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JB
10-26-2009, 08:14 AM
I disagree completely. They have hit at a 20% rate, and this weekend they were consistently generating great chances on the pp. The pp looked awful against RPI, showed signs of improvement against Miami, and was very good against NU and Maine. They are moving the puck a lot quicker, getting the goalie moving laterally and setting up one-timers. Far from an abomination in my opinion.

I agree the PP is getting better. It all starts with getting the puck in zone and I am seeing less dump and chase, more carrying the puck in now. They are moving their feet and that is making the d-box move. It has created cross box passes and they are looking to get good shots. When it isn't going well they all seem afraid to shoot and it is just passing the puck around the outside. This last weekend they appear to be playing with an idea of what to do on the PP and a little sense of urgency.

I have been wondering if:

a) Maine and Northeastern are that bad,
b) Miami is that good
c) If UNH isn't going to be as bad as I thought and learned a ton from the Miami weekend.
d) Other

I am starting to wonder if c) is the real answer. UNH looked so much better this weekend. It was almost a good thing that every time they did something stupid the Miami weekend, Miami made them pay. The coaches weren't saying if you keep this up somebody is going to score goals, instead it was somebody had scored goals.

Pleasant surprises for me this weekend was the improved play of the D both in the pairs and as a team. Quantum leap forward

C-H-C
10-26-2009, 09:16 AM
I disagree completely. They have hit at a 20% rate, and this weekend they were consistently generating great chances on the pp. The pp looked awful against RPI, showed signs of improvement against Miami, and was very good against NU and Maine. They are moving the puck a lot quicker, getting the goalie moving laterally and setting up one-timers. Far from an abomination in my opinion.

I saw the second Miami game and Maine game in person and watched the Northeastern matchup on NESN and I agree with Rock's observations.

The first PP unit - Blake, Campanale, Leblanc, Butler, and Speelman - are taking the approach of "keep it simple and do it over and over again." The breakout starts with Kessel passing to Campanale behind our net while Bulter and Speelman are parked on either side of the opponent's blueline and Leblanc is trolling in the neutral zone. Then Campanale carries the puck out of our end into the neutral zone. If either Butler or Speelman are open on the blueline, Campanale passes to them. If not, Campanale looks to pass to Leblanc or Kessel in the neutral zone or, if he's lucky, he carries the puck into the offensive zone on his own. As the PP unit has improved its play, the "dump the puck" strategy hasn't been used very much.

Once the puck has settled down in the offensive zone, the "umbrella" configuration takes over. Over the last three games, the first PP unit has improved the speed and accuracy of their perimeter passes. This has lead to more one-timer shots on goal as well as catching some member of the penalty kill unit out of position. I know it's frustrating to the fans when the puck gets passed around the perimeter 4 or 5 times without a shot being taken but it seems to me that the players are correctly deciding that there are no open seams for a shot on net.

At this point in the season, the UNH power play seems more advanced than it was most of last year.

JB
10-26-2009, 11:58 AM
At this point in the season, the UNH power play seems more advanced than it was most of last year.

They actually look like they have a plan.

d.gerry
10-26-2009, 02:32 PM
They actually look like they have a plan.

And it seems to be working going 2-6 on Friday and 1-4 on Saturday. So 30% on the PP for the weekend isn't too bad. I also have to agree with the earlier post that the PP unit seems more advanced this year compared to last.

i'zonprize
10-27-2009, 07:52 PM
Been away but I wanted to also say that I really have enjoyed waching this young group of players taketo the ice so far! There are just so many guys that you just don't know what to expect of and all of a sudden they are in the middle of things.. creating, disrupting, punishing intruders. It's a lot of fun!

C-H-C.. we have to stop agreing so much, really. ;) I liked the PP flow as well, and on more than one occasion, saw passed rip across the ice to Wildcats sitting on the posts. Both times unfortunately, Bori and Butler, fanned. But that's going to happen. I haven't seen a 'pass' that deep from the point since Yandle. Ages ago.

I'll break from the pack here and say that I actually liked the defense for the most part. They really pack the center in front of Foster. When they do it can and make it very difficult for someone to slide a puck through to anyone else. I see almost all the forwards and D doing this.

