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View Full Version : UNH Wildcats 2016-17 Vol II -- We Do Have a Hockey Season Here!?!



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HockeyRef
02-25-2017, 10:23 PM
Congrats to Tyler Kelleher for winning the Hockey East scoring title with 37 points (14 goals 23 assists)

Chuck Murray
02-25-2017, 10:45 PM
WIS Productions weighs in with its RS post-mortem in the latest edition of "Umile's Last Stand - _____ for 600"

"Umile's Last Stand - The Quest for 600"

Coach Umile's current career wins total: 583
Wins Remaining to the next round number: 17
*Games Remaining (Next 2 Seasons - Min.): 38
Win Pct. Required to Hit Target: 44.7%
WIS Estimated Likelihood of Success: 50% :( :(
2016/2017 Cupcake Conversion Ratio (CCR): 9/17 (53%) :( :( :) :) :( :) :( :( :) :) :) :) :( :) :) :( :(

* - minimum games remaining assumes 34 regular season games, and at least 2 games in the MBPBEGAM "playoffs"

With an increasing sense of deja vu, this year's UNH squad limped home down the stretch of the regular season with another sweep at the hands of a slumping UConn team that may have been the only team in HE playing as poorly as your 'Cats down the stretch. Turns out last weekend's 3rd period capitulation to BU was just painful foreshadowing of a pair of must-win games that UNH managed to trail pretty much from the outset, spare for the opening Salvaggio goal on Friday night. But any time UNH was faced with adversity, the team seemed to crumble into bits. Not a great reflection on the coaching staff or the team's leadership, to be frank. And with players beginning to fill the trainer's room as things have snowballed ... it's hard not to objectively ask the painful but fitting question as to whether certain elements of this team have already pretty much checked out on this season (if not on their UNH careers). And with Coach Umile's frank confession this past week about not knowing what to say or do about his team's recent performances ... can it be that time is really, finally up on his long and overall successful career in Durham?

A 10th place finish was predicted by some at the start of the season - frankly, I forget what I predicted, but it was probably somewhere in that neighborhood - but the way it happened was especially painful. Frittering away way too many OOC cupcake games should have been the early distant warning, but an artificially strong start in Hockey East conference play buoyed spirits. Remember - this team was above the .500 mark until about a month ago. Now, for a second straight season, the 'Cats make the short trip to their former "home away from home" Lawler Volpe Community Center, or whatever that glorified HS shed is called these days. There is absolutely no reason for any level of optimism. As noted above, it looks like a fair section of the squad has already checked out of the season, and it may have crossed their minds that in laying down like a bunch of lambs, they can affect a change at the top of the program. Say what you want about Coach Umile (and Lord knows I've said plenty, pro and con) ... but having a team apparently quit on him down the stretch this season is hardly a fitting way to see his career come to an end. Hopefully, enough of the players still giving it their all will pull an unlikely surprise out of their hats next week/end. But I think it's fair to say that more than ever before, the end of the Umile era may only be a couple of games away.

The Big Picture - the only realistic goals of relevance down the stretch were (1) earning some home "post-season" games, and (2) finding a way to make sure Coach Umile's career ends successfully around this time next season with a happy ending to The Quest. Clearly, Part (1) didn't materialize, and Part (2) badly needs another pair of wins against Merrimack next weekend to give Coach Umile even a realistic glimmer of hope. I questioned his team's lack of intestinal fortitude in the 3rd period of the BU game last Saturday, and sadly his team looked as ready to compete this weekend against a mediocre UConn team as Sonny Liston did over 50 years ago when he showed up in Lewiston ME for the rematch with Cassius Clay/Muhammad Ali. It was just a bad look over the last 7 periods of the regular season. And it would be shocking to see this team somehow rediscover its competitive desire when more and more players clearly aren't up to the fight.

