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Thread: UNH Wildcats 2019 Offseason - How Much Progress Did We Really Make This Past Season?

  1. #261
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    Quote Originally Posted by HockeyRef View Post
    ha! Hardly doubt they could do that, but, who would've thought...those pesky 3 goal leads!!! Obviously the Friars don't care about those (see: yesterday) It's now become the 'dreaded 3 goal lead' We need to find a way to score goals my friend, then, we can talk about FF's....??? So unless something major happens in this game we'll have 2 HE teams in. Cornell fans have to be bummed...
    Yup; not bad for HEA, which had such a dismal OOC record this regular season. Go Quinnipiac!

  2. #262
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    Re: UNH Wildcats 2019 Offseason - How Much Progress Did We Really Make This Past Seas

    Quote Originally Posted by Snively65 View Post
    Yup; not bad for HEA, which had such a dismal OOC record this regular season. Go Quinnipiac!
    If Q wins you have three of the four schools within basically an hour's drive of one another.

  3. #263
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    Quote Originally Posted by chickod View Post
    If Q wins you have three of the four schools within basically an hour's drive of one another.
    Maybe if you avoid rush hour traffic and ignore speed limits? :-)

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    Re: UNH Wildcats 2019 Offseason - How Much Progress Did We Really Make This Past Seas

    Quote Originally Posted by Snively65 View Post
    Maybe if you avoid rush hour traffic and ignore speed limits? :-)
    OK. Fine 1 1/2 from Storrs to Providence. (the point was to contrast with the vast distances between the schools in the West)

  5. #265
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    Quote Originally Posted by chickod View Post
    OK. Fine 1 1/2 from Storrs to Providence. (the point was to contrast with the vast distances between the schools in the West)
    Or, in contrast, not like having the four bean pot schools in the FF. Or, two bean pot schools in the FF (must be lots of those cases?).

    But, Storrs?
    Last edited by Snively65; 04-01-2019 at 12:14 PM.

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    Re: UNH Wildcats 2019 Offseason - How Much Progress Did We Really Make This Past Seas

    Quote Originally Posted by HockeyRef View Post
    Dan! Curious as to your take on the UMass v Denver FF semi?
    I think Denver will have a hard time with UMass. They have really struggled to score goals down the stretch - the only way they can beat UMass is if they can keep the score down. Since February 25 (if you remove the third-place game against CC), the Pioneers have averaged just 1.88 goals per game and in many of those games have struggled to even create SOG. In that time, their PP has been dreadful. They are skilled offensively, but they are young. Defensively, they've been great around their own goal and in clearing pucks, while they've also gotten very good goaltending from Larsson. This has allowed them to win games, despite playing a lot in their own end and even getting out-shot and out-possessed notably in some of those games. If UMass attacks in waves like they did this weekend - it will be interesting to see if Denver can withstand the pressure and whether or not they can counter attack with any regularity (and if they can't, can they cash in despite limited chances as they have recently - UND QF)...

    The other factor will be the health of FR Emilio Pettersen - who hurt his hand/wrist and had to leave the game versus AIC. He's a pure dangler - and the most skilled player on the DU team. If he can't go or if he is limited it will really hurt an already limited offense. He drives a lot of what that first line is able to do, creating a lot of chances for Guttman and Lukosevicious.

    The game will also feature one of the best offensive blueliner match-ups possible in Cale Makar and Ian Mitchell. Makar is obviously incredibly gifted - but Mitchell, a year younger, is not that far behind.

    It should be a good game - featuring two distinct styles and two teams that dictate tempo and style very well. If UMass can generate a goal early, and force Denver to open up their game, I like their chances - perhaps with relative ease. On the other hand, the deeper Denver can get into the game tied or with the lead, the better chance they'll have to turn this game into a slog and pull it out. I like UMass...

    ---

    The Denver comp for UMass is St. Cloud State - in two games in St. Cloud, earlier this season, the Pios surrendered 8 goals on 80 SOG. They did manage six goals of their own, but on only 42 SOG - as they were out-skated pretty handily...
    Last edited by Dan; 04-01-2019 at 10:59 AM.
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  7. #267
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    Re: UNH Wildcats 2019 Offseason - How Much Progress Did We Really Make This Past Seas

    Dan, without knowing the Harvard and Notre Dame players well, my take was that UMass out talented them. The outcomes were a matter of time. The week before BC better matched the UMass talent. I didn't see much of Denver this week or year, but am thinking that their talent and skill will at least allow them to compete with UMass for a while.
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    Re: UNH Wildcats 2019 Offseason - How Much Progress Did We Really Make This Past Seas

