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jcarter7669
03-28-2011, 11:36 AM
Who saw it coming? Heading into the NCAA HE fans as a whole expected the NC to return to New England, largely on the backs of BC. However, following a first round exit by both BC and MC, the hopes of HE fans rested on the backs of UNH, the sole HE team to win a NCAA Tourney game :eek: Granted the prospect that this could be UNH's year seemed unlikely, and yet there was hope. That came to a predictable end and the 2011 NC will reside out west, or at least as west as college hockey is concerned. The season is thus ended, seniors will graduate and players will bolt for the pro's and another off season begins.

With coaching changes coming to Lowell and Providence, the loss of Nyquist, Da Costa, Warso, UNH's offense and Jack Parker's sanity what will next season bring for HE? Here's hoping for more competitive programs nationally and a return to college hockey dominance.

PS congrats to MC, UNH, and BC on making the tourney and great seasons.

As a starting point for generating dialogue I offer an analysis of Team losses

BC : scored 153g lose 15% of their goals (35% if Atkinson leaves) and Muse

Analysis : BC has loads of talent, even if Atkinson leaves that isn't necessarily lost production, instead more ice time for someone else who will score. The big loss is Muse, although Milner is capable of stepping right in. BC remains the team to beat in HE, pending early departures.

BU : scored 116g lose 19% of their goals

Analysis : BU was on the cusp of making it into the tournament. Losing DW to the pro's hurts but but there are few other departures, pending the annual kid booted from the team by JP. Should remain a top 4 team in HE and again vie for a NCAA bid.

ME : scored 122g lose 42 % of their goals OUCH

Analysis : ME is in trouble next season. Goaltending was spotty at best but a potent offense lead by Nyquist kept them in contention. Gus is gone and so are ME's hopes for a NCAA appearance next season. The bright side is it should provide fodder for the FIRE TIMMAY crowd.

UMA : scored 88g lose 18% of their goals and Daiton

Analysis : UMA doesn't lose much scoring, mainly because they didn't really have any to start with. The bigger loss lies in the departure of PD, who was a bright spot on an otherwise dim season.

UML : scored 83g lose 19% of their goals and Blaise

Analysis : You really can't get much worse so there is no where to go but up. With a sophmore to be laden team there should be significant improvement and Lowell will challenge for the playoffs. Perhaps the brightest spot is the departure of Blaise who has consistently failed to achieve even reasonable expectations. The futures is brighter.

Mack : scored 143g lose 32% of their goals

Analysis : MC loses significant offensive production with the departure of the senior class and Da Costa. If Cannata leaves MD and company will have their hands full repeating the success they had this season. Either way, I see MC taking a step back, even if it's a small one.

UNH : scored 131g lose 42% of their goals

Analysis : UNH loses a huge amount of offensive production. Good news for the WildCats was the play of MD in net. Goaltending will be solid, the question will be if the offense can be replaced? Is a defense orientated UNH in the future, or does Umile send out mass e-mails to all hockey players with a PPG or better average? UNH might be the big loser this season.

NU : scored 108g lose 44% of their goals

Analysis : NU was one of the best teams down the stretch, unfortunately for Cronin there is a significant loss in offense heading out and the NCAA will be keeping a close eye on Cronin and Co. NU makes the HE tourney, but barely.

PC : scored 75g lose 64% of their goals and Army

Analysis : PC loses the majority of their scoring. Considering they were the bottom of the barrel in that category to start with things look bleak. However, PC also loses Tim Army who holds records for least wins after January and the quickest to 100 losses. One thing is for sure, whoever takes over the helm at PC will be building from the bottom up. That may not be a bad thing, but it still takes time.

UVM : scored 82g lose 35% of their goals

Analysis : Sneddon loses a third of the few goals that were actually scored by the Cats last season. Madore remains, as does much of the offense, and defense. The challenge for this team will be to score goals, a young offense needs to develop and quickly to challenge for anything. More importantly they need a team leader to step forward.


*note : That is simply my uninformed opinion that does not take into account early departures that may arise down the road, or who will be coming in to replace the departed.

Blast Away!

RockTheWhit
03-28-2011, 11:45 AM
Atkinson has already signed, so you can factor that into BC's losses.

unh1982
03-28-2011, 11:47 AM
This will be a great thread, great job with the summary of teams, HE East does look bleak next season,departures will only get worse

MCHOCKEY
03-28-2011, 11:56 AM
With coaching changes coming to Lowell and Providence, the loss of Nyquist, Da Costa, Warso, UNH's offense and Jack Parker's sanity what will next season bring for HE? Here's hoping for more competitive programs nationally and a return to college hockey dominance.

You're killing me. Da Costa is not gone...YET LOL...I know he's going to be gone, but at least give me a few days to cope with this past weekend before telling me that LOL

HockeyMan2000
03-28-2011, 11:57 AM
Hockey East itself has declined over the last 10 years as a top-to-bottom conference I feel. That is not to say there have not been some terrific teams and runs at the top with BC's streak of national titles and BU's recent NCAA win, but if you look over the whole league from end to end, I think you can say it has been on a downward cycle.

In particular, the middle and lower tier of the league feel like they've really dropped off. Traditionally you would have 4 real strong teams, usually a solid mid section (with teams on the bubble) and a couple of teams on the lower tier that used to be at least competitive. I don't have numbers in front of me, but it seems to me the bottom tier has completely fallen off (UVM, Amherst, Lowell, PC's records were downright horrible at times this season), and the mid section is nowhere what it once was either, as evidenced by only 3 bids to the NCAA this season.

