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Saturday thoughts: Yeah, no

October 31, 2010

Once BU got that first one back, there should have been no doubt in anyone’s mind what was coming next.

We’ve been around this team and this league far too long to ever expect a one-goal lead in the third period to stand in a game at BU. And for it to happen with this many freshmen and underperforming upperclassmen on the team? Well, what else could we predict?

And it’s a shame, obviously, that the game worked out the way it did given how well Lowell played in the nearly 54 minutes prior to conceding the first goal to that absolute puke Alex Chiasson (whom we’ll get to in a minute). Certainly, the River Hawks deserved a point for this one.

But the fact is they didn’t get one, and will continue to not get them long into the season if it keeps playing like it did at times last night. Take, for example, the five-minute major and ejection Max Nicastro picked up early in the first period for hitting Ryan Blair from behind. Lowell was outshot by BU on that power play, and finished it off by taking a too many men penalty. That’s something we couldn’t make up, and still can’t believe it happened.

But that’s Lowell so far this season: doing whatever it can to let a game slip through its fingers. And the problem is that it’s coming in a variety of ways. Where Friday night they worked hard and created power plays for themselves, on Saturday they drew just two penalties, and negated the dying minutes of the major with a mental error.

At times Lowell has been victimized by its goaltending or defense, at times by its offense, at times by its special teams, and at times by a complete inability of anyone on the team to take the game by the scruff of the neck. The latter was the case last night.

Let’s just take David Vallorani, for better or worse the team’s skillsiest player, as a for instance. One shot and a minus-1 with no points. The night before he was a minus-2 with no shots. A minus-2 against Northeastern as well. And against Providence. And a minus-4 at Maine. So Lowell’s played five Hockey East games, and Vallorani is 0-1-1 with four shots and a minus-9. MINUS-9! It’s an endemic problem, as well. You can’t say Scott Campbell had been up to much before he got hurt on Friday. Can’t say Maury Edwards has done anything of note. Lowell has 10 goals in Hockey East games so far this year — half of them came in the game against Providence! — and of those, only four have been scored by a junior or senior. Hell, Campbell’s meaningless goal and the decent one from Edwards against Northeastern (which also proved for naught) are the only two from any seniors at all. And that’s inexcusable.

But the point is you can’t expect to get results at BU if you score once. And leave it to the freshmen to figure out a way through. And only draw two penalties. And play aimless hockey once you somehow establish a lead. We dread what Boston College is going to do to Lowell on Tuesday.

(And now to the part about Alex Chiasson. This kid is a punk. Great hockey player and all that, but he is also Steve Silva-levels of just being absolute garbage as a human being. He fought with Mike Budd at the end of tonight’s game, often commits stick fouls away from the play that go uncalled (at least against Lowell), and he was in the middle of a couple of dustups in Friday’s game as well. He has mastered the art of standing around near a scrum, then grabbing a guy by the facemask from behind and/or slashing him. It’s cowardly garbage and he has no courage to actually back up any of it. For this reason, Alex Chiasson is now On Notice, supplanting video review. We hate this kid.)

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