Chat about College Hockey
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INCH Archive: Chats
Joe Gladziszewski (2:29 PM)
Welcome to another college hockey chat on ESPN.com with the experts from Inside College Hockey. We're excited for the start (and continuation) of league playoffs this weekend, and will be chatting for the next 30 minutes.
Chuck (Durham, NH)
How much can we make of the BC-UNH series last weekend? UNH had things wrapped up and BC really wanted wins to solidify their PWR. Is it still safe to say BC is the better team right now?
Jeff Howe (2:30 PM)
BC is absolutely the better team right now. True, UNH couldn't gain anything by winning or losing last week, but that team certainly wanted to take care of business against a Hockey East rival. Look at it this way: If BC and UNH meet in the Hockey East final, who do you now think has more confidence heading into that game?
Will (Crookston, MN)
What do you see coming out of this weekend in the WCHA? Any upsets? I see the MSU-Mankato v. UND matchup interesting...
Justin, Stillwater, MN
Do you see any upsets in the first round of the WCHA playoffs? Does Wisconsin need to win the WCHA Final Five to get to the NCAA Tourney, and what do the Gophers need to do to win the WCHA Final Five?
Jess Myers (2:32 PM)
If I were to envision any upsets, it would be Wisconsin over Denver simply because the Badgers are so good defensively, and the Pioneers have been in a funk for a few weeks. For the series in Grand Forks, I anticipate the Mavs trying (and failing) to slow down NoDak's offense with physical play.
As a Gate' fan I can't deny that I am beyond dissapointed with our performance this season. With a preseason ranking in the top 25 as well as being the preseason favorites to win the ECAC I just cannot believe how far we have fallen from grace. (Whereas Notre Dame, preseason rank 8th in the CCHA, has been #1 in the country for over a month now) I'm just hoping our team, backed by Dekanich, is a sleeping giant ready to wake up around playoff time
Joe Gladziszewski (2:34 PM)
The regular season certainly didn't go the way that Colgate's team or fans expected. But, they've got the same roster and talent level that earned them that lofty preseason rep, and some recent changes in the line combinations seemed to spark the Raiders last weekend in the series win over Rensselaer.
Chris (Newton, MA)
Most team's that win the title get production from impact freshmen. Sneep, Smith, and Price all look ok but nothing phenomenal this year for BC. Is this going to hurt the Eagles in their national title hopes or can they do it with Schneider and special teams?
Jeff Howe (2:35 PM)
They can do it with their offense and Schneider. If you think freshmen are the key to BC's success, you obviously don't weigh the experience they had in making last year's run into the equation. Experience matters more than impact freshmen.
whats Ryan Duncan's chances at the Hobey
Joe Gladziszewski (2:37 PM)
Quite good right now. One thing that really helped his candidacy is the timing of his recent surge. He got hot, and North Dakota started winning, in the second half of the year. Some other players put up big totals early on, but their teams slipped toward the end (Leveille, for example). Duncan is at the top of the list for many Hobey voters, and is ranked atop INCH's Hobey Tracker for the second week in a row.
The close of the season was brutal for DU. Do you think the rally at CC for the tie last saturday will be enough to get them back on track? If they get past Wisconsin will that be enough to earn a spot in the NCAA tourney?
Jess Myers (2:40 PM)
The rally was a nice start, but one minute of inspiring play in a weekend isn't enough to say things are all OK at DU. If the Pioneers can beat Wisconsin, I'm relatively confident they'll get an invite to the dance. And as the host school, they'll get sent to the Denver regional.
Craig (Norwich, CT)
When does the Hobey Baker Award winner get announced? Do either of the Sacred Heart University players have any realistic shot? Thanks.
Joe Gladziszewski (2:42 PM)
The winner of the award will be announced on April 6, the Friday between the semifinals and championship at the Frozen Four. None of the Sacred Heart players has a realistic chance at winning the trophy, but could be among the top-10 finalists.