Hitting!! Yes!! I definitely recall seeing Thompson, Hardowa, Henrion, and Beck smoke a few guys out there. Really like how Henrion finishes his checks. I'm hoping that he doesn't spend too much more time in the stands and gets the opp unlease that howitzer of his. He'd be a great guy down low or getting T'd up on the PP. Beck, after nearly 2yrs off, he brings a real physical presence to the Defensive zone. Hit of the weekend against some poor guy for NU as well. Way to lower the shoulder! Hardowa, an older Frosh is showing some cool. He can handle the puck, pass up the ice and not afraid to put a few hits on people as well.

But the thing that stood out to me most was that the D was not consceding passes to oncoming forwards. This occured several times, against Miami, NU and UM. Some off of line changes as the opponents were passing the puck up the far boards, UNH D would rush to the receiving forward and intercept the pass. Same thing coming into the zone. They are not afraid to basically hold their ground and make a reasonable play for the puck. For the last few yrs could not wrap my tiny little brain around why they weren't doing that.

This team has some spunk!! Should be a wild ride!

IrishWildcat
10-28-2009, 06:03 PM
Will agree with i'zon and C-H-C about the physical defense. Hardowa, Burke, et al have been throwing their weight around and UNH is playing physically. Yes, we take some penatlies, and I've voiced my concerns about this in previous years. While we should avoid "bad" penalties, the ones that are a result of laziness resulting in hooking/tripping/interference, I think that stuff that's a result of playing aggresively and seriously defending the zone/teammates (roughing, high-stick, elbowing, etc.) is a bit more acceptable. I'd rather guys take a penalty because they were going a little overboard than because they got caught with their pants down.

For those that bring up my comments about Kipp earlier, about how I said he tries too hard...that's different. He puts himself out of position and makes the team more vulnerable WHILE AT EVEN STRENGTH by mis-placing himself in the zone. This team has shown it can defend penalties quite well, so in a way, if Kipp draws a penalty (which he has shown a talent to do) it's almost addition by subtraction.

That being said, I expect good things out of the boys in Blue out in Wisco, with more good things to come against The Most Evil Team in Hockey East when they come back to New England next week.

Go Cats! :D

billb
10-30-2009, 05:08 PM
And it seems to be working going 2-6 on Friday and 1-4 on Saturday. So 30% on the PP for the weekend isn't too bad. I also have to agree with the earlier post that the PP unit seems more advanced this year compared to last.

Flashes of adequacy in two games against two relatively weak squads at home do not provide incontrovertible proof of a promising power play, let alone a good one. I'd like to see this thing with those rose-colored glasses of yours, but I'll defer judgement until after this weekend's trip to Wisconsin.
I hope you're right.

UNHSince1969
10-31-2009, 09:22 PM
Flashes of adequacy in two games against two relatively weak squads at home do not provide incontrovertible proof of a promising power play, let alone a good one. I'd like to see this thing with those rose-colored glasses of yours, but I'll defer judgement until after this weekend's trip to Wisconsin.
I hope you're right.

So...whattya think? :eek:

lol

thecomicbookguy
10-31-2009, 09:52 PM
Quick thoughts: Miami and Wisco are pretty good. Maine and NU are pretty bad. RPI is in the middle. UNH falls somewhere between Maine/NU and RPI. Going to be a short season, if they don't improve.

Snively65
10-31-2009, 11:05 PM
Quick thoughts: Miami and Wisco are pretty good. Maine and NU are pretty bad. RPI is in the middle. UNH falls somewhere between Maine/NU and RPI. Going to be a short season, if they don't improve.

RPI lost to Army 2-1 tonight and barely got by Union 4-3 in OT last night. :eek: Time for our Cats to get back in the groove with some HE competition. I plan to visit Tsongas on Sunday night and celebrate my 60th at the Lowell Beer Works before the game (and, maybe after also, if we win).

billb
11-01-2009, 06:27 AM
I'm not concerned. As I wrote earlier, I see a "rebuilding year" or could use some other form of euphemism. What I gleaned from the weekend was seeing the killer instinct of Wisconsin: playing a weaker team against whom a letdown might be possible the second night, they turned up the jets. So many times I have seen the same scenario in Durham turn into a split.
As the pundit said, "Playing sports doesn't build character, it reveals it." Next weekend will speak volumes.

i'zonprize
11-01-2009, 10:53 AM
Perhaps this was a bad match up for the cats. I thought they played pretty decently against Miami ranked #1 and, at least in the second game, but UW was all over them this weekend.

Billb... can't beleive I'm typing this. I agree w/ your sentiments.

