College Hockey News put out their first Hobey Watch of the season on Monday, listing Gaudreau third (and, in a bit of a surprise [though not to those of us in Chestnut Hill, and certainly not to Conte Confidential], Steven Whitney in 7th) on their list. Gaudreau is listed behind Nebraska-Omaha junior Ryan Walters and St. Lawrence senior Greg Carey.
First off, by chance I happened to watch Carey last week when St. Lawrence played Quinnipiac. He did score the first goal of the game (which was admittedly before I got into the arena due to traffic), but for the most part I thought he was pretty invisible -- not what you expect out of your star player in an upset of the #1 team in the country. It was just one game, to be fair.
But I digress. After running rampant in the early part of the season, Gaudreau has been hot and cold the last few weeks -- with unfortunately,a little more cold than hot.
After tallying four (!) helpers against Northeastern back in mid-January, Gaudreau went pointless in The Maine Debacle (certainly a big reason for BC being all aboard that particular Failboat).
Then we got another two points out of Gaudreau with a goal and an assist against Vermont, nothing in the Beanpot semis, and then a great game in the Beanpot finals against NU with two goals (one of which was a beauty) and an assist.
One point all of last weekend against New Hampshire has Gaudreau back on the "cold" side once again. Gaudreau no longer leads the nation in PPG for the first time in a while, trailing Carey 1.50 to 1.48.
So what has a bit of a midseason slump (if you call 6 points in 6 games a slump) done to Gaudreau's Hobey chances?
The short answer is -- nothing at all.
Would Gaudreau be third or so if the season ended right now? Yeah, probably. CHN's ranking isn't really much of a surprise. He's cooled down, yes. Some no-names from no-name schools are on good runs at the moment. That's great. Congrats to them.
But Gaudreau was never going to win the Hobey without having a strong end of the year. What he did midseason doesn't matter in the slightest. If he closes strong and leads us to a conference title or close to it, he will win. If he doesn't, a strong midseason wouldn't have changed that.
Thus far he has done what he's needed to do. He started strong to put him in the conversation. He needs to play well in the important games to claim the trophy. That's always what this award comes down to.
Remember what I've been saying all year: As Johnny Goes, So Goes BC. If BC goes, it'll have been because of him, and Johnny's hardware will take care of itself.