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UNH 2020 Off-Season Thread: That Rinky-Shrinky Thang And Other Lively Banter :D

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  • Originally posted by HockeyRef View Post
    Post game Souza goes to his usual we have to be better I have to coach better mantra. Well...then do it!! There is no way with the talent you mention we should be playing this poorly...no way. As per Mike Ayers being in the mix hmmm that would be interesting but still doubting any real change is going to happen in the foreseeable future. Guess time will tell.
    Couldn't agree with you more, HR. MS7 probably saw the routine in a Belichick post-game interview after a loss, and figures it's clever. It isn't. It makes him look like he doesn't have any answers. And the scariest part is ... he might not have any of the answers. BB gets away with that BS because he's actually got a successful track record to stand on, so some folks don't dare challenge him. MS7 hasn't even begun to earn that kind of "benefit of the doubt". Someone at UNH - his boss, or one of his assistants - should do him a huge favor and point that out to him. Or maybe he'll read it on here for himself.

    The sooner he realizes this job is more than an opportunity to say trite things while getting paid (well) for it, just because he was the "chosen one" and can play the role indefinitely into retirement 'cuz that's what his mentor did ... uhhh, it might be hard for some of us to recall this, but Coach Umile also had to earn his stripes at UNH, and didn't get his long, relaxed ride into the sunset without first dragging a mediocre program into a new building, and then into a solid two decades' worth of very consistent success. Six years into Umile's tenure, there were already lots of reasons for optimism, and the best was clearly still yet to come. There's not even a faint indication so far that MS7 is leading the program in the right direction ...
    Sworn Enemy of the Perpetually Offended
    Montreal Expos Forever ...

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    • Puzzled by this "talent" you speak of....isn't the narrative that Souza has done a terrible job recruiting?

      But now UNH is a talented team that is underperforming?
      UNH Hockey: From "Why Not Us' to "Woe is Us"

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      • Originally posted by Chuck Murray View Post
        Coach Umile also had to earn his stripes at UNH, and didn't get his long, relaxed ride into the sunset without first dragging a mediocre program into a new building, and then into a solid two decades' worth of very consistent success. Six years into Umile's tenure, there were already lots of reasons for optimism, and the best was clearly still yet to come. There's not even a faint indication so far that MS7 is leading the program in the right direction ...
        Umile didn't rebuild UNH. He inherited a foundation for the rebuild from Bob Kullen, of 6 All-American/NHL recruits who were either freshmen or sophomores.
        Amodeo Fr.
        Mitrovic Fr.
        Flanagan Fr.
        Scott Morrow Fr.
        Winnes So.
        Kevin Dean So.

        He rode that core 6 his first four years, adding very little to the mix other than the aforementioned local townies like Chebator (Arlington), Thomson (Reading) Rob Donovan (Southie), Mike Sullivan (Reading) and Tom O'Brien (Tabor) Sean Perry (Southie) and Scott Malone (Southie) Cooper (Lawrence). Thus, when the core graduated in 92, the Umile built team was at .500.

        Thankfully for Umile, he lucked into McCloskey, who in 92 jumpstarted recruiting with a first class Boguniecki, Nolan, and Tim Murray, and a second class of Mowers, Nikulas, (and Rob Gagnon), and a third class of Krog, Bekar (and Bragnalo).

        So, it wasn't that Umile righted the ship, he got a really good ship in 1989 that he sailed from 88-92 without any repairs, then limped through 92-93 with his "built inside 128 recruiting" dingy, and was gifted a new boat by McCloskey in 93 til Umile cashed out.

        It was the same lazy, selfish attitude that we saw in his final 6 years as he forced UNH to do the 3-year retirement circuit at full pay while "imparting" on his successor all of his coaching and recruiting "wisdom."
        Last edited by NCAA watcher; 02-21-2021, 08:47 AM.
        Survived Scarano killing UNH hockey

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        • Originally posted by Felger View Post
          Puzzled by this "talent" you speak of....isn't the narrative that Souza has done a terrible job recruiting?

          But now UNH is a talented team that is underperforming?
          Just echoing Chucks point that while this team isn't "top tier" they certainly aren't 5-13 or whatever the record is...Hear your point. But...maybe I am being too generous. Good for MC..going 2-0-2 against UNH in any given year must be a positive. Bet Scott Borek enjoyed it.. It's a beautiful day in Fla!
          Let's Go SouzaCats!

