Hockey Banter, Week XIII: What The Hell Just Happened?

We miss you, Patch! - Elsa

The BCI overlords force us to relive BC vs. Minnesota, and we look ahead to the Eli's coming to town.

Joseph Gravellese: So.

What the hell.

That really happened.

Grant Salzano: I don't want to talk about it I don't want to talk about it I don't want to talk about it I don't want to talk about it...

Do I have to talk about it?

JG: I think that's what BCI pays us the big bucks to do.

GS: Yeah I suppose that's why I get all this Internet Moneh.

I think I would sum that game up in two words: Perfect Storm.

JG: Agreed.

I'll let you summarize everything that added up to this crapstorm, I'm sure we have basically the same points.

GS: Okay, here goes:

Minnesota, in their house, jazzed up to "get back at us" or something for the Frozen Four beatdown, us without #GaudreaubeyBaker, after losing Alber last minute to a freak injury during warmups...

Minnesota showing up with their best game and our absolute worst, a craptastic goal call to start the game for the Gophers, poor adjustments for BC, not to mention your *tap tap* biological clock, my career, your life, our marriage, and let me see, what else can we pile on? Is there any more ISH we can pile on to what happened in this game?? Is it possible??

JG: 5 freshman D having to play on Olympic-sized ice. A hot goalie for Minnesota. Post-#York925 hangover. Special teams letting the game get away from us even when we looked competitive early.

Spaz could have had a field day with that post-game press conference.

GS: Everything that could go wrong, did go wrong. That's all there is to it.

At the risk of sounding whatever the opposite of "impartial" is (and why would I ever want that?) the game was such an outlier that there was literally nothing you could take from it.

JG: I think the bottom line is that neither of us is out on the ledge.

GS: That's a good way to put it. I was losing my ish during the game but I'm okay now. I've had my medication.

I think there are two genuine things to be concerned about at this point in the season, issues that are not just based around this one game.

1) The over-reliance on Gaudreau, which is a drum everyone's been beating all year.
2) Losing Alber. This one sucks. It can't be spun.

JG: But I don't think the game showed any sort of overall mismatch between us and the top teams in the country. The first 40 minutes were pretty even in terms of gameplay, honestly. Just...perfect storm.

GS: I'm fine with relying on Gaudreau. We did the same thing with Gerbe in 2008 and we rode that train all the way to Titletown.

JG: I don't *like* it. Ideally, we see some of these other lines really get cooking. But I agree that we can get away with it. He's that good.

GS: Losing Alber is WEAK SAUCE. He was one of those leadership guys who put in a workmanlike game every night, who went unnoticed until he wasn't out there. Like, damn.

JG: Alber started off his freshman year on the outside looking in at the lineup. Wasn't he even behind Lyles on the depth chart at one point? Or at least even with him? Someone correct my memory.

Anyway, the dude was just rock-solid from the moment he solidified himself as a starter.

Stats can't tell the story of what he and Wey have meant to the team this year. (And I'm a certified stat nerd.)

Ultimately, Travis Jeke is obviously a good hockey player, or else he wouldn't be at BC. But he won't provide the solid, steady leadership of Alber on the blue line. We can only hope that Doherty and Matheson really round out their games in a hurry.

GS: Fortunately The Kid thinks Alber *could* -- emphasis on could -- be back for the Hockey East tournament.

JG: We need to hope that York's healing touch and the medical staff can get Alber back before NCAAs, because that would be huge. Not only for us, selfiishly, as fans, but also because Patch has been a loyal servant to BC and deserves to have a real end to his BC career. (I have no idea if pro hockey beckons for him.)

GS: Well said. Couldn't agree more.

JG: We've had some luck with quicker than expected recoveries -- see Muse being ready for the start of the '09-10 season, and Kreider getting his jaw surgically repaired and playing in the NCAA tournament in 2011.

Hopefully the medical staff and Patch can make it happen.

JG: Now, it's a pretty amazing statement on the ho-hum nature of BC hockey accomplishments that Jerry York got #York925 on Saturday and it's not even the first thought on most BC fans' minds right now, because of the Gopher game. But really, we should try our best to reflect on what we witnessed.

