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Merrimack Offseason thread - preseason rank 10th again? I think not

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  • Salvo1017
    replied
    Re: Merrimack Offseason thread - preseason rank 10th again? I think not

    Originally posted by Hokydad View Post
    Opinions vary there as well


    I do not see, outside getting lucky with DeCosta,
    It's Da Costa

    And I still think the fact that this team can skate with anyone is a good example as to how far they've come. As little as 3 years ago this team would be constantly getting blown out...in embarrassing losses.

    To go into Wisconsin's arena and nearly beat them? That is something that just did not even come close to happening in years past...it would be unthinkable. Conference games against BC and BU were laughable as they would often beat us with scores in the realm of 7-1. This doesn't happen anymore and every Merrimack coach, player, and fan has reason to believe that they are capable of beating any opponent on any given night.

    Leave a comment:


  • Hokydad
    replied
    Re: Merrimack Offseason thread - preseason rank 10th again? I think not

    Originally posted by Salvo1017 View Post
    By tremendous talent I didn't necessarily mean top notch play worthy of being nationally ranked in the pre-season poll, nor did I mean talent that could dominate any team in the country. I meant it in relation to what this team has been in the past.

    I guess what I was suggesting was that I personally think they have more talent than they get credit for and last season was evidence to that. They took something in the realm of 14 1-goal losses two years ago and started to turn those into wins.

    Like I said, do I expect them to be able dominate the perennial powers of college hockey...no of course not, but what we've seen recently is that they have the ability to grind it out and play 60 minutes of hockey with any team in the nation, NoDak, Wisconsin, BC, BU, you name it. That comes from the increased talent of recruits.

    Do they have tremendous talent compared to the BC's of college hockey..no...do they have tremendous talent compared to the Merrimack team of 4 years ago...absolutely. No knock to the teams of old, but quite frankly the talent level of recruits we've been getting has steadily increased.
    Opinions vary there as well

    they still lost 10-1 goal games last year and were brutal on the road, sign of a good team and teams that can handle pressure.

    Here is where MC's freshmen came from
    BCHL 3
    NAHL 1
    EJHL 1
    AJHL 1
    SJHL 1

    BCHL is not on par with USHL, not even close.
    NAHL is a joke and studs from that league become 3rd or 4th liners when pulled up to USHL
    EJHL is ok but not close to BCHL
    AJ(canadian not the one in mass) and SJ are terrible leagues.

    For example, Northeastern and Lowell have 6 each coming from USHL alone.

    You might think they are great recruits but 20 year olds playing in the AJHL or SJHL were there for a reason and any success they had has to be discounted when playing vs 16-18 year olds in a C league. Merrimack speant a tremendous amnount of time in the USHL scouting etc and did not get one impact player out of there.

    Say what you want but the teams who "could never finish aghead of MC" are getting it done on the recruiting side. Albie, who left MC to be an asst at NU is getting the job done and killed MC in recruiting last season. They just landed the kid Angelini from the Steel, he is 6'4" and can fly, great F.

    I do not see, outside getting lucky with DeCosta, where they are getting better kids now than in the past. Every team outside UMA has more NHL draft picks, even PC has more on their roster.

    NU has 5 draft picks and that does not count Oleksiak who could be a first rounder this year as he is a December 92.
    Last edited by Hokydad; 09-28-2010, 12:43 PM.

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  • Salvo1017
    replied
    Re: Merrimack Offseason thread - preseason rank 10th again? I think not

    By tremendous talent I didn't necessarily mean top notch play worthy of being nationally ranked in the pre-season poll, nor did I mean talent that could dominate any team in the country. I meant it in relation to what this team has been in the past.

    I guess what I was suggesting was that I personally think they have more talent than they get credit for and last season was evidence to that. They took something in the realm of 14 1-goal losses two years ago and started to turn those into wins.

    Like I said, do I expect them to be able dominate the perennial powers of college hockey...no of course not, but what we've seen recently is that they have the ability to grind it out and play 60 minutes of hockey with any team in the nation, NoDak, Wisconsin, BC, BU, you name it. That comes from the increased talent of recruits.

