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Jeff_Jackson_for_Pres.
02-06-2010, 10:47 PM
What the?! I got to listen to the first period before having to go to a family thing. Thank God for family.

So the weekend when Notre Dame should've made hay they took a healthy 82 shots on goal. Scoring 3 goals for. While going 0-18 on the PP. (That's 0% for those of you who can't do the math.) While giving up 5 PPG's in 6 chances on the PK. (That's a PK of 17% for those of you too flabbergasted to do the math.) While giving up a respectable 43 shots for the weekend to Western. While giving up a not-respectable 11 goals. (That's a save % of 74.4% for those of you too disgusted to do the math.)

Western was a team that had been shut out this season not once, not twice, not 3 times, but 4 times thus far. Before Notre Dame showed up, you have to add up their goals from the previous six games before they had scored 11 goals.

I honestly do not know what to say now.

IrishHockeyFan
02-06-2010, 10:49 PM
The margin for error has almost evaporated.

Way to come out ready for action. Rumor has it the Notre Dame hockey team was in Dick's Sporting Goods over the weekend, checking out the new golf gear.

In the context of who they played, what there was to play for, and the fact that they just choked away as many wins in a 27 hour timespan to Western as the Broncos had won in the previous 62 days, this is the single most disappointing weekend of hockey at Notre Dame I can remember. Not only has the margin for error evaporated, so too may be home ice for even the first round.

grantfan
02-07-2010, 12:01 AM
I honestly do not know what to say now.

Blame "THE CAPTAIN" JJFP. This entire season is obviously all his fault.

thebrain
02-07-2010, 04:23 AM
Blame "THE CAPTAIN" JJFP. This entire season is obviously all his fault.

Yup...All his fault.... :rolleyes:

Jeff_Jackson_for_Pres.
02-07-2010, 09:45 AM
Blame "THE CAPTAIN". This entire season is obviously all his fault.

You said it.

Irishhockey
02-07-2010, 10:56 AM
IMO, ND sent a strong message this past weekend, a very strong message to the rest of the league - "we give up, see us waving the white flag? No fight left in our dog" Never thought I would see this from a Jackson team but here it is right in front of us. Reminds me of Poulins last team. It needs to be asked; has Jackson completely lost this team? Is there hope for next year? I understand the injury situation and the cohesiveness factor but to come out and lay an egg like this over 2 nights against a team that is clearly inferior (on paper) leaves me with no other explanation. I am sure BGSU is licking their chops right now, not to mention UM and what ever team ND gets to scrimmage against during the first round of the playoffs. A lost season that had so much hope...oh well...:(

IrishHockeyFan
02-07-2010, 12:44 PM
This weekend they looked every bit as bad as Poulin's last team in losing twice to Western. The games appeared lost as soon as Western netted their second goals both nights.

Look at the numbers. 0-18 on the PP, PPs that included more than one 2-man advantage and a 5-minute major. 1-6 on the PK. Gave up a shorty. The top two goaltenders looking COMPLETELY lost for most of the time they were on the ice. Weak efforts in the faceoff circles for much of the weekend, including constant losses in Western's end. And please, nothing about the 50+ shots last night. I'm not going to go overboard dissecting what usually happens when a team fires 50 shots, but they often don't win. In fact the last time ND did it, they failed to win that game too, blowing a 3-0 lead in the process. Fact is, 50 shots usually means a lot of hurried blasts to the net, lots of low percentage shots from the corners and bad angles, and a lot of easy saves for the goalie. I believe Northern's goalie faced 50 shots yesterday from a team that most of us figured to be better and shut them out. Gill played well last night, better yes than Friday. And while I mean no disrespect to Western, or their posters, who all exhibit nothing but friendly competitiveness and class on this forum, Notre Dame LOST these games as much or more than anything else.

While I wish you folks wouldn't quote the idiots I have on "ignore" I guess that's my problem. I loathe to give that particular nameless idiot the time of day, but I think "leadership" is a legitimate topic for discussing what has led this team to the point it is at today.

Where that is is looking at a season that has seriously devolved into one where they quite possibly don't even earn first round privileges in the overly generous format that is the CCHA tournament. On a team with the kind of talent this one obviously has, you cannot spin anything positive out of that, and you can't make any legitimate excuses. Nothing can mask the fact that to this point, and especially considering how absolutely awful they looked this weekend, that their play has simply stunk as often as not.

