Wednesday, April 4, 2012
Guest Post Day 3 - Three Underrated Reasons for this Year's Success
We've reached our third day of guest posts, and this one was one of the best. We thought about saving it for last, but screw it. They are all great, after all. Today's post is brought to you by "The Pastor". Enjoy!
What a season. Some of the highest highs and some of the lowest lows. Most people probably want to mark this one down as the low point of BU Hockey. “Off ice the team are awful people, the coaching staff is too old, 2009 was a fluke, blah blah, blah.” We’ve heard it. But all things considered, this season is definitely not the low point. Actually, this season marks a turnaround in restoring this program to its former dominance. You don’t make the NCAA tournament without skill and more importantly heart. And you don’t do it in such historic fashion if you aren’t the 2011-2012 Boston University Terriers.
But that’s all the stuff that’s been covered before. Yet I think there’s still stuff that didn’t get enough coverage over the season that truly made this team contenders. Yes, believe it or not, this team runs deeper than Chris Connolly, Garrett Noonan, and Kieran Millan.
So here’s what I present to you, the three most underrated reasons why BU Men’s Ice Hockey made it to St. Paul this year:
Alexx Privitera – Granted he was getting much more respect at the end of the season, but honestly this kid was making an impact far before the rest of his class. Privitera started to get noticed back in December while his other two classmates continued to fight for ice time the entire season. He ended his first collegiate season with 14 points, 2 more than Evan Rodrigues and 6 more than Cason Hohmann. Clearly, he’s got the offensive touch that some of our best dmen have. But beyond that, his defense was solid as well. He didn’t finish with Noonan’s +19, but he did finish with a +8, good for 4th best defenseman on the team behind Noonan, Clendening, and MacGregor. Not to mention he broke his wrist, sat out of 3 weeks of games, came back against UVM and made an immediate impact scoring the OT winner on February 25th. Not too bad for a freshy. With the losses of Nicastro and Ruikka and the constant worry of Clendening’s return, Privitera is going to have to build off what he started this year, and BU fans should be confident that he does.
The Power Play – Raise your hand if you remember how awesome the PP was this season. Now keep it up if you remember how abysmal it was in the ’10-’11 season. In that season, the team went 32/215 on the PP and this season went 45/197, good enough for a 7.9% increase and for 6th in the nation (the team didn’t even crack the top 40 in ’10-’11). There’s a lot that can be attributed to the improvement, but I’m going to go ahead and put all 100% of the success on Adam Clendening. Okay, not really, but you have to give the kid credit. He’s the best option to be quarterbacking the power play. When it comes to turnovers at the blue line, I’m pretty sure he’s got the most of them, but I’m also fairly certain he spends the most time there. Not to mention he’s got an absolute bomb of a shot, his most recent goal against Minnesota being one of them. But behind that he’s a key part to the majority of all PP goals, just take a look at his assist on Noonan’s second goal at the Beanpot finals (you’re welcome Noonsy). Through the season, he racked up 29 assists and 116 shots on goal both of which are good for 3rd best on the team. Considering we get a lot of teams to get a lot of penalties, building on this PP will be huge next season.
Scoring in Bunches – Yes, this was an offensive team. They would not have gotten as far as they did losing their two top scorers if they didn’t have a lot of other guys to pick up the slack. In games where the team scored three or more goals in any single period, they won that game. More than that, those goals were racked up from a variety of different guys. Every time there was a three goal period, all goals that night were scored by different Terriers except one game and of course that January game against Providence – probably because they scored eight goals. (Trust me, the Friar – the real one not the mascot – was none too happy with the contingent of BU fans that night berating both Beaudry and Gates.) Scoring in bunches doesn’t seem like a far-fetched way to win a hockey game, but when the games are as high scoring as the Terriers’ often are, you need that big offensive burst.
And just because for the time being we’re all holding a vendetta against the number three, I leave you with one more reason for this season’s success:
Sahir “#1 Draft Pick” Gill – You’ve probably all seen the stats about how sick the team does when he scores a point, and how not so hot they do if he doesn’t. And if you have eyes and read anything about BU Hockey, you know this kid is all over everything. A really solid two-way player. Don’t remember the last time he had a legitimately bad game. Obviously bad plays, but everyone does. The improvement between his freshman year and this year has been incredible. Jumped from 6 goals, 25 points to 12 goals, 31 points. If he continues to improve at that rate, his next two years here will see him become one of our most consistent players. I’ve always liked him, but this year I’ve officially jumped on the “Giller or Die” bandwagon. Screw the NHL. Bet you’re all kicking yourselves for not picking this kid up earlier.
Of course, there’s all the little things that contributed to the team’s success as well – the road record, team leadership, and the “us against the world” mentality – but those are the four that deserve more credit in my mind.
The best part of everything I just mentioned (aside from Clendening) all of this is going to come back next season. Next season when we roll in a new crop of goalies and some wicked sick MA boys (I vote we bring in Grzelcyk regardless of how many dmen we have next year, Charlestown FTW). And now we’ve got a team full of guys that have been to the NCAA tournament, knocked on the door for a Beanpot title, and kicked the number one team in the nation’s ass – twice.
Six months until October. Six months until this team comes back with a vengeance. And I’m predicting eight or nine All-Americans, a Hobey Baker, a Natty Championship, and Parker to personally kick the shit out of each and every hater. Go BU.
Posted by George Washington at 7:53 PM