Hockey Update: First Stretch Analysis

With a 10-4-2 overall record after their first stretch of games, the Boston College Eagles have been flying high, though that certainly isn’t to say they haven’t hit headwinds.

BC opened the season with a relatively venerable record, yet this squad has proved that it cannot break from inconsistency. And I’m not talking about winning a handful of games, and subsequently losing a game—the Eagles have been pretty consistent in preserving that pattern. I’m talking about winning big as underdogs and losing big as favorites.

hockey

Photo courtesy of Selly Sallah/Gavel Media.

After a 9-2 beatdown against No. 2 Wisconsin early in the season, you’d wonder why BC isn’t the top ranked team in the country. After a more recent 5-1 loss against an unranked Maine team, you’d wonder why BC is even ranked.

BC Fans have seen promising signs, featuring wins against powerhouse teams like Rensselaer, Wisconsin, Northeastern, Boston University, Harvard, and New Hampshire. BC fans have also seen some not-so-promising signs, featuring losses against Michigan, Minnesota, Maine, and Holy Cross and ties against Minnesota and Massachusetts.

When the Eagles are good, they’re a stupefying good team that looks like an NHL team in comparison to their adversary. But when the Eagles are bad, things fall apart. This volatility has, at times, left fans wondering what BC team will take the ice each game—the Eagles that score 11 points in a game (see Boston College vs. Army), or the Eagles that lose to Holy Cross?

Take my (slightly dramatized) analysis with a grain of salt, though.

While this BC team has—at times—appeared to be mercurial, the past has shown us that it certainly isn’t anything to be concerned about. Why? Well, what do the 2007-2008, 2009-2010, and 2011-2012 Eagles have in common? They’ve all won a national championship. What do they also have in common? Far-from-flawless records—especially during their first 16 games.

The 2007-2008 Eagles posted a relatively mediocre 7-4-5 record for their first sixteen games; the 2009-2010 Eagles posted a 10-4-2 record (coincidence? I think not); and the 2011-2012 Eagles posted an 11-5-0 record.

Photo courtesy of michigancollegehockey.blogspot.com.

Photo courtesy of michigancollegehockey.blogspot.com.

Though these records are far from egregious, not a single one screams ‘National Championship Winners.'

This is college hockey after all. No team is immune to upsets, flukes, and sloppy gameplay. With a schedule as grueling as BC’s, a 10-4-2 record is admirable at the very least.

Since the postseason is several months away, so long as the Eagles keep playing the way they do and evading injuries, this team will be setting itself up for another playoff run.

hockey10

Photo courtesy of Selly Sallah/Gavel Media.

With a crafty offense led by (do we have to say arguably anymore?) the best player in college hockey, junior Johnny Gaudreau, who has registered 28 points—alongside seniors Kevin Hayes (24 pts) and Bill Arnold (20 pts), a burly and astute defensive squad headlined by sophomore Michael Matheson and freshman Ian McCoshen, an interchangeable core of talented goaltenders, and the all-time winningest coach in men’s NCAA hockey, Jerry York, nobody is denying that the components to another championship-caliber squad are in place. For the remainder of the season, the trick will be correctly assembling them.

Follow @BCGavelSports on Twitter for the latest updates on Boston College athletics.

Featured image courtesy of Selly Sallah/Gavel Media.

Comments