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Thread: UNH Hockey: Treading Water or Trending Upward

  1. #281
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    Re: UNH Hockey: Treading Water or Trending Upward

    Nice summation of the game Chuck and it was great to see you! Don't be a stranger geesh isn't Effingwoods a short hop to all things grand in Durham?? The 'Cats have gotten off to that fast start in a few games; most recently v Army. Then we tend to sit on our heels and no way can you do for long. (as was seen at Army). Anyway...we'll take the win and hope for another tonight. Gildon...he goes in March; that's all there is to it and I thought your comments on Blackburn were very insightful. He does indeed have a ton of talent; we saw that last season when he rattled off a 15 game point streak. Maybe he gets something going??? I will re-iterate that having ChKell and JP on the ice was great to see!! Predicting that line puts up some points tonight and our PP gets going too.

    Boston in March; sounds like a dream. I don't have to tell anyone that if we don't make it that's 5 years since we've been there and 7 since we've seen a Regional. Getting to the Garden would be a fantastic experience and here's hoping; that's a formidable task but you never know. Go 'Cats!!

    Ps...Pastrnak and McDavid on the ice this afternoon kiddies!!
    https://causewaycrowd.com/2020/01/04...vid-draisaitl/

    Pss. Isn't there some other game of importance tonight???
    Last edited by HockeyRef; 01-04-2020 at 10:20 AM.
    Let's Go SouzaCats!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Murray View Post
    Made it to the arena last night, ran into HR between periods briefly, and had a near-miss with deltabravo. Also stumbled myself unwittingly into "Dollar Hot Dog Night", which could have been lethal had it not been so close after New Year's and its resolutions (limited myself to a modest 2 dog haul). And capped things off with an improbable encounter with one of my fellow coaches on a rare mutual weekend night away from the pitch. He showed some impressive prognostication skills by predicting the first 3 UNH goal scorers, in order, before missing on the fourth (ENG) goal, opting for Kelleher instead of Grasso. Luke has provided me with tonight's lottery numbers, so this will hopefully be my last post as an active member of the working class, and starting next week I'll be even more available than usual to pontificate ad nauseum on here. Oh, and maybe even go surfing with Tulsi Gabbard.

    Anyway, putting aside the usual silliness … it was nice to see MS7 giving Taylor his latest shot in goal, and I think it's fair to say that this time, young TT rose to the occasion, facing more shots in quantity, and probably by an even wider gap in quality, than his opposite number at the other end of the ice. I don't think it's an overstatement to say that UNH's defense stayed in the locker room for at least the first 5 minutes of last night's game, as there were about 3-4 clear chances with attacking Yale forwards left one-on-one with the UNH soph, but none of those Yale guys were able to capitalize - and it seemed like Taylor's confidence grew from there. He was deprived of a shutout in the second period during a PK when one of his teammates lost his stick, turning a 5 v. 4 effectively into a 5 v. 3. Lots of stick-sharing ensued, but they never quite caught up before the red light beat them to it.

    This was the first time I've seen Taylor play in person, and the only thing that jumped out at me early - other than him making all the stops on the early clear-cut chances - was his apparent hesitance to handle the puck. He gradually started to handle things a little bit behind his net later in the game, and on one or two occasions he almost got himself into hot water. But otherwise, his approach to handling even routine stuff was akin to the puck being a hot potato. Definitely something I'm sure the staff is aware of, and perhaps a reason why we've seen so little of him up to this point. But he handled himself well with basic positioning, took care of the rest, and didn't seem as prone to leaving fat rebounds out there as his opposite number was. I'd be disappointed if MS7 didn't seize upon the opportunity to give him a second straight start tonight against Brown. He earned it last night.

    The game played out as another example of the "first goal principal" I've always advocated, and you couldn't have hoped to get off to a better start than with the opening goal, which looked like it came off a diagrammed play - clean face-off win, dot-to-dot back on defense, pop the puck up to the center, still in the circle, and a quick one-touch pass to the right wing coming through the neutral zone with speed, skating past the opposing D, and finishing nicely at the crease. 9 seconds flat. If that wasn't a set play, I'm Santa Claus. The coaches could take some pride, I'm sure set plays are in place for lots of situational hockey, but I can't ever remember one working so cleanly from the opening faceoff. Then there was a Yale penalty within 2 seconds of the next face-off. Had UNH not reciprocated a minute later, and the defense not taken a 5 minute siesta around that time, it would've been perfect.

