PDA

View Full Version : Irish hockey: Straight Inta the Off-Season



Pages : [1] 2 3 4 5 6 7

Jeff_Jackson_for_Pres.
03-21-2012, 01:04 PM
I've been thinking about what was good, bad or indifferent about this past season and each column has quite a few entries.

The good includes:

1. Wins over half of the field still playing
2. T.J. Tynan disproving the "sophomore slump" theory while averaging more than a point/game
3. The emergence of Austin Wuthrich and Robbie Russo as solid players
4. The (final) emergence of Steven Summerhays between the pipes with a 2.43 GA (better than 5 of the goalies still playing) and a save % of .910 (tying him with 3 of the goalies who still have games to play)
5. A winning % of 70% when scoring first (which actually surprised me because I thought protecting a lead was difficult for the Irish at times)

The indifferent includes:

1. A winning % of 37% when giving up the first goal; not a great number but better than our opponents
2. An 18.5% PP efficacy which puts us in the top half of teams (given the struggles in offense, this number is quite acceptable)
3. A 2.67 GA which puts us in the top 40% of teams (not great, but not horrific either)
4. An 82.9% PK efficiency which amazingly puts ND in the top third in the nation (I would have loved to have seen this number around 88%)

The bad is a long list that includes:

1. 18 losses, the 2nd most in Coach Jackson's tenure here (the most was 19 in his first season)
2. A losing conference record
3. No shootout points (making us the only CCHA team to record no victories in that gimmick, in fact, we were the only CCHA team to record no goals in the SO)
4. David Gerths, Bryan Rust and Mike Voran proving the "sophomore slump" theory
5. Anders Lee's scoring drought (and pipes hit, which is part of the desert, but seemingly the more frustrating part)
6. A 2.52 GF which put ND 45th in the country in offense (and let me tell ya, the teams below them had some baaaad seasons)
7. A winning % at home of barely above .500 (they say you are supposed to sweep at home, and while it's good to strive for that, I always think of a winning % of at least .700 at home as a good benchmark)
8. A winning % on the road of .395 (they also say you should split on the road, which I totally agree with, meaning this number just sucks)
9. Coach Jackson's handling of...well, most stuff this season, but more specifically the goalie situation. A good teacher constantly re-evaluates his or her lessons, tests, assignments, etc. Reflection should be done weekly, if not daily, to be an effective teacher. A good teacher is not afraid (as difficult as it is) to say, "Man, that did not go well. I should try..."

For me, I do not know how to apologize (it sucks admitting when you messed up), I try to move on from bad situations (a virtually impossible task) and I hope to change and grow (but how I hate change). Because really without those 3 things, there's no difference between us and tree stumps. And who wants to be a tree stump?

Redhead
03-22-2012, 01:37 AM
For me, I do not know how to apologize (it sucks admitting when you messed up), I try to move on from bad situations (a virtually impossible task) and I hope to change and grow (but how I hate change). Because really without those 3 things, there's no difference between us and tree stumps. And who wants to be a tree stump?

So, four Hockey East teams earned spots in the NCAA Tournament. Are you still thinking Notre Dame is too good for Hockey East?

Flatlander14
03-22-2012, 01:38 AM
So, four Hockey East teams earned spots in the NCAA Tournament. Are you still thinking Notre Dame is too good for Hockey East?

They are.

(Just keep them away)

WeAreNDHockey
03-22-2012, 01:53 AM
So, four Hockey East teams earned spots in the NCAA Tournament. Are you still thinking Notre Dame is too good for Hockey East?


No Notre Dame fan who posts here has EVER said Notre Dame was too good for Hockey East. Some of us may have wished for something different to make travel to road games a little more convenient, but in fact after things all shook out, most of us were actually happy to have ended up there. My guess is Hockey East is too good for you, whoever you are.

Jeff_Jackson_for_Pres.
03-22-2012, 09:54 AM
So, four Hockey East teams earned spots in the NCAA Tournament. Are you still thinking Notre Dame is too good for Hockey East?
When did I ever say they were "too good" for HE???!

Please, please, please brush up on reading comprehension before coming on here and making ridiculous accusations. Please. If reading comprehension isn't a strong suit, it just makes you look like a moron.

