Previews a Plenty, RamblingsPosted by: ron
The CHN Staff has been plenty busy putting together season previews for each conference. Checking out the CHA Preview this evening, I’m reminded that not only does the CHA have by far the coolest logo since the old-school “ECAC Olympic Torch,” but also that even though the conference only has five teams, they’re all not pushovers. In particular Niagara, Bemidji State and Alabama-Huntsville all just feel established enough to be dangerous. Wayne State has been around for awhile and has an tournament berth to its credit, and Robert Morris is just the new kid on the block.
The Hockey East preview doesn’t surprise me much. Over the past few years it’s become choosing between New Hampshire, Maine, BC, and BU. Once in awhile a team looks like it’s going to break into the establishment. Last year Vermont and Providence. In previous years UMass-Amherst and UMass-Lowell. Is this the year it happens?
In the WCHA Preview, I was surprised that Minnesota was picked first despite essentially creating an AHL team this summer. I would’ve swapped them with the Badgers but I’m an east coast guy, so what do I know!
Taking a quick swing around the blogsphere:
Western College Hockey picked Michigan State to win the CCHA and Minnesota to win the WCHA. The man is so far ahead on his previews, you’ll have to check his archives.
Clarkson Hockey Fans picked Clarkson to take the ECAC. It felt like a homer pick.. but it’s legit. Really.
Hockey East Blog has Boston College pegged at #1. Surprise! After this evening’s 5-2 victory over Northeastern to open conference play.. they’re in first place!
The RIT Corner Crew tabbed Mercyhurst to take the Atlantic.
Also, it’s good to see dgoddard’s “All Bad-Boyz Team” is back this season, with the induction of three Yale players to the team. His summary is here. (By the way, they picked DU to go all the way this year in the WCHA using the ultra-scientific “Super Poll.”)
October 11th, 2006 at 12:59 pm
There’s no question that BC, BU, Maine and UNH are the four strongest teams in Hockey East, but in the 22 year history of the league tournament, guess how many times those four have all made it to the semifinals?
4. But — it has happened both of the last two seasons, in addition to 1990 and 2000.
No surprise that we at CHN have those four as our top four again this season in Hockey East, but it would not surprise me to see Providence in particular challenge for home ice and possibly even get it.
Long term the question is always whether or not one of the other teams can move ahead of one of the “Big Four” on a regular basis. But new arenas at UMass and Lowell have not had a long-lasting effect on those teams’ fortunes, for example — nor the hiring of new coaches who built impressive resumes at non-Hockey East schools (Cahoon at Princeton, MacDonald at Niagara). Barring a down period for one of the Big Four teams (UNH middle to late 80s, BC middle 90s, a couple recent years BU had), it remains a big mountain to climb.