Chat about College Hockey
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INCH Archive: Chats
Joe Gladziszewski (1:29 PM)
Welcome to our weekly discussion of college hockey on The Show. Inside College Hockey writers and editors are here to discuss the sport for the next 30 minutes. We look forward to taking your questions.
Justin, Stillwater, MN
Do you see the Golden Gophers going through a rebuilding phase now with the 3 terrible losses to end the season, and now with Ryan Poltulny leaving early?
Jess Myers (1:31 PM)
A friend at Minnesota told me yesterday about what a "crappy" season it was for the Gophers. I thought that only in Dinkytown is a MacNaughton Cup-winning season that ends short of the Frozen considered "crappy." As to your question, there's been a saying in the WCHA for years that the Gophers don't "recruit," they "select." In that vein, I see Lucia reloading, not rebuilding, next season with an outstanding freshman class, and the possibility of familiar faces like Tyler Hirsch and Nate Hagemo back in uniform. I'm most interested to see what Lucia does with David Fischer, the 2006 Minnesota Mr. Hockey winner from Apple Valley, Minn. Fischer badly wants to skate for the Gophers next season, but his coaches might determine a year in the USHL would be beneficial.
How about those Crusaders stunning Minnesota, What a great finish. Does the future look bright for Holy Cross mens hockey?
Joe Gladziszewski (1:33 PM)
It's a great win for the Crusaders and shows that Atlantic Hockey and College Hockey America are certainly capable of playing competitively against prominent programs. As far as the future of Holy Cross, they lose three key players to graduation in Tyler McGregor, Tony Quesada, and Pierre Napert-Frenette. Plus, coach Paul Pearl will likely be sought after by programs seeking a new direction. Will he stay at his alma mater or make a move to a bigger school?
I asked you guys last week that what would Elliot's chances of winning the Hobey be if he recorded two shut-outs in the regionals and Poltuny gets shut down. Well, both happened. What are Elliot's chances over Carle and Collins now? Give me a percentage please. thanks
Mike Eidelbes (1:35 PM)
I don't know about percentages, but if I worked at the Mirage in Vegas, I'd put Carle's odds at 2:1, Elliott at 4:1 and Collins at 6:1. Carle's season was amazing from a historical perspective. He's the first WCHA player to be named Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year in the same year -- not Leopold, Chelios, Tom Kurvers, Mike Crowley or James Patrick. He scored the most points for a defenseman since Crowley a decade ago. And the fact that he's able to jump from college directly to the NHL blue line, which is far tougher for a d-man than a forward or goalie, speaks volumes about the depth of his talent.
Joe Gladziszewski (1:36 PM)
There's a lot of Hobey chatter among today's questions. For those who haven't heard the news, the Hobey Baker Hat Trick finalists were announced on Wednesday and they are Brian Elliott from Wisconsin, Matt Carle from Denver, and Chris Collins from Boston College.
BC - Jen
How do you see the BC and ND match up
Nate Ewell (1:37 PM)
I'm most interested to see how BC contends with North Dakota's speed up front. There's a lot of youth there, between BC's D and the Sioux forwards, but I think the edge has to go to North Dakota. The Eagles will need to slow them down to advance.
So, next year do you guys think Michigan has a shot at the title?
Mike Eidelbes (1:39 PM)
As long as the Wolverines have guys like T.J. Hensick, Andrew Cogliano and Jack Johnson in the fold, they'll always have a shot. But they need to improve their goaltending, and I think you'll see a healthy competition for the starting job in the preseason. Depth was an issue, too -- their top two lines and top two defensive pairs can compete with anyone in the nation, but the third and fourth lines and third D pair didn't bring a whole lot to the table. If Red Berenson can answer those questions, they'll be in the mix for the championship.
Joe (Arlington, VA)
Looks like Hockey East put together a nice showing despite a lot of negativity surrounding the strength of the league during the season. Odds of HE walking away with the title?
Joe Gladziszewski (1:41 PM)
With two of the four teams remaining, the odds would seem to be 50-50 at this point. I really like Maine's style of play and how it measures up at this time of the year. The Black Bears have a huge challenge by facing Wisconsin in the semifinals. The Badgers were probably the best team in the nation throughout the course of the regular season, and they'll have a lot of support in the stands because the games are being played in Milwaukee.
Dear I ask, but is there a possibility that Elliot forgoes his senior year to join the Senators?
