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Dutchman
02-01-2015, 07:48 AM
Dartmouth is making its run .... just like last year. The strategy of skating around until February, treating non-conference games like exhibition games and then making a run is IMO not going to work this year. Dartmouth was 0-4-3 in January up until Jan 24 and is now 3-0 making its run. Whatever Dartmouth was ever going to do, this is the year they were going to do it. This is the senior class (8) that held so much promise as sophomores. They caught Cornell and us right after very close and tough and exhausting games against Harvard and a depleted Colgate squad. I think we had shortened our lines against Harvard, maybe not. Dartmouth and Q have never won an ECAC tournament. In Lake Placid their banners are empty.

One of the problems with one great line going up against a team that can roll 4 is that they can wear you out. I think we did this last year when we had 4 very good lines. This was always supposed to be Dartmouth's year given the size of their senior class, their experience, age, size, etc. However, I don't see them as making it .... they still don't have any offensive plays. Running up and taking a shot will only get you so far. They did play for 60 minutes which has been a challenge for them. The last time I saw them do it was against BU. They won 2-0.

I figure you need about 26/27 points to get a first round bye .... we are not going to be there .... but I would hate to have us as a first round opponent.

The ECAC can still end up with just one team in the NCAA tournament and none in the FF which would be a shame since its in Boston.

ADK11
02-01-2015, 09:18 AM
Ship sailed on a first round bye a couple weekends ago.. now fighting for 1st round home ice and last nights game made that much more difficult. The worst thing about last night was not giving up the leads, but that Dartmouth played with a lot of fire and dominated the game. And the downside of having one big line that does most of the scoring is that the other team can key on shutting them down. Stevens was pretty good in goal but was left out to dry a few too many times. Dartmouth's 4th line won the game for them. The Green had a good game plan - to use the phrase, they out-Unioned Union.

Dartmouth may not win the league but they are 3 points ahead of us along with RPI meaning one good weekend likely won't get U out of this hole. The North Country trip is up and a trip to Cornell-Gate is sandwiched around Brown-Yale and home SLU/Clarkson. Right now Brown is MAYBE the only game you can expect to put in the win column.. sigh..

Kepler
02-01-2015, 09:58 AM
Dartmouth is making its run .... just like last year. The strategy of skating around until February, treating non-conference games like exhibition games and then making a run is IMO not going to work this year. Dartmouth was 0-4-3 in January up until Jan 24 and is now 3-0 making its run. Whatever Dartmouth was ever going to do, this is the year they were going to do it. This is the senior class (8) that held so much promise as sophomores. They caught Cornell and us right after very close and tough and exhausting games against Harvard and a depleted Colgate squad. I think we had shortened our lines against Harvard, maybe not. Dartmouth and Q have never won an ECAC tournament. In Lake Placid their banners are empty.

Nor has Brown.

Dartmouth looked very good against us, anyway. Sometimes teams just put everything together and go on great runs. The flaw in Dartmouth's "plan" may simply be they started their run too early. Jack Parker used to start the season with the Beanpot and he had a fair amount of success. ;)

I don't know if they're for real, but of the teams we've seen this year only they and St. Lawrence have struck me as capable of finding that extra gear.

Kepler
02-01-2015, 10:00 AM
I figure you need about 26/27 points to get a first round bye

Historical table (http://www.tbrw.info/?/ecac_History/ecac_Points_by_Seed.html) for the ECAC's 22-game seasons.

Vaportrail
02-01-2015, 11:02 AM
While Colin was good, this team gives up more breakaways and odd-man rushes than a Pee Wee squad, and it's a good thing Colin and Alex are so strong against grade-A chances. I can't see a run with such a lack of accountability.

Though Noah and Sebastien have really struggled, if you're looking for when this team's season went bad, I'd argue it was on November 1st. In the RPI game of October 31st, Charlie had the worst game I've seen from a collegiate player. Bennett failed to hold his captain to the on-ice standard of others when he played Charlie the next day. While Charlie is a good guy, and we all have fond memories of last year, giving your leader a free pass on that day, and several times since, hasn't been a winning formula. To turn this around, the coaches need to ask for production now, and move on from last year.

