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Brunofan
02-03-2011, 01:19 PM
Two years ago, coming to a Brown game was something to be dreaded. We played ugly hockey that encouraged physicality but not discipline, and seemed to discourage finesse play and what most consider to be "good" hockey. Our coach had consistently recruited decent players, so we perpetually had hope watching all the freshman show glimpses of what they could do, but after their freshman seasons, most faded and became mediocre. Meehan Auditorium was lifeless, both on the ice and off. Opponents would come in and skate circles around us and run up the score. We would get frustrated, start retaliating to provocative attempts from the opponent, and the game would get out of control. If this didn't occur, then we would simple meander around the ice for 60 minutes with no aim and get pummeled. We were near the bottom of the NCAA in almost every significant category- win percentage, GAA, GFA, shots per game, shots against, penalty minutes, PK %age, and PP conversion %age. The coaching staff refused to change its ways, insisting on proliferating flawed methods which were proven wrong time and again.

Today, a Brown hockey game is an experience. The team is exciting, fun to watch, and actually warrants paying money to see it. Sure, we're penalized a lot, and sure, our PK isn't very good, so we screw ourselves over a lot. But believe me- to see this team play with the heart and energy it has been this season is enough to make me definitively answer"yes" to your question. Yes, it is worth having Zolynierczek 2-3 times a game. His tireless approach and tremendous work ethic is an intangible any coach would love. There have been times in the past where I have been livid at him for one stupid penalty or another, but you know what? It's absolutely, 100%, without a doubt worth it. Know why? Because he makes Brown hockey fun. And that's exactly what it was not for the better part of the last two decades.

Mixed feelings on this post and the postion of KDIFF & Hutter. I agree with the improved level of play and excitement at these games now.....that's all well and good but the bottom line remains wins. We were sub .500 with the boring style and we're sub 500 right now (although with much more upside) with the more exciting style. Harry & Jack are two of the most talented players i've seen at Brown in a long time.....and for that reason we need Harry on the ice more than we need him in the box! As a senior, i'm surprised he has not figured out that fine line of playing on edge with his speed and aggressiveness without going over the line and hurting his team. That BU at BU game, he looked like the best player on the ice the 1st few minutes of the game buzzing around and scoring the first goal - then got a penalty or two and a misconduct and sat out the 3/4 of the period. Comes out in the second period and gets a five minute major and tossed out of the game for a leg check. We salvaged a tie but the game changed after he was gone. We are not deep enough to consistenly overcome his absence - I know with his aggresive style he is going to take a penalty here or there....but it is the dumb 'we didn't need that right now" type of penalties, misconducts, game DQ's that he has to reign in over the final games of his career if Brown is to find more success down the stretch.

Waterboy66
02-03-2011, 01:51 PM
Chipping in my two cents on Harry Z. He brings great energy to the game, and explosive speed that Brown cannot do without. It's funny that earlier in the season, other than the knee on knee hit against BU I didn't really see many bad penalties from Harry. More recently he has gotten a few that I would say are 'bad' but I also wonder if he hasn't become a bit of a target for both the opposing teams, and the refs. Perhaps the opposing team thinks getting someone to spar with him is a way of taking him off his game. It is definitely a way of getting him off the ice. He definitely needs to stop getting in these situations where he takes a bad penalty, but I think he is getting lots of help.

While we look at this downside of Harry, we need to remember that he pretty much single-handedly won the Yale game for us, assisting on the first two goals, and then just willing his way to scoring the winner with just a few minutes on the clock. He's a keeper on any team I would select.

DarthBruno
02-03-2011, 03:22 PM
...I also wonder if he hasn't become a bit of a target for both the opposing teams, and the refs.

A big resounding YES to this. I feel certain Harry now gets called for penalties that, had a less visible/notorious skater committed the violation, might be ignored in favor of letting the game flow. And if he is even near a fight, the refs seem to figure he's guilty of starting or continuing it.

Definitely he is targeted by our opponents not only for extra-hard checks and "Academy Award" fake tripping performances, but also by the defense. Both he and Jack get double-covered much of the time these days. As a result, Harry may have to play even chippier just to get past the defenders.

Like others who have commented, I still feel Harry's contributions this year outweigh his penchant for penalties. It would be great if he could muzzle his mouth a bit more when he disagrees with officiating; more discretion seems especially appropriate for the team's captain.