    Quote Originally Posted by Darius View Post
    Dan, without knowing the Harvard and Notre Dame players well, my take was that UMass out talented them. The outcomes were a matter of time. The week before BC better matched the UMass talent. I didn't see much of Denver this week or year, but am thinking that their talent and skill will at least allow them to compete with UMass for a while.
    Denver has plenty of talent - there is no doubt about that - but they are very young. This weekend's broadcast noted that they have just three seniors and 19 underclassmen. I believe they are the third youngest team in all of DI hockey. That is likely contributing more to their scoring/possession slump in the second half than any lack of talent. They have players with skill, certainly, but in the stretch I referenced earlier Denver has only scored three or more goals six times in 18 games (more than 3 just four times). One of those games was the third-place game, three more were against dismal defending Miami/UNO teams, one was the three-goal spot (with an ENG) against AIC yesterday...

    In their most recent (meaningful) games Denver has done this - and the run of play has reflected the shot totals in nearly all of them...
    * Outshot 32-17 in a 2-0 win over North Dakota
    * Outshot 42-18 in a 4-2 win (ENG) over North Dakota
    * Outshot 33-25 in a 3-0 loss versus Minnesota-Duluth
    * Outshot 25-13 in a 2-0 win (ENG) over Ohio State
    * Outshot 26-24 in a 3-0 win (ENG) over AIC

    So, without ENG that is 1.60 goals per game (and just 19.4 shots per game) over their last six contests (excluding their third-place NCHC win). While talented, their PP is at just 15% for the season - and only 1-for-15 over the five games listed above. They're struggling to score at the worst time, there is no two ways about that...

    That said, they do have talent and they are VERY DEEP in skating ability. They can skate all four lines against anybody and all four can forecheck and defend at a high level. They should have the speed to keep up with UMass and they will absolutely make life difficult on the Minutemen in their effort to generate shots and scoring chances. Still, If DU wins the game, I'd bet it looks like the list above - with UMass clearly winning shot totals and zone time, but with Denver doing a great job of forcing shots to low percentage areas, blocking and clearing grade-A chances and getting good goaltending. But, if UMass can generate some goals - especially early - I don't see how DU can keep up...

    If Denver can keep UMass off the board early - they'll do so by being in top shape defensively and grinding time away on the forecheck or in the o-zone. And they'll need to capitalize on whatever chances they do get. This is what they have been doing - but UMass will be their stiffest test in a long while...

    Next year with all of the talent returning - except for a graduating Lukosevicious and a likely early departure from Mitchell - plus a few nice recruiting pieces look for this Denver team to really come together into something special. For this year's group - just getting to the FF is a huge win. If they can pull off a win or two, it would be a huge coup and absolute gravy. Its really something - winning 24 games and making it to a FF in a rebuilding/reloading years...
    Last edited by Dan; 04-01-2019 at 01:47 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Murray View Post
    I'm not sure that's what Greg said, but whether he did OR it's just you saying it … all UMass has won so far is the HE regular season title. They didn't even make it to the HE Tourney Finals. Northeastern is the tourney champion. As a UNH fan, where many regular season titles were followed by no hardware postseasons, I don't remember many folks referring to UNH as the "class of the league" when that happened. Very good, yes … exciting, no doubt … but "class of the league"??? Not quite yet. We'll see.
    Chuck, you’re hopeless. FYI, they are NCAA Northeast Regional champs by a long shot, humiliating both Harvard and Big Ten champ and three consecutive FF participant Notre Dame in the process. If you saw either game, live or on TV, you would know that UMass is a special team. Maybe they won’t win it all but I can guarantee you the other three schools in the FF fear them.

    And Dan, UMass is a young team as well. Only three seniors I believe.
    Last edited by Greg Ambrose; 04-01-2019 at 08:58 PM.

  10. #270
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    Re: UNH Wildcats 2019 Offseason - How Much Progress Did We Really Make This Past Seas

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan View Post
    In their most recent (meaningful) games Denver has done this - and the run of play has reflected the shot totals in nearly all of them...

    * Outshot 32-17 in a 2-0 win over North Dakota
    * Outshot 42-18 in a 4-2 win (ENG) over North Dakota
    * Outshot 33-25 in a 3-0 loss versus Minnesota-Duluth
    * Outshot 25-13 in a 2-0 win (ENG) over Ohio State
    * Outshot 26-24 in a 3-0 win (ENG) over AIC

    So, without ENG that is 1.60 goals per game (and just 19.4 shots per game) over their last six contests (excluding their third-place NCHC win). While talented, their PP is at just 15% for the season - and only 1-for-15 over the five games listed above. They're struggling to score at the worst time, there is no two ways about that...
    Just a few observations to provide counterpoints to your various (accurate) points:

    * The most obvious, of course - 4 wins against 1 loss
    * Denver allowed only 5 goals in those 5 games (1.00 GAA)
    * Two of UM-D's goals were ENG's (reducing active GAA to 0.60 )
    * Denver lost the game in which they had their most SOG

    At the time of the season where defense tends to be the quality that wins you championships, Denver is scoring enough goals, playing with leads, and defending better than pretty much everyone else.

