Oct. 8, 2012
• Watch Eaves News Conference
MADISON, Wis. -- Wisconsin men's hockey head coach Mike Eaves spoke Monday about the team opening its 2012-13 home slate on Saturday with a 5-0 exhibition win over the U.S. Under-18 team.
Eaves also looked ahead as the Badgers prepares for their first road trip of the season, heading to Green Bay, Wis., to face Northern Michigan at the Resch Center, Oct. 12-13.
Archived video of the media session is available through the link above and a complete transcript of Bielema's remarks can be found below.
Eaves: Before we get started, going to talk about the elephant in the corner of the room, and that's the Nic Kerdiles situation. We have a couple of things that we can speak about. So I'll share those with you. First of all, the investigation of the NCAA is in amateur status issue. The NCAA has said that Nic, the withholdings are for a year, and we're appealing this decision immediately. Those are the three things I wanted to share. I'm just going to put it out there right now. Should you ask me any further questions, I'm going to ask for next question because we've been asked not to go into any more detail. I hope you'll respect that wish. With that being said, let's talk some hockey.
Question: After further review of the Saturday night exhibition, what did you think?
Eaves: Our comments after the game -- it's funny. I didn't plan on saying this, but when we walked into the locker room, the general feeling in my head was, you know what, summer hockey is over. If you look at it, we haven't played since the end of March, beginning of April. So we've been playing kind of like pond hockey for the last few months. What happens when you play that kind of hockey is bad habits kind of creep in. We did some very good things, things that we tried to plant in our limited time together, but there was a lot of bad habits that went on. As of today, summer hockey is over, and we're going to get right down to basics. We'll be able to, on a day by day basis, start forming good habits over the bad habits and getting to those types of things. So summer hockey is officially over.
Question: The 5-0 shutout win, moving forward, do you think that your team will rely on its defensive prowess to set the tone of the game, or will it be more of an offensive team where you can really split the field with goals on goals?
Eaves: We always, in every one of our practices, we want to play really well with the puck, when you're on offense, because we want to be very good without the puck. The better we are without the puck, the more we'll have it because we'll get it back. In terms of whether we're going to be an offensive team or a line defensive team, I think that will be determined as we move through the early part of the year. Put up five goals Saturday against a young team, and we did a lot of good things. We saw that young Zulinick had an ability. He knew what to do. Schulze contributes right away. I think that will help determine to what degree we're moving forward.
Question: Mike, what's the potential impact on your lineup losing someone of Nick's caliber at this point?
Eaves: Hard to say because he hasn't been in the lineup, for one thing. But you would project because, for example, where he was drafted, that he'd be an impact player. You can kind of deduce that where he would fit in and what we're going to miss from that.
Question: Looks like Kevin Schulze has a lot of ability. Is he a guy that maybe someday could take that quarterback spot on the power play?
Eaves: There's potential there. I don't know to what degree. But even ran into young Adam Burish today back from San Jose. Too much sunshine, he said. Too warm too. But he was saying he liked the way he handled himself, the way he skated and the way he skated with his head up and looked at the ice. We think there's some real good potential with Kevin being part of that.
Question: Will Jake McCabe play this weekend?
Question: You saw Jake kind of really develop in the second half last year, didn't you?
Eaves: Well, we saw him develop, but we saw him blossom in that series against Denver. It was amazing that the pro teams that were out there and watched him, they're the ones that really thought highly of him as he entered the draft. It was tough to get a real read on Jake because of his injury early in the year, but in that series, he blossomed under the kind of potential that this young man would hopefully be able to provide for us and maybe at the next level.
Question: You mentioned about Burish finally having time on his hands. What do you expect an NHL lockout could have on college hockey and maybe bring more eyeballs to your sport?
Eaves: That's exactly it. Hopefully, we'll get more attention now with our games being on. They're going to have to fill some TV time, with college hockey hopefully. Certainly, we'll get a higher place in the rankings in the newspapers and maybe more on TV to get us more exposure. It will be a good thing for our game.
Question: As far as goaltending is concerned, Joel obviously took over last year, with you is it still kind of who's the guy right now? Who's playing the best? Who's practicing the best?
Eaves: In my mind, we spoke to both young goalies. We sat in individual meetings last week, but that was the message. As good as Joel played at the end of the year, he's got to do it again. And if he doesn't do it again, he's going to know who's knocking right on the door. So they're going to continue to push each other, which is a great thing for our team and our goalies too.
Question: You've had a pretty open policy with regards to social media with your players. Will that change at all this season?
Eaves: We talked about it. We had Paul come in with his crew and talk to our kids about the social media. I think we, as an athletic department, have talked about it, and we don't -- we're not dictating right now that we do anything different. We're relying on our own team to take care of that issue. Should it get to the point where it gets really bad, I think we might look at it again as an athletic department. But right now, team by team, we're monitoring that to make sure that doesn't get out of hand.