Monday, March 30, 2015

Weekend Recap: Boston University is Frozen Four Bound

The 2014-2015 Boston University Terriers did what they do best this weekend: win. The Terriers won back to back games in dramatic 3-2 fashion to win the Northeast regional in Manchester. They were lead on the scoresheet by their upperclassmen as Evan Rodrigues lead the Terriers with 3 goals including the game winner on Saturday in the regional final. Rodrigues is certainly proving to the idiots/ Hobey Baker Award voters why they were so wrong about leaving him out of the Hobey Finalists even as he was/is second in the country in points. His third goal of the weekend was beautiful as he toe dragged past a defender before absolutely embarrassing the Duluth goalie who may still have not reacted to the laser he let off. Friday night's hero was Danny O'Regan who buried a rebound off a Jack Eichel shot in OT after O'Regan got robbed by Yale goalie Alex Lyon earlier in OT and robbed by the post at the end of regulation.

The Terriers now return to the Frozen Four for the first time in 2009 as they prepare to win their 6th national title. The runner ups in the Frozen Four are North Dakota, Providence College and Nebraska Omaha. UNO and PC will play the consolation game next Thursday at 5:00 before the BU/ North Dakota game at 8:30.

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.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Weekend Recap: Yawn, another championship on the good end of Comm Ave.

The 2014-2015 BU Terriers continue to fill up the trophy case at Agganis Arena. The Terriers swept UNH and UMass Lowell to destroy any hope for postseason hockey in the Merrimack Valley this season. Jack Eichel lead the Terriers with four goals over the two games. Friday night was not the best execution from the Terriers especially the top line but the bottom three lines chipped in 2 goals and the defense was great at denying quality chances for UNH who continues to live up to their University of No Hardware persona. The Terriers then jumped out to a 2-0 and 3-1 lead on UMass Lowell Saturday night and never looked back. Eichel's two goals were just taking the puck hard to the net and being better than his opponent. The Hockey East Championship was the 8th for BU and the first in the Quinn HC era(first since 2009). The Terriers now have won every possible trophy this season including Beanpot, Hockey East regular season, Hockey East Tournament, Coach of the Year, Player of the Year, Rookie of the year. The list goes on and on and Quinnie wanted it that way.

It was easy to feel confident in the Lowell matchup in the championship game as goaltending is their weakness and BU does not lose to teams with bad goaltending. They just don't. The only way this team has lost this season is if a goalie stands on his head. No deficit is insurmountable for this group which they have proved again and again(but not recently because they are always leading).It certainly is great to have both banners up in the TD Garden again.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Weekend Preview: Hockey East Finals Preview

David Quinn told a very funny joke this week. He said "If we play UNH 10 times, they would win 5 and we would in 5". I laughed about this hours later about what a funny joke he told.  Anyways, this is what I said last week when I was looking past  the scrimmages with Merrimack because they are terrible.

"UNH is unlikely to beat Providence this weekend but would be an ideal semifinal opponent for the Terriers. Even though they have already beaten the Terriers, it was in a game where BU spotted them a 4-0 lead and still almost won/ would have won with some good bounces going their way. The UNH goaltending situation has been stabilized by Danny Tirone but not enough to slow down BU's top line of three potential Hobey Baker Finalists." -me

                                                      Photo credit to the Boston Globe

2014-2015 Hockey LEast Awards

With the Hockey East awards being announced tonight, it is time for the fourth annual Hockey Least Awards. We made our preseason predictions back in October and we weren't far off the mark on most of our selections. If you don't want to get made fun of in this post, you should stop sucking at hockey.

(Worst) Coach of the Year- John Micheletto(UMass)- Micheletto lead his team to a last place finish despite having two underclassmen already sign pro contracts within a week of their season ending. He clearly can recruit(besides goalie) but his lack of ability to install any type of defensive system whatsoever typically is not a good recipe for success. UMass literally tried to go chance for chance with a BU team loaded with draftpicks and highly skilled guys. You are never going to win that battle. Micheletto seems like he will return for next season which is mostly because UMass doesn't have an AD to fire him and as a Massachusetts tax payer I thank them for this because I don't want to be paying his buyout.

Our pre-season pick, Mike Cavanaugh, gave Micheletto a run for his money with a second half for the ages. Cavanaugh lead his team to a stellar 1-6 record over their last 7 games. None of which were against the top 5 teams in Hockey East.

Pre-season Pick- Mike Cavanaugh

(Worst) Player of the Year -Danny Linell(BC)- Linell played in an astounding 25 games for the Eagles this year at both forward and defense. He did little to help the team in either position notching one assist during the course of the season. This was coming off back to back seasons where he did record double digit points for the endangered species Eagles BC fans are very confident about their team getting better next year and they should be...because Danny Linell won't be on it. Linell really is the definition of addition by subtraction. For these reasons, he wins the anti-Eichel award. Congrats to Danny on a great career! You are so good below average at hockey.