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          • Originally posted by HockeyRef View Post

            Just echoing Chucks point that while this team isn't "top tier" they certainly aren't 5-13 or whatever the record is...Hear your point. But...maybe I am being too generous. Good for MC..going 2-0-2 against UNH in any given year must be a positive. Bet Scott Borek enjoyed it.. It's a beautiful day in Fla!
            Giving the other team 1.5 free goals a game (30 pp in 21 games) makes it hard.

            But as for the lack of success, it is puzzling. Ward is playing at a point a game clip, but only has 2 goals and 6 points in 19 games.

            I suspect it there is a black hole effect due to a lack of depth on the lines. Of the top 2 lines, you have Crookshank and Ward able to carry the puck well, and Pierson able to pass well. But Grasso is solely a powerplay impact guy, who has only 2 goals even strength. Kelleher must be so injured, because he's invisible when he plays, and has no goals and very little impact on the game. Engaras is probably a third line center, responsible, but doesn't generate that much. So, of the top 6, you have 3 threats. I could actually see playing Eriksson up front, as his offensive skills are from the offensive zone, including going deep: he doesn't really clear the defensive zone too well, and isn't the most physical defender. That's also why I saw Cafarelli as a useful player on the top lines, even if he has many gaps in his game right now (conditioning, effort level, skating, defensive responsibility).

            And then you have the third line. I like Gendron, who is big, has some skating issues but is decent in that regard, but uses his size and doesn't try to do too much.

            Guys I think are negative from the eye test, like Herrmann, are actually producing somewhat. And just another guy McAdams is even in plus minus. the you have a bunch of guys who have never scored at any level, and could skate around for hours without being a threat. Sato, Esposito, Cipollone, Hankinson. Richels is just lost as a freshman, essentially a red shirt year hoping that his weaknesses of skating, puck handling, and cycling, can get to a manageable level for his one skill (shooting).

            The other thing I'd guess at is the lack of offensive threat from the back end which may allow the defense to collapse down when UNH has it in the offensive zone. Maass, Verrier and McKinnon (and Jenson) are not threats at all, and struggle to get pucks on the net, so they play the puck down low, where UNH lacks any physical ability to control it.

            Luke Reid is the exception, and creates offense. He'll be all-hockey east (even if Honorable mention) by his junior/senior years.

            I hesistate to say this, because it's the exact opposite of the direction I want them to go in, but for a limited talent team, they don't even play that physical. There is little checking, following through on forechecks. Macadams is the sole guy who has a bit of an edge (well, OK, Gendron, too). Everyone else is playing a pickup game, but not realizing they lack the skills to dangle.

            Which brings us back to the Penalty kill. They seem to play a tighter box, not pressuring the outside, but also let the guy in the crease alone and let the D go side to side. At some point, maybe mix it up and let a big D play man to man on the slot guy.
            Survived Scarano killing UNH hockey

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            • Originally posted by HockeyRef View Post
              Just echoing Chucks point that while this team isn't "top tier" they certainly aren't 5-13 or whatever the record is...Hear your point. But...maybe I am being too generous. Good for MC..going 2-0-2 against UNH in any given year must be a positive. Bet Scott Borek enjoyed it.. It's a beautiful day in Fla!
              Yeah, my point was that whilst UNH seems to have middle-of-the-pack talent on the roster this year (and last season), their results aren't measuring up, as it's now two seasons in a row where UNH is languishing below what would be the Top 8 and playoff eligibility. They'll get a pass into the playoffs this season - they weren't going to get that reprieve last season, before the season shut down unexpectedly - and the trend from season-to-season hasn't been a positive one.

              One of the ways you get yourself out of a hole like this one as a program is you have a coach that maximizes the talent and "coaches it up" so you can not only raise the level of the current team (and improve its players), but also get better access to higher quality future recruits. NONE of that appears to be happening in Durham right now. A team that should probably be a 5th or 6th place program based on talent and depth is wallowing at or around 9th place, and it's two straight seasons now, so it's not just "bad luck" or "one of those years".

              Guys like Crookshank, Kelleher and Robinson are all likely gone in about a half-dozen more games (max). MS7 seems to have become overly reliant upon taking other program's cast-offs in recent years, and while that worked out incredibly well with Gildon, the guys since then haven't even come close to moving the needle in the same way. It looks like next year's goalie might be coming here via the same route, if speculation is to be believed? Not good, unless his name is Ty Conklin. Heck, I'd settle for the second coming of Sean Matile at this point.

              So if you've got (say) 7th place talent and your team is fighting it out for 9th place, and can't manage a regulation win over the mighty Merrimack Borek Warriors in four (4) tries ... you can probably figure out what happens when you eventually end up with 9th place talent. HINT - it's an 11 team league.
              Sworn Enemy of the Perpetually Offended
              Montreal Expos Forever ...

