Chat about College Hockey
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INCH Archive: Chats
Joe Gladziszewski (2:30 PM)
Welcome to another chat here in The Show with writers from Inside College Hockey. The regular season is winding down and we're getting ready for playoffs. We're looking forward to taking your questions.
Ryan (Columbus, OH)
What do you think of Ohio State's chances of winning the CCHA Tournament? Would you consider this season a major disappointment?
Joe Gladziszewski (2:33 PM)
I'd call this season for Ohio State a minor disappointment, not a major one. Winning the CCHA will be a tough task because there are a lot of quality teams ahead of them in the standings. While all of them are beatable, winning two series and two more games in Joe Louis Arena is a tall order.
Rick, Veazie Maine
What do you think about Maine's Rob Bellamey. I know he is not a goal scorer in the line up but his physical presence i believe brings a lot to the table, therefore making him one of the most feared players in Hockey East.
Jeff Howe (2:34 PM)
Every team needs a few solid role players to be successful, and Bellamy fits that bill. No one wins with 12 high-flying, scoring forwards.
J. Olszewski (Dallas)
As a St. Lawrence alum, I'm happy with the Saints' success this year. How many ECAC teams do you see getting into the NCAA tournament? Thanks.
Joe Gladziszewski (2:36 PM)
It's going to be difficult for more than two teams from the ECACHL to get into the tournament. I think Clarkson will be in, as long as it advances to the league's championship weekend in Albany and wins one game there, either a semifinal or consolation. Otherwise, the winner of the tournament will get in via automatic qualifier. St. Lawrence, Dartmouth, Cornell and Quinnipiac have a chance to earn an at-large bid.
Drew (Lakewood CO)
I watched the Minnesota vs. Colorado College this past weekend, but Minnesota power play looks very weak, what are somethings that Minnesota can do to improve on its power play and just its overall play?
Jess Myers (2:38 PM)
Don Lucia, for years, has had one of the more lethal power play units in all of college hockey. But like you, I've noticed a drop-off recently, especially on the road. I don't know if this means a change in players is needed or if opposing coaches are just finding a way to beat Lucia's system. In any case, if your team is going to clinch its league title this weekend and looks like a lock for a #1 seed in the NCAAs, I wouldn't let worries about the power play keep you up at night.
Brendan (Boston, MA)
Hey guys, BU looked pretty good this weekend against UNH. What are the chances they can win the Hockey East Tourney and is it a stretch to see them in the frozen four? Thanks
Jeff Howe (2:40 PM)
This Hockey East tournament is wide open, and it's not necessarily a stretch to think that as many as six teams can win it, including BU. With John Curry and a great defense along with an offense that, at times, looks very potent, theTerriers have the recipe to make a lo ng tournament run. Plus, BU is 8-2-4 against ranked opponents this season.
Dartmouth is currently a "middle of the pack" team in the ECAC's. Contender or Pretender for another crown?
Joe Gladziszewski (2:42 PM)
Dartmouth is playing some of its best hockey of the year right now and has strung together some nice wins over the last month. This weekend will tell us a lot about Dartmouth. It's a big-game situation because they're playing a couple of good teams at home, and playing for a first-round playoff bye. We'll see how their big game performance is. It could definitely help them in the ECACHL tournament.
Matt (Minneapolis, MN)
With St.Cloud and Minnesota playing this weekend who do you think has more to prove? And also which team do you think has more depth? Predictions? Thanks
Jess Myers (2:44 PM)
As Minnesota only needs to win one of its last four games for the WCHA title, I'd say the Huskies have more to prove this weekend. The lack of a NCAA tournament win in the history of the SCSU program is the 800-pound elephant in the room for the Huskies and their fans, and they gear up for the playoffs with every intention of making a significant March (and maybe April) run this year. Minnesota clearly has more depth, but both teams are healthy and are evenly-matched. If it sounds like a cop-out, so be it, but I see the home team winning both games this weekend.
In your opinion what is better hockey to watch, the Beanpot or the Hockey East Championship?
