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This Week in Disrespect: Back to this already?

December 10, 2009

Things go in cycles, apparently.

Where there was very little disrespect overall in the last few weeks, a situation with which we were obviously fine, there has in recent weeks and for obvious reasons been a slight increase in the amount of disrespect directed toward Lowell and, indirectly, us. But just as last week gave us a fresh dose of disrespect from an old target like Hockey East, this week gives us further disregard from the Entertainment and Sports Programming Network, an insidious entity we’ve had in our crosshairs before.

And where last time the target was the atrocious coverage of Lowell’s greatness on ESPNU (long since corrected by the great and brilliant Mr. Barry Melrose), this time it’s ESPN subsite ESPNBoston.com spitting square in our faces with a cold disregard for the obvious truth of the matter, that Lowell is outstanding and all who would smile at its downfall are in for a rather mopey winter and early spring.

So let’s get right to the article, written by some clod called Brian MacPherson and led by a study of Boston University’s early-to-midseason struggles (a subject about which we’ll never tire of reading) that basically boils down to the Terriers not eating enough breakfast. Really.

Onward, then…

Lowell not taking anyone by surprise

No sir, not at all. Looks like someone’s been reading this wonderful little blog, eh? We’ve been shouting it from every rooftop available and, frankly, we’re glad the recognition has come a-rollin’ in and would be delighted to learn that we officially had something to do with it.

Three straight losses never usually raises eyebrows at the University of [redacted] Lowell, or throughout Hockey East.

Waaaaaaait a minute! This is all wrong, especially the part with the odd use of a clunky phrase like “never usually.” All wrong. You might think it doesn’t raise eyebrows because you, Brian MacPherson, are, of course, a moron, but let’s have a look at the actual schedule. Yes, there was a point last season where Lowell lost six in a row (and B-Mac here was all too eager to point that out), but that was, if you read back through the archives here or in the Lowell Sun or on USCHO, more than a little eyebrow-raising. We as fans, the team and the coaches were more than a little dismayed that a team that started the season 8-5-0 and looked pretty alright doing it dropped six straight. But facts, schmacts, right? Never let those silly things get in the way of a crummy lede.

A year ago at this time, after all, the River Hawks were in the midst of a six-game losing streak that would last until early January. Three years ago, the River Hawks went without a win from early November until early February, a streak of futility lasting 20 games.

Go figure that a team literally almost completely full of freshmen wouldn’t do well in Hockey East. Funny how that works out. You can ask Northeastern about the season before that and how they did in a similar situation (hint: badly). It’s almost like you need experience to win in this, the best top-to-bottom conference in college hockey. Huh.

Not anymore. [redacted] Lowell’s run to the championship game of the Hockey East tournament last season — and the expectations and strong early start to this season — made the River Hawks’ recent three-game skid a little tough to take.

For idiots, maybe. BU lost three out of four games at one point last year and no one was happily getting out the shovels to dig the Terriers’ grave like they were doing for Lowell last week. Who is this Brian MacPherson guy, anyway?

Well, we did some googling and wouldn’t ya know it, it turns out MacPherson is a writer for the New Hampshire Union-Leader, better known in Hockey East circles as the UNH Binkyparty Times-Picayune. We’re sure Allen Lasells waves enough navy and white pom poms around that office that MacPherson couldn’t help but be brainwashed into believing the Wildcats are the apex of collegiate hockeying. So of course he’s upset that upstart Lowell is better than UNH and is therefore reveling in Lowell’s brief misstep.

“You lose a game, and you get down on yourself a little bit,” defenseman Nick Schaus said. “We had a tough time with that.”

Well sure, we get that. Well, not so much the “down on yourself” part but maybe Schaus meant more in the vein of “confused.” As in, “How could Lowell lose to bad teams like Providence, Maine and UNH. That doesn’t make any sense.” Of course it doesn’t Nick, we couldn’t agree more. We share your bewilderment. But have heart, old friend. That was a mere bump in the road and it’s all behind us now. And by the way, MacPherson, we’re sure you meant to say “sure-fire All-Hockey East defenseman Nick Schaus,” but we’ll let that slide.

The River Hawks haven’t had a tough time dealing with expectations, though.

Verifiable fact. It also hasn’t had a tough time dealing with most teams it’s played, especially the crap ones like Northeastern and Amherst.

A team that had gone 15 seasons without a trip to the Hockey East title game found itself ranked second in the preseason coaches’ poll. And rather than succumbing to the pressure, it won eight of its first 11 games this season.

Why would Lowell wilt under pressure? It’s not UNH in the NCAA tournament for crying out loud.

“You want to perform, and you want to live up to your standards,” forward Paul Worthington said. “As a team, we had to sit down and say, ‘We can’t get too high on these expectations.'”

Right, that’s our job.

Losses to Providence, Maine and New Hampshire threatened to derail the momentum [redacted] Lowell had built.

Yeah okay buddy, whatever you say. Our guess is that you didn’t watch any of those games. Right or wrong?

But after UMass-Amherst jumped out to a two-goal lead in the second period on Saturday, the River Hawks clawed back for a 5-3 win behind three goals from center David Vallorani and a stingy defense.

Why, it’s almost as though Lowell is as legit as it gets and Amherst is subpar and, in a microcosm of every season of the Don Cahoon era, just quit a little less than halfway through, allowing Lowell to cruise past it in an hilarious romp. Where have we heard that before? Or, more to the point, which handsome hockey experts called that one?

“You haven’t won anything by being in first place in November or December,” Schaus said.

Tell that to the clowns up in Durham who have their tires pumped to the point of instability over this little run they’re on. Wow you beat Merrimack. It’s a Christmas miracle!

“It matters more what you do at the end of the year. We’re trying to build toward that.”

That’s right.

Look, UNH media backers, premature Lowell grave dancers and various vultures across this league. You’ve had your little week and a half to chuckle up your sleeves over the River Hawks’ downfall. “Three losses in a row haw haw haw.” We heard it from a number of corners, none of which were in any position to talk. We heard it, via email or internet radio or message boards, from fans at Northeastern (sub-.500), BU (sub-sub-.500), UNH (a whopping one game over .500), Vermont (lol) and Amherst (already making its annual fall into an abyss of rightful and deserved anticlimax).

Now that that’s over, we’re going to resume laughing at you guys. Because you are all appreciably and measurably worse than Lowell. And always have been.

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