Chat about College Hockey
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INCH Archive: Chats
Mike Eidelbes (2:30 PM)
Good Thursday afternoon, and welcome to another half-hour of college hockey chat on ESPN.com's The Show! It's another open-mike night (no pun intended) so throw any questions my way and I'll tackle as many as I can over the next 30 minutes.
Andrew (NY, NY)
Your Hobey tracker this week lists three candidates outside of the WCHA. Is this finally the year when the Hobey goes to another conference? And for that matter, the national title?
Mike Eidelbes (2:33 PM)
That's a tough question to handle barely a month into the season. In the last two weeks, we've dropped both Jonathan Toews from North Dakota and Wisconsin's Brian Elliott from the Hobey Tracker Big Board. In Toews' case, it's because of injury. And Elliott hasn't played badly, but he doesn't have the wins to show for it ... yet.
Mike Eidelbes (2:34 PM)
The bottom line is, there's still a lot of time for candidates to emerge. We haven't even mentioned a Minnesota Hobey hopeful yet -- heck, who would you pick at this point?
Bill (South Burlington, VT)
Greetings oh wise and great anaylsts of college hockey. Wouldst thou enlighten us on the biggest surprise of the season? Is it Les Irlandais de Notre Dame? Les Ours Noir de Maine? Or, perhaps Les Chiens de traineau de Michigan Technologie?
Mike Eidelbes (2:36 PM)
Any time we get a French-English question (as long as I can read the French part) it moves to the top of the queue.
Mike Eidelbes (2:38 PM)
I'm gonna stick with Michigan Tech ... err, Les Chiens de traineau de Michigan Technologie. We could see signs of Notre Dame's improvement last season in Jeff Jackson's first year, and Maine is playing like Maine -- good goaltending and a lot of balance. Who expected Michigan Tech sweep Vermont, or score like they did against Alaska Fairbanks last weekend?
Mike Eidelbes (2:39 PM)
By the way, the full name for Notre Dame is actually the University of Notre Dame du Lac. Wonder if Beano Cook knows that...
Early season wins over BU, DU, and Colgate prove the new-look Engineers are for real. How many spots above the preseason rank of 9th in the ECACHL is RPI going to end up climbing? P.S. Puckman rules!
RPI is coming off wins over Colgate and Union this past week, has Seth Appert turned this program around?
Mike Eidelbes (2:41 PM)
The Engineers fans are pumped, eh? I wouldn't make Frozen Four reservations just yet, but Appert -- whom I've known for years -- has RPI playing well. They've got a few things working in their favor right now: two pretty good goaltenders, the return of Kirk McDonald, and the fact that they're playing a system their long-time opponents haven't seen.
Mike Eidelbes (2:42 PM)
We'll get a better sense of where RPI as the ECACHL schedule picks up. But they're on the upswing. Get your season tix, now, Troy, N.Y.!
Stephen (Rochester, NY)
How long before RIT gets things going at the Division 1 level?
Mike Eidelbes (2:45 PM)
The key for RIT will be to keep some -- not all -- of the top-end talent to stay in the area and play for the Tigers. If they can convince a Gionta or a Chris Collins-type to come there, they'll be in good shape. The Buffalo-Rochester-Syracuse corridor is quickly becoming a solid recruiting base, and the fertile Ontario grounds aren't far away.
Mike Eidelbes (2:46 PM)
Also, I like Wayne Wilson as a coach -- he's been up for a few D-I jobs in the past. I think they'll eventually be an upper-echilon Atlantic Hockey team.
Jim - New Haven, CT
After a good first weekend, how do you think Yale will do the rest of the year?
Mike Eidelbes (2:49 PM)
Optimism abounds in the ECACHL this week! Yale's wins are good for confidence and momentum, but talent-wise they still lag behind the rest of the conference. I will say this -- they've got a good goaltender in Alec Richards, and Keith Allain behind the bench in the Whale Tail, he'll continue to improve.
Tim (Massapequa, NY)
What do you think BU has to do to pester Ben Bishop this coming Saturday? Also, what weaknesses did you find with them in their loss to Lowell last week?
Mike Eidelbes (2:53 PM)
For starters, they've got to get more than the 18 shots on goal they attempted in the loss to UML. Maine is on an incredible roll right now, so I think BU needs to control the puck and be patient.
Where is the Frozen Four this year?
Mike Eidelbes (2:54 PM)
If I have to tell you, you can't come.
No love for my Huskies upending the wolverines? Cronin has this group on the up and up, mark my words they make the NCAA's in 3 years.
Mike Eidelbes (2:57 PM)
How about the job Brad Theissen did in goal at Yost Saturday? 45 saves is a solid night. I agree, Frank -- Cronin's got these guys moving in the right direction and they've got some good young talent there.
John (Colorado Springs, CO)
Hey Mike, Gopher fan here in CC Tiger land ... just wanted to hear (read) your thoughts on the top gopher players this year. Johnson is the #1 NHL draft pick but appears no better than Bariball or Okposo at this point. Are the three close to equally talented, or is it too early to tell - or are factors like the linemates making a big difference?
Mike Eidelbes (2:58 PM)
In terms of talent, Johnson has the edge just because the skills he brings to defense are so rare.
Mike Eidelbes (3:00 PM)
That said, scouts think Okposo is a Jarome Iginla-esque power forward. Barriball has been the surprise. I don't think anyone expected him to be the goal-scoring threat he's been thus far.
Pioneers04, LA, CA
I'm doin the Roadie next week to Madison, any ideas of what to do during the day saturday, other than rest up for the post game revelry?
Mike Eidelbes (3:00 PM)
Go to Prime Quarter for an early dinner and grill your own steak. Top shelf ...
Mike Eidelbes (3:01 PM)
That's our time for this week, but before we go, yes, I think Dartmouth makes the NCAA Tournament this year. Thanks for all the questions! See you at the rink ...