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UMass Lowell 2021-2022: Which way are we going?

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  • Originally posted by Patronick View Post
    The slow starts are absolutely killing them. And if you read Bazin’s post game comments over the past few games, he mentions the slow starts often. Why hasn’t this been addressed? Why can’t the coaching staff get these guys up for puck drop? More importantly, why do the guys need to be told to come out of the gates on fire? The PP continues to be an unmitigated disaster.

    let’s see what happens this weekend, but this is looking more and more like a second half collapse for the ages.
    I suppose the good news for Lowell is that PC is not setting the world on fire right now.


    "I have come up with a plan so cunning you could stick a tail on it and call it a weasel. ."
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    "They could maybe hire another officer to catch the illegal immigrant drug dealers breast feeding at Dunkin' Donuts or whatever it is! Thank you!"
    -Somerville Speakout

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    • It has taken a bit of time to formulate my comments about the status of the team. Hopefully they are not viewed as harsh but rather true constructive input. To say the least, the last 8 games have not been stellar performances given the opponents (sorry Merrimack and UNH as just an expectation on my part that we should defeat these teams on most nights and not be swept). During that 8-game period UML has posted a 3 win and 5 loss record, including a shut out by unranked UNH, and third period collapses to UMASS, Merrimack (home game) and Northeastern (home game). While all is not doom and gloom, the way we have played recently is cause for concern. Yes, we are currently tied for 1st place in Hockey East BUT that is semi-illusionary as four (4) teams currently close to UML in the standings have played from one (1) to three (3) fewer games. The games in hand by these conference foes are: UMASS 2, Northeastern 3, UCONN 2 and Merrimack 1. While there are some games to be played amongst each of these teams, it is highly probable that UML could fall to 4th place or lower, behind UMASS, Northeastern and UCONN and just a point or two ahead of BU and Merrimack. Additionally, we are facing Providence this weekend, which under the Bazin era has proven to be a tough match up. What once looked like a promising run to the NCAA tournament has been replaced with falling pairwise rankings (currently 16th) which will have us looking outside again without a miracle of a Hockey East championship.
      A few weeks back I posted a piece that pointed out that the defense of the team was far from the legacy of the UML championship caliber teams of old. Now each team is different and I appreciate that, and I know I should not compare squads, but those teams had a grit, a determination, that was unbreachable….in essence they embodied what is known as traditional Riverhawk Hockey. True they had their lapses too, but not to the extent of the current team. It has been troubling watching UML struggle to put away teams, like Maine in that two game home series a few weeks back. Maine made those games much closer than they should have with late game comebacks in each game. Yes, we ultimately WON those games, but in hindsight it was a glaring spotlight on the difficulties with this team that showed up with late period goals and ultimately losses to UMASS and Northeastern, not to mention the infamous tie to LIU, (which did not help the pairwise ranking) and the tie (Shoot out win) against UMASS where tying goals were given up in the last minute plus of the game. The talent level on this team, or the drive and motivation of the players, and/or the lack of team focus does not allow us to lock down a lead when we need to. The lack of discipline in taking penalties is frightening. Is the lack of focus due to coaching? Not sure, but as someone pointed out recently here, Norm has stressed that the team hasn’t come out of the gate as he expected these last few games, but it keeps happening so have the players tuned out the coaches? Or we have a team that early on exceeded their talent level and is now settling to their true place.
      Just an observation but when was the last time that the defense made a stop at game end and gained possession so that we could score an open net goal to squelch a comeback?
      The defensive struggles coupled with the lack of offensive production and firepower magnifies the defensive weakness of the team and their susceptibility to pressure. A good offense keeps the pressure on the other team and allows for a masking of defensive issues in my view and takes the pressure off. Faceoff win percentage has been poor this year, the last UHN game showed a huge disparity in faceoff won. The offense in general and the power play in particular have been poor since the start of the new year. Recruiting has been a recurrent theme of my past posts and I contend that there is a link between on ice success (meaning NCAA tournament bids and our pairwise rankings) and our lack of successful recruiting. Of the eleven teams in Hockey East, we currently have only two drafted players on our roster, only one team has fewer that being Maine with one, and that is certain to change with the coaching change that took place. Is it only me or is it troubling that Merrimack (3), Vermont (4) and UNH (5) have more drafted players? Now drafted players by and of itself does not guarantee success as BC with there 10 drafted players is pointing out this year, but all of the other successful teams in Hockey East have from 6 -12 drafted players. If you wish to successfully compete, we need to pick up our game. The offense looks ineffective, tentative and has an inability to find the open lane and then the skill to score. Talent level or bad luck? Do we need an offense coach? Just general questions.
      Other than Lee or Crasa and sometimes Stefanson, Berglund and Condotta who are our go to guys. One good player does not a line make in hockey, you need quality complimentary players and I contend recruiting has missed opportunities. The loss of Matt Brown hurt the offense side because of our lack of depth in recruiting. Maybe I remember too fondly the complimentary players we had when successful like Gambardella, CJ Smith, Edwardh, Lohin, Dmoski, Kamrass and Hausinger to name a few. Then we had depth to our lines which I feel we currently lack. But enough about the old days. For me the question is. Is this as good as our competitiveness is going to be? A 20-win season is an accomplishment indeed, it just doesn’t feel that way lately. Maybe I’m just deluded by past success. Hopefully they right the ship and we do pick up our recruiting efforts. I’ve been spoiled by the program’s success and hope for a return engagement. It’s just tough when you bleed Riverhawk blue!!!!!