    Do they have tremendous talent compared to the BC's of college hockey..no...do they have tremendous talent compared to the Merrimack team of 4 years ago...absolutely. No knock to the teams of old, but quite frankly the talent level of recruits we've been getting has steadily increased.

    Leave a comment:


  • Nick Papagiorgio
    replied
    Re: Merrimack Offseason thread - preseason rank 10th again? I think not

    That's fine but they don't have "tremendous talent". Few programs do. They have one tremendously talented guy. And a few other ok players. They are a very long way away from having "tremendous talent"...

    Leave a comment:


  • Hokydad
    replied
    Re: Merrimack Offseason thread - preseason rank 10th again? I think not

    also, dont get carried away with collins. he is ok but would not be close to being considered a stud. Speed will be an issue

    Leave a comment:


  • Salvo1017
    replied
    Re: Merrimack Offseason thread - preseason rank 10th again? I think not

    haha my apologies posting from a mobile device kind of stinks

    I just don't see NU, UML, UMass, or PC at the same level as MC...now Vermont that's a different story. MC should be able to finish above those other 4 teams with ease...which leaves the lowest acceptable finish in my mind to be 6th place behind BU and UVM

    Leave a comment:


  • Nick Papagiorgio
    replied
    Re: Merrimack Offseason thread - preseason rank 10th again? I think not

    Originally posted by Salvo1017 View Post
    Personally I think finishing 7th or 8th would really be a failure on the part of this team. They have tremendous tallent,
    This is right about where you lost me and not because of the spelling.

    Leave a comment:


  • Federal League
    replied
    Re: Merrimack Offseason thread - preseason rank 10th again? I think not

    Originally posted by HockeyJM1902 View Post
    IMHO, i don't think there is any more fly under the radar this day and age. With the amount of digital film, youtube, and regional tape regarding college hockey it's hard to fly under the radar at all. The only reason Merrimack was able to do it was because absolutely no-one saw this coming.

    This year there is no where to hide at all, whether it's HE or an outside of the division opponent. MC will need to fight and claw for every point they earn. In my opinion if they succeed this year and finish higher in the standings than last it's a greater accomplishment than last year.
    I don't think anyone can fly under a coach's radar. You can definitely fly under players' radars, though. A coach can prepare his team as much as he wants, but ultimately it's up to the players to take a game against Merrimack or Providence as seriously as they take a game against BC. I can assure you that doesn't always happen. But I'm willing to bet more players around the league are gonna take Merrimack seriously this year.

    Leave a comment:


  • Salvo1017
    replied
    Re: Merrimack Offseason thread - preseason rank 10th again? I think not

    Personally I think finishing 7th or 8th would really be a failure on the part of this team. They have tremendous tallent, more so than I think they're getting credit for.

    Da Costa and Barton returning and throw the new stud freshman Collins in plus an improved Velecca...I see this team scoring a lot of goals. The special team combinations is what is going to make this team.

    Yes they have expectations to deal with, yes they have to deal with teams being prepared for them but in all honesty, I think they have more than enough talent to deal with it.

    What are people's predictions for line assignments? I know it's early but it's always fun to play the game

    Leave a comment:


  • HockeyJM1902
    replied
    Re: Merrimack Offseason thread - preseason rank 10th again? I think not

    IMHO, i don't think there is any more fly under the radar this day and age. With the amount of digital film, youtube, and regional tape regarding college hockey it's hard to fly under the radar at all. The only reason Merrimack was able to do it was because absolutely no-one saw this coming.

    This year there is no where to hide at all, whether it's HE or an outside of the division opponent. MC will need to fight and claw for every point they earn. In my opinion if they succeed this year and finish higher in the standings than last it's a greater accomplishment than last year.

    Leave a comment:


  • Slasher7
    replied
    Re: Merrimack Offseason thread - preseason rank 10th again? I think not

    The best time to play BC is either in January (when they usually struggle for some reason) or the game right after the Beanpot final. Beyond that, well, good luck.

