Monday, January 26, 2009


More Questions Than Answers.

I'm certainly at a loss this Monday, January 26th, 2009.

The scoring streak was shut down; shut out if you will, nearly in back-to-back nights.

Nobody is scoring - most notably, UNH sophomore, James van Riemsdyk. The nation's leading scorer at the midpoint of the season has been held scoreless for four consecutive games which was only broken by a fluke goal that was credited to the team's leading goal-getter, Mike Sislo, leaving him with one assist in five games. It happens to everyone but it is not what people are expecting from a number two overall draft pick playing college hockey.

Brian Foster unable to steal games for the Wildcats despite otherwise sound play though he was certainly hung out to dry in Friday night's fiasco.

Looking at the pair of games, the only conclusion that one is left with is that this year's team cannot compete at the highest levels of college hockey. After being thoroughly outclassed Friday night they put together an impressive defensive display at home the following night only to allow goals on what were seemingly the only two defensive lapses of the night to a clearly superior BU team. That second breakdown preventing them from capitalizing on the lucky bounce that tied the game after having generated no real offensive threats either night.

Exactly where they stand will be further solidified with the outcome of Friday's tilt hosting Vermont.

Extending their season is going to require this team to take it to another level. Do they have it in them? I want to know what you think! Comment away!

That's all for this Wildcat Hockey Monday.

Go 'Cats!


Blogger Bleeds Blue said...

THAT was a very disheartening weekend. I haven't felt this way in a while, but this team has no shot to bring us to the promised land. Why pay a coach $382,000 if you won't do what you need to do to recruit better players. You have arguably the best UNH player ever, and I have seen them all since Gordie Clark, and waste all that talent by not recruiting players of comparable ability. As for the defense, with Charlebois gone (the only defenseman with size) if you remove Kessel I wouldn't give you a nickel for any of the remaining players. Very forgettable. Where's the next great UNH goalie coming from? I don't see him on the recruiting list. Where are the snipers? The goal scorers you can relay on in a close game. OK - I am frustrated, how about you?

Jan 27, 2009, 8:48:00 AM  

As I said, more questions than answers.

I'm giving these guys all the chance in the world to prove themselves but I'm not seeing it right now either with the exceptions of Kevin Kapstad, Blake Kessel and Mike Sislo who I feel is far exceeding his promise as a player though, undoubtedly, it has come with help from van Riemsdyk. And while James may be the most skilled, he is certainly nowhere near the best. He just does not have the command of the ice the way Haydar, Krog or some of the past greats at UNH have.

I'll go ahead and put this on the table. Judging by on ice performance, team chemistry is seriously lacking this season. I've often wondered if the rest of the team is waiting for van Riemsdyk to single-handedly win games.

All of that said, I'll keep supporting this team and rooting them on. I know that they are far more frustrated than we are and I see the glow of an ember that tells me that this team is not done yet. The question is whether they are willing to come together to fight and sacrifice for it - they're going to have to dig deep.

We need to remind ourselves is that these seasons happen to both great programs and great coaches. Look at Parker and BU. Fortunes and tides do turn.

It's not over until it is over. Let's ride this out and see what comes of it.

Go 'Cats!

Jan 27, 2009, 9:47:00 AM  
Blogger UNHBulls said...

This team is lacking some of the most key components to a hockey teams. Grit and heart. Apart from Kapsted and Collins I can't remember the last UNH team I've seen with so many lackadaisical players. I love the energy those two players bring to the team, like a Dustin Pedrioa type attitude: "Yeah, I'm smaller than you but I'll play hard and work harder than you." JVR is perhaps the most skilled player I've seen on a UNH team but you are totally right, he doesn't take games over by himself. The first UNH game I ever saw was a shootout against PC for two periods, then Krog took over and they won like 9-4. I don't see JVR ever doing that.

As for the coaching comments... To say the least there were several comments made over Dicky U's status as the 3rd period ended. This team doesn't seem motivated and from my years of sports experience motivation needs to come straight from the coach.

This team was MUCH better at the beginning of this season! Aren't teams supposed to get better? How many times have we seen UNH play terrific hockey before collapsing in the HE or National Tourney? Seven regular season titles and only two HE tourney wins says it all.

I'm sorry for this rant but I needed to get this out of me.

Go UNH! These next games are huge, turn the volume up to eleven! Seatbelts.

Jan 27, 2009, 7:07:00 PM  
Blogger HShoer said...

UNHBulls- As for the Kapstad-Collins boat, I'm totally there with you although i would definitely add Kessel into that combo. And as for JVR, I feel like he could step up but either chooses not to or just doesnt feel like it. And as for the coaching comments, I definitely think Coach Umile is a Great coach, but after watching the game friday night on NESN and being at the Whitt on saturday, BU's coach was so enthusiastic and positive with his players throughtout the whole game. I think we need to see someone step up, whether it be a player or Umile or one of the assistant coaches, and be that person for our 'Cats. With that said, what comes of the rest of the season comes, and ... Go 'Cats!

Jan 28, 2009, 11:31:00 AM  
Blogger UNHBulls said...

I think Umile is a very good coach, but I feel like he hasn't been able to light a fire under their behinds, or at least it's not showing.

I do agree about Kessel, I hope he stays for a for a full four years!

Jan 28, 2009, 10:39:00 PM  

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