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RPI 2023-24 (Part II): The Search for Special Teams Excellence

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  • Brief highlight package from last night's game for those who missed/don't have ESPN+ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KcMIL-b1OTw

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    • First the positive.. Very Nice win for the Guys last night! second.. My god this staff needs to find centers that can win a faceoff. I thought for sure we were going to have a repeat of the first game playoff loss at Harvard 2 years ago due to our inability to win crucial draws.

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      • Originally posted by DrDemento View Post

        All season long we have taken a lot of undisciplined penalties and man y of them have cost us. But on balance, in my view, Lee is a big net positive - perhaps not on the scoresheet but with the effort he brings. There are a few boys who just give all their effort almost all of the time. They hustle an entire shift. Hotson and Tinling along with Lee. Also find Brackett, and with limited playing time, Payant, seemingly in top gear most of the time. At this level and playing against the teams we did (especially the early season against those Hockey East squads) you simply cannot to afford to coast at any time during your shift be it 30 seconds long or a minute. If you are a defenseman and take your foot off the gas for just a second or two, the incoming rush is by you before you can catch them. When you retreat behind the net, you cannot take any extra time to decide on a course of action or the forechecking forwards will be on top of you before you can react.
        We played almost 50 minutes of our best hockey of the season yesterday and will need an even better effort next weekend to remain close to what is surely one of the best teams not only in the conference, but in the country.
        All I meant to say about Lee, is that he is talented and gives 100% all the time. We need him on the ice. Not in the box.
        Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.
        Benjamin Franklin
        The harder I practice, the luckier I get.
        Gary Player

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        • Congrats to Hotson for winning ECAC rookie of the week.

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          • Originally posted by engineerhockeyfan View Post

            All I meant to say about Lee, is that he is talented and gives 100% all the time. We need him on the ice. Not in the box.
            And i fully agree with you. Just pointing out that I had wished all season many other boys gave as much as he did. We have some fellows going at 100% all the time but not all.
            Take the shortest distance to the puck and arrive in ill humor

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            • Originally posted by RPI fan 4 life View Post

              What a difference a game makes. Clarkson fans are screaming for Jones’ head while no one in here mentioned Smith’s name at all. Of course if (and probably when) we get eliminated by Q-School next weekend, the Smith bashers will return.
              Not that he would be my choice for a coach in Troy, when Casey Jones was playing for Cornell, I figured we should have gotten him since Casey Jones was an engineer. ;-)
              sigpic

              Let's Go 'Tute!

              Maxed out at 2,147,483,647 at 10:00 AM EDT 9/17/07.

              2012 Poser Of The Year

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              • Originally posted by Ralph Baer View Post

                Not that he would be my choice for a coach in Troy, when Casey Jones was playing for Cornell, I figured we should have gotten him since Casey Jones was an engineer. ;-)
                You're losing it RB - but still pretty funny.
                Take the shortest distance to the puck and arrive in ill humor

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                • Hotson didn’t make the ecac rookie team? Who the hell decided Jake Schneider had a better year than Hotson? That’s crazy

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                  • Originally posted by DrDemento View Post

                    And i fully agree with you. Just pointing out that I had wished all season many other boys gave as much as he did. We have some fellows going at 100% all the time but not all.
                    The freshmen looked good, but some of the upper classmen were inconsistent.
                    I don't know if Muzzatti was hurt all year or just that he was trying to hard to make something happen.
                    I think that we have some talented players coming back next year, but we will need a real leader on the ice and some dedicated defensemen.
                    But for now, we have a game to play on Friday. So lets just concentrate on that.
                    Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.
                    Benjamin Franklin
                    The harder I practice, the luckier I get.
                    Gary Player

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                    • Originally posted by engineerhockeyfan View Post

                      The freshmen looked good, but some of the upper classmen were inconsistent.
                      I don't know if Muzzatti was hurt all year or just that he was trying to hard to make something happen.
                      I think that we have some talented players coming back next year, but we will need a real leader on the ice and some dedicated defensemen.
                      But for now, we have a game to play on Friday. So lets just concentrate on that.
                      Agree again - find two good to very good defensemen and add them to the team and you might see 5-10 more wins this past season. Of course, that is assuming we find a way to win more than 50% of the face offs!
                      Take the shortest distance to the puck and arrive in ill humor

