Boys Gone Wild

Is it me or is the college hockey world being overcome by incident after incident that leaves the average fan shaking their head. After a season that’s had a rash of problems for players both on and off the ice, last week saw one of the top scoring players in the nation head to the NHL after some sort of off-ice incident followed by one of the longest brawls that college hockey has seen.

Things began on Thursday when it was announced that Denver’s top scorer, Brock Trotter, had signed an NHL contract with the Montreal Canadiens. Simple, though somewhat strange to happen mid-season, the signing followed Denver head coach George Gwozdecky benching Trotter for a two-game series a week earlier at Minnesota State.

Gwozdecky and Denver had no comment on Trotter being left out of the lineup and never made any official announcement of a suspension. That won’t be necessary now that Trotter has departed the program, but there certainly remains what seems like some unanswered questions.

While that drama spun off the ice, Canisius and RIT engaged in a donny-brook of fights on Saturday night that resulted in 239 penalties combined in the 4-1 RIT victory. Honestly, after watching this amateur video of the altercation, I’m surprised that there weren’t more penalties assessed. It will be interesting to see if the league imposes any additional suspension.

These are two in a long list of incidents both on and off the ice that have drawn attention this season. Boston College, Boston University, Maine, Vermont, Colorado College, North Dakota, New Hampshire and Michigan all have suspended or dismissed players for off-ice incidents. Out in the WCHA, North Dakota has twice been involved in brawls and head coach Dave Hakstol has has his share of problems, getting into a verbal tussle with Wisconsin head coach Mike Eaves earlier in the season before recently being suspended for “flipping the bird” at an official during a series with Minnesota.

So the question at hand is what the heck if going on?

The answer may be difficult to find. In terms of off-ice issues, I personally believe that there have been problem similar to these occuring within teams for years. Before the era of real-time media, I think that most of these problems could be swept under the carpet.

As for the on-ice altercations, in essence everything that has happened is part of the game. There will be brawls at times. What will curb these incidents is how the league reacts. AHA commissioner Bob DeGregorio has the chance to send a message that behavior such as what was witnessed on Saturday night isn’t acceptable. There were some automatic suspensions associated with the penalties that were handed out, but there when you have players leaving the penalty box, goaltenders skating the length of the ice to start fights and players beating other players with helmets, supplemental discipline is certainly warranted.

1 COMMENT

  1. I disagree with your points for the final standings. There is no way the badgers will win 4 games in a row away from their home rink, current record on the road (2-7-1).

    • Yeah, Bucky’s road record sucks, but look who those losses were to…
      Current #1 BC
      Current #2 Minn (2 losses)
      Then #8 Miami
      Then #12 Michigan
      Bu, OSU…
      Their last 4 are against PSU, MSU…
      Badgers could easily take 12 pts…

      • Or currently unranked Miami and currently unranked Michigan? How convenient of you to skew the numbers in your favor…

      • Sorry completely over looked that. Case of the Mondays. I do feel that ranking is based more on their name recognition than their actual body of work. Just my opinion though

      • Penn State will be a tougher game for Wisconsin then you think, they’re playing with a chip in their shoulder and want an upset! I think they’ll split the series.

    • And in addition, he is assuming MN will only win 2 of the next 4, with an OT game in one of the others? That seems a bit unlikely. I could see a split at Mich, but to not win a game there is far fetched.

  2. First off, Travis Boyd is a Junior.

    Secondly, I agree with Guru. I would put some money on the Gophers getting more than 6 points but I’d bet a ton of money on the Badgers getting less than 12.

      • Only the Gophs struggle with Penn State? Have you been watching the Big 10 this year? Michigan looked great against them….Penn State has greatly improved over the course of this season and have been competitive in most games in the second half of the season. Don’t sleep on them. Besides what are the Badgers going to be playing for after this weekend when the Gophers win the conference?

        • Penn State is a gimme for everybody but Michigan for some reason. Wisconsin should sweep them easily – though PSU has been playing well in the last few games I’ve seen them in

      • how “confadent” are you in your spelling? eesh.
        psu and msu have been tough at home and wisco has struggled away from the kohl center. i doubt both mich and osu can get a split out of the gophers, but i guess it’s possible. 5 is the magic number but gophs will want that #1 overall seed to get whoever makes it from aha. they’ll be playing for sweeps both weekends.

        • Wisconsin’s Elimination/Magic # is 6, not 5. Michigan is technically still in the hunt with an elimination number of 2. Remember, elimination #s are always +1 of the tie. Minnesota win 2 of 4, the race is over.

          • you’re right in that. i guess if the teams tied in points, the first 2 tie-breaking criteria would probably be equal (total wins: wisco 2 behind now but to assume they tie would be to basically (although not for sure) assume they have 2 more wins than gophers – then they are 2-2 head to head). 3rd criteria is goal differential and gophers are miles ahead right now. 29 goals is a bit much to overcome.
            so 5 could be the magic, just depends on how they get those 5 and how wisco makes up the 7 points. for simplicity, 6 is absolutely the magic number :)

          • Gophers need to play .500 hockey down the stretch, and wisconsin needs to win out and for us to lose three of four, But Min wants to lock up that #1 seed which four road wins will pretty much do.

  3. Wisconsin is terrible on the road, yet they are going to win the next 4? Gophers get the sweep next weekend and lock up the regular season championship. Michigan pulls one out the closing weekend and the Gophs end up at 47 points.

    Final Standings:
    Gophers: 47
    Wisco:40
    Mich: 33
    Ohio St: 27
    Mich St: 25
    Penn St: 8

    • Your assuming they will be beaten by a MSU team that can’t score. Your giving way too much credit to an extremely bad (except for the tender) team. No way does MSU hit the 25 pt mark. No way do they hit the 22 pt mark. Lucky to get a single point in their last four games. Do you realize that they are FIFTEEN goals UNDER where they were this time last year? Absolutly disgusting offensive performance this year. And just one forward coming in next year. Ask me how I really feel.

  4. First: The Badgers will not be that close to the Gophers and the end of the season. The Gophers are playing for the overall #1 seed.

    Second: Your total points only add up to 179. There will be a total of 60 Big 10 games played. And a total of 3 points awarded for each game. That gives you a total of 180 points if you add all the points together for the six teams.

    • You have to remember though, Minnesota is almost certainly going to be the 1-seed in Minneapolis even if they drop a few to finish the season. Michigan will be fighting for a spot in the tournament as they’re a fringe team right now (#12). OSU with a sweep of PSU and some points off Minnesota could put themselves into position to get one of the last seeds if they perform in the B1G Tournament. So I think Minnesota has the least to play for of the two teams remaining on their schedules.

      There’s little difference in opening the tournament with the 15 seed vs the 16 seed (unless one is Holy Cross maybe) and they are in no danger of being shipped off if they lose a few.

      • The Gophers know that they will be playing in St. Paul for the regionals regardless (host school), but I think they will have plenty of motivation to earn the overall #1 seed simply because of who they could play in the first game.

        I disagree that there is little difference between opening with the 15 seed instead of the 16 seed, at least this year. Mercyhurst (AHA regular season champ) is 34th in the PWR (34!). That’s a big difference compared to playing a team like Colgate, Northeastern, Vermont, or Cornell to open the tournament. Plus, there is plenty on the line in terms of wanting to be the inaugural B1G champion.
        I see the Gophers earning 8-10 points and the Badgers getting 9-12 in the last two weekends, but we’ll see.

        • I think it could a cause a lot of excitement because a school that doesn’t exist would suddenly be in the the NCAA hockey tournament. Did you mean Minnesota State – Mankato?

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