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Loose pucks: Wrong side of the road result

January 25, 2012

Three things that get two thumbs up:
1) A sweep.

Getting four points is always really great. And doing it by winning in overtime on the road, even if we’d have preferred the game been wrapped up with six goals in the first period, is a pretty thrilling way to close it out. And seriously, what a weekend for Derek Arnold.

2) Proving something.

We have long held a belief that few shared: Northeastern just isn’t very good. Even when they were knocking off nationally-ranked out-of-conference teams on the road, we weren’t sold that their sub-.500 record overall was belying what they truly were. So to see them leak goals against Lowell this weekend was in no way surprising, and to see them score just two on Doug Carr made us feel, well, about the same. And look, they lost to this Lowell team at home. Not even Vermont did that, so that’s just about all the indictment we need.

3) Doug Carr.

We feel really bad that Carr had to lose last night. He was strong as he ever is and has now allowed just three goals in the last three Lowell games. How anyone sees someone else in Hockey East as a viable candidate for Goaltender of the Year is so far beyond us we can’t even comprehend it. He should win in a runaway.

Two things that get two thumbs way down:
1) The captain.

A guy we’d like to see show up for a road game at any old point this year: Riley Wetmore. Tuesday was another no-show performance from the junior, who has now gone 11 straight games without a goal. That’s after scoring seven in his first 10 games of the year. Maybe he’s hurt, we don’t know. But there’s no excuse for a kid this good to have no goals in that long. The last time he scored on the road was the weekend of Nov. 11 and 12, when he eviscerated Maine for three goals in two games. Since then, one measly goal, that against Amherst a week later. We’re sure he’s a great leader for the guys — they don’t name juniors captain for no reason — but he needs to get something done on the ice, and soon.

2) Road performances in general. (This is more or less copy-pasted from last week because nothing has really changed. Just to drive the point home.)

For all its dominance at Tsongas Center this year, Lowell hasn’t been good on the road in some time. The River Hawks have just four wins in nine games against Hockey East teams on the road this year, and two of those came in Maine back in early November. They’ve scored 24 goals in those nine games, which seems like a lot until you realize nine of those came, once again, in Orono. More problematically, they’ve conceded 29 in those seven games, compared to just nine in six at home. Awful stuff

Stat of the Week
When you want to talk futility for the River Hawks, the conversation pretty much begins and ends with the Schneider Arena. The River Hawks simply can’t win there.

In fact, to find the last time Lowell picked up two points in Providence, you have to go all the way back to January 15, 2006, more than six years ago. And even then, it took 4:47 of overtime to do it behind Danny O’Brien’s hat trick goal to give the River Hawks the 4-3 win (for which we were in attendance).

Since then, the River Hawks have played eight games at Schneider Arena, going 0-5-3, and scoring just 16 goals (2.0 per game) to Providence’s 24 (3.0). So while garbage games like yesterday’s are frustrating, they’re certainly nothing new.

By contrast, Lowell’s performances at home against the Friars have been decidedly more positive, with the ‘Hawks going 6-1-1, with all those wins coming in a row after they began the 2006-07 season 0-1-1 at Tsongas. In those eight games, they’ve outscored the Friars 33-15 (or 4.13 per to 1.88).

The nightmare rolls on
Friday, guess what, Lowell has another road game! And it’s at Amherst, which is unkillable at home for some reason. That should be fun.

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