FlagDUDE08
02-01-2015, 11:24 AM
Dartmouth is making its run .... just like last year. The strategy of skating around until February, treating non-conference games like exhibition games and then making a run is IMO not going to work this year. Dartmouth was 0-4-3 in January up until Jan 24 and is now 3-0 making its run. Whatever Dartmouth was ever going to do, this is the year they were going to do it. This is the senior class (8) that held so much promise as sophomores. They caught Cornell and us right after very close and tough and exhausting games against Harvard and a depleted Colgate squad. I think we had shortened our lines against Harvard, maybe not. Dartmouth and Q have never won an ECAC tournament. In Lake Placid their banners are empty.

One of the problems with one great line going up against a team that can roll 4 is that they can wear you out. I think we did this last year when we had 4 very good lines. This was always supposed to be Dartmouth's year given the size of their senior class, their experience, age, size, etc. However, I don't see them as making it .... they still don't have any offensive plays. Running up and taking a shot will only get you so far. They did play for 60 minutes which has been a challenge for them. The last time I saw them do it was against BU. They won 2-0.

I figure you need about 26/27 points to get a first round bye .... we are not going to be there .... but I would hate to have us as a first round opponent.

The ECAC can still end up with just one team in the NCAA tournament and none in the FF which would be a shame since its in Boston.

There is a way for Union to win the Cleary Cup. It'd take a small miracle, though.

AnthonySaxe
02-01-2015, 02:16 PM
While Colin was good, this team gives up more breakaways and odd-man rushes than a Pee Wee squad, and it's a good thing Colin and Alex are so strong against grade-A chances. I can't see a run with such a lack of accountability.

Though Noah and Sebastien have really struggled, if you're looking for when this team's season went bad, I'd argue it was on November 1st. In the RPI game of October 31st, Charlie had the worst game I've seen from a collegiate player. Bennett failed to hold his captain to the on-ice standard of others when he played Charlie the next day. While Charlie is a good guy, and we all have fond memories of last year, giving your leader a free pass on that day, and several times since, hasn't been a winning formula. To turn this around, the coaches need to ask for production now, and move on from last year.

This.

I'm sure as much as he's a good guy, the fact is, he doesn't help this team win games. He's an extreme liability in his own end, and always has been. I've never seen a Union defender get beaten more to the outside than this guy, it's almost unbelievable how regularly it happens. If he didn't have a C on his chest, he wouldn't be dressing every night. He's just one man, though, in a massively disappointing D unit we have this year. When your most consistent D-man is a freshman out of prep school (Brassard), it's going to be an adventure every night back there, and it always is.

UnionFan4Life
02-01-2015, 07:53 PM
This.

I'm sure as much as he's a good guy, the fact is, he doesn't help this team win games. He's an extreme liability in his own end, and always has been. I've never seen a Union defender get beaten more to the outside than this guy, it's almost unbelievable how regularly it happens. If he didn't have a C on his chest, he wouldn't be dressing every night. He's just one man, though, in a massively disappointing D unit we have this year. When your most consistent D-man is a freshman out of prep school (Brassard), it's going to be an adventure every night back there, and it always is.
Nobody has stepped up on D to fill Ghost or Bodie's shoes (a tall order, I know). I'm very disappointed in Gingras, I was hoping he would develop into a stud this year, but instead he plays very soft, wiffs on almost every shot he takes, puck handling is questionable, and makes a few bonehead plays every game. Vasacuro is probably a good leader off the ice but isn't a lockdown Dman by any means. I'm pleased with Brassard, he has a bright future and Taylor has been progressing as the season goes on. Defense needs improvement, maybe it's youth, but it has to get better.

Ralph Baer
02-02-2015, 06:45 AM
Kevin Shier is doing color for the Toronto Patriots, his former team. His name is on the screen at about 1:30 of this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IuCJWzlBQOY&feature=youtu.be. (The reason that I watched this is that Jacob Hayhurst, who had a goal and an assist, is a 2016 RPI recruit.)

