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

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  • Originally posted by Ferrrao1994 View Post
    Im pretty sure we just shut out Lowell three straight games which is awesome!! Huge game on Saturday that the cats have circled on their calendar since last weekend. This game on Saturday is the game that can put the wildcats over the top. GO CATS!!!
    Yup. Some will no doubt come on here and say "Jeez, that was tough, kudos to Lowell", etc. In the end, this was easier than it looked. Lowell as a team is lacking any scoring confidence, and UNH played a near-perfect postseason elimination game by limiting chances allowed, even if it cost them some offense. All that mattered was the W, and the disciplined checking game and consistent clean hitting - neither of which have been qualities associated with UNH postseason hockey - got it done. As soon as Blaisdell scored in the first period, it was only going to be a matter of not who would win, but by how much. Kudos to Coach Souza and his staff, and the players who have bought in to earn what should be the most exciting and consequential game UNH has played in the last decade. Make no mistake, the next one is gonna be exponentially more difficult to pull off, and Alfond will be hopping, but with the same approach and determination, and a sprinkle of desperation on top, this is very much a winnable game. After 9 years (or whatever), this is the one I measure Coach Souza by. Just win ... and a lot of the aggravation and frustration of the last several years begins to fade, and a new dawn breaks over UNH Hockey. BRING ME THE SCALP OF BEN BARR!!!!!!!!!!

    ... because like it or not, if you lose to UMaine in a postseason game, nothing - absolutely nothing - has changed, and nothing is likely to change in the future, short of new leadership ...
     
    Sworn Enemy of the Perpetually Offended
    Montreal Expos Forever ...

    Comment


    • Originally posted by BlueLine Bob View Post
      So I’ve been reading these posts for 20 years, and I have to say while I love the enthusiasm of the handful of posters, some of these threads are not even coherent. The sports talk radio culture has created unrealistic timelines on team success. Obviously, everyone wants a winning team - but the constant negativity, even after wins is exhausting. If I watched sports like that, I would immediately stop and take up another hobby. A couple of people here have been running MS7 out of Durham before he even got the job. Now, while the rebuild has taken a bit longer than even he hoped, he has taken a team that was picked next to last in the polls in the preseason, and put them in the Top 20 all year. They had some huge wins against Top 10 teams, earned a home ice game, won it, now has 20 wins on the season, and heads to Maine with a trip to the Garden on the line. More importantly, it’s being done with an extremely young team that returns next year, including a transfer goalie that MS7 brought in. But now we aren’t happy with where we are because it didn’t happen fast enough? So instead of celebrating the fact we have a 20 win team that has one of the highest home attendance figures in the nation, we are unhappy and want to blow up the rebuild even though it’s finally moving in a good very, very good direction. Why are we living in the past? A couple of people here aren’t enjoying this season because the Cats didn’t win by enough in this game or lost more faceoffs in that game. I challenge anyone on this board who can honestly say that back in September, they would not be happy with a 20 win season, trip to Maine in the quarters and a Top 20 ranking all year. You want to run a strong HE Coach of the Year candidate out on the heels of the most successful season in over a decade - for who? An unknown guy floating around without a team right now? I know, in perspective, it’s the same five people posting on here and I’m not minimizing that. But you have to realize there is a large majority of Cat fans who are enjoying this season and really soaking in the most exciting team that has called the Whitt home in a long time. And also looking forward to the future with this team and this staff.
      This is either Dick or MS7 ; -)
      GO BLUE!

      Comment


      • Relax d.Gerry. Lol.

        Comment


        • Originally posted by BlueLine Bob View Post
          Relax d.Gerry.
          I’m very relaxed, seems like you’re the uptight one. BTW, the winky thing means I was joshing you.
          GO BLUE!

          Comment


          • Originally posted by BlueLine Bob View Post
            So I’ve been reading these posts for 20 years, and I have to say while I love the enthusiasm of the handful of posters, some of these threads are not even coherent. The sports talk radio culture has created unrealistic timelines on team success. Obviously, everyone wants a winning team - but the constant negativity, even after wins is exhausting. If I watched sports like that, I would immediately stop and take up another hobby. A couple of people here have been running MS7 out of Durham before he even got the job. Now, while the rebuild has taken a bit longer than even he hoped, he has taken a team that was picked next to last in the polls in the preseason, and put them in the Top 20 all year. They had some huge wins against Top 10 teams, earned a home ice game, won it, now has 20 wins on the season, and heads to Maine with a trip to the Garden on the line. More importantly, it's being done with an extremely young team that returns next year, including a transfer goalie that MS7 brought in. But now we aren't happy with where we are because it didn't happen fast enough? So instead of celebrating the fact we have a 20 win team that has one of the highest home attendance figures in the nation, we are unhappy and want to blow up the rebuild even though it's finally moving in a good very, very good direction. Why are we living in the past? A couple of people here aren't enjoying this season because the Cats didn't win by enough in this game or lost more faceoffs in that game. I challenge anyone on this board who can honestly say that back in September, they would not be happy with a 20 win season, trip to Maine in the quarters and a Top 20 ranking all year. You want to run a strong HE Coach of the Year candidate out on the heels of the most successful season in over a decade - for who? An unknown guy floating around without a team right now? I know, in perspective, it's the same five people posting on here and I'm not minimizing that. But you have to realize there is a large majority of Cat fans who are enjoying this season and really soaking in the most exciting team that has called the Whitt home in a long time. And also looking forward to the future with this team and this staff.
            I'll start by saying ALL fans have the right to be fans of a team or program on their own terms. You included, Mike. ;-)

            You do understand, of course, that this year's sixth (6th) place finish is smack dab in the middle of Hockey East, correct? I don't hear anyone talking about you - oops - MS7 as Coach of the Year. Did this year's team surprise the prognosticators, and some of us fans too? Absolutely. And why do you think that might be the case?? Might it have something to do with a decade's worth of consistent losing hockey under the same guy, just maybe??? And for every "huge win" over a Top Ten team, there were disappointing losses to teams whose seasons are already over.

            I've been on both sides of the issue on MS7's possible return. I've had my reasoning earlier in his tenure to want him to do well, and I've had a long migration over a lot of mediocre seasons with losing hockey that brought me to a different place. Winning three straight games - two of them at home - against a last place team isn't exactly what I see as an occasion to start taking victory laps "Bob". But that's my standard, and you're entitled to yours.

            The wonderful thing now is, if UNH can now go ahead and do something MS7's legendary predecessor could never do, and win an important game in Orono, with all the chips on the table ... then we're both on the same side of the issue. My guess is you'd probably argue for a longer renewal/extension than I would, but that's down to the idea that you're probably just happy with pretty good hockey - and truth be told, that's about as far as this year's team has come so far - and I have an expectation that UNH should be competing on the national stage.

            We just have different terms of engagement, and I'm good with that. Happy you posted, and many happy returns. :-)
            Sworn Enemy of the Perpetually Offended
            Montreal Expos Forever ...

            Comment


            • You are 100 percent right that everyone has a right to their opinions. I am definitely not saying a middle of the pack finish is the goal. But a middle of the pack finish in a year when Hockey East is the most dominant conference in the country and six teams have resided in the Top 20 all year is better than the majority of the teams in the nation have done this year. Of course a title is the goal, but this team, with very few seniors, is trending in a direction we haven’t seen in Durham in 20 years.

              Comment


              • Originally posted by d.gerry View Post

                I’m very relaxed, seems like you’re the uptight one. BTW, the winky thing means I was joshing you.
                I know. That’s why I threw the LOL in.

