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INCH Archive: Chats
Joe Gladziszewski (2:01 PM)
Hello and welcome to another Inside College Hockey chat on Sportsnation. There's lots to talk about, with conference races heating up, a big series between Miami and Michigan, and the Beanpot going on in Boston. We'll be taking your questions for the next 30 minutes or more.
Steve, Minneapolis, MN
Do Minnesota and North Dakota have the best rivalry in college hockey?
Jess Myers (2:05 PM)
I'm biased for two reasons: 1) I grew up in Minnesota, in a part of the state that got its TV and newspaper coverage from Grand Forks, and 2) The first college hockey game I ever witnessed was the Fighting Sioux hosting the Golden Gophers in 1984, and I was hooked immediately. So I'd say yes, but I don't pretend to know enough about DU-CC, BU-BC, Michigan-Michigan State, Clarkson-St. Lawrence, or any other rivalries to make a fair comparison. Regionally, NoDak-Minn is probably closest to BU-BC in that the rivalry is decades old, and hockey is the only sport where they face each other. And, as you saw last weekend, there's just a wee bit of intensity between the two teams.
Tough weekend for the Golden Knights out in Colorado. What do you think the effect of those losses at CC will be on the team, and what will they have to do to secure an at-large bid with those losses in the book?
Joe Gladziszewski (2:08 PM)
The at-large picture still looks pretty good for the Golden Knights if they take care of business in the league during the rest of the regular season. If they make it to Albany for the ECAC championship weekend, I think they're pretty secure for NCAAs. More importantly, they need to get back to playing well and build confidence. Last year after being swept by St. Cloud State on the road, Clarkson was refocused and played great for the next two months. Maybe the same thing will happen this time.
Jeff (Bloomfield Hills, MI)
Not gonna lie, I am confused on how Miami/Michigan is not leading this chat. What are your all's predictions for the weekend?
Joe Gladziszewski (2:09 PM)
Well, Jeff ... We've got dozens of questions and many of them are on Miami and Michigan. We'll get to some of those now ...
If miami sweeps the weekend will everybody else besides the pollsters around the country especially the WCHA give Miami some respect and stop saying they have played a weak schedule. even if the schedule is "weak" 27-3-0 and going 5-1 against Notre Dame, MSU, and Michigan with a 13-1-0 road record is pretty good I think.
Mike Eidelbes (2:12 PM)
The same thing happened with Notre Dame last year Maybe the WCHA folks can't fathom a team from outside their league topping the national rankings. We've said all along, you can only play the teams on your schedule -- Miami doesn't have control over the strength of its opponents. Here's the test we use at INCH: If Team A and Team B played a seven-game series at a neutral site, which would win? In Miami's case, I don't think there's anyone in the country that wins under those criteria. In fact, I don't think anyone takes the RedHawks to seven games.
Derek Oxford, Ohio
How will Nathan Davis factor into this weekend series and also with the loss of Quick for Michigan, how can the redhawks exploit their shortened bench?
Mike Eidelbes (2:14 PM)
Last question first. I don't think Quick's loss changes much for Michigan. The Wolverines still have six quality defensemen and while Quick was a highly regarded freshman, he wasn't an impact player. As far as Davis is concerned, I haven't heard anything regarding his status for this weekend. He's only played in eight games this season because of injury. That said, if you're able to add a player of his caliber to the lineup, there's no question that it's a huge boost.
Rich (Durham, NH)
Do you think UNH has what it takes to move toward a Frozen Four birth, or will it be another disappointment and early stage exit this year for the Wildcats?
Jeff Howe (2:15 PM)
This is definitely a talented group up front, and Kevin Regan has been tremendous in net, maybe even the best goalie in Hockey East to this point. The Wildcats need to win the league title to get the favorable first-round destination, though, to avoid matching up with one of the western powers.
Do you think CC can finish off the year strong, given the lack of talent in the rest of their schedule (minus DU)?
Jess Myers (2:18 PM)
Since two out of the four teams remaining on the Tigers' schedule are currently in the top five in the WCHA, I wouldn't say there's a lack of talent facing off against CC. And even though Minnesota State is in sixth (one point out now), they especially look like a team in the midst of a late-season run. Still, the Tigers are unbeaten at home (where they'll play five of their final eight) so the smart money is on them to win the MacNaughton Cup.
David (East Lansing, MI)
Can Michigan State capture the CCHA crown? Besides the Michigan series, they end the season with very beatable teams.
Mike Eidelbes (2:20 PM)
The Spartans only trail Miami by three points in the league standings, so it's certainly a possibility. And their schedules are very similar -- MSU has Northern Michigan, Western Michigan, Michigan, and Bowling Green remaining, while Miami has Michigan, Ferris State, Western Michigan, and Ohio State left. I think the RedHawks will stay in first, however. They'll split at worst this weekend against Michigan, and I think the Spartans split with the Wolverines in two weeks.
Ric (Edison NJ)
RPI's "Freakout" unbeaten streak of 17 years was snapped by Princeton last Saturday. Are the Tigers for real or is RPI just that bad this year?
Joe Gladziszewski (2:22 PM)
All indications are that Princeton is for real. They really play an aggressive style that is atypical of many of the teams in ECAC Hockey, and the high-pressure game has suited them well this season. RPI has struggled at times, but they've got to keep the process in mind, and they're getting better. Don't put too much stock in that Princeton defeat.
Kevin from Chicago
Rumor has it that Trotter could be leaving Denver for personal reasons. If that was the case, do you think it would affect DU down the final stretch?