We can make all the arguments we want about injuries. We can point out all the play making, goal scoring, and Hobey Baker quality goaltending that graduated last May. But none of that can really explain the inconsistencies of the 4-plus month long up-and-down nature of this season. We saw them look great in 2 games against a pretty good Michigan State team and pretty good in two ties -- including a comeback from a 3-0 hole in one -- to boot. They looked like two different teams against UNO. They looked awful against Ferris at home just one week after dominating a .500 Colgate team and posting another great comeback against a top-5 ranked North Dakota team on neutral ice. And while the injury list is long, there were but two players -- Cole and Maday -- out of the lineup the last couple of games who were making positive impacts on games. As JJfP said after Friday, you should beat teams struggling like the Broncos with your third string goalie between the pipes and leading scorer in the stands.

This is leadership folks, plain and simple. Talent can score goals. It can beat teams one night. Injuries can cause late losses from tired players, can wreak havoc on practice schedules. But leadership leads to discipline which leads to consistency, which leads to winning the games your talent dictates you should win almost all the time and putting yourself in position to steal one or two you shouldn't. I'm not blaming one guy. I'm blaming a lot of guys. Coaches and players alike have obviously not approached this season in a matter that has worked. Too much confusion early on about who should be between the pipes. Too little confidence in players not normally expected to dress leaving a bench much shorter than it actually was. Were the wrong captains picked? Are the players without letters who should also be leaders setting poor examples? Before Erik Condra or Christian Hanson or Mark Van Guilder had an "A" or a "C" sewed onto their sweaters, they were BLEEDING leadership. There were easily another 4 guys the last two years who could have been captains, and who played and led as such. Where is the rest of the leadership on THIS team?

Notre Dame has proven itself to be lacking in two things. Yes health is one. But leadership is the other. And the injuries probably kept us from seeing them compete realistically for a CCHA regular season title, I'll concede that. But it is a lack of leadership that has them look like they did in dominating MSU 5-2 one night, and looking like they did over 2 consecutive nights this weekend just a couple of weeks later, and finding themselves fighting to hold on to even 8th place. Speaking just for myself in many ways this season has been as disappointing as the one 5 years ago, and it is only because this team is twice as talented as that one that it hasn't turned into the 5 win nightmare that one was.

Jeff_Jackson_for_Pres.
02-08-2010, 06:23 AM
While I wish you folks wouldn't quote the idiots I have on "ignore" I guess that's my problem.

Sorry.


ND sent a strong message this past weekend, a very strong message to the rest of the league - "we give up, see us waving the white flag? No fight left in our dog"

I don't think that's necessarily the case. I don't think they've given up. I think they just didn't have the guys to direct their sails that they've had in the past.

HckyDoc
02-08-2010, 07:06 AM
Gill is a very good veteran goalie and has been on a role lately, could easily have been goalie or player of the week last week. He is a shoe in this week. ND has the talent to pull out of this funk and re-right the ship. Bowling Green is in two weeks, maybe the time off will give the coaches a chance to settle things down. Jackson is an excellent coach, as is the rest of the staff. There are a number of CCHA teams that seem to struggling to find their identity this year. I can see at least one CCHA team taking a run at Pooley to be head coach next year.

WeAreNDHockey
02-08-2010, 03:43 PM
Gill is a very good veteran goalie and has been on a role lately, could easily have been goalie or player of the week last week. He is a shoe in this week. ND has the talent to pull out of this funk and re-right the ship. Bowling Green is in two weeks, maybe the time off will give the coaches a chance to settle things down. Jackson is an excellent coach, as is the rest of the staff. There are a number of CCHA teams that seem to struggling to find their identity this year. I can see at least one CCHA team taking a run at Pooley to be head coach next year.

True, Notre Dame has the talent. But we've been waiting for them to pull out of this funk since UAH scored a stunning game winning goal in game 1 of the season with less than 10 seconds to play. Here we are 31 games later and this team still isn't there. The time to right the ship and was last weekend if it was anytime, and they failed in about as epic a fashion as one could have feared.

Teams may take a run at Pooley, but my guess is he stays at Notre Dame as long as Jackson is here. He had a decade long run at Providence that was marked by an extreme case of mediocrity. I believe his niche is right where he is right now.