    So I'll take Denver to counter your shrewd, no-lose choice of UMass.

    P.S. - the above is yet more evidence that SOG is largely meaningless. I've always said, and will continue to say … give me the first goal of the game, you can have overall SOG superiority, and the first goal will do better as an indicator of success (W). Neither is foolproof, of course. In your small sample above:

    Score 1st goal: 5-0-0
    Shots On Goal: 1-4-0

    P.P.S. to Greg - yes, UMass are "Northeast Regional Champions", good point. Maybe we should slip a note to BS35+8 to try to arrange for a banner at The Whitt to denote various "regional championships" UNH has won? For a program known for liberal banner usage, how did we manage to miss that one?!?!?



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  11. #271
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    Re: UNH Wildcats 2019 Offseason - How Much Progress Did We Really Make This Past Seas

    Chuck, I can assure you Denver’s play (and I’ve watched all of their recent games, including the UND series in person) has reflected their shot totals. There is meaning there in how they've played - even if they've survived the bottom line. Their offense and overall puck-possession/chance-generation has been extremely challenged lately…

    North Dakota completely out played them in both games of the QF series - but the Fighting Hawks simply cannot finish. They buzz, but they have limited offensive skill on their current roster and have a very hard time scoring. That was the biggest factor in the score staying down in that series…

    UMass will not have the same problems if they get the same chances. There are three elite scoring teams in the country this season (> 3.50 GPG). UMass is one of them. Penn State and St. Cloud are the other. In a pair of games this season, St. Cloud dropped a four-spot on Denver each night. They got extremely fortunate when AIC knocked off the Huskies and now they’ll have to face St. Cloud East in the Frozen Four…

    Denver has played great defensively much of the season – and especially lately. They forecheck well and they defend well in their own zone. Larsson (a Red Wings pick) has been very, very good in goal. Still, if Denver is going to win this match-up (and they certainly are capable) they need to be much better in creating offensive chances of their own and take the game to UMass on occasion.

    North Dakota, Ohio State and UMD all play a pro-style game. They love to grind it out on the walls and in the cycle to create offensive chances. This plays right into Denver’s preferred style of defense. UMass is a high-flying college hockey team of old – they want to get up and go in transition. They’ll dangle and switch and get creative, forcing Denver to get their feet moving more in their offensive zone rather than just collapsing around the goal. They have scorers who can convert difficult chances – and have consistently.

    It’s an entirely different style of game than what DU has faced recently. If they just want to forecheck and play defense they’ll have a really difficult time trying to win this game. They need to skate and push back on UMass with some of their own medicine to advance. They’re can accomplish this if they play up to their natural abilities (and if Pettersen is healthy - without him their chances drop dramatically, IMO) – but it has not necessarily been their approach against top competition for much of the season…

    Also of note, UMass is the better scoring defense (slightly – 1.97 GAA to 1.98), much better on the PK and has posted three shutouts in their last four outings to match Denver's recent run. It’s the classic Watcher argument for building a defense – would you rather have great defenders or a bunch of guys who rarely have to play defense because they always have the puck…

    I like both teams – they are both great and have earned the right to be here – but, I’ve seen Denver play 20-some times this season (I’m pulling for them because I know their players well at this point) and if I had to bet on one of these teams overcoming a great opposing defense I know who I’m picking.

    When Denver scores three goals in a home game the crowd wins free sandwiches. In the second half – when the competition ramped up I only got four free sandwiches (and only two since January).

    My stomach and I will give UMass a 65-70% chance to win this game – Denver can’t pull this off unless they put in three goals of their own as far as I’m concerned, and that number has been a challenge. We’ll see…

    Denver is well ahead of schedule just making the FF. UMass has been building to this season for the last three years (yup, Carvel has been directly responsible for UMass recruiting for three years – Imagine what he could have done by now at UNH with FOUR seasons of complete recruiting control) and they ARE a wagon on offense…

    Of course, its a one-game format right now - so anything can happen - and the results wont tell us much about any of these teams except who plays best next weekend. PC/UMD has 2-1 snooze-fest written all over it...
    Last edited by Dan; 04-02-2019 at 12:55 PM.
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    Re: UNH Wildcats 2019 Offseason - How Much Progress Did We Really Make This Past Seas

