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View Full Version : Merrimack Offseason thread - preseason rank 10th again? I think not



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Salvo1017
09-25-2010, 10:42 AM
of course I'm stuck in class in Boston until 4:25 on Monday! I'm gonna need a full report of the Blue vs Gold game from whoever's going!

ChiefWahoo
09-25-2010, 11:30 AM
The success was in D 2. They joined Hockey East the following year and in over 22 seasons, including last year, have never had a winning season.

I think in fairness though, that if anyone can do it, the current coach and his current team can. Lets hope

Although they were still a member of the ECAC East Merrimack was a D1 Independent for the five seasons before joining HEA.

Hokydad
09-25-2010, 11:47 AM
Although they were still a member of the ECAC East Merrimack was a D1 Independent for the five seasons before joining HEA.

agreed but their record included many games vs D2 opponents... Its kind of hard to say they were D 1 independent when in fact they played and were a member of ECAC East, D2

They were considered D 1 independant when they played D 1 teams.

Salvo1017
09-27-2010, 08:11 AM
Just read on the BC thread that BC will be raising their national title banner at the 10/29 game against Merrimack.

They're gonna be amped for sure but wouldn't that just be an amazing win for the warriors? And then to go back to our own barn the next day?

HockeyJM1902
09-27-2010, 09:54 AM
i wish i was as optomistic about beating BC in their own barn on the night they raise the banner. It would be great to see it, but we need to take it one game at a time.

Merrimack has never really had to deal with "expectation" and I think this year is going to be interesting to watch. I hope nothing but the best comes from all the hard work these guys have put in though.

WarriorDJ
09-27-2010, 10:37 AM
One key factor that has not been discussed: Merrimack plays BC three times before December this season. If the Eagles' season began anything like their prior season, they will not be unbeatable out of the gate.

Given the choice, I would rather face BC early in the season vs late in the season when they have had a chance to gel and develop line chemistry...

jcarter7669
09-27-2010, 10:50 AM
One key factor that has not been discussed: Merrimack plays BC three times before December this season. If the Eagles' season began anything like their prior season, they will not be unbeatable out of the gate.

Given the choice, I would rather face BC early in the season vs late in the season when they have had a chance to gel and develop line chemistry...

Last season they had a ton of freshman, that's why they weren't unbeatable in the beginning of the year... this year I don't think it really matters whether its beginning or the end of the year.

sterlippo1
09-27-2010, 11:05 AM
Last season they had a ton of freshman, that's why they weren't unbeatable in the beginning of the year... this year I don't think it really matters whether its beginning or the end of the year.

I get what you're saying but i agree with WarriorDJ on this.......i dont expect them to be in March form in October or November, it's just not the plan;)

WarriorDJ
09-27-2010, 11:54 AM
Big props to Boblav1 for posting this link in the UML thread, but it looks like MC will have it's first NESN game since February 2005 in January 2011:

http://insidecollegehockey.com/1Schedules/schedules_tv.htm

sterlippo1
09-27-2010, 12:18 PM
Big props to Boblav1 for posting this link in the UML thread, but it looks like MC will have it's first NESN game since February 2005 in January 2011:

http://insidecollegehockey.com/1Schedules/schedules_tv.htm

cool, good for you guys!

icewarrior
09-27-2010, 01:21 PM
Merrimack as a "Team" may have never really had to deal with "expectation" but most of the "Players" on the current roster have dealt with plenty of "expectation". I think you will see a very determined bunch hit the ice this season.


i wish i was as optomistic about beating BC in their own barn on the night they raise the banner. It would be great to see it, but we need to take it one game at a time.

Merrimack has never really had to deal with "expectation" and I think this year is going to be interesting to watch. I hope nothing but the best comes from all the hard work these guys have put in though.

HockeyJM1902
09-27-2010, 02:17 PM
i would have to disagree with that.

The only people that had to live up to expectations recently that i can recall were dacosta (after the army game) and probably cannata back in the cage. Other than that I guess you can make a case for Chris Barton on defense. But realistically, Merrimack burst on the scene last year and part of that surge was because they boys probably enjoyed to be the "party-spoilers" of the league. But now they are expected to win and compete on the ice with all teams. I'm not saying they can't do it because i truly believe in the team, but i do feel that it's going to be a much tougher road than it was last year. The boys are now expected to win and with expectations come pressure to succeed and some people aren't made for that. (ryan leaf...anyone???)

irishfan85
09-27-2010, 02:50 PM
i would have to disagree with that.

The only people that had to live up to expectations recently that i can recall were dacosta (after the army game) and probably cannata back in the cage. Other than that I guess you can make a case for Chris Barton on defense. But realistically, Merrimack burst on the scene last year and part of that surge was because they boys probably enjoyed to be the "party-spoilers" of the league. But now they are expected to win and compete on the ice with all teams. I'm not saying they can't do it because i truly believe in the team, but i do feel that it's going to be a much tougher road than it was last year. The boys are now expected to win and with expectations come pressure to succeed and some people aren't made for that. (ryan leaf...anyone???)

I think he was referring to juniors, preps, school puck. I'm not saying it is on the same level at all, but when you go to CM or BC High (Heffernan, Cannata, Marotta, Collins) your teams are expected to do very well.

