Expectations for Penn State hockey.

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How long do you think it will take Penn State to earn a berth to the Frozen Four?

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Expectations for Penn State hockey.

Post  amg424 on Mon 02 Apr 2012, 5:33 pm

Penn State is a university that expects greatness in all of its endeavors. I figured that this would be a good starting point to address our expectations as Penn State heads into its first season as an NCAA Division I varsity program in the modern era.


Last edited by amg424 on Tue 10 Apr 2012, 10:29 am; edited 2 times in total

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Re: Expectations for Penn State hockey.

Post  Brittany on Mon 02 Apr 2012, 6:33 pm

I believe that Penn State would be able to get to the tournament by the second or third year, but I do think it'll take at least 4 years to get to a frozen four. Smile I love you queen

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Re: Expectations for Penn State hockey.

Post  TYTKyle on Tue 17 Apr 2012, 4:50 pm

The Frozen Four is a tough call, because while the NCAA tournament does have a couple of heavy favorites (BC this year, for example) and underdogs (the AHA winner every year), for the most part it's a collection of relatively evenly-matched teams. To go from NCAA bid to Frozen Four is...I don't really want to call it luck, but whatever quality it is that causes one team who would beat another, say, six times out of ten in a simulation to do so (or not) in a single-elimination tournament. So for me, qualifying for the NCAA tournament and having a reasonable shot at advancing - while certainly not a destination - would be a satisfactory measure of "making it."

There's only one program in the last 30 years to join DI both into a major conference and without playing in a lower division beforehand: Nebraska-Omaha. They've always been my measuring stick. Their first winning record was in year 4 (although they made a surprise run to the CCHA championship game in year 3) and their first NCAA tournament was in year 9. I think Penn State can improve on that for a number of reasons, but realisitically, I think the fourth season could end in an NCAA bid or at least will be the first time a PSU fan will develop a legitimate be interest in PWR. I think close to .500 year one with a weak schedule, step back in the second year with the Big Ten, and forward progression from there. It's probably worth pointing out that PSU's first "they could play for DI teams not making a transition" players* are arriving around 2014.

* Not intended to smear those coming before then, as they are certainly good enough to keep PSU from being completely humiliated out of the gate and may even surprise someone. But realistically, Max Gardiner washed out of Minnesota and Reed Linaker would have been Wisconsin-bound...had they offered him a scholarship. They're obviously very capable players, but not quite on the level of what top programs bring in.

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Re: Expectations for Penn State hockey.

Post  amg424 on Tue 17 Apr 2012, 10:47 pm

TYTKyle wrote:The Frozen Four is a tough call, because while the NCAA tournament does have a couple of heavy favorites (BC this year, for example) and underdogs (the AHA winner every year), for the most part it's a collection of relatively evenly-matched teams. To go from NCAA bid to Frozen Four is...I don't really want to call it luck, but whatever quality it is that causes one team who would beat another, say, six times out of ten in a simulation to do so (or not) in a single-elimination tournament. So for me, qualifying for the NCAA tournament and having a reasonable shot at advancing - while certainly not a destination - would be a satisfactory measure of "making it."

There's only one program in the last 30 years to join DI both into a major conference and without playing in a lower division beforehand: Nebraska-Omaha. They've always been my measuring stick. Their first winning record was in year 4 (although they made a surprise run to the CCHA championship game in year 3) and their first NCAA tournament was in year 9. I think Penn State can improve on that for a number of reasons, but realisitically, I think the fourth season could end in an NCAA bid or at least will be the first time a PSU fan will develop a legitimate be interest in PWR. I think close to .500 year one with a weak schedule, step back in the second year with the Big Ten, and forward progression from there. It's probably worth pointing out that PSU's first "they could play for DI teams not making a transition" players* are arriving around 2014.

* Not intended to smear those coming before then, as they are certainly good enough to keep PSU from being completely humiliated out of the gate and may even surprise someone. But realistically, Max Gardiner washed out of Minnesota and Reed Linaker would have been Wisconsin-bound...had they offered him a scholarship. They're obviously very capable players, but not quite on the level of what top programs bring in.

