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Loose pucks: Hmph

February 3, 2010

Three things that are cool:
1) Carter Hutton.

He was the only reason Lowell was in Friday’s game at all and were he not splitting time with Nevin Hamilton would probably be winning Goaltender of the Month awards like Stephane Da Costa gobbles up rookie honors. Kid is unreal and could soon prove to be the best statistical goaltender ever to come through Lowell.

2) Kory Falite.

He’s drawing ever closer to 100 career points (just three away now) and it seems as though any offense Lowell gets these days runs through him. You can blame a lot of people for the lack of scoring this year, but Falite, who has 13 points in his last 10 games, ain’t one of them.

3) A game at Merrimack.

For some reason, we fall all over ourselves to go see Lowell games at the Mack, and it has nothing to do with the Volpe’s proximity to Lowell. It’s just awesome to watch a hockey game there and anyone who tells you otherwise is an insane liar.

Two things that are not so cool:
1) Injuries.

Jeremy Dehner obviously has a broken hand, and we learned on the River Hawk Radio show (or whatever they call it) that Joe Caveney’s done for the year. Tough freshman campaign for the kid, who probably played just enough games that he can’t be a medical redshirt.

2) Being treated like we’re stupid.

So yes, the Dehner interview from Friday night had us a little bothered. There was much discussion of it in the live blog and we’d like to just touch on it for those that weren’t there/don’t have the desire to go through it now. We had issues with it, to put things lightly.

What we really hated about this interview was that it was with the notably absent Jeremy Dehner, and was clearly taped during the week. Now, our sources on the Dehner hand injury indicated that this happened at some point last weekend, because the source had learned about it on Sunday and let us know on Monday afternoon. We know the interview was taped after this point in the week because both Dehner and Bob Ellis talked extensively about the previous weekend’s wins over Boston College and Merrimack, and that Dehner had won the Hockey East Player of the Week award. At the earliest, this interview was taped on Monday.

That of course means that Dehner’s hand had been broken for roughly a day, but the topic of the hand, which was holding a player whose coach had just called him the best defenseman in the country and who had just won an accolade as the best player in the conference for a given weekend, and whom a member of the WUML broadcast team had without the slightest hint of irony compared to both Superman and Bobby Orr in a single sentence just days earlier, out of the game was never broached. In fact, it wasn’t even hinted at. You would have thought, had you heard nothing of the broadcast but this interview, that Dehner played Friday night.

Of course he didn’t, because he had a broken hand. This was alluded to very early and very briefly in the broadcast as being a minor injury that would keep Dehner as a “day-to-day” consideration.

So here’s our issue: we, as fans and supporters of the program, probably have a right to know just why Lowell’s best defenseman is not in the lineup, and possibly for how long. We understand that perhaps Bob Ellis may not, as a salaried employee of the university, be in a position to divulge these kinds of secrets because he is to an extent beholden to Blaise MacDonald for access to the team for these interviews, the Tuesday interview show, and so forth.

Our greater problem, though, is (as always) with Chaz Scoggins, who is apparently supposed to be some sort of journalist for an independent news source. Surely if Ellis couldn’t broach the subject of Dehner’s bum hand, then the man who gets paid to cover the team as an impartial, unbiased observer could. He could say, “Well, Bob, you know I heard that hand is broken and will need a few weeks to heal, meaning the River Hawks will be in tough to cover his hole in the lineup.” Something along those lines. He wouldn’t have to go on and on about it, but it is allegedly his job to “report” “news” related to the team. This is, for those that still aren’t sure, News with a capital N.

The facts are all there: top defenseman, best player, injury, out a few weeks, additional gravity given the time of the season, etc. News. For sure. And deedle deedle dee, Scoggins sees no reason to report or even talk frankly at any great length on something like that, which would require actually doing something somewhat related to his job that is not banging out another puny, tortuously dull gamer that buries its lede and quotes six paragraphs deep, and its readers’ interest six feet. And by the way, the game story from Friday’s loss also carried no mention of Dehner’s hand. This, again, after he was compared to Superman and Bobby Orr (who, in our book, are nearly one in the same to begin with) a week prior.

The subject also, from what we understand, did not come up

Look, in these days of Belichickian injury reports that list perfectly healthy star players as “questionable,” we know not to expect total transparency from team personnel. That’s just how sports work these days. And while we wish it were, we don’t expect the River Hawk Radio Network to be some sort of impartial and fearless news dissemination medium. But if the actual journalist of the group is going to paint it with so light a brush that he might as well not even bother to put a canvas on the easel, then we think we’ve been cheated.

The facts are these: Jeremy Dehner has a broken hand and he missed a one-goal loss, and will probably miss additional time this weekend and perhaps more in the future. For some reason, you won’t hear that on WUML.

(And before anyone points out that we got this news and didn’t report it, we got it third-hand and while we trust our sources, could not verify the severity of the injury nor the timetable for Dehner’s return, and thus did not feel comfortable running it.)

Stat of the Week

It’s often been noted that Carter Hutton, he of the career 2.38/.910 numbers, gets no run support and is as a result going to end his career with a sub-.500 record. So we went back and looked up exactly how much run support he gets per game. Turns out, Lowell scores 2.55 goals per game when Hutton is in net (186 in 73 career appearances). But over the last four seasons, when other goalies have been in net, Lowell scores 2.84, an improvement of .29 goals per game, or an 11 percent increase. Poor Hutton.

*Crosses arms, grimaces*

We get the feeling that BU getting on this little roll is bad news. Same goes for playing at Merrimack, where the Warriors have just one loss. Mainly we’re preparing ourselves for a crummy, Dehnerless weekend.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Scott permalink
    February 3, 2010 9:27 pm

    Just a correction, the game story did have a paragraph at the very end mentioning that Dehner was out (and it had an error as well).

    “UMass Lowell played without stellar senior defenseman Jeremy Dehner last night. Dehner, who has been playing terrific hockey the last few weeks and was Hockey East Player of the Week two weeks ago, is sidelined indefinitely with an undisclosed upper body injury suffered during his last shift against Boston College last Saturday.”

    • RHHB permalink
      February 3, 2010 9:33 pm

      Wasn’t in the print version we got at TIIL World HQ. Don’t read it online as we hate the Sun’s website.

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