Chat about College Hockey
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INCH Archive: Chats
Joe Gladziszewski (2:00 PM)
Hello and welcome to another college hockey discussion with the writers and editors from Inside College Hockey. We'll be taking your questions for the next 30 minutes.
Rich (Newport, RI)
The non-ivy ECAC teams always have had a difficult time with their schedules, but they have now gone to scheduling league teams in non-conference games(this week's governor's cup, St. Law v. Clarkson). Do you believe that this is bad, and does it take something away from the league games because they play each other more and more?
Joe Gladziszewski (2:03 PM)
I don't think it's bad, and neither do the coaches and administrators, because that's why these games are on the schedule. The alternatives aren't that attractive. ECAC Hockey teams have difficulty getting home games against big-time opponents who want home dates. Also, they could schedule some teams that haven't traditionally been as successful, and that hurts strength of schedule. Also, by playing more games, it increases rivalry and familiarity, and also markets the game --- like this weekend at the Governor's Cup in Albany.
Jerry, Houghton MI
What are Tech's chances of making it further into the WCHA playoffs? What about the NCAA Playoffs?
Jess Myers (2:05 PM)
Based on their defense and their goalie tamdem, I picked the Huskies as a top-six team in the WCHA. That means they'd need a playoff upset to get back to the WCHA Final Five. I'd put them on the bubble for the NCAA playoffs right now (hey, it's only October) but finding more reliable sources of offense is going to be the key. A 7-1 win over Minnesota State last weekend might be a nice start down that road.
Joe (Rt 11)
Clarkson seems poised to make a run in the national standings this year -- they can "Roll" four lines and I am not sure who is the top line (1, 1A, 1C and a 3rd line on most teams) -- they have solid goaltending and when Paquet comes back the blue line should strengthen -- At what point in the season will we know if the if the Golden Knights are for real? St. Cloud over thanksgiving?
With Clarkson's tough non-conference schedule, do you think they get into the NCAAs even if they don't win the ECAC?
Joe Gladziszewski (2:08 PM)
Two Clarkson questions ... will try to cover it with one answer. The Golden Knights are for real already. We know they're good, but we'll find out how good with some of the tests you mention. This weekend at Lake Superior State will tell us a lot, I think. It's not an easy trip to make, and it's not an easy place to play. There's also a bit of a rivalry between the coaches, who used to serve as assistants under Mark Morris. These will be big games. I think Clarkson will definitely be back in the NCAA Tournament this season.
Matt Boston, MA
Hey, I'm a big Husky fan and was wondering what you guys are thinking about NU so far after the exciting win over Providence and the good performance through 2 periods against UND?
Jeff Howe (2:09 PM)
I liked Northeastern heading into the season, and its play of late is solid. The Huskies could finish as high as fourth in a wide open Hockey East if they play well through the entire season.
Jeremy Grand Ledge MI
After watching Miami beat Ohio State 5-1 on back to back nights do you see this possibly being another year where a team in the CCHA runs away with first place?
Mike Eidelbes (2:10 PM)
I think it's possible, but not probable ... that's because there's an upper echelon of teams in the CCHA (Miami, Michigan State, Notre Dame, Michigan) that is fairly close in terms of talent, and a second tier (OSU, Nebraska-Omaha) of above-average teams, too. If any team were to run away with the title, I'd bet on Miami because of their depth on defense and Zatkoff in goal.
Drew (Lakewood, CO)
I went to the Colorado College vs. Minnesota this past weekend and I saw some a poor performance by both teams (with the exception of the goalies). Do you think the Gophers will bounce back right away or do you think that it will take a little more time for all the new freshman on the team to catch up?
Jess Myers (2:11 PM)
Learning the ropes in the WCHA takes times, but the learning curve generally isn't as steep at Minnesota because of the talent Don Lucia usually gets. I expected the Gophers to struggle a bit early on, but I expected high-scoring games based on their young defense and suspect goaltending. I expect the Gophers will bounce back, and if the goaltending is as good as last weekend, they'll be fine.
Tim (Danbury, CT)
How long is QU going to suffer from the loss of Cashman? Going to Air Force and getting swept looks bad, but they are 1-6 all-time there? Will they compete or will it be a set back year?
Joe Gladziszewski (2:14 PM)
Prior to the season, Quinnipiac coach Rand Pecknold was up front and honest about how big of an impact Cashman had, and about how difficult it would be to find players to replace what he did in terms of ice time and contributions in all situations. The losses at Air Force, I'm sure don't give Bobcats fans much confidence, but these non-league games early in the season give the coaching staff and young defensemen some time to figure out roles and what they can do to be successful. I think in the long run, Quinnipiac will be fine. I expect them to finish in the top four of the ECAC Hockey standings.
Matt (Grand Forks, ND)
Who has been the most valuable college hockey player thus far?
