Chat with Inside College Hockey
Welcome to SportsNation! On Friday, the experts from Inside College Hockey will stop by to take your questions about the 2010-11 season.
ESPN and Inside College Hockey team up to bring you the latest NCAA college hockey news, scores, schedules, and more.
Send your questions now and join INCH Friday at 2 p.m. ET!
Joe Gladziszewski (2:00 PM)
Welcome back to the college hockey season. Inside College Hockey writers and editors will be taking your questions each week, Fridays at 2 p.m. ET.
Joe Gladziszewski (2:01 PM)
We'll be here for the next 30 minutes taking your questions on Division I college hockey.
George (Durham, NH)
Which player has been the biggest surprise this year and who has been the biggest disappointment?
Joe Gladziszewski (2:02 PM)
Let's start with the biggest disappointment, and we'll look at North Dakota goaltender Brad Eidsness. He earned preseason all-league and All-American type consideration and just hasn't performed well for North Dakota. Big things are expected from the Sioux, but they'll need at least good goaltending to achieve those goals. Aaron Dell got both starts last week for North Dakota.
Joe Gladziszewski (2:05 PM)
For the biggest positive surprise (and maybe this is where you're coming from in Durham, N.H.) INCH reigning national player of the week Matt DiGirolamo, goalie at UNH, has stepped in very nicely to fill the void left by the graduation of Brian Foster. Had a chance to see New Hampshire in person earlier this season and came away very impressed. They'll be right there, as usual, contending for a Hockey East title against the likes of BC, BU and Maine.
Hobey Baker prediction??
Joe Gladziszewski (2:06 PM)
Gustav Nyquist, Maine.
Gus (Hockey Swamp, NJ)
Clarkson goalie Karpowich has been hot and cold so far this season. Does he have the ability to make Clarkson a contender in teh ECAC?
Joe Gladziszewski (2:08 PM)
Contender might be too strong of a word at this point in the season. The Golden Knights have a long way to go after finishing at the bottom of ECAC Hockey last year. This year's team has better chemistry and Karpowich will be an important part of their team. Everything is very close in ECAC Hockey, and one or two good weekends could be the difference between fourth and 10th place in the standings. I still think Yale, Union and RPI are the teams to beat. Clarkson could vie for a top-six spot and that would show nice improvement this season.
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
Will we ever see RPI in the Frozen Four in College Hockey?
Joe Gladziszewski (2:10 PM)
"Ever" is a long time. So I'll say yes. This year? Probably not, but I expect Rensselaer to be in the running for a spot in the national tournament. This program has improved steadily, and they have their sights on being one of the nation's elite programs.
Joe Schmidt (Bay City, MI)
Is Ryan Miller the Tim Lincecum of hockey, or is Tim Lincecum the Ryan Miller of baseball?
Joe Gladziszewski (2:12 PM)
That seems like a question better answered during INCH Podcast Deterioration. I'll just say this ... if Miller can go on a playoff run similar to the one that Lincecum just completed, and Miller ends up with his name on the Stanley Cup, it won't matter which was more like the other.
Joe Gladziszewski (2:13 PM)
Now sending it over to Jess Myers, WCHA Senior Writer, to take a few questions on teams from that side of the college hockey landscape.
Hello. What are your thoughts on the Minnesota Gophers this season? Do you believe that they should fire Coach Don Lucia or give him another chance? He's had success in the past, but over the past few years, anything but success, so I just want input from you guys.
Jess Myers (2:15 PM)
This Minnesota team is not going to win the NCAA or even the WCHA, but we're a long way from considering a trip to Mariucci an easy weekendfor any opposing team. As for Don Lucia, I feel it would be a huge mistake to turn away the guy who revitalized this program less than a decade after he won two NCAA titles there. With bigger fish to fry (namely a messy football situation) on his hands, Minnesota athletic director Joel Maturi is not going to be making a change behind the bench at Mariucci anytime soon.
Tim K. (Lake Orion, MI)
UM-Duluth obviously has talent, and they were a common pick to finish in the Top 3 of the WCHA. That said, how "for real" do you guys think the Bulldogs are this year?
