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



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Irishhockey
11-06-2009, 04:40 PM
Alaska trip blogging...

http://www.catcountry999.com/includes/blog/index.php?action=blog&blog_id=2

very cool...thanks...

Jeff_Jackson_for_Pres.
11-07-2009, 12:28 AM
Now this game had flow. ND took only 2 penalties while UA(F) took 3 (although both teams had some no calls). Fortunately, ND was able to capitalize on their chances, scoring 2 PPG's, one off the stick of Ryan Thang.

Nice to see Mike Johnson tested and pass. He made 2 fantastic saves on breakaways. He ended the game with 35 saves. The flipside was that ND took only 1 shot to UA(F)'s 16 in the 3rd, and had a total of only 15 on the night while handing UA(F)'s Scott Greenham his first career loss (and the team's first loss of the season).

Both teams had some sloppy play in their defensive zones, but none of that came back to haunt either team. UA(F) has some speedy guns. They had some amazing chances, but managed to send the puck high or wide on several occasions, including with about 3 seconds left. They are missing some of their better players, so I shudder to think how this may have turned out had they been 100% healthy...

Hopefully ND will take more shots tomorrow night. And, man would I kill to see a few freshmen get back on the scoresheet...

crazy_guy_in_section_1
11-07-2009, 12:38 AM
Way to go boys! While listening to the game did anyone else hear the sponge bob theme song playing? My son started singing it when he heard it.

And I must say listening to the game on the radio sucks! Definitely need to be there.... not that I can afford the plane ticket and everything else but you know the radio just isn't the same. And definitely miss ML....

IrishHockeyFan
11-07-2009, 07:48 AM
They are missing some of their better players, so I shudder to think how this may have turned out had they been 100% healthy...



Don't forget we are missing one of our top 3 d-men and basically they have played most games regularly skating just 4, rotating Cole, Lawson, Blatch, and Lorenz. Defensively and on the PK are where the struggles look to be most noticeable and it was good to see Johnson come up so big once again. Especially in a third period where the 'Nooks looked to b loaded for bear. Missing Teddy Ruth has been a big reason the team hasn't always looked gelled on the ice.

Once again we see the importance of the power play to the success of the Irish. In the 6 games they did not lose, its clicked at 25%. 6 for 15 during the current 3 game unbeaten streak. 3 games with PP results against 2 teams I think play very capably a man down.

We'll have to see how the goaltender situation unfolds. In Jackson's first year he stuck with David Brown and patiently waited for him to regain the form he showed as a Freshman. Even with an obviously talented Jordan Pearce waiting in the wings. That loyalty paid off for Notre Dame the following season in a pretty big way. Brown grew up as a player and a person in 2005/06 and was nearly unbeatable as a senior. But that was with a team learning to win, learning Jackson's systems, learning all sorts of things it took to compete. Expectations are sky-high now for this program and can he afford to wait for the presumed preseason number one to come into form? I think Philips is starting tonight (although my RADAR has been off a couple of times this season reading Jackson when it comes to his starting goalie tea leaves) and I think it was prearranged. Hopefully he plays well. Maybe we'll even start to see a good old fashioned goalie tandem. There could be worse things than having two netminders equally capable of winning. (of course that's provided they both win ;) )

Mentally the boys need a win tonight. It could go a long way to cementing some consistency to their game. They started the season loss-win, loss-win. Then followed it with win-loss, win-shootout loss. Here's to getting back to playing better and getting better results in the second game. A sweep up here against a previously unbeaten team would be big. Play focused. Play smart. Play YOUR game.

Jeff_Jackson_for_Pres.
11-07-2009, 05:38 PM
Don't forget we are missing one of our top 3 d-men and basically they have played most games regularly skating just 4, rotating Cole, Lawson, Blatch, and Lorenz. Defensively and on the PK are where the struggles look to be most noticeable...
I'm thinking more along the lines of struggles offensively. Coming into tonight's game, ND is averaging just 2.44 G/game.


I think Philips is starting tonight (although my RADAR has been off a couple of times this season reading Jackson when it comes to his starting goalie tea leaves) and I think it was prearranged.
The UA(F) play-by-play guy confirms your guess based on the pre-game luncheon interview from Friday.

