Chat with Inside College Hockey
Welcome to SportsNation! On Friday, the experts from Inside College Hockey will stop by to take your questions about the 2010-11 season.
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Joe Gladziszewski (2:01 PM)
We're back to talk college hockey and will be taking your questions for at least the next half hour. Lots of exciting series around the college hockey world this weekend, and Monday's Beanpot is another highlight on the college hockey calendar.
After Union's big weekend against Yale and Brown, do you see them as a legitimate contender for ECAC crown and possibly more in the NCAA's?
Joe Gladziszewski (2:03 PM)
There's no doubt that Union is in the mix for a league title and a place in the NCAA Tournament. They've proven themselves in recent weeks with a run of impressive wins, kind of mixed around one stumble against a pretty good Dartmouth team. I think Union would be my pick right now to win the ECAC playoffs, but I still favor Yale for the regular-season title.
Jason (Sampson's Island, Cape Cod)
With the way the last 2 Vermont seasons have gone, poor starts, numerous players being dismissed/leaving the program, horrible HE records and now how it looks like the team has given up, is it time for a coaching change? UVM has some talent, albeit young, but it seem like Sneddon and his staff don't know how to handle/motivate this bunch. I'd also be interested to hear the names of some replacement coaches that would/should be looked at.
Joe Gladziszewski (2:06 PM)
Also keep in mind that it was just two short years ago that Vermont was in the Frozen Four in Washington D.C. The coaching staff didn't get worse overnight. I do agree that some of the attrition in the program is a concern, but it's also a much more competitive era in Hockey East. Emerging programs like Merrimack and a bit of resurgent Maine program have bumped Vermont down the standings a bit. I wouldn't run Sneddon out of there just yet.
Jake (Cincinnati, OH)
What do the Redhawks have to do down the stretch to make the tourney? And if they don't make the dance are Camper and Miele out for the Hobey?
Mike Eidelbes (2:08 PM)
Win games, Jake. It's really as simple as that. The RedHawks have a good chance to improve their NCAA Tournament standing by beating Michigan and Western Michigan the next two weekends. As far as Hobey candidacies of Carter Camper and Andy Miele, there's a school of thought that ties individual success to team success, but if one or both deserve to be in the mix for the Hobey, they'll find their way onto that list.
Will F (New York City)
Union College was one game away from the National Tournament last season. How do you like their chances this year and where do you see them finishing in the ECAC? They are just 1 point behind Yale...
Joe Gladziszewski (2:09 PM)
Good to hear from lots of Union fans today. Still think they're a contender. I like how they play in the tough areas, in front of both nets. That will help when games get tougher in the playoffs.
Tom (Schenectady NY)
With RPI's Big win at the freakout do u think they will make it to a.c this year and win the ecac tourny and go on to make a splash in the national tourny?
Joe Gladziszewski (2:11 PM)
RPI has definitely been playing better over the last few weeks and Chase Polacek is leading the way. The whole senior class has really helped lift this program in recent years and they don't want to end their careers without being part of the league's championship weekend or without playing in the national tournament. There's some toughness on this team, great goaltending, and enough scoring to make them dangerous. I like their potential for the rest of the year.
JD (Annn Arbor)
Miami returned almost everyone from last year's Frozen Four team but are in danger of missing the tournament this year. The offense seems fine with two leading scorers, so is it the defense? The goaltenders? Coaching? and do you see them making the tournament this year?
Mike Eidelbes (2:14 PM)
Seems to me that Miami's biggest problem is holding a lead. Take a closer look at their nine losses to date -- in five of those games, the RedHawks were ahead at one point. And Miami also led in four of its five ties thus far. Successful teams take a lead and don't give it back.
WILLIE (TRENTON, NJ)
Everyone's talking about Yale and Union and RPI. What about the next teams in ECAC? Princeton is in the race too!
Joe Gladziszewski (2:16 PM)
Princeton has a big opportunity this weekend to make up some ground in the ECAC Hockey standings when Union and RPI visit Baker Rink. Dartmouth shouldn't be forgotten either. They get to play against first-place Yale. We've got five ECAC Hockey teams ranked in the INCH Power Rankings, and you're right. Can't forget about Princeton (and Dartmouth).
Brian A. (Hingham, Mass.)
Who wins the beanpot?
Joe Gladziszewski (2:18 PM)
I'll take the easy pick and say that it's Boston College's tournament to lose. Most people will be focused on Monday night's second semifinal when BC and BU meet. Don't automatically hand the title to the winner of that game. There's a lot of pride on the line in this thing, and while Harvard and Northeastern haven't had the greatest seasons, they could make it a memorable one by winning the Beanpot.
