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View Full Version : The University of Notre Dame Hockey: 09-10. Let's Live It Up!



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IrishHockeyFan
02-19-2010, 11:08 PM
...are the Irish primed for another shockingly bad weekend?

I guess we have our answer.

If it is at all possible, I think this loss angered me more than either of the two in Kalamazoo. You'd think with their backs so firmly against the wall, with the most complete complement of players available in forever, with leads of 2-0 and 3-1, with another game against a cellar dwelling team....

Awful, awful effort on the part of basically everyone in an Irish sweater, yet again. Awful, awful third period for what seems like the 100th time this season. Bowling Green matches a season high with 4 goals, and for just the second time all season manages a 3 goal period. But these 3 goals come in just a little over 5 minutes and erase a 3-1 lead. Twice Notre Dame scores and on the following shift they come out shockingly flat -- no make that LAZY -- and give up BG scores 26 seconds after the 2nd goal and 51 seconds after the third. Lousy backchecking in front of a weak effort by Johnson is formula for disaster. And disaster found them once again.

With no backcheck and bad goaltending in their own end, and still too little offensive creativity in the attack zone is it any wonder for the second time in as many weekends, one of the worst teams in college hockey is able to vacate last place by beating Notre Dame? And it isn't like Western found new life knowing their coach was gone. Since beating Notre Dame they've managed to lose 3 straight by the combined score of 12-4.

The 19 or 20 guys who are coming back next year had better take a good long hard look at the effort and preparation they've put forth this season. And they either need to find better leaders, or become better followers. Some weeks ago I posted that this season in some ways seems worse than Poulins last year. I no longer think it just seems worse. It is worse. That team had a quarter of the talent and a coach who had long before reached his ceiling. This team has a coaching staff with championship rings, 9 NHL draft picks (including 2 first-rounders), and 4 classes worth of highly recruited hockey players. That team had nothing to play for in the second half of the season. This team had numerous chances to pull itself out of their free-fall and save a decent season. That team at least had a signature win. This team has 3 straight signature losses against last place teams.

StillaLeafsFan
02-20-2010, 12:49 PM
University of Notre Dame hockey: providing a confidence boost to the bottom feeders of the CCHA since 2009.
:mad:

Craig P.
02-20-2010, 04:01 PM
University of Notre Dame hockey: providing a confidence boost to the bottom feeders of the CCHA since 2009.
:mad:

2010, rather.

We were inconsistent in the fall, but not taking the absolutely soul-crushing losses we've had in this series and the last.

WeAreNDHockey
02-20-2010, 04:08 PM
Awful, awful effort on the part of basically everyone in an Irish sweater, yet again.

I dunno, Thang had a decent game, figuring in all three goals and wasn't on the ice for any of Bowling Greens. So that's what, one out of 21?

I found this quote from Rick Shanley's blog (http://rickshanley.wordpress.com/2010/02/18/wmu-fires-culhane-but-manages-to-bungle-even-that/) kind of interesting:


Then there was the rumor last week that players were “concerned” they had saved Culhane’s job with their weekend sweep of Notre Dame. That information, combined with individual stories I’ve heard first-hand from former players, paints a rather ugly picture of the culture inside the program.

If true it leads me to believe that some of their guys aren't going full speed. To lose so badly to a team in the midst of a near mutiny, or even one where just a player or two isn't laying it all on the line makes these recent games all the more hard to stomach.

Jeff_Jackson_for_Pres.
02-20-2010, 10:49 PM
Going from the possibility (albeit pie-in-the-sky variety) of finishing 3rd given hard work and help from others to being able to finish no better than 8th now in a matter of 25 hours...well...it just blows. I never ever thought travelling in the first round would have been even an obscure threat to this team when the season started. Hell, wasn't even considering that scenario as near as a month ago. Now, that is most likely what will transpire because if this team can't beat Western or BG...they ain't beatin' Michigan.

I never envisioned welcoming a senior class's departure...until now.

hockey fan ND
02-21-2010, 12:12 AM
A few weeks back my family attended a game in South Bend while my son was waiting to talk to some players after the game we overheard a player talking to his parents. He was saying how there is no feeling of being a team in the locker room also that there is a division over this years captains and fighting over who will be next years.

Jeff_Jackson_for_Pres.
02-21-2010, 08:46 AM
A few weeks back my family attended a game in South Bend while my son was waiting to talk to some players after the game we overheard a player talking to his parents. He was saying how there is no feeling of being a team in the locker room also that there is a division over this years captains and fighting over who will be next years.

Welcome to the thread! :) It's nice to see new people willing to post in this horsecrap of a season.

Read back through the thread and you'll see your revelation is what most of us have been saying/suspecting/recognizing for some time now. It's pretty obvious. Kinda like Michigan a few years ago when Jack MF Johnson was still there (however, they at least had double digit wins... and still made the tourney...)

I have gone on the record, many, many times, stating my dislike of the captains this season.

If they want help in electing next year's leaders, ask me! :D

IrishHockeyFan
02-21-2010, 09:33 AM
Going from the possibility (albeit pie-in-the-sky variety) of finishing 3rd given hard work and help from others to being able to finish no better than 8th now in a matter of 25 hours...well...it just blows. I never ever thought travelling in the first round would have been even an obscure threat to this team when the season started. Hell, wasn't even considering that scenario as near as a month ago. Now, that is most likely what will transpire because if this team can't beat Western or BG...they ain't beatin' Michigan.

I never envisioned welcoming a senior class's departure...until now.

4 games ago I never really thought a first round series on the road was a valid concern. Had this team managed just to take just 6 of the 12 possible points I would have been horribly disappointed, yet that would have left us in 8th place and probably at least controlling our own destiny for the last home ice spot. Now here we are needing to sweep Michigan and needing help from both Miami and Northern Michigan. If Ohio State wins either game or manages 2 SOL, we can't finish ahead of them. And Lake State cannot earn more than 4 points (in any fashion and if it is a win and SOL we're screwed) or 9th place is the best the Irish can do.

Coming in to this season I think it is fair to say that most of us expected Western and Bowling Green to struggle enough that as long as the other ten teams managed to find their way to the rink 28 times, 10th place was as bad as it could get. How this team managed to skate off the ice losers in four straight games to those two teams, to very nearly assure themselves of that 10th place finish, is beyond rational explanation. Or at least beyond acceptable explanation. The Juniors and Seniors in this team have known nothing but wild success at Notre Dame yet appear to have learned nothing intangible in how to go about attaining it. I've been a college hockey fan for a long, long time. I've never seen a team that had so much talent on the ice but so little ability to translate it into wins.

As for next week, it could get ugly. Michigan had a fairly inspiring win last night, netting the game tying and game winning goals in lightning quick fashion in the third period. They are still playing for a first round bye, and with the three teams in front of them within reach and 2 done playing, it is a very realistic scenario. They are also a team that feels as if they have something to prove to the rest of the CCHA and -- like Notre Dame -- seem to have the talent to do it. If Notre Dame skates like they have the last 4 games (you know where they appear to be a bunch of feeble old men using their sticks as canes to lean on) these games could hearken back to the good old days of Ric Shafer, Dave Poulin and routine 10-1 beatdowns at the hands of Michigan.

IrishHockeyFan
02-21-2010, 10:28 AM
A few weeks back my family attended a game in South Bend while my son was waiting to talk to some players after the game we overheard a player talking to his parents. He was saying how there is no feeling of being a team in the locker room also that there is a division over this years captains and fighting over who will be next years.

Sad to think that it has deteriorated to the point that petty squables and team dysfunction are being played out in ready view of all of us now.

College hockey players aren't Junior High kids. Most of these players are old enough to drink. Some are 23, or 24 years old. All are old enough to be expected to show a higher level of maturity than this. I am also holding the coaching staff accountable as well, because division like this should never be allowed to fester over the course of an entire season.

I've seen it since October. It has been the exact opposite of the bond this team seemed to exhibit for the previous three seasons. Teams succeed in large part because as much as you want to win for yourself, you want it that much or more for the guy sitting next to you on the bench or in the clubhouse. All season it has looked suspiciously like these guys only wanted it for themselves.

That's how a team so loaded with talent can find themselves in 10th place. They can blame the injuries all they want, but had this team actually been a TEAM I honestly believe the upcoming series with Michigan would have been for 4th or 5th place. And even if they came out on the short end, I'd still be hopeful of a spot in Detroit and a realistic chance at another NCAA bid.

alnike
02-21-2010, 01:20 PM
Read back through the thread and you'll see your revelation is what most of us have been saying/suspecting/recognizing for some time now. It's pretty obvious. Kinda like Michigan a few years ago when Jack MF Johnson was still there (however, they at least had double digit wins... and still made the tourney...)
:D

Not sure what was in the water last March at Joe Louis for the Notre Dame/Michigan game, but it has been ugly for both since then with the 2009 NCAA's and this regular season.

