In case you haven't noticed, we have a pretty familiar team on the docket for Friday night. Boston University ? Yea, you may have heard of them. Another thing you probably did notice was how many lineup changes the staff made on Saturday night. They sat Savage, who I thought played pretty solid on Friday night but obviously they didn't. Also, they took out speedster Cam Spiro and replaced him with Destry Straight and to top it off, they removed freshman Evan Richardson, another speedster, and reinserted Brendan Silk, who actually played pretty well. Here is the lineup you should expect on Friday night.
First of all, I think they wanted to give Savage a look from the stands on Saturday because he wasn't bad on Friday. They tend to do that a lot with younger guys as they believe that if they watch the game from up above, they will learn and adjust quicker. I think it's a good idea but I don't know if it was the right move to sit a guy that has been playing lights out, especially in the offensive end. As I said on Sunday, I think the staff was somewhat pleased with the way Teddy Doherty played and I would expect him to play on Sunday versus Army in place of either Savage or Macleod. I've gotten a lot of emails over the past few days asking why the staff continues to put Linell on the blue line. It's a bit of a head scratcher, especially considering that he and Macleod have the worst +/- of any player on the team through seven games (-3). At first, I was extremely skeptical of the move but I think that Danny has gotten better week in and week out. He wasn't very good on Saturday but he played exceptionally well on Friday night. Expect them to keep going with him on the blue line.
Up front, the only real question I have is why isn't Cam Spiro starting ? I mean, if the team had a skating contest around the ice, I think Spiro would finish in the top four, maybe even win. For some reason, the staff just doesn't give him enough time to show what he is made of. I'm not saying Destry Straight has been bad because this year has been an improvement thus far but seriously, Cam Spiro should be playing at least every other game. He would compliment a defensive guy like Mike Sit real well.
The worst thing about writing a blog like this is criticizing players once and a while. I try to never do it but as you probably see, I fail....a lot. One guy who I think really needs to step up is Chris Calnan. BU's third line isn't a real quick one and they don't play on one of those giant sheets like Minnesota so I think if Chris were to have a breakout game, this would be it. Against bigger more physical teams like RPI and Wisconsin, Chris has played well. BU is a lot like them. Besides Hohmann and maybe O'Regan, they don't have a lot of forwards that will jump out at you with their speed. Look for him to be a factor on Friday.
The last thing that needs to be addressed is the power play. Right now, it's ranked 36th in the whole country....out of 59 teams. That's horrible. We have the talent to have two really potent units but for some reason, the staff doesn't put them together. I keep asking myself why Johnny G, Kevin Hayes, Billy Arnold, Mike Matheson, and Ian McCoshen are not all out there for at least one minute of every power play. They are some of the most skilled guys in college hockey, at least give them a chance to showcase it on the power play. The problem however, is not the set up. It's the entrance. When the guys are able to get set up in the zone, they can be magic. Unfortunately, they waste three quarters of the power play fiddling around with it in their own zone. I like the play where they send it to the wing, have Johnny drop to the middle, have him enter with it, and then get it set up. Force the opposing forwards to get lower in the zone allowing more room at the points and shots at a closer proximity for Matheson and McCoshen, two guys that can really shoot the puck.
I don't need to tell you how big a week this is. There are a lot of people that care a lot about this game on Friday night. These freshmen think they may have some idea about the rivalry but I think once they hit the ice, it will be a whole new feeling. Then again, how the heck would I know. I'm the blogger....not the player.
Go Eagles. Beat BU.