      Comment


      • Great post.
        Monty

        2011-2012 NCAA Tournament Participants
        2012-2013 Hockey East Regular Season Champions, Hockey East Tournament Champions, and Frozen Four Participants
        2013-2014 Hockey East Tournament Champions and NCAA Tournament Participants
        2015-2016 NCAA Tournament Participants
        2016-2017 Hockey East Regular Season Co-Champions, Hockey East Tournament Champions and NCAA Tournament Participants

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        • Hope to see the Riverhawks hit the ice with a sense of urgency and focus tomorrow night. Leadership needs to step it up or its going to be a quick end to what started out to be a promising season and post-season. We have the talent but focus and intensity is inconsistent at best.

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          • if anybody thinks I like being right about us not winning, i don't. I'm saddened and frustrated about it, but that seems to be the way of things these days.
            BS UML '04, PhD UConn '09

            Jerseys I would like to have:
            Skating Friar Jersey
            AIC Yellowjacket Jersey w/ Yellowjacket logo on front
            UAF Jersey w/ Polar Bear on Front
            Army Black Knight logo jersey


            NCAA Men's Division 1 Simulation Primer

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            • Normally a split against PC is no biggie, they are a well coached team. The losses have piled up though and the schedule wasn’t good enough to compensate for that.

              I had suggested several weeks back that special teams were a strength of the team, but that ended up not being true. The PP has declined and the PK didn’t improve. 79% just doesn’t cut it.

              Savory, though still excellent, has also regressed and isn’t holding teams to a goal or less.

              The signs were all there.

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              • It was a nice ride in 1st for a good part of the season. Looks like we will finish no worse than 6th. May not be a bad thing to host a first-round game against Vermont. I reckon if we win out these last 3 games, we still probably need to make the HE finals to snag a regional seat. So, there's still a chance to finish well.....

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                • to fair to savory this is not a shut down defense.
                  BS UML '04, PhD UConn '09

                  Jerseys I would like to have:
                  Skating Friar Jersey
                  AIC Yellowjacket Jersey w/ Yellowjacket logo on front
                  UAF Jersey w/ Polar Bear on Front
                  Army Black Knight logo jersey


                  NCAA Men's Division 1 Simulation Primer

                  Comment


                  • Anything less than a decisive win over LIU and any chance at an at-large bid is gone. I want to see this team come out on fire and impose their will from puck drop.
                    Lowell Forever
                    Forever Lowell

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                    • It’s gonna snow Friday. Maybe it gets cancelled.

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                      • Originally posted by bruinsfan11 View Post
                        It’s gonna snow Friday. Maybe it gets cancelled.
                        As long as LIU is there, and they'll probably come up on Thursday, then the game will be played.
                        Charter Member of darin's "UML Seven"

                        "I just hate Boston College to be perfectly honest'' -Ken Dorsey
                        "It's time for my favorite NCAA tradition ... that's right, rooting against BC!" -Bill Simmons

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                        • Not sure LIU would come up Thursday for a single game 4 hours away.

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by bruinsfan11 View Post
                            Not sure LIU would come up Thursday for a single game 4 hours away.
                            I know Providence stayed overnight at AIC this year....
                            Yes I am the former member known as Zlax45

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                            • Originally posted by bruinsfan11 View Post
                              Not sure LIU would come up Thursday for a single game 4 hours away.
                              That's actually pretty standard. Lowell has gone down to UConn the night before several times when it was the 1st night of a home-and-home.
                              Charter Member of darin's "UML Seven"

                              "I just hate Boston College to be perfectly honest'' -Ken Dorsey
                              "It's time for my favorite NCAA tradition ... that's right, rooting against BC!" -Bill Simmons

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