I still look at numbers and shake my head though. Mike Johnson: 3-0 with a GA of 1.0 and a save % of .968. Brad Phillips: 1-3-1 with a GA of 2.18 and a save % of .923. Team in front of Johnson: 3-0 while scoring 2.67/game and giving up 1.0/game. Team in front of Phillips: 1-3-1 while scoring 1.8/game and giving up 2.2/game.

Please, please, please win tonight, Irish.

Jeff_Jackson_for_Pres.
11-08-2009, 12:19 AM
I'm thinking more along the lines of struggles offensively. Coming into tonight's game, ND is averaging just 2.44 G/game.

The UA(F) play-by-play guy confirms your guess based on the pre-game luncheon interview from Friday.


While I'm glad that the UA(F) play-by-play guys were wrong and Johnson was in net for ND, I'll ask the reader to re-read my first statement that I felt compelled to point out again.

How can this team have such anemic scoring power? They are down to 2.3 G/game. Yuck.

IrishHockeyFan
11-08-2009, 08:34 AM
I also ask how this team can be so bad in the third period again, and also add how can they have so much trouble holding or building on a lead? They haven't given up more than three goals in a game all year and they give up three in the third last night. All 5 games they failed to win the deciding goal game in the third period, and in all but one they failed to hold a lead. Granted, they were all one goal leads, but still. In an environment where blowouts are rare, this team has excelled for a few years now at protecting a lead, regardless of the size of it. Especially 3rd period leads.

We're now getting to the point where the inconsistency isn't a streak, but a trend. Or an identity. IMO this team has way more talent than a squad that is 5-4-1 after 10 games, all but 3 at home, and failing to score more than 3 goals in any one game. There is no margin for error, as they've led by more than a goal for a total of about two periods all season. Yes they're missing Teddy Ruth, and I posted that loss has been keenly felt, but if missing one player creates this much inconsistency and mediocrity, you weren't a particularly deep or talented team to begin with. But you couldn't find two people in the know who would try to argue that this team wasn't one of the deeper, more talented teams in the CCHA. Clearly the issues aren't with the talent level of the personnel. That's what makes these struggles all the more mystifying, and all the more troubling. Lots of hockey left, though. Time enough to forge the right identity.

Jeff_Jackson_for_Pres.
11-08-2009, 03:00 PM
I think I'm still noticing a lack of team play. A third of the way into the season. These guys are all trying to single-handedly get the job done. In the 3rd period of Friday's game, they started cycling the puck really well, wearing out UA(F), and I breathed a sigh of relief because they were playing as a team, finding a linemate, passing to him. That seems to be the anomaly so far.

A few of us used to sarcastically refer to Ian Cole his freshman year as "Superstar." It took some time for him to fit into the team mode, but man, by his sophomore year, I thought he epitomized the word teammate (one of the reasons I thought he would wear a letter on his sweater this season). I see the same crap in Kyle Palmieri. Yes, he is a phenom with a wicked wrist shot, but short of the opening series, all I've seen is that he looks pretty with the puck.

While I'm calling players out, I may as well add to the list. I've been extremely disappointed in Christiaan Minella, Ryan Thang, Brett Blatchford and Ryan Guentzel. I thought the former and the latter would have breakout seasons.

All I've noticed is that Minella has traded in smart play for the chance to make the big hit. Yes, physical play is needed, but unless it does the intended, separate opponent from puck, I can do without the fist pumping from a crowd that apparently would go to a NASCAR race just for the wrecks.

The most captain-like thing I've noticed from Thang is when he pleads his case to the refs.

Blatchford seems to be the 1-step-forward-2-steps-back kind of player. I want the Blatchford from last season who knew when to pass, when to shoot so his teammate could slam home the ricochet off the back boards, and when to skate for and with the puck.

Guentzel has just been invisible. While not making loads of mistakes, he hasn't been the player I thought he would grow into this season.

There is a reason I loathe the NBA. It is full of all-stars who would rather look good and lose than look bad and win.