IrishHockeyFan
02-11-2010, 05:09 PM
Well, with the hockey team dropping like a rock and settling into the uncomfortable position of needing some help to finish in the top-8 it's no wonder the season thread has sunk to the back pages.

PlayoffStatus.com doesn't give us much of a reason (http://www.playoffstatus.com/cchahockey/notredamestandings.html) to rejoice, either. According to their math there's 51% chance that the Irish finish in 9th or 10th place. At least the games still have to be played.

The games this weekend will lead to a lot of jockeying among the teams clustered from 4th to 10th. By the end of the weekend the Irish will almost assuredly be all alone in tenth because of the games in hand all those teams around Notre Dame have on them. Since the teams we'll see them chasing will have games left against each other, at least by winning Notre Dame can pick up ground on someone. I did say by winning, right? Last weekend Western climbed out of the cellar by pinning the two most damaging losses of the Jeff Jackson era on Notre Dame. God forbid Bowling Green climbs out of their spot by doing the same thing. Since BG is playing Miami this weekend, somehow I sense their spot in the basement will still be secure when we make the trip 150 miles to the east in 2 weeks. And after last weekend's fiasco, I am taking nothing for granted. Zero points would be no more of a surprise than 6. Hell, the way this team has zigged and zagged since October I'd have to say 6 would be the surprise.

Jeff_Jackson_for_Pres.
02-12-2010, 11:44 AM
I was looking at last year's numbers through Valentine's Day and this year's numbers through the same time (given that this is a bye weekend, the numbers won't change). Have a lot of free time...don't ask...

Last year after the February 14th weekend series with NMU, ND was averaging 1.28 PPG's/game. This year, it's down only slightly at 1.12 PPG's/game. Last year at this time ND gave up exactly half a PPG/game. This year it's only slightly worse at an average of .59 PPG's against/game.

Last year at this point, Ridderwall averaged .8 points/game. This year it's close to that mark at .75 points/game. Thang last year was averaging .58 points/game through Valentine's Day. This year he's averaging .55 points/game. Cole is also virtually the same when I round the numbers. Last year's numbers for him halfway through February were .63 pts/game. This year it's also .63. Maday averaged .77 pts/game last year to now, while this year he's been slightly more productive averaging .79 pts/game. Ben Ryan last year averaged .69 pts/game, and this year it's off only a little at .66/game.

Lawson has been a pleasant surprise. Last year at this point, he averaged .58 pts/game. This year he's stepped up and has averaged .69 pts/game. Blatchford is a little off his game from last year. He averaged .63 pts/game last season up to now, but this season it's down to .56/game.

The biggest disappointments include Deeth, who's down to .56/game from .78 pts/game last year through February 14th. Kissel (.46 pts/game last year to .22 pts/game this year), Guentzel (.28/game last season and .17/game now) and Minella (.42/game last year and .29/game now) round out the less productive players.

Losing Erik Condra meant losing a player who averaged .95 pts/game last season. Riley Sheahan averages .52 pts/game. Losing Christian Hanson (who's leading the Leafs in face offs in his short time back up so far) meant losing a player averaging .84 pts/game. Kyle Palmieri also averages .52 pts/game.

Looking back to last year's points, nearly 1/3 of Ridderwall's and Deeth's points came with a graduated player (Condra, Hanson, Regan or White). Half of Blatchford's and Thang's points came with one of those graduated players' assists or goals. Nearly all of Guentzel's, Kissel's and Lawson's points last year included plays with those graduated guys. (That was just looking at the players this year who haven't been or are not injured at the moment.)

While Notre Dame cannot be counted out of the mix until after the teams from the league make it to Detroit for the CCHA tourney championship, it's such a disappointment to think, "If only..."

Jeff_Jackson_for_Pres.
02-16-2010, 08:49 PM
I've been wondering what the hockey team would give up for Lent. Ineffective 5 X 5 play? Spotty penalty killing? Lackluster power plays? Bad team chemistry? Injuries?!

They are still in the running for the post-post-season (as are most teams) and can't be truly counted out until the 4 CCHA teams to go to JLA are decided March 14th. Man, do I hope their season goes beyond that date. I'll reiterate that if any team can do it, this team can...they're just running out of time to finally click.

