In the time that I have been away, there has been some pretty interesting news going around the league. Before I get into my column, let's take a look at what's going on around the world of BC/Hockey East. First, BU forward Yasin Cisse has decided to leave school and go play in the OMJHL, following the steps of former teammate Charlie Coyle. Cisse, a redshirt sophomore, has had bit of a tough start for the Terriers this year as he recorded just two points in 13 games played so far this season. Last year, I thought Cisse was one of BU's better forwards and his absence in the Beanpot seemed to effect the Terriers greatly. In the three meetings this year however, I definitely noticed that Cisse's playing time and production were going way down the tubes. Anyways, an already thin BU team is going to need to do some serious soul searching in order to fill the hole left by the departure.
In other news, Johnny G was named Hockey East player of the month and was also named to the USA Hockey preliminary roster for the WJC is Russia later this winter. I know that Johnny was disappointed about being cut from the team last season so hopefully he plays a big impact for the club in this years tournament. Due to being named to the team, he will miss BC's two games in St.Paul vs Alabama-Huntsville and the Gophers.
In terms of my thoughts concerning the weekend, I think the team can certainly take more positives out of it than negatives. Friday night was the best game of the year for the opposition and probably one of BC's most disappointing efforts over the course of the past two months. It was however really good to see the guys come back out in front of a raucous home crowd and rout the Terriers. As you would know if you have been reading this blog, I was very concerned with the power play of late but I think 4/8 of Saturday certainly gave both units some much needed confidence heading into the second half of the season. The biggest plus for me was the play of the newly formed line of Bill Arnold, Kevin Hayes, and Brendan Silk. Playing with two highly skilled players like Arnold and Hayes clearly had a big impact on Silk's play as he was able to get his first goal of the season during Saturday's contest. Sure, BC lost a game and dropped from the #1 slot but more importantly, they're still #1 in the pairwise and in first place in the Hockey East standings, a point above UNH and a comfortable six points above the Terriers.
As we start to look ahead to Friday, I'm sure everybody has this as the date in which Coach York will break the record but I'm also quite sure that he would rather just win the game and get right back home. Coming off a tough loss to Merrimack, Providence is certainly going to be licking their chops for a win in front of what is an already sold out home crowd. The problem for the Friars is that one of their top forwards, freshman Mark Jankowski, is questionable for the game with a hip injury. With the defense playing a solid game on Saturday for BC, I think it would be hard for a team like the Friars to create quality chances consistently on Parker Milner but again, the Eagles have to keep scoring goals, whether it's five on five or on the man advantage. It would be nice to see the first line, which amazingly did not have a goal on Saturday, put some pucks in the net and really dominate the play when they are out there. Destry Straight won't be back so it would be big if guys like Silk and Arnold can continue to play like they did this weekend.
I'll have my Providence preview up tomorrow night.