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Loose pucks: We are the revolution

March 26, 2013

Three things that are movin’:
1) Being the best.

Lowell won Hockey East. The regular season. The postseason. The whole damn thing. We’re still giggling about it three days later. BC, BU, UNH, Maine, not one of them were as good as Lowell this year. It’s crazy to think about. It’s the best thing to think about. We’ll think about it forever.

2) Team defense.

Maybe our favorite thing about this team is that when things go wrong, they now have a tendency to get fixed in a hurry. The team defense, for example, wasn’t very good in Lowell’s most recent loss, which came on senior night against Providence, but that was three weeks ago, and things have gotten shored up significantly since then. One goal allowed the next night, three in two games the week after against Maine, one in two this weekend. Five goals allowed in five games. That’s just unbelievable, no matter who the opponent is, but holding white-hot BU goalless on 36 shots is a masterpiece worthy of being hung on a wall. Just great stuff.

3) Less travel.

Not that we didn’t love every second of Lowell being in the NCAA tournament last year, but one definitive lowlight was having to be in Bridgeport, Conn. That place is the worst, and we had to pay for hotels and everything. With the team playing in Manchester this weekend, we’re in a much better position. Sleeping in our own beds, not being in Connecticut. It’s a win-win.

Two things that aren’t getting us anywhere:
1) The offense.

As much as we’d like to talk about how great everything is going for the River Hawks these days, one thing that has us at least a little concerned (BUT NOT MUCH!) is the fact that they’ve scored just five goals in the last three games. Not that we think they’re ever going to have to score more than three to win a game from here on out, not with Hellebuyck in net, but nonetheless, pouring a little more into the net would be preferable to having to sweat out 2-1 and 1-0 wins. We don’t buy into the old saying that it’s not worth winning if you can’t win big, but winning big certainly helps.

2) The selection committee.

Of course Lowell gets the Bracket of Death. Two teams that are also in the top 10 in Pairwise, and another that’s almost as hot as Lowell. Meanwhile, BC collapses like a Soviet-era bridge and still gets a regional that includes Quinnipiac (which lost 4-0 to Brown on Friday), Union (which is the definition of a mediocre NCAA team), and Canisius (which is Canisius). Not that it really matters for Lowell, because whoever they play isn’t going anywhere, but nonetheless, this is so typical we can’t understand why we’re surprised.

Stat of the Week
Mentioned above, and worth noting once again, is that Connor Hellebuyck gave up one goal in two games in the semifinal and final, a week after giving up just three to Maine. And with that, one of the finest goaltending performances in any Hockey East tournament took place.

His GAA for the two weekends was 0.99, and his save percentage .966. By our count, that puts him third all-time in GAA behind only Jimmy Howard in 2004 (0.52. Ridiculous.) and Cory Schneider the next year (0.86). Those were the halcyon days of Hockey East goaltending, apparently.

However, it should be noted that in Howard’s record-setting season, he actually allowed the same number of goals as Hellebuyck and only benefited from that legendary three-overtime game against Amherst as a means of depressing his GAA enough to get the record. Howard, like Hellebuyck, allowed three goals in the quarterfinal, and shutout BU (though in the semifinal), and ultimately conceded one goal to Amherst to clinch the title. And like Hellebuyck, he was the tournament MVP.

In fact, Schneider’s GAA is also held down by the fact that his team couldn’t put opponents away in as timely a fashion as Lowell did, and he actually allowed more goals in the tournament than either Howard or Hellebuyck, at five. He too allowed three in the first round, which included an overtime game, as the Eagles swept Amherst, then they needed double overtime to beat Maine 2-1 in the semis, and took down UNH 3-1 in regulation to win the league title.

Frankly, that says to us that both Cory Schneider and Jimmy Howard deserve asterisks next to their names and records, because Hellebuyck, unlike them, didn’t need to face a pathetic team like Amherst to pad out his stats. Awful stuff from both these alleged NHLers. Take a hike, Hellebuyck is the new king.

A quick fact here
While doing our research for this week’s posts, we uncovered an interesting fact about Wisconsin. It’s that they suck. Wisconsin sucks.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Monty permalink
    March 26, 2013 6:12 am

    With how upset the Miami (of OHIO!!!) fans got with you guys last year, I can’t wait to see the Badgers fans reactions this week….

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