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INCH Archive: Chats
Joe Gladziszewski (2:30 PM)
Inside College Hockey is back to talk college pucks with you for the next half hour here at ESPN.com. We hope everyone had a great thanksgiving, got to see some good games across the nation, and best wishes through the month of December. Submit your questions now.
What do you think the chance is that cornell will make it in the NCAA and if yes what do they have to improve on to be a contender.
Joe Gladziszewski (2:32 PM)
I think the chances for Cornell to make the NCAA Tournament are near 100 percent, based on their first eight games. They're clearly one of the top two teams in ECAC Hockey, and earned a huge win at Princeton in the season-opener. There's depth, a stingy defense, and excellent focus. This is a very good team.
Troy (Rhinelander, Wis.)
Which is the real Badgers team? The pre-Halloween version or the since-Halloween version? And will they get home ice in the WCHA playoffs?
Jess Myers (2:34 PM)
It seems strange, but it may be an even worse idea to predict who's a top-five team at this time of year than it is in October, before any games have been played. At least in October, you have an excuse. Now, you should know better. But if you force my hand, I'll say no, the Badgers are not home ice worthy yet. They're clearly not as bad as their 0-6-1 start indicated, but there are enough points of instability on offense and in goal that I'd have to pencil them into something in the 6th- or 7th-place range, not the 4th- or 5th-place range.
I know BU has struggled over the past few weeks and has had some players benched, but looked better against St. Lawrence. Do you think they will return to the form we saw earlier this season against BC this weekend?
Jeff Howe (2:35 PM)
The problems with BU in seasons past, and this sounds similar, is players not showing up for every game. BU is in the same class with BC as far as talent is concerned, and there's no better team to face to reignite that fire than your bitter rival.
Tom (Dollar Bay, Mich.)
With four mediocre teams headed to the Joe, this will be the least-interesting GLI ever!
Joe Gladziszewski (2:37 PM)
I'll disagree with this opinion. The lack of a proven national power might make it more interesting. Any of the four teams could win, despite the struggles of Michigan State and Michigan Tech, and less than stellar starts from North Dakota and Michigan. The Wolverines will be without forwards Matt Rust and Aaron Palushaj due to World Juniors. Hard to pick a favorite right now for the Great Lakes Invitational.
Jim (Starkweather, ND)
Some people argue that Toews left Grand Forks a year too early. Did Finley and Duncan stay a year too late?
Jess Myers (2:39 PM)
I would never argue that a player should leave college early. Selfishly, college hockey people like watching them play for four years, and it's fun to see what an upperclassmen-dominated team with skill can do. With that said, his nagging injury notwithstanding, Finley probably could have made an impact in the AHL or even the NHL this season, with his blessings of size and skill. Duncan is a dynamic player and the success of people like Brian Gionta, Martin St. Louis and Nathan Gerbe has shown that smaller college guys can make a living in this game. But not having Toews and Oshie around him may be hurting the perception of Duncan's offensive potential.
Gus (Old Tappan)
Is Clarkson's dismal start a sign of how the rest of the season will go or do they have a chance to turn it around and make a run at an NCCA bid?
Joe Gladziszewski (2:42 PM)
I think Clarkson will turn things around when they get healthy, but I don't think the turnaround will be great enough to get them back into the NCAAs, basically because there are two excellent teams in Princeton and Cornell atop ECAC Hockey and a handful of others that are tough to beat. Clarkson is in that group, and will be dangerous in the second half.
John (Waltham, MA)
Given the results in Hockey East so far are you willing to predict who will finish where and make a prediction about who will win the Beanpot?
Jeff Howe (2:43 PM)
I'm still sticking with BC to win Hockey East, and I think BU will likely finish second. From there, I'd say it'll be a good battle between Vermont, Northeastern and UMass Lowell to grab the last two home-ice spots. As for the Beanpot, I could pick the best team in the tournament this season (BC) or the best team in Beanpot history (BU). It totally depends what kind of streak each team is on two months from now.
Jeff (Chesterfield, VA)
Does Air Force's success this season help or hurt the prospects for D-I hockey at Navy in the future?
