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

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  • #61
    Originally posted by AspyDad View Post

    Agree about Watson. If he has an advisor, I'm sure that's being whispered in his ear. I worry about Muzzati because Preds could take him out of here and plug in the AHL because of physical frame and not want him to continue to be a part of losing culture.
    Watson has 3.6 goals against average and the team has an expected Goals against of 3.7, so statistically Watson is basically playing at an average level. Basically, has been the case his whole career, he was excellent his freshman year on a team with good defense, average last year with average defense, and then this year. I don't see a case where a HE or other top conference team is knocking his door down to come start.

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    • #62
      Originally posted by CMcGarvey View Post
      I would think one scenario is they conclude this feasibility study in a few months and decide a new rink is in order. Announce 24-25 is the last year of the Field House and begin to make their engineering plans. Play 25-26 season at MVP arena while building on the site of the HFH, and then hopefully it is ready for opening night 2026. Maybe I am being too aggressive with my timeline but that would be basically March 2025 to October 2026 to get it ready. Could take one more season, or could be a scenario like Sacred Heart last year, where you open up. new arena in the middle of the year
      Recent ones - UConn, Sacred Heart, Augustana, Colorado College - have all seemed to take 18-24 months from groundbreaking to opening. Not sure how many of those involved a knock-down of an existing structure, but think RPI's would be more complicated because of dismantling the Field House and clearing the site. So I'd think being ready for construction in March 2025, with designs, permits, etc., in place could be really tight.

      Problem is, there aren't many other options without having to significantly reconfigure other sports fields or facilities.

      Would be curious for what size rink they'd think is right. The HFH is well below capacity right now, but you'd like to think that building a smaller rink would be off the table.

      I wonder how much it would cost to significantly renovate the stage end with a tier or two of boxes/suites and better facilities behind/underneath that - maybe even going out the back of the building toward or into the hill.
      Middlebury hockey - "In it to win it"

      1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2004, 2005, 2006 Men's DIII NCAA Champions
      2004, 2005, 2006 Women's DIII NCAA Champions, 2000, 2001 Women's DIII National Champions

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      • #63
        Originally posted by CMcGarvey View Post
        I would think one scenario is they conclude this feasibility study in a few months and decide a new rink is in order. Announce 24-25 is the last year of the Field House and begin to make their engineering plans. Play 25-26 season at MVP arena while building on the site of the HFH, and then hopefully it is ready for opening night 2026. Maybe I am being too aggressive with my timeline but that would be basically March 2025 to October 2026 to get it ready. Could take one more season, or could be a scenario like Sacred Heart last year, where you open up. new arena in the middle of the year
        I think this is a reasonable time line. The only site I could think that might possibly make sense is the Upper Renwyck Field in the Detroit Drive and Georgian Terrace parcels. It looks like there's ample room there for a new build and it would save a TON of hassle as it keeps within the campus footprint (no residential neighbor issues) as well eliminating the need to arrange for 2 years worth of practice and game ice time somewhere else. Possibly the parcel where the Nuclear building is off of Tibbetts ....the last time I was thru there those buildings looked like they needed to be razed.... LOL
        ""Ralph is the Chuck Norris of this board. Ralph doesnt sleep he just waits." - fishcore12

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        • #64
          Originally posted by CMcGarvey View Post

          Watson has 3.6 goals against average and the team has an expected Goals against of 3.7, so statistically Watson is basically playing at an average level. Basically, has been the case his whole career, he was excellent his freshman year on a team with good defense, average last year with average defense, and then this year. I don't see a case where a HE or other top conference team is knocking his door down to come start.
          Most goalies play better and of course, have better stats when they play in front of good defenses. Watson has faced more than his fair share of Grade A shots, uncontested shots, back door tap-ins , etc. that simply are not high save percentage opportunities. It would not at all shock me if he departed for another program....but certainly hope I am wrong.
          ""Ralph is the Chuck Norris of this board. Ralph doesnt sleep he just waits." - fishcore12

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          • #65
            Originally posted by Wicked Slappaahs View Post

            Most goalies play better and of course, have better stats when they play in front of good defenses. Watson has faced more than his fair share of Grade A shots, uncontested shots, back door tap-ins , etc. that simply are not high save percentage opportunities. It would not at all shock me if he departed for another program....but certainly hope I am wrong.
            That is why I provided the analytic that builds in the quality of shots he faces, but your right that only time will tell if he departs

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            • #66
              If it's worth anything in the debate for a new stadium, the RPI Polytechnic published an article with an interview with President Schmidt. Two relevant questions and his response:

              Q: Can the RPI Pep Band be restored to the stage behind the goal at Houston Field House?
              A: “I know that the Zambonis are there right now so that means building a stage. You know, we are looking at improvements we can make to the field house, so maybe that should be on the[list]".

              Q: Any plans to renovate Houston Field House?
              A: “Yeah, there are some things, the ice needs to be replaced. And then I think there are some improvements that are absolutely necessary to improve accessibility. And longer term, I would like to see us make some more sustainable improvements.”

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              • #67
                RPI has one of the best architectural schools in the world, surely they could employ (not the typical definition in this sense) some students to design a new, or renovations to the, Field House. I just ask that the press box be about two feet larger than it is now.
                Uncle Mickey: July 23, 1950-July 22, 2003

                WRPI, 91.5 FM...usually color commentary.

