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Loose pucks: Carr/Ruhwedel 2016

November 6, 2012

[ed. note: We wrote a Loose Pucks post last week but WordPress ate it. Sorry about that.]

Three things we’d vote for:
1) Two weeks to stew.

Well, that BC series was, or at least should have been, an eye-opener for Lowell on a number of levels. You can explain away drawing Vermont on opening night and the same is true for going to Colorado and playing at altitude to a split. Going 1-1-1 in three games, two of them on the road, isn’t the worst. Losing 1-0 at home and 6-3 on the road is, and it’s good, in our opinion, that if Lowell were going to lose, it would lose in such wildly disparate types of games. One goal in 60 in the first, nine in the same time in the second. Lots to think about, lots to consider about what went right and wrong in each, and why. Most important, though, is that the team sees what it takes to compete and not compete with the clear best team in the nation (hint: it has to do with penalties and generating high-quality chances, rather than shooting from everywhere).

2) Maine coming to town.

If ever there seemed to be a cure for what ailed Lowell it’s Maine coming to Tsongas Center for a pair. Maine is off to what-we-cannot-verify-but-imagine-to-be its worst start ever, and couldn’t buy a goal if it played its own terrible goalies. Lowell has the power to get all four points with shocking ease, and that would be huge for going forward after getting just one point from its first three league games.

3) Hockey this weekend.

Any time we have a whole weekend off from Lowell hockey during the season, we don’t know what to do with ourselves. This was an unwelcome reminder of what winter break is like, and we’re not happy about any of it.

Two things we’d kick out of office:
1) Two weeks to stew.

Of course, there is also something to be said, as we believe Norm Bazin alluded to following the 6-3 loss last weekend, for having the ability to go out and get the taste of a pair of losses like that out of your mouth as quickly as possible. It may not be possible to prepare too much, but at some point you do just get sick of it. Hopefully the team has its legs under it and has the ability to take it to Maine right out of the gate.

2) Maine coming to town.

With the above note that Maine is as dreadful a hockey team to this point in the season as we’ve seen in Hockey East in years, one gets the feeling that they cannot, logically, be this bad forever. A full 40 percent of their 10 goals through nine games came in one contest, against Army. The same Army that lost 5-0 to Division-1-in-name-only Penn State. So yeah, Maine stinks, but they also have to start scoring goals at some point, right? We have this nagging feeling in the back of our heads, and in the pits of our stomachs, that just such a game could come this weekend. Certainly, they’ll be supremely motivated after having been shutout 4-0 at home by their archrivals on Sunday.

Stat of the Week
Doug Carr would likely admit that last Sunday’s debacle against Boston College wasn’t the best effort he’s ever turned out in a Lowell uniform, and the defense in front of him would likely say the same. In fact, that was only the second time in Carr’s entire career that he allowed six goals, and fourth he allowed five or more. And if you’re wondering about his ability to bounce back, well, the results aren’t necessarily encouraging.

Bad Game No. 1: Dec. 6, 2010 at Amherst, allows five on 36, Lowell loses 5-2
Followup: Dec. 10, 2010 at Princeton, allows four on 44, Lowell loses 5-2

Bad Game No. 2: Dec. 11, 2010 at Princeton, allows five on 31 in just 33:11, Lowell loses 7-2
Followup (after not dressing for two games and serving as backup for another): Jan. 15, 2011 at Amherst, allows four on 26, Lowell loses 4-1

Bad Game No. 3: Feb. 17, 2012 vs. BU, allows six on 23 in 42:27, Lowell loses 7-4
Followup: Feb 18, 2012 at BU, allows two on 41, Lowell wins 4-2

So what can we draw from this? Mainly that this is a little bit of uncharted territory for Carr, who almost cannot be considered the same player now that he was as a freshman. This is obviously a very small sample size skewed by a team that was disastrously bad, and the majority of it comes from a team that allowed four goals a night, pretty much every night. He now has 16 career games in which he allowed four or more goals, and 11 of them came in 22 appearances as a freshman. And as brutal as he was in that ugly home loss to BU, he was positively transcendent the next night on NESN.

All this having been said, we can’t imagine what a determined and Doug Carr who’s out to re-prove himself will do against a team with 10 goals in nine games. Is it possible to allow negative goals?

Hope and change
Seriously, go out there and vote today. Thank the people at your polling place for their time and effort. Get a nice sticker for your troubles. And if you want, you can write in The Ice Is Life for every office.

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