I have been happy with the play and effort of Mike Johnson, Ben Ryan, Kyle Lawson, Riley Sheahan, Patrick Gaul and Dan Kissel. Unfortunately, a goalie and 5 skaters don't make a team.

richl49
11-08-2009, 05:11 PM
In the 3rd period of Friday's game, they started cycling the puck really well, wearing out UA(F
.

While I don't doubt that Notre Dame was able to cycle the puck, because they always seem to be able to cycle the puck against UAF, I have a hard time believing they wore UAF out in the third period (16-1 shots on goal for Fairbanks.)

It sounded like it was a pretty evenly played series overall with the split a fair outcome, but UAF maybe playing better in the game it lost.

masquedman
11-08-2009, 05:45 PM
Good to see Johnson and Condon contributing this year!!

Jeff_Jackson_for_Pres.
11-08-2009, 07:51 PM
While I don't doubt that Notre Dame was able to cycle the puck, because they always seem to be able to cycle the puck against UAF, I have a hard time believing they wore UAF out in the third period (16-1 shots on goal for Fairbanks.)

Trust me, whether you're up 3 goals or down 3, playing defense is exhausting.

IrishHockeyFan
11-08-2009, 10:45 PM
A few of us used to sarcastically refer to Ian Cole his freshman year as "Superstar." It took some time for him to fit into the team mode, but man, by his sophomore year, I thought he epitomized the word teammate (one of the reasons I thought he would wear a letter on his sweater this season). I see the same crap in Kyle Palmieri. Yes, he is a phenom with a wicked wrist shot, but short of the opening series, all I've seen is that he looks pretty with the puck.



Palmieri has been a bit of a mystery to me so far. I saw him play a couple of times for the Under-18s and saw no selfishness in him at all. Many who saw him characterized him as a playmaker like Condra but with the added bonus of being a superb finisher. But he may be following the lead of some of the other guys and trying to do much himself. Actually there is no maybe about that, he is. But once the rest of the boys start playing like a team, he will too is my guess.

Craig P.
11-09-2009, 02:34 AM
Many who saw him characterized him as a playmaker like Condra but with the added bonus of being a superb finisher.

Condra was no slouch as a finisher.

Jeff_Jackson_for_Pres.
11-10-2009, 12:11 PM
I've been thinking that this team needs some teeth. If I could change the lame music picked to warm up to to something with teeth, it would start with Stigmata by Ministry. This is what I want my team to be like. A team that says, "...the only weapon I need is the look in your eyes..." Besides, the song kicks arse.

The upcoming series could be titled the underachievers match. Both teams have been disappointing thus far, although ND does have a winning record.

NMU comes here with a 2-5-1 record averaging 2.25 goals for and 3.12 goals against. NHL on the Fly gave a telling stat that the team to score first in the NHL this season was winning better than 70% of the games (as expected...). NMU is 2-3-1 when scoring first (that's 41.7%).

ND is 5-4-1 while averaging an unremarkable 2.3 goals for and a remarkable 1.8 goals against. ND is 4-3-1 when scoring first (56.3%). Both teams need to work on holding a lead.

NMU is a healthy 22.2% on the PP. The studly Mark Olver leads the team with 4 PPG's. They've given up one shortie. Their opponents have scored one more PPG than NMU so far (9 to 8). NMU takes about 6.5 penalties a game. Their penalty kill is middling at best at 80%.

ND's PP is also solid at 21.1%. Calle Ridderwall has 3 PPG's so far, a hair ahead of his pace last year when he tallied 11 during the year. ND has not given up a shorhanded goal so far. Their opponents have scored only 5 PPG's to ND's 12. ND takes about 5.4 penalties a game. Their PK is a good 89.1%.

NMU's top scorers include Olver with 12 (twelve!) points in 8 games. He's followed by Erik Gustafsson, Justin Florek (each with 6) and Billy Smith (4). NMU has 15 upperclassmen. 82% of their skaters have registered at least one point. As a team, NMU is -9 in +/-.

ND's top scorers are Ben Ryan with 10 points in 10 games. Following him are Kyle Lawson (9), Billy Maday (7) and Kevin Deeth and Ridderwall (each with 6). ND has 12 upperclassmen but only 2/3 of skaters have registered at least a point. As a team, ND is a yucky -12 in +/-.

