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INCH Archive: Chats
Joe Gladziszewski (2:30 PM)
Hello and welcome to this week's college hockey chat with the writers from InsideCollegeHockey.com. We'll be taking your questions for the next 30 minutes, so go ahead and submit them now.
Which 4 ECAC teams will make it to the ECAC Championships?
Joe Gladziszewski (2:32 PM)
Was thinking about this one just last night ... and came up with this group -- Cornell, Yale, St. Lawrence and Princeton. Each has a great combination of solid goaltending and enough dangerous scorers to make a difference in close games.
B.U. had a lucky escape against Harvard, I don't think the Terriers will be so lucky against Northeastern (who beat my Eagles up!). Predictions for the Pot final?
Jeff Howe (2:32 PM)
I'm sticking to my guns. I've been saying for a few weeks now I believe BU is the best team in America, and I'll take the Terriers, 3-1 with an empty-netter.
Why is Kieran Millan not getting more recognition nationally? He's one of the main reasons why BU is having a great season so far.
Jeff Howe (2:33 PM)
I can't speak for other outlets, but I wrote at length about Millan two weeks ago in the INCH Hockey East Notebook. If you're talking about Hobey consideration, he's hurt by the fact that he's on a team with so much talent that he's going to get drowned out a bit.
Colin Wilson tops your Hobey chart, and appears to be a worthy frontrunner. Is there any chance he remains at BU after this season?
Joe Gladziszewski (2:35 PM)
Of course there's a chance, but I don't think it's very likely ... think Lloyd Christmas and Mary Swanson in Dumb & Dumber. Pro teams need players, and if Wilson can help the Predators, which I certainly think he can, they'll get him in their lineup.
Mike East Grand Forks MN
Can Notre Dame start a new run? Are they able to make a run for the title or is there a rocky road ahead?
Mike Eidelbes (2:37 PM)
The Irish will be fine, though this weekend's series at Ohio State will be a stern test. Losing to Michigan wasn't the worst thing to happen to them; in fact, being relieved of that long unbeaten streak might be oddly refreshing. With its goaltending, team defense, and balanced scoring, Notre Dame will remain a title contender.
Mark Andreae (Ann Arbor, MI)
What are your thoughts on Mark Mitera's potential contribution to Michigan's post-season campaign?
Mike Eidelbes (2:38 PM)
Huge. Mitera's been skating recently and there isn't a timetable for his return, but you've got to think that if he's back on the ice, his return is in the offing. He's an All-American, the team's leader, a shutdown defender, and underrated offensively. I think he will try to get back in the lineup before the end of the regular season.
Paws the Husky (Boston, MA)
With BU's lethargic play against Harvard, and Thiessen's fantastic play in net for my Huskies, is there any reason for me to doubt this years beanpot being won by Northeastern?
Jeff Howe (2:40 PM)
I'm looking forward to what I believe is going to be a great game, but yes, there are two causes for concern. First, BU gets up for better competition, and the Terriers won't have a first period Monday like they had against Harvard. Second, Greg Cronin openly admitted his team was nervous before scoring the first goal against BC. If Northeastern can't handle its nerves -- in a much more meaningful game than the first-round tilt -- it can't afford a few minutes of nervous hockey, which could lead to BU jumping ahead.
I'm pretty sure Notre Dame is going to take the regular season championship in the CCHA. But if Miami takes second place and wins the CCHA tournament do you think they can get a #1 seed in the NCAA's or is a #2 seed as high as they can get
Mike Eidelbes (2:41 PM)
Without getting all math-y, it's not out of the realm of possibility that Miami earns a No. 1 seed. But I think it would involve sweeping a team like an Nebraska-Omaha or an Alaska out of the CCHA quarterfinals, then beating Michigan and Notre Dame to win the CCHA tournament.
is it possible for hockey east to snag 5 bids to the dance? they seem far-and-away the best and deepest conference this year (BU, BC, VT, Northeastern and UNH are a collective 25-7-3 out of conference)
Joe Gladziszewski (2:43 PM)
Yes, they're all very good, but what hurts them is that they still have to play a bunch of games against one another. That will result in losses for somebody ... as it looks right now, that 4th-5th place playoff series might turn out to be an elimination series not only from the Hockey East playoffs, but also from national tournament consideration.
I watched the Michigan/Notre Dame games this past weekend. I was more impressed with Michigan than ND, but I don't think either of them are better than BU. With Notre Dame having so few notable wins, are they overrated?
Mike Eidelbes (2:44 PM)
I don't think so. They did just go unbeaten for three months, after all. And, yeah, maybe they don't have the signature victories, but the mark of a good team, in my opinion, is beating the teams you're supposed to beat. How many other teams can make that claim?
Whats going on with the Golden Rodents, they seem to really be struggling lately. Additionally, big series this weekend with WCHA title and PWR implications against Wisc....how do you guys see that playing out as the Badgers seem to be in a bit of a rut lately as well?
Jess Myers (2:46 PM)
Neither team seems particularly interested in winning the WCHA title, with the Badgers cooling off considerably in recent weeks, and the Gophers losing four of their last six. It would seem like the time is right for the Badgers to avenge the loss and tie they suffered to Minnesota in October, but Wisconsin rarely if ever plays well at Mariucci Arena, so look for a split.
