PDA

View Full Version : UNH Wildcats - '10 Playoff Edition



Pages : [1] 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50

C-H-C
03-13-2010, 08:46 AM
Quote on insidehockey.com:

"We never like to be in that position, but unfortunately we have been in that position quite a bit so it wasnít anything new for us, we just kept battling,Ē Sislo said. ďIím sure itís giving more grey hair. But I think thatís the whole goal for us--to start the game with that urgency. I donít know exactly how to do that. Itís something we are always working on, always trying to have a better start, and hopefully try to improve on that.Ē

The Comeback Cats are increasing my production of grey hair as well but it is what it is. If they play the way everyone wants them to play - that is, playing with a sense of urgency as soon as the puck is dropped in the first period - then they have to be darn sure that they bury the opponent and hold them off in the second period. Perhaps the only time UNH has won this way was the 7-2 UMass win in early January. If they play pedal to the metal from the get-go and don't build up an insurmountable lead, then their legs will turn to spaghetti by the third period and there won't be anything left for a late surge.

For better or worse, the team has been rewarded for their third period comebacks. It may not work every time but at least they have confidence in their ability to find a way to win. You may recall that BU during their NCAA tournament run last season often found themselves down in the third period and managed to get it done. I am [U]not saying that this UNH team is dominant the way BU was last year. I'm going to try and enjoy the ride which continues tonight.

e.cat
03-13-2010, 09:41 AM
Quote on insidehockey.com:

"We never like to be in that position, but unfortunately we have been in that position quite a bit so it wasnít anything new for us, we just kept battling,Ē Sislo said. ďIím sure itís giving more grey hair. But I think thatís the whole goal for us--to start the game with that urgency. I donít know exactly how to do that. Itís something we are always working on, always trying to have a better start, and hopefully try to improve on that.Ē

The Comeback Cats are increasing my production of grey hair as well but it is what it is. If they play the way everyone wants them to play - that is, playing with a sense of urgency as soon as the puck is dropped in the first period - then they have to be darn sure that they bury the opponent and hold them off in the second period. Perhaps the only time UNH has won this way was the 7-2 UMass win in early January. If they play pedal to the metal from the get-go and don't build up an insurmountable lead, then their legs will turn to spaghetti by the third period and there won't be anything left for a late surge.

For better or worse, the team has been rewarded for their third period comebacks. It may not work every time but at least they have confidence in their ability to find a way to win. You may recall that BU during their NCAA tournament run last season often found themselves down in the third period and managed to get it done. I am [U]not saying that this UNH team is dominant the way BU was last year. I'm going to try and enjoy the ride which continues tonight.


i agree with you and was thinking the same thing pretty much. i think it is imortant to have a strong third period so i hope they don't abandon that at all. i'm kinda in the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" camp.

WildShawn
03-13-2010, 09:44 AM
i agree with you and was thinking the same thing pretty much. i think it is imortant to have a strong third period so i hope they don't abandon that at all. i'm kinda in the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" camp.

are you saying the way they're playing right now isn't 'broke'?

e.cat
03-13-2010, 09:51 AM
are you saying the way they're playing right now isn't 'broke'?

obviously there are things they could imprve on and it would be nice if they could get a lead early and add to it as the game progresses. i'm just afraid that if they tinker too much with the formula that it could backfire on them.

Malts18
03-13-2010, 09:58 AM
Mike... this still is very much a maddening team to follow. The offensive skill is clearly evident, but it is the defense that just comes and goes and flickers like a light that is going bad. Just so up and down... it is tough to put a finger on why this is so. I do think that if Kostolansky were not hurt, there would certainly be more consistency amongst the D. But, it is what it is.

I guess if you have to go down one or more goals a game, it is good to at least be the team that KNOWS it can come back to win. They clearly have the confidence to do so, so that in itself has to be encouraging. I would venture that there is no situation this Cats team will see the rest of the year, during a game, that will really unsettle them. They ARE a very confident buch.

gounhwildcats
03-13-2010, 09:59 AM
It would be a whole lot easier on my heart if they would just build up a nice 10 or 11 goal lead in the first period and coast the rest of the way. I kid of course. It is a funny thing with this team though that they do play much better from behind than with the lead. They had 2 goal leads in both games in Orono and choked both away. It seems, with some notable exceptions of course (Cornell), that when they get behind they find their motivation. It's not ideal but every team has it's identity and maybe this is their's. The problem is, is ultimately this will catch up to them, so they are going to have to figure out how to come out strong and keep that momentum for 60 minutes if they want to have any shot at doing something special this year.