Jess Myers (2:25 PM)
Rumors have been flying out of Denver regarding Brock Trotter's status for the past week, since it was learned that he would not make the trip to Minnesota State. This week, despite repeated word from DU that they will make an announcement regarding the situation, there's been nothing but more speculation, which is unfortunate. Trotter has not been at practice this week and it is almost certain that he will not be in the lineup this weekend when the Pioneers host Minnesota. In any case, taking a player of Trotter's talent (he's the team's leading scorer and has averaged better than a point per game throughout his college career) out of the lineup will most definitely hurt the Pioneers, which is bad news for a team that has lost four of its past five.
Brian (Boston, Ma)
Will U mass Lowell continue to play well down the strech or will they slide off like they have in the past?
Jeff Howe (2:26 PM)
Lowell should be up and down for the rest of the way due to its youth and inexperience, which is only a natural process. Look for the River Hawks to contend for home ice but ultimately fall just short.
8-0-1 for the Sioux in their last nine. I know Colorado College has two games in hand but can/will the Sioux chase them down for the McNaughton Cup?
Jess Myers (2:27 PM)
I say no, not because CC is necessarily more talented, but because the Tigers are at home for a majority of their remaining games, they have not lost at home, and because North Dakota has a few tougher situations to deal with, like two games versus Denver without their head coach behind the bench.
Crew (Ann Arbor)
With Michigan's current skid of ties. Do you think this is just a bump in the road or the freshman beginning to get tired from a long grueling season they may not be used to? And do you think Michigan can come out of Miami with a win this weekend?
Mike Eidelbes (2:29 PM)
I'm in the camp that believes that freshmen, especially a large group such as Michigan's, wear down as the season grinds on -- mentally as much as physically. I do believe it's a bump, but they may find out this weekend in Oxford that the entire bridge is out. Michigan can certainly win at Miami, but I think the RedHawks get at least three points this weekend.
WHY is J.P. Lamoureux not getting more consideration for the hobey baker...I never hear his name mentioned in hobey baker discussions and he has outstanding numbers .934 SV%, 1.72 GAA, 4 SO...all while facing the stiffest competition of any team as UND has only played 2 games out of its total 27 against non-ranked opponents
Joe Gladziszewski (2:32 PM)
I think Lamoureux is getting plenty of consideration. He was prominently featured in our Hobey Tracker several times this season. The fact is that BC's Nathan Gerbe and Michigan's Kevin Porter have stood out among the pack. The next eight spots among the finalists are still wide open, and it's a strong goalie group in that pack when you consider Lamoureux, Mannino, Lerg, Zatkoff, Regan, etc. If JP continues to play well and North Dakota keeps winning over the next five weeks, the individual recognition will definitely come.
Tim (St. Paul MN)
Shouldn't some of the players involved in the Gopher/Sioux scrap received suspensions? I thought the league went too tough on Hakstol, and was silly in not suspending Finley and Wheeler for fighting during the post-game handshake.
Jess Myers (2:34 PM)
First off, Hakstol's suspension was issued by the University of North Dakota, not by the WCHA. The handshake scrap was definitely unfortunate and unattractive, but it doesn't really rise to the level of a game disqualification for fighting. The only players who will sit out as a result of their actions are Tony Lucia from Minnesota and Darcy Zajac from North Dakota, and I think that's about right.
Luke (Hamden CT)
Hey guys, "The Whitney War" takes place this weekend in Hamden with Yale taking on Quinnipiac. Quinnipiac has owned the series and won the last four but Yale is much improved this year. DO you think this is a sign that some of the traditionally weaker Ivy schools are getting better overall?
Joe Gladziszewski (2:37 PM)
I tend not to overgeneralize and group Ivies, or conferences as being better or worse (ahem, WCHA/CCHA fans). I think Yale is getting better. They've had a nice season so far and this rivalry between the Bulldogs and Quinnipiac is important. Right now, the Bobcats are the better team.
Why has the CCHA gotten so top-heavy? Lake Superior State and Western Michigan used to at least put up a fight.
Mike Eidelbes (2:39 PM)
That's a tough one. There's certainly a dividing line in the CCHA between the haves and the have-nots. I'd speculate that finances may have something to do with it -- schools like Michigan, Michigan State, Miami, Nebraska-Omaha, and Notre Dame have very healthy budgets, whereas Lake Superior and Western aren't at that level. And let's be honest -- the teams at the top have done a better job of attracting talent and developing those kids once they get there.
Joe Gladziszewski (2:40 PM)
OK ... one last thought on Miami and Michigan and we'll wrap things up.
Who do you think is going to make a statement this weekend between Miami and Michigan?
jack (oxford, OH)
Can we get your predictions on the series of the year in Oxford?
Graham (St. Louis, Mo.)
Considering Michigan has lost or tied its last 4 games, lost Quick AND Miami had 2 weeks to prepare at home and gets Nate Davis back...who wins the series?
Mike, Oxford, OH
Who'll will be happier after the weekend, Miami or Michigan?
Mike Eidelbes (2:42 PM)
As stated earlier, I think Miami gets three points on the weekend. Miami will be happier. Plus, they get to stay in Oxford, a little oasis of all that is good tucked away in the rolling hills and dense forests of southwest Ohio. Say hi to our friends at the Circle.
Joe Gladziszewski (2:44 PM)
Thanks for all of the great questions and topics of discussion this week. We stretched this out a little bit past our normal 30-minute window, but we will continue to do that as long as there's good participation on your part. Enjoy the games this weekend, and be sure to check out complete conference notebooks at InsideCollegeHockey.com on Friday.