BU Terriers: Party like a Puckstar

 Just when you thought the Beanpot Trot was bad, some BU Terriers (said to be Vinny Saponari and Corey Trivino) have come up with their own musical work. 

They rapped and put it on YouTube. It's not rated PG by any means, so I'm guessing it will be taken down shortly. It's already made an appearance on Barstool.

Listen and enjoy. And try not to be too embarrassed.


Check Yourself

You know how I always ramble on about how the post-season is different? Bret Hedican really summed up my thoughts:
I know it's cliché, but you need players who aren't worried about themselves or the stat sheet, but instead about the team, no matter what their role is. You have to have a group of guys that don't have the egos. You can't have egos in that room. When you walk through the door, you are all the same, no matter if you play five minutes or twenty-five minutes a night. Every one is just as important as the next guy because it's going to take every guy to win.


Will the Sharks Prove Everyone Wrong? Or ...

Okay, I’ll just get it over with: Dan Boyle’s freak OT goal sucked for San Jose. A lot. Some say Ryan O’Reilly got his stick on it, but it was pretty much an own-goal.


People started talking about 'the curse' -- also known as 'choking'. The Sharks like the do it a lot. Then again, everyone brings it up whenever they lose a game. 

I will say this though: there are signs this year that the Sharks might have a slightly better chance than usual. I look at guys like Devin Setoguchi who have stepped it up: the kid is playing like he’s on fire. Working hard, hustling, getting a ton of shots in, scoring OT winners. You get the picture. In Game 2, you saw this from others too.

This type of play is essential in the post-season. It’s why teams sign guys like Manny Malhotra. It’s when you need skill guys like Setoguchi to adjust to post-season play (like he has) and start getting physical and putting it all on the line.

That’s why you’ve seen the superstar line of Joe Thornton, Dany Heatley and Patty Marleau be basically useless. They’re pulling their usual postseason disappearance act (to be fair, this is Heater's first year with SJ). It’s sad because if these guys turned it on and stopped feeling like it should just click for them automatically, the Sharks would be the deadliest team in the NHL.

But they don’t. They have yet to adjust. The postseason is completely different. When you’re up against a young Avalanche team with nothing to lose and who is putting everything they have into it, you have to match that.

For example, you had some Sharks saying Game 2 was not a must-win. Okay – technically it isn’t. But that’s the exact attitude that gets them eliminated before their time each year.

Play-offs is about so much more than the regular season. It's about heart, sacrifice, will, unity .... the list goes on. And the failure for some players to grasp this is the reason why the Sharks have disappointed the past few years. 

Should the Sharks make an early exit again, it's time Doug Wilson brings in the right guys ... and finds a new home for those that can't make that transition to the most important months in hockey.


It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Ladies and gents, it's here ...


It seriously feels like Christmas. That excited feeling in your stomach that is just craving 7 o'clock. The battle to decide which games to watch and the anger of finding out one of them is a "JIP" game as Versus calls them (join in progress). Thank God for live streaming!

There's just no other time like the post-season. For over a month you invest all your emotions into your team. Competitiveness runs through your blood. Your heart races as time ticks down. And God forbid a Game 7 goes into overtime because that is just way too much to handle. You lose sleep because you stay up to watch the west coast games ... which proceed to go into three overtimes and before you know it your alarm is going off.  But it's okay because it's the play-offs.

I had a taste of the Stanley Cup last year, and I want it again. Not to mention I'm still waiting for a Calder Cup after WBS has gotten to the finals three times in the past ten years with no luck.

The great thing about hockey is that with the post-season comes a clean slate. Anything can happen. The regular season is gone.

Let's rock and roll.


Mellon Arena: The Last Days

Tonight marks the last regular season game the Mellon Arena in Pittsburgh will ever see. Sure, it will get some play-off games in there, but this is the beginning of the end.

Despite growing up five hours away from the Igloo, I was able to catch a handful of games there. My first NHL games ever in fact. My family would stay at the Marriott across the street. Guys that walked through the lobby? Chris Chelios. Pavel Datsyuk. Steve Yzerman. Scotty Bowman. Just to name a few. In fact, I was squeezed up against Bowman in a crowded elevator.

I had awesome Igloo seats for the games I went to. I remember it clear as day: I saw the Colorado Avalanche, the St. Louis Blues and the Detroit Red Wings. A few of the names I watched skate by me: Mario Lemieux, Patrick Roy, Dominik Hasek, Peter Forsberg. Al MacInnis. Brendan Shanahan. Alexei Kovalev. Robert Lang. Martin Straka. I was in awe.

I even got to see my Baby Pens play two games there dressed in Pittsburgh Hornets jerseys.

I'm big on nostalgia. I tear up when I know it's the last time I'm walking out of a rink for the season - let alone EVER. I ache a little when I think of the season ticket holders who have been going to the Igloo for years. After you watch 40+ games a year in a place, it starts to feel like home.

