Here in Friar Country, we pride ourselves in not knowing what the hell to expect from our team from week to week. Or in some cases, day to day. A perfect example comes from the GLI Tournament least year where the Friars were lost against the Wolverines one night and took out the defending national champion Spartans the next. Who would have predicted that (aside from the Michigan and MTU fans who spent the rest of the night high fiving me)? The Friars are an awful team to predict because they have no consistency. The team radically shifts in quality for year to year and some times even night to night. This was as true in the 60's as it is now. If you notice the banners at Schneider Arena, the Friars fielded great teams in 1978, 1981, 1983, and 1985. What happened to the Friars in 1979, 1982, 1984 and 1986? I have no idea.
Then we get to teams I did follow. I do know that the 1997 Friars had goal tending issues that prevented them from repeating. I know that the offense of the 1999 Friars did not translate into 2000 and the 2002 Friars were quite possibly the most underachieving team in the history of the universe. I'm still not sure what happened that year. The team is an enigma.
This is why I find Hockey East predictions so comical - nobody can ever figure out Providence College. The Friars either finish 5 positions lower than they're supposed to or 3 or 4 positions higher. You might as well use a dart board. PC isn't alone in this: Northeastern is impossible to predict. UMASS vacillates just as insanely as Providence. Even BU has had season where they were supposed to do something and finished in eighth place, or they were supposed to finish in fifth place and they win Hockey East. The only mortal locks are that BC will be good and Merrimack will be in the basement and UNH will botch the post season. Anything else is conjecture. Hockey is a bizarre game. A goaltender can get hot, an offense can go cold, or a ref can make a strange call and all the predictions are for naught.
Complicating matters for the Friars is the fact that no one has seen them play yet. The only thing we have to judge this team on is the influx of freshman, the departures of Jon Rheault, Cody Wild, and (most importantly) Tyler Sims. The Huskies are supposed to be good and Bowling Green is supposed to be much improved. But barring that, I have no idea what to expect this weekend from the Friars except for this: we will finally figure out who these guys are.
More random thoughts:
- Hi Mark!
-One thing I do know this weekend. The Patriots are going to get CLOBBERED. They never beat the Broncos, and the team has looked lost since the Super Bowl. Someone needs to get some electrical shockers on the defense. Matt Cassel has been poor, but the defense is the real culprit for the Patriots sucking.
- No idea what to make of Game Six in Tampa Bay. It's almost a relief to get away from Fenway after the bludgeonings in Games Three and Four. The Sox can NOT keep spotting the Rays 5 run leads.