A lot of pundits have released their Hockey East preseason polls over the course of these past couple days and many have sighted BC's defensive depth, or lack thereof, as a concern. I certainly see why people are hesitant to crown the Eagles after the departures of Mike Matheson and Noah Hanifin but historically, our best teams have been built on high powered offense, not stifling defenses. That is not to say that defense is not important, because of course it is a huge part of the game but let's not sit here and say Scott Savage and Teddy Doherty are minuscule pieces. If Savage can get back to playing the way he was in 2014 and newcomers Casey Fitzgerald and Josh Couturier can play solid hockey, the D will be fine. The biggest key this season for the D core will be it's ability to stay healthy because there is not a ton of depth back there. If Fitzgerald, Savage, and Couturier can show the staff early on that they can be relied on during key situations, that will go a long way in keeping Doherty, McCoshen, and Santini fresh. Sure, it's a little bit of a question mark but I think Coach Brown will get them going by midseason.
Of course, the big guns on this team lie within the forward corps. As I said earlier, you could argue (like I do) that this is Coach York's best forward group in the past fifteen years. This is the first time in a long time where will have three lines, perhaps even four, that will have a legitimate chance to play against an opponent's top line night in and night out. For example, we couldn't match up versus teams like BU and Minnesota up front because they had first lines that blew our third out of the water. This time around, you could make the argument that BC's third line is better than anybody else's first line. I think these first three weeks of practice are going to be highly competitive because there are three or four freshmen that have a legit chance to play top nine minutes right off the bat. On top of that, BC returns all of it's top six forwards from a team, that despite all it's struggles, made the NCAAs. I haven't been to any practices yet so I'm not sure what the staff has in mind but I think they absolutely must put Tuch, Sanford, and Bracco together. If you can combine Bracco and Sanford's play making abilities with Tuch's finishing touch, then that would be flat out lethal. Also, the center position is a question mark because both Adam Gilmour and Colin White have a real chance at being the second line center. Perhaps they will move White to right wing and match him with Gilmour and Fitzgerald. Here is what I'm thinking
Of course, things will fluctuate between now and October 9th but it's just nice to be talking some hockey again.
Recruiting note- Mark Divver of the Providence Journal that BC may be in the mix for 2000 forward Joel Farabee, a former UNH commit.
Go Eagles !