    Yale was not a very talented offensive team, but they were not afraid to play a physical game, and I thought it put UNH back on its heels well into the game, even as Yale was chasing the game for (quite literally) 60 minutes. I guess it always amazes me when one of these Ivy ECAC teams comes in and batters a UNH team physically. UNH seemed more willing to push back later in the game, and there were some final buzzer skirmishes that almost broke out. As always, I'd like to see UNH play a tougher game.

    Impressions of the UNH defense … Gildon has played better, and at times he looked bored, while at other times he took chances with the puck in his own end that almost blew up in his face. He and Wyse do seem to regularly tilt the ice in UNH's favor when they're out there, and you can't say the same about the second two pairings (MacKinnon/Verrier or Maass/Eriksson). I'd like to think there's still a chance Gildon returns next season, but my gut feeling after watching him extensively last night (which at least this time lines up with the conventional wisdom) is that he's gone after March. He has huge talent, and if harnessed properly in the future at the next level, he could be a legit first pairing guy in The Show. If someone doesn't get into his head, though, he might never see a day above the AHL. It's almost as if he's a left-hand shot version of UNH's Blake Kessel from a decade ago.

    Up at the other end … Blackburn stands out as another talented kid who (for whatever reason) really is only scratching at the surface of his talent and potential. There were a few times last night when he made some tricky plays look incredibly easy … but then it would be another 10 minutes before you noticed him again. Unless he goes on a late run down the stretch, I think he's just the latest kid who is going to leave after four years, with all of us wondering how such a talented player never really broke out and showed us what he had. He'll sign an ECHL contract in March, and it's up to him if he takes it from there to the AHL or to Europe. Should be the former - with a potential 3rd line NHL upside if he defends better and more physically - but with him, it's hard to tell.

    Score four goals, and you should win. UNH has now done that twice since the break, and split those games. I thought overall UNH was outplayed for the first two periods, but looked better in finishing the game in the 3rd period. They need to take that into the Brown game tonight, post another W, and then get ready for the onslaught of the remainder of the HE regular season. It would be an added bonus if Taylor got another start (and another W) after last night, and begin to answer some of the questions I've raised about UNH's outlook for the goalie position over the next couple of seasons.

    A .500 or better record, and a mid-March tourney trip to Boston, that's all I ask.
    Ok, if not a believer in SOG or climate change, sounds like you are a convert to FOW, Chuck. :-)

    I will trade some climate science edukashun for a beer at Libby's, around 5 pm today. :-)
    Last edited by Snively65; 01-04-2020 at 05:30 PM.

  3. #283
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    Re: UNH Hockey: Treading Water or Trending Upward

    Quote Originally Posted by Snively65 View Post
    Ok, if not a believer in SOG or climate change, sounds like you a convert to FOW, Chuck. :-)

    I will trade some climate science edukashun for a beer at Libby's, around 5 pm today. :-)
    Hoping to get there by 5:30!!! And Chuck said last night 'he owes you' so you might be in luck....
    Let's Go SouzaCats!

  4. #284
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    Re: UNH Hockey: Treading Water or Trending Upward

    Quote Originally Posted by HockeyRef View Post
    Hoping to get there by 5:30!!! And Chuck said last night 'he owes you' so you might be in luck....
    Out of luck tonight, the usual stuff takes over. Hopefully another W against a very beatable opponent. And yes, Snives is on the list of folks to whom I still owe a beer (or two) - e.cat too, and one or two others. We'll go on the honor system, so if you've got one coming, I'll eventually catch up with y'all. Ideally, a trip to the HE Semis in Boston would be a great time to make it happen.
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    Re: UNH Hockey: Treading Water or Trending Upward

    Quote Originally Posted by HockeyRef View Post
    If you went last year the 'Cats were down 0-4 and came back to tie it? But yeah we got beat 4-2 at home in '17/18 (DU's last season at the helm). I think most here who watched the game last night would agree that we were fortunate esp in the first two periods being hemmed in our zone for long periods of time. But like MS7 said in his presser, the 3rd was a much better period for the 'Cats and TT stood up big when he had to. That said, Yale is fast and honestly could've gone either way but I liked the way the 'Cats took control of the game and put it out of reach. I do not have illusions (or delusions???) about this team, but happy to see some goals. Now, put up on that PP please? And, hitting those big teams coming up our PK has to be better. Very honest reflections about his team here in this Manchester Union spot:

    https://www.unionleader.com/sports/c...2cdb9f48e.html

    Go 'Cats!!

