Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Guest Post from @BurntBoats

Editor's Note: This is a guest post from @burntboats on twitter and you should take the time to read it if you are a BU hockey fan or if you root for another college team and want to become depressed.

If you’ve been following @BurntBoats for any period of time you know by now that possession stats have proven to be a valuable tool when evaluating hockey teams (if you haven’t and you want to learn, tweet at me and I’ll send you links to things written by people smarter than me). Obviously Eichel is a generational talent and comparing what he did to the prior year’s team is beyond unfair, so I have been comparing this season’s 2nd, 3rd, and 4th lines to the prior year’s entire roster on twitter all season, this is my final comparison:

BU 2013-14 possession [5v5 Corsi] (35 games): 44.8%

Now who were the key players from 2013-14 who weren’t on the lines 2-4 in 2014-15?

Half of Baillargeon (Mono)
Half of Ahti (split 14-15 on 1st and 2nd lines)
O’Regan (1st line all of 14-15)
Noonan (graduation)
Half of Rodrigues (split 14-15 on 1st and 2nd lines)
Grzelcyk is a wash as he missed almost half of 2013-14 with an injury and likely spent about half of his 2014-15 with the 1st line.

So this year’s 2nd-4th line lost 3.5 of the best players from last year’s team, they and a handful of role players were replaced by a rotation of four freshman forwards and four more freshman defensemen. This year’s group had the advantage of playing against easier opponents than last year, as this year’s 1st line took up the majority of other teams’ top unit’s ice time. They had the disadvantage of score effects from playing with a lead most of the time, instead of from behind.

All these factors work to somewhat counterbalance each other, my rough educated guess is their net effect on possession is slightly positive, but under 2%.  So if this year BU’s 2nd-4th lines were around 46% that would be equivalent to last year, if they were at 48% that would represent a substantial but reasonable improvement, anything over that would be quite the turnaround.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Terrier Hockey Offseason Recap

A lot has happened in the last month or so of the offseason of BU hockey with more still to come later this summer.

1. Now former Terrier goalie Matt O'Connor has had a busy month of May as he has graduated from BU(in 3 years) and signed a two year entry level deal with the Ottawa Senators. Ottawa always seemed like the favorite for the Toronto native as he could go there and compete for playing time right away as well as play somewhere close to his family. Congrats to Matt on his new deal and best of luck moving forward.

2. Charlie Coyle, Nick Bonino and Jack Eichel showed the world what BU hockey was about at the World Championships. All three Terriers played pivotal roles on a team that took home Bronze over in Prague. It was certainly great to see them all contribute and help lead their country to a medal. Eichel definitely proved that he belongs with NHL talent throughout this tournament. This doesn't mean it's a sure thing he is leaving BU since there is NHL talent throughout the BU roster but no fan with a functional brain can fault him if he did leave for the NHL.

3. BU received commitments from Brady Tkachuk and Max Prawdzik. Tkachuk is the youngest son of former Terrier and NHL star Keith Tkachuk. He is slated to play for the USNTDP the next few seasons and will most likely arrive on Comm Ave in 2017. He was drafted by the London Knights of the OHL where his older brother just committed to play but it appears that many people believe he will keep his commitment to play for the Terriers. Prawdzik will be arriving at BU this fall to join the competition in net along with sophomore Connor LaCouvee and redshirt junior Sean Maguire. It will be an open competition in net as none of the goalies have started regularly at the NCAA level. Maguire has the most experience and would be the favorite in my eyes but it all depends how well he recovers from taking a full year off.