First, an apology. I had hoped to post separate thoughts on both games and a look at Maine. However, things got in the way and I was unable to put up anything. In a way, though, I think this is in some ways better. Now I can look at both games together and figure out things that were good and bad.
First off, it seems that Northeastern didn’t play to win much this weekend. They played a good first period against UMass but then sat back and let UMass take the lead. When Northeastern got it’s act together in the final 10 minutes, they could pour shots on Boyle and were rewarded with the tie. With Maine, they came in, got shellacked the first period, and never recovered from it. Essentially, Maine and UMass played to win, and Northeastern by and large didn’t.
Defense was a major liability this weekend, and that seems confusing. We return 4 of our 6 defensemen, and bring in 2 solid freshmen. Yet, we let UMass and Maine run roughshod over us. Letting both teams get over 40 shots on goal is simply unacceptable. Maine, maybe. They have a strong offense, but letting UMass get 40+ shots shouldn’t happen. Now, I think some of this is the new system and coaching style clashing with what we did last year. We’re trying to open up our team a bit more, and I think there will be some confusion.
This is not time to start panicking. We’re 2 games in. It takes time for a system to get fully accepted, and we’re also missing our 2nd line. Northeastern relied heavily on the top 2 lines for offense, which puts a lot of pressure on them to preform. Once Quailer and Karlsson come back this upcoming weekend we’ll be in a better place, and Ferriero returning will give us the ability to roll 4 solid lines. If our defense can improve we’ll be in a very solid place.
However, work needs to be done. The power play was horrendous and needs work, and defensively there needs to be a lot of tightening. they need to be disciplined, because there were far too many penalties taken. This is still a very talented and all around good team, and if we can tighten up and play a consistent game, we can still go far.