Mike Eidelbes (2:16 PM)
Nothing like a loaded question from a North Dakota fan two weeks into the season ... well, Matt, it'd be hard to not pick the Fighting Sioux's Jean-Philippe Lamoureux, seeing as how he hasn't let in a goal in eight periods of play. And it's not like NoDak has been playing DeVry, either. I think early in the season, it's easier to make a case for a goaltender ... that's why I'd take Lamoureux first, followed by Miami's Zatkoff.
Mason: St. Paul, MN
Are the UMD Bulldogs for real this year? I see they are off to a good start (sweep of SCSU). It looks as if they have solid goaltending, and strong defensive/penalty kill play, but can they hang with the top teams of the WCHA this year?
Jess Myers (2:18 PM)
I'll have a better idea on Sunday, after they play two games at Denver. In all seriousness, I have no idea yet if this team is for real, or just a hot start followed by a November letdown (which we've seen a few times before in the Sandelin era). Alex Stalock has been much more solid so far, and they're getting enough offense from a lot of sources, but road games are going to be the real test.
What game in your opinion is the game of the week? and Is it me or has the Michigan vs. BU series not as big because BU hasn't played well?
Joe Gladziszewski (2:20 PM)
We'll all take a crack at this one ... for me it's going to be Colorado College at New Hampshire. These are traditionally strong teams that we don't know as much about this season, and both are off to excellent starts. I'm intrigued to see what will happen in New Hampshire.
Jess Myers (2:21 PM)
Michigan and BU played the best college hockey game I've ever witnessed (Frozen Four semifinals, Milwaukee, 1997) and I think they'll play good hockey this weekend. That's one intriguing matchup, but I'd be hard pressed to pick that one over Colorado College visiting New Hampshire or Ohio State visiting Minnesota. Lots of great hockey to be seen this early in the season.
Mike Eidelbes (2:22 PM)
BU-Michigan is more of a draw because of the storied traditions both programs have, but the series that intrigues me is Colorado College-New Hampshire. UNH handled BU pretty easily last week with good goaltending and a balanced scoring attack -- no surprise there. Colorado College, meanwhile, took care of Minnesota mainly on the strength of freshman goalie Richard Bachman. Let's see how he does in his first road test.
Matt (South Bend)
Will Garret Regan have any impact for the Irish this season?
Mike Eidelbes (2:23 PM)
Can he run the West Coast offense? Seriously, I like the dimension that he and linemates Mark Van Guilder and Ben Ryan bring to the team. The Erik Condra-Kevin Deeth-Ryan Thang line generates chances mainly by creating opportunities for one another. Regan's line does it by battling hard. Sometimes you need those ugly goals when you're not getting the bounces. Regan has three goals in five games, by the way ... off to a nice start.
Jon (Hamden, CT)
What is with QU traveling to Air Force. We are in one of the big 4 conferences yet we have to travel to Colorado to play a team in a lesser conference. I don't get it. I'd rather play a tougher team and lose than go on the road to play a team like Air Force when they could come to our brand new arena.
Joe Gladziszewski (2:25 PM)
As mentioned earlier, it's tough to get big-name teams to travel because they've got nice arenas too and want home dates. Other Western teams limit travel because of budget concerns and the fact that all of the other conferences play more league games than they do in ECAC Hockey (22). The non-Ivy ECAC teams will always have a difficult time getting great non-league schedules.
Derrick, Fargo ND
I know this seems like old news, but I still cannot get over the all the penalties called in the Frozen Four matchup between UND and BC. The call on Smaby (he barely elbowed a guy)with 4 minutes left in the game was a huge call, yet no one ever mentioned anything about that immediately following the game and since? have those issues been brought up with the ncaa?
Mike Eidelbes (2:26 PM)
Derrick -- repeat after me. Let ... it ... go. You can't change the past.
Is it one and done for JVR at New Hampshire?
Mike Eidelbes (2:28 PM)
Is this Danny Briere? Do you need a winger opposite Simon Gagne? I think a one-and-done is probably in the offing. Same with Turris. He's ridiculously good, by the way.
Mike from Hutchinson MN
Do you think that Blake Wheeler has a chance at being a legitamate Hobey Baker contender?
Jess Myers (2:30 PM)
Wheeler ended last season and started this season like he's ready to fulfill the promise all of his talent and size. With the high profile of the Minnesota program (all of their games on TV, etc.) I'd think that Wheeler is in a good position to be a top-10 guy if his offense stays consistent. Although with his pro promise, I wouldn't wait until next year if you want to see him play college hockey in person.
Joe Gladziszewski (2:31 PM)
Thanks for the great questions. We'll have a complete look around the nation with our league notebooks later tonight and on Friday morning, and the INCH podcast is back. For more college hockey coverage, please visit www.insidecollegehockey.com
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