) and Saturday (1:00 p.m. CST) match-up at RPI Athletics. You can also follow @UNDWHockey on Twitter for updates.

North Dakota will continue its caravan on the road through October 16th. The first home game of the season will be a Saturday afternoon match-up against the gritty, Bemidji State Beavers on October 17th.

Travis Zajac Subject trade rumors

Apparently, former Fighting Sioux forward Travis Zajac is the subject of trade rumors.

Per Travis Yost of TSN:
This past weekend, rumours swirled about Toronto's alleged interest in New Jersey Devils centre Travis Zajac. The connection here is obvious. Zajac, a former first-round pick in 2004, was drafted and developed by none other than new Leafs general manager Lou Lamoriello.

For a team mostly devoid of talent right now, it's understandable why the beggars-can't-be-choosers crowd fanned the flames of this trade rumor. The Leafs have a huge hole down the middle of the lineup, and Zajac's been, at the very least, a pillar of stability for a New Jersey team venturing into a rebuild.

That's perhaps the only defensible point of this proposed trade. For starters, I can't see how Zajac fits into Toronto's plans either – he's a 30+ veteran with a massive contract, both in terms of average annual value ($5.75 million) and dollars owed ($28.75 million) through the 2020 season.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Chris Porter Waived by the Flyers

Former Fighting Sioux forward Chris Porter has been waived by the Philadelphia Flyers. According to Philly.com, Porter is expected to clear waiver and report to the AHL Phantoms.

Michael Russo thinks that Porter would make sense in Minnesota.

Also, as I wrote earlier this offseason, Chris Porter may make sense and he is one of the guys open for the taking suddenly because Philadelphia put the former Blues energy forward on waivers today.