It’s the battle of the swept this weekend as the Huskies fly out to Minnesota this weekend to take on the Golden Gophers.
Like Northeastern, Minnesota has struggled to put the puck in the net so far this season. Unlike Northeastern, Minnesota has not dominated their opponents in the games they’ve played. The Golden Gophers have struggled offensively this season in almost all aspects, leading coach Don Lucia to shake up all three top forward lines in the last game against Duluth. Their overall CF% doesn’t look bad at 50.3, but looking a little closer we can see that score effects had a pretty big effect on that number. Minnesota has actually been so outplayed that only about a third of the total attempts come when the score was close. Minnesota’s close CF% is a pretty terrible 40.9, good for twelfth from last in the country.
Sure, you could point to high quality of competition as the reason Minnesota’s numbers are so poor. Yeah, their opponent for two of the three games, Duluth, is coming in at fifth in the USCHO poll but polls are stupid. Minnesota’s still ranked in the USCHO poll, come on. Yeah, they are shooting a shockingly low 1.4%, but maybe it’s because they aren’t able to recruit skill guys. Unfortunately for them, they aren’t located in a hockey hotbed like Boston, and I don’t know if the program has the cache to recruit outside their local area. I think we need to consider that 1.4% shooting might be indicative of the true level of talent that the Minnesota Golden Gophers have access to. If that’s the case, I feel great about the Huskies chances going into this weekend.
So, to recap, Northeastern will finally start getting some bounces and have their complete dominance of possession start to pay off. Minnesota’s low shooting percentage is indicative of their true talent level and will not pick up. Their low possession numbers should not be taken in the context of their competition because all western teams are actually garbage anyway. I feel great about this weekend. People don’t forget: