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The University of Notre Dame Hockey: 09-10. Let's Live It Up!

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  • Re: The University of Notre Dame Hockey: 09-10. Let's Live It Up!

    Well, with the hockey team dropping like a rock and settling into the uncomfortable position of needing some help to finish in the top-8 it's no wonder the season thread has sunk to the back pages.

    PlayoffStatus.com doesn't give us much of a reason to rejoice, either. According to their math there's 51% chance that the Irish finish in 9th or 10th place. At least the games still have to be played.

    The games this weekend will lead to a lot of jockeying among the teams clustered from 4th to 10th. By the end of the weekend the Irish will almost assuredly be all alone in tenth because of the games in hand all those teams around Notre Dame have on them. Since the teams we'll see them chasing will have games left against each other, at least by winning Notre Dame can pick up ground on someone. I did say by winning, right? Last weekend Western climbed out of the cellar by pinning the two most damaging losses of the Jeff Jackson era on Notre Dame. God forbid Bowling Green climbs out of their spot by doing the same thing. Since BG is playing Miami this weekend, somehow I sense their spot in the basement will still be secure when we make the trip 150 miles to the east in 2 weeks. And after last weekend's fiasco, I am taking nothing for granted. Zero points would be no more of a surprise than 6. Hell, the way this team has zigged and zagged since October I'd have to say 6 would be the surprise.

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    • Re: The University of Notre Dame Hockey: 09-10. Let's Live It Up!

      I was looking at last year's numbers through Valentine's Day and this year's numbers through the same time (given that this is a bye weekend, the numbers won't change). Have a lot of free time...don't ask...

      Last year after the February 14th weekend series with NMU, ND was averaging 1.28 PPG's/game. This year, it's down only slightly at 1.12 PPG's/game. Last year at this time ND gave up exactly half a PPG/game. This year it's only slightly worse at an average of .59 PPG's against/game.

      Last year at this point, Ridderwall averaged .8 points/game. This year it's close to that mark at .75 points/game. Thang last year was averaging .58 points/game through Valentine's Day. This year he's averaging .55 points/game. Cole is also virtually the same when I round the numbers. Last year's numbers for him halfway through February were .63 pts/game. This year it's also .63. Maday averaged .77 pts/game last year to now, while this year he's been slightly more productive averaging .79 pts/game. Ben Ryan last year averaged .69 pts/game, and this year it's off only a little at .66/game.

      Lawson has been a pleasant surprise. Last year at this point, he averaged .58 pts/game. This year he's stepped up and has averaged .69 pts/game. Blatchford is a little off his game from last year. He averaged .63 pts/game last season up to now, but this season it's down to .56/game.

      The biggest disappointments include Deeth, who's down to .56/game from .78 pts/game last year through February 14th. Kissel (.46 pts/game last year to .22 pts/game this year), Guentzel (.28/game last season and .17/game now) and Minella (.42/game last year and .29/game now) round out the less productive players.

      Losing Erik Condra meant losing a player who averaged .95 pts/game last season. Riley Sheahan averages .52 pts/game. Losing Christian Hanson (who's leading the Leafs in face offs in his short time back up so far) meant losing a player averaging .84 pts/game. Kyle Palmieri also averages .52 pts/game.

      Looking back to last year's points, nearly 1/3 of Ridderwall's and Deeth's points came with a graduated player (Condra, Hanson, Regan or White). Half of Blatchford's and Thang's points came with one of those graduated players' assists or goals. Nearly all of Guentzel's, Kissel's and Lawson's points last year included plays with those graduated guys. (That was just looking at the players this year who haven't been or are not injured at the moment.)

      While Notre Dame cannot be counted out of the mix until after the teams from the league make it to Detroit for the CCHA tourney championship, it's such a disappointment to think, "If only..."
      "Hockey is the only tribe I belong to." --Jack Falla

      "Why, as a matter of fact, I suggested starting a hockey program to Father Callahan, our president. He was downright interested until we came to the use of sticks, and then he threw up his hands. He said, 'No, that game is not for our University. Notre Dame will never endorse any game that puts a club in the hands of an Irishman.' " -- Knute Rockne: All American

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      • Re: The University of Notre Dame Hockey: 09-10. Let's Live It Up!

