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JB
02-03-2019, 10:46 AM
I couldn't agree more Chuck! I think the two teams could beat anyone in HE on any given night. The past is the past although I can understand the sentiments about how it 'used to be'. I can't speak for Maine fans and nor would I, but UNH fans are starting to feel something great is happening, and this current team is starting that process....there's still lots of hockey left and anything can happen. I think the future is very bright for UNH hockey, and hope Maine continues on it's quest to bring its program back. They played 2 great games this weekend. I'm gonna say (and it won't be popular) that we were lucky to come out with a win on Friday and found the back the net when we needed to!! Maine took it to UNH all weekend and they stayed the course night last night and were rewarded. As Coach Souza said in the paper our special teams struggled and that was the difference. Two excellent goal tenders as well it made for a great weekend...

I just don't see UNH as "pretty bad". I see us as a team that is growing in maturity, one that has come along way since Oct. Like I said I see a team who could beat anyone on any given night. I see a coaching staff that is working hard to instill the greatness of the past while moving towards the future. And I know a ton of other people who feel that way too. Keep on rocking these two programs; we may be down (in comparison to the past) but no way are we out!!!!

I am feeling pretty positive about UNH these days... BUT ... I think you need to pump the brakes...

UNH is way up over the last 3 years. There is apparently a way out of the dark place the program was in at Umile's end.

HOWEVER there is a ways to go and that journey looks to be at a crossroads of opportunity. It might go backwards.

OR it might be quick if some players stay, some players grow and some promising recruiting pays off leading to a more sustainable recruiting model. See the rise of UMass - TBD if that will be sustainable like all fan bases want.

OR it could be a long journey like UNH's last rise that really took about a decade from 88ish to 98ish before the UNH golden age happened 98-04ish.

It was awesome to see a glimmer of what was between these 2 teams this weekend. I hope Souza was fortunate to have recruits in house, as there was energy in the Whitt that has been hard to find in several years.

Finally in a moment of blasphemy... I would be happy to see Maine rise with UNH. College hockey was more fun when these two teams were filling the stands of arenas expecting to win. Just this time UNH gets to take the big trophies and Maine gets to come oh so close... Deal? (My blasphemy only goes so far...)

HockeyRef
02-03-2019, 10:57 AM
I am feeling pretty positive about UNH these days... BUT ... I think you need to pump the brakes...

UNH is way up over the last 3 years. There is apparently a way out of the dark place the program was in at Umile's end.

HOWEVER there is a ways to go and that journey looks to be at a crossroads of opportunity. It might go backwards.

OR it might be quick if some players stay, some players grow and some promising recruiting pays off leading to a more sustainable recruiting model. See the rise of UMass - TBD if that will be sustainable like all fan bases want.

OR it could be a long journey like UNH's last rise that really took about a decade from 88ish to 98ish before the UNH golden age happened 98-04ish.

It was awesome to see a glimmer of what was between these 2 teams this weekend. I hope Souza was fortunate to have recruits in house, as there was energy in the Whitt that has been hard to find in several years.

Finally in a moment of blasphemy... I would be happy to see Maine rise with UNH. College hockey was more fun when these two teams were filling the stands of arenas expecting to win. Just this time UNH gets to take the big trophies and Maine gets to come oh so close... Deal? (My blasphemy only goes so far...)

Excellent points...I do get ahead of myself at times! I know it's a process...and that it's going to take some time. I am encouraged though...and yea this could be one step forward, two steps back kind of thing. Thanks for the reality check! :D Agree; WE get to win it next time....;)

ps...hope it doesn't take a decade...most of us who post here aren't getting any younger...!:p

Dan
02-03-2019, 12:52 PM
I am feeling pretty positive about UNH these days... BUT ... I think you need to pump the brakes...

UNH fans are up because, as you note, the last few seasons (and especially the last half of last year) were so so bad. Maine fans are down because they watched their new coach seemingly take a notable step forward (led by young talent) last year, only to see development stall and the team dip to more of the same again this year...

