Monday, September 14, 2015

Possible Lineup Projection

I was on my way home from school this afternoon and I glanced over to my dashboard in order to switch the music that was playing. As I was doing this, the date September 14th jumped right out at me like a bat out of hell, signaling hockey season is almost here. It feels like that Denver loss took place five years ago  but I have to say, the offseason was a heck of a lot better thanks to Nate Leaman and the Providence College Friars. I am going to hold off on any "official" season previews for a few weeks but I think it would be a good idea to take a peek at some potential lineups. Of course, the staff will be welcoming in a ten man freshmen class headed by Jeremy Bracco, Miles Wood, and Colin White. Accompanying this new "big three" will be returnees Alex Tuch, Adam Gilmour, Ryan Fitzgerald, and Zach Sanford. I'm going to say this one last time so we can get it on the record. On paper, compared to the rest of the teams throughout college hockey, this is the most talented squad Coach York has produced at BC. Of course, the 2001, 2008, 2011, 2012, and 2014 teams were probably a little more stacked but college hockey as a whole was also a lot stronger in those years. By my count, Boston College will have the most NHL draft picks of any team at 13 (BU has 11).

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.


Santini- Fitzgerald 

Savage- Couturier 

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 ! 

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