        I've been wondering what the hockey team would give up for Lent. Ineffective 5 X 5 play? Spotty penalty killing? Lackluster power plays? Bad team chemistry? Injuries?!

        They are still in the running for the post-post-season (as are most teams) and can't be truly counted out until the 4 CCHA teams to go to JLA are decided March 14th. Man, do I hope their season goes beyond that date. I'll reiterate that if any team can do it, this team can...they're just running out of time to finally click.

        BG and ND were both blown out in their last weekends of play, BG by Miami (complete with some fighting and a coach ejection) (by a total score of 13-4). ND by WMU (by a total score of 11-3). I dunno. Getting blown out by Miami seems less yucky than getting blown out by WMU...

        ND averages 2.44 GF. Unfortunately, they give up 2.47 GA. BG averages 2.00 GF. Fortunately (for ND), they give up 3.83 GA. The blowouts greatly altered both teams' numbers (special teams et al) for the worse. Both teams have been shutout twice this season. ND's PP fell to a still-respectable 18.7%, while their PK took a bigger hit and now sits at an okay 87%. BG's PP is 12.2%, while their PK is effective 74.4% of the time. Eerily similar to Western's numbers...

        As for healthy players who are averaging at least a half a point/game, ND has several. ND is led by Calle Ridderwall with 24 points. Kyle Lawson (22 points), Brett Blatchford and Kevin Deeth (each with 18), Ryan Thang (17), Riley Sheahan (16), Kyle Palmieri (14) and Joey Lavin (6...he's played in 12 games for the Irish) are also in that category. BG has fewer who are averaging at least .5 point/game. They are led by Jordan Samuels-Thomas with 22. He's followed by Tomas Petruska (21), Kyle Page (17) and David Solway (16). Tommy Dee is their PPG leader with 4 man-up tallies.

        Mike Johnson I suspect will be in goal, but this is purely a guess on my part anymore. Coach Jackson used 3 different goalies against WMU to no avail. Maybe Brian Brooke will suit up... Johnson's GA is 2.35 with a save % .920. Still decent numbers. If Brad Phillips gets a start, I suspect it would be Saturday. His GA is 2.47 with a save % of .911. BG should start Nick Eno, although Coach Williams too had to use 3 different netminders last weekend...also to no avail. His GA is 3.25 with a save % of .895. Andrew Hammond has gotten almost as many starts as Eno. His GA is 4.37 with a save % of .879.

        Coach Jackson needs 3 wins to hit 300 in his career. I'm hoping he'll get them before the end of the regular season, but even if ND loses their last 4 games (and I cringe just typing that!), they are still not out of it. Sure they'd have to win 4 of the 6 playoff games to make it to Detroit, but I refuse to give up just yet. I'm figuring on enough points (and certain outcomes from the other CCHA teams) in their last 4 games to put them at 8th place and guessing that they'll play LSSU in the first round. Mathematically, they can't finish lower than 10th (where they are currently), but they also can't finish higher than 5th if my math is correct (best case scenarios).

        JRR Tolkien once said, "Not all those who wander are lost."
        Last edited by Jeff_Jackson_for_Pres.; 02-16-2010, 08:54 PM.
        "Hockey is the only tribe I belong to." --Jack Falla

        "Why, as a matter of fact, I suggested starting a hockey program to Father Callahan, our president. He was downright interested until we came to the use of sticks, and then he threw up his hands. He said, 'No, that game is not for our University. Notre Dame will never endorse any game that puts a club in the hands of an Irishman.' " -- Knute Rockne: All American

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        • Re: The University of Notre Dame Hockey: 09-10. Let's Live It Up!

          Originally posted by Jeff_Jackson_for_Pres. View Post

          I dunno. Getting blown out by Miami seems less yucky than getting blown out by WMU...
          SEEMS less yucky...???

