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USHL PLAYOFFS - Discussion/Predictions?

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04-11-2011, 08:56 AM
  #1
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USHL PLAYOFFS - Discussion/Predictions?

Here are the matchups: http://ushl.com/news/story.cfm?id=3941

Eastern Conference

Indiana Ice (#3) vs. Waterloo Black Hawks (#6)

Team USA* (#4) vs. Muskegon Lumberjacks (#5)

Western Conference

Sioux Falls Stampede (#3) vs. Sioux City Musketeers (#6)

Fargo Force (#4) vs. Lincoln Stars (#5)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

New format this year. First round gives the top 2 teams in each Conference (Dubuque & Omaha in West/Cedar Rapids & Green Bay in East) a BYE. The first round best of 3 will be played exclusively on the ice of the higher seeded team which are Sioux Falls and Fargo in West and Indiana and Team USA* in East.

*Team USA will be the "hybrid" U-17 team. The U-18 played most of the league games but gives way to the younger team to prepare for and play in U18 Worlds.

My prediction is: Indiana, Muskegon, Sioux City and Lincoln advance to second round.

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04-11-2011, 09:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Edges7 View Post
Here are the matchups: http://ushl.com/news/story.cfm?id=3941

Eastern Conference

Indiana Ice (#3) vs. Waterloo Black Hawks (#6)

Team USA* (#4) vs. Muskegon Lumberjacks (#5)

Western Conference

Sioux Falls Stampede (#3) vs. Sioux City Musketeers (#6)

Fargo Force (#4) vs. Lincoln Stars (#5)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

New format this year. First round gives the top 2 teams in each Conference (Dubuque & Omaha in West/Cedar Rapids & Green Bay in East) a BYE. The first round best of 3 will be played exclusively on the ice of the higher seeded team which are Sioux Falls and Fargo in West and Indiana and Team USA* in East.

*Team USA will be the "hybrid" U-17 team. The U-18 played most of the league games but gives way to the younger team to prepare for and play in U18 Worlds.

My prediction is: Indiana, Muskegon, Sioux City and Lincoln advance to second round.

The only one I don't agree with is Sioux City. Is Kyle Rau eligable for Sioux Falls in the playoffs? He started and finished the year with the team, but don't know if he's on their playoff roster due to rejoining the team after the roster lock? Falls has the better goaltending while City has the better overall talent, though Rau is probably the best player between the two teams.

I hope Fargo loses in the first round. The less revenue those morons get, the happier I will be.

Muskegon/Team USA is basically a tossup to me and irrelevent, the team that wins isn't advancing past that round.

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04-11-2011, 10:14 AM
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Originally Posted by DynamoAO View Post
The only one I don't agree with is Sioux City. Is Kyle Rau eligable for Sioux Falls in the playoffs? He started and finished the year with the team, but don't know if he's on their playoff roster due to rejoining the team after the roster lock? Falls has the better goaltending while City has the better overall talent, though Rau is probably the best player between the two teams.

I hope Fargo loses in the first round. The less revenue those morons get, the happier I will be.

Muskegon/Team USA is basically a tossup to me and irrelevent, the team that wins isn't advancing past that round.
SC went on a tear at the end of the season and had several players, most importantly Matt Skoff, playing their best hockey. Will that carry over is the question? I believe it will. In this match-up, I'm looking at Skoff v. Olkinuora and giving no edge at this point. I'm assuming that Rau is eligible, btw, but I disagree that Rau, while very talented, is the best player between the teams. I wonder if his size will be an issue in the grind of playoff hockey. I'll tip my hat to his talent. I saw him play maybe 7 of his 10 or so games and know that he had a monster finish for HS powerhouse Eden Prairie but I've seen too many great HS and MM players buckle under the "smaller" ice of the USHL.

From a purely USHL game in game out performance level, Herbert has more proven offensives skills but the real wildcard player, IMO, will be Schmaltz. If he steps up, and I expect that he will, you could see the break out of a very special player.