I am fine with you referring to it as luck in a single-elimination tournament like the NCAAs. That's why one of the old structures with three-game series at campus locations made more sense. Sure, with single-elimination, the "better" team might not win (ask Michigan about that this year (but I would argue with that anyways)), but as the sample size grows, the likelihood of the losing team being able to claim anymore that it is the "better" team diminishes. That's why I found the proposed structure of the B1G Hockey tournament to be odd with one of the formats proposed taking the form of a single-elimination tournament. The ECAC, Hockey East, and the CCHA use campus sites and three-game series at least at one level of their conference tournaments. Why the B1G would not is beyond my understanding. My only point with this digression is that with an opportunistic final seeding in the B1G Hockey tournament, Penn State might be closer to even a conference championship than one would think reasonably with Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin vying for the same title annually. If the former two end up seeded where one or the other knocks the other one out, a few lucky (there's that word again) bounces and Penn State will be B1G Hockey Champions.

I think the NCAAs are well within reach during one of the early seasons. I will concede that I don't know the history of UNO quite as well as you do. I know that it entered the CCHA, made the jump to the WCHA, are headed for NoDak's NCHC in the future. I know that it took them ~8 years to make the NCAA Tournament from having no program. I think that Penn State is far better situated, but you have a good point that our expectations need to be tempered with UNO's experience. Penn State is a brand so booking a strong out-of-conference opponents will be easier. Also, the budget at Penn State is significantly higher for the jump. Then there's the factors that cannot be quantified, environment and selling potential. I mean this as no offense to UNO, but Penn State is a brand and is a fairly easy sell. One need only take a recruit to a football game to see the potential for raucousness in Pegula. One recruit and his father noted that upon visiting. (Sorry, I don't think the Ice Pavilion quite has the level of intimidation of some of the venues at the NCAA level). The campus is beautiful and the academics are superiors and well-regarded nationally. Unlike UNO, Penn State is building a program on top of a solid foundation of other factors that UNO could not rely upon to draw new recruits as a neophyte program. That's why I think that Penn State will be up to competitive levels far faster than UNO. Also, there are expectations of all programs at Penn State, we are well aware of that.

My go-to comparisons, because I'm more familiar with them, are RIT and Union. The latter is not that reassuring because until 2010 they were the doormat of the ECAC. However, in 2010 they made a run to the ECAC Championship (they were blanked 3-0 by Cornell in the ECAC Championship game). Both compete without scholarships and both lack some of the intangibles that Penn State has clearly. RIT and Union made the jump from Division III to Division I. RIT took five years to make a run at the Frozen Four through the 2010 NCAA East Regional in Albany. Union took 11 years to make the Frozen Four through the 2012 NCAA East Regional in Bridgeport. RIT is the approach that I think most applies because RIT made it out of its bracket (Cornell, Denver, UNH) when it should not have statistically, while Union was expected statistically to make it out of its bracket (Miami, UMass-Lowell, Michigan State). RIT beat Denver in a close game and then UNH underestimated RIT gravely and was eliminated with a 6-2 score. I don't think Penn State will be blessed with the easiest bracket in the tournament like Union was within a decade. Also, I do think that ACHA Division I and NCAA Division III are very analogous. Penn State lost the Neumann game largely because of a few poor defensive plays and goaltending that was not adequate. Had Madrazo and Musico managed a combined 0.900 SV%, Penn State would have won the game. For what it's worth, Musico was on pace for near that value with a ~0.880 SV%, but Madrazo registered a ~0.650 SV%. I don't want to throw Madrazo or Musico under the bus, but Skoff should be a welcome addition to increase competition at the goaltending position. I know a lot of people in "the show" of NCAA Division I think that ACHA Division I is very similar to NCAA Division III with respect to skills sets. I think RIT, Union, and UNO provide a suitable litmus test, but we cannot sell short the many advantages that Penn State has over those start-up/jump programs.

