6 , 2006
'The Show': INCH Overtime
hard as we try, it's virtually impossible to address every
question we receive during our weekly 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
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
you'll find what we had left in the mailbag after we wrapped
our chat with Miami coach Enrico Blasi.
I know UW is ranked #1. I dont think
they should be. They lost way too much. Do you think they
can repeat after losing all those players? Do you think
Skille will be a top player in his sophmore season? Who
are the Badgers top compitition to knock them off?
Jess Myers: Actually, the
only relevant place I’ve seen the Badgers ranked No.
1 is in the WCHA coaches poll, and there they were tied
with Minnesota. I think they can repeat, but it’ll
take another monster year by Elliott in goal and some new
sources of offense. You’re not going to replace Pavelski
and Earl’s offense right away, so look for the Badgers
to struggle to score in October, and find their legs at
forward later in the season. That means that Elliott and
experienced defenders like Klubertanz and Likens will more
important than ever in the next month. And yes, Skille has
all of the tools and the confidence to be a top offensive
As a Clarkson alum, I still follow
the team and the ECACHL. I am wondering who the best team
in the ECACHL is going to be? Dave Y. (Winooski,
Joe Gladziszewski: Opinions
differ, but people generally expect Colgate, Dartmouth,
and Harvard to have the best chance to win the regular-season
titles. Clarkson is a popular pick to move toward the top
of the league standings after finishing around ninth over
the last few years. In the preseason ECAC Hockey League
Coaches Poll, no team received more first-place votes than
the Golden Knights.
I see giant gaps between tiers in
the Hockey East. How will good teams like UNH, Vermont,
and even UMass fair in the same division as BU, BC, and
Jeff Howe: There is definitely
a gap following BC, BU and Maine, but that gap certainly
is not "giant." UNH is entering this season as
underrated as ever, but the Wildcats will still be very
good. Richard Umile is extremely excited with the defensive
unit he has and freshman goalie Brian Foster should fill
in nicely for the graduated Jeff Pietrasiak. Plus, we all
know UNH won't have any trouble scoring goals. And don't
sleep on Providence, which will come back stronger and deeper
after an overachieving season last year.
A little further down the ladder is Vermont,
which was the flavor of the conference last season before
the Catamounts struggled mightily in the second half, finishing
with a 3-9-4 record after Jan. 20. With Joe Fallon as the
backstop, the defense will once
again be top notch. But without Brady Leisenring, Jeff Corey,
and Jaime Sifers (84 combined points last year), how can
UVM solve the scoring woes that often haunted them when
they slumped a year ago?
Like Vermont, UMass needs to find the back
of the net to make a jump in the standings. The Minutemen
lost their top-two scorers from last season in Marvin Degon
and Stephen Werner. Even with the pair, however, UMass was
the eighth-highest scoring team in Hockey East in 2005-06.
Replacing those two isn't the issue here. The Minutemen
need to far surpass their production of a year ago to make
any kind of splash in the conference.
How much impact will Erik Johnson
make on the Gophers this year? They are atop pre-season
WCHA rankings with Wisconsin but all the fallout of talent
to grad and the NHL, could this team really slide?
Tim from St. Paul, MN
Jess Myers: If the Gophers slide, it won’t
be because of Erik Johnson and their overall youth in some
key positions. Alongside youngsters like Johnson and Fischer
on the blue line, they have one of the top defenders in
the nation (Goligoski). And you know that the likes of Wheeler
and Hirsch have the potential to score in bunches. If I
were a Gopher fan, my biggest concern would be goaltending.
A no-show by Frazee and Briggs (when he returns) and there
will be trouble in Mariucci.
Broomball...that is the third time
I have seen that word in the INCH section. What is it that?
So confused! Keith (Austin)
Joe Gladziszewski: Seriously?
No broomball in Texas (I assume)? It's pretty much exactly
what it sounds like. Teams take the ice in sneakers or tennis
shoes and try to bat a rubber ball into a hockey goal and
instead of sticks they use plastic brooms. Specialized equipment
is available for the sport, but that's a basic description.
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