Friday, September 18, 2009

Friday Fillers

  • Week two of TCF Bank Stadium will feature not only one of the nation's best teams in Cal but some stadium improvements from last week's opener. Cal is favored in this one, but a victory over the Bears would be Coach Tim Brewster's first "signature win" since taking over as Gopher coach for the 2007 season. A 3-0 start would be nice, but I don't think it'll happen.
  • Gopher basketball coach Tubby Smith scored a big recruit for the 2010 class in Nebraska big man Elliott Eliason. He was Nebraska's player of the year as a junior last season, and averaged 15 points, 10 boards, and 4 blocks per game. As the Strib's Myron Medcalf points out, the 6-11 Eliason will provide some depth with current Gophers Ralph Sampson III and Colton Iverson heading into their junior seasons, and it's never bad to have an abundance of big men.
  • It's getting to be the time of the year when college hockey polls start tricking out, and the College Hockey News website came out with its version this week. Denver is #1 (I predicted DU to win the WCHA in my season preview of the Pioneers) in this one and the Gophers are #6. I can't really argue with any of CHN's top ten, given that nobody has hit the ice yet this season, but it seem reasonable.
  • Here is Western College Hockey's WCHA predictions for this year, and it has the Gophers 4th. The explanations follow. Some good points about the Gophers, indeed, but I'm seeing a big bounce-back season for goaltender Alex Kangas in 2009-10.
  • Speaking of season previews, my Examiner site this week featured the season previews of the Gophers and UMD. As always, I am curious as to your thoughts of my previews, especially the predictions part. Minnesota State-Mankato and North Dakota will follow next week. The following week will feature St. Cloud State and Wisconsin, as well as my predictions for the post-season individual awards as we gear up for another great WCHA season.
  • In other awards news, the Western College Hockey site handed out its predictions for WCHA awards this week.
  • The Wild officially signed Petr Sykora Thursday after having him come to camp on a tryout basis. The one-year, $1.6M deal is affordable for the veteran who should bring some punch up front with Mikko Koivu and Martin Havlat.
  • In the linked piece above from Michael Russo, the Wild's 365-game sellout string may be in jeopardy due to some light season ticket renewal figures. The rate was still 95%, which would be parade-worthy for most NHL teams. However, the heat is on for the team to be more exciting and successful this season, as the staggering economy has increased the competition for tighter entertainment dollars.
  • The Timberwolves signed shooting guard Sasha Pavlovic. Yawn.
  • I am participating in Twins' blogger extraordinaire Seth Stohs's annual NFL "Expert" picks this year, along with some familiar names. After a solid 14-2 week one, I'm looking to build on that success and picked a few upsets this week.
  • A reminder, check out my Twins and WCHA Examiner pages, and be sure to check me out on Twitter and Facebook. I need the friends and followers!

No comments:

Post a Comment