Edit: Aah. A quick search tells me that you have been a "member" of this site for a year and have made all of 9 posts, one of which is this one. Let me guess...you're about 32, slightly pudgy, still live at home and went stag to your high school prom.

One of the drawbacks of fan forums, I know...

Redhead
03-22-2012, 10:38 AM
JJfP 10/2/2011:
"I just had to clean the barf off my keyboard...
I see zero positives coming from this... Other than a once a year rivalry with BC, how many ND fans other than me would get worked up playing MC or UML? ...And before anyone chimes in with all the NC's HE has, they have 4 of the last 11, but those are from 2 teams out of a 10 team conference. The new conference has 4 in the last 12 from 3 teams in an 8 team conference. Which sounds more "premier?"

Jeff_Jackson_for_Pres.
03-22-2012, 11:08 AM
JJfP 10/2/2011:
How do you read that and get that ND is too good for HE? You should read that I think the new conference should be better than HE. That's it.

Again. Learn to comprehend.

IrishHockeyFan
03-22-2012, 12:39 PM
Again. Learn to comprehend.

Too many threads seem to attract a large proportion of drive by and occasional posters who see only what they want to see. It's so much worse around here than it used to be. So bad that I rarely bother reading most of the the threads not involving Notre Dame. Too bad really. It's one of the reasons I post in/read the UM threads, especially in and around the time we're playing them. Because despite the fact that as a Note Dame fan I'm not all that fond of UM, their posters on this forum are some of the most level headed and articulate people on the board. Aside from one or two, the whole bunch of them seem like the best kinds of college hockey fans. And quite a few (Alton especially, but there are others as well) are some of the best go-to people on the board when information about the NCAA, questions about TV deals, or history of the game and like items need to be researched. Oh well, one of the pitfalls of the internet I guess. At least dumb people around us don't HAVE to make us dumber. I hope.

Jeff_Jackson_for_Pres.
03-22-2012, 06:25 PM
I would add DU and WMU fans to your list. I have heard from several and they are just nice people.

Hope I didn't just blow someone's street cred...;)

bronconick
03-22-2012, 08:13 PM
IHF, you are doomed when you get to HE. They're almost proud of their flamefests.

I'm just glad the mlive Broncos can't find their way here. There were a double handful of them that were angry that the "man" was screwing us with our low seed in the tournament. One brave soul was trying to explain the pairwise. Sadly, he failed.

IrishHockeyFan
03-26-2012, 06:33 PM
IHF, you are doomed when you get to HE. They're almost proud of their flamefests.



Yeah, I'm aware of their reputation. At one time the (mostly) annual BC/ND game would generate a little of the flaming the Hockey East folk are proud of, but not so much any more. After next season I think this place will be a lot less interesting to me.

In other news, Sean Lorenz joined Riley Sheahan among the ranks of former Irish hockey payers making their AHL debuts, skating with the Houston Aeros last night.

And I was hoping the Notre Dame off season thread wouldn't disappear to the 4th page until Prince Fielder had at least homered once in Comerica Park, but I suppose that was optimistic with the lingering bitterness from the season still fairly evident. Still, we were 3-3 against the Frozen Four field. That's something right? OK, it really isn't.

Jeff_Jackson_for_Pres.
03-27-2012, 12:41 PM
And I was hoping the Notre Dame off season thread wouldn't disappear to the 4th page until Prince Fielder had at least homered once in Comerica Park, but I suppose that was optimistic with the lingering bitterness from the season still fairly evident. Still, we were 3-3 against the Frozen Four field. That's something right? OK, it really isn't.
Bitterness. That's a good word for it.

2 years ago I did not attend the awards presentation (not that I would have wanted to) because I had a game at the same time. There is no conflict for this Sunday's awards thing, but I'm not going. And while I could say it's because I'm cheap and don't feel like spending the $30 it would cost for appetizers for Mr. JJfP and me to attend, it's really because I'm so disappointed, slightly angry and still bitter about the end of this season.

