Chat: Inside College Hockey
Send your questions now and join INCH every Thursday at 2:30 p.m. ET.
INCH Archive: Chats
Joe Gladziszewski (2:30 PM)
Welcome to an NCAA Tournament week chat with Inside College Hockey writers and editors. We'll be taking your questions for the next 30 minutes.
David (NY, NY)
The west region is essentially the same as last year with the exception of the 4 seed being a different team from the same conference as last year. Was the region so competative last year that they thought a replay would be positive?
Joe Gladziszewski (2:33 PM)
This year's NCAA Tournament seeding and bracket has nothing to do with what happened last year. It's a mere coincidence that those teams are paired up again.
Hey guys, the NCAA talked about how they place teams in regions so that they can have good crowds. Dont you think it would help sell/promote interest for the Frozen Four if the Blues two top college prospects in Oshie and Johnson could face-off here?
Joe Gladziszewski (2:35 PM)
I think having either Johnson or Oshie playing in St. Louis would be a great storyline for the local media in that area and local fans, but keep in mind that most of the seats are sold well in advance to college hockey fans that travel to St. Louis. The Frozen Four crowds come from all parts of the nation.
Chris (Anoka, MN)
Everyone is counting Michigan out as far as beating No. Dak. Can Jack Johnson nuetralize the Toews line enough for Michigan to pull out a win? Also, who do you see adavancing out of that West Regional? p.s. Any thoughts on the impact of new Gopher recruit Aaron Ness?
Jess Myers (2:37 PM)
I think what Minnesota did to the Fighting Sioux last weekend, with Kyle Okposo's line holding the Toews/Oshie/Duncan trio to nine shots and one goal, gives Michigan a blueprint to follow. Whether Jack Johnson and company will be able to duplicate the defensive success that the Gophers had will be one of the most interesting questions to be answered in the first round. My prediction is no. I see the Fighting Sioux advancing to St. Louis, winning a high-scoring rematch with Minnesota in the regional final. Ness is a high school sophomore (Roseau) so his impact won't be known for quite some time.
Chase (New York)
As a minuteman fan is me thinking that they can get to the frozen four a realistic expectation?
Joe Gladziszewski (2:39 PM)
Massachusetts is a good team that played some of its best hockey late in the season, but they've got a very difficult road to the Frozen Four. Clarkson and potential opponent St. Cloud State are very good teams, even though they don't have the name recognition of some of the bigger schools.
Vermont's Torrey Mitchell decided to go pro and being playing for the Sharks. How far up the ladder do you see him progressing, and how do the Catamounts look for next season without him?
Joe Gladziszewski (2:41 PM)
Mitchell's skills translate very well to the pro game. I like his skating, shot, and tenacity in the offensive zone. The Sharks organization has given college players great opportunities. Perhaps he's another Joe Pavelski.
Why is Michigan getting no love? If (and it could be a big if) the goalie plays solid (not spectacular, but solid) I think they have a good chance to win the Region. your thoughts?
Joe Gladziszewski (2:44 PM)
I agree that Michigan is a very dangerous team, but as you mention, they'll need solid goaltending to advance. Their top four or five forwards rank right up there with teams like North Dakota, Minnesota, Clarkson, and Boston College, and the defensemen are good enough. Being in that region with Minnesota and North Dakota is a tough order.
Doug (Cedar Rapids)
Do you see St. Cloud making a strong run in the NCAA tournament, or did the two games they lost last weekend really slow their momentum?
Jess Myers (2:45 PM)
Momentum, and health, are clearly the two concerns for the Huskies as they head to Rochester seeking their first-ever NCAA tourney win. Since their sweep of Minnesota a few weeks ago, the Huskies have looked human, and with Nate Raduns getting hurt last weekend, there are questions to be answered about their second line. But even with that considered, I still like their chances to get to St. Louis. I think they're simply better than Maine, and they were much better than Clarkson when they played earlier this season.
Hunter (Cleveland, OH)
What are Miami's chances of upsetting UNH?
Joe Gladziszewski (2:48 PM)
They're good, because Miami is a team that is built for playoff hockey. Their forwards are very good in the defensive zone and their blueline has gotten healthier and gained some experience. They'll have to overcome a very supportive UNH crowd in Manchester.
Gerard (Houston, TX)
When's the next podcast?
Joe Gladziszewski (2:49 PM)
Our next podcast will be early next week, after our staff returns from regional sites.
Does the College Hockey committee not consider how teams closed out the season when doing rankings? I can't understand how, factoring in each teams' last 10 games, that BC wouldn't be a #1 seed. Instead we have to play UNH in New Hampshire?
Joe Gladziszewski (2:51 PM)
BC has to play St. Lawrence in New Hampshire first. And there is no bias given to performance over the last 10 games. Teams are seeded for the tournament based on their entire season. I think teams that felt they got slighted by seeding or regional location have more incentive to prove themselves.
Dont you think that the Gophers got screwed? First they have to play Air Force in Colorado, and then North Dakota in the second round as a three seed, assuming that they win. Are you kidding me? Thats what you get when you are the best team in the nation?
Jess Myers (2:52 PM)
Whether or not the Gophers are the best team in the nation is up for debate, despite what a computer somewhere thinks. But to the bigger point, yes, I personally disagree with the way the regionals were set up, because I think that North Dakota and Minnesota are clearly among the four best teams in the nation, and this schedule ensures that at most, one of them will make it to the Frozen Four.
Matt (Elkhart, IN)
Do you think ND can run the table?
Joe Gladziszewski (2:54 PM)
Can they? Absolutely. Will they? I don't think so. They had a very impressive regular season and despite the players lacking significant postseason experience, they've got a coach that's won the biggest prize in the game multiple times. I think Notre Dame will advance out of the Grand Rapids regional and go to the Frozen Four, but I don't think they will win the national title.
Who's your pick for Hobey?
Joe Gladziszewski (2:57 PM)
Good question among all of the tourney talk. My top three (in order) right now are T.J. Hensick, Ryan Duncan, and Drew Bagnall.
What are Clarkson's chances of advancing to the Frozen Four? Winning it all?
Joe Gladziszewski (2:59 PM)
Like Notre Dame ... Clarkson has a good shot at going to the Frozen Four, and I think they will, but probably not going to be a national championship season.
Joe Gladziszewski (2:59 PM)
Thanks for the questions, and enjoy the games this weekend.