Sunday, April 5, 2009

End of Regular Season Recap

Just thought I'd take a few minutes and blog about the regular season accomplishments of this years Lincoln Stars team. I'll also compare the last two seasons under Head Coach Jimmy McGroarty.

With 80 points, the Lincoln Stars won the USHL West Division Regular Season Championship.

The Lincoln Stars finished the '08-'09 regular season with the #1 penalty kill efficiency. The Stars killed 89.5% of all the powerplays they faced this season, which is a good 3 percentage points higher than the team in second place (Cedar Rapids with 86.1%).

Goaltender Kevin Murdock finished the regular season as the top goaltender in the USHL, in terms of goals against average (2.24) and save percentage (.920). Both are incredible accomplishments for Doc, and he should receive a ton of props. I must admit, I had doubts about Doc coming into this season. I questioned if he could be a starter in the USHL, as I didn't think he had enough experience. He certainly proved me wrong.

Forward Kirt Hill finished the regular season as the leading scorer for the Stars. The native of Winnipeg scored 24 goals and 42 assists for a total of 66 points in 56 games. Hill was the sixth leading scorer in the USHL. Kirt also finished the season with +10 rating.

Let's compare the last two seasons under Coach McGroarty:

'07-'08 = 31 regular season wins
'08-'09 = 37 regular season wins

'07-'08 = 69 points
'08-'09 = 80 points

'07-'08 = 186 goals scored
'08-'09 = 191 goals scored

'07-'08 = 163 goals scored against
'08-'09 = 155 goals scored against

'07-'08 = 19 home wins
'08-'09 = 21 home wins

'07-'08 = 12 road wins
'08-'09 = 16 road wins

'07-'08 = #1 rated PK unit
'08-'09 = #1 rated PK unit

As you can see, there is much to be excited about if you are a Lincoln fan. It is hard to find a statistic that the Stars did not improve on this season from last. I think we are VERY lucky to have a coach like Jimmy McGroarty in Lincoln, and I certainly hope he stays here a long, long time.

Your thoughts on this past season?


Anonymous said...

Penalties cost the Stars the Anderson Cup. Once again, the most undisciplined team spent the more time (1675) minutes in the box. Compare that to Cedar Rapids 600 plus minutes and you can see why CR is so tough to beat. You can also look at shootout losses and those TOO MANY MEN bench gaffes by the coaching staff

Yeti said...

Thanks for the post, Anonymous. I'm not sure if you are a Stars fan or not, but if you are...wouldn't you agree that the "dumb" penalties were cut back a ton this season compared to last? Considering the style of hockey the Stars play, they are going to rack up PIM's. That's inevitable. In fact, I don't have a problem at all with penalties accumulated in the course of physical play.

What bugged me to no end last season was the amount of dumb, retaliatory penalties that the Stars were plagued with all season. There were some players on last years team that were good for at least two stupid penalties a game. In fact, if you look at Game 5 of the playoff last year against Omaha, you can attribute the Lancers come from behind win to converting PP opportunities that occurred because of dumb penalties on the Stars.

Cedar Rapids may have half as many PIM's, but I'd be willing to bet that they won't go far in the playoffs. Too soft. I will agree with you about the shootout losses. As well as Doc performed this season, he just never looked comfortable at all during a shootout. Those points lost might have made the difference, who knows.

One thing that bothered me a bit this season was the amount of shorthanded goals allowed. They lead the USHL in that department with 15 shorties given up. The next closest team gave up 11.

The Anderson Cup would have been great to win, but the emphasis should always be on the Clark Cup. Personally, I think the Stars are team built for a long playoff run. Will it happen? We'll soon find out.

Anonymous said...

I would agree that the Stars improved on the dumb penalties/retaliatory type that were more frequent last season; however, I am still not convinced that their lack of discipline (or as you call it physical play) will be a detriment in the playoffs. I think there are other teams that may not play our style but are still "tough" in a different way and have more skill and speed. Teams I would be most concerned with based on how teams are playing down the home stretch would be Omaha and Cedar Rapids. I think Green Bay is limping into the playoffs (though kudos to winning the Anderson), even though you may consider their play similar to the Stars, given that they struggled beating a battered up last place team on their home ice, I would not feel overly confident as a Gambler fan right now and their lack of discipline may also be an issue. Time will's not going to be easy or a sweep for any team in any of the matches - should be great fun!