Herrmoto
02-03-2011, 04:42 PM
Haven't seen that many Brown games over recent years, but went to the first BU game this year- expecting to see a Terriers blowout- but came away pleasantly surprised. This was a Bears team that did not show up at Agganis arena just to have a hockey experience- it came to win. And I have to credit the Captain, Harry Z, for setting the tone. He absolutely battled on every inch of the ice, winning puck battles, finishing checks, etc. He got ejected on the reaction of a BU player to the aforementioned knee to knee hit (BU player crumpled to the ice but returned to play the rest of the game.) That kind of heart is infectious, and the young man will take that spirit to the NHL- guaranteed. Yes, the penalties are a downside, and it's too bad he yaps at the officials. But the kind of emotion this player brings to the ice is going to boil over now and again. Harry Z is an outstanding player and leader- glad I got a chance to see him play.

kdiff77
02-03-2011, 06:18 PM
Haven't seen that many Brown games over recent years, but went to the first BU game this year- expecting to see a Terriers blowout- but came away pleasantly surprised. This was a Bears team that did not show up at Agganis arena just to have a hockey experience- it came to win. And I have to credit the Captain, Harry Z, for setting the tone. He absolutely battled on every inch of the ice, winning puck battles, finishing checks, etc. He got ejected on the reaction of a BU player to the aforementioned knee to knee hit (BU player crumpled to the ice but returned to play the rest of the game.) That kind of heart is infectious, and the young man will take that spirit to the NHL- guaranteed. Yes, the penalties are a downside, and it's too bad he yaps at the officials. But the kind of emotion this player brings to the ice is going to boil over now and again. Harry Z is an outstanding player and leader- glad I got a chance to see him play.

Couldn't have said it any better myself. He's a risk-taker, but his physicality pays off. Most teams gun for him because they know what he can do to influence a game and are afraid of his abilities. Without him, where would we be? Maclellan is easily our most skilled and well-rounded player, but Harry has to be the most important in terms of a game-changer.

kdiff77
02-05-2011, 01:21 PM
Well, I wanted to post on the Dartmouth thread to congratulate them, but I can't seem to find one.

Anyway, last night was incredibly frustrating. Dartmouth appears to have meticulously plotted out our every movement and was all over us. They seemed content, from the first whistle, to let us control the flow of the game and just sit back and defend. Well, it worked. Because they knew EXACTLY how to defend us. They put four guys in the middle at all times and had one chasing the puck carrier. Simple, but it confused the hell out of us and we failed to adapt. It didn't help that luck was not on our side and that we made trillions of fundamental mistakes. It also didn't help that Mello absolutely robbed us on several occasions.

All in all, it was a weird feeling, because clearly Dartmouth outplayed and outcoached us, but I still subconsciously felt we deserved a better fate. Maybe it was because we had so much control of the flow of the game, even though we were so sloppy. Very frustrating, and I hate the fact that we've score 5 goals in 5 games since the win over Yale. For a team that has almost no defense and prides itself on its offensive explosions, that's just unacceptable.

Waterboy66
02-05-2011, 03:01 PM
Agreed. Dartmouth played a very disciplined game that seemed to create lots of issues for the Bears. Most noticeable was the inability to generate much zone possession on the PP opportunities. Brown did make a lot of mistakes.

That said, the Bears outshot Dartmouth pretty much every period and I believe had more scoring opportunities. They were pretty snake bitten. I think one goal is all they needed to create some momentum and perhaps take this one. I expect a good bounce back next weekend with the Clarkson and St. Lawrence trip. This team appears to play better on the road.

Onion Man
02-05-2011, 03:54 PM
What is the record for one team losing games 3-0 in one single season?. Christ.

DarthBruno
02-08-2011, 11:09 AM
Are we still excited about this 2010-11 season?

Mike Hutter
02-08-2011, 07:26 PM
Yes, we are. Clarkson this weekend is in my opinion a game Brown must win to secure a home series in the first round. 8th place seems to be coming down to CT and Brown. Clarkson seems to be more up and down than Brown and brown usually does well, at least in recent years, in the North Country trip. Brown takes CT and then SLU.

Euler18
02-08-2011, 10:38 PM
LINDSAY SPARKS vs. CHRIS ZAIRES / MARC SENECAL

Brown fans remember the name Lindsay Sparks, a player who decommitted from Brown to attend Michigan, where he's currently a sophomore. I'd been wondering how his scoring stats would compare to those of current Brown sophomores, so I decided to check. Here are Sparks' not so sparkling stats:

Games G A P
2009-10 23 4 4 8
2010-11* 10 1 0 1
Career Totals 33 5 4 9

Here Chris Zaires' much better stats:

Games G A P
2009-10 36 9 15 24
2010-11* 22 4 12 16
Career Totals 58 13 27 40

Sparks' stats are more like Marc Senecal's

2009-10 23 2 5 7
2010-11* 7 0 0 0
Career Totals 30 2 5 7

kdiff77
02-08-2011, 11:50 PM
Euler, would you consider the sophomore class as a whole a failure?

