Once upon a time, games involving New Hampshire and Providence College, involved lots of cheap shots, controversy, and a lot of complaining. Unfortunately, when Paul Pooley left the PC bench, this evaporated. To be brutally honest, Pooley's teams were exceedingly undisciplined. And UNH fans were much much whinier. Hence the drama. Two incidents stand out: the handshake brawl in 1997 and Jason Platt introducing a mouthy Colin Hemmingway to the glass at the Coffin in 2002. Thus was a great - if irritatingly one sided rivalry born!
Sadly, this is no longer the case. Providence College is now the second least penalized team in Hockey East. New Hampshire is - stunningly - the most penalized team in the conference. the Skating Mother Theresas are now the Skating Goons. You'd think there would be more made of this. But since there aren't that many PC fans on the interenet to begin with, you're never going to get the depth of whining that you'd hear at the Whittemore Center. While I'm certainly no fan of the officiating in Hockey East, I'd be hard pressed to blame any of PC's losses this year on the ref's (okay, maybe the tie at Merrimack was the fault of the officials as PC had two goals called off because the ref was 50 feet away from the net, but that's the most you'll get out of me). The roles are reversed, but not really.
What is important than the perception of goonery is that PC's PWR fell enough to disqualify them from the NCAA tournament. Apparently, UVM - who looked pretty solid from my vantage point - did not count as a quality loss. Losing a game to UNH wouldn't hurt quite as much. If PC can get a split, they could be back in business. It will be difficult to pull off a win, but not impossible. PC might just pull this off after all. Just don't expect the rampatant goonery this series used to have. Unless its a parade of Kitties going to the box... Nice change, eh?
-As you can see, I decided NOT to mock the Beanpot for the second consecutive week. The only snoozer this year was NU/HU and BU did not win. Here's you're reward: non mockery.
-Somebody give the UML fans a hug.
-Tip for WCHA fans: Whining about every non-WCHA team ranked in the top 10 is moronic. It makes you look provincial and stupid and there's no possible way you can prove that Michigan or Miami or even UNH would finish in the middle of the WCHA. Because they wouldn't. I'm sorry, but now that I'm seeing WCHA games every weekend, I'm can't possibly see how the middle of the pack in that conference is vastly superior to everyone else. Especially now that Minnesota is terrible. I don't care how many "cupcakes" you think everyone else schedules. Anyone remember 2003 when the WCHA crowing that Cornell would finish below MTU in the WCHA led directly to the Big Red dismantling MSU-Mankato? Well, it happened. So there.
-Jon's favorite Celtic: Rajon Rondo.
-Tip for non-Giants fans crowing about the Super Bowl. Talk to me when your team even PLAYS in that game.
-Team to watch in the last month of the Hockey East season: BU. I don't like this scenario at all. Team to ignore: Maine. This is kind of funny, huh?
-Helping out PC recently: Michigan, Clarkson, Union.
Not helping: SLU, MSU (!), Brown
Not even remotely participating: Holy Cross
Yeah, I'm paying attention and I do hold a grudge.
-Football Club Northern Tiberon is going UP! Finally. after 5 years of trying to get out of division V, my Hattrick team (http://www.hattrick.org/) is finally getting promoted! And yes, I'm always open to playing a friendly or two. Ahem.
-Might I remind the two or three USCHO posters who keep telling me about Roboshark that this is MY imaginary robot shark best friend! Get your own! (just kidding. Roboshark is very real)
-Hi Mark! Okay, someone tell Mark I'm still doing these...