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              • Originally posted by Chuck Murray View Post
                So if you've got (say) 7th place talent and your team is fighting it out for 9th place, and can't manage a regulation win over the mighty Merrimack Borek Warriors in four (4) tries ...
                Correction: "and you can't manage a regulation lead at any point over the mighty Merrimack Borek Warriors in 240 minutes."

                I didn't catch it, but saw in the box score that Borek called time out with a 6-2 lead in the third last night. Why?
                Survived Scarano killing UNH hockey

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                • Originally posted by NCAA watcher View Post

                  Umile didn't rebuild UNH. He inherited a foundation for the rebuild from Bob Kullen, of 6 All-American/NHL recruits who were either freshmen or sophomores.
                  Amodeo Fr.
                  Mitrovic Fr.
                  Flanagan Fr.
                  Scott Morrow Fr.
                  Winnes So.
                  Kevin Dean So.

                  He rode that core 6 his first four years, adding very little to the mix other than the aforementioned local townies like Chebator (Arlington), Thomson (Reading) Rob Donovan (Southie), Mike Sullivan (Reading) and Tom O'Brien (Tabor) Sean Perry (Southie) and Scott Malone (Southie) Cooper (Lawrence). Thus, when the core graduated in 92, the Umile built team was at .500.

                  Thankfully for Umile, he lucked into McCloskey, who in 92 jumpstarted recruiting with a first class Boguniecki, Nolan, and Tim Murray, and a second class of Mowers, Nikulas, (and Rob Gagnon), and a third class of Krog, Bekar (and Bragnalo).

                  So, it wasn't that Umile righted the ship, he got a really good ship in 1989 that he sailed from 88-92 without any repairs, then limped through 92-93 with his "built inside 128 recruiting" dingy, and was gifted a new boat by McCloskey in 93 til Umile cashed out.

                  It was the same lazy, selfish attitude that we saw in his final 6 years as he forced UNH to do the 3-year retirement circuit at full pay while "imparting" on his successor all of his coaching and recruiting "wisdom."
                  I'm well aware of the role Coach Kullen played in the post-Holt transition of the program back to prominence, 'Watcher. You are not the only person on here who has wistfully recounted how Kullen did the spade work out in the field, and tragically was never able to reap the full benefits of what his work had sown. And in the parts of the three seasons where he was well enough to coach, he did push the team from the cellar up to the .500 level in 5 game chunks of progress, and then Coach Umile was in the right place at the right time to take it from there. But at some point, you do have to give the guy credit for what he did with the opportunity when it was presented to him. Even if I take your point that there was a one-year fall-off before McCloskey arrived ... doesn't Umile get some credit for hiring McCloskey, who at that point was a relative nobody?

                  McCloskey at that point was basically an early version of MS7, a nondescript assistant at Brown working with Scott Borek (!) and under eventual Dartmouth HC Bob Gaudet. What were those 3 guys doing during their time in Providence? Sub .500 hockey that looks a lot like UNH right now. I'm probably the biggest McCloskey booster left on this board, and even I would have to give some credit to Coach Umile for having the foresight to hire McCloskey. I mean, if he hired Borek then instead, do we ever see UNH making it to four FF's in 6 seasons? With all due respect, I seriously doubt it. "Lucked into it" with the McCloskey hire seems a bit harsh, unless you have some very specific insight that I'm not privy to???

                  Coach Umile wasn't without his faults, I think we all know that he was imperfect, and it's likely what kept him from winning that final game of the season just that one time, that could have made all the difference on how he's now seen in retrospect.

                  But he did advance the program, enough so that with four straight winning seasons to start things off, that prompted UNH to build The Whittemore Center, which set the stage for the great things to follow over the next decade with McCloskey there to keep the talent flowing into this beautiful new facility. McCloskey's impact hadn't yet emerged beyond the die-hard college recruiting circles to have been a impacting factor in the decision to build The Whitt. It's possible that had Coach Kullen gotten some better breaks with his health, maybe he'd have accomplished the same great things that followed after him?

                  We'll never know what would have happened. What we do know is that Coach Umile's worst pre-Whitt record was a game better than Coach Kullen's career best year at UNH (.500). For all the kvetching we do over Coach Umile's career and the selfish way it ended, it is also a fact that he had all of two (2) losing seasons in his first 20 years post-Whitt, and many of those came after McCloskey had already moved over to the Women's side. Fair is fair.

