With yet another Friar season in the books, it behooves me to analyze what went wrong, what went right and what needs work. To whit:
-Taking 3 out of 4 points from then #5 UMASS
-Sweeping Maine at Alfond
-Taking four points from NU in one weekend
-Beating the defending national champions at GLI
-Great OT wins over UVM and UML
-Tyler Sims breaking the shutout record
-Taking 5 points from BC
-Clobbering Brown 8-0.
What needs work:
-PC needs a sniper. Or two.
-Physical presence in our forwards. It is wwaaaayyyyyy too easy for bigger teams (BU, ahem!) to press PC into the boards and hold them there.
-Abandon Pooley hockey ONCE AND FOR ALL. The past two weekends have seen a return to the Dump and Watch, cataclysmic defensive turnovers, and undisciplined penalties. This needs to end. NOW.
-Can we please figure out how to get a power play goal?
-A good goaltender to spell Ryan Simpson. Or, more accurately, start.
-Whatever Tim Army does before the playoffs, needs to stop IMMEDIATELY. The team has played a grand total of one competetive playoff game in the past 3 years. The scores of the other games: 4-0, 4-0, 6-0, 5-1, and 5-1. That is beyond pathetic.
The last month of hockey has absolutely poisoned my outlook for this team and extinguished any hope that this will be anything more than long drawn out rebuilding process. I'll still be back for next season of course, but I'm not going to get my hopes up. For a while, this team was #14 in the polls, over the bubble for an NCAA slot and within sniffing distance of second place. The wheels came off the wagon during the Merrimack weekend and - if you discount the win and tie against BC - never came back on. The team was miserable during final series and BU and even worse against a BC team they had OWNED in the regular season. This is the second time in three seasons that the team has gone on a protracted slump at the end of a season. Until PC can finish with home ice and show some pulse during the post season, there is nothing to make me think this won't keep happening.
To make matters worse, UVM finally got home ice, UMASS will probably rebound from their horrible finish, UML is getting better, NU is getting better, Merrimack is getting MUCH better and - this is the scary part - I very much doubt Maine will be down for very long. PC's failure to get anything done during a three year period where the league was arguably as week as it has ever been is very discouraging.