It's pretty hilarious, the way it went down, honestly -- in an empty arena, against a borderline D3 team, on a crappy webstream with no audio that was barely visible. Because in so many ways you could say that's the way Jerry would've wanted it, without much fanfare.

GS: Minnesota did their best to make it up the next day though -- very classy by the Gophers, they had all kinds of love for Coach including a graphic on the jumbotron after the game against UAH and then, from what I understand, a full-on pregame acknowledgement before the Main Event between BC and Minnesota.

JG: And BC will dedicate a pre-game ceremony to York before the UMass game on 1/18.

My moles tell me there will be some great new decorative swag in Conte for the occasion. I'm really looking forward to it.

GS: Tickets are probably going to be tough to come by. I hear tell on USCHO that someone tried to get tickets to the BC/UNH game that's a month and a half away and they were told the game has been sold our for a month already?!

JG: Wow. Pretty impressive.

Three quick discussion points before we turn our sights to Friday night's game against Yale.

1) We may have gotten sh*tcanned on Sunday night, but at least we didn't have anyone ejected for kicking. Congrats to Alexx With Two X's Privatera for the most humorous penalty to hit the scoresheet since 5 Minutes for Headbutting.

To give BU some credit, it was the first game in over a month where they were not assessed a diving penalty. So there's that.

GS: Oh man, you are in midseason #TrollSoHard form.

Continue.

JG: Well, it is midsesaon. Believe it or not. Time flies.

GS: You shut your mouth.

JG: 2) By the time this posts, the USA-Canada World Junior semifinal will be over. So, either:

2a) WOOOO America wins, USA USA USA USA!!! or
2b) Canada cheated and should be ashamed of themselves

. GS: Hopefully with Gaudreau continuing to make a name for himself either way.

JG: Finally, 3), we discussed this in the comments of your Gopher game story, how do you feel about trying to spread out the offense and re-shuffle the lines upon Gaudreau's return?

Whitney, Mullane, and Straight looked pretty good as a unit on Sunday night.

GS: I'd like to reserve judgment on that until after the Yale game. Hopefully with some real results I can have something to base my opinion on. I will say two things, however:

1) We were #1 in the country with the lines set up the way they were. If it ain't broke, p'raps we should not fix it. And,
2) If Jerry wanted to throw Gaudreau in net and make Milner our first line winger, I would be okay with it.

JG: Noted.

Alright, so the Eli's come to town, coming off a shocking loss to Holy Cross.

They were looking pretty good before that game, though, and the ECAC has been stout this year overall. So this will be a big game and a harbinger of whether Sunday was a quick blip or an impending sign of The Slump (TM).

GS: I had been more nervous about this game than the Minnesota game for quite a while actually, partially because for a while I thought I would be going to the game with my uncle, whose son was Yale '06, and if we lost that game I would quite literally never hear the end of it.

But, now that I know for sure we're not able to make it to the game, and that Yale looks a lot more beatable (even their win against Denver was in the middle of Denver's epic fail run of like 40 straight winless games) I'm feeling better about it.

Having said that, if we lose or tie it's officially Slump Time(TM).

JG: And I'm sure we will Panic. Even though there will be no reason to.

It's all part of the game.

GS: I would absolutely panic. I love Old Eli but never ever want to lose to them in hockey.

JG: Or anything else.

GS: Prediction time?

JG: BC, 3-2. Straight with the GWG.

Sighs of relief all around.

GS: The Minnesota's announcers commented that they "would sure hate to be Yale" having to play BC after that embarrassing loss. I don't think we see a blowout but BC will win a very solid game by a fairly comfortable margin -- call it 3-1 or 3-0.

We'll jump out early.

JG: Sounds good to me.

GS: I'll give one extra prediction for the weekend -- the BU/RPI game will include something funny, again. I don't know what it will be, maybe a repeat of last year's goon fest, maybe another dive, or maybe something new.

But it'll be something. Oh Terriers.

JG: I like it and hope you're right.

GS: Anything to add?

JG: Nope. Go USA. Or, have gone, USA.

GS: Bulldogs, Bulldogs, Bow wow wow, Eliiii FAIL.

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