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BostonSoccerDad
12-11-2017, 07:33 AM
Interesting comment by Norm about needing to get away from each other.
http://www.espn.com/watch/_/id/3226492/merrimack-vs-new-hampshire-m-hockey

Heard that too and made me stop for a second... I think this team is lacking true leadership. The team seems to be missing those guys that set the pace and the tone. This team has the talent, but right now lacking the cohesiveness of past teams.

Another quote from Norm: "It was a NASCAR Race, and we were watching."

BostonSoccerDad
12-11-2017, 07:57 AM
The first 6 games after the holiday tournament are not against elite competition. This can be a good opportunity to iron out the kinks, get their head in the game, and put together a run. It would be great if they can go 5-1 in this stretch and get some mojo going before clashing with the Eagles.

Middle Street
12-11-2017, 09:42 AM
The first 6 games after the holiday tournament are not against elite competition. This can be a good opportunity to iron out the kinks, get their head in the game, and put together a run. It would be great if they can go 5-1 in this stretch and get some mojo going before clashing with the Eagles.

A win against Umass during that stretch would be a pairwise boost for Lowell. :eek:

chiefs11
12-11-2017, 07:25 PM
A win against Umass during that stretch would be a pairwise boost for Lowell. :eek:

Not with this team to inconstant

UML Puck Hawk
12-13-2017, 06:07 PM
I wonder if mookie enjoyed his trip to costello?

boblav1
12-13-2017, 08:31 PM
I wonder if mookie enjoyed his trip to costello?

A big win for the men's BB team tonight snapping a 4 game losing streak.

boblav1
12-17-2017, 09:52 PM
Former River Hawk goaltenders, Carter Hutton and Conner Hellebuyck, each had shutouts this weekend as St Louis and Winnipeg played a home at home series. Carter shutout the Jets 2-0 (https://www.nhl.com/gamecenter/wpg-vs-stl/2017/12/16/2017020501#game=2017020501,game_state=final) on Saturday night in his first game back from injury. He also set a Blues record for saves (48) in a shutout. Conner was back in net for the Jets today and shutout the Blues 4-0. (https://www.nhl.com/gamecenter/stl-vs-wpg/2017/12/17/2017020507#game=2017020507,game_state=final) The former Hawks did not play against each other.

RHawkobserver
12-22-2017, 02:55 PM
It is mid-point in the season. Everyone has enjoyed a little break over the holidays and time to look at how this team, both players and the coaching staff have performed during the first half. I have held off posting because I wanted to see just how this team would respond to a number of things including injuries etc in the first half. The results of the first half should not really be surprising. The struggles this team has had are no surprise because we have seen glimpses and periods of this in the past. The difference this year is this team does not have the high end skill, the depth in the roster and has not developed the level of compete and work ethic that we have seen of Hawks teams in the past. Equally important is that the coaching staff, in my opinion have not done a good enough job in preparing and developing this team based on the talent they have. Quite frankly the game plan has not been good enough.

It starts with recruiting the last 2 years. If you look at the level of recruiting that has taken place, this coaching staff has really missed the mark the last couple of years and this is now very evident in the lack of depth in the line-up. In years gone past, the strength of this team was the ability to create competition and rotate new players into the line-up if others were not playing well and have those players be able to make an impact. This year, this has not been the case. This was evident in the last game where you have a forward get suspended and you dress a defencemen when you have 4 forwards waiting in the sidelines. This decision by the coaching staff doesn't really speak to a lot of confidence in your depth and not really sure how these players will respond to this. You have 3 freshman that can play at the college level and then the rest of the underclass cannot get into the line-up and/or are not ready to play. In order to be competitive you have to be able to recruit players from the USHL and top Canadian leagues and these players need to be able to play regular minutes. Recruiting from the lesser leagues just wont cut it and that is what you have seen the last couple of years. You also look at the players that have left the program that have been recruited and just weren't good enough to play and it should be no surprise where this team is at.