Jess Myers (2:16 PM)
The Bulldogs' top two lines are as dangerous as any in the country. The defense and goaltending still present some questions, but they are doing a good job of staying in games even when the opponent rises to the challenge, and finding ways to get gritty wins. Barring a late-season fade (with which Bulldog fans are far too familiar) this team is legitimately in the hunt for the WCHA title and a high seed in the NCAA playoffs.
Josh Hewitt (Eden Prairie, MN)
In my opinion, the Gophers have been struggling with a lot of inconsistent play from their defensemen in recent seasons. Do you think this has been a product of their talent, or do you think this is a reflection of coaching?
Jess Myers (2:20 PM)
Probably a bit of both. Gopher fans who focus on the defense were pretty spoiled with that run of Keith Ballard, Paul Martin, Erik Johnson, etc. Nick Leddy would have fit that mold if he'd stayed. They don't have that kind of talent now, and it shows, but Minnesota always seems to get the cream of the crop in this region, so Lucia is always just one recruiting class away from national title contention. As for the coaching, one hears grumblings, but nothing substantiated. And Lucia has shown loyalty to his staff recently, so don't expect him to make changes, unless it's not his choice.
The Whale (New Haven, CT)
Hey guys,What will it take to get students to Ingalls Rink (The Whale) to see the #3 Bulldogs play. The rink is packed with locals every game but no fan support. It seems that all the ivies with the exception of Cornell can't get students to turn out. What gives? Homework?
Joe Gladziszewski (2:21 PM)
Great question. I'd say, just keep winning. Didn't make it down there at the end of last season, but reports I heard were that student and community support were both strong in the second semester the last two years.
Jerome (Burlington, VT)
Will UVM get its first win of the season this weekend?
Joe Gladziszewski (2:23 PM)
That's a pretty big ask, even with two home games, considering the opponent is Boston College. Even though the Catamounts are still seeking their first victory, they've lined up against some very strong teams over the first month of the year. A big weekend at The Gut might be in the works. Boston College has recently shown signs that they might not be the juggernaut that was expected, losing one game in each of the last three weekends.
Chioke Hassan (Baltimore,Md)
Dear INCHWhen will Temple have a great Hockey Program?
Joe Gladziszewski (2:24 PM)
They'll need to even have a hockey program to start that process. Getting college hockey to penetrate the Philadelphia market would be a good start on the East Coast. Could make sense to have a team there.
Who are the five most entertaining players to watch in the ECAC?
Joe Gladziszewski (2:27 PM)
Wow, good question. Entertaining is left to the interpretation of the viewer. I'll throw out some of my favorites to watch. Maybe not the best player in the league or on their team, but most exciting -- Brian O'Neill, Yale; Kyle Flanagan, St. Lawrence; Kelly Zajac, Union; Kevin Lohry, Princeton; and we'll throw a defenseman on there with Nick D'Agostino at Cornell.
Mark (St. Paul)
UND fan for life and usually dont waste my questions on other teams, but is Dean Blais just that good of a coach or what the heck is going on at Nebraska Omaha? Strength of Schedule?
Jess Myers (2:29 PM)
Yes, he's that good of a coach, but he's even better as a recruiter. He's got a veteran team that's playing a style of hockey that's conducive to their place in this new league. Interesting to see the Mavs contend for home ice so quickly.
Bob (Cambridge, MA)
Will Ted Donato still have a job at the end of this season?
Joe Gladziszewski (2:30 PM)
I say yes. But will he at the start of next season?
joe (cubicle hell)
what about Miami and Carter Camper? is he in line for the Hobey?
Joe Gladziszewski (2:30 PM)
Definitely. Awesome start for a great player on one of the nation's best teams. His numbers are off the charts right now. Great start for Camper and for the RedHawks.
How impressed have you been with Boston University's early success?
Joe Gladziszewski (2:32 PM)
Very impressive. BU has been getting it done in close games. There may not be a bunch of blowout victories, but the Terriers are finding a way and have played several good teams.
Joe Gladziszewski (2:33 PM)
Thanks for all of the great questions. Be sure to check out INCH for notebook feature stories highlighting Michigan Tech, St. Lawrence and non-league success in Atlantic Hockey and stop by to play INCH Pick 'Em, our weekly prediction game. We'll be back next week at 2 p.m. to talk college hockey again.