Though the Wisconsin men’s hockey team has seemed to right the ship, its offensive struggles have largely continued.
Head coach Mike Eaves told the media at his weekly press conference on Monday that he is going to break up his top line of Mark Zengerle, Tyler Barnes, and Nic Kerdiles in hopes of sparking some change on the offensive end.
“I think we're going to break up Zengerle and Barnes and Nic. I think they're pressing too hard. Sometimes you've got to get away from each other, make some changes on the power play,” Eaves said. “I think that you don't want to mess with an unbeaten streak. You don't want to change things too much and hope that things will get better inside of that. But now that we've lost, I think we'll tweak a few things this week and see what we can stimulate.”
Eaves went on to add that he is going to break up the line simply by changing up the centers. Derek Lee, who leads the team in assists with 14, will play with Kerdiles and Barnes, while Zengerle will presumably play with Joseph LaBate and Michael Mersch.
An inspired offense would be a timely addition to a team that is going to take on an Alaska Anchorage squad who is hungry to avenge a poor performance against the Badgers a few weeks ago.
“They're going to be cheesed off we beat them in their own barn. They're looking for a little revenge,” Eaves said. “And I think their human nature comes into play where we may say to ourselves, well, we just played out there. We won twice.”
“This scares me because it's like, when you beat a team on Friday night, you feel good. They're upset. Now on Saturday, they're going to come in and have a burr in their butt,” Eaves said. “Alaska's going to come in here with a big burr because we stumped them in their barn. I know Dave is going to have those kids all charged up.”