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INCH Archive: Chats
Joe Gladziszewski (2:31 PM)
Thanks for stopping by to talk college hockey with the writers from Inside College Hockey. We'll be taking your questions for the next half hour.
Conor (Boston MA)
The hockey east is getting down to the wire as the season comes to an end. Its clear that BU will secure the regular season title. But where will UNH finish since they are getting hot down the stretch, and them and Vermont are currently tied in points? Can you see UNH making a run in the tournament?
Mike (Boston MA)
UNH has seemed to turn things around since November, but do you see them contending for the Hockey East or NCAA title?
Jeff Howe (2:32 PM)
UNH is 5-1-1 since getting embarrassed by BU in January and seems to be playing much more steady on the defensive end. I still don't see the Wildcats in the same level as BU or Northeastern, though.
John, (Hartford Conn)
Thanks for taking our questions INCH! Being from the east coast I dont get to see much of the WCHA. Whats up with the Fighting Sioux and how come year after year they are able to make their second half run? Do they have a chance at a fifth straight Frozen Four?
Jess Myers (2:33 PM)
Every year we wonder if this will be the time that North Dakota is consistent start to finish, and every year it seems like the second-half surge is the rule in Grand Forks. Although this year a second half turnaround was maybe a bit more expected because NoDak started the season with so many talented, but young, players, and you're seeing the results of their increased maturity in the second half. As for the Frozen Four, I'd be surprised to see more than one WCHA team there, because I think the league is weaker overall. But if I had to pick a WCHA team to get there, I'd flip a coin between Denver and the Sioux.
Sean (Boston, MA)
What's wrong with Boston College? They have the talent. How can they get back on track? Also, what do you think about Miami (OH) and their chances this year?
Mike Eidelbes (2:36 PM)
We've talked at length about what's wrong with Boston College (and Minnesota) for much of the second half of the season. The answer? We don't know. All we can determine is that something is missing. In BC's case, getting back on track probably means winning the Hockey East playoff crown, and that doesn't appear likely. As for Miami, they've got a chance to make the Frozen Four. Once you get past BU, Notre Dame and Michigan, parity reigns. One could make a fairly persuasive case that 8-10 teams are Frozen Four hopefuls.
UND in SLP: St Louis Park, MN
In this week's INCH podcast, you mentioned that UND is winning, and finding ways to win, by playing as a team. In the off season I thought that T J Oshie leaving was a blessing in disguise. The effect of losing JPL and Chorney notwithstanding, Oshie leaving got rid of the Sioux's "star player" notoriety, leaving more room for team cohesion and chemistry, and the inherent success we are seeing. Any thoughts?
Joe Gladziszewski (2:37 PM)
Absolutely, and thanks for listening to the INCH Podcast. I don't think a team is necessarily helped by losing star players, but it can have a positive impact in re-distributing the roles on the team. The Sioux have done it with an overall team effort and everyone improving to put them in their current position to win the league.
who is better, Boston University or Northeastern?
Jeff Howe (2:38 PM)
Bret Busakowski (Cloquet, MN)
If the season ended today, there would probably only be 3 teams in the tourney from the WCHA. What do you think the chances are that UMD hangs on to their bubble spot, and do you see any of the other WCHA teams moving up into a tourney spot over the final three weeks?
Mike Eidelbes (2:38 PM)
I think UMD's chances are pretty good, provided they do no worse than split this weekend against Minnesota, get at least three points next weekend at home against Alaska Anchorage, and win their first round playoff series. I don't like the NCAA chances of the WCHA teams on the outside looking in.
Drew: (Lakewood CO)
What has happened to the gophers? I went to the Saturday game at CC last week and the gophers play was horrible. Also kangas is not himself, he is letting the easiest shots in, granted his defense turns the puck over right in front of him. Do you think that Lucia should sit Kangas this weekend, and who do you think will win? Thanks.
Jess Myers (2:40 PM)
I'm certainly not alone in my opinion that Kangas needs a night off, just to recharge mentally. The fact that Lucia keeps playing him despite the struggles we've seen may be an indication of the faith (or lack thereof) Minnesota has in the rest of its goaltending corps. But in fairness to Kangas, he has been left out to dry on too many occasions by defensive lapses. As for this weekend, it would be easy to pick a Minnesota Duluth sweep, based on the way both teams have played in February, but if the Bulldogs couldn't win twice at Michigan Tech, I can't see them winning twice in Minneapolis.
Ted (Tampa, FL)
What is wrong with the Catamounts? Sure they're tied for 4th in the pairwise, but... only 3 points in the last two weekends and a loss to Merrimack? if you had asked me 3 weeks ago, given their remaining schedule (and others) I would've said they had a legilitame shot to catch BU or Northeatern. Contender or Pretender -- can this team make a run in the NCAA's?