For what was supposed to have been an off year for the Cats, this has largely been a very fun year to be a Cats fan.

Malts18
03-13-2010, 10:00 AM
are you saying the way they're playing right now isn't 'broke'?

Oh it is "broke" alright.... just that this team knows the special elixir to fix it on a game to game basis. Still a dangerous well to go to .... :o

WildShawn
03-13-2010, 10:04 AM
obviously there are things they could imprve on and it would be nice if they could get a lead early and add to it as the game progresses. i'm just afraid that if they tinker too much with the formula that it could backfire on them.

Its not a formula, its an intensity, its not taking shifts off in the first 2 periods. If they get into a battle with non-mediocre teams (Vermont, Northleastern), they won't be able to come back.

unh1982
03-13-2010, 10:06 AM
the way hockey is , you can come from behind some times , and than a few other times get lucky bounces and come away with a win , but adventualy the cards will fall the other way and unh might not get the breaks , a few hit posts , a few empty net misses, bad luck ,etc etc etc . would be nice if they could keep up the intensity for a full 60 , ill even settle for 50 .

C-H-C
03-13-2010, 10:07 AM
Mike... this still is very much a maddening team to follow.

You can say that again! I much prefered to watch the Micflikier - Winnik - Fornataro - Radja - JvR et al. teams because they seemed more capable of building an early lead and coasting. They were a lot easier on my stomach. However, those teams always found a way to lose come playoff season which sucked.

unh_hockey
03-13-2010, 10:25 AM
You can say that again! I much prefered to watch the Micflikier - Winnik - Fornataro - Radja - JvR et al. teams because they seemed more capable of building an early lead and coasting. They were a lot easier on my stomach. However, those teams always found a way to lose come playoff season which sucked.

the 2008 squad had the tools to win the national title that year. I would say that was the biggest choke job since the 2002 Maine FF game.

C-H-C
03-13-2010, 10:43 AM
the 2008 squad had the tools to win the national title that year. I would say that was the biggest choke job since the 2002 Maine FF game.

The 06-07 team, which was ranked #1 for most of the second half of the season, also lost in a most unsatisfactory way.

i'zonprize
03-13-2010, 10:45 AM
the 2008 squad had the tools to win the national title that year. I would say that was the biggest choke job since the 2002 Maine FF game.

2002 "choke" is putting it lightly.. that was disgusting.

regardles.. the games they play are exciting!! I think last yr taught them that they don't have to come out blazzing, but get better as the game goes on, barring Insurmountable 3 goal deficits to top ranked teams(:eek: they have shown the poise-assertiveness and an ability to get back in the game and tie and or win- they are well conditioned mentally anyway for tourney play.. probably much more so than others that are used to cruising.

Darius
03-13-2010, 10:45 AM
The 2 recurring post game thoughts during the past few weeks have been:

1. "Too bad we can't play the whole game like we did during the OT/final few minutes/3rd period."

and

2. "As frustrating as regulation/majority of the game/first 2 period play was, it would really suck being a Merrimack/VT/Northeastern/BC/VT fan right now."

Could be worse.

unhpuckfan2001
03-13-2010, 10:48 AM
The question that I keep struggling with is one that's already been raised: when UNH goes up against an opponent that's a bit better, how will they be able to mount that third period comeback?

There is a fine line between making 2nd intermission adjustments and not playing at all in the first two periods, and these 'Cats skate with (no pun intended, really) that line every game.

However, from my vantage point, the third period comebacks are not just a product of lazy play in the first two periods. There is a bit of strategizing that is going on in between the 2nd and 3rd; UNH has made subtle changes to their game plan, and it's working. This was a major critique of many people, including myself, of Coach Umile (see the BC v UNH HE Semifinal 2 years ago). Now, it seems to be that UNH tries to feel out their opponent, rather than simply run-and-gun and hope they can keep up the intensity.