          Originally posted by Jeff_Jackson_for_Pres. View Post

          Mathematically, they can't finish lower than 10th (where they are currently), but they also can't finish higher than 5th if my math is correct (best case scenarios).
          I'm not sure if anyone has the energy to read all this but Notre Dame can actually still finish in at least 4th. Assuming they get to 44 points with 4 wins they can get there. That alone will keep them ahead of UM even if UM sweeps NMU. It will put them ahead of OSU as long as OSU drops at least 2 points to either WMU or MU. It would put them ahead of UNO as long as MU takes at least 4 of the points this weekend. It would keep them ahead of Alaska as long as the 'Nooks earn no more than 5 points against LSSU (tiebreakers would be in effect -- 12 CCHA wins to 10 for UA*). And as long as LSSU takes no more than 8 points in their final two weekends at Alaska and then NMU they'd have 43 points to NDs 44. And it keeps them ahead of NMU as long as NMU loses twice to UM and splits with LSSU the final weekend There may be some different scenarios that can play out for LSSU, UAF, and NMU that can still keep Notre Dame in front with the four wins as well, but I believe all of these outcomes CAN happen with who still plays who. And if we really want to see the glass half full, I guess it is possible to even finish as high as 3rd if Ferris or MSU loses all all four games each has left to play. Seeing as how each has a series against WMU or BGSU that doesn't seem likely. Like the rest of the other things happening are... Now my head hurts a little.



          *I'm assuming the first tiebreaker in case teams have equal points would still be league wins, followed by winning % of games played (12-10-6 being better than 12-11-5 if two teams finish that way and are tied in points due to SOWs and SOLs) then head-to-head, then goal differential head-to-head. Then again, I'm not sure if the tiebreakers have changed with the introduction of the shootout or if the CCHA will use it in any way in figuring winning %. I hope not.

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          • Re: The University of Notre Dame Hockey: 09-10. Let's Live It Up!

            Possibly some good news on the injury front will aid in them in climbing the ladder up the CCHA standings. Not saying for sure or who, but I think some of the injured guys will be back this weekend.

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            • Re: The University of Notre Dame Hockey: 09-10. Let's Live It Up!

              tie breaking procedure in the CCHA (I had it a little wrong earlier):

              CCHA Tiebreaker

              1. Conference Wins

              2. Best regular-season winning percentage against the other team(s) tied for position

              3. Total goals for and against each team in contests between (among) teams tied for position in regular-season play

              4. Best winning percentage of the co-champions against the remaining highest-ranked CCHA teams

              5. Coin Toss

              Shootout results will not be used to break ties in the standings for playoff
              I am worried about BGSU. At some point, they will experience some long overdue success against Notre Dame. And since at this point I don't know how much any regular season games really matter anymore, are the Irish primed for another shockingly bad weekend? Without a 4 game win streak to finish out and a lot of help for a reasonably high finish (4th or 5th, both of which are almost out of reach without so much happening as I noted below) the season can only be salvaged by winning in Detroit sometime around 10:00 p.m on March 20th.

              A number of Irish players sidelined for a while look to be ready to dress, so that helps tremendously. I would love for this team to prove us all wrong and show that the most pressing issues they've dealt with all year long are all injury related, since by this weekend probably all but one regular skater should be ready to go and they may actually be able to skate their top 6 defensemen for the first time all season.

              2 years ago the Irish were staring at a 1-3-3 record in 6 February games. Scoring 3 goals in a game was barely a rumor. Their PWRs were plummeting like the proverbial rock. By the time the CCHA playoffs rolled around they knew that failing to win a first round series would likely end their season short of the NCAA tournament. They dropped the opening game and hadn't experienced a 2 game win streak for nearly 2 months. They lost their leading scorer. Yet somehow, someway, that team found a way to win. They got their 2 game win streak. They clawed their way into the NCAAs. And 6 weeks after leaving behind a less than memorable regular season, they came within 60 minutes (and perhaps some momentum stolen by Greg Shepherd) of celebrating an NCAA championship.

