Hockey East picks – Feb. 13-14

Jim and I disagreed on three picks last week, but two of them were in the postponed Beanpot, so it all came down to just one. Guess who won? Heh, heh, heh.

Dave last week: 7-2-1
Jim last week: 6-3-1
Dave’s record-to-date: 135-66-20
Jim’s record-to-date: 131-70-20

Here are this week’s picks:

Friday, Feb. 13

New Hampshire at Boston University 
Dave’s pick: Will Friday the 13th be my downfall? I don’t expect that this safe pick will be the start of it.
BU 4, UNH 2
Jim’s pick: Especially at home, I think BU has a significant edge.
BU 4, UNH 1

Maine at Merrimack
Dave’s pick: The Black Bears have won three times on the road this year, a significant improvement over last, but Merrimack is 9-2-2 at the Lawler Rink.
MC 3, Maine 1
Jim’s pick: I think Maine will be a tough opponent for Merrimack this weekend, but as Dave mentions, the Warriors at home are dominant..
MC 3, Maine 2

Connecticut at Northeastern
Dave’s pick: UConn has been tough against the best of teams (last week’s blowout loss to Providence notwithstanding), but the Huskies, the Northeastern Huskies, that is, have lost only once since Dec. 3.
NU 3, UConn 1
Jim’s pick: I love UConn at home but this team hasn’t been anywhere near as strong on the road.
NU 4, UConn 2

Vermont at Boston College
Dave’s pick: The Catamounts have come back down to Earth in the second half, while BC has quietly gone 11-2-1 since early December.
BC 4, UVM 2
Jim’s pick: This BC team is red hot, bad timing for a Vermont team that struggles in Chestnut Hill.
BC 5, UVM 2

Providence at Notre Dame 
Dave’s pick: This is a huge weekend for both teams with a first-round bye likely in the balance. You’d think home ice could decide this one, but the Irish haven’t defended it very well while the Friars have done quite nicely (7-5-2) on the road.
PC 4, UND 3
Jim’s pick: At least on night one, I think Providence will be the stronger team.
PC 5, UND 3

Massachusetts-Lowell at Massachusetts (non-conference) 
Dave’s pick: I’ve been a believer in Lowell and a doubter of UMass, but recent results have put those stances to the test. I’m sticking with the River Hawks one more weekend. They played too well in the first half to continue this way.
UML 3, UMass 2
Jim’s pick: This one is the toughest of Friday’s games to pick. After the way UMass dominated last Saturday, I feel like it should be an easier pick given the game is again in the Mullins Center. But Lowell has typically been a strong team responding to losses. <tosses coin>
UMass 3, UML 2

Saturday, Feb. 14

Northeastern at Connecticut 
Dave’s pick: Northeastern sweeps the Battle of the Huskies.
NU 2, UConn 1
Jim’s pick: As I mentioned above, I just love UConn’s confidence at home. Especially if they lose on Friday.
UConn 3, NU 1

Vermont at Boston College
Dave’s pick: I’m picking another sweep here, especially with the game being held at Kelley Rink.
BC 4, UVM 2
Jim’s pick: I agree here. Tough second half for Vermont gets tougher.
BC 3, UVM 1

Maine at Merrimack
Dave’s pick: These two teams may have started the weekend tied in the standings, but the Warriors have played much better overall and it’s in their barn.
MC 3, Maine 2
Jim’s pick: Lawler Arena continues to be kind to Merrimack.
MC 3, Maine 2

Massachusetts at Massachusetts-Lowell
Dave’s pick: If the River Hawks are going to hold onto a first-round bye, they need the two league points (available Saturday) and for their confidence really need a sweep.
UML 4, UMass 2
Jim’s pick: Home cooking for the River Hawks should be enough.
UML 5, UMass 3

Boston University at New Hampshire 
Dave’s pick: The Wildcats have split every weekend except one since the holiday break, but BU has been too strong. The Terriers sweep.
BU 4, UNH 2
Jim’s pick: Even with this game in Durham, I can’t pick against this red-hot BU team.
BU 5, UNH 3