Clearly this season the upper tier fell off a bit also. I didn't think UNH or Merrimack really had a long run in them in the NCAAs, but BC's exit was quick and surprising. Together I think it points to a conference that's still on an overall downward cycle compared to what it used to be. It'll turn around, but I don't think it's going to happen in the near future.

Nick Papagiorgio
03-28-2011, 11:58 AM
That was pretty well done, JC.

Disappointing weekend for HE. I think we can all agree on that.

Jason A
03-28-2011, 12:03 PM
. . . the hopes of HE fans rested on the backs of UNHAh, I think I've located the problem. ;)

RockTheWhit
03-28-2011, 12:04 PM
Update on Da Costa
http://www.cbc.ca/sports/blogs/elliottefriedman/2011/03/da-costa-doing-business-with-nhl.html

claver2010
03-28-2011, 12:06 PM
Excellent job JCarter

I can't remember a season where the difference between the haves and the have nots has been this wide. Clearly a disappointing showing for HE nationally.

Once again a young BC team will get tested early with the 2011 Ice Breaker (BC, NoDak, Mich St. & Air Force) then hosting Denver the following week.

acs64
03-28-2011, 12:12 PM
I'm seeing BU as a clear favorite for next year. Agree or not?

buoldtimer
03-28-2011, 12:15 PM
The big loss is Muse, although Milner is capable of stepping right in. BC remains the team to beat in HE, pending early departures.



I've been wondering about Milner. Has he played enough to give BC supporters a sense of comfort or unease? You state that he's "capable of stepping right in". Is that view based upon your observation, or is it based upon word of mouth?

Bumbles
03-28-2011, 12:23 PM
I'm seeing BU as a clear favorite for next year. Agree or not?

Depends on early departures. And even with the team the way it is now, the defensive corps is stil pretty......., mediocre. Loss of DW doesnt help things obv.

mpereira
03-28-2011, 12:26 PM
I've been wondering about Milner. Has he played enough to give BC supporters a sense of comfort or unease? You state that he's "capable of stepping right in". Is that view based upon your observation, or is it based upon word of mouth?

I was thinking the same thing since wasn't he pulled in his last start of this season? I think it was one of those crazy NU BC games sometime in Feb. I think it was the one at Conte.

I don't know if there is a clear favorite yet for next year. Depends on early departures for several teams obviously. I would think the favorites would be BU or Bc because of the heavy losses UNH,Merrimack and NU are taking with seniors leaving. It will certainly be interesting as always though

TimU
03-28-2011, 12:43 PM
Hey, that's what happens when you get outside of your comfort zone in your ****ant little junior conference, and actually play good teams.

:D

jcarter7669
03-28-2011, 12:52 PM
I've been wondering about Milner. Has he played enough to give BC supporters a sense of comfort or unease? You state that he's "capable of stepping right in". Is that view based upon your observation, or is it based upon word of mouth?


I was thinking the same thing since wasn't he pulled in his last start of this season?

The reason for the Milner comment is due to his play mostly last season when he played as well as Muse did.

Milner's numbers:

2010-2011 0.899 sv% 2.68 GAA in 8 games

2009-2010 .909 sv%(muse 0.910) and 2.32GAA (Muse 2.40)

I don't think Milner played great this season, however he had about half as many starts and were much more sporadic compared to 2009 where he played much more regularly. The BC fans can correct me, but it seems for 2009-2010 there was a rotation most of the season with Muse and Milner until the stretch run. I think that consistent ice time helped Milner put up numbers as good as Muse. Thus the ability to "step right in." I think this season the lack of playing time is what hindered his numbers, which are far from terrible as is.

claver2010
03-28-2011, 01:13 PM
The rotation from 09-10 was to ease Muse back in and then Milner's play forced York's hand to give him more time. This year he showed some flashes (shutting out Denver at Denver) but also that game you referenced where he let in 4 goals on 8 shots (2 of which were clearing attempts that ended up on net).

Watch for incoming freshman Brian Billett to steal time and I wouldn't be shocked if he's the #1. We'll see.

theprofromdover
03-28-2011, 01:23 PM
Well done, JC.

Federal League
03-28-2011, 01:34 PM
Nice summary and look-ahead, jcarter. If BU doesn't lose anyone else, which I don't expect them to, and BC loses Hayes, which I do expect them to, I'd have to think BU's the preseason favorite. I think BC will still have enough talent to finish 2nd and although they lose a lot, I like what Merrimack has coming back, too. Northeastern has some very good young players, but they also lose a lot of offense. UNH and Maine will be very interesting. They lose a lot and I don't like their young players as much as Merrimack's or Northeastern's. Never thought I'd type that last sentence.

My very preliminary gut feeling (read: little to no research, especially when it comes to incoming freshmen):

1) BU
2) BC
3) Merrimack
4) Northeastern
5) UNH
6) Maine
7) UMass
8) UVM
9) UML
10) PC

jcarter7669
03-28-2011, 01:42 PM
Question for the UNH posters... is Kessel going or staying? Seems as he would be a flight risk, but I haven't heard any rumors of the sort. That maybe because I am not a UNH fan, but regardless. Is there any thought in Durham that Kessel will be leaving?

WIrinkrat
03-28-2011, 01:45 PM
Question for the UNH posters... is Kessel going or staying? Seems as he would be a flight risk, but I haven't heard any rumors of the sort. That maybe because I am not a UNH fan, but regardless. Is there any thought in Durham that Kessel will be leaving?

there are certainly a lot of people who think it could happen, and a lot that think it could go either way.

personally if garrett stafford wasn't an nhl defenseman coming out of UNH, i don't see kessel being one either...so i don't think it's going to hurt him to stay.