I think Penn State can make an RIT-esque run. Beat an established team in a hard-fought slug-fest and benefit from a team underestimating them with maybe a few fortuitous bounces. It might be because I follow a team already in NCAA Division I, but I know that I will be paying attention to the PWR even as early as this season. I think that with a few upsets and close games that Penn State might be closer to an at-large bid than one might assume in its first season. Sure, I don't think they have great odds with the fact that at-larges squeak in with very low seeds often and get placed in the Minnesota Invitational or some bracket equally horrendous, but they still have a chance. Only one team of all the announced opponents for next season was not a TUC for the 2012 NCAA Tournament, AIC. (3. Union, 15. Michigan State, 24. Wisconsin, 30. RIT).

No, I agree about the recruits. I have thought for awhile that I was alone in that. There is only one of those already here who I think might have had a chance on a more established, perennial powerhouse team. I don't think Kerr whom Cornell and Michigan recruited can be undersold though. Cornell's Schafer is great at identifying defensive talent, so I think he might be on the would-have-competed-at-a-national-power level.

I would add to that thought that Cornell hockey was not anything before Harkness recruited Dryden who was not regarded at that time as anything spectacular. Cornell and Harkness managed to lure Dryden away from Princeton, and, well, Princeton hockey was largely irrelevant until well, Guy Gadowsky was there.

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Re: Expectations for Penn State hockey.

Post  cagney on Thu 19 Apr 2012, 9:41 am

The strength of the Penn State brand is something that many expect to count for a lot but I look at a team like Ohio State, who also have a very strong brand, and part of me fears Penn State could have the same problems they've had over the years. I don't have an in-depth knowledge of their program but it seems it took them decades of play at the Div.1 level to get even a modest level of success going.

The B1G is sure to be a very competitive conference and most of the teams in it have real advantages over Penn State at this point (Significant D1 hockey success, based in youth hockey hotbeds which help recruiting, coaches who've proven they can win championships etc.) in time so it seems to me the learning curve will be very steep and unless Gadowsky can really out-coach himself and/or the players can really surprise it seems very optimistic to be talking about the Frozen Four right now. I'd actually be more surprised if they made the NCAA tournament (to say nothing of the FF) in the first two years than if they didn't make it in the first five.

My hope for the first two seasons is a winning record.

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Re: Expectations for Penn State hockey.

Post  amg424 on Thu 19 Apr 2012, 3:23 pm

cagney wrote:The strength of the Penn State brand is something that many expect to count for a lot but I look at a team like Ohio State, who also have a very strong brand, and part of me fears Penn State could have the same problems they've had over the years. I don't have an in-depth knowledge of their program but it seems it took them decades of play at the Div.1 level to get even a modest level of success going.

My hope for the first two seasons is a winning record.

Interesting. I never went through the comparison with Ohio State. I think that Ohio State has an issue that we cannot ascertain as whether it affects Penn State currently. That is neither anxiety-inducing nor reassuring. I think that Ohio State has a brand and a clear pitch that they can make to recruits. I think Ohio State's issue is more of one of personnel. I think that Ohio State has suffered from ill-prepared recruiting coaches. I am not sure who runs point on recruiting at Penn State, so I cannot make a direct comparison, but Ohio State when it had an assistant coach who was great at recruiting, Casey Jones (current head coach of Clarkson, one-time prospect for the head coaching job at Penn State, and former assistant coach at Cornell who recruited the freshman class that dominated Michigan in the 2012 NCAA Regionals), made waves in college hockey. Ohio State was largely dormant before and after Jones was there. Jones managed to convince Ryan Kesler to stay in-state and play at Ohio State rather than take his talents to more established, better respected programs. That same year's recruiting class created the highest point in Ohio State hockey history. Ohio State appeared in the NCAA tournament three consecutive years. It did not make the Frozen Four in that span which was considered underperformance. I think that Penn State needs to ensure that it has people who can spot amazing talent in unlikely places. Penn State benefits from geography as well. Ohio State has to compete directly with Michigan, Michigan State, and Miami as hockey powers as well as several other programs in the Michigan-Ohio region. Penn State is situated near New York State and has a near monopoly on Pennsylvanians who want to stay in Pennsylvania to play. Few would choose playing in Atlantic Hockey with either Mercyhurst or Robert Morris over playing in B1G Hockey at Penn State. I'm curious why recruiting has not delved into Upstate New York for recruits yet. As a representative of USA Hockey noted in its announcement in Buffalo this week, Upstate New York has contributed more current NHL players than Russia. Ohio State suffers from a history of mediocrity as well (no national championships and only one Frozen Four since its founding in 1963). Penn State won't have this issue. Penn State has the allure of newness and potential. Admittedly, if Penn State earns the reputation of being mediocre, it will have many of the same issues that Ohio State hockey does.