Jeff Howe (2:42 PM)
There's no excuse for the Merrimack loss, but UVM ran into a hot Lowell team last weekend. Two weeks ago, I was with you on the high praises for Vermont, so I don't want to dismiss the Catamounts just yet. If they finish strong at Maine and against UNH, we'll know the recent struggles are just a blip. UVM is definitely a Frozen Four contender.
Josh (Boston, MA)
Why isn't Keiran Millan getting any consideration for the Hobey Baker? While I respect what Brad Theissen has done this year, Millan has a lower GAA (1.65), higher Save % (.930), better record (19-1-3), and the same number of SO's (2).
Joe Gladziszewski (2:45 PM)
For no good reason, it's a real tough burden for a freshman to be in the mix for the Hobey. Some of it has to do with the non-hockey attributes of a player, some because the voters want to see some consistency over the course of a career. Thiessen is clearly Northeastern's best player. I don't know that's necessarily the case with Millan - Colin Wilson and many of the defensemen have more name recognition and eye-catching appeal to the voters. Millan is having an outstanding year, so full credit to him.
Seth (St. Cloud, MN)
What are the SCSU Huskies chances at finding success in the next two weekends (DU and MSU-Mankato) and emerging from the black hole that is the middle of the WCHA???
Jess Myers (2:46 PM)
That's really two different questions. I could see them having some success in the final four games, but I don't see "some success" as enough to lift them out of the mess in the middle of the WCHA pack. If you want to watch the Huskies in the playoffs, gas up the car and be ready to see their road sweaters.
Western Michigan has had a strong second half, what do you think their chances are of making a run to the Joe this postseason?
Mike Eidelbes (2:49 PM)
The Broncos are 7-6-3 since Jan. 1 -- in the CCHA, that's good enough to put you right in the thick of things. WMU has a chance to finish as high as sixth in the league standings if things break right for them this weekend. Beyond this weekend, they're a 50-50 bet to win their first round series; if they advance to the quarterfinals, they'll need to get past Notre Dame, Miami, or Michigan to go to the Joe. That's not happening.
Jennifer (Madison, WI)
What do you think of the battle in the WCHA? Who's going to win? Who will have home ice? And who will be on the road for playoffs? Should end up being a great Final Five this year!
Jess Myers (2:51 PM)
I'm eating a lot of crow and admitting that North Dakota is going to win the MacNaughton Cup. Denver is my pick for the Final Five title. I see NoDak, Denver, Wisconsin, Minnesota Duluth and Colorado College at home for the playoffs. And I think the Final Five is always a great tournament (often better than the Frozen Four) but I'd be curious to see how much the attendance would drop in St. Paul if the Gophers don't get there.
What are your thoughts on the Big Red sliding out of top 10 in national poll?
Joe Gladziszewski (2:53 PM)
They earned their slip in the standings for sure, with some so-so play earlier this month. I like what I saw from them last weekend and they seem to be getting back on track heading into Friday's huge game at Yale before a home playoff series in two weeks.
John (Wakefield, MA)
Do you see Northeastern as a legitimate Frozen Four team? Or are they just a consistent team that lacks the talent for a post-season push?
Joe Gladziszewski (2:54 PM)
I think they can be, for sure. They're one of several teams in that middle tier that have enough talent and guts to win two games at a regional against equally matched teams. Pretty good stuff, great grit, experience and goaltending. That's a playoff formula.
Scott, SB CA
Last year BC went on a tear through the last few games of season and through to the finals...any contenders for this role this year?
Mike Eidelbes (2:55 PM)
With so much parity, you could see a number of teams fall into that category ... maybe not all the way to an NCAA championship like BC, but certainly to the Frozen Four. If pressed to put a team or two in that category, I'd single out Princeton -- I like the Tigers' experience and balance. Don't forget about Denver -- sure, they're tied for first in the WCHA, so maybe they don't qualify, but if they get Tyler Bozak back for the playoffs, look out.
Bob (Boston, MA)
Do you see another BU NU showdown at the Garden in a championship game this time Hockey East Final? Do you think NU can pull it off and finally beat BU in a big game this year?
Jeff Howe (2:58 PM)
I do see a BU-NU final, and I see it being a ridiculously exciting game, too. I'm always going to give the nod to BU, but Northeastern can certainly skate away with the title, especially after picking up a moral victory last weekend with two ties in the home-and-home series.
Scott, Sb CA
Can we bring some deterioration to the thursday chat show!
Joe Gladziszewski (2:59 PM)
Thanks for listening to the podcast, but we try to keep it on topic here in the chat room.
Joe Gladziszewski (3:00 PM)
That's all of the time we have for today. Thanks for writing and checking out what we have to say about college hockey. It's the most exciting time of the year, so enjoy the games this weekend and storylines as they develop.