Fargo has owned Lincoln all season but Johnson seems to have finally found that elusive third line that can contribute some points. They key for Lincoln will be pressing Fargo's D into turnovers, which I believe that McCarron and Co can do. If McCarron's play at the end of the season carries over and Murdock matches Massa, which I believe he can do, and that young third line does a great grind job on Fargo's D, you could see Lincoln go home Sunday the winner.

The wild card in that series, though, is, of all people, Chad Johnson. He has a tendency to shorten his bench in close games more as a reactive measure than from any sense of the tactical. He needs to be more patient and less reactive with his lines and let them establish the tone of the game.


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04-11-2011, 10:42 AM
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SC went on a tear at the end of the season and had several players, most importantly Matt Skoff, playing their best hockey. Will that carry over is the question? I believe it will. In this match-up, I'm looking at Skoff v. Olkinuora and giving no edge at this point. I'm assuming that Rau is eligible, btw, but I disagree that Rau, while very talented is the best player between the teams. I wonder if his size will be an issue in the grind of playoff hockey. I'll tip my hat to his talent. I saw him play maybe 7 of his 10 or so games and know that he had a monster finish for HS powerhouse Eden Prairie but I've seen too many great HS and MM players buckles under the smaller ice of the USHL.

From a purely USHL game in game out performace level, Herbert has more proven offensives skills but the real wildcard player, IMO, will be Schmaltz. If he steps up, and I expect that he will, you could see the break out of a very special player.

Fargo has owned Lincoln all season but Johnson seems to have finally found that elusive third line that can contribute some points. They key for Lincoln will be pressing Fargo's D into turnovers, which I believe that McCarron and Co can do. If McCarron's play at the end of the season carries over and Murdock matches Massa, which I believe he can do, and that young third line does a great grind job on Fargo's D, you could see Lincoln go home Sunday the winner.

The wild card in that series, though, is, of all people, Chad Johnson. He has a tendency to shorten his bench in close games more as a reactive measure than from any sense of the tactical. He needs to be more patient and less reactive with his lines and let them establish the tone of the game.
LOL, speaking of smaller ice...have you been to a game in Sioux Falls? Jesus, I don't know how that's a regulation rink. There's not even an inch between the the boards and the faceoff circles. It's probably about 40 feet wide and 120 feet long. In one of the games I saw this year, it was an icing fest because both teams just flipped the puck up in the air and before you knew it, it was already in the other end. I know what you mean about HS players fizzling out, I've had to watch Tanner Lane 40+ times this year. Kid put up what...almost 100 pts in high school last year, this year it's not a Force game until you see Tanner trip and fall to the ice for absolutely no reason, completely miss on a check and hit himself into the boards or turn the puck over half a dozen times. Rau however is more proven, almost a point a game player.

Maybe I've just see the Sioux Falls tandem get more "hot" in the games I've seen than the City goalies, but I just believe they have the edge.

Lincoln plays a much more controlled defensive game than Fargo. Their last two games in Fargo they had to have blocked about 40-50 shots. Fargo has to RELY on their goaltenders to win games. The defensemen they have now are NOT defensive players. Ian "Wind-up for a slapshot and either A. Miss the net by 6 feet or B. comlpetely whiff" Young and Garrett "Watch my super spin-turnover-move" Haar are going to cost Fargo the series since, Oleg "The Big Idiot" Yevenko is suspended for the first two games(though, I bet that Lincoln will miss the 1-2 stupid penalties that Oleg takes EVERY game). It's sort of a battle of Good Offense vs. Good Defense. Fargo has the more talented offense but Lincoln should be able to shut them down.

I hate Lincoln as a team more(a lot of their players are classless punks), but I hate Fargo as an Organization(their gameday/arena staff is the biggest collection of morons I've ever seen at any level) even more than that, so I am crossing my fingers that Lincoln wins.

The Indiana/Waterloo match up isn't the least bit intriguing and the Muskegon/USA is a tossup which wont matter because they will just get swept in the next round.

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04-11-2011, 11:29 AM
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LOL, speaking of smaller ice...have you been to a game in Sioux Falls...I know what you mean about HS players fizzling out, I've had to watch Tanner Lane 40+ times this year. Kid put up what...Rau however is more proven, almost a point a game player.

