For all those people out there that love to read about the complaining from the WCHA hockey-folk. This blog is played to the tune of the Journey song, "Who's Crying Now?"

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Whiner of the Week: Mar 26th

My apologies for the delay in getting this week's WOTW award out there, and for keeping this short. I had a family emergency this week, and that takes precedence over college hockey. Yes, even playoff college hockey.

Anyhoo, after seeing the NCAA playoff field, I fully expected to see plenty of whining coming from MSUM fans. But...I just didn't see nearly as much of it as I expected. I'm sure they were plenty pissed about being brushed over so that a sub-.500 team could get placed in their own regional, but they didn't show it like I thought they would. They probably realized that one OT gwg is all it would have taken against UMN, and that probably would have kept the Gophers out of the NCAA's as well.

Speaking of the Gophers...I never realized that their fans would suck so much even at a F5 that they didn't even win. I guess I thought that their fanbase was better than that. Silly me!

Am I the only one that is getting annoyed with Michigan fans lately? Seriously. You've won more titles than any other team in history...try to act like you've been there before.

What's with MEg? She tells me that she wants to meet me at the F5, and then never gets in contact with me to arrange a meeting time/place.

So, since I need to wrap this up, and because I don't want to pick a solo winner from the above nominees...

Congratulations to the Whiners of the Week:

UMN fans, UM fans, and MEg

Thursday, March 20, 2008

WCHA Final Five Preview: Mar 20-22nd

Holy crap, the Final Five is here! This is seriously one of the most fun weekends of the entire season. Fans from pretty much every team make the trip to St. Paul to cheer on their team (or cheer on whoever is playing their rival if their team didn't make it) and to boo at opposing fans when their faces get plastered on the jumbotron. Speaking of out for those crazy tailgaters!

Team, Fan, & Tourney Preview

CC Tigers: The Tigers get to faceoff against either SCSU or UMN on Friday night. I would think that they would have a better chance at advancing to the championship if they face UMN, as I don't think the Gophers have the speed or the offensive firepower to hang with them. SCSU, on the other hand, has a trio of good scorers. Either way, I see CC advancing to Sat night regardless, as they are just too strong this year even if they don't normally have good luck in the F5. I don't think that I've ever seen a CC fan younger than 50 years old. Maybe they are slowly dying off, with no young fans left to take the helm. On the bright side, they might have actually been alive to see the last Tiger national title.

DU Pioneers: The Pioneers won their first round series and have advanced to the F5 for the first time in a couple years. They play UND in the Friday afternoon game in what should be a good battle as they try to get revenge for the series in Grand Forks a month ago. DU just has to find some scoring, and then let Mannino handle the rest. You usually see a fair number of DU fans at the F5, and we might even see more this year due to their recent hiatus from the WCHA tourney. They could pull off an upset or two if they score some goals, but that could prove difficult, especially if some more DU players "pull a Trotter" and leave the team before Friday.

UMN Gophers: If there is a team that might be better off losing this weekend, it is the Gophers. They already played three games less than a week ago, with all three going to OT (two of them to double OT). If they beat SCSU on Thurs night, they would have to play on Fri and Sat as well, which would make it at least 23 periods of hockey in only 9 days! And that's assuming that none of their games this week go to OT, which is something all too common with this Gopher team. On the flipside of that, if they lose against SCSU they could very well miss the tourney. UMN fans were very happy this week...they got into the F5 despite being a horrible team all year. So hopefully they really enjoy their one game. Unless...can the Gophers become the first team to win the F5 after being in the play-in game? Answer: they cannot.

UND Sioux: The Sioux battle the Pioneers on Friday afternoon, in what will probably be one of the better games all weekend, as the two teams always seem to match up well. UND has had the upper hand so far this year, but DU seems to have a recent history of beating UND when it the playoffs. The Sioux will almost certainly need at least one win this weekend to have any chance of moving up to a #1 seed. UND fans will travel well as always, so expect lots of them there. My only question is whether the fat mullet-man Sioux fan will be there. Everyone reading should know who I'm talking about...he's at every F5 and F4. So the answer is yes. If UND loses to DU, who will be blamed? Smart money is either on the officials or Paukovitch.