UFan
02-02-2015, 08:37 AM
Nobody has stepped up on D to fill Ghost or Bodie's shoes (a tall order, I know). I'm very disappointed in Gingras, I was hoping he would develop into a stud this year, but instead he plays very soft, wiffs on almost every shot he takes, puck handling is questionable, and makes a few bonehead plays every game. Vasacuro is probably a good leader off the ice but isn't a lockdown Dman by any means. I'm pleased with Brassard, he has a bright future and Taylor has been progressing as the season goes on. Defense needs improvement, maybe it's youth, but it has to get better.
^this.
I still believe our season is not over. Dartmouth played well, and had a good strategy against us. I don't think Bennett saw that one coming !
Let's keep getting better and see what happens.
Go U!!!!

sshablak
02-02-2015, 01:14 PM
Bryan Sullivan calls you guys mediocre in his ECAC blog today, getting to not think much of him.

Vaportrail
02-02-2015, 01:57 PM
Agreed, Sullivan is too kind. Union's .393 ECAC percentage is not mediocre. Like the coaches and some players, we're all just watching video of the 2014 NCAA Championships and waiting for the hangover fog to clear...

Dutchman
02-02-2015, 02:02 PM
Bryan Sullivan calls you guys mediocre in his ECAC blog today, getting to not think much of him.

Bryan is a HE fan. IMO does not like the ECAC. Don't know why the USCHO has him assigned to report on the ECAC. ECAC is point .490.

Dutchman
02-02-2015, 09:10 PM
Absolutely a great write-up on what ails us and consistent with the last few posts ... brings into perspective what many folks have been saying.
Its worth the read.

Three Things I Think: ECAC 2/2
Posted by: Josh Seguin
http://blog.collegehockeynews.com/2015/02/three-things-i-think-ecac-22/
Union’s Defense and Neutral Zone Play is a Work in Progress

Despite a win on Friday night, Rick Bennett was not pleased with how the win was achieved. On the box score the result looked great, a 5-4 win, but on the ice the result was pretty choppy against a Harvard team that is in all respects to them, decimated to the point they can hardly present a viable roster against a good opponent. For Union though, it was clear why it currently sits in tenth place in the ECAC. It is a place even I thought was a bit low for the defending champions, but then again it seems perfect to what I saw on the ice.

The first pairing of Noah Henry and Jeff Taylor looked out of sync in the neutral and defensive zones for much of the Harvard game. Henry turned the puck over consistently and his decisions were at times, deflating to Union and questionable at best. I cannot remember a game this season, when I saw one defenseman turn the puck over so many times in a game. Most of the opportunities on that night were with the Henry, Taylor pair on the ice. The next night, it was the second pairing of Gingras and JC Brassard that had a rocky game against Dartmouth. The pair was on the ice for all three Dartmouth goals and many other great DC chances.

From the outside, changes might be needed on the defensive pairs. I understand trying to spread out the talent on the defensive pairs, but then again why not try putting the best guys together? The latter is what most teams try to do going down the stretch. Noah Henry and Jc Brassard will never be Mat Bodie and Shayne Gostisbehere, but then again Jeff Taylor and Sebastian Gingras are better defensemen than both showed this weekend. This poor play is leading to Union playing a very offensive game, that it is hardly used to. It is a dangerous game that is allowing them to score a ton, but its defense is sure taking a hit. Union has been known throughout its run of the past four years, of relying on its defense and goaltending, which is not happening this season.

Union has time to rectify the problems, but sitting in tenth place means a possible trip on the road for two consecutive weeks to begin the ECAC tournament, if it wishes to defend its three consecutive league titles. Its possible with the offense it has, but things need to change in the neutral zone and defensive zone real quick. Unlike some, a run to me seems unlikely based on what I saw.

Dutchman
02-02-2015, 09:58 PM
Since January 1 - 8 games
We scored 31 goals - 3.88
We gave up 29 goals - 3.63
Since January 16 - 5 games
We scored 20 goals - 4.00
We gave up 20 goals - 4.00

We are 2-8 in 1 goal games
We are 10-4 when leading after 2

Worse stat IMO
Number of our opponents shots that we blocked YTD - 266
Number of our shots blocked by our opponents YTD - 372

Vaportrail
02-02-2015, 10:15 PM
"I cannot remember a game this season, when I saw one defenseman turn the puck over so many times in a game."

Apparently Josh hasn't seen any other Union games this year. :)

Good analysis, and, before this year, I wouldn't have believed Bennett would tolerate it.

Dutchfan
02-02-2015, 11:06 PM
"I cannot remember a game this season, when I saw one defenseman turn the puck over so many times in a game."

