Get ready to blast me if you want to, ECAC’ers, but rather than take bitter offense, just give me your thoughts:
I have to piggy back what Jim Connelly wrote on the Hockey East blog this week.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m very happy to see Yale’s success and I’m in no way implying that they can’t skate with the other leagues. I’m also glad to see the competition and bar-raising going on in the conference as a whole.
But at this point, if the season ended tomorrow, having 4 ECAC teams in the 16 would be detrimental to the level of competition our sport aspires for. Sure, HEA, WCHA and CCHA seem to take turns putting 4, 5, even as many as 6 teams in the tourney – but if your conference gets ‘more than their share’ of bids, they better, as a whole, put out a level of play backing that up. Those 3 conferences, by and large, do.
By every Frozen Four of recent memory, it’s been easy to forget the ECAC was even involved with their lackluster offerings of competition despite what those participants looked like in the regular season. This year has been a better regular season for the conference as a whole, but I’d like to rest assured that they are actually contributing to the best field of competition we could hope for.
Since expanding the field to 16 teams in 2003, this league has hardly been competitive.
Receiving 16 bids during those 8 years, they have combined for a whopping 6 wins. 4 of those 6 were by Cornell.
That stat means the ECAC has averaged 0.38 wins for every bid they’ve received in the tournament since 2003. Here’s the rest of the leagues for comparison
Hockey East: 1.38 wins per bid
WCHA: 1.20 wins per bid
CCHA: 0.92 wins per bid
ECAC: 0.38 wins per bid
In other words, for every 20 bids Hockey East is getting, they're winning over 27 games, while ECAC teams are winning 7 or 8 given the same 20 bids.
The league has offered dismal post-season competition, and at this point, would make up ¼ of the field. This, while teams like Miami, Boston University and Maine aren’t even given a shot to compete.
Yale’s a shoo-in for me – but, honestly, if you had any combo of the following matchups:
RPI, Union and Dartmouth vs. Miami, Boston University and Maine
I’m not sure you can convince me the ECAC wins 2 out of those 3 games.