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                      • I think starting with Muzzatti and Hotson is a great starting point. Muzz is definitely hurt and has been for a bit now. Add in Jake Lee and Gagnon (Smith said on our podcast that they would return), Smolinski who has become our top D man, Goffredo, Tinling, Watson, Strom, Mcneil to start. Aggressive changes need to be made around the fringes and they will need to connect in the portal, but I do like the core assuming the retention is there

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                        • Originally posted by CMcGarvey View Post
                          I think starting with Muzzatti and Hotson is a great starting point. Muzz is definitely hurt and has been for a bit now. Add in Jake Lee and Gagnon (Smith said on our podcast that they would return), Smolinski who has become our top D man, Goffredo, Tinling, Watson, Strom, Mcneil to start. Aggressive changes need to be made around the fringes and they will need to connect in the portal, but I do like the core assuming the retention is there
                          I agree with most of this. Lee has been a coin flip in the cost-benefit analysis. He has legit speed and skill, but he often hurts us by taking bad penalties--- often in bad areas and in bad moments in games. If he could amend his game in the situational intelligence department, he'd be a clear cut star. The last half of your last sentence is the critical question... "assuming the retention is there." This day in age, that is not an assumption I'm willing to make, sadly.
                          ""Ralph is the Chuck Norris of this board. Ralph doesnt sleep he just waits." - fishcore12

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                          • Originally posted by CMcGarvey View Post
                            I think starting with Muzzatti and Hotson is a great starting point. Muzz is definitely hurt and has been for a bit now. Add in Jake Lee and Gagnon (Smith said on our podcast that they would return), Smolinski who has become our top D man, Goffredo, Tinling, Watson, Strom, Mcneil to start. Aggressive changes need to be made around the fringes and they will need to connect in the portal, but I do like the core assuming the retention is there
                            I agree with much of this. However, for me, Lee is a coin flip in the cost-benefit analysis. He has legit speed and skill, but as has been agonizingly well documented on this forum, he has a keen knack for taking bad penalties in bad areas at bad moments in games. His situational intelligence needs an extreme makeover.

                            That said, the last half of your final sentence lays out the ultimate question... "assuming the retention is there." In today's portal reality, that isn't an assumption I can make. Nine of will know what the roster will look like until 5 or so months from now.
                            ""Ralph is the Chuck Norris of this board. Ralph doesnt sleep he just waits." - fishcore12

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                            • Originally posted by Wicked Slappaahs View Post

                              I agree with much of this. However, for me, Lee is a coin flip in the cost-benefit analysis. He has legit speed and skill, but as has been agonizingly well documented on this forum, he has a keen knack for taking bad penalties in bad areas at bad moments in games. His situational intelligence needs an extreme makeover.

                              That said, the last half of your final sentence lays out the ultimate question... "assuming the retention is there." In today's portal reality, that isn't an assumption I can make. Nine of will know what the roster will look like until 5 or so months from now.
                              Lee is a decent player who has terrible situational awareness that leads to unnecessary penalties like you mentioned. I’m not a fan of his play and he often takes dirty shots at opposing players. I’m all for playing with an edge but he seems to cross the line more often than not. If he was scoring more then I guess you could put up with the dumb penalties but he has 11 point this year. I know he was injured a lot this year but he seems to be injured frequently. I think we could find more offense and less penalties in the portal to be honest.
                              I’m curious who coming back. I’m also curious what coaches are coming back. I don’t think the coaching staff will look the same next year.

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                              • Huge playoff series this weekend between RPI and Qpac. Qpac is the easy favorite, with an RPI victory being an even larger upset than the upset last weekend against Clarkson, with http://www.playoffstatus.com/ecachoc...easonprob.html giving RPI a 2% chance of moving on. On top of that, if we did win even once, it would be our first win at Qpac since 2010. If RPI plays at their best hockey of the season, and with a little bit of luck, RPI can certainly do it. They just can't give up too many chances to Qpac, and Watson or whoever we have in net needs to play at their best.

                                I also think it will be interesting how Qpac plays this one. While I didn't watch the Clarkson game, looking at the score RPI clearly capitalized early on an overly confident Clarkson team. By the time Clarkson figured out what hit them, it was too late. Qpac should be confident going into this weekend, but overconfidence kills that cat (no pun intended).

                                At the end of the day, it is a massive uphill battle for RPI. That's not to say they can't do it. If RPI wins, it would be a greater upset than RPI vs. Clarkson round one, and with the rest of the remaining ECAC being worse than Qpac while also being close in skill to each other, it would proabably be this season's biggest upset in the men's ECAC playoffs.

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