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>The Magnificent Seven

14 April 2006

>When the Blogger Hottie of the Year says “Jump,” one has to ask “How high?” And when the Blogger Hottie of the Year asks you to participate in a roundtable discussion of college hockey bloggers, you respond to his email with a bunch of CB-radio garbage. And then post.

Give a brief summary of your team’s season
It wasn’t pretty. In fact, most of the time, it was downright ugly. All those little Ls in a row on collegehockeystats. Sometimes I would have to flip back to the 2003-2004 series and look at all those beautiful Ws, to remember what it was like. This year was stressful, with much rending of garments, pacing of rugs, and tearing of hair.
I did see flashes of brilliance. Heck, we beat the freaking National Champions (granted, they were Elliott-less, but who cares?) and we beat Maine, another Frozen Four team. We took 3 of 4 points from the Gophers early on. Those are the obvious examples. Then there’s the not-so-obvious games, like the 6-3 loss to St. Cloud, where we came from a 5-0 deficit to rally to 5-3. Granted, we lost the game, but we went from being totally out of the game to right back in contention. I saw a lot of heart in this team, a lot of grit, and a lot of promise. (He said brief, Bruce!)

What were your thoughts on how your team’s season ended?
I was thrilled. Ecstatic. Jubilant. It was dramatic, it was unexpected, it was exciting! Sure, the Play-In game was a major letdown, but the first round was one for the history books. It filled me with hope. I wept with joy.

What offseason improvements can your team make to be better next year?

If there’s one thing the RWD staff can’t stand, it’s lazy stick penalties. The defense needs to get more physical. The offense needs to get more physical. Heck, even the goalies could stand to be more physical. We’ve certainly got some speedsters on the team, but I’m sick and tired of seeing a guy get beat and then haul someone down for a penalty. We need to be stronger and faster across the board. I think fewer penalties overall would be nice. D-I-S-C-I-P-L-I-N-E! What’s that spell? Discipline, Ma’am, Discipline!
I would also like to see the specialty teams improved. Make the power play effective. Make the penalty kill effective. You think with all the darn PRACTICE on the PK, we wouldn’t have been THE WORST IN THE LEAGUE.

Are there any players on your team that might leave for the pros during the offseason?
Are you joking?

Which player(s) will be expected to carry the load for your team next season?

I expect Matt McKnight to be the leader on and off the ice. Ryan Geris, if he returns, will definitely have a heavy load to carry at the blueline. I expect Niskanen, Carroll, and Raymond to be huge role players. I also see Bryan McGregor and MacGregor Sharp continuing their success on the All-Hottie Team (in addition to being a Jeopardy Before-And-After clue), with Niskanen possibly making a run for it again.

Which player will be most vital to your team’s success next season?

Don’t laugh or roll your eyes, but I’m going to say Mike Curry, you know, just to hold him up as an example (and to keep the candle of hope burning). Most people would say the star players are going to be vital to the team’s success, but I’m going to say it’s got to be someone unexpected that’s going to step up and make a difference. If Curry can step up and get on the scoreboard (and out of the penalty box), he could be a dangerous weapon.

What is your expectation for your team next season?

Better than this year. More specifically, I would like to see them somewhere between 6th and 4th, and make the Final Five. So guys, don’t make me look like an ass. Achieve! Achieve!

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