It is time to finish up our season previews that we started a couple nights ago.
Chris Calnan- Although I said yesterday that Austin Cangelosi was the "x-factor" for this team, I think you could certainly make the case for Chris Calnan filling that role. The third round pick of the world champion Chicago Blackhawks has had his ups and downs but I thought there were times last year when he looked like one of BC's best forwards. There was a period when the Norwell native recorded seven points in six games but he failed to record any points in the final fourteen games. I think the best parts to Calnan's game are his skating and his work along the walls. He could rack up a good amount of points if he continues to work hard down low and get pucks to the front of the net. The third line right wing spot with Wood and Cangelosi is the perfect fit for #11 because he won't have to be the playmaker on that line, he will do what he does best- grind. Not sure if he will see power play time right off the bat but he certainly will be a key aspect of Coach Ayers' penalty killing unit.
Adam Gilmour- This is another one of those situations where I'm not sure what to expect. A season ago, Gilmour centered BC's top line with Tuch and Sanford but this year he will switch to the wing on the second line (at least to start). He will likely be a stalwart on the Eagles' second power play unit but will probably see a reduced role in the penalty killing department. If the Hanover native can record anywhere between 40-50 points, it would really take a lot of pressure off of the first line. The past three seasons have been ones in which the maroon and gold have had stellar top units but a significant drop in production after that has led to early playoff exits. If guys like Gilmour, Fitzgerald, and Calnan can expanded their roles as upperclassmen, then BC has a chance to be a very good team.
Chris Brown- The nephew of Coach Brown and son of BC legend Doug Brown is my pick for "surprise" player of the year. I had never seen him skate before a couple months ago and I was pleasantly surprised by what I saw. As a fourth liner, he probably won't have a ton of points but I think he will morph into a solid two way, penalty killing forward. Due to all the star power in front of him, power play time doesn't seem like a possibility at this point but things always change during the course of a long season. In terms of production, I think anywhere between 13-20 points would be fine. As I said in Gilmour's piece, BC's problem is never the first liners, it's the bottom nine guys who ranged from 6-23 points a year ago. That number has to much higher this time around.
Matthew Gaudreau- Like the aforementioned Brown, Matthew Gaudreau will likely be an everyday player on BC's fourth line. It's amazing to think that there was a time last season when he was playing either first or second line because he is certainly much more fit for that secondary role. The Carney's Point, NJ native does not possess the skills his brother does but for a fourth liner in this league, he's got some pretty nifty moves. Not sure if he will garner much time on special teams. Hopefully he can double up his 6 point total from a season ago, I certainly think he will.
Brendan Silk- For whatever the reason, I've always rooted for Brendan Silk a little bit more than anybody else. Let's be honest, his time has at BC has been full of rough stretches, usually due to injury. Whatever you think of the kid as a hockey player, from what I can tell, he works hard every single day at practice and deserves a chance to play next weekend at Army. Whether it was two years ago against PC or freshman year against Boston University, Silk has had some brilliant bright spots, unfortunately, they have been few and far between. I'm not saying he is going to go out and light the world on fire this season but I do think he could set the tone for this team by doing what he does best- banging bodies and blocking shots. Oh he also has an absolute rocket of a shot, maybe the best of any forward outside of Tuch and Wood. He won't have more than ten or fifteen points but he's got a chance to do a lot of damage outside the box score. I think this is finally the year where fans come to realize Silk's value to this program.
Chris Shero- The son of Devils GM Ray Shero won't get much playing time this season but he's looked pretty solid in the four or five practices I've watched. In the case of an injury, Shero is capable of coming in and playing some minutes.
Joey Dudek- A 6th round draft pick of the Devils, one of three on the roster, Dudek has an outside shot of cracking the opening night lineup. He's not a terrific skater but there's certainly some skill to work with there and he would obviously be the next guy up if somebody went down. There is a chance (usually a high one) that I am completely wrong and Dudek starts opening night but unless he really stands out against New Brunswick, I think Silk gets the nod on fourth line right wing.
Well, that will do it for the player previews. Let's take a look at the top things to watch out for tomorrow night vs UNB.
1. How much will Demko play, if at all?
According to a source, the staff is still considering whether or not to give BC's starting netminder some reps tomorrow night but there is a chance he plays. He has been a full go at practice.
2. Who will man the power play units?
This is what I am looking most forward to. I think the top two units will be- Bracco, Sanford, Tuch, McCoshen, Doherty then Gilmour, White, Fitzgerald, Savage, and then maybe C. Fitzgerald or Wood.
3. How does BC stack up vs UNB?
Believe it or not, the Varsity Reds are a heck of a team. They're ranked #1 in the CIS and just beat the Portland Pirates (AHL) last night.
4. Will they change up the lines as the night goes on?
I think they will stick with what they had earlier this week. They ran the same combinations (sans Dudek) at todays practice so unless something drastic happens, those are what we got.
Go Eagles. Go Acadia (playing BU) !