Thursday, March 29, 2012
Midweek Column- Getting Ready For Tampa
I would make a pretty good case that this is by far the longest week of the hockey season as I like to call it, "the week of waiting". In seven days, BC will look to get back into the National Title game for the seventh time since 2001. I think it would be good to talk about why things have gone so well as of late for this Eagle team. I mean we haven't seen the team lose since January 21st and we have seen one of the greatest coaching jobs by one of the greatest coaches of all time over the course of this year. I first of all don't think Coach York and his staff are getting enough credit for this. Yes, Norm Bazin is most likely going to win coach of the year and so fourth but honestly, this is Coach York's best coaching job in his illustrious 40 years of coaching. Look at what we lost last year, we lost the two best players in Hockey East (Atkinson and Gibbons) our team captain (Joe Whitney), and maybe the greatest goaltender in the history of Boston College hockey (Johnny Muse). Not to mention guys like Jimmy Hayes and Philip Samuelsson who also decided to bolt to the professional ranks. I am just saying, talk about whoever else you want but in reality, this man is the best coach in college hockey and it's not even close. I think you also need to give some credit to the assistant coaches on this staff. People may not talk about what the assistants mean to a head coach but I bet if you asked Coach York if his team would be as good without Coaches Brown, Cav, and Logue, he would certainly say no.
Now when I look at the players on this team, I don't think enough of the "little" names get enough credit for what they do. I think that the fourth line has been fantastic as of late. I think Mike Sit, Danny Linell, and Quinn Smith are playing some fantastic hockey right now and with them playing so well, it just adds to the weapons this team has. While I would say last years team was better, this years team is better at two major components compared to last years squad. The first part is that this team is a better defensive team. Last year, poor defensive play by defenseman and forwards killed us in that game versus CC. This year, it seems that everyone seems a little more "committed" to playing better team defense. The other component is that this team is deeper than last years squad. Last season, you rarely saw the fourth line in big games. Now, the staff has the fourth line going up against opponents' first or second line which shows how much confidence they have in them. Really look for BC's speed and depth to be the major factors in the game versus the Gophers on Thursday night. However, the Gophers are also a pretty deep team themselves with seven players with more than 30 points so far this season so look for that to be a very intriguing matchup.
I will post my interviews with Johnny Gaudreau and Isaac Macleod tomorrow. Both were great guys and a pleasure to talk to, same with Pat Mullane. The one problem is that they seem to think they could beat me in NHL or on the golf course....no chance.