Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Guest Post #1- FTQ(For the Quinn)

Editor's note: This is the first Guest Post we have received so far this year and hopefully we will have a few more in the coming days. For now, enjoy what Mrs. Quinn has to offer.

BSRS Guest Post: This time with footnotes.

Guys, I have something really exciting to tell you: David Quinn![1] Was that not as exciting for you as it was for me? Oh. Well how about I tell you why I am so excited?

There are two things no current BU student has seen: a BU team with Quinn behind the bench or a National Championship team. There are two things the 4 previous classes saw: both of the above. Now I’m not saying there is a massive undeniable link between them, except that is exactly what I am saying.

During his 5 year stint at BU, Quinn was the team’s head recruiter and ran the D unit. Spoiler alert: he was phenomenal at both of these things. In fact, he was so good at recruiting that he actually hurt the recent BU teams; because so many of his recruits were top flight talent that left early, and had to be replaced ahead of schedule by players brought in by the new assistant coaches (who to no fault of their own just didn’t have the same ties as Quinn does). With those connections back look for these players who leave BU and head straight to the NHL, not AHL, to once again populate the Agganis Arena bench.

To prove the above point about Quinn’s recruits let’s look at the class brought to BU in the fall of 2007. The scholarship recruits:

Kevin Shattenkirk
Nick Bonino
Colby Cohen
Colin Wilson
That’s it, that’s the list[2]

The last two BU teams have been Frozen Four caliber, except for one aspect: they lacked a go to player that the team knew they could count on to take over the game if need be. Sure BU had the best line in the country the second half of this year, but none of them ever took over a game on their own, refusing to lose. On either the ‘08-‘09 or ‘09-‘10 all of these 4 players were that singlehandedly win a game player at one time (even Colby, you haters).[3] That type of player returning to BU would be the difference between fighting for a tournament birth, and fighting for a one seed, it’s a much more fun fight, I promise.

Lost in all the talk of Quinn’s recruiting is how well he developed the players once they were actually at BU. Players got better every year they were at BU, the breakout year of players like Hohman and Rodrigues would be less noteworthy because so many players around them would be playing drastically better than they had the year before as well. Eric Gryba, a typical big bodied defensive defensemen had a +/- of -1 his sophomore year, he was +21 his junior year, I can live with a +22 improvement. In Quinn’s last 4 years at BU 6 of his defensemen were All Americans; no other school had more than 2 over that span. Skill alone does not make one an All American, they need to be part of a system they understand, and one defender playing well on his own will still have poor statistics, and no shot at awards, if his teammates don’t also know their role and execute.[4] Under Quinn everyone executed, plain and simple.

Now allow me to venture into an area beyond box scores and awards. I attribute a lot of the scoring on those teams to the success of the D unit, and not just because many were offensive minded, but because of their defense. No matter whether it was the first or third D pair they took care of so much in their own end; you rarely would see our forwards fighting for the puck behind their own net. This meant that they were both in better position for a counterattack, and able to save their energy to exert in the offensive end on the opposing defenses. To see just how much more work BU forwards had to do in their own zone both before and after Quinn’s tenure, compared to when he was behind the bench, may be the aspect I am most excited about upon is return to Comm Ave.

Obviously Quinn achieving success as a head coach is not a given; managing 2 assistant coaches and 25 young men is a lot different than managing just 7 young men like he did in his first stint at BU. However, with his AHL head coaching and NCAA assistant coaching experience, if there was ever a man who was poised to succeed in his first NCAA head coaching job it might just be David Quinn.

I leave you with one last stat, during Quinn’s time at BU the Terriers averaged 24.6 wins per season, which more than doubled the 12 in the season prior to his arrival, and surpasses the highest win total in the 4 years since his departure, 23.[5]

[1] Before anyone takes exception to my drooling over a coach other than Parker less than 1 month after his retirement just know that me attempting to write a post in memoriam to Jack’s career would literally be the most offensive thing that ever happened to Coach, so I will write about Quinn.
[2] Eventually Joe Pereira also earned a scholarship as a member of this class, but did not have one as a freshman
[3] To see a player take over a game look at this box score. BU fought back to tie a close game in the middle of the 3rd, then Wilson had a bad turnover to give UML a 4-3 lead with 5:31 to go. Colin. Was. Mad. In the final 2:14 he assisted the tying goal, scored the winning goal, and then just for the good measure assisted on an insurance goal as well. 134 seconds, 3 points, game, set, match, 2 ponies.
[4] It may come in handy having a D partner who is ALSO an All American, but this has yet to be scientifically proven.
[5] This win average would be higher under Quinn had BU not needed a goalie in the historically mediocre 2006 recruit class, BU basically had their pick of the recruits, and chose Brett Bennett. Like nearly every major goalie recruit that year, he was a bust and cost the ’07-’08 (his sophomore and final year) team numerous wins and an NCAA appearance.

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