                Comment


                • Originally posted by BlueLine Bob View Post
                  So I’ve been reading these posts for 20 years, and I have to say while I love the enthusiasm of the handful of posters, some of these threads are not even coherent. The sports talk radio culture has created unrealistic timelines on team success. Obviously, everyone wants a winning team - but the constant negativity, even after wins is exhausting. If I watched sports like that, I would immediately stop and take up another hobby. A couple of people here have been running MS7 out of Durham before he even got the job. Now, while the rebuild has taken a bit longer than even he hoped, he has taken a team that was picked next to last in the polls in the preseason, and put them in the Top 20 all year. They had some huge wins against Top 10 teams, earned a home ice game, won it, now has 20 wins on the season, and heads to Maine with a trip to the Garden on the line. More importantly, it’s being done with an extremely young team that returns next year, including a transfer goalie that MS7 brought in. But now we aren’t happy with where we are because it didn’t happen fast enough? So instead of celebrating the fact we have a 20 win team that has one of the highest home attendance figures in the nation, we are unhappy and want to blow up the rebuild even though it’s finally moving in a good very, very good direction. Why are we living in the past? A couple of people here aren’t enjoying this season because the Cats didn’t win by enough in this game or lost more faceoffs in that game. I challenge anyone on this board who can honestly say that back in September, they would not be happy with a 20 win season, trip to Maine in the quarters and a Top 20 ranking all year. You want to run a strong HE Coach of the Year candidate out on the heels of the most successful season in over a decade - for who? An unknown guy floating around without a team right now? I know, in perspective, it’s the same five people posting on here and I’m not minimizing that. But you have to realize there is a large majority of Cat fans who are enjoying this season and really soaking in the most exciting team that has called the Whitt home in a long time. And also looking forward to the future with this team and this staff.
                  So I’ve been reading these posts for 20 years, and I have to say while I love the enthusiasm of the handful of posters, some of these threads are not even coherent.
                  Like this post with no paragraph breaks?
                  The sports talk radio culture has created unrealistic timelines on team success. Obviously, everyone wants a winning team - but the constant negativity, even after wins is exhausting. If I watched sports like that, I would immediately stop and take up another hobby. A couple of people here have been running MS7 out of Durham before he even got the job. Now, while the rebuild has taken a bit longer than even he hoped, he has taken a team that was picked next to last in the polls in the preseason, and put them in the Top 20 all year. They had some huge wins against Top 10 teams, earned a home ice game, won it, now has 20 wins on the season, and heads to Maine with a trip to the Garden on the line.
                  Ok Bob, lets put this into perspective. Early wins against BU and Quinipiac. Have we forgotten the drubbing at Army, lost at UVM and to UConn? These three games are the difference in NCAAs and fighting for you life

                  More importantly, it’s being done with an extremely young team that returns next year, including a transfer goalie that MS7 brought in.
                  Transfer portal with no other options. We call this luck
                  But now we aren’t happy with where we are because it didn’t happen fast enough? So instead of celebrating the fact we have a 20 win team that has one of the highest home attendance figures in the nation, we are unhappy and want to blow up the rebuild even though it’s finally moving in a good very, very good direction. Why are we living in the past? A couple of people here aren’t enjoying this season because the Cats didn’t win by enough in this game or lost more faceoffs in that game.
                  We are happy they won. But they were flat. If you play like this Saturday you lose 10-1. The goalie stole this game
                  I challenge anyone on this board who can honestly say that back in September, they would not be happy with a 20 win season, trip to Maine in the quarters and a Top 20 ranking all year.
                  This season was above expectations, but the reality is it is not how you start but how you finish. We swept Northeastern, made them looks silly. Well now they are one of the hottest teams, won the Beanpot, and are a scary team. This is typical UNH, calendar turns and then its fold city.
                  You want to run a strong HE Coach of the Year candidate out on the heels of the most successful season in over a decade - for who? An unknown guy floating around without a team right now?
                  You realize that 60% of that decade was his doing right as HC? And years before that he was an assistant? So this decade is on him. And the replacement is not a guy floating around, it is someone outside the family tree that changes things. Tonight’s game is an indictment on failure of change.
                  I know, in perspective, it’s the same five people posting on here and I’m not minimizing that. But you have to realize there is a large majority of Cat fans who are enjoying this season and really soaking in the most exciting team that has called the Whitt home in a long time. And also looking forward to the future with this team and this staff.

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by BlueLine Bob View Post
                    You are 100 percent right that everyone has a right to their opinions. I am definitely not saying a middle of the pack finish is the goal. But a middle of the pack finish in a year when Hockey East is the most dominant conference in the country and six teams have resided in the Top 20 all year is better than the majority of the teams in the nation have done this year. Of course a title is the goal, but this team, with very few seniors, is trending in a direction we haven’t seen in Durham in 20 years.
                    Here is a thought, post year dinner in Durham where we can talk about the season, meet people we only see as names on the message board....

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by BlueLine Bob View Post

                      I know. That’s why I threw the LOL in.
                      Blueline, you local? Lets due lunch Friday. I will buy as a friendly token for your 20 years of reading by 1 year of a membership.

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by BlueLine Bob View Post
                        is trending in a direction we haven’t seen in Durham in 20 years.
                        Well, lets have a little perspective and a little less hyperbole.

