Wednesday, November 21, 2018

More images from Belfast and Dublin

Monday, November 5, 2018

Neal Boudette's Terrier Takeaway

The Terrier Takeaway from Saturday's 4-1 win against Northeastern is from blog contributor and New York Times writer Neal Boudette, who spoke with Coach O'Connell after the game.

Overall, a very convincing and complete win against a good Northeastern team. 

Need to improve: penalties and breakout. BU 29 mins in the box, NU just 12. That meant NU had 14 mins of PP time, BU only 5.

Breakout struggled at times in 1st and 2nd, allowing NU to keep puck in Terrier zone and put sustained pressure on Oettinger.
First period play was even. NU had the edge in SOG but Terriers went to the locker room with a 1-0 lead, thanks to Fabbro (more on that guy in a minute).

Second period, by clear margin BU had more possession, although NU still had good chances (due to BU breakout troubles) and hit the post once.

In the third, BU totally dominated possession. That Fabbro fella put the Terriers in control with a power-play slapshot early in the period. After that it seemed NU hardly ever had the puck.

NU won total SOG 38-29 (partly due to difference in penalties). Still, BU had as many or more quality chances.

PK was excellent. For the game NU had 14 minutes of power play time. They got one goal late when the game was out of reach. Otherwise, the PK frustrated NU. Crotty took a (dumb, in my view) 5-min hitting from behind penalty in 3rd, but BU held them to only four SOGs.

The forward PK pairs were Bowers-Bobo, Cockerill-Curry and, when needed, Wilman-Amonte.  Very impressed with how Cockerill used his speed to disrupt on PK, & Curry used his grit. They combined for a glorious shorty. Cockerill carried the puck across the blue line and saucered a pass across the slot to a streaking Curry, who tapped the puck down out of the air and immediately snapped it into the top corner. Was worthy of Sports Center.

Albie said after the game Terriers switched to a simpler PK rather than the NHL-style scheme they had been using. Bowers-Bobo combo allows BU to use either an R or L-handed centerman when penalty sends draw to D zone, a nice advantage. 

Some player impressions: 
Oettinger: A shame he didn’t get the shut out, it was deserved. He made it look easy, got square to NU shooters, never out of position. This was the real Jake.

Farrance: very strong again. Skated the puck, attacked in O-zone, solid D. Late in the game, NU forechecker chased behind the net, #4 went the other way, saw he had no good options and circled back behind the net a second time - Bobby Orr style. Albie loved it.
Cockerill - tremendous, both ends. Made things happen with his speed.

Bobo - typical Bobo, strong at both ends, scored a goal.

Harper - made some nice passes but not huge force in O-zone. What was particularly impressive was his D-zone play, showed real determination, tenacity in battles. Played much bigger than his size.

Kotkansalo - very strong and steady. Only a sophomore but as tough/smart as any D on the team.

Blixt had some troubles. Not major but probably still adjusting to college hockey.

Bowers - strong 200-foot player. Reminds me of JFK. 

And finally, Fabbro - he could play in NHL today, he’s that good. So good in D zone recovering possession, excellent making first pass to exit zone.  On offense, he recognized that NU was changing, streaked down the empty slot, took a pass from Curry and wristed it past Primeau’s glove. Dante’s game-winner 53 seconds into the 3rd, was just a bomb from the point. This kid is special. 

