Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Midweek Column- Gearing Up for the Wildcats

With  the HUGE weekend looming, I thought it would be good to go over the top 5 things BC needs to do in order to get back on track. There are a ton of reasons as for why the Eagles haven't played too hot this past month but I think if they can focus on these 5 things, it would go a long way in having a successful weekend.

1. Getting the offense going now that everyone is back. This will be the first time since November 11th that BC has it's full stack of forwards as Johnny G and Destry Straight were both out for a period of time. With those two back, the Eagles will once again have their always dangerous first two lines of Johnny G-Mullane-Whitney and Hayes-Arnold-Silk/Straight. I also think the return of Johnny G will help the bottom two lines because guys like Smith and Sit play better in those type of roles than they do when one (or two) of the top six forwards is out. I look for BC's offense to get back on track this weekend.

2. Take as much pressure off the freshman defenseman by spending as much time as possible in the opponents end. The longer the Eagles, led by their first two lines, control the puck in the Wildcat end, the shorter amount of time the freshman defenseman will be running around in their own zone chasing the puck. BC has got to find a way to get pucks deep, get guys on the puck, and create turnovers or else UNH will spend more time in BC's end which will probably leave to more goals for them.

3. Stay out of the penalty box. This has been a huge issue for this team in the past few weeks. Whether it was giving the Golden Gophers 7 power plays or the Bulldogs 6 of their own, BC is spending too much time shorthanded when they're already with their best playmaker. Penalties don't always lead to goals but they almost always give the opponent golden opportunities to score some goals. BC cannot be the team that takes more penalties this weekend or else they will certainly pay the price.

4. Get the puck on the wall, break it out, and create odd man rushes. No team is better than BC when they're breaking the puck out and creating odd man rushes through the neutral zone. BC Hockey has always been about speed and an uptempo style of play and in order to beat a UNH team that likes to play at a bit slower of a pace, the Eagles need to make sure that they are the team that dictates the pace of the game.

5. Just give the puck to Johnny G. It may sound stupid and all that but seriously, when this guy has the puck, something good will come out of it. His linemates, Mullane and Whitney, need to be the ones that are not only giving him the puck but are the ones that are creating space for him and for themselves so that they can be ready to receive a pass. Hopefully, when the game gets close in the third period, the staff puts him on the ice more and more because as we saw in Russia, he' not too bad of a hockey player.

Preview up tomorrow,

Go Eagles

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