DU vs. The WCHA Team Of The Century

Denver is going to have its hands full this weekend against the University of Wisconsin. The Badgers are rolling this season and are getting the job done on both ends of the ice.
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Denver will need to keep the odd man rushes to a minimum and DU's goaltenders are going to need to stand on their heads to keep the games close. Wisconsin is a very quick team that uses the large ice surface at the Kohl Center and the "trap" to create turnovers. The Badgers star forwards Robbie Earl and Joe Pavelski are both deadly on the counterattack rushes.

Coach Gwozdecky has done a great job in the past couple of years in getting DU ready for big games and especially in shutting down the opponents key lines in those big games. Obviously Denver's coaches will have the players undivided attention this week as they try to contain UW.

To be honest, DU doesn't have Wisconsin's depth and if Denver can't slow the games down and force UW into a battle of "special teams," it may be a long weekend. Denver will be counting heavily on the Mullen-Gauthier-Corbin line to shut down Pavelski-Earle-Burish combo. Wisconsin will also have the advantage of the final line change so they will be able to dictate matchups.

Defensively, a lot will be dependant on whether Chris Butler will be back from his shoulder seperation. Butler has really become a complete player in his Freshman season and has been missed over the past several weeks. My guess is ready or not, he goes for DU because of the importance of the series. As usual Matt Carle will need to impose his will offensively for Denver to compete.

When the Pioneers have won this season, the Power Play Unit has been clicking. DU hasn't done that well in 5 on 5 situtations, so that is one area that I would like to see improve starting this weekend. The Penalty Kill has shown improvement for DU as the season has gone on.

One thing I can guarantee this week is plenty of "Gwozspeak" buttering up his old buddies in Madison...

1 comment:

du78 said...

Damn, those Wisconsin boys are big.