Jess Myers (1:43 PM)
I have no idea what team representatives and family advisors are whispering in Elliott's ear. With that said, I would imagine that his future plans may hinge on what the Badgers do in Milwaukee at the Frozen. If Elliott's junior season ends with him hoisting the Hobey and the NCAA championship trophy, I would think the temptation to jump at a pro hockey paycheck would increase exponentially. If neither of those things happen in Milwaukee, unfinished business might bring him back to Madison for another go-around. Although, Ryan Potulny proved yesterday that unfinished business can be forgotten when a check for $1.6 million is waved in your face.
Michael (New York, NY)
If Wisconsin wins the next two games with shutouts would that qualify as one of the greatest feats in not just college but hockey history.
Nate Ewell (1:44 PM)
That would be amazing, Michael, no question, but don't get ahead of yourself. The Badgers have three straight shutouts: against a flat Minnesota team, an overmatched Bemidji team and an offensively challenged Cornell team. I don't mean to take away from an incredible run, but if they shut out the teams they would face in Milwaukee, that would be more remarkable than the three they've strung together to this point.
Do you see Wisconsin's 3OT win affecting their confidence and momentum at all?
Joe Gladziszewski (1:46 PM)
To me it can only help their confidence. Instead of being shaken or nervous by a close game, it proved that they can battle and work hard to win a game in sudden-death. If they find themselves in an overtime game this weekend they'll know that they've recently won one.
Tony (Berwick, ME)
Ben Bishop has been servicable, but everyone knows the importance of having a hot goalie when it comes down to crunch time. Maine has overcome Ben's rebounds by scoring a lot of goals early with an uptempo game, but the opposing team comes back as the UMaine underclassmen wear down going into the third period. Can Maine win against the field of frozen four teams like this, or will UMaine need Ben to play above his ability?
Joe Gladziszewski (1:49 PM)
After watching Maine last weekend, I can see where you might be concerned about Bishop. He has allowed a soft goal from time to time but he also makes huge saves at key times. One of Maine's keys is keeping the puck at the other end of the rink, and they'll look to forecheck and keep pressure on the Badgers defense and Brian Elliott. I can't remember having two goalies with their size playing against each other in a big game. Shooters will need to be at their best to crack these two netminders.
I saw UND dominate Wisconsin 2 weeks ago in St. Paul. They are quick and explosive. It seems to me that they are the team to beat. Also thanks for talking about college hockey...all I hear is Big Dance talk.
Jess Myers (1:50 PM)
I was at that game too, and I woudln't say the Sioux dominated the Badgers (Wisconsin did lead 2-0 at one point), but it was a very good game. For whatever part of the college hockey world that isn't sick of the WCHA, that would be a great title game. I guess I'd give the edge to NoDak's offense over Bucky's defense.
Tom, Collegeville MN
Who would you say the rookie of the year is? Do you think Kessel was overhyped compared to some other outstanding freshman like Oshie or Jack Johnson?
Joe Gladziszewski (1:53 PM)
It's been another great year for first-year players and this class is spectacular. There are standout forwards and defensemen and some goalies have been great as well. It will probably come down to Oshie and Kessel -- INCH will announce its choice soon -- but I think Jack Johnson has the best professional future ahead of him. The Hurricanes have a rock-solid blueliner to build around.
Do you see Miami remaining as a national hockey power in the coming years (as they move into a new arena), or was their regular season success this year more of a product of a down year in general from the rest of the CCHA?
Joe Gladziszewski (1:55 PM)
I think the RedHawks will be at or near the top of the CCHA for the immediate future. They've gradually improved in recent seasons and are not the type of team that had one great year and might slip back down the standings. A new facility will help attract even more recruits to Oxford.
paul, ft laudedale
Jess, tell me what has happend to my beloved Michigan State Program? remeber the good ole days W/ Ron Mason and ccha titles
Jess Myers (1:56 PM)
MSU is another one I'd put in that category of "glass is half full" teams, along with Miami and Minnesota. The Spartans had a great year and made a nice playoff run (and, if you rembmer, won the CCHA playoff title). I know expectations are high in East Lansing, but I see many more positives than negatives this year.
Joe Gladziszewski (1:57 PM)
Also, Michigan State's young forwards are fantastic. Many of the key contributors to MSU's success were freshmen and sophomores, and freshman goaltender Jeff Lerg was excellent all year.
Joe Gladziszewski (1:59 PM)
Thanks for all of the great questions and be sure to follow Inside College Hockey throughout the week. There are semifinal previews for your perusal and we'll be rolling out player interviews, podcasts, and end-of-season coverage all week leading up to the Frozen Four. We're just seven days from Boston College and North Dakota dropping the puck in Milwaukee.