Apparently Josh hasn't seen any other Union games this year. :)

Good analysis, and, before this year, I wouldn't have believed Bennett would tolerate it.

That's what has been so frustrating about this season. It's been the same song and dance since the AIC game on opening night. I understood the issues with the D early in the season but the situation hasn't improved at all. Throwing the same six defenseman in the same three pairs out there every weekend and expecting a different result is the definition of insanity. It's time to give Krug and Light a chance to see if they can do better.

ADK11
02-03-2015, 12:13 AM
That's what has been so frustrating about this season. It's been the same song and dance since the AIC game on opening night. I understood the issues with the D early in the season but the situation hasn't improved at all. Throwing the same six defenseman in the same three pairs out there every weekend and expecting a different result is the definition of insanity. It's time to give Krug and Light a chance to see if they can do better.Light played a bunch of games in December & January and had a couple clunkers against Q-pac & Cornell. I thought Krug looked solid at times last season, but he ended up losing the sixth D-man derby to Henry.. I guess you could say there is not much to lose, but I don't really think he is an answer at this point in the season.

There's no doubt that the D-corps has struggled this season, and while the 2 departees from last season were fantastic players, it is a little bit of a surprise that it has been this bad - or more likely we were just spoiled during the Bodie/Ghost years. Some of the reasons for the decline were to be expected but a couple are not so. Very few freshmen D have come in & been consistent performers. Bodie is really the only one I can think of. An argument can be made for Taylor, but he was paired with the best defenseman in college hockey last year. This year's freshmen have potential but are make fairly typical bad decisions & mistakes. There are others that transitioning to more prominent roles and struggling at times. My breakdown of the d-men:
- Taylor: generally an overall good season. Very good offensively and has been making progress on the defensive end, though still not quite the foot speed or physicality to be a defensive stopper. His decision making is steadily improving, but he is only a soph & has room to get better.
- Gingras: has struggled. Last season with Bodie was more defense first and developed into a fantastic breakout passer, who once or twice a game would try to rush the puck. This season he seems to be forcing the offense more with inconsistent results. His mistakes are magnified being paired with less experienced partners. Also was injured and has been in & out of the lineup a bit, which probably hasn't helped with consistency.
- Vasaturo: he was the 5th D-man last year and pretty much remains so this season. I think he has been solid and is the only D-man who consistently brings size, effort & physicality. Experience & leadership are pluses and is good on the PK. That said, he is not a high skill skater or stickhandler and has limitations that are exposed at times, especially being paired with a freshman.
- Henry: has a nice skill set, but still has issues with turnovers and decision making. Was 6th d-man last season and easily was the weakest link in the post-season. I think he has upside and I believe he is improving, but remains to be seen if he gets there.
- The Freshmen: Brassard has improved and has great potential IMO. DeSimone is getting better too, but needs some off-season work to bring his game around. Light has potential but is more of a question mark. Bottom line with all of them is that they have a lot to learn defensively and still make plenty of mistakes.

I'm not sure what the coaches can do to change things. I guess you could have Taylor/Gingras & Vasaturo/Brassard as your top pairs, but you really wouldn't want to be caught with your 3rd pair out there against any top forwards. I think the current combos are generally about as good as you can do, and have to hope that Gingras & Henry improve and become more consistent. A tall order at this point in the season..

Senna
02-03-2015, 11:35 AM
Since January 1 - 8 games
We scored 31 goals - 3.88
We gave up 29 goals - 3.63
Since January 16 - 5 games
We scored 20 goals - 4.00
We gave up 20 goals - 4.00

We are 2-8 in 1 goal games
We are 10-4 when leading after 2

Worse stat IMO
Number of our opponents shots that we blocked YTD - 266
Number of our shots blocked by our opponents YTD - 372

Ive posted this elsewhere - the alternative view on blocked shots and hits is that if you consistently have more than your opponents, then it shows that they have possession of the puck much longer than you do and that the play was in your end of the ice (defensive zone). Some people view these stats as a positive (to have more hits and blocked shots than your opponent). I'd say that if you are getting more shots blocked that you have possession in the offensive zone and consider that to be an overall positive.

rdf8585
02-04-2015, 06:59 PM
Ciampini tabbed as HCA's National Player of the Month for January:

http://t.co/012AonXc5z