I've been wondering about the adjustments that need to be made for next season. I've also been wondering if Coach Jackson has the stones to make those adjustments. Anders Lee should wear the C because I believe he is the player who will hold his teammates accountable and not shy away from telling someone to step it up. While I think soon-to-be-senior Sam Calabrese could wear an A effectively (he has good vision on the ice, keeps his head about him, etc.), I want the soon-to-be-junior Lee to be the captain. And none of this co-captain crap. It didn't work. I think Sean Lorenz and Billy Maday are both too soft-spoken to have each worn the C. I want a leader who looks like he could kill the player beside him if said player punks out.

I'm hopeful that the hype from this season is now old and none of the returning players believe in it anymore. All the media speculation, the questions, the new home, the documentary, the pre-season rankings went straight to their heads like fizz in root beer. But like that root beer, when admired too long and not drunk quickly, it goes flat.

So raise that glass. Here's to stock-taking, soul-searching and regrouping in the off-season.

Drink quickly.

bronconick
03-27-2012, 06:46 PM
Yeah, I'm aware of their reputation. At one time the (mostly) annual BC/ND game would generate a little of the flaming the Hockey East folk are proud of, but not so much any more. After next season I think this place will be a lot less interesting to me.

In other news, Sean Lorenz joined Riley Sheahan among the ranks of former Irish hockey payers making their AHL debuts, skating with the Houston Aeros last night.

And I was hoping the Notre Dame off season thread wouldn't disappear to the 4th page until Prince Fielder had at least homered once in Comerica Park, but I suppose that was optimistic with the lingering bitterness from the season still fairly evident. Still, we were 3-3 against the Frozen Four field. That's something right? OK, it really isn't.

We were undefeated in 6 games vs. Frozen Four teams. Totally asking if we can hang a banner. We've still got room. ;)

IrishHockeyFan
03-27-2012, 07:15 PM
We were undefeated in 6 games vs. Frozen Four teams. Totally asking if we can hang a banner. We've still got room. ;)

Well you guys are adding a pretty impressive one from earlier in the month. Belated congratulations on the Mason Cup. With your top scorers returning, Slubowski between the pipes, and none of the dysfunction I see in my program, I think Western is in better shape than Notre Dame. Murray did a good job this season, and I think he'll probably be a little better next year.

Jeff_Jackson_for_Pres.
03-31-2012, 08:33 PM
The CFIA is hosting a learn to skate/play hockey (http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=325077757548240&set=a.226483907407626.70328.207139959342021&type=1&theater) series. It begins April 9th and is run by Mike McNeil and Jason Nightingale. I've attended hockey clinics run by both and I highly recommend them as teachers.

NotreDameFan27
04-02-2012, 01:12 PM
Well you guys are adding a pretty impressive one from earlier in the month. Belated congratulations on the Mason Cup. With your top scorers returning, Slubowski between the pipes, and none of the dysfunction I see in my program, I think Western is in better shape than Notre Dame. Murray did a good job this season, and I think he'll probably be a little better next year.

Alright, I get that you're upset about the season. But really man, isn't it time to end this overt negativity? We have a good team coming back and our goaltending situation will improve, in my opinion, with Summerhays being the number one guy (that was the problem, after all). I don't see any reason to go on and on about how crappy we are and how the sky is falling and how our program stinks, etc.

UMLFan
04-02-2012, 01:22 PM
Just an FYI, it was just retweeted out, but ex-NU goalie commit Jon Gillies is at Notre Dame today.

Jeff_Jackson_for_Pres.
04-02-2012, 02:52 PM
Alright, I get that you're upset about the season. But really man, isn't it time to end this overt negativity? We have a good team coming back and our goaltending situation will improve, in my opinion, with Summerhays being the number one guy (that was the problem, after all). I don't see any reason to go on and on about how crappy we are and how the sky is falling and how our program stinks, etc.
IHF is by far not the most negative on here. I think you meant to direct this at me...

And what's wrong with nitpicking? Don't we all expect perfection? Because if we don't, why keep score? If we don't expect perfection, what the hell do we expect in its place? Isn't it better to come on here and complain than to wait outside the CFIA and accost the team? This team this past season is like owning a Porsche and having it spew white smoke everytime you get it on the open road and try to go faster than 55. That's not the way a Porsche is supposed to function.

