More from the Don Lucia radio show on Monday, with comments by me throughout:
"I didn't realize until I looked through their lineup [on Monday] that they had 17 juniors and seniors on that team," Lucia said. "And I think six, seven senior forwards. They are a very veteran team.
"[Senior forward and captain Ben] Street, who did not play last year because he got hurt early in the year -- got his redshirt -- so he's back," Lucia said. "So I don't think they have to play a freshman at all up front."
[Actually, two freshman have contributed at forward, Craig Smith and Derek Lee.]
"Their defensive corps is very good," Lucia said. "They got a lot of high NHL draft choices. The Gardiner kid from Minnetonka is a very good player. They got as good a D-corps as there is anywhere in the country. They are mobile, they are big, they can get to you."
(The five high draft picks on defense are:
Brendan Smith, jr., 6-2, 190 ... taken 27th by Detroit in 2007
Ryan McDonagh, jr., 6-1, 216 ... taken by Montreal with 12th pick in 2007 ... he played at Cretin-Derham Hall
Jake Gardiner, so., 6-2, 184 .... taken by Anaheim with 17th pick in 2008 ... he played for Minnetonka H.S.
Cody Goloubef, jr., 6-1, 189 ... taken by Columbus in 2008
Justin Schultz, fr., 6-2, 185 ... taken by Anaheim in 2008
"It is very impressive what [the Badgers] did to New Hampshire this weekend," Lucia said, "throttled them both night but especially when I look at the shots. .... Back-to-back nights they outshot them badly. They are a good team. They are an experienced team. We have to go there and play a very tight game this weekend."
The Badger won 4-1 Friday, outshooting New Hampshire 51-13, and 6-1 on Saturday with a 44-22 shot advantage.
"I like going to Wisconsin," Lucia said. "The fans are into it. They have a good band there and you don't have the vile language or anything like that. The fans are just into the game which is the way you like to see it. From that standpoint, it fires us up. We have always had pretty good luck at the Kohl Center over the years."
Last season the Gophers played a series there in late October. The first game was a 2-2 tie, the Gophers won the next night 5-2.
"We have played well there," Lucia said. "It is a good rivalry but again it is not the swearing, the hatred, the viciousness as in some other buildings we have to go in our league."
Wonder which ones he was referring to? I can guess one pretty easily.
"When you go in there [the Kohl Center], you have to win a 3-2 type game," Lucia said. "We not going to go in there and score four, five goals. They are too good a defensive team. They are too experienced. They have good size. And so we are going to have to find a way to generate -- we are going to have to score a goal on the power play and try to find a couple goals.
"And that has to be enough and you have to have a good goaltender when you go on the road. The way Alex played [against Alaska Anchorage] I think that is a step in the right direction this past weekend."
The Gophers lead the all-time series 150-81-18, but two of those losses to Wisconsin were at Mariucci in early February last season, 3-2 and 5-4.
When the WCHA schedule for 2010-11 comes out, the Gophers and the Badgers will remain each other's archrivals. What that means is they will continue playing four games against each other every year, two in Minneapolis, two in Madison.
The Gophers had Monday off because they played Sunday. The players lifted weights on Tuesday and will not lift again. Normally they lift Mondays and Wednesdays.
On Thursday, the Gophers will practice at Mariucci late morning and then hop on a bus to Madison which is about 240 miles away.