Friday, February 1, 2008

Rant part two: Defending Tyler Sims

So this is where the last rant was leading me: the whipping boy for the past two years of Friar hockey has been Tyler Sims, the senior number one goaltender. To me, this is a bit unfair. But let me start by acknowledging two things. First of all, Tyler is not perfect. He does seem to let in a soft goal or two every game and he seems to be in the wrong position on other goals. The fact that I'm not a hockey expert and I figured this out on my own is telling. Second of all, Tyler was brought it to be the back up to Bobby Geopfert. Unfortunately, Bobby got caught in that plagiarism scandal and eventually ended up at St. Cloud. So Tyler was forced into duty. In 2005-2006, Ryan Simpson was brought in to challenge for the position. After one game, Ryan has spent the rest of his college career managing to get injured. Basically, its been Tyler and Chris Mannix - who has done a fantastic job spotting Sims - for most of Tim Army's reign. Not the best situation for any coach.

But I think blaming Tyler solely for the mess we've sat through for the past 2 years is ridiculous. First of all, the scoring last year was non-existant. No forward on the team had a good year and since the defense in Army's system leads to offense, it probably doesn't help that Cody Wild missed significant time, he being PC's best defenseman. Speaking of defense, they've been turnover prone. While I agree that Tyler probably could have made some of the saves that turned into goals, there's only so much you can do when you give up 3-5 odd man rushes per game or in some cases (ie, the Michigan game) per PERIOD. And while we're on the subject, when the defense and offense are struggling, its quite predictable that the power play and penalty kill aren't going to be very good either.

The second defense I can make for Tyler is this: despite him - again, I agree with this statement - not being the second coming of Mario Proulx or Chris Terreri, Tyler Sims is Providence College's ALL TIME leader in shutouts. He has to be doing something right. And the fact that Tyler actually has a decent record in Alfond Arena - a place where the Friars went 15 years between wins! - speaks volumes.

Third, my fiancee says he's okay. She makes my decisions for me. Thanks honey. :)
All this being said, I'd be happy to give Mannix or Simpson a start this weekend. Tyler has done the job by himself for all of this year and it would be nice to give him a rest. The last two times PC has been in this situation they had Ballard/Schaefer (2001) and Schaefer/Geopfert (2003). Having a good back up to spot the starter or challenge for the number one spot is a good position to be in.

Random ranting:

- I hate the two week layoff between the NFC/AFC title games and the Superbowl. We've learned NOTHING since the status of Tom Brady's foot was laid to rest.

-Sometime before Monday, I will compare the Beanpot to the GLI. That should and will piss some people off. Oh well...

-What is wrong with Boston sports? I know it was too much to have the Red Sox, Patriots, and Celtics cruising at the same time, but in the past three weeks, the Bruins have show a smidgen of competence. So why did the Celtics choose this time to completely lose the plot? I don't think Kevin Garnett's injury is the culprit here. The Celts did just fine last night with KG on the bench and Dirk Notwitzki eating them alive.

-I hate to join the "Fire Tim Welsh" bandwagon. But ten years of inertia is pushing me in that direction. The problem is that even if you get every PC basketball fan in existence to call for the man's head, its probably not going to happen. And for any of you aspiring coaches out there, this a golden opportunity because PC doesn't get rid of ANYONE.

-I'm not too broken up Johan Santana joining the Mets. It would have been nice to have him even if the Sox had to trade some of the young talent. After all, that's why we have them here to begin with.

-If you want a real laugh - and you aren't a conservative - check out the link to Adventures in Jennyland and read the 16 part (!) mega-post about W's state of the Union address. I wish I could be that funny.

-I have a nasty feeling that Celtic aren't going to make up that four point gap in the SPL. If falling Scottish "Fitbah!" for an extended period of time has taught me anything, its that when Celtic wins the league, its usually by 12 points. When Rangers win, its by 1 point or goal differential. And it looks like it might be a 1 point/goal differential type of year.
Once again, hi Mark!

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