A single positive season can be a big step forward - but ONLY if you capitalize in recruiting. Outside of Stutzle (not a four-year guy), Margel and Ardanaz, Souza still has A LOT of tangible recruiting success to achieve before there would be reason to assume this is a long-term and successful march back to the top of college hockey...

It is relatively easy to go from bad to .500. It is exponentially more difficult to go from .500 to competing for national titles. If UNH is still hovering around .500 and competing to make the HE playoffs 2-3 years from now we'll be just as disillusioned as Maine fans...

Has UNH improved notably? Or were the last few seasons under Umile - just waiting for the transition to take place - that miserable and uninspiring for the players? There is no way last year's team was a lose out the entire second half type of team. New often leads to immediate improvements. The hard part is sustaining it. To do that UNH needs to make serious hay in recruiting this spring and summer - selling this second half run as the start of something special...

When they do that I'll be as giddy as anyone. Until then, I'd never tell anyone not to enjoy this season. I'm enjoying it. It's a huge step up from last year. But, I would agree on pumping the breaks - time will tell if the next pieces of the puzzle fall into place or not. They don't always, see Maine fans' depression...

---

Also, at the risk of upsetting many - here are some numbers regarding UNHs season to date...

* 36th most difficult schedule in the country.
* Opp PWR in recent 9-3-5 run (38-T/W, 17-T/L, 37-W/W, 42-W, 51-W, 22-T, 23-L, 32-W, 51-W, 30-T, 52-T/W, 30-W/L)

* UNH vs Top-20 PWR: 0-3-2
* UNH vs Top-30 PWR: 1-7-5 (1-1-1 against #30 Maine)
* UNH vs Bottom-30 PWR: 9-2-3

* UNH vs HE 1-6: 1-5-3
* UNH va HE 8-11: 5-1-2

So UNH has gone from rock-bottom at the end of last year to an OK, middle-of the-pack college hockey team. That IS a notable and admirable achievement and a great first step to build on - but I think we need to be honest about what they've accomplished and who they've been beating.

Assuming they take care of business next weekend, the final 7+ games of the season will tell us a lot more about this team than the recent stretch. Can they do something they haven't been able to do this season and take wins off of Top-20 teams in NU, UML and whoever they face in the first round. That is the second step and it's right in front of them...

The good thing about all of this is that recruits can be sold on wins, no matter who you're beating. So get out there and sell as aggressively as you possibly can, ask top kids to accelerate their time frames to be a part of the next more important step and move on the talent you find. If they do that, they can ensure next year is better than this year and future seasons are brighter than they've been in a long time. If they can't, they'll be treading water like Maine is currently...

JB
02-03-2019, 01:39 PM
Dan,

I think the first step is beating the cupcakes... Therefore you aren't the cupcake! CHECK

The next step is to do something to make yourself truly a pain in the butt to play - make life miserable for good teams and take some points...

This years schedule is actually a big favor. A stretch to learn and build confidence, then a chance to apply that. They are going to need to play better than they did this weekend.

AND as we both know recruiting is the key going forward.

BlackI
02-03-2019, 02:00 PM
It was great to see a sell out last night and near sell out Friday. And watch the game in HD both nights. Maine fans are a bit disgruntled and it really started with coming out of a weekend in Storrs, CT with 1 point... which looks even worse in hindsight. A couple losses where Maine gave up 7 goals and we are left with feeling the team has underperformed. We've seen stretches where it appears this team can skate with anyone... but more stretches where we would be beat by anyone. The weekend vs. Princeton was the lowest of lows in that regard. This Maine team is very up and down and lacks consistent effort, compete level, cohesion. But they are over 500 since turn of the year so hopefully they build to at least be a tough out come playoff time. For UNH I think they have good team speed and there are a couple deadly players on offense. I like that Nazarine and Vela. I like Wyse play on the D line. Good luck and hope to somehow see you all in the offs. And of course, the only thing we can all agree on is GOOOOOOO PATS!+

HockeyRef
02-03-2019, 02:04 PM
All good point JB and Dan. I don’t know what happened last season because I thought there was some real talent on that team. But whatever. I know most fans do not expect to “hang a banner” anytime soon. This is going to take time. We all get that.