Those Michigan teams at least performed to their talent level at times, and quite comfortably made the NCAA Tournament with 21 wins in 2005-6 as a #3 seed (9-12 in the PWR) and 26 wins in 2006-7 as a #2 seed (5-8 in the PWR). They made the NCAA's without winning the CCHA Playoffs, which is Michigan's (18-16-1) and ND's (12-14-8) only chance for this year.

The 05-6 team clearly had to deal with the egos of Johnson and Hensick and their selfish play, combined with the inconsistency and not yet developed play of 17-year old goalie Billy Sauer. That team had to reorganize a bit also with the loss of 8 seniors (Nystrom, Moss) and departures of Al Montoya, Jeff Tambellini and Mike Brown.

The 06-07 team was very talented and more team oriented as Johnson and Hensick were much more focused and under control, but TJ Oshie and Jon Toews had fun with Billy Sauer in the Regional to end that team's season.

Jeff_Jackson_for_Pres.
02-21-2010, 02:31 PM
Not sure what was in the water last March at Joe Louis for the Notre Dame/Michigan game, but it has been ugly for both since then with the 2009 NCAA's and this regular season.

Those Michigan teams at least performed to their talent level at times, and quite comfortably made the NCAA Tournament with 21 wins in 2005-6 as a #3 seed (9-12 in the PWR) and 26 wins in 2006-7 as a #2 seed (5-8 in the PWR). They made the NCAA's without winning the CCHA Playoffs, which is Michigan's (18-16-1) and ND's (12-14-8) only chance for this year.

The 05-6 team clearly had to deal with the egos of Johnson and Hensick and their selfish play, combined with the inconsistency and not yet developed play of 17-year old goalie Billy Sauer. That team had to reorganize a bit also with the loss of 8 seniors (Nystrom, Moss) and departures of Al Montoya, Jeff Tambellini and Mike Brown.

The 06-07 team was very talented and more team oriented as Johnson and Hensick were much more focused and under control, but TJ Oshie and Jon Toews had fun with Billy Sauer in the Regional to end that team's season.

I just remember thinking Hensick (whom I wanted to see win the Hobey and believe he was robbed) and Johnson (in Johnson's sophomore year) were fantastic and I couldn't understand why they struggled at times that year, but then read fans' posts (which is where I first heard Johnson referred to as JMFJ :p ) that they were not "team"mates and the play of too many was selfish. Then, the very next year when they left, they were the Michigan everyone expected.

Maybe they didn't face enough adversity to buy into Coach Berenson's team play concept, but they still saw quite a bit of success. ND this year has faced lots of that adversity, but never clicked as a team or bought into Coach Jackson's team play concept, which is inexcusable on the part of the leaders. They've known what playing like a team can get you. To think they know better than the coaching staff and what has worked disgusts me. I have no use for 23 year old prima donnas.

A Shot and a Goal
02-21-2010, 03:45 PM
I just remember thinking Hensick (whom I wanted to see win the Hobey and believe he was robbed) and Johnson (in Johnson's sophomore year) were fantastic and I couldn't understand why they struggled at times that year, but then read fans' posts (which is where I first heard Johnson referred to as JMFJ :p ) that they were not "team"mates and the play of too many was selfish. Then, the very next year when they left, they were the Michigan everyone expected.

Maybe they didn't face enough adversity to buy into Coach Berenson's team play concept, but they still saw quite a bit of success. ND this year has faced lots of that adversity, but never clicked as a team or bought into Coach Jackson's team play concept, which is inexcusable on the part of the leaders. They've known what playing like a team can get you. To think they know better than the coaching staff and what has worked disgusts me. I have no use for 23 year old prima donnas.

Hi JJ, I knew exactly to whom I sent the rep and precisely what it said. Often I send rep to those people whose posts I enjoy reading, such as yours. As for the content of my rep, it was merely my intent to give a brief insight as to Denver's upcoming series next weekend against Mankato. By no means was it an intentional non sequitur on my part.