Jeff Howe (2:45 PM)
The Hockey East championships are always a blast. The semifinal round is typically the best day of hockey all season because each team knows each other so well, and the intensity is higher because the teams are also fighting for an NCAA bid.
Bobby (Staten Island, New York)
Hey, who do you think is going to come out of the Atlantic Hockey League?? I think it will be Sacred Heart due to good goaltending.
Joe Gladziszewski (2:48 PM)
I'd agree with you right now that Sacred Heart is probably the favorite, but this tournament is hard to predict because every round is a single-elimination situation. Air Force has also impressed me this year, as well as Army early in the season. Regular-season leaders RIT are not eligible for the tourney this year, as you probably know.
I was wondering if you had some insight on DU's poor play over the last couple of weekends? Will the weekend off help them get back on track?
Jess Myers (2:49 PM)
The Pioneers recent struggles are a mystery, other than to say that Michigan Tech has had a much better season, and there's no shame in losing and tying in Houghton on Winter Carnival weekend. This late in the season, with a battle for third place on the line, the weekend of rest will do great things for Denver, but they're going to have little room for effort in the next four games, with red-hot North Dakota and then arch-rival Colorado College on the docket.
David Brown vs John Curry... when it comes time for the voters to submit, what will it come down to when they make their decision?? Trying to be completely objective as possible, I think a very important statistic that is being overlooked when pleading John Curry's case are the number of wins by 1 goal. I see this as both a lack of offensive support, but also as the ability for Curry to stop enough shots to add onto BU's already growing total of 9 ties.
Joe Gladziszewski (2:51 PM)
Every Hobey voter will apply different criteria to measure their performances. These two goalies might be the top two candidates right now, at least they are in INCH's eyes. Since the voting takes place after the NCAA regional, it will likely come down to how they play in their conference tournaments and NCAA regionals.
Shaun, Nashua NH
How do you see the hockey east tournament shaping up? Do you think UNH will remain on top or will BU,BC, or Maine remove them from the spot they've held all year? Any darkhorses?
Jeff Howe (2:53 PM)
UNH will earn the top seed, and BU and BC seem to be a lock for home ice. It should be interesting to see who takes the fourth spot since Vermont, Maine, and UMass are so tight. It's so hard to predict what will happen this season because the talent level is almost even. It wouldn't surprise me to see any of the top-seven teams advance to the semifinals, and that includes Northeastern. BC and Maine have looked dominant at times and dormant at others. BU has looked as good as any team over the last month while UNH has slipped a bit. Vermont's inconsistent offense still worries me, and I think UMass and NU are the best darkhorses. I'm reserving the right not to make a prediction.
How many teams are in the tournament? How many automatic and how many at large births are there?
Joe Gladziszewski (2:55 PM)
The champions of the six conference tournaments earn the automatic qualifiers to the NCAA Tournament. There are 10 at-large bids.
Crew (Ann Arbor, MI)
Does TJ Hensick still have a chance in the Hobey? With scoring so many points would you have to say because of sub par goaltending for Michigan that he is a big part in Michigan's success this year?
Joe Gladziszewski (2:57 PM)
Hensick absolutely has a chance. One of the things he has going in his favor is that he's a guy that has been a part of Hobey talk in past years. He's a known commodity. Many of the other candidates are relatively new names on the national scene. His point totals are very impressive. Again, Michigan's fate in the post-season will be a huge factor in his candidacy.
Joe (Princeton, NJ)
Thanks for taking so many ECACHL questions . With Clarkson and SLU coming to town this weekend, where are my beloved Tigers going to end if ... I am concerned that the North Country teams (especially Clarkson wanting revenge) are too much -- even though we have won 11 games (a fourth straight year of more wins)-- are we going to lose home ice?
Joe Gladziszewski (2:59 PM)
I think Princeton is safe for a home playoff series, even if they lose twice. The bottom four teams right now are playing series against each other and will probably split up some of the points. Yale and Brown are at RPI and Union. It's been another year of solid improvement for the Tigers.
Joe Gladziszewski (3:00 PM)
Thanks for all of the questions, and be sure to check out INCH tomorrow for our comprehensive conference notebooks. We'll be back next week to take more questions.