SCSU Huskies: The big question when the Huskies take the ice against the Gophers on Thurs night will probably be if UMN will have any legs at all after last weekend. SCSU should be fresh, as they finished off UW in two games, but the Gophers will also have the crowd behind them. The Huskies are a more talented team than UMN this year, but the Gophers showed some grit against MSUM, and also showed that Kangas is on form. For SCSU fans, this is like the SuperBowl...facing off against the Gophers in the F5. They just aren't smart enough to realize that it's just the play-in game. :)

Other: The Mavericks and the Badgers will be sitting at home watching these games while wondering what their fate will be for the NCAA's. UMD, MTU, and UAA are already out on the putt-putt course practicing their short game.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Whiner of the Week: Mar 19th

I was actually surprised at the amount of whining that took place during and after the WCHA 1st round playoff series. And by that, I mean the lack of it. I don't know what happened, as I expected so much more. Maybe people are just getting ready for the end of the season. Or maybe the classic Gopher instigators are living in a hole somewhere after their less-than-stellar year. Who knows. The only series that really stuck out to me with complaining was the MSUM/UMN series, which featured a combined 22 overtime periods or something along those lines. That whining was mainly directed at the officials, who seemed to lose their whistles in the overtime periods, except for when calling too many men penalties. :) But I didn't think that was enough to get them the award this week. Neither of the fanbases stuck out more than the other.

So, for this week, we are doing something different. This week's award is more of a "lifetime season achievement" WOTW. After saying that, I'm sure most of you already know who this week's lucky winner is. :) Whether it be his comical, over-the-top rants about how much he dislikes every other team (and their fanbases/towns/coaching staff/etc) in the league, his lofty preseason predictions for his team that they can never live up to, or his over-analytical responses to trolling posters who comment on his blog, his posts are pure comedy. Sometimes you can't be sure if he is actually taking himself seriously or if he is just trying to get a rise out of others. Either way, his WOTW-approved blog is GOLD. Good examples of fun can be found here, here, and here. And that's just in the past week!

Congratulations to the Whiner of the Week:

Donald and his UAA Fan Blog

Friday, March 14, 2008

WCHA Weekly Preview: Mar 14-16th

First round WCHA playoff time! For some teams, it's win-or-break-out-the-golf-clubs time...for other teams they are already assured a spot in the NCAA's, but they want the right to battle for the Broadmoor in St. Paul. Should make for some interesting matchups.

Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs @ Denver Pioneers

Summary: The Bulldogs snapped their 5 game losing streak with a win over Minnesota last Saturday. The Pioneers are on a losing streak of their own, now 3 games after being swept by CC. UMD ended DU's season in 05-06 after beating them in the 1st round playoffs in Denver. They might need to do it again if they want their season to continue past the F5.
WWN Says: Which fanbase would I rather see at the F5? The Bulldog fans would probably travel in greater number if they happen to make it (due to that whole distance thing), but the Pioneer fans are fun to hang with as well. That probably doesn't matter though, being that we'll all see them in April anyway for the F4 in Denver. So I'll pick UMD here.

Alaska Anchorage Seawolves @ Colorado College Tigers

Summary: This might be the only series that is almost a sure-fire bet that the home team will win. The Seawolves were the only team that wasn't fighting for placement in the WCHA standings the last few weekends, as they finished solidly in 10th place (10 points behind 9th). The Tigers, meanwhile, look to be playing quite well after sweeping DU and they will want to get a #1 seed at their own regional.
WWN Says: Which fanbase would I rather see at the F5? That's a really difficult question...being that I don't think I've ever met a fan (that I remember anyway) from either school. If the Seawolves made it, would any fans bother to come anyway? Donald's donation plan fell through, so I guess not. Ahh, who am I kidding, the Seawolves aren't going to advance.

Minnesota Gophers @ Minnesota State Mavericks

Summary: When was the last time that the Mavericks beat the Gophers? I would guess that most fans can't even remember. I know I couldn't, so I looked it up. It was Nov 8th, 2002 with a 3-2 win in Mankato. And now they would have to win twice in one weekend if they want to advance to the F5. Can they do it? There is more at stake for both teams as well...a poor series from either team could push them out of the NCAA tourney.
WWN Says: Which fanbase would I rather see at the F5? Tough call here. The Xcel is normally 65% Gopher fans anyway due to the "away" venue, but how many will show up if the Gophers aren't there? My guess: if the Gophers lose, you'll see a buttload of F5 tickets all of a sudden become available. But, there will still be some UMN fans there. And those will probably be the "good" ones, if there is such a thing. Plus, the league would be pissed if they weren't I say go Mavericks.

