Chat about College Hockey
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INCH Archive: Chats
Buzzmaster (2:25 PM)
The gang from Inside College Hockey will be here in a few minutes. Send in your questions N-O-W!
Mike Eidelbes (2:29 PM)
Welcome to another Thursday afternoon of college hockey on "The Show!" I'm Inside College Hockey editor Mike Eidelbes, and I'm ready for your questions.
Who is the best goalie in college hockey?
Mike Eidelbes (2:31 PM)
Tony! How's Dawn? I digress ... Wisconsin's Brian Elliott gets the nod right now based on the stellar numbers he put together last season and the start he's off to this year. He'll have to be at his best with all the injuries the Badgers have suffered early on.
Mike Eidelbes (2:32 PM)
That said, Maine's Ben Bishop and Vermont's Joe Fallon are also off to terrific starts. It'll be interesting to watch Bishop this weekend when the Black Bears head to North Dakota.
Any chance of Jack Johnson coming back to U of M next year?
Mike Eidelbes (2:34 PM)
I think there's a chance and Johnson has maintained his goal is to win a national title with the Wolverines. Honestly, I thought he'd sign last year with Carolina ... the 'Canes wanted him to step right into their NHL lineup.
Mike Eidelbes (2:36 PM)
Now that Johnson's been dealt to the Kings -- a team that's committed to a real youth movement -- I think they'll get a deal done with him after his college season ends, and make him the centerpiece of their blueline.
Vinny (Elmont, LI)
Can you tell something positive about my alma mater, Union College of the ECAC?
Mike Eidelbes (2:39 PM)
I can tell you three positives about Union. 1) They've got one of the nation's best young coaches in Nate Leaman, 2) Justin Mrazek has been very sharp in goal thus far, taking over for Kris Mayotte, and 3) their nickname is the Skating Dutchmen. What's not to like about that?
Tim (Burnsville MN)
Can Minnesota's talent and potentional make up for their youth and poor goaltending? They have a bunch of high draft picks and a stellar freshman class, but Maine easily handled them in the opener despite the close score.
Mike Eidelbes (2:40 PM)
Wow, you're a little tough on the Gophs, aren't you? I thought they looked pretty good in the second period of the Maine game.
Mike Eidelbes (2:42 PM)
To answer your question, I think Minnesota can certainly make a run at a national championship, but it'll take them a little time to come together as a team. Not only do they have all the freshmen (how good are Erik Johnson and Okposo, by the way?) but Briggs hasn't played yet and Tyler Hirsch is back after an absence of more than a year. Judge them in February, not in October.
Who do you think has the most well rounded, deepest team in college hockey? My vote would be for Boston University. While most teams that have one, maybe two lines that score and one line that is really good on defense, BU has four lines that contribute every game. While we do not have a "game breaker" per say, everyone contributed. Take the RPI game, our first line did not have a point on the night, but the third line stepped it up came up with the points needed to at least tie the game.
Mike Eidelbes (2:44 PM)
Joe Gladziszewski, our ECACHL writer, is going to handle this question ...
Joe Gladziszewski (2:48 PM)
Boston University certainly fits that mold, but you've also got to look at Clarkson. They're undefeated in four games and 12 different players have scored goals for them already this season. Six Golden Knights are averaging at least a point per game, and potential stars like Shawn Weller and Shea Guthrie aren't leading the way. Their offense is extremely deep. If David Leggio continues to play well in goal, this could be a big year for the Golden Knights.
Mike Eidelbes (2:49 PM)
BC's pretty good, too, Kellie. But you don't want to hear that from me.
Mike, how do you see UNH's season playing out? Is Umile under pressure to produce an elite year?
Mike Eidelbes (2:51 PM)
UNH is like Maine in a lot of ways (you probably didn't want to hear that, either). Regardless of who they lost from the previous season or who've they've got coming in, they're always in line for an NCAA berth at the end of the year. And the media always underrates them, and they always prove us wrong.
When will the SEC see the light and get on board with hockey? If their such a power conference then they need to step up to the ice!
Mike Eidelbes (2:52 PM)
Hopefully soon. I want to see hockey played between hedges instead of plexiglass. And checkerboard goalmouths.
Mike, sell me on sending my child to play college hockey, instead of allowing them to play junior. I need your feedback because there are a lot of ex-NHL'ers coaching junior now and that seems more like a natural jump to the show then college!
Mike Eidelbes (2:55 PM)
We get this question all the time and, honestly, some people are cut out for college and some aren't. There's no right way or wrong way to make it to the NHL. If you're good enough to play at that level, the scouts will find you if you're playing in Mongolia.
Mike Eidelbes (2:57 PM)
That said, I think the college route offers a couple advantages. One is that there is such a wide range of ages in college -- you can have guys from 17 all the way to 25, so you're battling against bigger, stronger, smarter, more mature guys night in and night out. The second is weight training -- most college teams spend 3-4 days a week in the weight room after practice instead of on a bus from Kamloops to Medicine Hat.
Hey, what's going on out @ UMass-Amherst? A couple years back they looked on the right track but they seem to have regressed?
Mike Eidelbes (2:59 PM)
Jeff Howe, our Hockey East scribe, tackles this one ...
Jeff Howe (2:59 PM)
When UMass made its run to the Hockey East championship game, the Minutemen were led by Tommy Pock, et al. There was a ton of experienced talent mixed with a hot goalie in Gabe Winer. The team fell off when a few of those players, like Greg Mauldin, decided to turn pro early. UMass is still on the right track under Don Cahoon, but growth in Hockey East is still a very difficult process when recruiting against BC, BU, UNH and Maine.
Mike Eidelbes (3:00 PM)
Time for one more question ... and an answer, too.
Jason (WMU alum)
Who are the assistant coaches most deserving of a head coaching job for the 2007-2008 season?
Mike Eidelbes (3:01 PM)
Looking for a replacement for Jim Culhane already, are you? There are a number of deserving assistants out there, but if I was an A.D. with a coaching vacancy, I'd track down ex-NoDak coach Dean Blais and gauge his interest.
Mike Eidelbes (3:02 PM)
That's it for this week ... thanks for all the great questions. See you at the rink this weekend!