Boston College currently sits atop the top of the Hockey East standings going into the final few weeks of the season. With two games against Maine this weekend, BC can has the opportunity with four points to gain ground on Boston University.
Or, you know, not.
No one outside of Wakefield really knows how the Hockey East Power Index is being computed (though the more mathematically astute of us are starting to figure it out), so no one really knows what the results from this weekend are going to do. Will BU’s now one game on the road be more valuable than a potential Boston College sweep? How about an overtime win? No one really knows, which is exactly the desired effect when you already are going to have a regular season championship with some legitimacy issues due to COVID.
Hockey East has been good about its COVID response—playing the schedule by ear every week was the right move given the realities of COVID protocols— but it is utterly perplexing that Hockey East has not put out its formula. Just a rudimentary explanation of a formula that realistically will only be useful this year (we hope) will give some much needed clarity to the seeding of the tournament, as well as the regular season champion. Certainly an NCAA Tournament committee that will have a more subjective task than normal this year will need some clarification on the standings if the committee is to properly evaluate the league’s teams.
And yet, absolutely nothing from the league office. It’s baffling.
In any event, the best thing that teams can do is win, and BC has a chance to pick up four points (or rather, an indeterminate number of HEPIs) on the weekend.
Just the Facts.
vs. Maine (2-7-1)
Game 1 - Friday, February 19, 7 PM
Radio: WEEI 850 AM
Game 2 - Saturday, February 20, 5 PM
Radio: WEEI 850 AM
Breaking down the series
- What to make of Maine’s offense: Maine’s offense is kind of a mixed bag. The Black Bears are 14th in the country in shooting percentage, but possession numbers leave a lot to be desired as they are one of the worst in the country by that measure. Essentially, Maine is good at finding the net when they get to it, but certainly doesn’t control the run of play enough to be a serious threat.
- Pucks on net: Meanwhile in the defensive end, Maine’s goaltending has been nothing short of a weakness for the Black Bears. It’s clear that Bruins draft pick Jeremy Swayman was integral to Maine’s stronger performance in recent seasons, and his departure has hurt.
Victor Ostman and Matthew Thiessen have split time in net for the Black Bears, and they combined for one of the worst save percentages as a team in the country. If BC gets pucks on net and maintains its second best in the country shooting percentage, this is a team that can get run out of a building quickly this weekend.
- Special teams: It appears that maybe, possibly, finally, BC’s power play may have turned the corner, with power play goals now in consecutive weekends after a long and baffling drought. If they can continue the improvement that has been shown in the past two weeks, certainly the Eagles can cement their status as a leading title contender.
Random, Possibly Incorrect Fact from Maine’s Wikipedia Page
The University of Maine is one of only a few land, sea and space grant institutions in the nation.
Barley and Hops Based Alcoholic Beverage of the Game
Narrangansett is perfect if you want to have a beer that is inexpensive and also local. Not a whole lot more than that. That is basically how we feel about Alfond Arena, too, hence its position at #1 in our Hockey East experience rankings. We’ll get back there again some day!
Friday: BC 6 Maine 1
Saturday: BC 4 Maine 0