NMU's goalie situation is eerily similar to ND's. Reid Ellingson got his first back-to-back starts this past weekend, like ND's Mike Johnson. Before that, Coach Kyle had been splitting time in net between Ellingson and Brian Stewart. Ellingson is 2-2 with a GA of 2.0 and a save % of .931. Stewart is 0-3-1 with a GA of 4.63 and a save % of .853. I have to assume that Ellingson will get both starts this weekend.

Johnson is 3-1-0 with a GA of 1.25 and a save % of .957. Brad Phillips is 1-3-1 with a GA of 2.18 and a save % of .923. I will assume that Johnson will get both starts, but it wouldn't surprise me to see Phillips in net one night. I still think the team plays better in front of Johnson, Saturday night notwithstanding.

Here's to finding that team identity. And may that identity have some serious fangs.

crazy_guy_in_section_1
11-10-2009, 02:45 PM
who's ready to see a back to back night win..?

NDHockey9
11-11-2009, 07:24 AM
ND opponents Providence, BU, BC, Alaska all have winning records.

Only Huntsville (3-5) and Ohio State (who will be an above 500 team by the end of the year) are below 500.

It's not like the Irish have played all cruddy teams..they are 5-4-1 and that is the record they deserve.

Let's relax. It's still very early. This is a very talented Irish team that is trying to figure out their identity. Their sticks are being held a little tight right now due to the lack of scoring. If this team tightens up their defense..more turnovers will take place leading to scoring opportunities. Great defense can lead to the breaking of scoring slumps with some odd man rushes.

Fans freaked out 2 years ago when the irish had issues scoring and were rough on the power play..how did that year end up? Stop acting like Irish football fans and starting acting like Irish hockey fans that believe in the ability of this team and trust that this great coaching staff with get everyone moving in the right direction.

Jeff_Jackson_for_Pres.
11-11-2009, 03:06 PM
Not sure who you're addressing your post to, but I think all of us are acting like Irish hockey fans. (Keep in mind that last season ND did not experience their 4th loss until January 30th.) There's nothing wrong with expecting perfection. And I think I can speak for all of us when I say we have the utmost confidence in the ability of the team and the coaches. We're just impatient to see results.

The only arguments I pose related to your post are that it's not very early and our defense is pretty solid. See the mention of GA in my preview post. The season is one-third over. Time is now of the essence.

IrishHockeyFan
11-11-2009, 03:48 PM
Stop acting like Irish football fans and starting acting like Irish hockey fans that believe in the ability of this team and trust that this great coaching staff with get everyone moving in the right direction.

Forgive the generalization on my part, but you (NDHockey9) sound like someone who would be singing this same tune in the first week of March if this team is STILL struggling to find its way and is still just a game over .500 then, the type who feels like we should do nothing but praise the team for its efforts and have no right to comment when things fall far short.

Aside from an occasional comment about how I am glad the hockey team has the coaching staff it does, versus the football team, and an occasional comment expressing frustration with a bad football loss, I act like what I am. Simply a fan of all Irish sports. No one on this site is panicking. We have expressed frustration with a team that has yet to perform to the level of its talent, its coaching, and quite a bit to its expectations.

There is a long way to go to the season, but it is no longer early. They've played plenty of games, against all types of opponents, most at home, and none against anyone who is both currently tearing it up and was expected to win games in the NCAA tourney. 5-4-1 is no where near where anyone -- players, coaches, fans alike -- think this squad should be. But that doesn't mean any of us have registered domain names like firejeffjackson.com yet.

Jeff_Jackson_for_Pres.
11-12-2009, 02:20 PM
Lefty Smith's wife, Mary (http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/southbendtribune/obituary.aspx?n=mary-smith-mickey&pid=135775802) passed away. Not only did she raise a huge family, but she was also extremely involved in the community. Condolences to Coach Smith and his family.

blackwood72
11-12-2009, 03:31 PM
Hello Irish fans. I have some video from the Alaska/ND series. As I'm from Fairbanks there are more Nanook highlights, but there are some nice ND goals on there as well.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mOW6XIr_TzM