I hate Lincoln as a team more(a lot of their players are classless punks), but I hate Fargo as an Organization(their gameday/arena staff is the biggest collection of morons I've ever seen at any level) even more than that, so I am crossing my fingers that Lincoln wins.

The Indiana/Waterloo match up isn't the least bit intriguing and the Muskegon/USA is a tossup which wont matter because they will just get swept in the next round.
You sound like a frustrated Fargo fan!!!

I was supposed to see the Fargo v. Lincoln tilt a month ago in Fargo but got waylayed by a freak ND blizzard so I watched it on America 1. Fargo smoked Lincoln and Murdock in that game. Lincoln relies pretty heavily on Murdoch too and I've never been a big fan of any of their D, Prapavessis excepted.

Their forwards are another story. I think they have a lot of talent up front who, almost to a man, play a full ice game and, taking the goalies out of my analysis here, the Lincoln forwards and how Johnson chooses to use them will be the key.

SF Arena is a classic USHL barn (my favorite, btw, is the IceBox with Des Moines a close second, especially on those buck a beer nights!!!). But my reference to "small ice" - which you probably knew - was the physical play. I could be wrong about Rau/Herbert and frankly, it's probably pick 'em that I am.

As for Lincoln and thuggery...the team penalty minutes and player suspensions for misconduct penalties certainly bear you out. I see it as boys will be boys and hockey is a rough game...

As for Indiana, I think they get by Waterloo with no trouble whatsoever.

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04-11-2011, 11:49 AM
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You sound like a frustrated Fargo fan!!!

I was supposed to see the Fargo v. Lincoln tilt a month ago in Fargo but got waylayed by a freak ND blizzard so I watched it on America 1. Fargo smoked Lincoln and Murdock in that game. Lincoln relies pretty heavily on Murdoch too and I've never been a big fan of any of their D, Prapavessis excepted.

Their forwards are another story. I think they have a lot of talent up front who, almost to a man, play a full ice game and, taking the goalies out of my analysis here, the Lincoln forwards and how Johnson chooses to use them will be the key.

SF Arena is a classic USHL barn (my favorite, btw, is the IceBox with Des Moines a close second, especially on those buck a beer nights!!!). But my reference to "small ice" - which you probably knew - was the physical play. I could be wrong about Rau/Herbert and frankly, it's probably pick 'em that I am.

As for Lincoln and thuggery...the team penalty minutes and player suspensions for misconduct penalties certainly bear you out. I see it as boys will be boys and hockey is a rough game...

As for Indiana, I think they get by Waterloo with no trouble whatsoever.
I'm referring to an off-ice incident. Garrett Peterson was kicked out of a game for trying to slam a players head into the ice during a "fight". He was then heckled by the penalty box hecklers we have in Fargo who are notoriously obnoxious but...not vulgar or anything like that. Peterson "got into it" with them while around the box. After changing into his sweats and going back to the arena, he went to those fans' sections and did the following, Threw a gatorade bottle with a little bit of gatorade left in it, as he was halfway down the stairs, hitting a fan who was carrying his child on his lap(not one of the hecklers), goes down to the two hecklers, flips them off, "f this, f that, I'll f you up, let's go outside" it went on for a good 2-3 minutes. The sad part is, he needed "backup" which is why Dominik Shine and another one of their punkass players went with him and sort of stood in the middle of the stairs behind him. Bunch of gutless punks. Peterson is a certified nutcase, it wasn't his only "incident" this year, he got an abuse of an official game misconduct like the next week. I find it laughable he commited to Notre Dame. He will get run out of that program before the end of dryland his freshman year.

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04-11-2011, 12:03 PM
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I'm referring to an off-ice incident. Garrett Peterson was kicked out of a game for trying to slam a players head into the ice during a "fight". He was then heckled by the penalty box hecklers we have in Fargo who are notoriously obnoxious
I'm aware of the incident. But I think you may have confused Shine for another player. Petey may be out though as he has a broken hand.

Anyway, I look forward to this series. It may be the closest of the lot.

