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Two Minute’s Hate: Take out the trash

March 24, 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.”

A couple of years ago we put out a Two Minute’s Hate on Yale during Lowell’s run to the Frozen Four. Lowell, playing its worst game of the season, lost in overtime and assured the Bulldogs of a national championship considering the opponent in the finals was Quinnipiac. The question therefore remains, is there enough material left to construct another graphic vivisection of Yale? The answer is yes, obviously.

Yale won the NCAA Tournament in 2013. Much like the Reform Party and Jesse Ventura, they’re going to be carrying on about their one bite at the apple for decades to come. To be honest, we’re a little jealous of Yale. How could we not be? We wish Lowell could play eight fewer games over the course of the season, beat up on the dredges of the ECAC and casually be ranked in the top ten for most of the year without a single shred of legitimacy. Yale was a putrid 2-3-1 this season against NCAA Tournament teams, with their two wins coming against likely first round exits Boston University and Harvard. One might think that a team ranked so highly for most of the season would have a few more quality wins under their belt, however these things happen when you play half a season. The Bulldogs found the time to schedule Amherst (twice), Arizona State and Michigan Tech to fill up the majority of their non-conference schedule. A murderers row, for sure.

Heading up this collection of skating trust-fund babies is head coach Keith Allain, the most detested coach in the ECAC. Well, aside from the classless Rand Pecknold. And the melee causing Rick Bennett. And Seth Appert and his general bad attitude. Ok, the entire ECAC coaching roster is a collection of genetic mutations who aren’t fit to fill Norm Bazin’s Gatorade bottles. But Allain has no problem comparing himself to Bazin. Allain recently commented that he “would like to think we’re [Yale] is as well coached as Lowell is…” Look, Yale grads would like to think that their degree is held in the same esteem as one from Harvard, but that doesn’t make it so. There are few coaches in college hockey who are on the same plateau as Norm Bazin. But, being the classy guy that he is, we’re sure that after Lowell is done thoroughly dominating Yale on Saturday night that Coach Bazin will have some kind parting words for Ken Allen.

Similar to the match up with Providence, Lowell and Yale appear to be mirror images of each other on paper. The River Hawks are second only to Yale in team defense, to which we must again remind the reader that it’s easy to give up fewer goals when you play hockey twice a month. Expanding on that for a second, Yale has played three games in the last 26 days and they’ve lost all three of them. After again losing to Quinnipiac in the ECAC season finale, Yale was humiliated at home by Dartmouth. Given that, Yale enters the NCAA tournament having played as many games over the past few weeks as Amherst, with none of the quality. Getting back to the original point, while the teams seem to be cut from the same cloth, that comparison is far from accurate. Lowell plays a tight defensive game, sure. But Norm Bazin’s defense is designed to neutralize the threat and then attack with a quick breakout and transition to numbers going the other way. Yale’s primary mission, it would seem, is to clog up the works like a Whiffenpoofs Dinner and hope the opposition falls asleep long enough to sneak one in and sit on the lead.

When we get right down to it, there are plenty of reasons to hate Yale. They’re the most boring, lifeless team to infest the Nutmeg State since the powers that be gleefully banished the Hartford Whalers below the Mason-Dixon Line. We’d gladly suffer through another lifetime of Brass Bonanza than be forced to watch this bumbling batch of blue bloods trap for sixty minutes. It’s easy to whip up disdain for this collection of prep school JV third-liners who shoved their rejection letters from Cornell deep into the bottom of the trash barrel so that no one would ever uncover their secret shame. We can think of a dozen teams we’d rather put our support behind than these future hedge fund managers who kill time between not playing hockey games working out just how they’re going to screw hard working Americans out of their money with predatory lending practices and which off-shore tax shelters can best protect their ill-gotten gains.

Saturday night at the Times Union Center in Albany, New York is going to be a night of continued traditions. Lowell will, for the fourth time in the last five years, make it to a regional final. The River Hawks will, once again, have a chance to play their way into the Frozen Four. And Yale University will be piling their gear onto a dilapidated motor coach for their drive back to the calming state of mediocrity.  They’ll have a lot waiting for them when they return to New Haven. Weekend brunches and squash matches. Rubber stamped grades in their comparative religion class and a cushy job waiting in the financial sector. But they’ll be without two things that money can’t buy: dignity and victory.
Go Lowell.

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