Thursday, November 29, 2012

Previewing the Boston University Terriers

As a BC Hockey fan, you have the privilege to get excited for lots of events such as the Beanpot, NCAA's, Hockey East tournament, or early season non conference tilts vs quality hockey teams. However, in my opinion, nothing tops the first weekend in December, a date that marks two matchups vs archrival Boston University. If the rivalry needed any more reasons to get the intensity level up another notch, how about we throw in the fact that Coach York will be going for the all time wins record vs not only his teams rival, but the man that he has gone head to head against since his days at Boston College High School. You think Coach Jack Parker wants to see Coach York walk out of his rink tying the wins record or even worse, break it against his Terriers ? I would lean towards no, he would not. When it comes to these two, you throw all the records, points, rankings, and other crap aside because when 7:30 comes around tomorrow night, it will be the evil guys in the scarlet in white vs the Defending National Champs to see who will once again be the king of Comm Ave.

Let's get one thing straight first, the BU coaching staff is not going to let those players just roll over and hand Coach York the record, let alone let BC sweep them for the second time in three seasons. No, BU is going to come out with everything they have on both nights in order to show they should not be forgotten when it comes to Boston hockey glory. The Eagles on the other hand just need to do what they did in the final two periods vs a very good Dartmouth team last weekend. What did BC do ? Well, first of all, Johnny G went into that insane mode and scored 5 points, including a goal that should have made the Sports Center top 10. The first two lines need to do the damage this weekend for BC just like they have been all year long. It's concerning to see that the second line has not scored since that game at BU two weeks ago but it doesn't really mean they have been playing that much worse than they were. One of the reasons the Eagles were able to defeat BU last time out was because of the play of Billy Arnold and Kevin Hayes who combined for 7 points in the 4-2 BC win. Arnold is one of the more consistent players on the team but when Hayes is playing at that level like he was a couple of weeks ago, he is one of the top forwards in Hockey East. In order for BC to win tomorrow, these two really need to get going again. I like the way the other three lines have been playing as of late. We all know the first line may never be held of the score sheet again but it's the guys like Danny Linell and Pat Brown that will go a long way in deciding just how far this team can go. I don't think the staff is too worried about BC getting good scoring chances on a offensively talented but sometimes defensively absent BU D core.

The concern tomorrow for the Eagles ? It's got to be the play of the defenseman, especially their positioning in their own zone. The game last week vs the Big Green was as off an night as that unit has had since the Northeastern game to start the season. Every guy, whether he's a senior or a freshman, needs to step up their play tomorrow night, especially when it comes to times in the game where BU is controlling the play. Blown assignments are going to lead to quality chances for the Terriers tomorrow night so hopefully, the defense stays course and sticks to what they have been doing all year (besides last week). I can't express how important the play of the special teams is tomorrow night whether it's the PP or the PK. BU is aggressive on the penalty kill so both units need to make sure they are generating quality chances but at the same time, not giving the Terriers any chances when they're a man down, something they did a few times last game. If the play of Parker Milner continues to be as good as it has, I think BC has a great chance to win a couple of games this weekend. Would it help if the defenseman picked up of the slack in their end ? Sure it would but let's remember, a solid effort in the defensive end will certainly lead to quality chances on a young BU goaltender. It is not known who will start for BU but they are both freshman.

Look, this weekend is going to be some fantastic hockey and is sure to be a real treat for anyone watching at the rink or on TV. BC's just got to play Eagle Hockey and stay disciplined. Hopefully the bottom six forwards can get their play going but in reality, there job is to not let the opponent skate all over them and score. BU's not going to stop the first line so if the other three lines are playing at a high level, you've got to love BC's chances this weekend.

Keys for the Eagles-

1. Scoring on the power play. Getting off the snide and scoring some goals tomorrow would pretty much assure a BC victory. Both units need to get it going again.

2. The play of the second line. Last time, this line was the best on the ice for the Eagles. A big day for Kevin Hayes and Bill Arnold would be huge for BC.

3. Defensive zone play. It was bad last week and in order to win this week, it's got to get better. Every guy, whether a forward or defenseman, needs to play well in their own zone.

Last time out- BC beat BU 4-2 two weeks ago @ Agganis Arena. The senior class is undefeated vs the Terriers @ Agganis Arena (5-0)

All Time Series- BU leads BC 127-115-27 in the all time series. BC is 9-2-1 all time at the Jack Parker Rink.

Best Opposing Line-Megan-Hohmann-Cisse

Prediction- BC sweep. Both close games.


No comments:

Post a Comment