What I Think: Week 20

This is why I don’t get emotionally involved in sports any more. When I do, I end up dinged up. A fist pump with Ryan Kesler’s incredible empty-net goal for the United States against Canada on Sunday night, and my head swings enough to push the glasses from my face and across my eye. Yeah, I’m incredibly coordinated. And I’m pretty sure my glasses are too loose.

Anyway, here’s what I’ve got this week:

* Hat’s off to Maine’s Brian Flynn. And then some, I guess. When you put up a 5-2–7 scoring line in one game, you should get to take home every hat on a head in the crowd.

Flynn put up that eye-popping line Friday night against Massachusetts-Lowell, outscoring the River Hawks by himself in an 8-5 victory. He got only one goal the next night, however, and the Black Bears lost 4-2.

With Maine’s spot in the PairWise right now, I’m guessing the Black Bears would rather have had that scoring spread out over two days and be enjoying a sweep right now.

* It has to be getting harder and harder for St. Cloud State coach Bob Motzko to keep going back to Mike Lee in goal on Saturday nights. Last weekend, he gave up six in two periods of an 8-1 loss to North Dakota. This week, he let in seven — albeit on 50 shots — in a 7-4 loss at Wisconsin.

Making it worse, both of those efforts came after Dan Dunn was highly successful in the series opener.

The Huskies’ goaltending picture was so cloudy going into the season after returning starter Jase Weslosky became academically ineligible. But with Dunn playing well and time getting short, it seems like time to give him the keys.

* Along those lines, it looked like Wisconsin gave goaltender Scott Gudmandson the keys this weekend, playing him in both games against the Huskies instead of splitting him with Brett Bennett, as has been the trend for most of the season.

Gudmandson could have eased a lot of minds with a strong weekend against St. Cloud State, but he took the 5-1 loss on Friday and allowed four goals on Saturday. It’ll be interesting to see how the Badgers play their goaltenders next weekend at Michigan Tech. It could be a good time to give Bennett another shot, or a good time to identify Gudmandson as the one taking the Badgers through the playoffs.

* I guess Miami’s unbeaten run in CCHA play had to end at some point, and it did Saturday against Nebraska-Omaha.

But think about the run the RedHawks put together: Twenty-three games without a loss, 19-0-4 in that span. Pretty good stuff.

* One last thing about the Olympics: I know a lot of people are upset about how hockey has taken a back seat to, well, pretty much everything else, on the NBC family’s coverage.

We aren’t used to this by now? Any true hockey fan should be used to having to work to watch hockey in this country.

* Here’s this week’s ballot:

1. Denver

2. Miami

3. Wisconsin

4. St. Cloud State

5. Bemidji State

6. Yale

7. Boston College

8. North Dakota

9. New Hampshire

10. Colorado College

11. Minnesota-Duluth

12. Ferris State

13. Michigan State

14. Maine

15. Cornell

16. Vermont

17. Alaska

18. Union

19. Northeastern

20. Nebraska-Omaha