Thursday, November 20, 2014

Biggest Weekend Of The Year

In case you haven't noticed, I have stopped previewing individual teams because I believe that the best thing I can do here is to talk about what BC needs to do in order to be successful each night. Tomorrow presents a unique challenge for this club as they will head out to Amherst for the first and only time this year to take on a UMass squad whom they beat 4-1 @ Kelley Rink just over a month and a half ago. I always talk about how BC struggles out in Amherst but actually, they had a 16 game winning streak there from from 1995 to 2005 and have also won back to back on the Olympic sheet for the first time in a while.

I cannot stress enough just how important this game is to BC's confidence, fight for home ice, and most importantly, their bid for a 6th straight NCAA tournament appearance. Win this game tomorrow, they have a chance to pick up some crucial ground in league play and in the all important pairwise, lose it, then the downfall continues. These are the type of games that Coach York seems to always get them going for because he knows just how much the games in November impact the games in March and April. This isn't one of those games where we can just mark up as another win not only because of the recent struggles, but because of the way UMass typically plays against us in their home venue. Just take a look back at 2012, they blew us out twice in their own building just a few months before we went on to win a National Title. It's a brutal place to play (and to drive to). 

While I was very pleased at the output by Quinn Smith, Mike Sit, and Matty G last weekend, I still think BC needs guys like Adam Gilmour, Chris Calnan, and Alex Tuch to start putting the puck in the net. These were the guys that the staff brought in to produce, not to play as third and fourth line grinders. If they don't start putting the puck in the net, then it will be nearly impossible for this team to win games week in and week out. We've talked a lot about the big guys and how they fit into this system but there isn't anything the staff can do right now except try and find a way to put these guys in the best situation to use their talents. I keep wondering why they don't try Tuch on the point on the second power play unit because he's got the best shot on the team without a doubt. I also think that if those guys are going to be playing against UMass' top line, then BC needs to throw in a guy with speed (Cangelosi) to accompany them. I think that if Cangelosi plays with Tuch and Gilmour, he will start producing more and so will they. 

Obviously, my biggest concern is the power play. The Eagles are 1-5 in games where they haven't scored a power play goal, that one win came last weekend at Michigan State last weekend. My solution for the power play would to change up the personnel and switch to an umbrella style, with three guys spread across the top of the zone. They have to get Matheson and Hanifin on the same unit although I like the way McCoshen has been playing as of late so maybe that isn't such a pressing concern. Last year, we saw Scotty Savage play a big role in what was a potent unit but they haven't even tried him on the second unit this season. Trust me, I know he has struggled but the kid can shoot the puck as well as anyone in hockey East, why not give him a look? I would rotate Doherty, Savage, and McCoshen, see who works best and go with the two hot hands. They must get the PP fixed in order to do anything this season. 

They have to win tomorrow, no ways around it, they just have to find a way to win. I don't care if they outshoot them 400-1, it doesn't matter. Everyone keeps talking about how we outshot UConn and BU but still lost. Since when have we been a program that cares about shots? It's about winning, nothing but winning, winning, winning. 

Go Eagles. 

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