    Leave a comment:


  • WarriorDJ
    replied
    Re: Merrimack Offseason thread - preseason rank 10th again? I think not

    Originally posted by Carmine Scarpaglia View Post
    I think the point remains to see what these guys do with expectations. We saw what happened with Lowell this year, a program not used to those expectations. Merrimack is similar in that they had a very mediocre year in the prior year (but amazing for their standards) and yet everyone is talking about them. Surely those Lowell players had expectations on them throughout their hockey career. But they gacked a furball all year long.
    Good comparison, I think Merrimack will have a similar weight on their shoulders. However, UML had it much worse last season:

    -They were ranked as high as third in the nation. (MC only got a handful of votes)
    -They went to the title game in 2008-2009. (MC went to the QFs in 09-10)
    -They had a "must win now" senior class of eleven. (MC will graduate seven in 10-11)

    So basically, in terms of national recognition, this Merrimack team could still fly under the radar. In terms of Hockey East play: there is nowhere to hide.

    Leave a comment:


  • Carmine Scarpaglia
    replied
    Re: Merrimack Offseason thread - preseason rank 10th again? I think not

    Originally posted by Salvo1017 View Post
    They're gonna be amped for sure but wouldn't that just be an amazing win for the warriors? And then to go back to our own barn the next day?
    Keep dreaming. Even if Merrimack were to win at Conte on banner-raising night, would that really be something to go nuts over compared to beating BC on any other night?

    Originally posted by WarriorDJ View Post
    One key factor that has not been discussed: Merrimack plays BC three times before December this season. If the Eagles' season began anything like their prior season, they will not be unbeatable out of the gate.

    Given the choice, I would rather face BC early in the season vs late in the season when they have had a chance to gel and develop line chemistry...
    Sure and MC won't have line chemistry either. Of course, Gibbons-Whitney-Atkinson has been together for a while so I doubt chemistry will be a problem.

    Truth be told, the best time to play them might be closer to the end of the year and pray that get decimated by injuries. The earlier in the season the more likely they are to all be healthy. Getting BC in January usually works well, they start pretty well usually, slump in January and then go berserk starting in late Feb.

    This year I think playing BC early is bad news but who knows...

    I think the point remains to see what these guys do with expectations. We saw what happened with Lowell this year, a program not used to those expectations. Merrimack is similar in that they had a very mediocre year in the prior year (but amazing for their standards) and yet everyone is talking about them. Surely those Lowell players had expectations on them throughout their hockey career. But they gacked a furball all year long.
    Last edited by Carmine Scarpaglia; 09-27-2010, 10:39 PM.

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  • Salvo1017
    replied
    Re: Merrimack Offseason thread - preseason rank 10th again? I think not

    I think the point made above about Ovechkin vs Crosby is a good one, Stephane could definitely benefit from adding a few more pounds as long as he doesn't lose that quickness.

    As far as expectations are concerned...I'm fully confident in the coaching staff to make it a non-factor. What might be a concern is other teams not looking past the warriors when they play them...

    I talked about this earlier, I believe every hockey east team prepares to the best of their ability to play on any given game...that being said..when a team has a recent history of being one of the worst in the conference you tend to maybe look past them a little bit....if that happened last year you can be sure it won't this year.

    So, I guess what I'm getting at is that these kids all come from great hockey backgrounds playing for some really elite prep and junior teams...I'm sure they can handle the expectation, but after a year of watching stephane he does have weaknesses (we saw them exploited in the BU playoff series). Teams will be ready for him.

    Leave a comment:


  • WarriorDJ
    replied
    Re: Merrimack Offseason thread - preseason rank 10th again? I think not

    Originally posted by HockeyJM1902 View Post
    irish,

    i will say that you make a valid point with the junior hockey portion of this. I didn't think back to that point for most of these skaters. I do think (and you also mentioned it a little) that this is far beyond what most of these guys are used to dealing with though.
    Referencing the freshman:

    Mike Collins won two RBC Cups in juniors, it's probably safe to say he is battle tested when it comes to fan expectations.

    Tom McCarthy won a title last year with the Bismarck Bobcats of the NAHL. I am assuming the long playoff run can only be good for his development as well.

    Ultimately, the challenge for these kids (the freshmen) is adjusting to the older players and speed/physicality of Hockey East. Some grasp it quicker than others...we'll see how it goes starting on Oct 9.

    Leave a comment:

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