    Ps. Great to see Filip Engaras continue to put up points (nice 2 on 1 with Sato) and Eric Esposito has a decent game scoring his first.
    Yes It was great to see Filip score again. He is looking very comfortable now and I think we are in for a treat with his playing. Yesterday I thought i submitted a post on our goal keeping but , walla it didn't appear. In summary, and to my points on TT, man he showed me stuff we have not seen. He is a very straight up guy who has often had trouble with his rebounds and often just falls on the puck to get a whistle. He does not look relaxed or comfortable but has given us several of our victories. Last night he played very well, making some very good saves and demonstrated better control of his rebouts. I was very excited when is coming was announced and thought we had stolen a late developer (best in BCHL before coming in) and then he just didn't seem confident or consistent. Perhaps he just needs the ice time to build both and I too hope he gets the nod for tonight to keep him hot.
    Remember earlier this year in the first 6-8 games when much our scoring was on the PP! There was talk of needing to get better 5 on 5. Now we need to balance those 2 back to a better level
    Go Cats!.

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    Re: UNH Hockey: Treading Water or Trending Upward

    Quote Originally Posted by After the Whistle View Post
    Yes It was great to see Filip score again. He is looking very comfortable now and I think we are in for a treat with his playing. Yesterday I thought i submitted a post on our goal keeping but , walla it didn't appear. In summary, and to my points on TT, man he showed me stuff we have not seen. He is a very straight up guy who has often had trouble with his rebounds and often just falls on the puck to get a whistle. He does not look relaxed or comfortable but has given us several of our victories. Last night he played very well, making some very good saves and demonstrated better control of his rebouts. I was very excited when is coming was announced and thought we had stolen a late developer (best in BCHL before coming in) and then he just didn't seem confident or consistent. Perhaps he just needs the ice time to build both and I too hope he gets the nod for tonight to keep him hot.
    Remember earlier this year in the first 6-8 games when much our scoring was on the PP! There was talk of needing to get better 5 on 5. Now we need to balance those 2 back to a better level
    Go Cats!.
    P.S. The last Brown game I believe was at Brown 4/5 years ago. Ref, I believe that you were there. We jumped out to a tremendous lead - 5 goals or so and then the "Stats Night" mentality took over and everyone wanted a goal and our game went south fast. I believe we won 7-5 but were fortunate. I'm for the 7 goals but let's not let them back in.
    Go Cats!

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    Re: UNH Hockey: Treading Water or Trending Upward

    Quote Originally Posted by After the Whistle View Post
    P.S. The last Brown game I believe was at Brown 4/5 years ago. Ref, I believe that you were there. We jumped out to a tremendous lead - 5 goals or so and then the "Stats Night" mentality took over and everyone wanted a goal and our game went south fast. I believe we won 7-5 but were fortunate. I'm for the 7 goals but let's not let them back in.
    Go Cats!
    Oh yes, in checking the archives I see we tied them 4-4 in one game (17/18) beat them 7-4 there (I went to that game) so I'm hoping UNH puts in a full 60 on both ends of the ice! Go 'Cats!!
    Let's Go SouzaCats!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Murray View Post
    Out of luck tonight, the usual stuff takes over. Hopefully another W against a very beatable opponent. And yes, Snives is on the list of folks to whom I still owe a beer (or two) - e.cat too, and one or two others. We'll go on the honor system, so if you've got one coming, I'll eventually catch up with y'all. Ideally, a trip to the HE Semis in Boston would be a great time to make it happen.
    Sounds like a plan, Chuck. One beer at da Garden will be fine, as they are wicked expensive there, more than the price of a sixpack on the outside. :-)

    But, hey, is it really true that Crookshank's goal was the fastest to open a game in UNH history? Hard to believe, after seeing Sean Collins, Darren Haydar, Colin Hemingway, and others score on the opening FOW.

