Well, in exactly four hours, Boston College Hockey will be back at Conte Forum to open the highly anticipated 2013-2014 hockey season. I can't remember where I have been so optimistic about an Eagle club, mainly because all of the talent on this roster. If you ask me, we've got three of the top five forwards in Hockey East, the best freshmen class in the history of the Coach York era, the best defenseman in the country, and a team that is twice as deep as last years squad that managed to make an NCAA tournament and win a Beanpot. So yea, I'm absolutely pumped for this to begin.
If your one of those people that think exhibition games don't matter, than I don't know what to tell you. There are three or four guys on this team that need to play extremely well tomorrow and if it matters to them, it should matter to us, the fans. If they have a scoreboard, it matters. This St Francis team is a big, physical team so I think it will be a good eye-opener for some of the smaller freshmen on the team like Fitzgerald, Cangelosi, and Richardson. Here are the top things I'm looking for tomorrow.
1. How will Demko look ? This is his first game in a BC uniform so I assume there will be a good amount of nerves running thorough his system tomorrow night. He won't play the whole game but if he impresses during the time that he is out there, then the job should be his.
2. How will Danny Linell fare on the blue line ? Everyone wants to talk about Demko and all the questions around having a freshman goalie. I'm more concerned with the play of the 6th defenseman, whoever it is. Put it this way, Danny Linell is going to be in the lineup Thursday night but I think the staff will feel a lot better about the move if he impresses tomorrow afternoon.
3. Will Destry Straight and Brendan Silk look faster ? These are the two biggest question marks up front. Destry has had an up and down two years at the Heights while Silk was solid at times last season but looked slow and out of it at others. I'd be surprised if Straight plays a lot (or if he does at all) because he has been held out of practice this past week due to an injury. I've been impressed with Silk thus far but he needs to play well tomorrow in order to cement a spot in the lineup. Same goes for Michael Sit.
4. What will the power play units be ? They've been working on it a lot in practice and to me, both units have looked out of synch (yea I know, the season hasn't even started and I'm already on my typical power play rant). Here is what we should be seeing tomorrow.
Unit One- Johnny G, Arnold, Hayes, McCoshen, and Matheson
Unit Two- Fitzgerald, Cangelosi, Straight/Richardson, Doherty, and Linell.
5. Will the staff play everyone and if they do, what will the top four lines be ?
Here is the projected lineup
Johnny G- Hayes- Cangelosi
Fitzgerald- Arnold- Richardson
Smith- Brown- Calnan
Straight- Gilmour/Sit- Silk
Barone (Expecting all three to get time)