Monday, October 7, 2013

Season Starts Tonight - Three Questions

Minnesota Duluth starts their hockey schedule tonight with a non-conference game at home against Canada's Lakehead University.  As the season starts we have three questions that need answers:

1.  Who will be the goalie who steps up to be a reliable number one?
Aaron Crandall and Matt McNeely are the candidates and neither looked like they could be the backstop a contending college hockey team needs.  One of them needs to step forward and take the job.
2.  Will the offensive potential output outgun the defensive potential struggles?
The Bulldogs can and will score.  The struggles will likely be if the young defensive corps can keep the scores against in the 3-3.5 range instead of the 4-4.5 range.  Tim Smith and Andy Welinski will be key mainstays of the defense.
3.  Is the NCHC the best conference and will the high caliber teams keep each other out of the NCAA Tournament?
The NCHC is a great conference, arguably the best top to bottom.  But in the end, will the "better" teams beat each other up and ultimately keep some high end teams out of the NCAA is a concern.  Stack a league, decrease chances for their NCAA chances?  Quite possibly.
For now, we have to wait to see what the expectations look like on the ice starting tonight at AMSOIL Arena.

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