Hello and welcome to the first real post on this blog. I apologize, I had been in spotty internet for some time, but now I am settled and with good internet for some time, I have time to comment now on the upcoming season. As our recruiting is still fluid (having gained 2, lost 4, and another signing with the OHL) I’ll hold off on commenting on that until I hear anything official. However, our schedule is official, so we can look into that.
First things first, we have a very solid Non-conference schedule. Two games against Notre Dame and another against Michigan highlight a strong schedule. We also have the Beanpot, with an opening game against Boston College, and either Harvard or Boston University in the second round. To round out the schedule, we face Princeton in the opening round of the Mariucci Classic, and then either Niagra or Minnesota in the second round.
This gives us at least 4 games against teams in the top 25 of the Pairwise (Notre Damex2, Michigan, BC), with the potential for one more, if Princeton or Minnesota can do well this year.
On our Hockey East schedule, there are definitely some plusses to this year’s schedule. We no longer have to run the gauntlet of home-and-homes with BC, BU, and UNH in our last 6 games. That thankless task now falls to Vermont who will have to face that this year. Another nice thing will be a chance to travel away early in the season. Last year, despite having many of our games in the beginning of the year at home, we struggled mightily, and our turn around really began at the series up at Maine. Getting a chance to travel away will be good for our team. We also get 5 of our last 6 games at home, when home advantage could matter most.
Now the downside here is that we have to go through a lot of important league games right at the start of the season. For a team with a new coaching staff and a lot of new players, if we should falter early it could put us in the hole early on that could be hard to recover from. We also have our own form of a gauntlet with 3 against Merrimack, and 2 each against UNH and Boston College, which promises to be a tough stretch, and only 2 regular season games into the season.
That’s a brief look at the schedule, once we know fully about the recruits we’ll look at them, and then onto a projection of Hockey East’s 2011-2012 standings.