For what its worth here's my opinion on the state of the team ....
Transfers ..... While I expect all 3 to get into game action during the Christmas break to the season, I would think that only Bear will be a steady contributor since he was a solid performer for UMass. The other two played very small roles if you could call there time at the others schools even small roles so I'm not expecting much from them.
Goaltenders .... IMO Perry deserved the start on Saturday. He came into the game and stopped 16 of 17 shots. He looked a little rusty, understandable since he hasn't played in 9 mos. With the Saturday start going to Savory I believe you will see Savory in net this weekend starting with Yale. Savory is Smith's goalie recruit and Saturday night he played 10 Freshman so I think that shows the direction he is moving in.
Goal scoring .... You can say all you want about Burgess not scoring on the breakaway on Saturday, should he have? Probably, but he's not a pure goal scorer and I do believe there are a couple of players on this team that can be. The problem is we don't have enough players with vision to be able to get the goal scorers the puck when they are in scoring position. RPI still is a selfish team from an individual player perspective. This team will have forwards or defenseman in open areas with clear lanes to the net and instead of moving the puck to them shots are taken when there is no hope of them getting through to the net. You will never get more then 2 goals per game until that changes and I put that blame on the coach. Make players accountable.... film sessions will clearly show all what needs to be done and if they continue to play like that sit them, bench them, pull them out of the lineup. Only then will you see real change in goal scoring.
The dreaded trap .... if you're going to play the trap then play it aggressively not passively. That's what this team does, a passive trap. I've never seen teams break out as easily as RPI's opposition.
I listened to the telecast this weekend and other bloggers write about Hayhurst, Lacka and Lappenen being the #1 line. They've played 4 games together and generated 1 even strength goal. That does not make a #1 line. Stop with rotating personnel not only game by game but how about period by period and even shift by shift. No one likes to hear the word chemistry but you certainly are going to generate it or even know instinctively where your linemates are going to be if you don't play consistently with the same people. That goes too for the Dmen. Stop playing 7 Dmen in a game go back to just 6. Just because the rules changed and you can dress 19 skaters doesn't mean you actually have to do it. Most of the programs don't dress 19 and certainly not to play 19 equally.
IMO there have been signs of improvement, small signs but there could be a lot more.
Just my thoughts for today.
UMASS was below 500 last year, and now it seems like they can't lose. Maybe they cut the right guy?
Perry going in on Friday pretty much solidified the original plan was for Marshall and Savory to split the weekend duties.
Hayhurst, Lacka, and Leppšnen are definitely the top line. Which means the top D-men will go against them. When you're a one line team (remember the Carey line from SLU a few years back), and the other lines can't do jack, you're easy to beat. Doesn't matter how many players you dress.
Time will tell with this upcoming games. I didnít think that unit performed too well this weekend. But thatís just my opinion.
One player that really impresses me as having a knack for crashing the net and making good plays, even if he is a sophomore, is Donovan Ott. He seems like someone that would really benefit from good play-making and finding of openings. Not sure if he has the chemistry with Wiffen, but I'd look to Ott if you want to see some magic happen.
That is not going to cut it. We have a serious problem and I don't see anyone stepping up.
I can only hope that one of the three new players coming in will make a difference.
Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.
The harder I practice, the luckier I get.
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