Monday, October 04, 2010

RPI Ranked 13th But Should They Be (Season Preview)?

Hello one and all! We are back on the RPI beat for another year. RPI starts off the exhibition season against New Brunswick before traveling to Colorado College for two very tough non-conference games (any team in a WCHA conference should be considered tough even a middle of the road team like CC).

However, let's look at the overall picture of RPI hockey heading into this season. INCH apparently has the cherry and white ranked 13th in the country.

The major reasons for this is the return of Chase and the continual evolving of York. Also, I think my favorite player on RPI (Tyler Helfrich) should have a bounce back season for his final campaign.

The issues for this team really come down to three questions.

1) Can Kennedy and Brutlag earn those C's and A's on their chests this year and lead the defensive corps to more than just an adequate showing? Often, when catching RPI games in person and listening on the radio, it struck me how inconsistent the D was and that the goalies never really had a chance on many of the shots taken.

2) Can RPI actually find offense now that two of their best players split for the NHL? Facts are facts. If any program like RPI (young and arguably on the rise) loses not one but TWO blue chip prospects in an offseason (D'Amigo and Pirri I am looking at you!) it is tough for a program to restock immediately. One thing we have seen is SA's ability to recruit but the team needs to win now. Which leads me to question 3.

3) Can SA actually coach to the level needed for this team to win? I give him recruiting. He is great at that. I give him credit for saying the right things. However, he does not get credit for having his teams consistently fail int he third periods of games and recently, playoff series that RPI SHOULD WIN. Closing out, let's do RPI.

Looking ahead at the schedule this year, it is clear the non-conference schedule is weaker then in years past. Other than Colorado College, RIT is the only other major NC opponent RPI faces. Hopefully, they can use this to build momentum going into the conference schedule in 2011.


I am uncertain about this team. Last year they played about a .500 level which was a disappointment considering the talent on the team. Can they win with one true scorer in Chase and one true star in goal in York? That remains to be seen. I think if SA can get the team over the third period hump and the D can stick together, this is a ECAC Final Four team. If they muddle along at .500, I don't see them getting out of the first round of ECAC playoffs. Once again, this is a transition year. Will next year finally be the realization of our suffering fans hopes and dreams? Stay tuned.

1 comment:

maqtea said...

Last year's play-off blow out was entirely the result of Appert's coaching. He ran the legs of some of the players, rewarded them for boneheaded plays and penalties, and than he pretended to be surprised why the team didn't come together as a whole. Anybody who knows just a little about hockey can see that he hasn't taught a power play and has no sense for team chemistry - who should play with whom when.

Having gone through the pain to fly to Colorado, it is apparent that we will see another season of underachieving. If a team is the reflection of its coaches personality the words that describe this team and coach are: lack of discipline. Lack of discipline that the coach is continuously rewarding.