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UNH Hockey 2023-2024 Season Thread - End Of The Cellar-Dweller Era??

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  • Originally posted by Snively65 View Post
    Sweet first UNH career goal by Lavins!
    Newbies contributing already...Comny leads the pack with a goal and 5 assists (if I have that right)
    I'm just here for the hockey...

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    • Originally posted by walrus View Post

      Time for a contract extension, coach deserves it
      He has them playing good hockey right now, no doubt about it.
      I believe in equality of effort. In life, in hockey in everything.

      Comment


      • It's early. Counting the exhibition game and scoring the 3 on 3 "win" as a tie, we are 1-2-1 with the W coming against a BU team that didn't have it together. Last night's W was against a team playing back to back road games. Let's see how we do with the 1/13 and 2/1 Terrier rematches and as Snively65 said, Dartmouth.

        Having said that, there is a lot to like. The reality is we are 2 - 1, 1 - 0 in 1st place in HEA. We are competing, responding to adversity and scoring goals (averaging 4.3 not counting the exhibition). Again, it is early, but there does seem to be a different attitude. Keep it up 'cats!
        I will not be out cheered in my own building.

        Comment


        • Originally posted by Darius View Post
          It's early. Counting the exhibition game and scoring the 3 on 3 "win" as a tie, we are 1-2-1 with the W coming against a BU team that didn't have it together. Last night's W was against a team playing back to back road games. Let's see how we do with the 1/13 and 2/1 Terrier rematches and as Snively65 said, Dartmouth.

          Having said that, there is a lot to like. The reality is we are 2 - 1, 1 - 0 in 1st place in HEA. We are competing, responding to adversity and scoring goals (averaging 4.3 not counting the exhibition). Again, it is early, but there does seem to be a different attitude. Keep it up 'cats!
          Not sure what the difference is. If it’s attitude, skill set, team chemistry, or what. Problem is we’ve seen these flashes of promise before only to watch them flame out. The big question is does this last or is it just the early season “unpredictability” of play.
          GO BLUE!

          Comment


          • Until they prove this will be their identity over a longer sample size, the results are what they are - exciting in a small sample size without much predictable value yet…

            I think the interesting thing for UNH - whose best players aren’t as talented as other top team’s best players - is whether they’ve found the right combination of enough talent plus experience…

            Players like Devlin, LeClerc, and especially on the back end with Huard, Gagne and Reid are solid players with some skill - and most importantly, older and stronger than the hotshot youngsters at BU, etc…

            If that’s the case and players like Conmy can make an immediate impact there’s a chance for the Wildcats this season.

            The worst thing that can happen to the program though is if 2023-24 is successful but a one off (or two-off). Souza earns and extension, then the good enough and experienced players graduate while a Conmy might leave early and it’s back to what we’ve always had in Souza.

            So if it’s real, it better be real AND sustainable. Too early to tell and we’ll see but, simply put, UNH cannot afford a mirage at this stage in Souza’s tenure…

            That is what I will simultaneously fear while also enjoying every unexpected victory.
            Live Free or Die!!

            Comment


            • Originally posted by d.gerry View Post
              Not sure what the difference is. If it’s attitude, skill set, team chemistry, or what. Problem is we’ve seen these flashes of promise before only to watch them flame out. The big question is does this last or is it just the early season “unpredictability” of play.
              I think the word you may have been looking for there at the end Dale was "mirage" ...

              ... and as for our UMaine-iac pals wally and Larry, your motives are transparent enough, but what isn't lost on many of us is that if the prior AD was still here, the ink on MS7's extension still wouldn't be dry. Thank goodness for small favors.

              Anyway, I'm happy to see the team off to a good start. I'm under no illusions, and I suspect with "bogey" team Northeastern on the horizon, there will probably be a leveling off from the quick start. But as HR points out, the team is winning some games many of us chalked up as lost causes, and that will help when inevitably there are more winnable games that somehow do not pan out. Yet, I'm not seeing this team built for any postseason success - MBPBEGAM or otherwise, so I'm also trusting our current AD will not lose her nerve come next March, and will "grade" MS7 on the same cold, unforgiving scale she used with Coach Herrion.

              In watching bits and pieces of a couple of games to date, one player who caught my eye favorably but hasn't gotten much mention on here is the Fitzgerald kid on defense. Good skater, carries the puck well ... haven't watched his D-zone coverage yet, but seems to be getting steady ice time for a frosh. Thoughts on "Fitzie" from the rest of our crew??

