Well, Northeastern lost again. It’s gotten worse than last year. Last year, at least some of our initial losses were almost irrelevant because they weren’t league games. Northeastern is in serious danger of missing the playoffs. Going in, we assumed we’d get at least 7th because UMass-Lowell, Providence, and Vermont would all suck. Now we’re seeing that assuming that was a huge mistake. UML swept Maine, and Providence is rolling along. UVM might still be bad, but Hockey East is the kind of conference where you can’t just assume you can beat up on bad teams:
1. Can’t hold onto a lead. Northeastern scored first against BC, and had a 2-1 lead against UMass. They need to secure their lead, and more importantly, keep attacking and try to expand their lead.
2. The PK. The passive box isn’t moving. They need to be more aggressive, need to attack the puck-carrier, only then can you force them to make mistakes, and turn over the puck.
3. Depth. We don’t see as much of the last forward line and the 3rd D-pairing. If you’re going to dress them, use them. The problem here is that while running your most talented guys all the time works at first, by the end of the game they have little energy left and can’t hold off a more balanced attack. We really need to use all our players more equally, if only to allow the top-line guys a chance to rest.
4. Scoring. We started the first 3 games with an average of 3 goals, but now we’re far below that. At least we started shooting this game, one thing that needs to be done is solidify lines. If everyone’s always shuffling around, they can’t form a chemistry, and makes it harder to connect and work together.
1. Chris Rawlings. He’s the only reason we’re close in these games. He’s been playing terrifically, not giving up a lot of rebounds, stopping shots a lot easier than ever before, and looks more confident than ever. If Northeastern’s offense was any good, we’d probably be looking at a pretty good record right about now.
2. Ludwig Karlsson. I’ll be honest, when he first came, I wasn’t that excited. Sure, he had a sweet name, but didn’t put up anything special in terms of points on a loaded USHL team. He’s proven himself as a terrific player quickly, with nearly a point per game average, and terrific stick-handling skills, and deserves his spot on the first line.
3. The Power Play. Finally, we score on it, and then we do it again! Hopefully they can keep that going and resuscitate our Power Play numbers.