                  Obviously, guys like Coach Holt and Coach Kullen (and others pre-Holt) deserve big credit for where the UNH program has come in the post-CHDA (College Hockey Dark Ages) era, but so does Coach Umile, as well as Coach McCloskey. Kullen and McCloskey tend to be the two guys who get overlooked - for different reasons - but the final part of the discussion is that as things stand right now, Coach Souza could be the first UNH head coach (not counting interim guys like O'Connor and Holt II) in well over a half-century (including Bjorkman, right Snives?) to not have advanced the UNH program during their tenure.

                  To paraphrase ... for those to whom much has been entrusted, much will be expected ...
                  Sworn Enemy of the Perpetually Offended
                  Montreal Expos Forever ...

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                  • Originally posted by NCAA watcher View Post
                    Giving the other team 1.5 free goals a game (30 pp in 21 games) makes it hard.
                    Wow, hadn't thought of it like that, but that's an eye-opener. Freakin' off the charts bad.

                    Originally posted by NCAA watcher View Post
                    I hesitate to say this, because it's the exact opposite of the direction I want them to go in, but for a limited talent team, they don't even play that physical. There is little checking, following through on forechecks. Macadams is the sole guy who has a bit of an edge (well, OK, Gendron, too). Everyone else is playing a pickup game, but not realizing they lack the skills to dangle.
                    Nail on the head. Something that's always been a burr under my saddle with most UNH teams. Even the most skillful BC teams have almost always also played with an edge. Walshy's UMaine teams from back in the day, Coach Parker's BU teams right through to their latest D-1 title, Providence since Leaman arrived, even Lowell in the Bazin era. UNH's best teams had guys like Pat Foley, Garrett Stafford, Colin Hemingway, Jayme Filipowicz, Eric Lind, Christian Bragnalo, and others who were not afraid to play with an edge.

                    Super-talented NHL teams like the Red Wings of the '90's and the current-day Tampa Bay Lightning didn't win their Cups until they added a physical edge to their everyday rosters. Hockey is a physical game. You rarely win trophies on skill alone. Even Les Canadiens of the late '70's needed some muscle (Robinson, Gainey and Langway) to balance off all the skilled superstars.

                    Makes you wonder if Umile hired an unknown Norm Bazin (instead of Borek) to replace McCloskey?

                    Originally posted by NCAA watcher View Post
                    Which brings us back to the Penalty kill. They seem to play a tighter box, not pressuring the outside, but also let the guy in the crease alone and let the D go side to side. At some point, maybe mix it up and let a big D play man to man on the slot guy.
                    I absolutely hate the way UNH sets up their PK. But putting that aside ... why not discard the PK personnel that simply isn't working out, and going with different personnel AND tactics? When your PK is this historically bad, nothing should be off the table. Isn't a definition of "insanity" doing the same thing over and over, all the while expecting different results? Sort it MS7.
                    Sworn Enemy of the Perpetually Offended
                    Montreal Expos Forever ...

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                    • All I can say is I’m glad we can’t witness this chit show in person!
                      GO BLUE/GO UNH

                      COLLEGE HOCKEY RULES

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                      • Originally posted by Chuck Murray View Post
                        Makes you wonder if Umile hired an unknown Norm Bazin (instead of Borek) to replace McCloskey?
                        To quote My Cousin Vinny, that's a bull**** question. Umile only recruited friends and family inside route 128, and he only hired guys within one degree of seperation. McCloskey was lucky enough to be working at Brown from 90-92 with two guys who Umile worked with at Providence (some guy named Borek and Lassonde). Bazin, while quite accomplished at Colorado College, was not a close friend, and would never get a job from Umile.


                        So how did UNH pick Umile's successor? Again, one degree of seperation: he convinced Scarano to ignore an open interview process, and instead pick someone willing to kiss the ring of Umile (Ok, that was a bad phrase, because Umile never got the ring.
                        Survived Scarano killing UNH hockey

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                        • Originally posted by Snively65 View Post
                          Watching NHL game at Lake Tahoe this afternoon brought back memories of Batchelder Rink pre-1965. :-)
                          And, reading the past page of posts, brings back memories of the opening of Snively Arena for the 1965/66 season, which was concomitant with the arrival of Rube Bjorkman as head coach. Rube's mostly inherited team was 11-12 in ECAC2 that first season, and that was with my all-time favorites and seniors Brad Houston and Dude Thorn, both from Ontario. But, for the 1966-67 season, Rube recruited Bob Brandt (Roseau, MN), Rich David and Mickey Goulet (Montreal), Graham Bruder (Rouyn-Noranda, that is P.Q., eh), Dave Sheen (Galt, Ontario), and Mike Ontkean from Vancouver. Rube's record over the next three seasons before he left for North Dakota were 18-7, 22-7, 22-6-1 (that is right, just one tie!). After adding Louis Frigon, Mike McShane, Allan Clark, Ryan Brandt, Pete Stoutenburg for his own teams, he recruited Dick Umile, Guy Smith, John Gray, Terry Blewitt, Bill Munroe, and Gary Jaquith,who arrived for the 1969/70 team, which left Charlie Holt in pretty good shape going forward. Bottom line: Bjorkman left Holt in better shape than Umile left Souza, and Charlie kept things moving along on a solid track through the remainder of the 1970s. I think that those late 1970s teams were probably superior even to those that McCloskey recruited for Umile in the 1990s.