Win this series, though, and steal a game in the QF round against the likes of BU, and The Quest lives to improbably fight on for another season. In "heart over head" style, here are my hedged predictions for next week/end:

Predictions:

HEART

Game One: UNH 5 @ Merrimack 3
Game Two: @ Merrimack 4 UNH 1
Game Three: UNH 4 @ Merrimack 3 (OT)

HEAD

Game One: @ Merrimack 5 UNH 2
Game Two: @ Merrimack 2 UNH 0

NEXT CUPCAKE ON THE SHELF (PROJECTED): AIC (10/13/17); @ AIC (10/14/17)

IS BS35+4 PAYING ATTENTION YET?

Oh yes, he most certainly is. This season - these last two seasons, actually - were not supposed to go this way. 40 wins over 3 seasons was a professional layup for a guy who used to routinely win that many games in about half that time, and even with the state of the UNH Men's Hockey program right now, that goal should have been wrapped up by midseason next season at the latest. 15 W's last season, 15 W's this season, and 10 by midseason next year with a cupcake laden schedule that's likely to make last season's OOC schedule look like The Bataan Death March by comparison. The successor-in-waiting is starting to finally hit his stride on the recruiting trails, and exposing his fragile progress on this front to another embarrassing late season collapse by his mentor is not going to make any of this easier. It all rests on this coming week's MBPGEGAM round at Merrimack. This is "High Noon" for Coach Umile, as more and more of his players have left him exposed to an ignominious ending to his storied and widely successful career. BS35+4 won't be anywhere near the scene of the crime next weekend, but he will have clarity on his decision for next season by the time next week's games are completed.

The only question I have is, would Coach resign voluntarily before he gets pushed? He has to be devastated with how things have turned out this season down the stretch. For the first time ever, I think that answer may be "yes". The kicker, though, is ... we may never know. I do know it's going to be an interesting next few weeks in UNH-land.

StringCheese
02-25-2017, 11:45 PM
As much as I hate UNH losing - and Luce winning - it's almost (almost) worth it to hear Brass Bonanza again. :o

You are obsessed with the UConn coach. Give it up.

e.cat
02-26-2017, 06:24 AM
In the immortal words of Kip Dynamite, "So I guess you could say things are getting pretty serious."

Darius
02-26-2017, 08:58 AM
We were 1 - 0 - 1, outscoring MC 9 - 5 in the regular season so we are optimistic, correct?

HockeyRef
02-26-2017, 09:06 AM
In the immortal words of Kip Dynamite, "So I guess you could say things are getting pretty serious."

....or one of my favs from "The Legend of Bagger Vance" when Will Smith and Matt Damon reflect on his golf game (he's down by 12 in the last round)

Damon: This is getting embarrassing
Smith: Oh no sir it been getting embarrassing for quite some time now

Not that I'm embarrassed by our 'Cats it's more frustration for the players actually....I want to see them succeed! Well here we go...

HockeyRef
02-26-2017, 09:09 AM
We were 1 - 0 - 1, outscoring MC 9 - 5 in the regular season so we are optimistic, correct?

I sure want to be but with how Merrimack has been playing and how we have been playing...esp having to go there it's hard to be optimistic ! But I will do my best!!!

Chuck Murray
02-26-2017, 09:40 AM
HEY U (credits to R. Waters; edits by WIS)

Hey U/out there in the cold
Getting lonely. getting old
Can you feel it?
Hey U/we're all standing in the aisles
With itchy feet and fading smiles
Can you feel it?
Hey U/don't help them to bury the light
You haven't given in without a fight

Hey U/out there on your own
Your team's left you all alone
How'd this happen?
Hey U/with you players lacking pep
Waiting for someone to step up
How'd this happen?
Hey U, will they help you to carry the stone?
Open your eyes ... time to head home

But it was only fantasy
Six hundred was too high
As U now see
No matter how you tried
U couldn't get past '03
And this plan just never made sense

Hey U/out there on the road
Always dark, and ever colder
Is it worth it?
Hey U/out there beyond the wall
No one gives a **** at all
Is it worth it?
Hey U/it looks like there's no hope at all
Together we stand, divided we fall

Felger
02-26-2017, 09:42 AM
We were 1 - 0 - 1, outscoring MC 9 - 5 in the regular season so we are optimistic, correct?

They were 1-0-1, outscoring MC 7-5 last year in the regular season.

e.cat
02-26-2017, 10:28 AM
We were 1 - 0 - 1, outscoring MC 9 - 5 in the regular season so we are optimistic, correct?