Tom (Schenectady NY)
do u see chase polack or allen york winning the hoby this year if rpi makes it to the national tourey
Joe Gladziszewski (2:19 PM)
Wrote a lot on Chase Polacek this week in an INCH feature story. I think he's a far more likely winner or even Hobey Hat Trick finalist than York. No disrespect to Allen York, but Polacek is a senior, he was in consideration last year and voters know more about him, and it's really tough for goalies to win this award.
Is this weekend's series bigger for UMD or Minnesota?
Mike Eidelbes (2:22 PM)
At this point, I suppose it's UMD. Minnesota's a long way from being part of the NCAA Tournament discussion, but the Gophers can enter that conversation if they perform well against UMD, Denver, and Wisconsin over the next three weekends. UMD, meanwhile, is battling for NCAA Tournament positioning -- as of now, they're in line to get a top seed in one of the four regionals (whatever that's worth).
Do you think it would be good for the Beanpot for NU/Harvard to win it?
Joe Gladziszewski (2:24 PM)
I don't know that there's such a thing as being "good for the Beanpot". There's regional interest no matter which teams are good or bad. I suppose there could be more national interest if some different teams started to make a serious run at the title, but it's a pretty parochial deal.
Maine and UNH? What's going to happen?
Joe Gladziszewski (2:25 PM)
Can't say what will happen, but I do think these are really big games for Maine. UNH has put themselves on stable ground with a very impressive record, especially in Hockey East. Maine showed some signs earlier in the year, but now they've got to get things together. Big games against their rivals might light a spark for the last month of the regular season. If they don't win, there's got to be some doubt that they can beat the better teams in the league once playoffs start.
Rick (East Lansing)
What do yo u make of the Spartans? They have two wins over Michigan and beat Miami but also a lot of losses.
Mike Eidelbes (2:27 PM)
Two things: MSU is young and lost a ton of talent, especially offense, during the offseason. So they've got a situation where they're forced to rely on untested guys to play significant roles. Consistent scoring has been a huge issue and the special teams, especially the penalty kill, has been a problem. They've got good goaltending, though, and that can be enough to keep a team in a lot of games.
Just listened to the Inch Podcast. During the podcast, the fans of North Dakota were made fun of a number of times with a lot of laughing going on about North Dakota. I realize that the North Dakota fans are constantly questioning your writing and rankings but I feel it is because they are so passionate about their team. Comments and jabs from you guys on a podcast only proliferate their feelings towards INCH. Would you guys care to comment on why the constant dissing of North Dakota?
Joe Gladziszewski (2:31 PM)
Sorry to paint with a broad brush, and we shouldn't single out the entire Sioux fan base when it's just the most vocal supporters that we are speaking to. It's nothing to do with how Sioux fans feel about our site. It's the accumulation of everything. Gophers, Denver, referees, tournament selection, Yale's schedule. Passion is commendable. But there needs to be perspective. Don't dismiss everything else as being terrible, or that everyone is out to get you. There's a lot of good teams and good things going on elsewhere around the nation. That's the point we try to make.
What do you think about the Denver and CC games this weekend?
Mike Eidelbes (2:32 PM)
Interesting series. CC was great against North Dakota Friday, but not so much Saturday. If CC goalie Joe Howe can go this weekend (he was hurt in Saturday's game against NoDak) a split seems likely. If not, advantage DU. The Pios will start Adam Murray in goal tonight and Sam Brittain goes tomorrow.
Will a sweep of UNO next week by the Badgers finally allow you guys to put Wisco in the top 5?
Joe Gladziszewski (2:34 PM)
That will depend on what the other top teams in the country are able to do this weekend, and Wisconsin will have to keep playing well. We'd like to see some wins against higher-quality opponents from the Badgers, but as always, we will recognize the teams that take care of business and win the games they have scheduled.
Will F (New York City)
Should I leave work a few minutes early today to go watch my Union College Dutchmen take on the Princeton Tigers? I'd have to catch the 6:03 train from Penn Station to Princeton...
Joe Gladziszewski (2:34 PM)
Absolutely. Sneak out if you have to, and if your management or supervisors don't like it, they're no friends of college hockey.
Joe Gladziszewski (2:35 PM)
And that will wrap this week's chat. Enjoy the games around the nation. We'll be back next week, same time, to take more questions.