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                          • JvR could become the 1st NHL player to get his 500th regular season point in Nevada tonight when the Flyers face the B's. He's coming into tonight's game with 254 goals and 245 assists in 755 regular season games. The rink is set up on the 18th fairway of the Edgewood Tahoe Resort in Stateline, NV. They should have a slapshot contest to see who can launch one into California. The B's need Big Z back for that one.
                            THINK PINK
                            BLEED BLUE

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                            • Originally posted by Chuck Murray View Post
                              I'd settle for the second coming of Sean Matile at this point...
                              Settle? In a heart beat.

                              I will not be out cheered in my own building.

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                              • Originally posted by Snively65 View Post
                                And, reading the past page of posts, brings back memories of the opening of Snively Arena for the 1965/66 season, which was concomitant with the arrival of Rube Bjorkman as head coach. Rube's mostly inherited team was 11-12 in ECAC2 that first season, and that was with my all-time favorites and seniors Brad Houston and Dude Thorn, both from Ontario. But, for the 1966-67 season, Rube recruited Bob Brandt (Roseau, MN), Rich David and Mickey Goulet (Montreal), Graham Bruder (Rouyn-Noranda, that is P.Q., eh), Dave Sheen (Galt, Ontario), and Mike Ontkean from Vancouver. Rube's record over the next three seasons before he left for North Dakota were 18-7, 22-7, 22-6-1 (that is right, just one tie!). After adding Louis Frigon, Mike McShane, Allan Clark, Ryan Brandt, Pete Stoutenburg for his own teams, he recruited Dick Umile, Guy Smith, John Gray, Terry Blewitt, Bill Munroe, and Gary Jaquith,who arrived for the 1969/70 team, which left Charlie Holt in pretty good shape going forward. Bottom line: Bjorkman left Holt in better shape than Umile left Souza, and Charlie kept things moving along on a solid track through the remainder of the 1970s. I think that those late 1970s teams were probably superior even to those that McCloskey recruited for Umile in the 1990s.
                                Not questioning the Bjorkman-to-Holt situation, Snives - you were there, I wasn't.

                                MS7 had a three year head start under Umile, who was a guy who churned out a run of about 90% winning seasons until those fateful last three seasons. I refuse to believe that given the dynamics of that situation, MS7 didn't have final say over the guys who would eventually be playing for him. Why would Souza have taken the job otherwise, seeing as he would not be "shopping for the groceries" and instead deferring to a guy whose actions over 25+ years screamed loud and long that he wasn't a recruiter, he relied on others to do that for him? He'd be setting himself up for a very predictable disaster. Umile handed over a middling .500-ish program to MS7 almost six (6) years ago. And it's been all steadily downhill ever since.

                                Even your position that the late '70's teams coached by Charlie Holt were more talented than the run of "McCloskey teams" coached by Umile - where Coach Umile got those teams marginally further than Coach Holt did with his teams - concedes that judging by that criteria alone, Coach Umile got more out of those teams than Coach Holt got out of his late '70's teams, right?

                                There's a lot of things Coach Umile did right, you don't experience that kind of success all by accident, or by being mediocre. He developed Coach Kullen's early talent, hired McCloskey after his own GBL-centric recruiting strategy was floundering, led the program's move into what was then a state-of-the-art facility, won some league titles (RS first, then tourney twice after), got to four FF's in six seasons, and kept the team somewhat relevant nationally for almost a decade after 2003's last trip to the FF. IIRC, even the much-maligned Jumbotron was a fait accompli by the time MS7 decided to enlist months later in 2015.

                                I'm having a hard time thinking MS7 was somehow deprived coming in, but if he was, he certainly could have negotiated a different arrangement, or just turned the job down entirely. That's what someone who's confident in their own abilities would do. Now, IF he wasn't all that confident ... he takes whatever terms are proposed, and hopes things work out for the best.

                                Where we (UNH) are as a program right now looks a lot more like the latter than the former ...
                                Sworn Enemy of the Perpetually Offended
                                Montreal Expos Forever ...

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