Jess Myers (2:45 PM)
Funny, but when I spoke to folks at Navy about hockey last year, somebody there claimed that the Washington Capitals' mediocre ticket sales were proof that there wasn't a lot of hockey interest in the DC area. With fewer and fewer empty seats for Caps games, I wonder what they think now? Navy has the rink in place, and the Falcons have shown that you can win with military academy talent, so the excuses for not having hockey at Navy are disappearing fast.
brian custer, mishawaka, indiana
INCH gave Notre Dame the #1 ranking in the latest poll. That didn't sit well with miami redHawk fans. Do you think the irish are deserving of that lofty post at this point?
Joe Gladziszewski (2:47 PM)
Obviously we do, or we wouldn't have put them there. Miami fans need to stop feeling slighted by beating Notre Dame in a head-to-head series and start feeling proud of the team's biggest wins of the season. Notre Dame is the hottest team in the nation right now, running off eight wins and two ties in its last 10 games since that Miami series six weeks ago.
Ed (Boston, MA)
If BU is to turn around their form to what it was early in the season, are there any players in particular you think will have to step up (other than the obvious answer of captains)?
Jeff Howe (2:49 PM)
There's such a wealth of talent on that roster that it's hard to point at one or two people individually, but if you look back to last season, the Terriers started to play well when Colin Wilson and Nick Bonino caught fire in the second half.
Joe Gladziszewski (2:50 PM)
... and Wilson and Bonino were freshmen last year. There's a deep and talented freshman class at BU again this year, so those players might really start to make an impact in the second half, having adjusted to the different demands of college hockey.
Dick (Florence, AZ)
Been watching a lot of college hockey on the dish this winter and I'm amazed at some of the unexpected stars emerging. In your opinion, which player has been the biggest surprise so far?
Mike Eidelbes (2:52 PM)
I happened to catch Notre Dame in person last weekend, and Calle Ridderwall has made the leap that Jeff Jackson predicted at the '08 Frozen Four. In that sense, I guess it's no surprise, but here's a guy who scored seven points last season; he's got 18 points in 15 games thus far. I'm also impressed with the way BC's Brock Bradford and Minnesota's Ryan Stoa have bounced back after missing all of last season with injuries.
Jon (Hamden, CT)
Thoughts on Quinnipiac so this year and are the NCAA's a reality this year?
Joe Gladziszewski (2:54 PM)
The NCAAs are definitely a reality. I can confirm that they will happen. As far as Quinnipiac's participation ... not so sure about that. They're in the same situation that some of the other middle-tier teams of ECAC Hockey. They're good enough to beat some people, make a run at a top-four spot in the standings and win a playoff series, but I don't think they're good enough to overtake Princeton or Cornell.
Two part question, first off I was able to catch the CC AF game last weekend along with the AF DU game. Were you guys as impressed with the academy as I was and do you see them making a slash in the tourny this year? Part two: The Sioux travel to Harvard this week, do you guys see a strong weekend out of them b/c to me they seem like the Gophers of last year, good overall talent, poor results...
Joe Gladziszewski (2:57 PM)
Personally, I am impressed with what Air Force has done. They've taken care of business in Atlantic Hockey and got a good win over Colorado College and played Denver tough. It used to be considered a "bye" to the second round when you drew the Atlantic Hockey rep in the NCAA bracket, but I don't think there's a single team in the nation that'll want to match up against the Falcons and that high-scoring offense in this year's NCAAs.
Joe Gladziszewski (2:58 PM)
... second part of the question - North Dakota does have some talent. Not so sure about their goaltending, and seemed to get a spark from its offense with seven goals last weekend against Cornell. But then, just one goal the next night. For North Dakota to have success in the standings, they've got to be more consistent.
Corey (Lexington, MA)
Do you think NU can finish the season first in Hockey East and beat its cross town rivals in the Beanpot this year? Or is this team just overachieving at the beginning of the season again?
Jeff Howe (2:59 PM)
Northeastern is definitely not overachieving and has a very good chance to finish in the top four of the standings by season's end, but I'm not sure the Huskies have enough to sustain this pace and outlast Boston College or Boston University. While their 7-2-1 record in Hockey East is no doubt impressive, their lead in the standings is a tad misleading in that they've also constantly been ahead in the games-played department.
Joe Gladziszewski (3:00 PM)
Thanks for stopping by to talk college hockey with us. Check out InsideCollegeHockey.com for the latest on the college players involved in the upcoming World Junior Championships and, of course, comprehensive coverage from all of college hockey's leagues in our notebooks.