Joseph Gravellese: Welcome to this week's Hockey Banter EXTRA: a discussion of a topic Brian proposed to us via email earlier this week. Namely, what makes for a successful season for BC hockey?
Obviously, we've been spoiled by seeing the Eagles win ALL OF THE TROPHIES so many times recently.
Grant Salzano: Well, winning ALL OF THE TROPHIES is what really sets our perspective on this. As well it should.
JG: We can't expect that every year. Or can we?
In November when BC was on their long undefeated run, one might forgive us for thinking it was national championship or bust. But now, with the backdrop of Slump Thing -- what would constitute a successful season, to you?
GS: Before answering, what would you have thought would be a successful season after LAST SEASON'S sweep by Maine?
JG: Well, last year, I went into the season with the expectation of it being a bit of a rebuilding year. My thought was: BC has a legitimate chance to make the Frozen Four, maybe as a hot 2- or 3-seed.
I was really down on them after the Maine sweep last year - even more down than I am now - and I probably would have said winning either hockey east OR making the Frozen Four would have constituted a successful sesaon.
I feel the same way now. And I kind of feel like that's a general baseline for me.
GS: I think that's really the case with most BC teams I think. We *should* have a legitimate shot of making the Frozen Four every year.
JG: It's Spoiled, I know, but BC needs to win some sort of major trophy in order for the season to be considered successful. I count winning an NCAA regional and going to the FF as winning a trophy, since they give a trophy and make hats and t-shirts for that.
GS: I put a lot of stock in winning Hockey East. You win Hockey East, you are at least the best of your peers. The teams you play every week. The ones who would really let you hear it that you lost something.
Then, of course, Frozen Four -- it's the goal every year for every team, but it's the expectation for BC.
And I think if you meet those expectations, you can't be that upset about your season.
JG: It depends on the talent on the team, though. The 2011 team, to me, was national title or bust. I wasn't pissed off that they crashed out of the tournament, but the rest of their accomplishments - 30 wins, the regular season and tournament titles, and the Beanpot - had a shadow over them because that team was so talented, they should have won it all.
Amy Calhoun: I've been thinking about this since Joe posed the question to me, and I'm still not really sure. Obviously I'll be dissappointed with anything less than all the trophies. But realistically I think Hockey Easy Tournament title and a high seed to the NCAAs.
JG: In 2008, I honestly would have been DELIGHTED at the end of the season with EITHER the Hockey East title OR the Frozen Four, and didn't really *expect* either. Because I expected it to be a rebuilding year. And then they went and won it all.
GS: I agree 2011 was a bit of a disappointment but any crash-and-burn is seriously dulled by having won Hockey East. You at least can say well, the season wasn't a total loss."
JG: That is true. It wasn't a total loss. It's just... an example of how the talent obviously makes a difference.
AC: I think if we stay East I would really want a trip to the Frozen Four; but if we get shipped out West again somehow, then I would almost expect us to lose out there.
JG: Yeah, that's reasonable.
And then from there... say we lose a tough game out West and crash out in the regionals. Then, my opinion on the season would probably be based on Hockey East tournament results.
GS: Yeah. That makes a lot of sense.
I'll play devil's advocate and throw this curveball into the mix -- Let's say Gaudreau wins the Hobey. Yes, it's an individual honor, but how would that affect your measure of the season being "successful"? What would be the minimum in addition to the Hobey for this year to be a success?
JG: It would not impact my measure of the season being successful. BC isn't about individual honors and any player on the team would say that.
I remember making fun of Badger fans in Detroit who tried to dull the pain of their drubbing with "well, our guy won the Hobey." Let's not be That.
AC: The Hobey to me doesnt have any effect on how I view the success of the season.
GS: That was the answer I thought I'd get. And yeah, it's really the right one.
JG: The answer to the original question posed is, basically, hardware. Even in the midst of this nasty slump, because of BC's recent track record, that's what you've got to expect.
I think we're all pretty much in complete agreement. Clearly we need to bring in even more special guests at some point.
JG: Sorry I'm not different enough on this topic haha
GS: So what do the rest of you think, loyal BCI readers? What would be your measure of success for this season? Leave your answers in the poll or comments below.
JG: I'm particularly interested in what more casual hockey fans have to say. My guess is, for the BC football/shootyhoop fans who tune in around this time for the Trophy Season games, it's national title or nothing else matters, yes? Though I also imagine the casual fans assign a great deal of significance to the Beanpot in terms of what counts as a successful year.
GS: It wasn't long ago that winning the Beanpot meant that the women's hockey season was a success... but now that we've been tearing it up the last few years and winning more and more hardware, that ship has long since sailed.
JG: Looking forward to hearing what folks have to say.