              I think the best news of all that I've seen is that there is still enthusiasm at UNH for an exciting (not yet necessarily a winning) hockey product. Having a lot of local kids on the roster is probably feeding some of that, and long may it continue. Without the Monarchs to siphon off interest, as was the case in the second half of the Umile Era, NH is definitely an underserved hockey market right now, and it would be great to see St. A's and/or SNHU "grow a pair" and commit the money and resources to going D-1, because that underserved market is MUCH closer to them than it is to Durham. Plus, it helps the "NH Beanpot" thingie, which is near and dear to my heart, and after all, this IS all about me, right ... ;-)
              Sworn Enemy of the Perpetually Offended
              Montreal Expos Forever ...

              Comment


              • Originally posted by Chuck Murray View Post

                I think the word you may have been looking for there at the end Dale was "mirage" ... [/SIZE]
                It’s almost as if you were reading my mind Chuck! I was searching for a word, and mirage is one I certainly could’ve landed on however, I am trying to retrain my mind to think on the side of positivity!
                GO BLUE!

                Comment


                • Originally posted by Dan View Post
                  The worst thing that can happen to the program though is if 2023-24 is successful but a one off (or two-off). Souza earns and extension, then the good enough and experienced players graduate while a Conmy might leave early and it’s back to what we’ve always had in Souza.

                  So if it’s real, it better be real AND sustainable. Too early to tell and we’ll see but, simply put, UNH cannot afford a mirage at this stage in Souza’s tenure…

                  That is what I will simultaneously fear while also enjoying every unexpected victory.
                  Yup, same here. I think the "tell" for me has been the net loss UNH has sustained in portal activities since it was instituted. There will always be increased mobility so long as there is a portal, and while the grumpy ol' "git off my lawn" part of me detests that, it is here and it is not likely to be going anywhere. So if you're in charge, you'd better be prepared to compete year-round for everything - including the hearts and minds of your own players. Just in this last year, UNH lost, what - Carfagna, Dunlap and Stevenson, right? Top pair D, exciting top six forward prospect, and your sitting captain, who was a special teams fixture. What did MS7 & Company get back in return? Not much ...

                  ... so as you point out, every once in a while, the stars will align, and you can find yourself a good season with a good mix of players, and there may be a carryover effect for another season if you're lucky. Then you are back where you started UNLESS you have learned, capitalized, and are actively recruiting in the deep end of the talent pool WITH credibility, have a specific plan how to maximize your access to the right players, and have the ability to coach these players up, which in turn establishes your credibility to go fishing in the deep end of the talent pool.

                  OR you go with the older/bigger/stronger model, something Coach Bazin has worked with to make UML consistently competitive, at least in a middle-of-the-league way - which was better than where it was when he got it.

                  MS7's problems have been that I don't think he ever really had a plan when he started, underestimated the amount of hard work involved that was needed to succeed at "early Coach Umile" level, never hired a top notch recruiting ace to help his cause, and has done little to enhance his personal reputation as someone who could develop talent. And now he is hamstrung by his own reputation (or lack thereof), and it's probably too late to save himself ... JMHO.
                  Sworn Enemy of the Perpetually Offended
                  Montreal Expos Forever ...

                  Comment


                  • Like I said, I have not bought my tickets for the Gahden but I am still very impressed with what I have seen in these first 3 games. All aspects of their game are both different and improved. We are not getting caught for extended periods of time in our D zone. Everyone appears capable of moving the puck in all areas of the ice. And yes Chuck, Fitzgerald is the real deal. Has not shown as much offensively at this point but he is very strong defensively. Plays way beyond his weight.
                    Moving Jensen up to the first pairing was the right move. He and Gags are a much more effective defensive pair.

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by Darius View Post
                      It's early. Counting the exhibition game and scoring the 3 on 3 "win" as a tie, we are 1-2-1 with the W coming against a BU team that didn't have it together. Last night's W was against a team playing back to back road games. Let's see how we do with the 1/13 and 2/1 Terrier rematches and as Snively65 said, Dartmouth.

