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Loose pucks: Out of the frying pan

March 6, 2012

Three things that are awesome:
1) Second place.

It’s a little hard to believe, quite frankly, because going into the weekend there was something like 10 percent chance that Lowell could finish second in the league, but everything broke more or less exactly how the River Hawks needed it to, and instead of playing UNH, they play a Providence team they just trampled. We can’t tell you, after seeing the Friars up close and personal for a pair this past weekend, how excited we are to see Lowell decapitate these frauds, who have no business being in playoffs of any kind.

2) Playing those bums again.

We do, though, kind of feel bad for Alex Beaudry. He’s clearly not a good goaltender, and frankly never was, and yet he has to play Lowell four games in a row? He’s already given up seven goals to the River Hawks in the last four periods of hockey he played against them. How much worse can it get?

3) Keeping the dorms open.

Yesterday Lowell announced it was going to do a really great thing: As long as the River Hawks are in the playoffs, the dorms stay open. That means the great, energetic student section can bring their own brand of intimidation to the rink all three nights if necessary (it will not be necessary).

Two things that are less awesome but still pretty awesome if you think about it:
1) Disrespect.

Guess who’s the only team in the league that has to host a game on Thursday opposite an in-division Bruins/Sabres showdown. It’s Lowell. What a shock.

2) Playing these bums again.

Again, we don’t want to see Providence, with whom we normally have no problem, get drilled this hard four games straight. But it has to happen, and for that, we are sorry. But not, like, REALLY sorry. Kind of sorry.

Stat of the Week
It’s a well-known and oft-repeated fact that no Hockey East No. 2 seed has ever in league history lost to the No. 7 seed in the playoffs, and that trend looks pretty well guaranteed to continue given Providence’s quality (low) versus Lowell’s (quite high). But given that Lowell has now finished second in the league four times, we thought it would be a good time to revisit how the Chiefs/River Hawks have lent themselves to that type of dominance, and to remind everyone that back in the early days when Hockey East only had seven teams, the No. 2 didn’t play the No. 7, it played the No. 3. Under those rules, Lowell lost to Maine 5-4 in the league semifinals in 1986-87.

Without further ado then:

Year: 1993-94
Opponent: Merrimack
Season series: 2-0-1 (2-1 vs. on 1/14, 4-4 at on 1/15, 5-2 vs. on 3/4)
Playoff results: Two-game sweep
Goal differential: Plus-9 (wins of 7-1 and 3-0)
Notes: Interestingly, Merrimack and Lowell’s game on March 4 was the last of the regular season, just as Saturday’s 4-2 win was.

Year: 1995-96
Opponent: Northeastern
Season series: 2-1-0 (2-1 at on 11/17, 4-2 vs. on 11/18, 4-6 vs. on 1/5)
Playoff results: Two-game sweep
Goal differential: Plus-5 (wins of 7-3 and 4-3)
Notes: This started the second of three times in five years in which Lowell and Northeastern met in the playoffs. Lowell lost just one game out of six.

Into the fire
If you don’t follow us on Twitter (and why don’t you?), you probably missed it: This is obviously going to be a big week for TIIL. Later today you’ll get the latest in our series of hate-filled rhetoric about Lowell’s playoff opponents, “Two Minutes’ Hate.” Tomorrow you’ll get the expanded Playoff Preview, and perhaps a This Week in Disrespect either that day or before the game on Thursday. Thursday and Friday you’ll get the usual game thoughts. Then on the weekend, you won’t get anything because Lowell’s going to slaughter Providence and the third game of the series will be rendered hilariously unnecessary. Go ‘Hawks go!

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