BG and ND were both blown out in their last weekends of play, BG by Miami (complete with some fighting and a coach ejection) (by a total score of 13-4). ND by WMU (by a total score of 11-3). I dunno. Getting blown out by Miami seems less yucky than getting blown out by WMU...

ND averages 2.44 GF. Unfortunately, they give up 2.47 GA. BG averages 2.00 GF. Fortunately (for ND), they give up 3.83 GA. The blowouts greatly altered both teams' numbers (special teams et al) for the worse. Both teams have been shutout twice this season. ND's PP fell to a still-respectable 18.7%, while their PK took a bigger hit and now sits at an okay 87%. BG's PP is 12.2%, while their PK is effective 74.4% of the time. Eerily similar to Western's numbers...

As for healthy players who are averaging at least a half a point/game, ND has several. ND is led by Calle Ridderwall with 24 points. Kyle Lawson (22 points), Brett Blatchford and Kevin Deeth (each with 18), Ryan Thang (17), Riley Sheahan (16), Kyle Palmieri (14) and Joey Lavin (6...he's played in 12 games for the Irish) are also in that category. BG has fewer who are averaging at least .5 point/game. They are led by Jordan Samuels-Thomas with 22. He's followed by Tomas Petruska (21), Kyle Page (17) and David Solway (16). Tommy Dee is their PPG leader with 4 man-up tallies.

Mike Johnson I suspect will be in goal, but this is purely a guess on my part anymore. Coach Jackson used 3 different goalies against WMU to no avail. Maybe Brian Brooke will suit up... Johnson's GA is 2.35 with a save % .920. Still decent numbers. If Brad Phillips gets a start, I suspect it would be Saturday. His GA is 2.47 with a save % of .911. BG should start Nick Eno, although Coach Williams too had to use 3 different netminders last weekend...also to no avail. His GA is 3.25 with a save % of .895. Andrew Hammond has gotten almost as many starts as Eno. His GA is 4.37 with a save % of .879.

Coach Jackson needs 3 wins to hit 300 in his career. I'm hoping he'll get them before the end of the regular season, but even if ND loses their last 4 games (and I cringe just typing that!), they are still not out of it. Sure they'd have to win 4 of the 6 playoff games to make it to Detroit, but I refuse to give up just yet. I'm figuring on enough points (and certain outcomes from the other CCHA teams) in their last 4 games to put them at 8th place and guessing that they'll play LSSU in the first round. Mathematically, they can't finish lower than 10th (where they are currently), but they also can't finish higher than 5th if my math is correct (best case scenarios).

JRR Tolkien once said, "Not all those who wander are lost."

IrishHockeyFan
02-17-2010, 09:38 AM
I dunno. Getting blown out by Miami seems less yucky than getting blown out by WMU...

SEEMS less yucky...???:)




Mathematically, they can't finish lower than 10th (where they are currently), but they also can't finish higher than 5th if my math is correct (best case scenarios).



I'm not sure if anyone has the energy to read all this but Notre Dame can actually still finish in at least 4th. Assuming they get to 44 points with 4 wins they can get there. That alone will keep them ahead of UM even if UM sweeps NMU. It will put them ahead of OSU as long as OSU drops at least 2 points to either WMU or MU. It would put them ahead of UNO as long as MU takes at least 4 of the points this weekend. It would keep them ahead of Alaska as long as the 'Nooks earn no more than 5 points against LSSU (tiebreakers would be in effect -- 12 CCHA wins to 10 for UA*). And as long as LSSU takes no more than 8 points in their final two weekends at Alaska and then NMU they'd have 43 points to NDs 44. And it keeps them ahead of NMU as long as NMU loses twice to UM and splits with LSSU the final weekend There may be some different scenarios that can play out for LSSU, UAF, and NMU that can still keep Notre Dame in front with the four wins as well, but I believe all of these outcomes CAN happen with who still plays who. And if we really want to see the glass half full, I guess it is possible to even finish as high as 3rd if Ferris or MSU loses all all four games each has left to play. Seeing as how each has a series against WMU or BGSU that doesn't seem likely. Like the rest of the other things happening are...:rolleyes: ;) Now my head hurts a little.



*I'm assuming the first tiebreaker in case teams have equal points would still be league wins, followed by winning % of games played (12-10-6 being better than 12-11-5 if two teams finish that way and are tied in points due to SOWs and SOLs) then head-to-head, then goal differential head-to-head. Then again, I'm not sure if the tiebreakers have changed with the introduction of the shootout or if the CCHA will use it in any way in figuring winning %. I hope not.

