Before I get into my post, let me first start off by saying the better hockey team won but I thought BC played really hard for a long time tonight but in the end, their talent level is far superior to ours, which is what I want to talk about. In 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012, and perhaps 2014, we had the best forward core in the country, were more skilled and more talented than anyone else and very rarely did we get outplayed by a "more skilled" opponent. Unfortunately, the talent gap between the Gophers and Eagles is mind blowing, something that drives me absolutely crazy. I don't expect to get every single 5 star prospect there is but I do expect to have the best top end talent year and year out because that's what we have had for so long. I don't see that anymore, especially up front. I can't ever remember seeing a team come into Kelley Rink and look so much faster, so much more skilled, and completely dominate BC like Minnesota did tonight. Those guys are absolutely loaded and I would be shell-shocked if they don't bring home the National Title in April.
I can't blame the effort because it was there. BC could have packed it in when UM went up 3-0 late in the second but instead they battled back and came within a shot of tying the game midway through the third period and for that, I think the team should be applauded but the fact that fans and perhaps maybe even players and coaches are expecting to lose before games, such as me and many others were before tonight, is something that should never happen at Boston College. Everyone talks about how it's just a down year and how they'll be better next year. I could care less about next year right now. Every fan, player, alumni, coach, etc should have the expectation that we should be the best team in the country year in and year out talent wise because that's the bar that has been set by those that have come before. You look down Minnesota's line sheet and you see fourth liners that are NHL draft picks, much like you saw on our rosters in 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2014 but for whatever reason, we don't have the horses on offensive this year.
Look, I love having a great defensive core and I think we have four guys that will go on to play in the NHL for a long time but the formula around these parts revolves around high powered offenses. I could care less about the old "defense wins championships" adage. We won three titles in five years because of our superior offensive capabilities, not our defensive prowess. Don't get me wrong, I think the staff should still try and bring in the best defenseman they possibly can but speed, skill, and talent up front need to be the priorities from here on out. Cam Atkinson, Johnny G, Brian Gibbons, Joe Whitney, Kevin Hayes etc, proved that you can win a lot of hockey games because of pure skill up front and there is absolutely no reason why world class college hockey players shouldn't be coming out of this program each and every season. Look at that Minnesota team, they have 8 or 9 forwards who I would consider "top end" guys. We have maybe 3 or 4.
This team will continue to fight and tomorrow vs Providence is another huge test but the difference in talent displayed tonight is completely unacceptable. This isn't UMass or Vermont. This is a program that has attracted some of the best players in our sport over the course of the past 15-20 years. Starting next fall, that needs to continue.