Friday, November 2, 2018

defkit's Terrier Takeaway: BU 5 Northeastern 5

There was a lot to like, and picking up a point at Matthews is not an easy task these days, especially after falling down 2-0 so quickly.
- That being said, the turnovers were maddening throughout, though more in the first half. Farrance had multiple turnovers in the offensive zone, trying to do too much. Krys with a terrible pass trying to exit the d-zone intercepted at the blue line. Wise with a "drive your coach crazy" blind drop pass at the blue line that turned into a rush the other way.
- Kotkansalo made the bad failed pinch play that led to NUs 5th goal (I think). And Wise failed to cover his man on the second goal. So lots of things to improve on for sure.
- A couple tough breaks: Bowers going just a little too far on the aggressive penalty kill forecheck that looked so good but turned into a 5-on-3 and the tying goal. And the play that ended with Oettinger sprawled across the crease and the puck under him started when the ref couldn't get out of the way of three Terriers breaking out of the zone and it stayed in for about 60 seconds
- 50 shots on net is certainly a big improvement from the lack of offensive flow we've seen the last two games.
- I thought Harper looked much better.
- 4th line saw very little time down the stretch. Kudos to the coaches for seeing the offensive rhythm the other lines were getting in and running with them.
- Blixt also saw very limited action.
- A nice spread of offense: out of 14 points awarded (5 goals, 9 assists), only Fabbro and Bobo had 2 point nights.

Now we need a win!

Friday, October 19, 2018

2018-19 Captain's Interview with Bobo Carpenter

Senior Bobo Carpenter, along with junior Dante Fabbro, will lead the Terriers this season as co-captains, with juniors Chad Krys and Jake Oettinger completing the leadership team as assistants. Carpenter tied Jordan Greenway for third in Hockey East overall scoring last season with 35 points and produced a team-high 20 goals. Following his two goals last weekend against Minnesota State, he stands two goals away from joining BU’s 50 career goals club.

Q. What were the keys to the team's success down the stretch last year and how do you hope to keep that momentum going into this season?
A. Our team was able to keep our play very simple and hard, which helped limit serious mistakes that could hurt us during games. The best example of this was the Hockey East Championship against Providence. Our team could feel the energy we created throughout the game.

Q. Game-to-game consistency is something coaches at every level strive for. How will you help Coach O’Connell achieve it?
A. Communication. It’s the key factor between players and coaches. With this the coaches can make decisions aiding players on and off the ice to best prepare the team as a whole when its time to compete on the weekends.

Q. Besides the usual targets of winning Beanpot, conference and NCAA hardware, what are your goals for the team this season.
A. We want to be the best team in all areas of the game possible. This could be the fastest skating, hardest forechecking, or best defensive play. We will always try to improve as a whole.

Q. Coach O’Connell has indicated he’ll continue many—but not all—of the systems and methods of David Quinn. What are you seeing so far that is different? 
A. Every coach has their own style and characteristics they want their team to grow into throughout a season. We will be a simple and hard working team every night.

Q. You attended New Jersey Devils development camp again this summer, earning strong reviews. How have these experiences improved your game and prepared you to play an even bigger role this season?
A. The camps offer a great deal of information not only about on ice behavior, but off ice as well. I would try to be the biggest sponge and soak up as much information from all the working personnel each organization has so that I can incorporate different lessons into my own routines.

Q. You’ve played both center and right wing for BU and Coach O’Connell has indicated you’ll likely begin the season at center. At which position do you feel you’re most effective?
A. I have played most of my hockey career as a center as my father who was also a center has taught me everything he knows about the position. I would play either position depending on what the team needed, as it is also great to be able to play multiple positions.

Q. Last season, BU had the second-best power play among conference team—led by seven goals from you, Bobo, and 16 points from you, Dante. Do you anticipate significant changes to the power play system with Jordan Greenway and Brady Tkachuk gone to the NHL?
A. We will have two highly skilled power play lines as we have talented players across our roster. We have a lot of guys who can make simple plays to get the puck on the net.

Q. Two years ago, BU had the best penalty kill percentage overall among Hockey East teams. That number took a dip last year. Do you see that turning around this season, especially with five returnees on defense?
A. We never want to be on the kill from the start, but we will defend our net with everything our team has. We strive to be the best at all areas of the game.

Q. We always ask this in the captain’s Q&A: which returning player (or players) will surprise BU fans by taking his game to a higher level?
A. Patrick Harper will come out stronger than ever, as he unfortunately had to miss the second half of our season last year. He is a player in the locker room that brings an entire new dynamic of play when he is with the team. His dedication to the sport matched with his skill is not only a treat for fans to watch, but his teammates to play with as well.