Providence at Notre Dame 
Dave’s pick:  A sweep will be huge for either team’s hope of a first-round bye; getting swept, devastating. I’m picking a Friar sweep even though the odds probably dictate a split.
PC 3, UND 2 (OT)
Jim’s pick: This one feels like a barn burner. And given Notre Dame’s success on the second night, I think they will eek one out here.
UND 3, PC 2

37 COMMENTS

  1. People, come on, the B1G did not make a mistake when it formed the B1G Hockey Conference.

    Even with only 6 teams, 1 of which didn’t exist as a Div 1 team until 2 or 3 years ago, the B1G still can claim more NCAA Natl Titles than any other conference I believe. 9 for Michigan, 6 for Wisconsin, 5 for Minnesota, 3 for Michigan St, so 23 total.

    And compare which teams have the most former players playing in the NHL and scoring the most points. Last year Wisconsin was #1 in points scored with Minnesota #2 and Michigan was either #3 or #4? At the All-Star break this year, Minnesota was #1 and Wisconsin was #2 with Michigan #3 or #4 again. UND, BC & BU for the most part fill in the #3/4, #5 and #6 spots. So is it really that hard to figure out why the B1G can sometimes have a down year?

    Face it, the B1G teams as a whole went out and played all the other conferences in the first half of the season and stunk it up. Minnesota doing so badly after bringing back so many from last years Runner Up team really hurt the conference as a whole because then when Minnesota got it together and started beating most of the other B1G teams, which they were probably going to do no matter what, those losses hurt even worse, and the times teams got wins against the Gophers didn’t help them as much as it otherwise would have.

    But the thing is, the B1G TV network plays alot of hockey, Minnesota, and Michigan are still big names and draws and are still bringing in top notch recruits and will continue to be NHL player factories, and hockey is HUGE at PSU. I read PSU made over a million dollars in profit from hockey last year. And they have become quite competitive very quickly and its gotten the attention of hockey players coming up through the ranks. Michigan St and Wisconsin both have Natl Titles in the last Decade so neither of those programs are as bad off as it may seem, although not sure about Wisconsin, but if UW brings in a new coach, who knows, and its possible that the success both schools are having with Football and Basketball are hurting their hockey programs? But the B1G will never get all 6 teams into the tourney, so it isn’t the end of the world to have 2 or 3 teams that are having down years. If all 6 are good, they will beat up on each other and a deserving team may get left out, but with at least 2 down teams, it can sort of pad the stats a little and help the top 4 at least get in. A year like this year, it seemed all 6 teams either had down years, or just plain sucked or went through a slump at the wrong time? If two of these 3 teams, Minny, Michigan and PSU take turns having good seasons while one has a down year, and one of the other 3 teams has an up season, the B1G could get 3 or 4 teams into the tourney, which would be either 50 or 66%, which would be incredible. They are NOT going to only get 1 in every year. The Conference may never do this badly again? And even getting 2 in is still 33% of the conference, which is comparible to other larger conferences getting 3 in. And if they do only get 1 in, its because all of its best players are making millions in the NHL.

    • Wow, 33% in. That is wonderful, until you compare it to a conference that has 75% in. It is a real shame that UND, DU, UMD, Miami, St. Cloud, CC, UNO, and Western Michigan have never lost anyone early to the NHL. The B1G “may never do this badly again”, but they may. They also might do worse. Do you have any more excuses as to why they suck? By the way, do you think Paul Statsny, Beau Bennet, Tyler Bozak, Matt Carle, Chris Butler, Drew Shore, Jason Zucker, Patrick Wiercioch, or Matt Donavan are part of the current “players making millions”?

      • One last note, since my last post obviously was not long enough. Let me know if you want to talk # of players teams send to the US Olympic teams, or # of former players in the US Hockey Hall of Fame. :)

  2. Huskies are in because they played most teams that appeared in top 10 and at least split against all of them. Strength of schedule….teams that swept low ranked non-conference teams are not in…very simple

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