              If you look at the results of this season, if you are one who has witnessed nearly every game the Irish have played so far, it is certainly hard to imagine this team making a similar run. But if you look at the talent assembled and think back to the expectations when you watched that first practice of the season....., is it really all that hard?

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              • Re: The University of Notre Dame Hockey: 09-10. Let's Live It Up!

                Originally posted by me
                ...they are still not out of it.
                Originally posted by IrishHockeyFan View Post
                But if you look at the talent assembled and think back to the expectations when you watched that first practice of the season....., is it really all that hard?
                Apparently, you and I are the only posters willing to go out on a limb and remain (at least to a small degree) optimistic. We'll either look incredibly foresighted...or incredibly foolish.
                "Hockey is the only tribe I belong to." --Jack Falla

                "Why, as a matter of fact, I suggested starting a hockey program to Father Callahan, our president. He was downright interested until we came to the use of sticks, and then he threw up his hands. He said, 'No, that game is not for our University. Notre Dame will never endorse any game that puts a club in the hands of an Irishman.' " -- Knute Rockne: All American

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                • Re: The University of Notre Dame Hockey: 09-10. Let's Live It Up!

                  South Bend Tribune had Cole, Maday & Minella returning - http://www.southbendtribune.com/arti...100219367/1130

                  My blog w/ galleries for the three - http://hockeyphotography.com/blog/20...get-some-help/



                  Help repair my camera gear before the new season starts
                  HockeyPhotography.com - use search to find images of your favorite college player and order prints
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                  • Re: The University of Notre Dame Hockey: 09-10. Let's Live It Up!

                    Originally posted by Jeff_Jackson_for_Pres. View Post
                    Apparently, you and I are the only posters willing to go out on a limb and remain (at least to a small degree) optimistic. We'll either look incredibly foresighted...or incredibly foolish.
                    No, I'm still optimistic as well. This team has shown moments of great potential this season, things just finally need to click. I'm hoping that this is the perfect storm of great players coming back from injury at the end of the year to catapult this team into the NCAA's. Perhaps it will be the total inverse of last year, when I smiled at the #1 flag every day walking to the parking lot, watching ND kicking a** and taking names up and down the ice, only to fall in single elims to Bemidji Who? and have their fantastic run come to a screeching halt. This year they can flounder all season, fall into the basement of the CCHA after walking to both the regular season and playoff championships last year, and maybe make a helluva run at the post-season.
                    Commence finger crossing.....
                    *
                    *
                    *
                    *


                    NOW!

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                    • Re: The University of Notre Dame Hockey: 09-10. Let's Live It Up!

                      Originally posted by Jeff_Jackson_for_Pres. View Post
                      ...go out on a limb and remain (at least to a small degree) optimistic. We'll either look incredibly foresighted...or incredibly foolish.
                      I'm starting to feel foolish.
                      "Hockey is the only tribe I belong to." --Jack Falla

                      "Why, as a matter of fact, I suggested starting a hockey program to Father Callahan, our president. He was downright interested until we came to the use of sticks, and then he threw up his hands. He said, 'No, that game is not for our University. Notre Dame will never endorse any game that puts a club in the hands of an Irishman.' " -- Knute Rockne: All American

                      Comment


                      • Re: The University of Notre Dame Hockey: 09-10. Let's Live It Up!

                        Originally posted by IrishHockeyFan View Post
                        ...are the Irish primed for another shockingly bad weekend?
                        I guess we have our answer.

                        If it is at all possible, I think this loss angered me more than either of the two in Kalamazoo. You'd think with their backs so firmly against the wall, with the most complete complement of players available in forever, with leads of 2-0 and 3-1, with another game against a cellar dwelling team....

                        Awful, awful effort on the part of basically everyone in an Irish sweater, yet again. Awful, awful third period for what seems like the 100th time this season. Bowling Green matches a season high with 4 goals, and for just the second time all season manages a 3 goal period. But these 3 goals come in just a little over 5 minutes and erase a 3-1 lead. Twice Notre Dame scores and on the following shift they come out shockingly flat -- no make that LAZY -- and give up BG scores 26 seconds after the 2nd goal and 51 seconds after the third. Lousy backchecking in front of a weak effort by Johnson is formula for disaster. And disaster found them once again.