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04-11-2011, 12:12 PM
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I'm aware of the incident. But I think you may have confused Shine for another player. Petey may be out though as he has a broken hand.

Anyway, I look forward to this series. It may be the closest of the lot.
Naw, was definitly Shine. He was out of the second game after Cooper one-punched him out the night before. Not to mention, he doesn't really "look" like a hockey player, so it's easy to identify him.

Tickle me curious, how did Peterson break his hand?

Oh and for the record, I'm not really a "Force fan". I do have season tickets(as I live in Fargo), but I catch games around the league at different arenas. I have much stronger ties to Dubuque(as someone who played there year and years ago) and "enjoy" Omaha as a team(from a roster, game experience and "other fan" experience) the most. I'm a pretty unbiased USHL observer actually.

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04-11-2011, 12:35 PM
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Tickle me curious, how did Peterson break his hand?
Last game played was against the Chicago Bad Ne...drrr Steel...

He got into a fight...

Please tell me he threw away his season getting into a fight against one of the worst teams in league history...

I would never "wish" injury upon a player, but that would just be some damn fine karma for the Steve Downie of the USHL.

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04-11-2011, 12:36 PM
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Naw, was definitly Shine. He was out of the second game after Cooper one-punched him out the night before. Not to mention, he doesn't really "look" like a hockey player, so it's easy to identify him.
Shine isn't "shiney"? I had heard it was #13.

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Tickle me curious, how did Peterson break his hand?
Slash in last Tuesday's SC game aggravated into a break in Friday's TC game is what I heard.

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I'm a pretty unbiased USHL observer actually.
I'm unbaised to teams but not to players. Among other duties, I have coached some players @ Youth Hockey level who have played or who are now playing in USHL.

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04-11-2011, 12:43 PM
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Last game played was against the Chicago Bad Ne...drrr Steel...

He got into a fight...

Please tell me he threw away his season getting into a fight against one of the worst teams in league history...

I would never "wish" injury upon a player, but that would just be some damn fine karma for the Steve Downie of the USHL.
He hurt his shoulder in that fight. The hand was injured last week.

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04-11-2011, 12:50 PM
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Shine isn't "shiney"? I had heard it was #13.
More "tanned" skin(as opposed to most of the white bread pale Minnesotans and such lol)...shaved head...not to mention he literally walked right by us(I have the aisle seat, I got a good look at both players who were his backup. Shine was obvious and the other kid had an arm/hand cast...but he had a 'gansta' skull cap on, so it wasn't as easy to pick him out)

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Slash in last Tuesday's SC game aggravated into a break in Friday's TC game is what I heard.
His name isn't in the box score after the Chicago game, you sure he played after that?

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04-11-2011, 01:37 PM
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His name isn't in the box score after the Chicago game, you sure he played after that?
"G. Peterson (scratch Saturday) hand injured vs TC, poss. break, return unknown."

That was a one line update I got on Saturday. Misread that the at the time time for SC...sorry..old eyes. He's in the boxscore Friday v. TC ( http://ushl.stats.pointstreak.com/bo...gameid=1341749 ) but not Tuesday v. SC. The injury from Chicago was a shoulder; how it was obtained I don't know. Did not see either game.

Did catch some of their game Saturday. That third line of Shine, Aston-Reese and Juell played very, very well with your old buddy having a heckuva game.

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04-11-2011, 02:02 PM
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"G. Peterson (scratch Saturday) hand injured vs TC, poss. break, return unknown."

That was a one line update I got on Saturday. Misread that the at the time time for SC...sorry..old eyes. He's in the boxscore Friday v. TC ( http://ushl.stats.pointstreak.com/bo...gameid=1341749 ) but not Tuesday v. SC. The injury from Chicago was a shoulder; how it was obtained I don't know. Did not see either game.
Ahhhh, only checked up to the SC games after Chicago. Thought the scenario was too....fitting. Didn't understand why he'd be scratched the next few games after the Chicago blowout.



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Did catch some of their game Saturday. That third line of Shine, Aston-Reese and Juell played very, very well with your old buddy having a heckuva game.
Naw, Saturday I was too busy watching Ian Young practically score on Massa to lose the game for Fargo in overtime.