The biggest change I see every game is physical play -- or lack thereof, early on. I've been saying it since Maine; in both those games, UNH threw the puck into the corners, went in after it, fought for it, and gained 2 goal leads. In both disasters in Orono, they stopped doing that, and we all know what happened. Same thing with the weekend against NU; physical play led to goals. Will they get the clue, and start doing this early in games? They have found a winning formula; it's on the coaches now to get this time to find a balance between playing physical enough in the early stages, while still having plenty left for the third.

I missed the game last night (I am the announcer for UNH Gymnastics, who had a home meet -- btw, they are 12-2 on the year, and had their own late comeback last night, with 5 9.8's or higher on floor), the first playoff game I've missed since 2001. Relying on text messages, and the recaps later that night, I think the Krates' hit was part of the turnaround. It's almost like every night, they need to be reminded "Hey, hit a few people, fight for a few pucks, and we can beat just about anybody!"

From week one against Miami, I've said that this team may not win the most games of any UNH team, but they will be fun to watch, as they learn a lot each game, and improve on their lessons. Hopefully this will continue, as they HAVE been fun to watch.

WildShawn
03-13-2010, 10:52 AM
The question that I keep struggling with is one that's already been raised: when UNH goes up against an opponent that's a bit better, how will they be able to mount that third period comeback?

There is a fine line between making 2nd intermission adjustments and not playing at all in the first two periods, and these 'Cats skate with (no pun intended, really) that line every game.

However, from my vantage point, the third period comebacks are not just a product of lazy play in the first two periods. There is a bit of strategizing that is going on in between the 2nd and 3rd; UNH has made subtle changes to their game plan, and it's working. This was a major critique of many people, including myself, of Coach Umile (see the BC v UNH HE Semifinal 2 years ago). Now, it seems to be that UNH tries to feel out their opponent, rather than simply run-and-gun and hope they can keep up the intensity.

From week one against Miami, I've said that this team may not win the most games of any UNH team, but they will be fun to watch, as they learn a lot each game, and improve on their lessons. Hopefully this will continue, as they HAVE been fun to watch.

THey made marked improvements from October to January, but haven't improved since (they may have even regressed, or other teams just improved more)... I honestly haven't seen game plan changes, I've seen an uptick in intensity, and urgency in the 3rd period comebacks. The game plans are the same, create turnovers, transition and score. They don't generate any offense off of cycling (something Vermont appeared to be pretty good at).

Darius
03-13-2010, 11:34 AM
...There is a bit of strategizing that is going on in between the 2nd and 3rd; UNH has made subtle changes to their game plan, and it's working...
D-men skating the puck out of their zone in the 3rd period vs. early game passing strategy against certain fore checking schemes is a good example.

Something else I've noticed without doing any detailed charting and I only listened last night is that the 3rd and especially 4th lines are getting more minutes which means fresher legs for the 1st and 2nd line players late in the game.

Malts18
03-13-2010, 11:40 AM
They don't generate any offense off of cycling (something Vermont appeared to be pretty good at).

And, really, isn't this proof positive of why the power play % is so anemic?? After all, what is power play offensive zone possession other than glorified cycling?

e.cat
03-13-2010, 12:30 PM
Its not a formula, its an intensity, its not taking shifts off in the first 2 periods. If they get into a battle with non-mediocre teams (Vermont, Northleastern), they won't be able to come back.

you're right and i like the word "intensity" much more than formula to describe the situation. if it was a hard and fast formula they'd know what to do to change. as sislo said in the post game something to the effect that he didn't know what was causing this to happen or how to change it.

i'm not convinced that this team is the team that can only play intense hockey when coming from behind though. let's hope the intensity starts tonight.

JB
03-13-2010, 12:52 PM
Biggest problems they have.

1) They stop moving their feet. After the 1st UVM goal that just stood around. I knew the second was coming because the entire team stopped moving their feet.

2) They don't hit all game only parts of the game. If this team isn't hitting they aren't winning. They "aren't good enough to win on talent alone" but they sure try every game for at least a stretch of time.

What gives me hope is, they don't ever quit on a game, and no lead is safe. This team has plenty of heart just for some reason they can't find it at the start of games right now. I don't think this is a coaching issue it is a players issue, the players need to figure out how to "want to: for a full game.