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Re: Expectations for Penn State hockey.

Post  TYTKyle on Fri 18 May 2012, 5:22 pm

At the risk of repeating myself, I think we'll be close to the equal of a middle-of-the-pack Atlantic Hockey team this year. We should win every game against the ACHA and DIII, so that alone should be good for 8-10 wins, depending on how many we end up playing. Toss in AIC too, they're about as much of an NCAA DI team as Lindenwood. The NTDP U18s are competitive in their NCAA games. The beat (awful) UVM and UAH last year and lost the rest, but were only truly blown out once. A split of those four is reasonable.

Like it or not, we're probably getting smoked by Air Force, Union, OSU/Miami, Michigan State and Wisconsin. Probably RIT too. I think we can go close to .500 against those mid-AHA teams, so spilt Army/Sacred Heart, Holy Cross, Robert Morris and UConn down the middle.

Add that all up, and it's about 18-16. Obviously, there are likely to be a couple ties in there. That's fine for a first year, I'm happy with anything within reasonable proximity of even. Pull off an upset in any of the "we're probably getting smoked" games, avoid a letdown somewhere else, and that's a hugely successful first year.

The second year is going to be hard. I spoke with Coach this week, and he told me that some other coaches think we're going 0-20 in the Big Ten, and made the (accurate) observation that teams like MSU and Wisconsin are going to show us more than they did in year one, since the games will then count for Big Ten standings position. I don't think we're going to be completely skunked, but we're going to get killed. Without knowing anything about our OOC (you can probably count on return trips from RIT, Union, a couple of the other AHAs, maybe one other big away OOC series, the Pittsburgh Invite, etc.). If we got to 10 total wins in the second year, that would be fantastic.

The good news is that Gadowsky's track record says we'll steadily improve from there. It's still early, but it's starting to look like we'll draw guys with other DI offers (not just interest letters) around 2014 and 2015. By years four and five, we'll be at least playing with the PWR predictors and caring about other games. In a world where top, top players rarely stay for four years, few want to toss away years at the Ice Pavilion, in the ACHA, in the transitional year or as a Big Ten whipping boy. We'll get there, but it won't look like it most of the time in those first three years.

For now, the cold reality on these first teams is that we're operating at a VERY heavy talent and depth deficit. I love the Icers, they're always going to be why I'm even here at all, and obviously Gadowsky's doing the right thing in the long run by spreading the scholarship money out a little, but the bulk of them are not anything close to DI-caliber players. If you want to pull out Olczyk, Jensen, Johnson, Holstrom and Kirchhevel out from that group feel free (even if you're really just talking about two decent AHA players, two guys who couldn't get ice at middle/bottom WCHA programs and a guy who hasn't played NCAA yet but is of that same vintage). Then add them to the 12 incoming recruits. Congratulations, you almost have a full lineup of guys who for the most part had very limited (if any) DI options. We have a bright future, but right now, it's the present.

Hopefully you realize that I'm not the type of guy who trashes student-athletes (they're all better than I am haha, and I think TYT speaks for itself in that regard), but I just think that we need to be careful with the implied expectations when the high choice in the poll at the top is five years or more for a Frozen Four, something that doesn't even come along all that often for great programs (Cornell, for one).

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Re: Expectations for Penn State hockey.

Post  amg424 on Sat 19 May 2012, 4:25 pm

TYTKyle wrote:Like it or not, we're probably getting smoked by Air Force, Union, OSU/Miami, Michigan State and Wisconsin. Probably RIT too. I think we can go close to .500 against those mid-AHA teams, so spilt Army/Sacred Heart, Holy Cross, Robert Morris and UConn down the middle.

