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Two Minutes’ Hate: Some things never change

March 9, 2016

It’s time for playoff hockey, and that means it’s time to throw rational, fact-driven commentary out the window. We present to you now a positively Orwellian exercise in general dislike: “The Two Minutes’ Hate.”

 

In the 1,061 days since we laid The Ice is Life to rest, a few things have changed in the world of college hockey. The Big Ten (Six? Twelve? Pick a number, guys) decided to pollute the landscape by forcing its six member schools to come together like a mediocre, rusted out Voltron and form their own little conference.

How cute.

The results have been as pathetic has they were predictable. Wisconsin, Ohio State and Michigan State continue to roll around in their own filth. Penn State has shown steady growth since its inception. And Minnesota and Michigan are what we now call “Big Ten Good”, which is to say not really good at all. Sure they manage to beat up on the Amherst’s of their little play group, but they struggle to put together wins against actual good teams who don’t have the luxury of having half of their conference propped up with tomato cans.

In reaction to the Big Ten thinking it can compete, the remaining schools in the WCHA and the CCHA who weren’t complete trash formed the National College Hockey Conference (NCHC). The NCHC, being devoid of most of the long standing rivalries that made any of their flyover state bumpkins worth watching, have made a complete circus out of college hockey by adding a shootout and three points per game scoring. We’re pretty sure the next step for this living, breathing attempt at NCAA Jam is making shots from the blue line worth two goals and an actual flaming puck.

Most things, however, have remained nice and predictable. Amherst languishes at the bottom of the league after another season of their players and coaches embarrassing themselves (and their entire bloodlines) with an effort so brutally inept it’s surpassed in its futility only by their slapstick execution. Lowell continued to jockey for position at the top of the table with the “haves” of Hockey East and find themselves in the familiar and comfortable position of hosting a quarter final series this weekend, this time against Boston University.

Last we saw Boston University here at TIIL, Bazin was inquiring to the soon to be unemployed Jack Parker about the location of his shine box. Since that glorious day, the Terriers have been on quite the roller coaster ride. They hired a hair-do with connections to run their hockey program, former Terrier David Quinn. To fully grasp the essence of Quinn, imagine beloved puppet gameshow host Guy Smiley crossed with an 1858 snake oil salesman. If there’s one thing Quinn is capable of (and we’re pretty sure it’s the only thing) its convincing top recruits to take advantage of the Crayola admission standards at Boston University for a free bottle of elixir.

Last season Quinn managed to wrangle Jack Eichel, the best college hockey player to lace ‘em up since Ben Walter (and sure, if you want to go back to 92-93 season, the best player since Shane Henry.) The Boston Eichels were a sight to see. They Eichel’d their way to a Hockey East championship, narrowly defeating our beloved ‘Hawks in the championship game due to what we’re sure was a vast, league wide conspiracy lead by noted mouth breather Joe Bertagna. It seemed destined that BU would take the national championship in their home city, but a funny thing happened on the way to the Garden. BU goaltender Matt O’Connor managed to puke all over himself in the most soul crushing and hilarious way possible. With BU leading 3-2 in the third period and just 8:36 standing between the Terriers and a National Championship, Providence defenseman Tom Parisi tossed a floater at O’Connor from center ice so the Friars could change out. O’Connor, who seemed incredulous that he actually caught it, dropped the puck between his legs and proceeded to kick the puck into his own net. It’s the kind of nightmare that keeps us warm at night and will haunt O’Connor and BU fans for decades. Providence would go on to defeat BU to the absolute delight of the entire college hockey community. Eichel left school for the fortunes of the NHL and all the excitement that comes with living in the big time market that is Buffalo, having won virtually every trophy in front of him except the one that matters most.

Devoid of his top talent, Quinn has doubled down on the only strategy he knows: get the best players in the country to commit to BU and pray to God it works on the ice. BU has the best recruiting class in the nation matriculating next fall, but with more mercenaries under his control than George Peppard,  the question remains if wave after wave of one or two year players will lead to success. We think it’ll be effective for as long as this Quinn stays on Commonwealth Avenue, which is to say until an NHL job opens up. The book is still out on how good a coach Quinn is. We personally don’t think he could coach a Hyundai through a car wash, but we’re happy to take a “wait and see” approach until we’re proven wr…wroo…wroooonnn…less than correct.

BU comes into the weekend after struggling mightily to put away the aforementioned beer league third liners out of Amherst. The Terriers laughably needed overtime to defeat the Minutemen 2-1 on Friday, and even worse, got into an up-and-down shoot-out on Saturday, finally putting Amherst away in the third period 5-4. It’s hard to accurately explain how bad Amherst was this season. Take your normal rag tag group of Tier III Junior B Amherst players and make them play with skate guards on. These miscreants certainly didn’t earn their dry bologna sandwiches and tepid tap water, managing to win just two games after November 11th; a pair of overtime games against Atlantic Hockey juggernauts Army and American International College.

Perhaps the only thing more ludicrous than the scoring lines against Amherst was the attendance at Harry Agganis Arena; a combined 3600 for the two games. Were the Globetrotters in town? We imagine the low turnout is directly related to BU’s fate already being determined. As predictable as Boston College skating through Terrier tears with their Beanpot Trophy was, a date with Lowell in the quarterfinals is akin to a death sentence. The good news for BU fans, if you’re a silver lining kind of person, is that they will almost assuredly make the NCAA Tournament to once again let down their fans and families, regardless of how badly they’re beaten this weekend. We can’t say for sure what being humiliated by Lowell in the quarterfinals will do to BU’s psyche moving forward, but we’re confident Old Man Quinn has a tonic for that.

During our hiatus, we’ve kept our eyes open and our ears to the ground. Rest assured that every single ounce of disrespect that has been levied over the past couple of seasons has been identified and catalogued for recourse at a later date. We’re aware that there are some who feel this is BU’s series to take. We, of course, remind those people to use hallucinogens carefully.

If the most dangerous place in the world is between a mother bear and her cub, the second most dangerous place in the world is between Norm Bazin and the Boston Garden. That’s unfortunate for Quinn and his doomed collection of blue chippers.
Go Lowell.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. March 9, 2016 6:03 am

    My blue chippahs will take down your 25 year olds!

  2. Dan permalink
    March 9, 2016 9:05 am

    we have missed you guys.

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