Tonight King York’s Eagles will be taking on Cheating Greg Cronin’s Northeastern Huskies in the semi-finals of the Hockey East Tournament. The winner will play Saturday night for the Lamoriello Trophy. Should our mighty Eagles make it to Saturday night, they would take on the winner of UNH-Merrimack’s Friday night game. All games will be played at the Garden. Up to this point I have not been in the habit of making predictions regarding the outcome of individual games. That’s largely because if one’s predictions are wrong, he looks foolish. And in my short time on this good planet, I have realized 2 things. The first is that I am wrong, a lot. Second, I don’t need any help making myself look foolish. Today though, I’m feeling lucky! Make the jump for my thoughts and prediction of the outcome tonight.
First off, congrats to Jerry York a.k.a. “the greatest man in the world”) who was awarded Hockey East Coach of the Year. To be honest, I was surprised the award went to
. I mean, it’s not that our man didn’t deserve it – pretty sure he deserves every award ever. I just thought it was a forgone conclusion that Coach of the Year would go to Mark Dennehy a.k.a. “ York ’s Head Coach.” I guess following up a National Championship with a regular season title with a loaded team gets you Coach of the Year in Hockey East. Hmm, I’ll take it. Merrimack
Now, onto tonight’s game. This has got to be one of the most anticipated non-Beanpot match ups between these two teams. The 3 regular season games and Beanpot final were incredibly close. The Beanpot final has been considered by some the game of the year in Hockey East. So needless to say, most people are expecting another nail-biter tonight.
Not me though. Nope, I’m going out on a limb here and saying the Eagles win with relative ease. Or at least as much as one can in the Semi-finals of a conference tournament. Why am I going against conventional wisdom, and predicting a bankable BC win? Well for one, if BC does happen to skate by fairly easily I look like a genius. And (less importantly) I think BC is due for a little Husky-slapping.
Okay, so I don’t really think BC is going to dominate NU. I would be very surprised to see any sort of a barn-burner by either team. I have a lot of respect for Northeastern. I think at this point it’s clear that they are one of the top teams in Hockey East this year (which is really saying something). It’s not out of disrespect for the Huskies that I am saying BC wins tonight. Northeastern, hustles as much as any team BC as played this year and they have played us as well as any team this year.
In part, Northeastern playing BC just the right way, is the reason I think BC wins. As I noted after the last game, Northeastern’s strategy of 5 guys on the line, 5 guys in the zone has been very troubling for BC with their record against NU this year sitting at
2-1-1. Even so, in each of the past 4 games there were a lot of other things going wrong for BC. I know some people think the tightness of the past games was a sign that NU had us “figured out.” I think that’s only partially true. They did play exactly as they should have, but still BC is talented enough to overcome this. We only outscored them by 2 goals in the previous 4 games but out shot them by a staggering 155 to 109. Granted not all these shots were quality scoring opportunities, but still such a dominant shooting advantage should produce better than a 2-1-1 record. Also, in 2 of the games BC gave up 6+ goals. With the way Muse plays in big games, I don’t see anything like that happening tonight.
All things considered. I see BC winning by say couple-ish goals. Not a blow-out, the game always somewhat in doubt, but not a nail-biter either. I’m saying BC 5 – NU 2. Leave your predictions in the comments (and tell me why I’m a fool).