Gophers coach Don Lucia said senior right winger Jay Barriball, who was hurt in the first period of the U's 6-4 loss at Minnesota Duluth on Saturday is "more day to day than anything else." Barriball did not play the second and third periods in the second game of the series.
Lucia was talking on his weekly radio show on WCCO on Mondays. "Whether [Barriball] will play this weekend," Lucia said, "we don't know yet. It is too early in the week, but we certainly are not ruling it out. That's good news."
Barriball plays on the Gophers' top line and on Friday his team-leading 12th goal of the season gave Minnesota a 2-1. lead. The game ended in a 2-2 overtime tie.
A source close to Barriball said he had a Monday afternoon doctor's appointment. He also saw a doctor on Sunday.
The Gophers, already starving for goals and in a battle for the last home-ice spot, can not afford to lose Barriball for an extender period of time.
EFFORT THERE, GOALS NOT
Asked about critics who question team's effort, Lucia said, his team's work ethic is not an issues.
"Our kids have had pretty good darn effort the last few months," he said. "We had some early games where we played a little lethargic at times. But you go back to North Dakota. I thought we played hard both nights. Go up there and split. It's hard to do better than that where [the Sioux] are right now.
"And I thought both games against Anchorage we played very well," Lucia said. "We scored a lot on Friday, won 5-1. Saturday night, even though we got beat 1-0, we let in one goal and we had 30-plus shots. This past weekend [against UMD], we had close to 40 shots each night. We are generating. We are doing a lot of good things. Bu the frustrating part is, we haven't finished on a regular basis.
"If we could just score another goal a game that would go a long way in giving us some breathing room, it would go a long way in helping us win some games. I am not going to sit and be critical of our guys that they are not putting forth an effort because effort is not the issue.
"Effort is expected. It should be expected each and every night that they play. And I think they are giving us that."