That being said...at least you go to a game and feel they have a shot at it. That at least you go to a game and you can sense a different feeling on the ice. Offense can come from all 4 lines and honestly last night IF in the second that 4th line had connected we had a chance. That’s gratifying and hopefully future recruits can see themselves as a building block in that process. That’s what I feel “giddy” about.

Don’t get me wrong I appreciate the stats about our schedule and who we’ve played etc as it all figures in! The Bruins just beat the ‘Caps so all is good in Ref’s world....onto the ‘Pats!!

Fishman'81
02-04-2019, 08:32 PM
I think both fan-bases are whistling past the graveyard at this juncture. Having studied the Friday game yet again today, we are both looking at mediocrity for the foreseeable future, IMO.

The sport has changed. There isn't a "big 4" in HEA anymore. There are no traditional powers left, to speak of. UMass, Mankato, Western MI and Arizona State (!) are all top-10 PW, while Maine, UNH, BU and BC aren't even within shouting-distance, just as are other once-elite programs out West such as Minnesota and North Dakota.

I predict a revolving door for years to come, and neither UNH nor Maine gets through it unless they actually land even a few elite recruits.

Snively65
02-04-2019, 11:02 PM
UNH fans are up because, as you note, the last few seasons (and especially the last half of last year) were so so bad. Maine fans are down because they watched their new coach seemingly take a notable step forward (led by young talent) last year, only to see development stall and the team dip to more of the same again this year...

A single positive season can be a big step forward - but ONLY if you capitalize in recruiting. Outside of Stutzle (not a four-year guy), Margel and Ardanaz, Souza still has A LOT of tangible recruiting success to achieve before there would be reason to assume this is a long-term and successful march back to the top of college hockey...

It is relatively easy to go from bad to .500. It is exponentially more difficult to go from .500 to competing for national titles. If UNH is still hovering around .500 and competing to make the HE playoffs 2-3 years from now we'll be just as disillusioned as Maine fans...

Has UNH improved notably? Or were the last few seasons under Umile - just waiting for the transition to take place - that miserable and uninspiring for the players? There is no way last year's team was a lose out the entire second half type of team. New often leads to immediate improvements. The hard part is sustaining it. To do that UNH needs to make serious hay in recruiting this spring and summer - selling this second half run as the start of something special...

When they do that I'll be as giddy as anyone. Until then, I'd never tell anyone not to enjoy this season. I'm enjoying it. It's a huge step up from last year. But, I would agree on pumping the breaks - time will tell if the next pieces of the puzzle fall into place or not. They don't always, see Maine fans' depression...

---

Also, at the risk of upsetting many - here are some numbers regarding UNHs season to date...

* 36th most difficult schedule in the country.
* Opp PWR in recent 9-3-5 run (38-T/W, 17-T/L, 37-W/W, 42-W, 51-W, 22-T, 23-L, 32-W, 51-W, 30-T, 52-T/W, 30-W/L)

* UNH vs Top-20 PWR: 0-3-2
* UNH vs Top-30 PWR: 1-7-5 (1-1-1 against #30 Maine)
* UNH vs Bottom-30 PWR: 9-2-3

* UNH vs HE 1-6: 1-5-3
* UNH va HE 8-11: 5-1-2

So UNH has gone from rock-bottom at the end of last year to an OK, middle-of the-pack college hockey team. That IS a notable and admirable achievement and a great first step to build on - but I think we need to be honest about what they've accomplished and who they've been beating.

Assuming they take care of business next weekend, the final 7+ games of the season will tell us a lot more about this team than the recent stretch. Can they do something they haven't been able to do this season and take wins off of Top-20 teams in NU, UML and whoever they face in the first round. That is the second step and it's right in front of them...