    FOW's rule, of course. :-)

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    Re: UNH Hockey: Treading Water or Trending Upward

    Taylor gets.the nod tonight! Go 'Cats!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by HockeyRef View Post
    Taylor gets.the nod tonight! Go 'Cats!!
    Woo hoo; let's go 5-0, TT!

    More than a skeleton crew for band tonight; all right! :-)
    Last edited by Snively65; 01-05-2020 at 03:52 AM.

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    Re: UNH Hockey: Treading Water or Trending Upward

    Depth scoring, Dan!

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    Annnddd that's 2 for Eric MacAdams!!! Go'Cats!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Snively65 View Post
    Woo hoo; let's go 6-0, TT!

    More than a skeleton crew for band tonight; all right! :-)
    Hey connect during the second...

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    Re: UNH Hockey: Treading Water or Trending Upward

    I think that TT has played great in net so far tonight, with 6 minutes left.

    And, with less than 2 minutes left, McAdams puts himself out of contention for a hat trick.
    Last edited by Snively65; 01-04-2020 at 09:20 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Snively65 View Post
    I think that TT has played great in net so far tonight, with 6 minutes left.

    And, with less than 2 minutes left, McAdams puts himself out of contention for a hat trick.
    Way to go 'Cats 4 points on the weekend 9 goals scored. Mac Adams has a decent weekend as well as Patrick Grasso amd Eric Esposito in a multiple point weekend. Hats off to Ty Taylor great weekend!!

    Onto the HE season bring on those Huskies! let's go 'Cats!!!
    Last edited by HockeyRef; 01-05-2020 at 12:25 AM.

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    Re: UNH Hockey: Treading Water or Trending Upward

    We jumped 9 places in the PWR over the weekend, which was a big surprise to me, these two opponents having such low PWR rankings and all.

    But, more on Ty Taylor. I think that he squared up well, stood on his feet (no flopping around), made some nice scissor pad (five hole) saves, flashed the glove for some saves, and played well a couple pucks behind his net. Hope that he earned some more starts after this weekend. I would like to see a tandem pair of goal tenders the remainder of season.
    Last edited by Snively65; 01-04-2020 at 11:44 PM.

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    Re: UNH Hockey: Treading Water or Trending Upward

    Quote Originally Posted by Snively65 View Post
    But, more on Ty Taylor. I think that he squared up well, stood on his feet (no flopping around), made some nice scissor pad (five hole) saves, flashed the glove for some saves, and played well a couple pucks behind his net. Hope that he earned some more starts after this weekend. I would like to see a tandem pair of goal tenders the remainder of season.
    I think the weekend played out as well as possible for UNH, especially with Taylor's performance in back-to-back starts (and kudos to MS7 for approaching the situation in a fresh way that his predecessor would likely never have considered). One weekend does not a career make, but I do think we all now have a lot more information and insight into what Taylor might be capable of in the long run here at UNH. Hopefully we'll look back at this weekend - and maybe the first five minutes on Friday night - as the point where TT proved to himself, his teammates, his coaches, and the fans that he's going to be part of the plan for the next few years.

    I still would like to see UNH getting the "next guy" after Taylor into one of 'Watcher's future projection grids sooner rather than later. But with Robinson and Taylor both seemingly reliable enough guys, some of the more panicked projections I was talking about a few days ago likely will prove premature (and thank goodness for that).

    For what it's worth, after this weekend, Taylor's save percentage jumped up to a respectable .912, and his goals against average ticks down to just under 2.00, which are both better (for now) than Robinson's .899 and 2.56 figures. Both netminders have won five games apiece. But for perspective, with TT's still-low sample size of only the 5 games, a bad outing next weekend against a strong Northeastern team could see both of his key figures slip back down to (or below) Robinson's modest figures to date.