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan View Post
    When Denver scores three goals in a home game the crowd wins free sandwiches. In the second half – when the competition ramped up I only got four free sandwiches (and only two since January).
    Reminds of the Whitt student section chant when we had three goals: "We want Frostys, We want Frostys". And free fries once upon a time. Those were the days.
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    Re: UNH Wildcats 2019 Offseason - How Much Progress Did We Really Make This Past Seas

    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Murray View Post
    P.P.S. to Greg - yes, UMass are "Northeast Regional Champions", good point. Maybe we should slip a note to BS35+8 to try to arrange for a banner at The Whitt to denote various "regional championships" UNH has won? For a program known for liberal banner usage, how did we manage to miss that one?!?!?
    If UMass loses next week, they should display two banners for this season: 2019 Hockey East Regular Season Champions and 2019 Frozen Four/2019 Northeast Regional Champions (one or the other).
    Last edited by Darius; 04-03-2019 at 09:37 AM.
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    Re: UNH Wildcats 2019 Offseason - How Much Progress Did We Really Make This Past Seas

    Chuck, how does it feel to be out on an island all by yourself?

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    Re: UNH Wildcats 2019 Offseason - How Much Progress Did We Really Make This Past Seas

    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Ambrose View Post
    Chuck, how does it feel to be out on an island all by yourself?
    Funny, I've never felt an urge to hold my finger up to the wind, gauge the popularity of my opinions, and change 'em if I'm not on the "good" side of things, Greg. I always figured you were the same; guess not.

    You won't be seeing any groupthink or virtue signaling from me. Sorry if that disappoints you ...
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  16. #276
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Murray View Post
    Funny, I've never felt an urge to hold my finger up to the wind, gauge the popularity of my opinions, and change 'em if I'm not on the "good" side of things, Greg. I always figured you were the same; guess not.

    You won't be seeing any groupthink or virtue signaling from me. Sorry if that disappoints you ...
    It doesn’t. I always get a kick out curmudgeons. I’ve been accused of being one many times.

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    Re: UNH Wildcats 2019 Offseason - How Much Progress Did We Really Make This Past Seas

    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Murray View Post
    P.P.S. to Greg - yes, UMass are "Northeast Regional Champions", good point. Maybe we should slip a note to BS35+8 to try to arrange for a banner at The Whitt to denote various "regional championships" UNH has won? For a program known for liberal banner usage, how did we manage to miss that one?!?!?



    They did do this one year when the banners used to all be down one end. It was either "Regional Champions" or "Regional Finalist", and they even managed to get the year wrong on the banner while having it correct on the other banners they unveiled with it. Would be willing to bet it happened in 2003 or 2004 (recognizing the year previous), but my memory isn't what it used to be.

    Fitting for a school that also has a banner declaring itself the 1979 Hockey East tournament champion...
    Last edited by UNH 98; 04-03-2019 at 09:46 PM.

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    Re: UNH Wildcats 2019 Offseason - How Much Progress Did We Really Make This Past Seas

    Quote Originally Posted by UNH 98 View Post
    They did do this one year when the banners used to all be down one end. It was either "Regional Champions" or "Regional Finalist", and they even managed to get the year wrong on the banner while having it correct on the other banners they unveiled with it. Would be willing to bet it happened in 2003 or 2004 (recognizing the year previous), but my memory isn't what it used to be.

    Fitting for a school that also has a banner declaring itself the 1979 Hockey East tournament champion...
    That last one has always been one of my curmudgeonly pet peeves …
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    Re: UNH Wildcats 2019 Offseason - How Much Progress Did We Really Make This Past Seas

    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Ambrose View Post
    It doesn’t. I always get a kick out curmudgeons. I’ve been accused of being one many times.
    We're good then.
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    Re: UNH Wildcats 2019 Offseason - How Much Progress Did We Really Make This Past Seas

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott View Post
    It would seem kind of silly for BVR to consider transferring with one year of eligibility left, especially with the breakout junior year he just completed. Who knows?? Maybe he's looking at next year's roster and not "finding a fit"?

    And seeing that there are players from other HE schools in this portal...I wonder as to whom are piquing the interests of the UNH coaching staff?
    ================================================== ===========================================
    Chuck, this could be the fodder for your new Summer Saga:

    THE PORTAL WARS
    Hey Scott - hoping all is good with you and yours. WIS Productions is actually deep into development of another concept for this summer, but we're waiting to see how a few things might play out over the next couple of weeks or so. Hoping it will live up (down?) to prior "standards" - using that term very loosely.

    Along those lines … can anyone find me an on-line link to the NESN Hockey East 35th anniversary thing they did not that long ago, with Coaches Umile, Parker and McShane? Found that enjoyable when it aired, but can't find it now. You'd think one of our production assistants could figure this stuff out. But noooo ...
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