Thursday, March 26, 2015

Weekend Preview: Northeast Regional- See you back at the Garden

                                                 - Photo courtesy of Gagnon

The BU Terriers begin the 2015 NCAA Tournament in Manchester,NH as their quest for their 6th National Championship continues. The Terriers will face Yale in the first round. Now I won't be declaring the Yale game a scrimmage because anything can happen in the NCAA tournament like two years ago when Yale beat Minnesota and North Dakota as a 4 seed to win it all. I am just saying that I love BU's chances. Don't be offended Yale fans/BU haters, BU is just better than them.

 Yale made the tournament as an at-large team and is the top defensive team in the country statistically. They come from the ECAC  EZAC conference where they failed to make it out of the conference tournament quarterfinal round losing to Harvard in three games. Other bad teams that Yale lost to this year include : Clarkson, Cornell, Union, and St. Lawrence. Yale does not have a scorer with over 21 points as they spread their points around between their benders players. All the talk leading up to the game will be how Yale will play BU tough blah blah blah. The majority of the talk will be centered around the play of goalie Alex Lyon who sports a .936 save percentage. The only problem with this theory is that Yale has to score in order to win and I honestly don't think they are going to have too much success doing that. Now they can always get a bounce here or there but they are not going to generate regular scoring chances against this BU team. The biggest goal of this game will be the first one as Yale is 0-9-4 when trailing after any period and 2-7-3 when they give up the first goal of the game. BU, on the contrary, is 10-6-2 when giving up the first goal of the game and 15-1-3 when scoring first. If BU scores that first goal, it will force Yale to open up their defense more and take more chances as the game goes on. BU is also 17-0-0 when Eichel scores a goal so if BU scores the first goal or Eichel scores at all, this game is basically over. If Yale scores first, they have a chance..maybe I am predicting a 3-0 BU win and I'm basically always right so you should believe that.

 If/When BU wins tomorrow, they will face the winner of Minnesota Minnesota-Duluth on Saturday. Both these western lesser teams come from the very average state of Minnesota. The trendy pick right now is to pick Minnesota to advance to the Frozen Four where they would promptly lose anyway because that's what Don Lucia coached teams do. First off, I think this is a tougher first round matchup for Minnesota than anyone is giving Duluth credit for even though they are the higher ranked team. I also feel that Duluth  has a better chance to beat BU than Minnesota does. Neither Minnesota team has great goaltending which is a great sign for the Terriers. Minnesota's goalie(Wilcox) has a .916 save percentage this year. That is not good. The games BU have lost are when a goalie stands on his head to stop them. Wilcox does not have this skill. Duluth's goalie(Kimusko) has a .915 so he doesn't scare me either. Duluth has taken 3 of the 4 matchups so far with Minnesota but Minnesota has been the better team as of late lead by dman Mike Reilly and two forward Kyle Rau. I still think Duluth has a complete roster with depth that could test BU. If Duluth happens to get goaltending, they could give BU a real challenge on Saturday. Minnesota isn't going to get goaltending and they will just try to trade chances with the Eichel line which is idiotic but will make for great TV.

 It really is cute how Minnesota fans think they have a chance against a team as good as BU's but they really don't. Now a response to this may be that BU doesn't have the experience in the NCAA tournament which is fair but I'll take the kids who don't any better because they haven't been there before over the annual choke artists from Minnesota. BU beats Duluth 4-2. If Minnesota actually figures out how to beat Duluth, BU beats them 5-2. We'll be back Monday with the victory recap with respectful swagger because that's how Quinnie wants it  #gopherkyourself

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