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04-11-2011, 06:35 PM
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Tons of misinformation and hate on the Stars and Peterson that I'm not going to even dignify with a response.

Peterson blocked a shot this past weekend and fractured a bone in his hand, from what I have heard.

Dynamo....do you post as "The Show" on Ryan Clark's "Slightly Chilled" blog?

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04-11-2011, 06:42 PM
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Um. No? I post as dynamoao on hockeys future. Kidding. Yes. Well I did.


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04-11-2011, 06:45 PM
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Ok. Figured it was you since you both complain about the Scheels parking lot, and the arena staff.

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04-11-2011, 06:47 PM
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Yedited. And I complain for good reason. All I will say.

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04-11-2011, 07:09 PM
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Ok. Figured it was you since you both complain about the Scheels parking lot, and the arena staff.
To elaborate as I'm not posting on my cell phone now...

I offered my time, energy and suggestions to the Fargo Staff about how to make games better. I worked for the Lewiston Maineiacs, I know the tiny little things that the Fargo staff simply doesnt know or simply doesnt care to do. Their response to me was, "we are a new team, we still have things to figure out." I worked for Lewiston during their FOURTH year(the memorial cup run...and went to games as a student their third year...) and I can tell you we didn't have a tenth as many complaints as Fargo fans have. On a fraction of the Force's budget.

I then approached the Scheels Arena/Fargo Force GM, again, offering my time and said, "if things don't change, we aren't renewing(our season tickets) next season" upon which he said, I should "find him at a game". No, that's not how you satisfy customers, you GO to them. Especially when they offer to HELP you for free.

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04-12-2011, 07:14 AM
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Peterson blocked a shot this past weekend and fractured a bone in his hand, from what I have heard.
Peterson's play speaks for itself. He could play on any team I coached. UND will be getting a quality player.

Everyone loves the rough stuff and the arrogance as long as it's coming from their team. Otherwise, they hate it.

The big story on that team is McCarron. He has emerged as a legitimate pro prospect.

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04-12-2011, 08:37 AM
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Tons of misinformation and hate on the Stars and Peterson that I'm not going to even dignify with a response.
IIRC, you have some association with the Stars?

What's your anaylsis of their chances and what is your analysis overall of the playoff matchups around the league?

BTW, I have to state that Mike Mellbey does a great job announcing your games. He can be a homer at times - those very obvious penalties last week near the end of the SC game that he whined about are cases in point - but overall he's one of the best.

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04-12-2011, 08:46 AM
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IIRC, you have some association with the Stars?

What's your anaylsis of their chances and what is your analysis overall of the playoff matchups around the league?

BTW, I have to state that Mike Mellbey does a great job announcing your games. He can be a homer at times - those very obvious penalties last week near the end of the SC game that he whined about are cases in point - but overall he's one of the best.
I run the "Black and Blue" Lincoln Stars blog. I've been a season ticket holder for many years.

Melbye is a good announcer, for sure. Especially compared to some of the other radio guys I've heard in the league. The guy in Tri-City and Sioux City come to mind as guys who just yell and scream. Not fun at all to listen to.

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04-12-2011, 09:31 AM
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I run the "Black and Blue" Lincoln Stars blog. I've been a season ticket holder for many years.
Icebox is the best barn in ther USHL.

But what about the team? Do you see them going far this year? What about next year. By my count you're losing at least your top 3 forwards, your goalie and some D. The team is not that young.

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04-12-2011, 09:53 AM
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Icebox is the best barn in ther USHL.

But what about the team? Do you see them going far this year? What about next year. By my count you're losing at least your top 3 forwards, your goalie and some D. The team is not that young.
I'd like to see an unbiased opinion from Yeti as well!

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04-12-2011, 10:06 AM
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I'd like to see an unbiased opinion from Yeti as well!
Feel free to weigh in on Fargo in that regard. I believe that it's safe to say that Jason is on as much of a learning curve from mm as some of his players. But Fargo, unlike Lincoln has a young roster. Massa will be gone. Yevenko too. Your team gets a lot of energy from those two.

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