                        12 years ago UNH played to go to the Frozen Four and lost that game 2-0 (to UML), they beat Denver the night before 5-1. That team had 20 wins and a .603 winning percentage. Next 2 years 22 wins and 19 wins, not bad but no NCAAs (potentially maybe even probably like this year).

                        You know what happened the next year? 9 years ago? 2015-2106 the year when they fully fell right off a cliff? Mike Souza started "shopping for the groceries" as head coach in waiting. Now I don't blame the next couple years on Souza, 1) Umile was coach, 2) Souza needed to start his pipe line of talent. Souza does still own some of the blame, his recruiting skills and reputation (which we were sold) couldn't keep some nice talent that instead bailed out. The next 7 years, the last of Umile that should have had some Souza players, and including this one .435 winning percentage. That is not good. This plus .500% season is a blip off the trend line.

                        Lastly I use my eyes, you know watch the games. See the lost power play, that continues to regress. The odd man rushes, both for which aren't very productive and the way too many against due to mental lapses by the D-men (two in particular). These issues have existed all season and it isn't getting coached out, kinda late now. The reality that without Hellstan seeing the puck like a beach ball at the moment and that Lowell couldn't hit the broad side of a barn this game isn't close. Far two many grade A chances for a Lowell team you obliterated just last week.

                        I am happy you are happy with a 6th place .500 team in league. I hope the administration wants more, wants better, wants to be back playing in the Frozen 4.

                        P.S. you say young team. I say of the 8 left in Hockey east, UNH is tied for oldest with Northeastern. Now I haven't looked at scoring distribution of all the teams in detail. That number is purely "age" because there is an easy place to find it. As another reference (without going roster by roster) in Hockey East 32 of the top 50 scorers in league (and the entire top 10) are Fr. & So. the entire league is young. An advantage UNH has is a bunch of those BU & BC guys are serious NHL flight risks.
                        Last edited by JB; 03-13-2024, 11:17 PM.
                        "Now Progress Takes Away What Forever Took To Find" Dave Matthews Band, The Dreaming Tree

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by Chuck Murray View Post
                          Lowell as a team is lacking any scoring confidence,
                          YES

                          Originally posted by Chuck Murray View Post
                          and UNH played a near-perfect postseason elimination game by limiting chances allowed, even if it cost them some offense.
                          Wait did we watch the same game?

                          This was not the team that played so well last weekend to 4-0, 4-0 wins (or against BC at BC). It was sloppy for stretches, gave up lots of Grade A chances. Started sitting on it WAY to early. Never really re established the forecheck from last week. Lost momentum on every Power Play.

                          Originally posted by Chuck Murray View Post
                          All that mattered was the W, and the disciplined checking game and consistent clean hitting - neither of which have been qualities associated with UNH postseason hockey - got it done.
                          Sort of agree. Not nearly as disciplined (see ill advised pinches leading to poorly played odd man rushes) or not nearly as driven as last week or those beautiful Maine games in February.

                          I think this team has it in them, didn't see it for as much of tonight as I would like. You don't win at Maine with those lapses, those issues. You get blown out of the building.

                          I am sure that Maine team remembers the back to back thumpings they took and will be itching for another round.

                          Originally posted by Chuck Murray View Post
                          As soon as Blaisdell scored in the first period, it was only going to be a matter of not who would win, but by how much.
                          Only because Hellstan was AWESOME and the times it was out of control UML couldn't get the puck actually on net.

                          This game was anything but a sure thing.

                          Originally posted by Chuck Murray View Post
                          Kudos to Coach Souza and his staff, and the players who have bought in to earn what should be the most exciting and consequential game UNH has played in the last decade. Make no mistake, the next one is gonna be exponentially more difficult to pull off, and Alfond will be hopping,
                          YES

                          Originally posted by Chuck Murray View Post
                          but with the same approach and determination, and a sprinkle of desperation on top, this is very much a winnable game.
                          As long as the same approach is that from Feb 16 and 17, not tonight. Much harder charging than tonight, tonight was a 4 and they need to turn it up to 11 to beat Maine at Alfond.


                          Originally posted by Chuck Murray View Post
                          After 9 years (or whatever), this is the one I measure Coach Souza by. Just win ... and a lot of the aggravation and frustration of the last several years begins to fade, and a new dawn breaks over UNH Hockey. BRING ME THE SCALP OF BEN BARR!!!!!!!!!!

