Some random (and some not-so-random) thoughts after the fifth week of the season:
* Defending national champion Boston University is 2-5 overall and 1-4 in Hockey East play. There’s not much more you can say to illustrate how much things can change from one season to the next.
The Terriers had six overall losses and five Hockey East losses all of last season.
The Boston Herald’s Jocko Connolly points out how injuries have contributed to this season’s issues for BU, but he also quotes Terriers coach Jack Parker with what I think is getting right to the point:
“We have to be patient with our overall outlook here,” Parker told the paper. “We don’t know everything we knew last year. …”
Early November is no time to hit the panic button, but it also has to be the time a line is drawn before things get out of control.
* Care to guess which team ranks 41st among Division I men’s schools in attendance so far this season?
It’s Ohio State, which this season has started letting students in for free. Maybe instead they should ask for a two-month road trip at the start of the season to let football season end first.
The Buckeyes are averaging 1,604 fans per game at Value City Arena, which holds 17,500. That’s 9.2 percent full, by far the lowest percentage in the country. (American International is next at 17.2 percent for one home game.)
Being 2-4 at home and 3-6-1 overall probably isn’t going to help a lot, either.
* That was a heck of a shot by Massachusetts-Lowell defenseman Ryan Blair in Sunday’s game against New Hampshire. No-look, short side, caught the goalie sleeping.
Yeah, so it was in his own net. (Blair appeared to be trying to send the puck behind his net off a faceoff but, um, missed.) I still give him credit for a pretty good looking shot.
All kidding aside, I give Lowell credit for absorbing that blow and still beating UNH by three goals. And Blair ended up even in plus/minus in a game where his team’s starting line was a combined minus-7.
By the way, I’m starting to see what people liked about Lowell going into the season. It looks like they have quite a few ways to beat teams.
And by the way, South Carolina couldn’t have just won that soccer game in the first overtime, when it was dominating LSU? That had to go to penalty kicks, and then nine rounds of penalty kicks, before we got to see some hockey?
* I got an interesting e-mail on Saturday, and I suspect some of my USCHO colleagues got the same, from an anonymous sender (don’t you just love those?) looking to promote that Ferris State had just made history.
It seems that the Bulldogs swept three straight home series for the first time.
So there. Publicity.
* Great line from Michigan coach Red Berenson after his team got swept by Miami in a key CCHA series:
“I’m embarrassed,” Berenson told annarbor.com. “We played like a bunch of spoiled brats, and we’ve gotta suck it up.”
Three Michigan players got misconduct penalties in the third period of the 5-1 loss, and the Wolverines took 51 minutes of penalties in the final 20 minutes of a weekend in which the RedHawks seemingly had everything in hand.
* Tough week to pick the top 20. Here’s my best guess:
2. North Dakota
7. Notre Dame
11. Bemidji State
12. Colorado College
13. Michigan State
16. Boston College