Zaires has been fantastic, but his classmates have been underwhelming to say the least. Drolet looked promising last year, but has barely seen the ice this season. Crowley played well last year, but has been largely unremarkable this year (in fact, I was shocked to see that he's played in 18 games; I sure haven't noticed him in any more than a couple). You aptly demonstrated Senecal's shortcomings. Borelli has started one game in two seasons. Ryan has 1 point in 29 games over two years.

If I'm not mistaken, Zaires is the only sophomore with a single point this season. That's absolutely dreadful, in my book. Can this be attributed to the transition year between the Grillo and Whittet eras? Did some better recruits perhaps de-commit when they learned of Grillo's departure? I am very concerned for the next couple years if the entire class of 2013 minus Zaires is largely unproductive. Yes, they all have ample time to turn their careers around, but at this point, there is little promise.

It's disappointing, because I recall being excited about this bunch last year and thinking that many of them would amount to solid contributors. Unfortunately, only one of them has panned out so far. I'm no mathematician, but that's just an unacceptable ratio.

DarthBruno
02-09-2011, 12:21 PM
Brown fans remember the name Lindsay Sparks, a player who decommitted from Brown to attend Michigan, where he's currently a sophomore. I'd been wondering how his scoring stats would compare to those of current Brown sophomores...

How does Michigan's competition compare to Brown's? This may not be a fair comparison.

DarthBruno
02-09-2011, 12:25 PM
(Re: sophomores) ...I recall being excited about this bunch last year and thinking that many of them would amount to solid contributors. Unfortunately, only one of them has panned out so far.

While it's never desirable to have a gaping hole in the lineup where a strong class should be, don't you think our fantastic freshmen will fill in just fine for the less talented sophs? And presumably Whittet has recruited another good group for next year's freshman class (would love to know what/who we're getting).

Onion Man
02-09-2011, 04:24 PM
How does Michigan's competition compare to Brown's? This may not be a fair comparison.

Good question. I think the top 1/4 or so of the ECAC (Yale*, Union, Dartmouth, RPI) could hold their own vs. the top 1/4 of the CCHA this year. Michigan has huge goalie problems, Miami is inconsistent, etc.

GoUNH
02-09-2011, 05:42 PM
Good question. I think the top 1/4 or so of the ECAC (Yale*, Union, Dartmouth, RPI) could hold their own vs. the top 1/4 of the CCHA this year. Michigan has huge goalie problems, Miami is inconsistent, etc.

Not when it counts

Mike Hutter
02-12-2011, 03:21 PM
Any comments from anyone who saw last night's game?

vicb
02-13-2011, 07:41 AM
Clarkson game really could have gone Browns way if they could have put more pucks on net. They had a number of times where they controlled play with some great cycling of the puck in the corners only to get into chances to score and shoot the puck off net. Clarksons first goal was a shot from the point by Tom Pizzo that went into the upper corner of the net by a screened Clemente. Pizzo could probably take that shot 10 times and not hit the net on 9 of them. Clarkson's 2nd goal was on a fluke backhand from in the slot by Tremblay that was going high and wide of the net only to hit Clarkson's Alan McPherson (who had a Brown guy on him) in the back of the shoulder or head and bounce into the net past a startled Clemente. Clarkson's 3rd goal was on a scramble right in front on a rebound. Last was an ENG. Unbelieveable how Brown loses to Clarkson and then plasters SLU. It is looking to me more and more that 2 of these three; CCT, SLU or Brown will be matched up in the first round of the playoffs and it will be a dandy series no matter which 2 it is.

Onion Man
02-13-2011, 07:52 AM
I think Brown may have benefitted from a let down effect from SLU beating Yale, but racing out to a 4-0 lead would make it difficult on anyone. I think Brown can do some damage in the ECAC playoffs. I'll tell ya right now that no way does Yale* win the ECAC tournament.

Euler18
02-15-2011, 01:43 PM
How does Michigan's competition compare to Brown's? This may not be a fair comparison.

According to KRACH, Michigan has the 15th strongest schedule in the country and Brown has the 17th. Statistically speaking there isn't much difference in strength of schedule between Michigan and Brown. Each league has four teams currently in the top twenty. Outside the ECAC, Brown has played # 8 New Hampshire and # 15 Boston University (twice).

The point I was trying to make is that when Lindsay Sparks decommitted from Brown to attend Michigan, many in the Brown hockey family thought that we'd lost a potential star. But that doesn't appear to be the case at all. Sparks' stats are comparable to Marc Senecal's and Frank Drolet's, who, like Sparks, have been part time players. Chris Zaires' stats suggest that the young man from New Jersey is a better player than Sparks. I, for one, am glad Zaires came to Brown. He's a skilled player, who's been a solid performer for Brown though he's yet to fulfill his potential. I predict that he'll have a breakout year as a junior. As to Senecal and Drolet, they're two truly great kids who, hopefully, will develop into consistent performers for Brown the future.