The good thing about all of this is that recruits can be sold on wins, no matter who you're beating. So get out there and sell as aggressively as you possibly can, ask top kids to accelerate their time frames to be a part of the next more important step and move on the talent you find. If they do that, they can ensure next year is better than this year and future seasons are brighter than they've been in a long time. If they can't, they'll be treading water like Maine is currently...

I am not pumping any stinking breaks [sic]; all full throttle here! :-)

Ma#1ne Hky
02-05-2019, 01:40 AM
I think both fan-bases are whistling past the graveyard at this juncture. Having studied the Friday game yet again today, we are both looking at mediocrity for the foreseeable future, IMO.

The sport has changed. There isn't a "big 4" in HEA anymore. There are no traditional powers left, to speak of. UMass, Mankato, Western MI and Arizona State (!) are all top-10 PW, while Maine, UNH, BU and BC aren't even within shouting-distance, just as are other once-elite programs out West such as Minnesota and North Dakota.

I predict a revolving door for years to come, and neither UNH nor Maine gets through it unless they actually land even a few elite recruits.Your right....we are in a different era now, each and every year a different team [teams] or Conference will be atop the Rankings and PWR....hockey being played every where's in the US, and now not just Canada can say they have the top players...over seas more and more players are in the College teams rosters only making more talent available. College Hockey will never compete with BB/FB but one thing is for sure if you recruit right and in all directions there is plenty of talent to choose from.

Runsub5
02-05-2019, 01:17 PM
I think both fan-bases are whistling past the graveyard at this juncture. Having studied the Friday game yet again today, we are both looking at mediocrity for the foreseeable future, IMO.

The sport has changed. There isn't a "big 4" in HEA anymore. There are no traditional powers left, to speak of. UMass, Mankato, Western MI and Arizona State (!)..........

The sport is definitely changing. Here's another potential example. Bob Beers last night during the Bean Pot telecast was talking about the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana entering Division 1 hockey. Hasn't happened yet, but I bet they have a facility and team in the not too distant future. Another great school competing for hockey talent.

chickod
02-05-2019, 02:35 PM
Your right....we are in a different era now

For perspective, I posted this on the BU thread in response to the lamenting about how we are no longer in the "good ole' days"

These teams are all BELOW #20 in the PWR (NCAA Championships in parenthesis):
- North Dakota (8)
- Michigan State (3)
- Michigan (9)
- BU (5)
- Minnesota (5)
- Wisconsin (6)
- BC (5)

Total Championships: 41


All BIG TIME programs. If the field were selected today, NONE of them make the NCAA Tournament.

These teams are in the Top 10:
- St. Cloud (0)
- UMass (0)
- Ohio State (0)
- Quinnipiac (0)
- Arizona State (0)
- Western Michigan (0)

Total Championships: 0

Enough said. The landscape has changed. Things don't stay the same forever...

Ma#1ne Hky
02-05-2019, 03:29 PM
For perspective, I posted this on the BU thread in response to the lamenting about how we are no longer in the "good ole' days"

These teams are all BELOW #20 in the PWR (NCAA Championships in parenthesis):
- North Dakota (8)
- Michigan State (3)
- Michigan (9)
- BU (5)
- Minnesota (5)
- Wisconsin (6)
- BC (5)

Total Championships: 41


All BIG TIME programs. If the field were selected today, NONE of them make the NCAA Tournament.

These teams are in the Top 10:
- St. Cloud (0)
- UMass (0)
- Ohio State (0)
- Quinnipiac (0)
- Arizona State (0)
- Western Michigan (0)

Total Championships: 0

Enough said. The landscape has changed. Things don't stay the same forever...As you say nothing stays the same...even this old timer can see it...not always going with it but then that's hockey now.

walrus
02-05-2019, 04:07 PM
For perspective, I posted this on the BU thread in response to the lamenting about how we are no longer in the "good ole' days"

These teams are all BELOW #20 in the PWR (NCAA Championships in parenthesis):
- North Dakota (8)
- Michigan State (3)
- Michigan (9)
- BU (5)
- Minnesota (5)
- Wisconsin (6)
- BC (5)

Total Championships: 41


All BIG TIME programs. If the field were selected today, NONE of them make the NCAA Tournament.

