Friday, January 21, 2011

Hatred Pt. III

Ahhh, let the hatred commence.  Tonight the Eagles take on their safety school Boston University at Agganis.  The game starts at and is being broadcast on NESN for those Superfans not making the trek to the shady part of Comm Ave.

Tonight’s game looks to be an interesting contest between familiar foes.  On the one hand, anytime you’re playing BU the emotions are going to skyrocket.  Guys skate harder, finish their checks, and generally play with added intensity.  On the other hand, this game comes sandwiched between the home and home series in December and the Beanpot.  I don’t doubt Coach (King) York will have our boys ready to play, but if it is possible to overlook any BU game, I am worried this may be it.  Throw in a hostile environment as the Eagles play in front of a gaggle of screaming fanboys, and you have a definite level of unpredictability.

Even so, the Eagles have to be the favorite tonight.  So far this season, BC has outscored BU 14 – 7 and one could argue that over half the Terrier’s goals came in garbage time.  That weekend in early December, the more experienced Eagles got up early and never looked back.  BU looked very much like who they are – a very talented, very well coached, but at the same time, a young and largely inexperienced team.  I am of the opinion that this year BU plays right into BC’s strengths.  The Terrier defensemen are both talented and young.  They have the ability to create many scoring opportunities but also play risky and give up a lot of turnovers and breakaways. BC is loaded with quick and crafty forwards who make a living off generating turnovers and odd-man rushes.  The match-up this year simply seems to favor the Eagles.

Despite a favorable match-up and experienced forwards like Cammy “C-Money” Atkinson, Eagle fans have little reason to be complacent.  BC’s two wins in December were far from perfect.  We saw perhaps the quintessential example of this team’s penchant for foolish penalties on the Friday night game at Agganis.  BC gave BU the power play an absolutely absurd 15 times!  The saving grace for the Eagles was the Terrier’s atrocious power play and BC’s 2 shorties.  On the weekend BC scored as many shorthanded goals as BU did power play goals.  The Eagles have relied on their excellent penalty kill too much this season and need to cut back on the dumb penalties.  One worries that this is not likely to change as the Eagles take on their hated rival.

Clear the schedule and throw on the maroon and gold. It’s always exciting when one of the greatest rivalries in college sports renews itself.  It’s hockey night in Boston, don’t forget your safety school banners.

Drop the puck.

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