February 17, 2005
ESPN.com's 'The Show': INCH Overtime

As hard as we try, it's virtually impossible to address every question we receive during our weekly half-hour of college hockey chat on ESPN.com's 'The Show'. So we thought, why not take the best submissions that didn't get answered and post responses on INCH?

The result is INCH Overtime. When warranted, we'll tackle everything that we didn't quite get to during 'The Show.' We see it as a win-win: your question gets answered, and we get talk more hockey.

Below you'll find what we had left in the mailbag after we wrapped our Feb. 17 chat.

Just wanted to say that I really won't miss the NHL ... at least not until mid-April. I love the college game and appreciate all you guys do to cover it. Derek (Natick, Mass.)

What do you guys think of Dartmouth's chances? They started out terribly ... are they on the right track? Jason (W. Lebanon, NH)

Joe Gladziszewski: See this week's ECACHL Notebook for more on Dartmouth. A lot of people around the league think the Big Green are for real and I expect them to play in Albany and advance to the NCAA Tournament.

How do you feel about a team like Holy Cross or any other team from the Atlantic Hockey getting into the tournament, when they aren't even in the top 30 as far as pairwise rankings, don't you think that's unfair to a team from another conference who plays a much tougher schedule and is ranked in the mid teens in the pairwise? Steven (Madison, WI)

Nate Ewell: Like The Dean said in his chat, I think it's important to award automatic bids to promote the growth of the game. Without those growing programs, we'd still have a 12-team tournament, so thanks to those two automatic bids you actually get two more "deserving teams" in there.

Does Nebraska-Omaha still have any hope of an at-large berth, or should all hopes be pinned on winning the Super 6 next month? Brandon (Toledo, OH)

Mike Eidelbes: The Mavs will have to win the Super Six to advance to the NCAA Tournament. Coach Mike Kemp has done an outstanding job with his young team, but at 15-12-3, UNO just doesn't have the quality wins and strength of schedule of a team like, say, North Dakota to be knocking on the door of an at-large bid.

How do you feel about the ECAC this year? I think St. Lawrence is very good but very inconsistent and if they get hot can go the distance. Any thoughts? Craig (NYC)

Joe Gladziszewski: As it appears right now, there will be four definite favorites in the home-ice spots for the quarterfinals Cornell, Colgate, Harvard, and either Dartmouth or Vermont. I think there are two sleeper teams in the next group and those are St. Lawrence and Brown. If the Saints get through the first round, and put a strong weekend together in the quarterfinals, they're definitely capable of knocking off one of the top four.

Crystal ball time, what current NCAA player will make the biggest impact on in the NHL (if it ever returns)? Bob (nyc)

Nate Ewell: Allow me three answers, Bob, if you will. I'll start with one who plays in Boston now and one who will be there eventually. Patrick Eaves of BC, an Ottawa Senators draft pick, has all the tools to be an impact NHLer. And Colorado College's Mark Stuart, a Bruins pick, can do it all from the blue line. He's not an impact player along the lines of a Ray Bourque, but who is? I'd consider him more like Don Sweeney with more size and toughness.

Finally, since no player can make a bigger impact than a goalie, you have to look at Maine's Jimmy Howard. He'll make Detroit Red Wings fans very happy assuming the league starts up again.

Were you suprised with Michigan Tech's sweeps at Minnesota and Duluth? Do you attribute that to Jamie Russell do a good job with the team or simply a hot goaltender in Cam Ellsworth? Tim (Houghton)

Jess Myers: Tech’s success in the second half of the season has been one of the real surprises in all of college hockey, not just in the WCHA. Give credit to Russell for keeping a young team together through that nightmarish first half of the season, and also credit one of the more talented top lines in the country. When Conner and Murphy get rolling, they’re the second most-dangerous pair wearing black and gold in the game. There are two guys in Colorado Springs who might be a little bit better.

What WCHA team has been most affected by the NHL lockout? I think Suter would have returned to Wisconsin if there wasn't fear of changing salary rules for rookie contracts, but who else would have been back? Parise? Thanks. Bob (nyc)

Jess Myers: As much as Wisconsin misses Ryan Suter, and as much as Thomas Vanek may have meant to the Gophers this year if he would have been willing to contribute a full season’s worth of effort (which is a huge ‘if’) no team has been more dramatically altered by early NHL defections than North Dakota. To go from being one of the most exciting offensive teams in the nation to losing Zach Parise and Brandon Bochenski and suddenly having no answer to the “who should get the puck” question has been hard for the Sioux to handle and even harder for their fans to accept.

Is this the year Harvard finally gets the monkey off its back and wins a game in the NCAA tourney? They were so close last year before collapsing to Maine. Brittany (Los Angeles, CA)

Joe Gladziszewski: The difference with this Harvard team compared to the last three years is that this year's group has experienced some non-conference success. Those early-season wins over BC, BU, and Maine and even the tie against Northern Michigan have shown the Crimson that they're capable of performing on a big stage.

What do you think the Buckeyes chances are of making all the way to the Frozen Four to play in front of the home crowd? MIke (Columbus)

Mike Eidelbes: I wouldn't bet against it. The first time I saw Ohio State play this season (in a loss at Western Michigan, no less), I came away very impressed. I liked the Buckeyes' offensive balance, solid defensive corps and the steady goaltending of Dave Caruso. They remind me a little bit of last year's Denver team no real stars, just a bunch of very good players. They've got to quit taking so many penalties, however. OSU leads the nation by averaging nearly 26 PIMs a game.

Thanks for the questions. Remember to check out The Show each Thursday, and let us know if you have ideas for guests you'd like us to invite.

Send this to a friend

About Us | Advertiser Info | Site Map | Privacy Policy
© 2002-2005 Inside College Hockey, Inc., All Rights Reserved