I would limit the "probably getting smoked" to few teams and add a few to the "should probably beat us, but we still have a chance" category. I think that Michigan State, Ohio State, and RIT are winnable. RIT especially. RIT will have the momentum of their homecoming at their back, but I think that Penn State could pull it off. I haven't seen RIT play since October 2011 at Lynah, I must admit, so I am not as familiar with their play, but they haven't been the unstoppable force that they were in 2009-10. I am leery about Air Force. They are a team that has a tendency to drop easy games or to play BC the closest any opponent did in the 2012 NCAAs, so I am not making a prediction about that opponent. I agree that Miami should fit easily in the "we're probably getting smoked" category.

Union will be interesting because the styles of play are entirely different. Union is a puck-possession, defense-based system while GG's style is very fast-paced, aggressive, and offensive. The closest analog to GG's system remaining in the ECAC is Allain's system at Yale. Maybe Vaughan's system at Colgate. I can tell you one thing from the Union-Cornell game at Lynah that I attended in February 2012. If Penn State can get enough people into Messa that they can taunt Grosenick audibly, it gets in his head and his play declines noticeably. (I'm avoiding my digression about his style of play and how I find it less than stellar despite his stats). He could not play in Lynah. I think a split out of Schenectady is possible. Union with their 2011-12 team last year managed only a tie against Niagara. I think it is possible if Penn State plays a sound game. Now, having said that, coming out of Union with the proverbial four points would be a shock to me too.

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Re: Expectations for Penn State hockey.

Post  amg424 on Sat 19 May 2012, 4:25 pm

TYTKyle wrote:
The second year is going to be hard. I spoke with Coach this week, and he told me that some other coaches think we're going 0-20 in the Big Ten, and made the (accurate) observation that teams like MSU and Wisconsin are going to show us more than they did in year one, since the games will then count for Big Ten standings position. I don't think we're going to be completely skunked, but we're going to get killed. Without knowing anything about our OOC (you can probably count on return trips from RIT, Union, a couple of the other AHAs, maybe one other big away OOC series, the Pittsburgh Invite, etc.). If we got to 10 total wins in the second year, that would be fantastic.

Yeah, Penn State going 0-20-0 in B1G won't happen. I agree with that about Michigan State and Wisconsin, but they are still limited by their maximum level of talent. Wisconsin is the oddest team in college hockey in my opinion. It is a program with a lot of history and tradition, but yet its teams are either abysmal-middling with missing the NCAA tournament by a large margin like in 2012, or will be the team to beat. So, with Wisconsin, I think it will come down to at which point in their abysmal-national contender arc Penn State happens to play them. I do not follow Wisconsin hockey all that closely, so I cannot make a prediction about where they are.

The other B1G teams in the second year are playing with more to lose. Everyone expects that Penn State should lose each game, so when Penn State pulls off an upset, that will be the news. That is an advantage in the college hockey landscape. If Penn States goes 1-3-0 against Michigan or Minnesota, the news won't be the Wolverines's or Gophers's three wins, but Penn State's one. Having said that, I think it will be difficult for even Michigan and Minnesota to blank Penn State, but I do not expect a split out of those two series.

Personally, I don't think Penn State has much to fear in Ohio State. It has only a little more to fear in Sparty. I think that Penn State will be competitive with Ohio State early. I am still hoping for the first-year upset, but by the second year, I think that Ohio State will be a series that Penn State could hit or best 0.500 reasonably without too much luck.

Now, Anastos is the variable with Michigan State. He is a great coach and if Sparty didn't have him, I would critique the second-year series with Sparty the same way I did the one with Ohio State, but I have faith in Anastos, so I think it will be harder to beat them. I think Michigan State can be expected soon to be a team that makes the NCAAs more often than it does not. I think Penn State could pull off a 0.500, but it will be a hard-fought split.

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Re: Expectations for Penn State hockey.

Post  amg424 on Sat 19 May 2012, 4:26 pm

TYTKyle wrote:...we're operating at a VERY heavy talent and depth deficit. I love the Icers, they're always going to be why I'm even here at all, and obviously Gadowsky's doing the right thing in the long run by spreading the scholarship money out a little, but the bulk of them are not anything close to DI-caliber players.

