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.
ESPN and Inside College Hockey team up to bring you the latest NCAA college hockey news, scores, schedules, and more.
Send your questions now and join INCH Friday at 2 p.m. ET!
Joe Gladziszewski (2:03 PM)
Thanks for stopping by to talk college hockey. We'll be taking your questions for at least 30 minutes, maybe longer.
Joe Gladziszewski (2:03 PM)
It's a weekend of "rest" before the Frozen Four gets underway in St. Paul, but there's lots to talk about. Here we go ...
What held UNH back from winning a national championship this year? How good can Paul Thompson be at the next level?
Joe Gladziszewski (2:06 PM)
The number one thing that held UNH back is that there are a lot of other really good teams. I think the Wildcats' victory over Miami showed that UNH was pretty good overall this year. They led Boston College in the Hockey East standings for most of the season and in the end, kind of proved what they were - a top-10-ish team but not quite at the nation's elite level. I like Paul Thompson's game, and I like how he can create scoring opportunities. Goal-scorers are hard to find (and expensive) so he'll be given every chance to succeed.
Randy (Grand Rapids MI)
What is your assessment of the Spartans hiring of Tom Anastos?
Mike Eidelbes (2:08 PM)
I hesitate to question the judgment of MSU AD Mark Hollis, because it seems like every decision he's made to date has worked. But this hire is curious at best. Does Anastos know the game? Certainly. But he hasn't coached or recruited in 20 years and for a fan base that became fractured during the Rick Comley regime (especially the Spartan hockey alums), this hire will hardly galvanize them. At first glance, it looks like an incredible reach.
Brent (San Francisco, CA)
With Minnesota Duluth's surge and Notre Dame's solid post season play, what do you think will be the difference in that game?
Mike Eidelbes (2:12 PM)
It's fair to say that both goaltenders -- UMD's Kenny Reiter and Notre Dame's Mike Johnson -- were at the top of their games in the regionals, but both are inconsistent. I think the difference will be Duluth's ability to get offense from someone other than the FCC line, and Notre Dame's ability to keep that line at bay. I have a hunch Fontaine and the Connollys will see a lot of Riley Sheahan Thursday afternoon. He's one of the best defensive forwards in the country.
Which Michigan team will come out to play against North Dakota on Thursday? The one that got swept by Miami and was embarrassed by WMU in the CCHA tournament? Or the one we saw in St. Louis get through a tough UNO and a Colorado College that destroyed BC the night before? Even if the Wolverines play their best can they take down ND?
Joe Gladziszewski (2:16 PM)
If we knew the answer to that, we're in the wrong business. Michigan proved that when it's at its best it can play with anyone. I wouldn't count them out at the Frozen Four. They're good enough to beat anybody in a one-game situation. Every team has inconsistencies, but they had it going at the right time at St. Louis.
Zach Gaarder (Park River, ND)
Do you think Notre Dame will have enough to get passed UMD?Will UND be able to steam roll passed Michigan?
Mike Eidelbes (2:18 PM)
I like Notre Dame over UMD in the first semifinal -- the Fighting Irish have better depth up front and Jeff Jackson will have a game plan to slow the Bulldogs' top line. In the night cap, I think North Dakota will get past Michigan. They're too talented, and the Wolverines are banged up.
Ben (Fairfield, CT)
Do you think Nate will stay at Union? If so do you see them continuing to rise and take the program to the upper tier of ECAC.
Joe Gladziszewski (2:22 PM)
I'd be comfortable saying that Union is already at the upper tier of ECAC Hockey. Nate Leaman is very proud of his program and his commitment to Union is strong. If there are other opportunities, I would think that he'd listen to those calls, but it would take the absolute right situation to make it happen.
How big a bust was Miami in the tournament, and what does the future look like for the team, and for Coach Blasi, who can't seem to win in these clutch situation (Mason Cup excluded).
Mike Eidelbes (2:23 PM)
Not sure I would label Miami's loss to UNH a bust. Disappointing, yes. The RedHawks seemed out of sync the entire game. And Blasi will be there as long as he wants the gig -- regular-season titles, a playoff title, and a couple of Frozen Four trips guarantee that. Next season will be very interesting for Miami -- they lose Camper, Miele, and Cannone but just about everyone else is back and they add a solid recruiting class led by Tyler Biggs, who should go in the first or second round of this summer's NHL draft. If Reilly Smith returns, they'll be an NCAA Tournament team in 2012.
Eric B (God's Country)
So in retrospect was Yale's and the ECAC Pairwise numbers over inflated? They ECAC went 1-3 in the NCAA tourney and Yale sat at the top of the PWR all season long.
Joe Gladziszewski (2:25 PM)
The numbers are the numbers. There is no inflation. It looks at the entire season, which is something to keep in mind rather than judging a team based on one weekend or one game. What would you say about Boston College? Miami?
Ryan (Sheboygan, WI)
What will it take to get you guys to the Sioux pregame party to take a group photo with all of your biggest fans???
Joe Gladziszewski (2:26 PM)
Cash. Lots of it. Our appearance fees are outrageous.
Why is the Frozen Four shrouded behind the Final Four? Its as exciting!
Joe Gladziszewski (2:27 PM)
Several years ago, the Frozen Four was moved one week later on the schedule. Some of that was due to logistics and planning (short turn-around time from regionals to Frozen), and coincidentally moved one week after the men's and women's basketball final fours. We agree, and would say that it's even more exciting than basketball.
Ron Seeley (North Dakota)
We are already seeing the early exodus of some underclassman, as we have every year since the NHL's new CBA. Is there something that college Hockey can do, or should do to slow that exodus? And here I'm not talking about those players who can go straight to the NHL, like a Toews or Parise, but those who are not NHL ready.
Mike Eidelbes (2:29 PM)
Would the college hockey powers that be like everyone to stay for four years? Sure, but it isn't gonna happen. First, there are some guys who won't grow as a player by staying in college, even if that means a stint in the AHL -- Ryan Miller comes to mind. Second, I think it's good for the college programs when they sign guys early. Naturally, schools would like to see kids stay around, but when a Joe Colborne or Matt Donovan signs an NHL deal, for example, it reflects well on Denver's ability to attract and develop professional talent, which I think is a great selling point.
What is your opinion of Tampa Bay hosting next year's Frozen Four? Do you think it will be as good as St. Paul, Philadelphia, Boston, Pittsburgh, Detroit, Denver, etc.?
Joe Gladziszewski (2:31 PM)
Having been to that venue in the past, I always thought it would make a great Frozen site. I was very happy when it was announced. With the exception of last year's experiment at Ford Field, the Frozen Four never disappoints. Tampa will be no different.
Joe Gladziszewski (2:31 PM)
Thanks for stopping by to chat. Check out INCH for our end-of-season coverage and looking ahead to college hockey's championship weekend.