Chat about College Hockey
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INCH Archive: Chats
Joe Gladziszewski (2:32 PM)
Welcome to another college hockey chat at ESPN.com. Inside College Hockey writers from across the nation are ready to take your questions. We hope you had a great holiday weekend and got to take in some of the exciting games.
John (Burlington, VT)
How does Maine lose three games in a row, and only drop 2 total spots in the rankings?
Joe Gladziszewski (2:34 PM)
Well, we also considered the first nine games of the year. They showed more consistency in that stretch than most other teams have shown at any point all year. The rankings certainly reflect slumps and streaks, but we also keep the big picture in mind.
Andrew (New York, NY)
Whats your prediction for the BU-BC matchup this weekend? Does Curry play both games even though he started on Tuesday?
Jeff Howe (2:36 PM)
Curry absolutely plays both games, no question. BU is entering this series with an extra edge after last year's 5-0 loss in the regional, but the Terriers just can't score right now. Percentages call for a series split, but be careful of a BC sweep.
Monty (Niagara U, NY)
The purple eagles played hard against some mediocre ECAC opponents in rout to winning the RPI tournament....But can they be the holy cross of the NCAA tournament, is the high scoring a factor?
Joe Gladziszewski (2:38 PM)
Fortunately I've had the chance to see two Niagara games already this season and their top line is sensational. If they were to make it to the NCAA Tournament, I am sure that there aren't many teams out there that would be too exciting about playing against the Purps.
who is the best team in hockey east at the end of the season?
Jeff Howe (2:39 PM)
At the end of the regular season, it's hard to argue against UNH right now because of the way the team can score. But goaltending is a concern for any type of postseason run. BC has the most talent, so if the Eagles can get a run going, it might be them.
Tim (St. Paul MN)
Do you think Minnesota can keep it up for the duration until the tournament, or are they at risk getting tired with so many young players not used to the long season?
Jess Myers (2:40 PM)
Fatigue is always a risk, especially when key players like Jay Barriball are coming staight out of high school hockey and its 30-game season, as opposed to the 40- or 60-game slates elsewhere. On the flip side, I think that Lucia is conserving Kellen Briggs' energy by splitting his goalies now and may go more with the veteran down the stretch.
Dont the college hockey kids play for beans or something?
Joe Gladziszewski (2:41 PM)
Only the wicked good blue chippahs.
Sully (Boston, MA)
What can we make of the ECAC this year? Harvard, Colgate, and (to a lesser extent) Cornell have struggled out of the gate - are any of them still real contenders? And is Quinnipiac for real?
Joe Gladziszewski (2:43 PM)
Obviously there's still a lot to figure out about the ECACHL this year. After a few weeks I think that Clarkson, Cornell, and Quinnipiac will all finish in the top four, I just don't know what order. I think the stuggles thus far by Colgate and Harvard are legitimate. It's been an extended period of time. Both need to find a way to get some momentum. Whenever something good happens, they seem to slip again.
Gerard (Houston, TX)
Will Michigan Tech be a middle of the pack WCHA team this year or are they going to come back to reality and battle for cellar dweller? Thanks.
Jess Myers (2:44 PM)
The Huskies are playing well at home, getting great goaltending and have scoring so balanced that you can't key on one player or one line. Barring a rash of injuries, there's nothing I've seen to suggest that the Huskies won't battle for home ice or better all season.
How does RIT look this year?
Joe Gladziszewski (2:47 PM)
Better. Many of their better players are freshmen and sophomores as the Tigers are now in their second full season at the Division I level. They've already matched their win total from last season against Division I opponents, and it's not even December yet. They're not eligible for the NCAA or Atlantic Hockey tournaments this season, but will be in the spring of 2008.
After being pushed around the last couple of games, RPI is set to play it's first league series in about month this weekend. Will they turn it around, or is this more than a 'funk' for the Engineers?
Joe Gladziszewski (2:50 PM)
In many cases, it only takes one bounce to make the difference between a win or a loss. RPI's great start was partially due to new energy and new excitement around the program, and partially due to the Engineers getting some breaks on certain nights. I think they'll be in the middle ground when all is said and done ... maybe 7th or 8th in the ECACHL standings.
Joe Gladziszewski (2:50 PM)
... and isn't it interesting to note that things turned south for RPI after the revelation that Puckman was demoted?
Chris (Ithaca, NY)
Cornell split with Wayne State?? at Lynah Rink this weekend, that is unheard based on schafer's reign in Ithaca. Are they the elite of the ECAC and if so, is it a one bid league this year?
Joe Gladziszewski (2:53 PM)
I don't know that the ECACHL has an elite team, but Cornell will be fine in the long run. They've changed their style of play a little bit over the last few years. The concern is on the blueline, where the defense is very inexperienced, but I'm very impressed with Brendon Nash. For the league, I see at least two teams getting NCAA bids. The ECACHL has had a pretty strong non-conference record thus far.
Josh (Oklahoma City)
Who are some of the players that might be in the NHL next year?
Joe Gladziszewski (2:57 PM)
The hardest transition to make from the amateur or junior ranks to the NHL is at the defense position, but college hockey has two of the best pro prospects at that position in a long time. Minnesota freshman Erik Johnson (St. Louis Blues) and Michigan defenseman Jack Johnson (LA Kings) might make the jump next year. That depends on contracts of course, but we'd love to see them stay in college hockey for three or four years.
The defending champs are strugglin so far, have you seen anything that makes you think they can turn it around and give the NCAA tourney a run?
Jess Myers (2:58 PM)
I watched Joe Pavelski score his third goal in four games last not. Sadly for Badger fans, Joe plays for the San Jose Sharks now. That's as clear an indication of why Wisconsin is struggling. I think that they are a very sound team defensively, but with the schedule they have in the next six weeks, I don't know if Wisconsin will be able to even get into the top half of the WCHA standings by the end of the regular season. What a change from a year ago at this time, when it looked like Bucky couldn't lose.
Tom Tuttle (Tacoma)
Say something nice about the Union College Dutchmen. Anything?
Joe Gladziszewski (2:59 PM)
Nate Leaman is a great guy with a hard-working staff and he is a promising young coach. They've got some good young players. There's three nice things.
Any thoughts on the Minutemen's hot start, can they keep it up in HE and finally gain the prominence that we expected when Calhoon came aboard or is the recent 2 game slide indicative of what we have?
Jeff Howe (3:02 PM)
First of all, I didn't realize the Minutemen were trying to hire UConn's men's basketball coach (Jim Calhoun), but they are playing significantly better early this season than at anytime over the last two years. Jon Quick is excellent in net, and the improvement from guys like Kevin Jarman, Cory Quirk, and Mark Matheson is astounding.
Joe Gladziszewski (3:03 PM)
Thanks for taking the time to write, and we're sorry that we couldn't get to more questions. We'll be back next Thursday at 2:30 eastern for another chat. In the meantime, follow college hockey all season long at Inside College Hockey.