Mc sweeps. Umile has no answers but hangs on for another year anyway!

e.cat
02-26-2017, 10:35 AM
....or one of my favs from "The Legend of Bagger Vance" when Will Smith and Matt Damon reflect on his golf game (he's down by 12 in the last round)

Damon: This is getting embarrassing
Smith: Oh no sir it been getting embarrassing for quite some time now

Not that I'm embarrassed by our 'Cats it's more frustration for the players actually....I want to see them succeed! Well here we go...

Kip to Napoleon, ďNapoleon, donít be jealous ícause Iíve been chatting online with babes all day. Besides, we both know that Iím training to become a cage fighter.Ē

Maybe Umile should try this!

Darius
02-26-2017, 10:53 AM
They were 1-0-1, outscoring MC 7-5 last year in the regular season.Aw, geez. Trying to be positive here.

HockeyRef
02-26-2017, 10:57 AM
Aw, geez. Trying to be positive here.

I am buoyed by your positivity!!! Tix bought for first two games but cannot do a third (if there is one). Go 'Cats!!

riverchief1
02-26-2017, 02:28 PM
We were 1 - 0 - 1, outscoring MC 9 - 5 in the regular season so we are optimistic, correct?

Since it's unlikely Maine or Amherst will do anything, I'm going with UNH to hopefully take out Merrimack so as the lowest remaining seed, we'd get the Wildcats in the quarterfinals. Really don't feel like dealing with either UConn or NU, especially UConn who really seems to have Lowell's number. Go Wildcats (and eat plenty of Fuddrucker's as that's pretty much the only benefit of having to play at Merrimack).

chickod
02-26-2017, 03:25 PM
I'm going with UNH to hopefully take out Merrimack so as the lowest remaining seed, we'd get the Wildcats in the quarterfinals.

Well that sounds like a putdown to me...."Oh, let's play you because you're the easiest to beat."

SO...are you going to take that????? :)

riverchief1
02-26-2017, 03:52 PM
Well that sounds like a putdown to me...."Oh, let's play you because you're the easiest to beat."

SO...are you going to take that????? :)

Oh no not at all. Just thinking we can help hasten Umile's departure if UNH plays Lowell. Just trying to be helpful. :D

HockeyRef
02-26-2017, 04:11 PM
Oh no not at all. Just thinking we can help hasten Umile's departure if UNH plays Lowell. Just trying to be helpful. :D

Yeah right....

chickod
02-26-2017, 04:19 PM
Yeah right....

You took the words right out of my mouth... :)

Dan
02-26-2017, 04:20 PM
MC will do what they always do in that rink against UNH - clog up the neutral zone to take away transition and put every puck that ends up on their sticks on goal. Tirone needs to make the easy saves, control rebounds and cover up pucks. The defense needs to block, corral and clear as many of these attempts as possible. If pucks get through and Tirone starts scrambling MC will jump on them for garbage goals.

Offensively, UNHs PP needs to lead the way. The group is ranked eighth in the country, while MCs PK is rated 47th overall. Get early leads, draw penalties and convert.

That's how UNH advances. If they fall behind or kick pucks around in their own end, season over...

HockeyRef
02-26-2017, 04:55 PM
MC will do what they always do in that rink against UNH - clog up the neutral zone to take away transition and put every puck that ends up on their sticks on goal. Tirone needs to make the easy saves, control rebounds and cover up pucks. The defense needs to block, corral and clear as many of these attempts as possible. If pucks get through and Tirone starts scrambling MC will jump on them for garbage goals.

Offensively, UNHs PP needs to lead the way. The group is ranked eighth in the country, while MCs PK is rated 47th overall. Get early leads, draw penalties and convert.

That's how UNH advances. If they fall behind or kick pucks around in their own end, season over...

Bingo...coupled with the usual "how hard it's going to be to play at Lawlor" mantra they will be subjected to by the powers that be....which will be the convenient explanation if they lose...I just wonder about their confidence right about now...and just how prepared they will be to play. Granted it IS a tough rink no doubt about it but your plan sounds about right.