                          ... because like it or not, if you lose to UMaine in a postseason game, nothing - absolutely nothing - has changed, and nothing is likely to change in the future, short of new leadership ...
                          YUP

                          UNH has a motivation advantage. Maine is in the NCAAs, UNH needs to win or this season is over.
                          Last edited by JB; 03-13-2024, 11:13 PM.
                          "Now Progress Takes Away What Forever Took To Find" Dave Matthews Band, The Dreaming Tree

                          Comment


                          • Funny Chuck you stole/took the words right out of
                            my mouth. Kudos to UML we did not play well I'm sorry. But that said Hellsten saves the day and we escape with a W. Did what we had to do fortunately came out on top.
                            Still skatin'!!!! Playoffs are a time when anything can happen and I'm so glad we won that one!

                            Like I said...I can accept losing to Maine if we do and if the "Cats play like they did tonight (as
                            JB pointed out) its not going to be pretty. BTW agree with all of your points on the game tonight JB and Norbert
                            ...But they (UNH) know that game isn't going to cut it up in Orono but we are still skatin' and that's a good thing!

                            UML stymied the 'Cats, didn't give up much space all night which to me says they carried out their game plan. Man I thought it was
                            pretty obvious from the first 10 minutes that UNH wasn't bringing the intensity of the previous 2 games. Hey it happens, but this is
                            playoff hockey and well, you don't get away with that going forward.

                            Still as was pointed out we just beat UML 3 times and frankly that works for me...now can we do the same up in Orono? Huge!

                            Ps...hey there Blueline Bob, welcome and lol its about time someone came over here and spoke up. We can be a whiny bunch!
                            That said its been a long 10+ years waiting for UNH hockey to get back to a semblance of what it once was so to speak. Not asking for much...mind you.
                            Just the same, this season deserves to be celebrated and here's hoping it builds into something even better for the future...signed, a 10 year fan
                            who's been to just about every UNH game since 2013 and all I wanna do is to stop looking from the outside in for a change...Fully accept that MS7
                            is coming back next year. He needs to fix that blasted power play and have his guys be ready for road games, esp. the one coming up on Saturday...

                            Go 'CATS!!
                            Last edited by HockeyRef; 03-14-2024, 06:30 AM.
                            I'm just here for the hockey...

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by norbert View Post

                              Blueline, you local? Lets due lunch Friday. I will buy as a friendly token for your 20 years of reading by 1 year of a membership.
                              Unfortunately (or fortunately) I’m not. Retired in Tampa for awhile now. I try to get up to the northeast once a year, if I can though. Thanks for the offer.

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by HockeyRef View Post
                                Funny Chuck you stole/took the words right out of
                                my mouth. Kudos to UML we did not play well I'm sorry. But that said Hellsten saves the day and we escape with a W. Did what we had to do fortunately came out on top.
                                Still skatin'!!!! Playoffs are a time when anything can happen and I'm so glad we won that one!

                                Like I said...I can accept losing to Maine if we do and if the "Cats play like they did tonight (as
                                JB pointed out) its not going to be pretty. BTW agree with all of your points on the game tonight JB and Norbert
                                ...But they (UNH) know that game isn't going to cut it up in Orono but we are still skatin' and that's a good thing!

                                UML stymied the 'Cats, didn't give up much space all night which to me says they carried out their game plan.

                                Still as was pointed out we just beat UML 3 times and frankly that works for me...now can we do the same up in Orono? Huge!

                                Ps...hey there Blueline Bob, welcome and lol its about time someone came over here and spoke up. We can be a whiny bunch!
                                That said its been a long 10+ years waiting for UNH hockey to get back to a semblance of what it once was so to speak. Not asking for much...mind you.
                                Just the same, this season deserves to be celebrated and here's hoping it builds into something even better for the future...signed, a 10 year fan
                                who's been to just about every UNH game since 2013 and all I wanna do is to stop looking from the outside in for a change...Fully accept that MS7
                                is coming back next year. He needs to fix that blasted power play and have his guys be ready for road games, esp. the one coming up on Saturday...

                                Go 'CATS!!
                                Ref - thanks for the welcome. And think we see things very similarly. By no means am I looking at the program through rose colored glasses, but I have genuinely enjoyed watching this team play (I wish in person) this season. I just try to keep everything in perspective. This team has exceeded most expectations this season. HE is loaded but our guys are right in the mix.

                                Comment

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