IrishHockeyFan
04-02-2012, 04:09 PM
Alright, I get that you're upset about the season. But really man, isn't it time to end this overt negativity? We have a good team coming back and our goaltending situation will improve, in my opinion, with Summerhays being the number one guy (that was the problem, after all). I don't see any reason to go on and on about how crappy we are and how the sky is falling and how our program stinks, etc.

I don't see the post you are referring to as overtly negative to the extent you must. Understandable, since I wrote it and understood where I was coming from. But to defend myself I'll offer the following arguments:

I see no evidence that our goaltending situation has solidified. Nothing that happened last season led me to believe Jackson knows who his starter is going forward. I base this on the fact that Jackson, rather obviously as the very last regular season game can attest to, had yet to figure it out after a season's worth of evidence. I'm betting you couldn't find two fans who wanted Johnson to start, and I believe the players --who do have opinions on this by the way -- also felt much more comfortable in front of Summerhays. So by using both goalies at that juncture in the season I don't think it is safe OR reasonable to just assume we have the goalie situation figured out. By contrast, Western has certainly got a number one goalie, and that goalie is certainly capable of leading his team to a better regular season finish than Notre Dame and of winning a Mason Cup. Why do I think that? Because both just happened. And for better or worse, goaltending has become the one position in hockey at most elite levels that your ultimate success rises and falls on. Even a modest repeat of the revolving door of the completed season will make success nearly impossible. As we get further and further away from 2006-2009 I think it's becoming more and more obvious just how big a role David Brown and Jordan Pearce played in the success we saw.

As for scoring, Western not only returns most of their offense, but they did not see the extremes we saw in production. No one on their team was expected to produce like an Anders Lee or many of our other sophomores and then failed miserably. What are the expectations for the soon-to-be Juniors? The 80 goals they scored as Freshmen, or the 52 they scored as Sophomores? The "Sophomore slump" is largely a myth not born out by historical statistics, but ours struggled so much as to lend credence to it. We have been led to believe by Jackson for the last few seasons we will become a more elite team offensively as we are able to upgrade our recruiting as time goes by. Yet in his 7 seasons the team's offense has been wildly inconsistent. (ETA: It has been worse than I originally thought when I posted this and figured the actual numbers would not be as inconsistent as I feared. Year-to-year scoring since the 05/06 season: 2.47, 3.40, 2.89, 3.38, 2.37, 3.43, 2.52. That's quite the roller coaster. Makes no sense when we have been assured a more offensive team was being recruited and especially makes no sense when one figures the vast majority of minutes skated from one season to a next is by the same players.) So couple consistent scoring with Slubowski and you've got a formula for success that has been absent here.

Murray was very impressive in his first year at Western. He took a team with expectations and they were met or exceeded. Hard to do at any time, even harder for a first year coach. Much like a football team that improves most between its first and second games, I think a coach has the most potential for improvement between his first and second seasons. I think Murray will do a better job next season. I only HOPE Jackson does a better job. For one thing, his time at Notre Dame has already exceeded the time he spent at any of his previous jobs, all of which were at a similarly high level (top college assistant, pro assistant, or head coach at 3 other stops). I know how well he does when his players overachieve. In my opinion the jury is out when they underachieve, but it looks like jurors #1-8 and #12 want to convict.

Comments made following the season by those within the program mirrored in some ways comments following the 2009-10 season. Comments that reveal a failure on the part of the leaders of the team (both coaching staff and players) to properly motivate the players and steer them back to the correct path when the wheels started to bump the curb. A failure in leadership is the epitome of dysfunction regarding the framework of a team.

I didn't say we were gonna suck. Maybe Western takes home another Mason Cup and a regular season title and we finish third and lose to them in Detroit. We wouldn't suck in that scenario but Western would certainly have had a better season. But I do think the completely out of the blue bad seasons in two of the last three years say more about the situation than the one in the middle. So many freshmen who performed so well was the main reason that year finished in St. Paul when no one fairly would have expected that the previous October. But right now, I have no real reason to believe we are more likely to finish next season in Pittsburgh than we are to again finish it in Ann Arbor.

IrishHockeyFan
04-02-2012, 04:21 PM
Just an FYI, it was just retweeted out, but ex-NU goalie commit Jon Gillies is at Notre Dame today.

Source? Gillies and his team are playing a game next week at the CFIA, so maybe that helps to explain his presence on campus?