Well that was a disastrous couple of games.
The Boston College men’s hockey team dropped two games in blowout fashion before somewhat salvaging things with a shootout loss that is technically considered a tie on Saturday night. Wednesday’s loss to Notre Dame and Friday’s loss to Providence were about as bad as it can get however, and it puts the team in a really rough spot going forward. These results dropped BC to 10-10-4 on the season and they’re currently in the midst of a six-game winless streak, with their last win coming back in December. So if you’re feeling up for some more discussion on a week that BC was outscored by a combined score of 16-3, here are some final thoughts on the three games we just saw.
PROBLEMS ALL SHOW UP AT ONCE
There’s no doubt that this team has had some issues throughout the season. We’ve talked about things like the lack of depth scoring and inconsistencies in net at times, but BC has been able to keep things from getting too out of hand so far this season. In the first two games of this week, that was not the case. Things spiraled out of control pretty quickly in both games and neither was particularly competitive for about half of the game. The team took some bad penalties and a suddenly struggling penalty kill wasn’t able to keep their opponents off the board, allowing six power play goals in the two games.
In net, Eric Dop and Henry Wilder had a couple tough games, and their numbers took a bit of a hit as a result. Both goalies have save percentages below the .900 mark right now, and even if some of the other issues that BC are facing get better, that’s most likely not something that they can overcome. Again, this was something that was always going to be a step back with the departure of Spencer Knight, but it’s probably fair to say that the tandem of Dop and Wilder has been a disappointment through 24 games.
In fairness to them though, it’s not entirely their fault. The team defense against Notre Dame and in Friday’s loss to Providence was just not good enough. There have been too many times this season where the team struggles to break the puck out and ends up spending long stretches in their own zone. They let up more high danger scoring chances than in past years and it’s started to show up on the scoreboard. The team as a whole is letting up almost a full goal per game more than they did last season and they haven’t been able to score enough to make up the difference.
Even when BC teams have struggled a bit in recent years, we usually didn’t get games like this, especially not twice in the same week. On the slightly more positive side, Saturday’s game against Providence was a much better effort, and it was nice to see the team bounce back so quickly after being blown out the night before. But a week like this just makes it clear that there’s just a bit of a talent deficiency that they haven’t been able to overcome, and it’s hard to see something like that getting fixed at this point in the season.
SCHEDULE DOESN’T GET ANY EASIER
The troubling thing about where this team is right now is that for the most part, they’ve had a pretty easy schedule so far. The Eagles still have a game against a good Harvard team as well as difficult series with Northeastern and UMass and a single game with Lowell. That’s what makes some of the early season losses even more frustrating. Dropping games to Vermont, Maine, and New Hampshire has essentially removed any kind of margin for error that this team has down the stretch. If they want to work their way back up the Hockey East standings, they’re going to have to beat some teams that are better than them, and they’re going to have to do it without Marc McLaughlin and Drew Helleson once they leave for the Olympic break. Their 5-7-3 conference record has them tied for seventh place in Hockey East Right now, and they’re going to need to do some work if they want to improve on that. We’ll see if they can manage that, but recent results certainly haven’t inspired much optimism.
SUMMING UP THE STATE OF THE TEAM IN A SINGLE CLIP
It’s hard to imagine a better clip to sum up the way this week went for BC:
Everything about this video is amazing pic.twitter.com/V7EC9OTGMO— Patrick Donnelly (@PatDonn12) January 23, 2022
Sometimes you just have to laugh