What is going on with Cornell? Are they just hitting a midseason rut or are they really not as good as most analysts claimed?
Joe Gladziszewski (2:48 PM)
I'd chalk it up to a bit of a midseason malaise. They'll get things turned around for the playoffs and this weekend's home tests against Quinnipiac and Princeton are a great place to start. Getting three or four points will be a big boost in their title chase, and they'll get another crack at Yale on the road in the last game of the year.
Will the garden be full for the final with BC in the consolation game? Will NESN get decent ratings?
Jeff Howe (2:49 PM)
I can't remember the Garden ever being full for any of the Beanpot games -- first or second game, first or second Monday -- in the last five years. There's little incentive to stick around if your team isn't playing. NESN will do about as well as it ever has because of the Northeastern story, though. I think people really want to see the Huskies win the title, and that will draw in some casual fans.
Victor Crowell, Green Bridge, NJ
Denver split last weekend against the lower division opponent Alaska/Anchorage team. How do you see the Pioneers finishing this season and in the playoffs ? Do you think Patrick Mullen can follow in the footprints of the great Joe and Bryan Mullen ? Way to go for the Seawolf walk-ons !
Jess Myers (2:50 PM)
Following a legendary relative is always tough, so let's not put undue pressure on the latest in the Mullen hockey line. As for the Pioneers, their coach says that they're about where he expected them to be, meaning they may have overachieved early in the year and the recent near-.500 play is about what should be expected. With that said, Denver and Wisconsin are the only two teams in the league that can win the MacNaughton Cup without help, which is not a bad place to be on the first weekend of February.
Ellen Superfan (Chestnut Hill)
what's wrong with my Eagles? I'd like to say it's their powerplay, which is a woeful 5-for-48 in its last 10 games, and the Bens (Smith and Ferriero) are underperforming with 3 and 4 goals after a year of 25 and 17, respectively -- but something is telling me that Muse is overworked and worn out. Tell me they can turn it around for my senior year. Please.
Jeff Howe (2:51 PM)
I have no idea whether or not Muse is tired or run down, but I do strongly believe the kid deserves a break. More than anything, I think Nathan Gerbe was more responsible for their success last year than anyone might have realized. They're almost the same group as last year, and Gerbe was almost always the most dominant player on the ice when they were winning.
Matt, East Main, NJ
Ohio State has a tough schedule towards the end. Do the Buckeyes have enough left in the tank to finish strong or will it end up costing them in their ranking/seeding?
Joe Gladziszewski (2:53 PM)
The Buckeyes have put themselves in position to achieve great things this year. A top-four CCHA finish is in sight, and an NCAA Tournament bid. As the games get tougher, those "carrots" that they've put in front of them might drive them through the big games. Besides, if they're worthy of those things, they'll have to prove it by beating good teams.
Ryan (Grand Forks, ND)
What do you think about the Schack incident last weekend? I felt it was right up there with the Michigan/Michigan State incident and deserved more consequences. Thanks!
Jess Myers (2:55 PM)
It was ugly all around, and we need to see a stop not only to what Schack did, but to what led up to it as well. Minnesota State's Channing Boe is lost for the season as a result, prompting many to call for further disciplinary action, but at this point I don't see any forthcoming.
Depressed (in West Michigan)
We're in the 10th full season of Jim Culhane's reign at WMU. Is there any hope for our program? I've just about given up hope.
Mike Eidelbes (2:56 PM)
There's hope for every program. Except for yours. Honestly, there's no reason Western can't be on par with the Minnesota States, Ferris States, and UMass Lowells of the world. I would've gotten rid of him a long time ago, but I think he just recently had his deal extended.
Rich (Providence, ri)
How many ECAC teams get into the tournament? I know the INCH 4x4 has three, but are there any sleepers in there? SLU, Dartmouth, etc.
Joe Gladziszewski (2:59 PM)
I think St. Lawrence is just a tad more dangerous than Dartmouth, and St. Lawrence's NCAA criteria will be helped by a pretty good strength of schedule.
steve (boston, ma)
it seems conceivable, almost likely that 3 of the top 4 NCAA seed will hail from the east (amongst BU, Vermont, Northeastern and Cornell) if so, it looks like the lowest of them will likely get assigned to the Mariucci and forced to play Minny on home ice. recognizing that in a 16 team field, there's not many gimme's on the road to a national title, but it seems like someone is poised for a gripe -- and it seems less than fair for a #1 seed -- you'd rather be a 2 seed and take your chances in the east against a tough foe. thoughts?
Joe Gladziszewski (3:01 PM)
While Minnesota is the obvious true home-ice host, also keep in mind that Yale is hosting in Bridgeport and New Hampshire is hosting in Manchester. That bracketing situation will be interesting, more due to avoiding first-round conference matchups than favoring the true No. 1 seeds. Long way to go, but there are some really interesting scenarios out there.
Joe Gladziszewski (3:02 PM)
Thanks for all of the great questions and comments this week. We'll be back at the same time next week as things get even clearer in the coming days. Enjoy the games this weekend, and of course on Monday night in Boston.