To quell the vicious attacks I have been going through at every home game from other writers *cough Derek*, I have decided to update the fans on where the Mass Attack sits in their season so far.
Here are the current standings:
With the least amount of in-conference games, the minutemen are actually in a good place considering the shaky start. We sit within the playoff bracket, one win behind Northeastern, with 4 games in hand. Now I think that the term “must-win” gets thrown around a little too much since in Hockey East, every game is a must-win to do well, but here I go anyways.
We have at least one game in hand against every other team and in some cases, 5 games in hand. This leverage could easily skyrocket us in the rankings. The way I see it, winning against Maine is going to be a crucial step in setting ourselves up for the post season.
Now, let’s look at who is likely to lead us to our post season. It starts with Michael Pereira who is +9 on the season and leads the team in scoring with 7 goals and 6 assists. Another key player is Adam Phillips, who despite only having 8 shots on goal, has 3 Goals and two of them are game winning. Paul Dainton has also been playing well of late and his stats have started to come back up from their lows earlier this season. He is now at a .915 save % and has a GAA of 2.87.
We really need to see more results from Brian Keane in the next few Hockey East games. He has played in 11 games this season, has an assist to his name, but also a -4 rating. This might have been acceptable when almost everyone on the team had a negative +/-, but now that the team has started to put the puck in the net on a more consistent basis, we need our seniors to start pulling their weight a little more.
Another player who is completely slacking of late is Michael Marcou. Marcou wears an A on his sweater, but also carries a -5 rating as a defenseman. He does have 7 points, 2 of those goals, but some of his shots of late have been very wild and maybe he should continue the family tradition of being the playmaker, rather than the goal scorer.
All in all we finally have a team that we do not have to cringe thinking about. As fans, it looks like we can move past the loss to Army and move on to bigger and more important games that will actually count for us. We sit at 45 in the RPI (http://siouxsports.com/hockey/rankings/rpi/), which is much better than the 54 we were in not too long ago.
Here are the upcoming games as we look into the break:
At Maine 12/12 4:00
At Wisconsin 12/30, 12/31 7:00 Central
vs. Northeastern 1/7 7:00
vs. New Hampshire 1/8 7:00
We could count the two at Wisconsin’s as throwaways, practice, or momentum games, since our chances of getting an NCAA bid this season without winning Hockey East is slim to none. But the upcoming games against Maine, Northeastern and New Hampshire will be very important to finishing the season strong.
I also don’t think we can have a second half meltdown since there isn’t all that much to melt….
~Ben (Flag Guy)