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                • #68
                  Originally posted by Wicked Slappaahs View Post

                  Most goalies play better and of course, have better stats when they play in front of good defenses. Watson has faced more than his fair share of Grade A shots, uncontested shots, back door tap-ins , etc. that simply are not high save percentage opportunities. It would not at all shock me if he departed for another program....but certainly hope I am wrong.
                  Why is it that we have had several goalies on the women's team who have played very well on teams that are otherwise not that good, but on the men's team that does not seem to be the case?
                  sigpic

                  Let's Go 'Tute!

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                  • #69
                    Originally posted by CMcGarvey View Post

                    Watson has 3.6 goals against average and the team has an expected Goals against of 3.7, so statistically Watson is basically playing at an average level. Basically, has been the case his whole career, he was excellent his freshman year on a team with good defense, average last year with average defense, and then this year. I don't see a case where a HE or other top conference team is knocking his door down to come start.
                    Wait didn't you say at one point that the teams 1st half woes were because they didn't have there #1.
                    "Rick not want to be know as tough guy, Rick want to be known as team guy" Rick "Mongo" Bennett

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                    • #70
                      Originally posted by AspyDad View Post

                      Wait didn't you say at one point that the teams 1st half woes were because they didn't have there #1.
                      Yes I did. And that take checks out, they’re 7-7-2 with him and 2-11-1 without him. I overestimated improvements I thought would come from the easier opponents of the second half, and they have not improved like I hoped. That part has been a disappointment. He also was 1-2 when he went out so they’re actually 6-5-2 with him in net after his return, so nice trap but they actually are significantly better with him in net

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                      • #71
                        Originally posted by CMcGarvey View Post

                        Yes I did. And that take checks out, they’re 7-7-2 with him and 2-11-1 without him. I overestimated improvements I thought would come from the easier opponents of the second half, and they have not improved like I hoped. That part has been a disappointment. He also was 1-2 when he went out so they’re actually 6-5-2 with him in net after his return, so nice trap but they actually are significantly better with him in net
                        Then why wouldn't anybody want him, which you said. Believe me, if he hits the portal, he'll get takers.
                        "Rick not want to be know as tough guy, Rick want to be known as team guy" Rick "Mongo" Bennett

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                        • #72
                          Originally posted by AspyDad View Post

                          Then why wouldn't anybody want him, which you said. Believe me, if he hits the portal, he'll get takers.
                          Because it can be simultaneously true that our defense is terrible, our backup goalies are also really bad, and Watson being in net gives them the best chance to win. My thesis in December was that some of the defensive kinks would be worked out, we would be playing worse teams, and Watson returning to health would lead to a better product. It is true that we have a better chance to win when he plays than when Miller or Cherepak do, but that doesn't mean he is guaranteed a starting job at a better program. He has a 3 goals against over 3 years, that does not get you a guaranteed starting job in a better conference. Certainly, teams would want him, but I can't see him being guaranteed a starting job so I think he will stay.

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                          • #73
                            An integral part of my initial post was someone offering him to come START. I am sure teams want him, but most goalies aren't giving up a guaranteed starting post to platoon as a senior. Maybe he wants that, but I don't think that is very logical

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                            • #74
                              Originally posted by CMcGarvey View Post
                              An integral part of my initial post was someone offering him to come START. I am sure teams want him, but most goalies aren't giving up a guaranteed starting post to platoon as a senior. Maybe he wants that, but I don't think that is very logical
                              None of our goalies are as bad as their statistics.
                              We have the worst defensive team I have ever seen. We consistently give away the puck in our defensive zone creating great scoring opportunities for the opposition.
                              We have the worst penalty killing team in the nation. That is not all on those goalies.
                              And one last thing watch how often they cannot get the puck over our defensive blue line. It is like they don't understand how important it is to get the puck our of our end.
                              The goalies have not been great this season, but Watson has kept us in most of the games he has played in in spite of the defense in front of him.
                              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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                              • #75
                                Originally posted by engineerhockeyfan View Post

                                None of our goalies are as bad as their statistics.
                                We have the worst defensive team I have ever seen. We consistently give away the puck in our defensive zone creating great scoring opportunities for the opposition.
                                We have the worst penalty killing team in the nation. That is not all on those goalies.
                                And one last thing watch how often they cannot get the puck over our defensive blue line. It is like they don't understand how important it is to get the puck our of our end.
                                The goalies have not been great this season, but Watson has kept us in most of the games he has played in in spite of the defense in front of him.
                                Bravo - Could not agree more. Before the season started I had said this team will live and die with special teams and defense. Well, we have all seen what has occurred game after game. Rather simplistic to say, but put one all ECAC defenseman on this team (perhaps one Brian Pothier or one of the 1985 D-men) and a lot of what you listed goes away. You get a more consistent solid defense in front of our goalie, you get a quarterback for the power play, you perhaps get someone who knows how to and can clear the puck out of our end past the blue line, and maybe you get a point man who can keep the puck in the offensive end when the opponent is trying to clear the puck out against our offensive pressure. No, we do not become BC or BU with one more player. But the games would be far less frustrating to watch and we might not have to focus on all the other aspects that we have been picking apart.
                                Perhaps it is is just the glass half full part of my thinking but just maybe we are only one or two defensive players away from being far more competitive. Just my thoughts from suffering through much of this season.
                                Take the shortest distance to the puck and arrive in ill humor

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