Our-preason pick, Thomas Di Pauli, had a career year with 28 points so we missed on that one. Well played Di Pauli , well played.

Pre-season Pick- Thomas Di Pauli(ND)

Monday, March 16, 2015

Weekend Review: The wagon rolls along

The BU Terriers continue to dominate and humiliate their competition as they beat Merrimack College 6-2 and 5-0 in a controlled scrimmage that some people called a "Hockey East Quartefinal". The Terriers outshot Merrimack 101-46 over the course of two games and outscored them 11-2. Friday night, the Terriers were paced by two goals from Jack Eichel who scored his 20th of the year as did Danny O'Regan who made a great move in on the rush off a great pass from Evan Rodrigues. The best way to describe the Terriers effort this weekend was dominant. If this team plays with the same mentality for 60 minutes throughout the postseason, they will not lose a game.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Weekend Preview: BU enjoys double bye, awaiting opponent in HE semifinals

The BU Terriers are enjoying their second consecutive "bye" week of the Hockey East Tournament this week as 6 other teams battle for the 3 other semi final spots. Out of those 6 teams, BU could only face 4 of them in a semifinal. Those four teams are UNH, UVM, Notre Dame and UMass Lowell. As a BU fan you definitely should be pulling for UNH as that would be the easiest path to the final aka a triple bye to the HE final. UVM, Notre Dame, and Lowell all present stiffer challenges defensively to the talented BU team that will have two players over 50 points after this weekend's two scrimmages against Merrimack (BU will count points for these scrimmages just like Maine did with Paul Kariya and his "100 point season 91 point season except these games technically count so BU isn't making stuff up like Maine with Kariya). Senior Evan Rodrigues currently sits at 49 points while future Hobey Baker Award winner Jack Eichel sits at 55 points. Merrimack will provide BU some good live play before the semifinal round but the BU defensive corps may need to get some extra work in practice next week as Merrimack was 11th in scoring in Hockey East this past season and don't seem to pose much of a threat offensively unless you are Clay Witt in OT.
Photo Credit: Michelle Jay/Daily Free Press

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Hockey East Officiating Regular Season Stats

Welcome to this year's Hockey East officiating stats post. Contrary to popular belief, Hockey East refs really aren't that bad. There are a few who should do less games/be fired but that will the case with any league.  The league's penalty minutes called have steadily dropped in the time since last season and the numbers here will prove that. They have also dropped since the first half. This is all a great sign if you are a Hockey East fan as I haven't heard a single person call for more penalties. Granted if the refs put BU on the powerplay a few more times, they may have gone undefeated(Penalty minutes were 140-129 against BU this regular season).

Obviously, this isn't a flawless way to track penalties called by each individual ref but the average over the course of the year gives a decent indicator of which refs call the most penalties.

Hockey East Refs-Average 20.1 pms/game, -3.54 penalty minutes/game from 2013-2014 season
* If you include the two line brawls (BC/MC, MC/UNH), the average goes up to 20.68 but it is still a significant drop.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Weekend Recap: Regular Season Hockey East Champs

This weekend , the #4 BU Terriers completed their regular season schedule with a home and home versus Northeastern. Both teams were coming off the emotional OT victory last Monday in the Beanpot final.  BU won that game in OT on a Matt Grzelcyk goal because it was the Beanpot and that's where winners find a way to win and losers find a way to lose. Friday night may have been the worst defensive effort from the Terriers this season as they were pinned in their own zone throughout the game. They faced deficits of 3-0 and 6-2 but still gave themselves a chance to win after Evan Rodrigues' goal of the game made it 6-5 with just under six minutes left. Three out of the five BU goals did come on the powerplay as both Northeastern and BU finished the game 3/4 on the powerplay. BU could never get the equalizer as a goal from Brien Diffley was called off with about ten minutes left which would have made it 6-5 at the time. The referees blew the goal off for a creas violation even though it appeared Matt Lane was neither in the crease or in contact with Clay Witt. The referee pair of Scott Hansen and Tim Low are generally very good and two of the better ones in the league but it appeared they blew this call even though they could see it on replay.

Matt O'Connor allowed 5 goals and was pulled in the second period but none of them appeared to be his fault. Connor LaCouvee played well in relief even though he was eventually given the loss for allowing the sixth goal, which came on a 5 on 3 powerplay. Overall, it was a rough night for just about everyone on the roster who wasn't named Rodrigues, Eichel or O'Regan. The positives from this game is the team's belief that they can come back from any deficit no matter the score or the time remaining. Obviously, you want to avoid those types of situations but you have to love the fight in this team no matter what the situation is. They have bounced back strong from these types of games in the past and did so again Saturday night.