I don't think anyone would think that you rip on student-athletes. This is where I disagree somewhat. I think it is easy to make too much of talent deficits and number of NHL draft picks. Minnesota had far more draft picks than BC and that game in the 2012 Frozen Four was one of the most lopsided games I have seen played. Cornell had fewer NHL draft picks than Michigan and the draft picks of the latter were in much earlier rounds (especially considering that Cornell's Ferlin did not play due to injury), but Cornell outplayed the Wolverines and beat them. That's not to mention that Ferris State and Union had no NHL draft picks.

I think that GG has a knack for selecting talent and finding it in unusual places. So, I trust that he will find the talent to compete even if it is not recognized elsewhere in recruiting data or drafts. Lehman and Bennett did it at Union. GG did it at Princeton while he was there. He will do it at Penn State.

Competing at a national level is not all about individual talent either. Cornell and Union prove that. Cornell beat the second-best team in the nation because it played as a team rather than a group of individuals. Union generated its season through playing a team-based system. Union is a great example of this because the Union team that played in the Frozen Four was not the team from the Eastern Regional. One who had watched Union play before would have noticed that key players, Jeremy Welsh especially, began to showboat because of the increased attention that he had gotten after the NCAA Regionals and during the rest week. It caused the Union team to implode, in my opinion.

A team with less perceived talent can out-compete teams with "more talent" if it plays together. I think GG will instill that in the team. That mentality is ingrained deeply in the Penn State ethos.

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Re: Expectations for Penn State hockey.

Post  amg424 on Sat 19 May 2012, 4:26 pm

TYTKyle wrote:In a world where top, top players rarely stay for four years...

I hope that doesn't happen at Penn State. One of the things that my alma maters share is a commitment to scholarship. The way that Paterno grafted the Ivy-League mentality of the student-athlete, that he learned at Brown, onto such a vibrant, passionate, and competitive community is what I love about Penn State. It's the only sports school that self-imposes a standard that its student-athletes should graduate and should be able to gain admission on their academic merits alone. I love that about Penn State. It sets it apart from Stanford and Michigan. I want Penn State to continue to be like the Ivies in the respect that it emphasizes graduation with a degree.

I know that the Lynah Faithful remember disfavorably the 12 players in the history of Cornell hockey that left early for professional careers. I think that Nieuwendyk is the only one that people regard with respect despite his early departure.

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Re: Expectations for Penn State hockey.

Post  amg424 on Sat 19 May 2012, 4:28 pm

TYTKyle wrote:I just think that we need to be careful with the implied expectations when the high choice in the poll at the top is five years or more for a Frozen Four, something that doesn't even come along all that often for great programs (Cornell, for one).

I made the choices with the notion that it would be a very soon or in what will seem like the distant futures. Honestly, I felt enumerating years from 1-10 and then doing a "more than ten category" would make the poll look foolish. Sorry about that. Also, when I made the poll I did not realize the transition rule applied to Penn State. That weighs upon my calculus somewhat too.

It is true that Cornell has not made a Frozen Four since 2003. I won't lie, it is somewhat painful that you pointed that out. Cornell has been one game away though several times since then. 2005 Cornell took Minnesota to overtime. 2006 Cornell took eventual national champion Wisconsin to triple overtime and lost 1-0. 2012 Cornell was an inopportunely broken stick away from a Frozen Four one could argue. Yeah, my senior year on the Hill, 2010, I have no excuses. Cornell has teams about every 6-7 years that are geared to make a run at a national title. My senior year was very disappointing dropping the Regional Semifinal to UNH. Cornell had beaten UNH 5-2 at UNH earlier that season.

I still believe in Penn State hockey and think that they can do something special in their first few years of eligibility for the NCAAs. Cornell won the whole thing the first time it gained a berth to the tournament in 1967.

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Re: Expectations for Penn State hockey.

Post  TYTKyle on Mon 21 May 2012, 2:23 am

amg424 wrote:Now, Anastos is the variable with Michigan State. He is a great coach and if Sparty didn't have him, I would critique the second-year series with Sparty the same way I did the one with Ohio State, but I have faith in Anastos, so I think it will be harder to beat them.
Crazy, ain't it? I criticized the hire, and I certainly wasn't alone. I mean, they pulled a guy out of the commissioner's office, whose last coaching work was at Michigan-Dearborn in I think 1990. But there's no doubt that he's given new life to that program, which was fading hard since their 2007 championship.