Mark, Burnsville, MN
Is there a better line in the nation than Oshie, Toews, and Duncan of North Dakota? Also, do you think the WCHA will coast to another national title?
Jess Myers (2:44 PM)
I'll answer both questions with a no. NoDak's top line, in my opinion, is the best in college hockey. But offensive diversity will be the key if the Sioux have designs on a NCAA title. As for the Frozen, there are three or four WCHA teams that could keep the streak alive, but it's not going to be easy. In fact, I'll be bold and say the streak stops in St. Louis.
What lower seed has the best chance to win their quarterfinal ECAC matchup? QU, Harvard, Colgate, or Princeton
Joe Gladziszewski (2:46 PM)
For me, it's Colgate, even though they're playing the top seed. They've got some star players and lots of playoff experience by playing in the ECACHL Championship Weekend for three straight years. St. Lawrence had a terrific regular season and found a way to win close games, but there's not much margin for error when playing that style.
Gerard (Houston, TX)
I enjoy listening to the podcasts every week. They also help with getting through the work day, which is nice. What are the chances the WCHA gets 5 teams into the tourney? Does CC or Tech have to sweep to improve their profiles or will just winning the series be enough? Thanks.
Joe Gladziszewski (2:49 PM)
Thanks for listening to the podcast. The chances for the WCHA getting five teams in begins with Colorado College and/or Michigan Tech, and probably winning the play-in game at the Final Five. They'll also have to hope for no major upsets in the other conference tournaments.
Crew (Ann Arbor, MI)
Other than Notre Dame is there any other CCHA team that is a lock for the tourney right now? Michigan or Miami?
Joe Gladziszewski (2:51 PM)
Miami is in pretty good shape, as long as they beat Lake Superior State this weekend. Michigan and Michigan State are on a little less stable ground, but again, winning the series this weekend at home is a big part of getting to the NCAAs. The balance in the CCHA throughout the league has made these teams tougher, and ready for the postseason, but is also a sign that upsets can and will happen.
Kevin (Durango, Colorado)
Jeff Jackson has had a great year with the Irish, and there is talk of a new hockey specific facility at ND. At the same time, should Irish fans be worried about loosing Jackson to another program?
Mike Eidelbes (2:53 PM)
I don't think so. Once Notre Dame gets its new arena built -- and according to the people in power there, it's a matter of when and not if -- the Fighting Irish can position themselves as one of the nation's premier programs. Jackson will be hard pressed to find a better situation than the one he's in right now.
Matt (Dinky town)
Do you think Minnesota can jell and turn around the last couple of lack luster weekends and make a serious run at the NCAA?? Who is your favorite to win?
Jess Myers (2:55 PM)
I think Minnesota can turn it around, and absolutely has to turn it around if the Gophers are going to win two games at a regional. But based on Minnesota's bewilderingly inconsistent play in the second half, I'd rank them about third among WCHA teams likely to make the Frozen, behind North Dakota and St. Cloud State.
Does Miami have to win the CCHA to get to the tournament? Are they one of the biggest disappointments this year?
Joe Gladziszewski (2:56 PM)
No, they just have to win this weekend. I don't think they're a disappointment. They finished third in a very competitive conference and few people expected Notre Dame to emerge as they did atop the CCHA standings and near the top of the national rankings.
frank boston, MA
is Northeastern running into BC at the worng time? As optimistic as I'd like to be, I see the huskies going quietly...
Joe Gladziszewski (2:57 PM)
Yeah, I think Northeastern has shown itself to be a dangerous team, but they're running into a red-hot Boston College team right now. I think the Eagles will advance with little difficulty.
Joe Gladziszewski (2:59 PM)
Thanks for the questions, and thanks for reading the chat. Follow college hockey at Inside College Hockey throughout the postseason. This week our conference notebooks review the regular season and preview playoff action. Enjoy the games this weekend.