Exhaustion Comment: Joke... jeeeeeeez!
Both Tomek and Oldham were tall, stiff, overrated options that really provided little more that quality door monitors. I know that as a former tender your viewpoint hold more factual relevance, but give me a mid-sized athletic tender in the Wenniger mold any day. Yes, soft goals WERE a problem, but to your point Wennie had nobody to push him. I am hoping that we see a good pair here. I was a bit concerned about some video I reviewed but like I said, no expert. And it's a no "call out" Tuesday so would not share the details.
I’d love to see this line:
I have to believe that our fortunes will be better in net than the past few seasons.
Saville and Roden will be solid.
Having seen Saville a few years ago, I'm excited to see his progress. He looks like he's slimmed down.
As for Roden, I have hope. If you can't get a USHL goalie, I think the second- and third choices for leagues to find them are BCHL and AJHL.
I like Conley, Teemu & Ward. Brushett on wing, 2nd line. I’d also like to see the lines have time to develop...
Based on what?
open question to 3 different ideas. Was it the Conley-Pulkkenin-Ward (Mature play maker, known commodity center with some upside and "the future"). Brushette on wing, unknown commodity, scoring threat (?), Primeau (looked pretty good at center) and Wiess in support/far side threat. Leave the lines alone? Because you don't develop intuition unless you allow them to...
Weiss strikes me as offense-only. Which makes me see him as the top-line wing. You're not going to see Weiss as a fourth liner -- deployed in a defensive role.
Ward and Conley seem more versatile in where they fit in. Conley feels like a guy who can compliment any number of linemates - but he's not going to be an elite scorer.
Ward is that scoring threat. I honestly like the idea of both Weiss and Ward on the same line. If we can find a faceoff guy to play between them, let's be honest: you're not catching Weiss, and you're not knocking Ward off the puck.
But it's up for grabs at center. Nobody was good enough at winning faceoffs. So it's likely you're looking at Weiss-Pulkkinen-Ward to open the season. But if Primeau is stronger at the dot... you might have Weiss-Primeau-Ward for 3 years.
You could run a senior line out there: Keck-Pulkkinen-Jordan
That sets up a super s'more line: Weiss-Primeau-Ward
To be honest, you would flip the LWs on these lines (Keck, Weiss) and they look very much the same.
...and you've freed Conley up to slot in with some freshman... like Brushett and Sullivan.
It's a puzzle, but there are several ways you can put it together.
Agree with all of that. Especially with "it's a puzzle". What I like is, is the right combination can be struck, we have every opportunity to come out with 4 balanced lines. I like the seniors (Keck/Jordan) with Prokop (who is supposed to be strong on the dot), but you never know. I am just happy to have hockey back. Period. End of Sentence!!!
There are endless possibilities with line combinations. OK... there are 2,184 combinations, position-specific.
It really depends on how Gabinet wants to play it. He can go top-heavy... and stack a couple lines at the top of the chart. The team appears to be deep enough to go 4-lines balances -- especially if Brushett, Sullivan, Prokop and the freshmen are as advertised.
I suspect when UAH comes to town, it will be the latter (top-heavy) to start. And when we go to Alaska -- if the Seawolves are as bad as they were last year -- you will see some shuffling with early returns by freshmen being rewarded.
When we host the Badgers, that should set us up with some known quantities, and more importantly OPTIONS.
It's a favorable schedule for us, early. UAH was not good last year... though, neither were we... and the Chargers do have a very good goaltender in Mark Sinclair. If we get those early results, you're off on a positive.
There will be a challenge at Ohio State. A tournament team last year, with an even better goalie (Tommy Nappier). But it should be a slightly easier challenge than Notre Dame were last year, as OSU faded late last year.
Then you get a week off, and a weak off with Alaska. OK, can't take them lightly. Ask CC.
It's exhibition/experimentation. Two winnable games at home. Challenge on the road. Two more winnable games on the road. MAJOR challenge at home.
4 wins in the first 6 games is realistic. 5 wins are possible. If it's 6-for-6 to open the season, the measure is the Wisconsin series.