Although the Pioneers' season is going well at present, it is not without certain challenges. Getting center Jesse Martin and defenseman Chris Nutini back in the lineup will definitely help Denver in the final weeks of the WCHA regular season, the conference playoffs and hopefully for a lengthy run in the NCAA tournament. I hope both young men return to the lineup quickly. :)

StillaLeafsFan
02-21-2010, 05:31 PM
Originally Posted by StillaLeafsFan:
University of Notre Dame hockey: providing a confidence boost to the bottom feeders of the CCHA since 2009.

2010, rather.

We were inconsistent in the fall, but not taking the absolutely soul-crushing losses we've had in this series and the last.

Yes, yes, you are correct.

What I am reading on this page regarding "team dynamics" is making me ill.

Arpod
02-21-2010, 06:20 PM
I've been following the discussion here regarding ND and their struggles this year and it sounds an awful lot like what has been going on at MI and also to some extent at tOSU (except OSU has significantly less talent and abysmal coaching, if you can call it that). I can't say I truly understand the depths of frustration ND fans feel, as you have a highly regarded coaching staff and a recent history of consistenly high achievement, and tOSU is generally pretty poor. Last year we caught lightning in a bottle and with only three seniors moving on and some talented freshmen coming in, the hopes (expectations) for this season were high. I never would have guessed how much the leadership of the departed seniors would be missed this year. It is stunning. Perhaps we will have a new coaching staff to start next season, which would bring with it hopes for a better future for OSU hockey, but ND fans may find solace in the fact that you have an incomparable institution, top notch coaching, a legacy of success, a new facility in the works, and returning/incoming talent to pick right back up. Hang tough.

IrishHockeyFan
02-21-2010, 06:40 PM
I think the level of frustration has been ratcheted up by the sheer drop off in achievement this season, coming off the achievements of the last three.

90 wins, and seasons of either regular season AND playoff championships, or a trip to the NCAA final, and this year we are a 10th place team, playing the worst hockey seen around here in 5 years at the most critical time of the season. Had the 2008 team that struggled to score for most of the second half NOT made the NCAAs, or had last years team not dominated the entire CCHA season so completely, this season would be a lot easier to comprehend.

I have witnessed, over the course of the season, a team that went from playing and practicing hard at the beginning of the year to one where dysfunction and a complete lack of chemistry is ruling the day. I've hinted, time and again as the year has worn on, that while injury has played a part in their current record, it simply is not telling the entire story.

This season by no means should be the death knell to what Notre Dame is building, as far as hockey goes. But all of the things they have going for them to start next year were present at the beginning of this one. My hope is the guys coming back next year are all taking some very detailed notes and are learning the lessons this season is teaching them on how NOT to do it.

Jeff_Jackson_for_Pres.
02-21-2010, 07:36 PM
Hi JJ, I knew exactly to whom I sent the rep and precisely what it said. Often I send rep to those people whose posts I enjoy reading, such as yours. As for the content of my rep, it was merely my intent to give a brief insight as to Denver's upcoming series next weekend against Mankato. By no means was it an intentional non sequitur on my part.

Although the Pioneers' season is going well at present, it is not without certain challenges. Getting center Jesse Martin and defenseman Chris Nutini back in the lineup will definitely help Denver in the final weeks of the WCHA regular season, the conference playoffs and hopefully for a lengthy run in the NCAA tournament. I hope both young men return to the lineup quickly. :)

Check your rep. :) I'm slow on the uptake...

A Shot and a Goal
02-21-2010, 08:20 PM
Check your rep. :) I'm slow on the uptake...

Done. Glad you found your pads. Any trouble finding your cup?:eek:

;)

CCHAfan
02-21-2010, 10:12 PM
Ferris State has clinched a fifth place spot in the CCHA. At worst Ferris can tie Michigan for 4th place, but the Wolverines would go ahead in the standings because of Conference wins. So Ferris would be in 5th place with home ice advantage.

All the 'Dawgs need is 1 point, a shootout lose, and they will clinch first round bye in the CCHA.

Jeff_Jackson_for_Pres.
02-21-2010, 10:22 PM
Done. Glad you found your pads. Any trouble finding your cup?:eek:

;)

I'm a girl.

CCHAfan
02-21-2010, 11:08 PM
I'm a girl.

Girls still wear "cups" in hockey. Actually they are straight/square plates that protects that "region."