You make the point that Wisconsin and MSU are limited in how hard they can push on the gas, and that's true, but it's also true on the other side. No amount of "playing as a team" makes Lebanon Valley beat PSU last year. Of course, it's not quite the same deficit with PSU-any team in DI, but that's really the great unknown right now. I think we've brought in guys who have been leaders on their teams, who have had team success, and who have the academic chops. They're also veteran guys - almost all of them are at/close to the end of their junior eligibility. Yanis is a 94, Juha/Loik are 93s, but everyone else is a 91 or 92. Glen, Linaker, Milley, Loik and Juha have all won major team awards (league, RBC Cup, WJAC gold). I don't have the exact captain count off the top of my head, but it's a disproportionate number. Lordo, Brooks, Milley, Linaker, Glen and I think Varley have all worn letters of some sort this past season.

Throw that all together, and I think we have the right makeup to be successful at a talent deficit. What remains to be seen is whether we have the minimum talent level to be at that point. The good news is that I think we'll have a decent idea of it by the end of October.

I don't think we'll ever roster as many NHL draft picks as Minnesota or North Dakota, and that's fine. Gadowsky had a couple of NCAA tournament teams and (unless I'm forgetting someone) basically has Darroll Powe and Taylor Fedun to show for it, as far as the NHL goes (neither were drafted, and while Powe's a nice guy to have in your bottom six and Fedun had that brutal injury, neither can be called anything resembling a superstar). Getting guys who fit a system and execute it is better than undisciplined talent. Beyond the grad rates, there are competitive reasons to want guys to stick around for their eligibility. Those types of teams, though, still have a smaller margin for error. At the same time, they're built mentally so that it's less of a concern. In other words, Cornell needs an A game to get an OTW against Michigan's B game, but Cornell's more consistent with their delivering A games night in, night out.

It's entirely possible that I'm talking out of my butt too, just keep that in mind.

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Re: Expectations for Penn State hockey.

Post  amg424 on Wed 27 Jun 2012, 1:44 am

Well, it's June so nothing new is really occurring in the college hockey news cycle. So, using that as my excuse, I decided to calculate what GG's career record against teams that will comprise the B1G is. He played no games against future B1G opponents during his tenure at Princeton. He has never coached a game against Minnesota or Wisconsin. These results are from only his time at Alaska. However, he had many key wins while at Princeton including: Denver in 2005; Cornell in 2007 (Princeton’s first win at Lynah in 13 years); then-No. 5 Cornell in 2009; then-No. 7 Yale in 2009. Also, Princeton performed admirably in the 2009 NCAA Tournament taking Minnesota-Duluth to overtime, but losing ultimately 5-4.

GG's all-time record against B1G Opponents:

Michigan 3-10-0
Michigan State 4-10-0
Ohio State 5-7-1
Overall B1G Record12-27-1

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Re: Expectations for Penn State hockey.

Post  TYTKyle on Wed 27 Jun 2012, 11:30 pm

Ouch...obviously, it needs to be said that GG's HC experience was at a pair of programs pretty significantly weaker than the Big Ten programs, and down on their luck at the time to boot. Just for kicks, here's how he's done against this year's schedule. Tallied by hand, apologies if I missed one somewhere. Given what he had to work with, I'm not alarmed by any of this...a couple of those wins against emerging national power Miami were with his first couple awful Nanook teams, which is impressive.

At Princeton:

UConn: 2-0-0
Sacred Heart: 1-0-0
Union: 5-11-1
Robert Morris: 2-2-0
Alabama-Huntsville: 2-2-1
USA U-18: 0-1-0
Vermont: 0-2-0
AIC: 1-0-0

At Alaska:

Michigan State: 4-10-0
Ohio State: 5-7-1
Miami: 3-6-3
Air Force: 2-0-0

At Penn State:

Ohio: 4-0-0
Oklahoma: 4-0-0
Fredonia State: 1-0-0
Neumann: 0-1-0

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