                      Having said that, there is a lot to like. The reality is we are 2 - 1, 1 - 0 in 1st place in HEA. We are competing, responding to adversity and scoring goals (averaging 4.3 not counting the exhibition). Again, it is early, but there does seem to be a different attitude. Keep it up 'cats!
                      We have lost a lot of one-goal games the past few seasons, many more than our one-goal wins. Here are our GPG the past 10 seasons, most recent to left, so if we can increase our GPG to the mid-3’s, or even 3.00, we might have something going here. Anyone care to identify an inflection point in the series below and a probable cause?

                      2.11, 2.24, 2.61, 2.68, 2.50, 2.44, 3.10, 3.03, 2.98, 3.07.

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by Snively65 View Post

                        We have lost a lot of one-goal games the past few seasons, many more than our one-goal wins. Here are our GPG the past 10 seasons, most recent to left, so if we can increase our GPG to the mid-3’s, or even 3.00, we might have something going here. Anyone care to identify an inflection point in the series below and a probable cause?

                        2.11, 2.24, 2.61, 2.68, 2.50, 2.44, 3.10, 3.03, 2.98, 3.07.
                        Alex, I'll go with "When we stopped having a HC who at least knew how to teach exciting, attack-based hockey?"
                        Sworn Enemy of the Perpetually Offended
                        Montreal Expos Forever ...

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by Chuck Murray View Post

                          Alex, I'll go with "When we stopped having a HC who at least knew how to teach exciting, attack-based hockey?"
                          Truth. The surprising thing is MS7 was a key part of that exciting attack-based hockey. Don’t you think some of it would have rubbed off on him?
                          Last edited by d.gerry; 10-23-2023, 08:38 AM.
                          GO BLUE!

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by Chuck Murray View Post

                            Alex, I'll go with "When we stopped having a HC who at least knew how to teach exciting, attack-based hockey?"
                            Its not the Xs and Os, its the Jimmies and Joes.

                            If you look at C-H-C's list of alum in hockey, http://unhhockeyblog.blogspot.com/, only Crookshank and Engaras are in AHL, and Maass, Verrier and McKinnon are in East Coast (Grasso was recruited before 2015)

                            The top line of Leclerc and Devlin are good, even if not exceptional, and Conmy adds a great deal.

                            With Sardarian showing something as a contributor (Winters, too, though I put him in the Devlin category of track record suggesting more of a third liner, but prove me wrong), you have a couple of lines that push the gpg number to where it is needed.


                            It's a small sample size, but 1) its better than past, and 2) at least there's talent you can see supporting this. They actually have skills to come away with a puck in 50/50 situations, which they did not the last 6 years.
                            But, as always, the proof is in the pudding. Having rained on their parade in the past, let me say we had two sunny weeks. Who knows what the forecast may bring.
                            Last edited by NCAA watcher; 10-23-2023, 07:57 AM.
                            The Souza record:
                            15-16 10th place
                            16-17 10th place
                            17-18 11th place
                            18-19 8th place
                            19-20 9th place
                            20-21 10th place
                            21-22 9th place
                            22-23 10th place

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by NCAA watcher View Post

                              Its not the Xs and Os, its the Jimmies and Joes.

                              If you look at C-H-C's list of alum in hockey, http://unhhockeyblog.blogspot.com/, only Crookshank and Engaras are in AHL, and Maass, Verrier and McKinnon are in East Coast (Grasso was recruited before 2015)

                              The top line of Leclerc and Devlin are good, even if not exceptional, and Conmy adds a great deal.

                              With Sardarian showing something as a contributor (Winters, too, though I put him in the Devlin category of track record suggesting more of a third liner, but prove me wrong), you have a couple of lines that push the gpg number to where it is needed.


                              It's a small sample size, but 1) its better than past, and 2) at least there's talent you can see supporting this. They actually have skills to come away with a puck in 50/50 situations, which they did not the last 6 years.
                              But, as always, the proof is in the pudding. Having rained on their parade in the past, let me say we had two sunny weeks. Who knows what the forecast may bring.
                              Blue skies, right?

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by d.gerry View Post
                                Not sure what the difference is. If it’s attitude, skill set, team chemistry, or what. Problem is we’ve seen these flashes of promise before only to watch them flame out. The big question is does this last or is it just the early season “unpredictability” of play.
                                It may be the team’s improved social media presence, but I daresay the boys might have a little swagger this season.
                                I will not be out cheered in my own building.

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