Michigan Tech Huskies @ North Dakota Fighting Sioux

Summary: The Huskies have been inconsistent lately (actually, for the whole season it seems), although they did manage some quality wins against Denver and Mankato recently. And now they travel to face the Sioux, who are unbeaten in their last 17 games. It's a tall order, but UND might be ripe for the picking right now with 3 good players out with injuries. If they can't play, MTU might get past them and punch their ticket to St. Paul.
WWN Says: Which fanbase would I rather see at the F5? North Dakota State fans travel well, so if the Sioux advance, there will be a ton of them there. But if the Gophers don't make it, will any of those UND fans be wearing Holy Cross jerseys? I think that the MTU band will be there anyway, as well as the best Tech fan, so I'll just pick UND since I would rather not listen to the whining that would erupt if they weren't there.

Wisconsin Badgers @ St. Cloud State Huskies

Summary: For some reason, the Badgers seem to always have the upperhand when they play the Huskies. But SCSU managed to beat them just a couple weeks ago, and being that the series is at the NHC, this might tip the scales in their favor. Neither team has played that well recently, so this series is probably the most difficult to predict. Which should probably be the case in a series between the 5th/6th place teams.
WWN Says: Which fanbase would I rather see at the F5? If the Badgers advance, we'll see fans hopping around in their seats doing some sort of dance routine instead of watching hockey. If the Huskies advance, we'll see the number of snowmobile jackets in the Xcel increase by at least 10x. But, I have ulterior motives here. UW is really screwing up the brackets for the rest of the WCHA teams being that they are hosting a regional, yet are down in the 3/4 seed area. For that reason, we need them out of the picture, so go SCSU.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Whiner of the Week: Mar 12th

The college hockey world has entered the best time of year: playoff hockey. Now is the time when some dreams get crushed, others get realized, and whining gets even more rampant. Without further ado, some of this week's nominees:
  • Well, the CC/DU series produced a nominee, but couldn't climb itself to the top of the pile. Maybe a potential postseason meeting between the teams would change that. Evidently the CC fans were a bit vulgar during the Saturday game...the comments section there was quite humorous. Seems that a CC fan was irritated enough by this that he started a thread on USCHO whining about the whining DU fans. Beautiful. After your team gets swept by your biggest rival, this might just be wishful thinking.
  • Michigan fans were whining all weekend about how they should be ranked #1 in the polls because they had fewer losses than CC and UND. Who cares? It's the USCHO poll. At least they got their wish, and Michigan is back to #1 this week so they can shutup about it.
  • How many more UND newbie posters can there be on the USCHO message boards? There were like 5 or 6 new ones in the last 3 days alone. At least half of them have been banned/suspended already.

We have another first for the WOTW award. For the first time, the award is given to an individual person...and a collegiate hockey player to boot. Rather than rehash the entire incident, I will just point you to this. Sure, I've called out LGM in the past for her sometimes annoying posts, but there is no excuse for doing what that player did. Physically confronting a fan of your own team just because she said that she didn't like you on her blog? Sounds like someone needs to learn how to handle criticism a bit better...and to top it off, my poor little MEg might be emotionally scarred due to the incident as well, since she was there too. :) Regardless, you don't do that crap, especially not to a woman. And for that...

Congratulations to the Whiner of the Week:

Kurt Davis of the Minnesota State Mavericks

Friday, March 7, 2008

WCHA Weekly Preview: Mar 7-8th

Here we are...the last weekend of the regular season. The Badgers and the Seawolves both have the weekend off, with UAA cemented in last place and UW hoping that neither SCSU or MSUM win any games this weekend and push them down the standings.

Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs @ Minnesota Gophers

Summary: The Bulldogs are in a bit of a slide lately, losing their last 4 games and only scoring one goal in the process. The Gophers, on the other hand, look to be playing a bit better after taking 3 points in each of their last 2 series. Despite the fact that these two teams appear to be heading in opposite directions, UMD always seems to play UMN tough, and I wouldn't be surprised with a split or either team taking 3 points.
WWN Says: Both of these teams are on the bubble and will be hungry for wins. For the most part, I like UMD fans...even RWD is growing on me...and I would rather the Bulldogs make the NCAA's than the Gophers. The majority of Gopher fans could use a year (or four) out of the tourney to bring their arrogance down a few notches. In the end though, both of these teams could end up missing the dance.

