Gophers captain Jay Barriball is doubtful for the Wisconsin series.
He has a lower body injury, which he suffered on Feb. 6 in a game against Minnesota Duluth. One teammate inadvertently said Barriball has a knee injury, but Gophers coach Don Lucia has not confirmed that.
"Right now with Jay we are planning as if he won't be playing this weekend," Lucia said, "and, if he does, that will be a bonus. He is going to try to practice [Wednesday] for the first time. We'll see if he can or not.
"We are just assuming he is not going to be [ready]. And, if he can, then we will adjust things at the last minute."
Barriball had five goals and five assists for a team-high 10 points against Wisconsin in 15 career games. Next was Mike Hoeffel with three goals and six assists for nine points in 13 games.
This season Barriball leads the Gophers with 12 goals and is tied with Cepis for the team-lead in points with 23.
If Barriball does miss the Wisconsin series, it leaves the Gophers a little short-handed, especially Friday. Junior forward Jake Hansen is out the first night because he received a game disqualification for fighting in his last game.
Junior forward Nico Sacchetti, who like Barriball also missed the Denver series, will play against Wisconsin. He was out with the flu. Recently, he has been the right wing on the fourth line. Sacchetti has no goals but five assisst in 10 games against the Badgers.
THE DON SAYS
* On 6-0 loss to Wisconsin in early Nov.: "That's long history. We can bring up the 3-3 game. That has absolutely zero bearing" on this series.
* On all those goals in 7-3 rout of Denver: "We need the consistency game in and game out. That's the important thing. It demonstrates the type of team we have to be. We are not going to have one guy lead us every night. ... We had some guys score that hadn't scored for a while. They have to continue to do that,
* On U's defense: "We have been pretty good as of late, the last couple months. And haven't given up a whole lot against some of the top teams in the league. But you have to be able to get to three to be able to win games, too. We haven't been able to do that on a consistent basis."
* On outlook for Badgers series: "It's not going to be like we are going to go throw seven up there again this weekend. Kent [goalie Kent Patterson] is going to have to be good. We are going to have to be good defensively. We are going to have to take care of the puck. We are going to have to win a 3-2 type of game. That's the way they are going to be there."
* On seniors scoring four goals last Saturday: "You need them to close out their careers playing their best hockey. And [Jacob] Cepis, a guy especially we were on a little bit, because I think he can do more. I don't he has been playing with the same intensity.
"I thought he had been waiting for the game to come to him rather than inserting himself into the game. And he certainly did that Saturday.
"And I I thought Patrick [White] had the best weekend he has had this year over the course of a two-game set. His tenacity and his work ethic was much better than it has been. And consequently he got rewarded with a goal on Saturday."
* On freshman center Nick Bjugstad: "Nick has been coming on a lot. He had some assists, but hopefully that [Saturday] goal is going to help him, too, mentally."
* On chances of sweeping Wisconsin: "One game at a time. You can't win two if you don't win Friday. Let's go in there and continue to play the way we have played. We have played pretty good hockey the last few months. Pretty consistent, especially from a defensive standpoint with Kent in net."
* On whether Gophers freshman winger Max Gardiner will play against the Badgers and his older brother Jake, a junior defenseman: "There is a good chance. What's going to happen here, we haven't set our lines or anything like that. But anytime you get a chance to play against your brother, that means a lot and there is always going to be some sibling rivalry and some competition between the two."