Mr. Augustoviz:

 I don't get it; why do the tv and print journalists keep referring to the Gophers as 'the #2 or #3 team'.

You are doing it too.

At the end of your article today you do state: In the only poll that really matters, the Gophers are No. 9 in the PairWise rankings this week.

I agree that is the only poll that matters so why don't we all refer to them as the No. 9 team?

 Those losses to Notre Dame and Northeastern coupled with a tie and a loss to Mich. State really killed us rankings-wise.

 Should we start putting some sweeps together against teams with .500-plus winning percentages we may deserve a higher ranking.

 Frankly, I also agree with your position - just hoping to get into the NCAA's and don't really care what ranking we have as long as it's high enough to get in.

 Also, a No. 9 translates to a smaller target on our back.....maybe - lol

 Anyway, I'm enjoying this season and the apparent influence Guentzel is having on that awesome defense we are playing right now.

Mike Bjerkesett, New Brighton


Hi Mike,

      Thanks for writing with your ideas on college hockey rankings and the Gophers. Let's start with the PairWise rankings. Most people still don't completely understand how they work. What criteria teams are compared against. PairWise gets tweaked at times, too.

       That said, for me to use PairWise as the main ranking in my stories, I would have to get it cleared with my supervisor and probably the sports editor. Sports copy editors would have to be told of the change. It might not be an easy sell.

        Not if everybody else is still using USCHO.com and/or USA Today. It would create confusion. I would have to explain what I am doing at the start and what PairWise is.

       Even the way things are now, I'll refer to PairWise more as we get closer to the conference playoffs and NCAA tournament.

       Both PairWise and USCHO.com and USA Today -- opinion polls -- have their place. Media members and coaches vote on those two polls. PairWise is strictly objective, and relies on a computer.

        The opinion polls are more fun, in a way, because you can argue with them easier. And they are a better reflection of who is hot and who is not. Voters tend to give recent results more weight than earlier results.

        Yes, the Gophers were hurt in the PairWise by their 4-4-1 nonconference record. They hope it won't hurt them too much come NCAA tournament time. One of losses most difficult to understand is the one to Vermont after they routed the Catamounts in the first game of the series.

          If the Gophers can get in the playoff, they could be a dangerous team because of their solid defense. Mike Guentzel has seemed to work wonders with the defense. They don't make glaring mistakes too often and the Gophers blue-liners, as a corps, are second in the nation in scoring. So he is doing something right.