The Igloo is not considered a nice facility in this day and age. But I loved it. I loved that silver dome. I loved the smell. I loved being packed in with thousands of people. I haven't been there in years, but I'll miss it.

It's hard to let go, isn't it?

Frozen Four Detroit:

The NCAA Frozen Four kicks off tonight at Ford Field in Detroit. About a year ago, I had my face buried in my hands as I watched my BU Terriers fall behind 3-1 to Miami in the championship game .... followed by the greatest 59 seconds of hockey I've ever seen when we tied it up and went on to win in OT. It was one of the greatest feelings. Funny how sports can do that to you, isn't it?

But now it's officially time to move on.

Miami-Ohio is back after becoming BU's victim last year in the final game. I love the type of team head coach Enrico Blasi puts together, and I wouldn't mind seeing them finally get their championship. They're still probably feeling the sting of last year's game. This would be a great way to redeem it.

Miami's opponent tonight is good, old Boston College. I'm not the best person to talk about them considering I hate them. The bottom line is they have a good team again. We'll see how they fair. In two of their last three games they gave up over six goals (6 and 7 respectively). Um, that's not that good. They gotta figure something out.

The Wisconsin Badgers. Who doesn't love Bucky the Badger? I've always been a Wisco fan (was THIS close to going there for school too); I probably like them more than any other team in the final four. Blake Geoffrion is the big name here. He's up for the Hobey, and he's pretty unreal. Count on him to do some damage.

And finally, the Cinderella team. Ah, how I love these types of teams. Following in Bemidji State's footsteps, RIT has surprisingly found its way into the semi-finals. RI-who? Yeah, I know. You'll love them though because there's no way not to. No scholarship players. No drafted players. Just a hard-working team who are riding a hot goaltender. They took out Denver and UNH -- no easy feat. They can do this. Will they? I don't know, but I kind of hope so. 

One of my favorite college hockey writers, Ryan Lambert over at Puck Daddy, put together a little preview here. Although I can't say I agree with 'Jerry York is the best coach in college hockey.' That belongs to Jack Parker in my eyes. But that's because I'm absolutely biased, and I've had a closer look at how Jack interacts and helps his players grow. Regardless, the both of them together are a hard act for any coach to follow. But that was completely off topic.

Both games tonight will be shown on ESPN 2 starting at 5:30 with the Wisconsin-RIT match-up.


BU Boys Fly the Coop

As NCAA teams close out their season, their top guns fly the coop. Come late March/April there's always an exodus of top Division I players to the pro ranks. Since BU's season came to a halt, five players have left.

+ Eric Gryba: Arguably the most loved Terrier over the past four years, Gryba signed with Ottawa. He is currently playing for Binghamton in the AHL. I imagine he'll spend awhile down there as he grows and finds his role - which I would guess is going to be that of an enforcer. His size and strength will benefit him in the long run. Once he finds his role and excels at it, I actually think he'll find himself in the show someday.

+ Zach Cohen: Cohen is coming off an awesome year. He was one of the top goal scorers and really just came into his own. He signed with Colorado making the Avs the official home of BU alum. He joins Joe Sacco, David Quinn, Brandon Yip and now Colby Cohen & Kevin Shattenkirk in the organization. Kieran Millan is also a Colorado draft pick.

+ Nick Bonino: One of BU's best players since he got here. Bonino signed with Anaheim a few weeks ago and has since been playing alongside guys like Bobby Ryan and Corey Perry.  He already notched his first goal. If he keeps it up, it doesn't look like he'll be going anywhere. Even so, I wouldn't be entirely surprised to see him spend some minutes in the A next year.

+ Kevin Shattenkirk: Arguably the biggest loss for BU. Not surprised about his early departure at all. I'm pretty sure everyone saw this coming when he arrived. He's been excellent for BU. A class act if I ever saw one who will without a doubt be a fan favorite throughout his playing career.

+ Colby Cohen: I've had a love-hate relationship with this kid. The hate part mainly being that half the time I look at him he's whining. But he's been awesome ever since he's been here. I have no complaints, and I will forever owe him for scoring the game winner in the NCAA Championship game.

The only senior left to sign somewhere is Luke Popko. I'm really keeping my fingers crossed for him. I'm sure he will get a shot with at least an ECHL team. The kid is a grinder. He's always out there hustling and working hard. His downfall is his size. He has to overcompensate for his 5-10" frame (and that's being generous).

So where does this leave BU? Well, they obviously took a hit. Losing those five players, they managed to lose five of their six top scorers. They're going to have to get a stronger year out of Millan. If he can revert back to his freshman year form, that will be a big plus. Guys like Ross Gaudet, David Warsofsky, Corey Trivino, Vinny Saponari and Alex Chiasson are going to have to lead the team. It looks like it will be another transition year for the Terriers. You never know though. That's the great thing about hockey. They could be surprising. We'll see how the incoming class is and what they bring to the table.

Best of luck to the boys who have moved on!


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