As you all know by now, BC's game vs Lowell was postponed to February 26th due to the heavy snow storms we've had around New England. To be honest, I kind of like the fact that BC gets the extra day off because I think it will help them reinforce all of their focus on the big one Monday night. BC's got to have the mindset of "it's us against the world" on Monday night. It's no secret that the rest of the college hockey world is rooting for Northeastern and quite honestly, the Beanpot needs the Huskies to pull off a stunning upset. Many college hockey fanatics are saying that the Beanpot is losing some of it's luster because of BC and BU totally dominating it and I guess I agree to some extent. I think you'd be pretty hard pressed to find any non BC fan rooting for the Eagles on Monday night. Even some noted Boston media members have tweeted that even though they are not supposed to root for anyone, they will be supporting the Huskies. That's when you know it's you vs the world.
As for the game itself, one of two things is going to happen. Either Northeastern comes out really inspired and gets some great goaltending to keep the game close or the good guys absolutely blow them out of the building such as they did three weeks ago. It's the Beanpot and therefore, I highly doubt Jim Madigan's team will come out uninspired when the puck drops at 7:30. As I watched NU's game vs the Terriers last Monday, it stood out to me (like it probably did to everyone else watching) that this Kevin Roy kid can really change a game with his speed and skill. However, BC's defense completely shut him down in two of the three meetings this season as he was -2 in the three games combined vs the defending champs. I would expect that the staff will match the Gaudreau line with Matheson and Macleod on D versus the Roy-Saponari-Vermeersch line on Monday night. Matheson and Macleod are BC's two best defensive defenseman so we shall see what Roy is able to do vs them. For much of the game vs Harvard, I noticed that the staff rolled three lines instead of four as the Straight, Sit, and Silk line didn't play a regular shift. It's not like they have been awful on the ice as much as it's been the third line has played some really good hockey. I'm not sure if that will continue but if I had to guess, it would be that the fourth line plays a little bit more on Monday night.
Any time the Eagles play Chris Rawlings and Northeastern, there is one main key. Shoot the puck from anywhere inside the blue line. Anywhere. Rawlings has played one or two real good games vs Boston College over the course of his NU career but as you saw three weeks ago, when he is bad, he is really bad. The Eagles have got to find a way to shoot at all times and get this guy moving laterally. I can't tell you how many times I've seen Rawlings give up a soft goal because he is way out of position. When he goes out to control the puck, attack. Northeastern's defense is as young and inexperienced as you can get. I'd like to see BC get the puck out in transition, spread out their D, and attack the net. Just attack, attack, attack. As you can see, the big key for BC is to just flat out attack these guys. Don't lay back and let them take it to us. Force them to turn it over and coerce Rawlings into a position where he is going to have to win the game for them. If the Eagles are generating odd man rushes and attacking for the full 60 minutes, I think we might just see another Beanpot trophy making it's way to the good side of Comm Ave late Monday night.
Preview coming tomorrow.