Denver Pioneers vs. Colorado College Tigers (home & home)

Summary: The Pioneers are coming off a split with Tech, while the Tigers showed a kink in their armor after getting a split with the Mavs at home. CC controls their own destiny for the MacNaughton...if they get two points they are guaranteed at least a share of the trophy. CC also needs some wins to ensure a #1 seed, while DU appears to be locked in as a #2.
WWN Says: This series has the best chance at producing the WOTW award for next week. A sweep by either team (or a horrible, game-changing decision by the ref) would almost guarantee it. I would love to see a rematch with these teams during the CoSprings regional in just a few weeks. That would be really fun to watch (both for hockey and for whining).

St. Cloud State Huskies @ North Dakota Fighting Sioux

Summary: This series pits the two hottest teams in the WCHA against each other. The Huskies have won 6 of their last 7 games, while the Sioux are unbeaten in their last 15. Both teams have plenty to play for, as SCSU needs two points to guarantee themselves home ice for the WCHA playoffs and UND wants a shot at the MacNaughton. A good series from either team would also solidify their PWR standing.
WWN Says: Huskies fans really make it hard to cheer for their team. The team is fun to watch...their PP efficiency over the years is amazing...and they play an enjoyable, up-tempo style with skilled forwards. But the community college fans are another story. With the playoffs approaching, we have probably seen the last of the Sioux "fighting incidents", but their fans will find something else to whine about. Perhaps North Dakota State will make the F5 again.

Michigan Tech Huskies @ Minnesota State Mavericks

Summary: The Mavericks went on a 3 game losing streak following their 7 game winning streak before beating CC last Saturday. That slide pushed them back into a big group of WCHA teams on the PWR bubble. The Huskies will be on the road for the WCHA playoffs...this weekend will just determine where they travel. They probably would rather avoid Colorado Springs or Grand Forks, so they'll want to move up in the standings. Tech would need some help from UMD and UMN to accomplish that though.
WWN Says: Do the Huskies have anything left to play for? The only way that they'd make the tourney would be if they won the F5. They gave MEg a win in her last home game. And they already know Teslak will be gone next year. How many times are we going to hear that Ole song this weekend? Maybe the Mavericks will be involved in a fight and WCH will deny it ever happened. :)

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Whiner of the Week - Mar 5th

And...we're back. The WCHA has regained the coveted WOTW award, but not without some stiff competition from our friends to the East. I tell you, they just didn't give up without a fight, but in the end they relinquished the title to the West (much like in the NCAA tourney every year).
This week's nominees included:
  • SCSU fans on message boards. The Jan Brady theory is so accurate here, it's not even funny anymore. They are constantly defensive because they think "everyone is out to get them". Here's some advice: Head to that concrete thing you call an arena, take off the Arctic Cat jacket, and actually watch hockey instead of just whining about it.
  • CCHA and HEA fans that feel it is necessary to debunk the PWR system now that 8 WCHA schools have a realistic chance at making the tourney. Some good examples: here, here, and here. That's weird, since I don't remember them complaining that it was broken last year when only 3 WCHA schools made it.
  • A look at the Future's Market: CC and DU play this week with a lot on the line for both teams. Commence whining! I can hear the "1957" chants starting already. :)

You can't help but feel somewhat sorry for a team when they get legitimately screwed over by the officials twice in just a few short months. Especially when that team is on the bubble for making the NCAA tourney...if those calls would have been made correctly, they could be in for sure. We, of course, all remember the DU/UW incident. Now, this past weekend, UW got screwed again, this time for the tying goal against SCSU in the 3rd period. A very nice premature whistle in that one. Another blown call = tons of whining spewing from Badgerland. I understand the frustration, but at some point you have to stop complaining and realize that the hockey gods are mad at you and it just isn't your season. Plus, I've never seen such whining about a single player...Roe from SCSU. Yeah, he's an arrogant, feisty player, but he's also damn talented. Every team would want that type of player suiting up for them.

Congratulations to the Whiner of the Week:

University of Wisconsin Badgers