I find it really interesting that people on this board are always quick to blame the defense for the struggles this team has. Quite frankly the struggles this team has is all generated from the lack of offensive zone time, the number of turnovers and the total lack of puck management this team displays on a regular basis. You will not win many games when you are only averaging just over 2 goals/game, your top scorer has only 5 goals , 3 of your top 6 scorers are d-men and half of your forwards only have 1 goal or less and you seldom have over 10 shots in a period. If you look at the defensive zone, Bazin coached teams have played a double down system for years where 2 d-men are on the puck in the corner. They rely on the weak side forward forward for net coverage. They also reply on the low forward to come down and create an outnumber situation to retrieve pucks in the scrum once the d-men have tied up the opposing forwards. Go back and check out how many goals have been given up where the forwards have blown coverage on net front or turned pucks over on the wall or down low and you will see where the true breakdowns are happening. The problem this year is that the team is spending so much time in the defensive zone that the defence are gassed. As a result, they are slow to close in the corners and are not being physical enough. They end up chasing the puck and the breakdowns occur. The other factor that is really hurting the defensive game is the lack of gap that the defence is able to play in the neutral zone because there is so many turnovers and lack of zone time. The last game against BU, they were 2 zone gap and absolutely no back pressure by the forwards. Thus the defense were backing completely in and at the whim of the BU speed as they entered the Hawks zone. With Hernberg in net, the big difference has been rebound control and making the save in important times of the game which doesn't result in the team scrambling and running around.

When I say that the game plan has not been good enough by the coaching staff, it truly is seen on the offensive side of the puck through the neutral zone, the o-zone attack and the power play. The game of hockey is supposed to be a physical game and a big part of the game is creating offensive zone time through zone time on a strong forecheck and puck management down low. This team is void of any forecheck and I have not seen any adjustments or improvements in this area. The Hawks will dump it in and have only 1 body on the puck, teams reverse the puck and there is no re-attack on the puck. Teams use the weak side of the ice and break out with little pressure.
How many times do we see the Hawks get out worked and knocked off the puck and turn it over when down low. For whatever reason this team does not understand how to support the puck. No sustained pressure, no second chances, very minimal grade A chances and basically one and out of the offensive zone and we go back to defending. How many times do we see low to high plays to the defence for a shot. How many times do we see the forwards delay on the attack and hit a high man or a d-man in a second wave attack......rarely. When you look at the power play, they have 2 plays and they are on the first team. The second team is basically ineffective. A one-timer to Forney and a half wall play to Lohin. That is it. You look at BU and how they adjusted. They watched film after the first game and made adjustments and eliminated those plays. The Hawks coaching staff made no adjustments and have made no adjustments on the entries or puck retrieval in the o-zone. That combined with the fact that they continue utilize players that do not have the offensive skill or ability to read and be creative on the pp, there is no surprise that the pp is not efficient at all.

Probably the most disappointing thing this year is the lack of compete and urgency by this team. Night in and night out I see players cheating the game and not working like we used to see in the past. On the back check, taking one or two strides and then coasting all the way back into the neutral zone. Players not finishing checks, playing physical and not winning puck battles. This year we see players being forced into new roles especially on the offense. Many have forgotten the work ethic that has brought them success in the past. The lack of depth and the coaching staff not holding the player's accountable and continuing to play them and having to keep them in these roles
such on the power play has resulted in players not working and competing and becoming complacent. The lack of hard work and the lack of high end skill has caught with this team and the this program. The textbook example was the 1-0 win . The game was on the line and the puck was in the Hawks zone with less than a minute left. The puck ended up on one of the forwards, who is an upperclassmen. He had a chance to just soft chip the puck off the boards and down the ice and the game was over. Instead he tries to put into an empty net and ices the puck. The face-off comes back and into the Hawks zone and they have to fight off pressure to win the game. To me this is a great indication where this team is at and certainly is not indicative of the team commitment that we have seen in the past.

