Wednesday, February 10, 2016

BU Wagon Hits Speedbump, Wood suspended, Beanpot Jr. Idea

The BU Terriers lost just their second game since the winter break as they dropped a 1-0 OT heartbreaker to their archrival in the Beanpot Championship game. There really is no positive way to spin a loss like this. It sucked. It was a great,entertaining hockey game but the outcome was the opposite of fun. It made me want to go puke into a bush outside the TD Garden. It is never fun to lose a game like that. That's all there really is to say on that. I am not bulimic so I am not going to put myself through every little detail of reviewing that game.

The Terriers return to action this Friday against UMass Lowell in a huge home and home series that will have large implications on who earns the byes in the first round of the HE tournament. Lowell is currently three points ahead of the Terriers for the fourth and final bye but the Terriers do hold two games in hand on the Riverhawks. What's good news for BU is that Lowell also may be the most overrated team in the country. They have beaten 2 current NCAA tournament teams so far this season. They are coming off a home loss to UNH. These are two games that the BU Terriers need to win. They need it to move on from the tough loss Monday night and to continue to climb up the Hockey East standings to secure the first round bye in the tournament. Lowell is typically well coached especially under Norm Bazin but they do have flaws and few difference makers. Their weakness appears to be in net with UMass transfer Kevin Boyle. Boyle got beat routinely by teams last year by getting him to go down and then firing 5 hole. I would expect the Terriers to try to open him up and then beat him five hole like they did atleast 3 times in the HE championship last year.

The league handed down a one game suspension for BC forward Miles Wood today for his headbutt/hit of BU forward Ahti Oksanen on Monday. The best part of this is how strongly BC fans were reacting to Jordan Greenway all night for basically being bigger than their team. Yes, I realize he made contact with Demko twice. One resulted in 14 penalty minutes for Greenway as the refs who attempted to get control of the game. I don' t totally disagree with the call now but if you are going to give Greenway a double minor and a misconduct then you need to give the BC dman(Casey Fitzgerald) who was the one causing the scrum, atleast 2 and 10 for his involvement. I thought that and the holding call on McAvoy were the refs' only misses of the night as they let them play in the third and treated the game as a playoff game as they should have. I shit on the refs alot so I want to give Miller and Murphy credit for letting the teams play and not calling every little trip and hook that happened. I think fans of both teams would agree that the game was called pretty fairly and that's all you can ask for. BC fans are now calling for a suspension for a Mike Moran slash which probably should have been a penalty but I don't think is suspension worthy. I wouldn't be shocked if Moran gets something because you know York is on the phone with the league whining just like he does during games until he gets his way. I would think it would be tough to prove that Moran did anything intentionally since I am not sure TV even got a shot of the play. Either way, it just makes the Wood suspension even funnier.

One last Beanpot note before we move on to the rest of the league schedule to close out the regular season, and BU's run to another set of league titles. There has been some chatter from fans/media members of non-Beanpot schools that the tournament needs to changed in format and more inclusive to other schools. These people(I'm not singling anyone out. There are lots of idiots in this world) believe that the lack of parity and attendance are among the top reasons to change the tournament. I disagree with them strongly for a number of reasons. WEEI's Scott McLaughlin has a great take on the issue and is actually good at writing unlike myself. First of all, attendance is not an issue at all. The Beanpot Final outdrew the Hockey East Championship Game by 2500 people. The Beanpot Final was on a Monday night with snow falling and less than ideal driving conditions. The Hockey East Championship was played on a 50 degree Saturday in March. The Hockey East Championship should draw better than the Beanpot in theory. In all reality though, more students and casual fans go to the Beanpot. This year was the 64th tournament and that tradition means a lot to the fans and the teams. The tournament is good that Minnesota has attempted to copy the format but hasn't had nearly the success. The proposed format from Yahoo's Ryan Lambert(link above) would just be a watered down version of the Hockey East tournament and the attendance would indicate that. If someone could organize that tournament, I would certainly go but I can guarantee you the Garden would not be interested in hosting unless they had some attendance guarantees. Maybe the JAR is available in Watertown though! The lack of parity in the Beanpot is an issue if you don't have a horse in the race but for the fans of the schools, every year is a new year with a chance to win bragging rights in the city.

I completely understand why fans of other programs don't like the Beanpot. It's because they don't understand why it's so popular and are salty that their team isn't in it. This is like some homeless man asking four guys who go out to a bar together twice a year if he can join them and when they say no, he says "well that sounds stupid anyway" and then watches them all night from a window outside. This call for change seems to be a result of jealousy and other programs inability to put together a respectable out of conference schedule. It isn't the Beanpot schools' problem that Lowell and Merrimack had to schedule Arizona State. If you want to play a good team at home, get good enough where they will agree to do a home and home with you. An even better idea is you can make your own tournament and have that as out of conference games. Lowell, Merrimack, UNH, and Dartmouth can get together and play Beanpot Jr(H/t to @bartrhett for the name choice). You can call it Beanpot of Peasants too. I don't really care what it's called but I certainly won't be begging for you to change the format just because BU isn't part of it. As most people readily admit, the Beanpot format isn't changing. There is 0% chance it changes so this really is a non-issue but the dumbass argument from fans of other programs is getting old. Western fans are jealous . Non-Boston eastern fans are jealous. Beanpot fans get it. You don't have to like the Beanpot. You don't have to watch the Beanpot. Plenty of people already do.

PS: You'll all be watching next year anyway

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