                        With no backcheck and bad goaltending in their own end, and still too little offensive creativity in the attack zone is it any wonder for the second time in as many weekends, one of the worst teams in college hockey is able to vacate last place by beating Notre Dame? And it isn't like Western found new life knowing their coach was gone. Since beating Notre Dame they've managed to lose 3 straight by the combined score of 12-4.

                        The 19 or 20 guys who are coming back next year had better take a good long hard look at the effort and preparation they've put forth this season. And they either need to find better leaders, or become better followers. Some weeks ago I posted that this season in some ways seems worse than Poulins last year. I no longer think it just seems worse. It is worse. That team had a quarter of the talent and a coach who had long before reached his ceiling. This team has a coaching staff with championship rings, 9 NHL draft picks (including 2 first-rounders), and 4 classes worth of highly recruited hockey players. That team had nothing to play for in the second half of the season. This team had numerous chances to pull itself out of their free-fall and save a decent season. That team at least had a signature win. This team has 3 straight signature losses against last place teams.

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                        • Re: The University of Notre Dame Hockey: 09-10. Let's Live It Up!

                          University of Notre Dame hockey: providing a confidence boost to the bottom feeders of the CCHA since 2009.

                          Comment


                          • Re: The University of Notre Dame Hockey: 09-10. Let's Live It Up!

                            Originally posted by StillaLeafsFan View Post
                            University of Notre Dame hockey: providing a confidence boost to the bottom feeders of the CCHA since 2009.
                            2010, rather.

                            We were inconsistent in the fall, but not taking the absolutely soul-crushing losses we've had in this series and the last.
                            Northeastern Huskies Class of 1998 / BS Chemical Engineering
                            Notre Dame Fighting Irish Class of 2011 / PhD Chemical Engineering

                            But then again, isn't holding forth on an extreme opinion from a position of complete ignorance what these boards are all about? -- from a BigSoccer post by kerrunch

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                            • Re: The University of Notre Dame Hockey: 09-10. Let's Live It Up!

                              Originally posted by IrishHockeyFan View Post
                              Awful, awful effort on the part of basically everyone in an Irish sweater, yet again.
                              I dunno, Thang had a decent game, figuring in all three goals and wasn't on the ice for any of Bowling Greens. So that's what, one out of 21?

                              I found this quote from Rick Shanley's blog kind of interesting:

                              Originally posted by Rick Shanley
                              Then there was the rumor last week that players were “concerned” they had saved Culhane’s job with their weekend sweep of Notre Dame. That information, combined with individual stories I’ve heard first-hand from former players, paints a rather ugly picture of the culture inside the program.
                              If true it leads me to believe that some of their guys aren't going full speed. To lose so badly to a team in the midst of a near mutiny, or even one where just a player or two isn't laying it all on the line makes these recent games all the more hard to stomach.

                              Comment


                              • Re: The University of Notre Dame Hockey: 09-10. Let's Live It Up!

                                Going from the possibility (albeit pie-in-the-sky variety) of finishing 3rd given hard work and help from others to being able to finish no better than 8th now in a matter of 25 hours...well...it just blows. I never ever thought travelling in the first round would have been even an obscure threat to this team when the season started. Hell, wasn't even considering that scenario as near as a month ago. Now, that is most likely what will transpire because if this team can't beat Western or BG...they ain't beatin' Michigan.

                                I never envisioned welcoming a senior class's departure...until now.
                                "Hockey is the only tribe I belong to." --Jack Falla

                                "Why, as a matter of fact, I suggested starting a hockey program to Father Callahan, our president. He was downright interested until we came to the use of sticks, and then he threw up his hands. He said, 'No, that game is not for our University. Notre Dame will never endorse any game that puts a club in the hands of an Irishman.' " -- Knute Rockne: All American

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