    If we're still looking for answers, I guess I'd be tempted to put Taylor back out there one more time next weekend to see how he holds up against Northeastern. IIRC (and I could be wrong), but this is a team that UNH in general - and Robinson by extension - has struggled against of late. If TT goes out and struggles with them next weekend too, oh well. But maybe he surprises us and plays well. There has to be some level of growing confidence, both with the player, and with his teammates playing in front of him. If there's a setback … well, maybe we're making too much of consecutive wins against low-level Ivy/ECAC opposition … and that's definitely a real possibility here.

    At the other end, UNH has now scored at least four goals in each of the three games after the break. There seems to be some emerging depth scoring beginning to emerge on a more consistent basis. More good news. But if nothing else, the two wins this weekend injects some needed optimism after a somewhat disappointing stretch on either side of the break. Hopefully that will translate into a better-than-projected run of results as the HE regular season slate beckons. More answers to follow, and soon.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Murray View Post
    I think the weekend played out as well as possible for UNH, especially with Taylor's performance in back-to-back starts (and kudos to MS7 for approaching the situation in a fresh way that his predecessor would likely never have considered). One weekend does not a career make, but I do think we all now have a lot more information and insight into what Taylor might be capable of in the long run here at UNH. Hopefully we'll look back at this weekend - and maybe the first five minutes on Friday night - as the point where TT proved to himself, his teammates, his coaches, and the fans that he's going to be part of the plan for the next few years.

    I still would like to see UNH getting the "next guy" after Taylor into one of 'Watcher's future projection grids sooner rather than later. But with Robinson and Taylor both seemingly reliable enough guys, some of the more panicked projections I was talking about a few days ago likely will prove premature (and thank goodness for that).

    For what it's worth, after this weekend, Taylor's save percentage jumped up to a respectable .912, and his goals against average ticks down to just under 2.00, which are both better (for now) than Robinson's .899 and 2.56 figures. Both netminders have won five games apiece. But for perspective, with TT's still-low sample size of only the 5 games, a bad outing next weekend against a strong Northeastern team could see both of his key figures slip back down to (or below) Robinson's modest figures to date.

    If we're still looking for answers, I guess I'd be tempted to put Taylor back out there one more time next weekend to see how he holds up against Northeastern. IIRC (and I could be wrong), but this is a team that UNH in general - and Robinson by extension - has struggled against of late. If TT goes out and struggles with them next weekend too, oh well. But maybe he surprises us and plays well. There has to be some level of growing confidence, both with the player, and with his teammates playing in front of him. If there's a setback … well, maybe we're making too much of consecutive wins against low-level Ivy/ECAC opposition … and that's definitely a real possibility here.

    At the other end, UNH has now scored at least four goals in each of the three games after the break. There seems to be some emerging depth scoring beginning to emerge on a more consistent basis. More good news. But if nothing else, the two wins this weekend injects some needed optimism after a somewhat disappointing stretch on either side of the break. Hopefully that will translate into a better-than-projected run of results as the HE regular season slate beckons. More answers to follow, and soon.
    Oops, I had to fix my earlier mistake, TT was going for his fifth not sixth W against the Brown Bears last night.

    MR: "Hey, coach, you gave TT all the cupcakes."

    MS7: "I gave you Bentley and Army, my son."

    MR: "Noooooo! Those AHA teams are not cupcakes."

    :-)

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    Re: UNH Hockey: Treading Water or Trending Upward

    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Murray View Post
    ...I guess I'd be tempted to put Taylor back out there one more time next weekend to see how he holds up against Northeastern...
    Almost have to after his play this weekend, right? Unfortunately there is only one game next weekend, so Robinson's next start wouldn't be for two weeks.
    I will not be out cheered in my own building.

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    Re: UNH Hockey: Treading Water or Trending Upward

    There are 60 NCAA Division 1 men's ice hockey teams.

    Team Offense: Yale: 43, Brown: 60, Army: 41, UNH: 28

    Team Defense: Yale: 51, Brown: 40. Army: 14, UNH: 26

    Not really fair because teams do not play the same schedules/opponents, but... Surrendering 2 goals this weekend is not surprising, but still excellent. Scoring 13 in the last three games is excellent and a little surprising given Army's 14 ranking. Counter that with surrendering 5 to Army.

    The next three weeks are a major reality check:

    NU (12/16)
    PRO (9/17)
    UMA (7/8)
    I will not be out cheered in my own building.

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