The player's have to take some responsibility for where they are at but so do the coaching staff. This team did not improve during the first half and regressed in a lot of areas and have not responded well to the coaching staff. Unfortunately, I don't see this team being much more than a .500 team. They will probably win a first round playoff but there will be no HE Championship or Tournament bid this year. It probably is a good thing that they have locked Coach Bazin into a long term contract as he will have a big job ahead of him in the next few years trying to rebuild this program. Based on the recruiting levels, the seniors leaving this year and the possible early departures, I predict there is going to be some lean years ahead for the Riverhawk nation. Let's hope they can improve and salvage what can be only determined to be a very "mediocre" first half of the season.

boblav1
12-22-2017, 06:59 PM
Excellent post RHObserver.

UMLFan
12-23-2017, 12:51 PM
I agree with Bob's comment, great post. And a little bit of a scary read.

chiefs11
12-23-2017, 07:45 PM
I agree with Bob's comment, great post. And a little bit of a scary read.

Let's hope class on its way are all like joe and Cj

Middle Street
12-24-2017, 11:42 PM
That says a lot about those three if they are healthy scratches. Hopefully Chris Schutz can play, he's certainly old enough to contribute right away. My gut tells me Zohovs isn't joining the team for the 2nd half.

Merry Christmas everyone.

It's looking like Eriks Zohovs may be joining the team this week after all. If true, I'm happy to have been wrong in thinking he may not show up.
https://twitter.com/YTHockeyPhan/status/944590940408369152
https://twitter.com/USHLHockeyOps/status/944976891680784390

He wasn't exactly lighting it up for the Phantoms, but given Berisha was being used as a forward last game, I'll be happy to see what Zohovs and Schutz may bring to the table.

In other news, the school did a nice video profile on Hernberg:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3pH7VZCTvr4

ScottK
12-25-2017, 12:29 AM
Merry Christmas everyone.

It's looking like Eriks Zohovs may be joining the team this week after all. If true, I'm happy to have been wrong in thinking he may not show up.
https://twitter.com/YTHockeyPhan/status/944590940408369152
https://twitter.com/USHLHockeyOps/status/944976891680784390

He wasn't exactly lighting it up for the Phantoms, but given Berisha was being used as a forward last game, I'll be happy to see what Zohovs and Schutz may bring to the table.

In other news, the school did a nice video profile on Hernberg:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3pH7VZCTvr4

He's not coming in January. He's playing with a team in Russia's junior league now.

http://www.eliteprospects.com/player.php?player=214720

Patman
12-25-2017, 01:14 AM
Heard that too and made me stop for a second... I think this team is lacking true leadership. The team seems to be missing those guys that set the pace and the tone. This team has the talent, but right now lacking the cohesiveness of past teams.

Another quote from Norm: "It was a NASCAR Race, and we were watching."

I guess I should have seen this one already.

Leadership is a big deal. I've seen a BU team finish 8th due to lack of leadership (they upset BC in the quarters). It happens sometimes and it sucks when it does.

Middle Street
12-25-2017, 01:20 AM
He's not coming in January. He's playing with a team in Russia's junior league now.

http://www.eliteprospects.com/player.php?player=214720

Thanks for the info.

UMLFan
12-25-2017, 11:48 AM
Thanks for the info.
According to that site, he's still coming in next year though.

boblav1
12-25-2017, 11:49 AM
He's not coming in January. He's playing with a team in Russia's junior league now.

http://www.eliteprospects.com/player.php?player=214720

Is he still expected to arrive in Lowell next season?

chiefs11
12-25-2017, 12:21 PM
Is he still expected to arrive in Lowell next season?

That doesn't sound to promising

Middle Street
12-25-2017, 07:22 PM
That doesn't sound to promising

Agreed. Does anyone know if the NCAA considers this a pro league like the CHL leagues? It looks like it has a close affiliation with the KHL.

QUAlum2004
12-26-2017, 11:01 AM
From Mike McNamara

Lowell recruit Eriks Zohovs ('97 F) leaves the Youngstown Phantoms (USHL) and signs in the KHL with the HC Kunlun Red Stars, which will eliminate his NCAA eligibility.