Friday, February 26, 2010

I Want Fourth

There...I said it. I feel better. I want the first round bye. I want home ice advantage. I want all the things the program has missed out on for multiple ECAC winters. I want RPI to start rising to the occasion and have the standings reflect what we all feel about the team (that they are good).

What do I think is going to happen? Well I think they will hold true to form and beat the Friday night game (Colgate) and then lose, lose, lose to Cornell. How can they take 4th in this scenario? USCHO breaks it down:

"If Colgate beats Rensselaer on Friday, the Dutchmen get the head-to-head tiebreaker. However, should RPI win — and then lose Saturday at Cornell, while Colgate beats Union — then the Engineers would take the fourth spot based on the third tiebreaker, record versus the top four (2-4-0 against Yale/Cornell/Union, while Colgate would be 1-4-1.)"
Of course, as always, is USCHO's take:

Rensselaer @ Colgate (NHL Network)
The Raiders have scored 18 goals in their last four games — six, two, six and four — but are 2-3-0 in their last five home games. The question will be whether the 'Gate can pull it together for 60 minutes in a way they have been so infrequently able to do all year. RPI is 5-4-0 on the road in ECAC Hockey play and looking shaky after getting blown out at home by Princeton. Both teams can be very strong when they're playing well, but you never know what you're going to get on any given night. I may not get this pick right, but I'm sure I'll be watching: 4-3 RPI.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Who Was Right?

I didn't want to be right, mind you. I wanted RPI to get the 4 points last weekend. I think this team has enough talent to get those points. But what do they do?

Win of course against the Q and completely self destruct against Princeton in the Freakout. The Princeton game has been discussed in depth on USCHO boards and on the Listserv so I won't beat a dead horse. I think that RPI needs to turn things around in a hurry to get in the top 4 and this weekend's games against the C's schools won't help.

Preview coming shortly!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Hockey Weekend Is Here

For me, this weekend is all about hockey although I will not be able to follow much of RPI flavored hockey this weekend.

First stop, probably going to Elmira to watch the Jackals play. Then I am going to the outdoor game in Syracuse on Saturday. Sunday, its back to the pad to watch USA vs. Canada which hopefully won't be interrupted like many of the games so far by curling!?!

As for RPI Hockey (which is what you are here for right?), well I expect them NOT to come away with 4 points this weekend considering how the last few weekends have gone. I am willing to bet RPI beats the Q and then loses or ties Princeton somehow.

On more positive news, Chase is officially leading the NATION (that's right the NATION) in scoring. Let's hear from RPI's archrival shall we (via USCHO): “We’ve played against Chase four times this year, and he’s a tremendous player,” said Union coach Nate Leaman, who has seen nearly as much of Polacek as Appert. “He has breakaway speed, he has good vision, he’s a good finisher.”

Of course (as always) UCHO's take on the weekend.

Quinnipiac @ Rensselaer
Following consecutive shutout wins over Colgate (2-0) and St. Lawrence (5-0), I was almost about to declare the Bobcats "back" ... but what happened Saturday? A 4-1 loss at Clarkson? Not very "back" of you, QU. RPI is 3-1-1 in its last five, but lost top goalie Allen York to a minor ankle sprain in a torturous loss at Dartmouth on Saturday. While York is no longer on crutches, freshman Bryce Merriam will nonetheless tend the 'Tute's twine this weekend. Starter or no starter, I like RPI's chances against an infernally inconsistent Quinnipiac club, 3-2.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


Well, so that happened. Chase gets a hat trick and the boys apparently have ANOTHER (counting the entire reign of SA not just these particular lads) third period meltdown and they come away with only 2 points this last weekend.

Somehow, at the end of the weekend, the 5th place with a bullet becomes 4th place tied with the Saints. Admittedly, this season is much better and the lads are much more in it then past years. Still, one can't help but feel that points were left on the table over the last few weekends. Points that will probably be the difference between a 4th place and a 5th place finish.

Still, hats off to Chase and Jerry who had lots o points this weekend and for York keeping the lads in the Friday game.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

#5 With A Bullet!

RPI is one point in back of St. Lawrence for the 4th spot in the ECAC. Of course, the Saints have a game in hand over RPI but I am not worried. The Saints next 4 games are against Quinnipiac, Princeton, Yale and Brown. Those 4 teams have a combined ECAC record of 29-29-6. RPI faces ECAC squads over the next two weekends with a combined ECAC record of 24-35-5. Certainly worse records, easier strength of schedule, RPI, should vault over the Saints to take 4th place in the ECAC.

Why is this important? The top four seeds receive byes in the first round. Plus home ice advantage, all of which can be advantageous to the lads in Cherry and White.

As for this weekend, I fully expect RPI to sweep Harvard and Dartmouth. Of course, based on past precedent, RPI will come away with 3 points. Go Rippeeee!

Friday, February 05, 2010

Must Beat The North Country

There are only a few games remaining. RPI MUST lock up home ice advantage for the upcoming ECAC playoffs. While they have a better team then in years past, I feel they need the home ice to make the ECAC final four this year (which is what I am pulling for AND expect!).

Yes, yes, they are 7-5-1 at home vs. 6-5-1 on the road, barely any difference. I don't care. I want them to take these teams and shake em around and win 4 points! The key is the continued offensive output from the top 2 lines and the continued stellar play of York. Of course, in looking at that last sentence, its clear that the REAL key is the defensive play. If the D can actually alleviate instead of cause pressure on York, RPI wins over these two teams easily.

USCHO agrees with me. You?

USCHO's Picks

St. Lawrence @ Rensselaer
The Saints are 4-1-1 in their last six, while RPI is 6-3-1 in its last 10. Should be a great showdown, and I will grant whichever team wins legitimate "on a roll" status. At home in front of a goalie who just shut out Yale, I'm going to have to back RPI in this one, 3-2.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

What A Weird Weekend!

Against Brown, RPI's defense blows up and let's in terrible goals. Then the O comes storming back in the third to force OT. THEN the lads lose it.

Only to blow out league leading Yale the next day 4-0 with a huge shutout from York (which I intimated he needed to do [pats back])???

I have been watching RPI hockey for awhile and I can't think of a weirder way to get 3 points then the lads did this weekend.

Of course, I thought it should be 4 points and the fact that it wasn't remains one of the frustrations of the state of RPI hockey today. They need to get home rink advantage for the playoffs. 3 points help and the offensive display this weekend make me think that a Top 4 finish is possible.