Not picking on the guys but Jr's DeSimone/Sislo and Thompson have got to find a way to get it going. Especially DeSimone and Sislo. Thompson's been pitching in. DeSimone's played some key rolls on the PP and PK so far, and been a decent back checker, but not a whole lot of stats to showfor it. It would be nice to see him do some give and goes and create opps to get passes to score. He seems to want to always carry the puck.. and well that doesn't appear to be going so well. Sislo, in the few games that I'm seeing is carrying the puck an awful lot as well and he too is getting bumped off coming into the offensive zone. Get Sislo and DeSimone going and the opposing coach has got 3 solid lines that they have to worry about each night.

Butler and LeBlanc have done well so far together and on the PK have nearly created at least 1 legit short handed change each game. That's amazing. Mike Borisenok, as C-H-C pointed out is the runaway pick for most improved, but even more importantly, he's contributing, no matter who he's partnered out there with. Stevie Moses has got 3 lamp lighters in his last 3 games as well. Their combo of speed and energy is a nice match-up.

Anyway, I hope they get to take out their frustration on BC next weekend.

uwbadgers14
11-01-2009, 12:50 PM
I'm not concerned. As I wrote earlier, I see a "rebuilding year" or could use some other form of euphemism. What I gleaned from the weekend was seeing the killer instinct of Wisconsin: playing a weaker team against whom a letdown might be possible the second night, they turned up the jets. So many times I have seen the same scenario in Durham turn into a split.
As the pundit said, "Playing sports doesn't build character, it reveals it." Next weekend will speak volumes.

I have to agree here, I have seen games like friday turn into a split for the badgers. It happened last weekend at Minn. St. Won 6-0 on friday and lost 3-2 on saturday, and it has been a theme for the badgers in recent years, thinking they don't need to same effort on sat. as they used on friday and can still get a win, so i totally expected a different type of game on saturday so as a badger fan i am encouraged about the effort put forth both nights for wisconsin. It was not so much UNH played poorly, i just think you ran into a buzz saw this weekend. I would have liked pavelski to get some more playing time this weekend but i understand why he isn't getting much, he has some learning to do. I know you UNH fans love Blake Kessel but i will just stick to no comment. :P

I have to add I was happy to meet some of the UNH fans, hockey fans from out east can sometimes be a little stand offish out here but i have nothing but good things to say about the UNH fans I talked to. sorry you didn't get the full Wisconsin hockey experience but attendance was a little low this weekend with the freak show weekend going on as well as the football game being 11AM on saturday... Any other weekend the place would have been almost full with a team like UNH coming to town...

d.gerry
11-01-2009, 04:55 PM
I'd like to see this thing with those rose-colored glasses of yours, but I'll defer judgement until after this weekend's trip to Wisconsin.
I hope you're right.

I've traded my rose-colored glasses for a paper bag! :(

Jacques "Rabbit" Poriveau
11-02-2009, 11:10 AM
Go - wing no - wear clap clap clapclapclap

Gots no ta-lente claps claps clapclapclap


Btw, do Dicks making $170,000 dis year ou do e gets da less pour ze rebuild year? :rolleyes:

UNH09
11-02-2009, 01:05 PM
Go - wing no - wear clap clap clapclapclap

Gots no ta-lente claps claps clapclapclap


Btw, do Dicks making $170,000 dis year ou do e gets da less pour ze rebuild year? :rolleyes:

Your Fren-ish (or is it Eng-ench?) Is getting worse...

Jacques "Rabbit" Poriveau
11-02-2009, 03:05 PM
Your Fren-ish (or is it Eng-ench?) Is getting worse...
Et you mastery of capitalizationing she Is not so hots eedure mon ami...arr arr arr arrr

Mosrite
11-02-2009, 04:06 PM
Go - wing no - wear clap clap clapclapclap

Gots no ta-lente claps claps clapclapclap



Zank you, ze Captain Obvious! :p For where eez it written from de fanz, dat ze Wildcats woulds do much of anyzing dis year ?? Eh? EH?? :p :p :confused: :rolleyes:

I likes wat I seez so far tho:

UNH 5 Maine 2
:p :p :p :p :p

Mowers10
11-02-2009, 04:56 PM
UNH still undefeated against Hockey East. :)

UNH09
11-02-2009, 05:01 PM
UNH still undefeated against Hockey East. :)

And defeated everywhere else... ;)