IrishHockeyFan
02-17-2010, 06:04 PM
Possibly some good news on the injury front will aid in them in climbing the ladder up the CCHA standings. Not saying for sure or who, but I think some of the injured guys will be back this weekend.

IrishHockeyFan
02-18-2010, 11:18 AM
tie breaking procedure in the CCHA (I had it a little wrong earlier):



CCHA Tiebreaker

1. Conference Wins

2. Best regular-season winning percentage against the other team(s) tied for position

3. Total goals for and against each team in contests between (among) teams tied for position in regular-season play

4. Best winning percentage of the co-champions against the remaining highest-ranked CCHA teams

5. Coin Toss

Shootout results will not be used to break ties in the standings for playoff

I am worried about BGSU. At some point, they will experience some long overdue success against Notre Dame. And since at this point I don't know how much any regular season games really matter anymore, are the Irish primed for another shockingly bad weekend? Without a 4 game win streak to finish out and a lot of help for a reasonably high finish (4th or 5th, both of which are almost out of reach without so much happening as I noted below) the season can only be salvaged by winning in Detroit sometime around 10:00 p.m on March 20th.

A number of Irish players sidelined for a while look to be ready to dress, so that helps tremendously. I would love for this team to prove us all wrong and show that the most pressing issues they've dealt with all year long are all injury related, since by this weekend probably all but one regular skater should be ready to go and they may actually be able to skate their top 6 defensemen for the first time all season.

2 years ago the Irish were staring at a 1-3-3 record in 6 February games. Scoring 3 goals in a game was barely a rumor. Their PWRs were plummeting like the proverbial rock. By the time the CCHA playoffs rolled around they knew that failing to win a first round series would likely end their season short of the NCAA tournament. They dropped the opening game and hadn't experienced a 2 game win streak for nearly 2 months. They lost their leading scorer. Yet somehow, someway, that team found a way to win. They got their 2 game win streak. They clawed their way into the NCAAs. And 6 weeks after leaving behind a less than memorable regular season, they came within 60 minutes (and perhaps some momentum stolen by Greg Shepherd) of celebrating an NCAA championship.

If you look at the results of this season, if you are one who has witnessed nearly every game the Irish have played so far, it is certainly hard to imagine this team making a similar run. But if you look at the talent assembled and think back to the expectations when you watched that first practice of the season....., is it really all that hard?

Jeff_Jackson_for_Pres.
02-18-2010, 06:07 PM
...they are still not out of it.


But if you look at the talent assembled and think back to the expectations when you watched that first practice of the season....., is it really all that hard?

Apparently, you and I are the only posters willing to go out on a limb and remain (at least to a small degree) optimistic. We'll either look incredibly foresighted...or incredibly foolish. :rolleyes: :o ;)

mwade
02-18-2010, 08:04 PM
South Bend Tribune had Cole, Maday & Minella returning - http://www.southbendtribune.com/article/20100218/SPORTS13/100219367/1130

My blog w/ galleries for the three - http://hockeyphotography.com/blog/2010/02/the-irish-get-some-help/

StillaLeafsFan
02-19-2010, 09:25 AM
Apparently, you and I are the only posters willing to go out on a limb and remain (at least to a small degree) optimistic. We'll either look incredibly foresighted...or incredibly foolish. :rolleyes: :o ;)

No, I'm still optimistic as well. This team has shown moments of great potential this season, things just finally need to click. I'm hoping that this is the perfect storm of great players coming back from injury at the end of the year to catapult this team into the NCAA's. Perhaps it will be the total inverse of last year, when I smiled at the #1 flag every day walking to the parking lot, watching ND kicking a** and taking names up and down the ice, only to fall in single elims to Bemidji Who? and have their fantastic run come to a screeching halt. This year they can flounder all season, fall into the basement of the CCHA after walking to both the regular season and playoff championships last year, and maybe make a helluva run at the post-season.
Commence finger crossing.....
*
*
*
*


NOW!

Jeff_Jackson_for_Pres.
02-19-2010, 09:02 PM
...go out on a limb and remain (at least to a small degree) optimistic. We'll either look incredibly foresighted...or incredibly foolish. :rolleyes: :o ;)

I'm starting to feel foolish.