These teams are in the Top 10:
- St. Cloud (0)
- UMass (0)
- Ohio State (0)
- Quinnipiac (0)
- Arizona State (0)
- Western Michigan (0)

Total Championships: 0

Enough said. The landscape has changed. Things don't stay the same forever...Wow.

Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk

NorthMike
02-05-2019, 06:47 PM
For perspective, I posted this on the BU thread in response to the lamenting about how we are no longer in the "good ole' days"

These teams are all BELOW #20 in the PWR (NCAA Championships in parenthesis):
- North Dakota (8)
- Michigan State (3)
- Michigan (9)
- BU (5)
- Minnesota (5)
- Wisconsin (6)
- BC (5)

Total Championships: 41


All BIG TIME programs. If the field were selected today, NONE of them make the NCAA Tournament.

These teams are in the Top 10:
- St. Cloud (0)
- UMass (0)
- Ohio State (0)
- Quinnipiac (0)
- Arizona State (0)
- Western Michigan (0)

Total Championships: 0

Enough said. The landscape has changed. Things don't stay the same forever...

Then there is hope!😀

BlackI
02-05-2019, 06:53 PM
Then there is hope!😀

I know you are joking... but there really is. :) If UMaine can pony up the dough and get a good upstart head coach. I wouldn't mind seeing what happens with Ben and Alfie running the team. But I feel like we are in a situation where there is no energy behind the bench. Kids at that age respond to mentorship and energy. Seems like Red has none of either since he's been coaching the D which is the weakness, in my opinion.

Fishman'81
02-05-2019, 07:18 PM
I know you are joking... but there really is. :) If UMaine can pony up the dough and get a good upstart head coach. I wouldn't mind seeing what happens with Ben and Alfie running the team. But I feel like we are in a situation where there is no energy behind the bench. Kids at that age respond to mentorship and energy. Seems like Red has none of either since he's been coaching the D which is the weakness, in my opinion.

Again, there are no dynasties in college hockey these days. All any of us want is to find a couple of nuggets in any given recruiting-season, and ergo to have a shot at the Nationals for a couple of years, going forward.

Red hasn't done that. He's all about bringing in a squad of 2nd/3rd-liners, and then predicting a HE title. Not gonna work at Maine, nor UNH, nor anywhere else. Every team needs a sharp-eyed Grant right now, to separate the wheat from from the chaff.

BlackI
02-05-2019, 07:25 PM
Again, there are no dynasties in college hockey these days. All any of us want is to find a couple of nuggets in any given recruiting-season, and ergo to have a shot at the Nationals for a couple of years, going forward.

Red hasn't done that. He's all about bringing in a squad of 2nd/3rd-liners, and then predicting a HE title. Not gonna work at Maine, nor UNH, nor anywhere else. Every team needs a sharp-eyed Grant right now, to separate the wheat from from the chaff.

I understand. But I wouldn't mind seeing Ben get reins given his career number of games in NHL, let alone his career at UMaine. I think he is being down played right now. ;)

NorthMike
02-05-2019, 09:55 PM
I know you are joking... but there really is. :) If UMaine can pony up the dough and get a good upstart head coach. I wouldn't mind seeing what happens with Ben and Alfie running the team. But I feel like we are in a situation where there is no energy behind the bench. Kids at that age respond to mentorship and energy. Seems like Red has none of either since he's been coaching the D which is the weakness, in my opinion.

I really wasnt joking, Maine's dynasty is long gone, the right coach could certainly begin a new chapter.

BlackI
02-05-2019, 10:26 PM
In my opinion Alfie has done his job. But there isnt a defensive coach. This is Reds realm. Been bad for years. That is the bottom line.

Ma#1ne Hky
02-06-2019, 01:22 AM
"IF" they were to change and it won't happen with a 2 year deal still in place....but "IF" it were to happen they would need to change the whole staff....move everyone out and start anew. But like I said it won't happen any time soon. Hope/Dreaming is all we can do at this point.