Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Anybody Want to Read Actually Good Predictions for Hockey East?

Just kidding QuackQuack. But seriously. While I share my fellow bloggers disdain for BC and the rest of Hockey East, I do have have a different vision of how Hockey East will shake out in 2010/2011. I feel that Boston College will have another solid year as they are returning two 50 point scorers (as well as a 40 point scorer), both of their starting goalies, and only really lost a couple of (replaceable) guys from last years team. Now, this is not to say I'm rooting for BC as HE champions. Quite the opposite, in fact - I'm hoping John Muse lets more things between his legs than a hungry Vietnamese hooker. I just think they are returning too many offensive weapons to have a down year. After BC, I think Maine is the obvious next team, as they dropped perennial netminder and alcoholic Scott Darling and are returning Hobey finalist Gustav Nyquist (a 60 point scorer). Combine that with the fact that Maine has to be hungry after losing in the HE Finals last year and missed the NCAA tournament, and I think they are a dangerous team. After those two teams, however, I feel that Hockey East could shake out in a multitude of ways. UNH lost their best forward/playmaker in Bobby Butler as well as their starting goalie in Brian Foster. BU will be relying on young, inexperienced players to play major minutes and produce a lot of points, never mind needing goalie Kieran Milan to step up after a down sophomore year. Merrimack will be hungry after getting a taste of the postseason last year, and will look to socialist phenom Stephane Da Costa to build off of his 45 point freshman campaign (cue the jokes about Da Costa ensuring everybody has an equal opportunity with the puck). Vermont returns key players including goalie Rob Madore. And the list goes on. But I'll stop boring you now and give you what you really are reading this for - the picks.

1.) Boston College - I know, I know. I hate BC too. But they are returning so many offensive weapons (Cam Atkinson, Brian Gibbons, the Whitney Brothers, Chris Kreider, etc) that I feel they will win many games on goal scoring alone. If Muse has another post-Championship slump, look to see a lot of 7-6 victories down in Chestnut Hill.

2.) Maine - Yes, they really can play hockey. Gustav Nyquist will be looking to post 60 more points, and Maine will benefit from having anybody in net whose name isn't Scott Darling. I've never heard of half of their players, but they can definitely score.

3.) BU - Call me biased, but I'm expecting big things this year. After last year's post season string of embarrassments, look for Parker and Co to be ready and focused. Milan will improve his numbers and consistency from last year, and the Gold Dust twins of Coyle and Nieto will be pouring the puck in the net. Combine that with Alex Chiasson, ChrisCo, and my boy Warsofsky, and we have ourselves a chance.

4.) UNH - After losing Bobby Butler and goalie Brian Foster, UNH will have some tough games this year. But they do always play well in the regular season, so expect another solid regular season from these guys. And if one of their forwards gets hot like Butler did, look out.

5.) Northeastern - Yeah I know everybody else is picking them further back. But sophomore goalie Chris Rawlings appears to be the real deal, and they are returning 8 of their top 11 goal scorers. Add that in with some solid freshman, and I think Northeastern will bounce back after last years collapse.

6.) Merrimack - Look, they've got a legitimate 50-60 point guy in Da Costa and are returning goalie Joe Cannata. And they really only lost forgettable goalie Andrew Braithwaite as well as some low scoring forwards. That Merrimack coach is a scum bag, but he will have his team hungry and ready to play.

7.) Vermont - How this team made it to the NCAA's baffles me. But they knocked out UNH in the HE playoffs last year, and are returning some key guys such as goalie Rob Madore. However, they did lose a few solid point scorers and will definitely have a hard time finding the net. If they score at all this year, they have a decent record.

8.) UMass - Lowell - Lost two goalies, almost all of their top point scorers, and a couple of defenseman. But they are better than the next two teams.

9.) Providence - PC will need some divine Providence this year to do much of anything. They have a stellar goalie in Alex Beaudry, but they just can't score to save their lives (or their season).

10.) UMass - Amherst - Look, they lost ALL of their offense. And most of their defense. Unless senior goalie John Dainton has a 0.00 goals against average, they finish dead last. But they do have Joe Pereira's younger brother as an incoming forward, so they've got that going for them, which is nice.

So there it is. Be on the lookout for a comprehensive prediction of BU's season coming up...

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