Also, some of the boys played on successful junior and prep teams. You also cannot underestimate the level of pressure some kids have from their families while growing up. Hockey is an expensive sport. I could go into all the details about how much my parents paid for equipment, select team and town team fees, etc.

HockeyJM1902
09-27-2010, 03:09 PM
irish,

i will say that you make a valid point with the junior hockey portion of this. I didn't think back to that point for most of these skaters. I do think (and you also mentioned it a little) that this is far beyond what most of these guys are used to dealing with though. Especially for a team that couldn't field 500 fans against BC at home a few years ago. Now to have a packed house of both diehard and casual hockey fans is very different. It should be interesting to watch though. I'm very curious to see how dacosta does now that the league has a year of film to watch on him too. If he truly bulked up as people are saying he's been doing he will turn into a much more dynamic player as well...more ovechkiness (not actually comparing them in ability) as opposed to a crosby/kovalchuk type

WarriorDJ
09-27-2010, 03:40 PM
irish,

i will say that you make a valid point with the junior hockey portion of this. I didn't think back to that point for most of these skaters. I do think (and you also mentioned it a little) that this is far beyond what most of these guys are used to dealing with though.
Referencing the freshman:

Mike Collins won two RBC Cups in juniors, it's probably safe to say he is battle tested when it comes to fan expectations.

Tom McCarthy won a title last year with the Bismarck Bobcats of the NAHL. I am assuming the long playoff run can only be good for his development as well.

Ultimately, the challenge for these kids (the freshmen) is adjusting to the older players and speed/physicality of Hockey East. Some grasp it quicker than others...we'll see how it goes starting on Oct 9.

Salvo1017
09-27-2010, 07:11 PM
I think the point made above about Ovechkin vs Crosby is a good one, Stephane could definitely benefit from adding a few more pounds as long as he doesn't lose that quickness.

As far as expectations are concerned...I'm fully confident in the coaching staff to make it a non-factor. What might be a concern is other teams not looking past the warriors when they play them...

I talked about this earlier, I believe every hockey east team prepares to the best of their ability to play on any given game...that being said..when a team has a recent history of being one of the worst in the conference you tend to maybe look past them a little bit....if that happened last year you can be sure it won't this year.

So, I guess what I'm getting at is that these kids all come from great hockey backgrounds playing for some really elite prep and junior teams...I'm sure they can handle the expectation, but after a year of watching stephane he does have weaknesses (we saw them exploited in the BU playoff series). Teams will be ready for him.

Carmine Scarpaglia
09-27-2010, 10:37 PM
They're gonna be amped for sure but wouldn't that just be an amazing win for the warriors? And then to go back to our own barn the next day?

Keep dreaming. Even if Merrimack were to win at Conte on banner-raising night, would that really be something to go nuts over compared to beating BC on any other night?


One key factor that has not been discussed: Merrimack plays BC three times before December this season. If the Eagles' season began anything like their prior season, they will not be unbeatable out of the gate.

Given the choice, I would rather face BC early in the season vs late in the season when they have had a chance to gel and develop line chemistry...

Sure and MC won't have line chemistry either. Of course, Gibbons-Whitney-Atkinson has been together for a while so I doubt chemistry will be a problem.

Truth be told, the best time to play them might be closer to the end of the year and pray that get decimated by injuries. The earlier in the season the more likely they are to all be healthy. Getting BC in January usually works well, they start pretty well usually, slump in January and then go berserk starting in late Feb.

This year I think playing BC early is bad news but who knows...

I think the point remains to see what these guys do with expectations. We saw what happened with Lowell this year, a program not used to those expectations. Merrimack is similar in that they had a very mediocre year in the prior year (but amazing for their standards) and yet everyone is talking about them. Surely those Lowell players had expectations on them throughout their hockey career. But they gacked a furball all year long.

WarriorDJ
09-28-2010, 09:34 AM
I think the point remains to see what these guys do with expectations. We saw what happened with Lowell this year, a program not used to those expectations. Merrimack is similar in that they had a very mediocre year in the prior year (but amazing for their standards) and yet everyone is talking about them. Surely those Lowell players had expectations on them throughout their hockey career. But they gacked a furball all year long.
Good comparison, I think Merrimack will have a similar weight on their shoulders. However, UML had it much worse last season:

-They were ranked as high as third in the nation. (MC only got a handful of votes)
-They went to the title game in 2008-2009. (MC went to the QFs in 09-10)
-They had a "must win now" senior class of eleven. (MC will graduate seven in 10-11)

So basically, in terms of national recognition, this Merrimack team could still fly under the radar. In terms of Hockey East play: there is nowhere to hide.

Slasher7
09-28-2010, 09:42 AM
The best time to play BC is either in January (when they usually struggle for some reason) or the game right after the Beanpot final. Beyond that, well, good luck. ;)

HockeyJM1902
09-28-2010, 11:13 AM
IMHO, i don't think there is any more fly under the radar this day and age. With the amount of digital film, youtube, and regional tape regarding college hockey it's hard to fly under the radar at all. The only reason Merrimack was able to do it was because absolutely no-one saw this coming.

This year there is no where to hide at all, whether it's HE or an outside of the division opponent. MC will need to fight and claw for every point they earn. In my opinion if they succeed this year and finish higher in the standings than last it's a greater accomplishment than last year.