Sunday, November 30, 2014

The Darkest Days

I walked out of Schneider Arena this evening with a couple of thoughts that have never crossed my mind when it comes to BC Hockey. I've never, ever in the hundreds of thousands of miles I've traveled watching this team and their recruits, wondered if this program would fall from it's place atop the college hockey food chain. Over the course of the past 15-20 years, this has been the dominant program in this league and in this sport and if you ask me, BC Hockey is right up there with dynasties such as Duke basketball and Alabama football. Unfortunately, we have entered perhaps the worst days this program has ever had to endure, certainly since the mid 90's when Coach York was just getting started. There is no other way for me to say it anymore, this program is in a really, really bad spot but it isn't because guys are not giving their very best out there. Trust me, if I didn't think certain guys were playing at 100% each and every shift, I'd write about it. They know this isn't good and they're doing everything they can to get it done but you can't win a horse race if you don't have the horses. We simply don't have the fire power that other teams do anymore, which is something I never thought I would see. Well, I've seen Minnesota and Michigan have some more talent then us maybe every five or six years but I never thought I would live to see the day where Providence has more skill than BC does. I never thought I'd see the day where Harvard would have so much more skill than we did. I never thought I'd see the day where BU had such an edge on the recruiting trail such as they do at the moment. 

But that day has come. 

Knowing the way Coach York operates, I can tell you that this team will battle in each game from here on in but trust me, it's going to be a rough last three months. It's going to be awesome sitting in a seat next fall and looking out at a lineup that includes two of the best players in the history of the NTDP along with the best player I've ever seen in the ISL but unfortunately, there is still a lot of work that needs to be done, not just this year but for the foreseeable future. They need to completely overhaul the way the recruit, as I have explained over and over again. I'm not worried about Miles Wood, Jeremy Bracco, Colin White, Alex Tuch, and Zachary Sanford turning into high quality college hockey players within the next two or three years. I am worried about BC's lower tier forwards developing into a group that this program can rely on game after game. We don't just need those three recruits mentioned above to come in and provide top end scoring, we need Chris Brown, JD Dudek and hopefully a couple of others to come in here and provide some bottom six scoring. 

If you know me and what I'm all about, you'd know that I would run through a brick wall in order for this program to succeed but I simply cannot sit here and say that I'm not worried about the path that Boston College Hockey is headed down. Look, I have a lot of respect for UConn, Harvard, Providence, and Lowell but losing to these teams on a consistent basis isn't something that is acceptable at BC. You don't see Alabama losing to Kentucky or Duke losing to NC State on a consistent basis. We have the reputation, we have the coaching, we have the school, we have the talent, we have the facility (for the most part), we have the support from the administration, we have everything in place to be just as good as we were in 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2014 but for whatever reason, we are losing week in and week out to teams that we simply should not be losing to. I know Providence is good this year and that Lowell is on a good run but those programs don't have half as much as we have. Minnesota, Michigan, BU, and perhaps North Dakota are the only four programs that have ever been able to recruit somewhat as well as BC has so I can deal with losing to them every once in a while (except for BU). However, I cannot deal with Providence recruiting just as well, if not better than we do and programs like Lowell and Vermont being on top of the league when they don't have half the ability to acquire talent like BC does. 

I have nothing else to say except for this is really, really bad. They just need to focus on developing guys like Calnan, Gilmour, Cangelosi, Tuch, and Sanford so that they can be top end scorers by next season. Heck, even if they're not the top guys next year, put them in a position so that they can use their strengths to help Bracco, White, Wood, and hopefully Matthews or Boeser. 

Better days are ahead. I just don't know when. 

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