The new USCHO rankings for men's hockey will come out later today. Based on last week's rankings, the Gophers could move up to No. 1 in the country. They were No. 5 before they swept North Dakota -- and had all four teams ahead of them lose a game.
We watched almost all of Friday night's game and a good portion of Saturday night's game. To us, the Gophers -- though young in many regards -- are showing early on the requisite tools to be not just an NCAA tourney team for the first time since 2007-08, but a serious contender. Their sweep of North Dakota revealed a team that continues to get excellent goaltending and has added the right mix of size, skill and poise to make believers out of skeptics.
That said, it is still verrrrrry early. Championships are not won in early November ... or December, January or February for that matter. They are won in March and April, so again there is a long way to go. That said, we wonder to those out there in Gopher puck land: Have you seen enough already, at least, to believe this program is back on track? And yes, we realize the Gophers were ranked No. 1 nationally in 2008-09 early on, then went into a massive tailspin that saw them miss the NCAA tournament.
In essence: Are you still in wait-and-see mode, or have you seen enough already to believe in this team?