Monday, September 29, 2008

Q&A With John McCarthy

Senior center John McCarthy, who wears the "C" as co-captain of the 2008-09 Terriers, brings a history of leadership, intelligence and tenacity to BU. He's a top penalty-killer and faceoff guy who anchors the Terrier's checking. A 2006 draft choice of the San Jose Sharks and a two-time member of the Hockey East All Academic team, McCarthy recently participated in the fourth and final installment of our preseason player Q&A interviews.

Q—Last season, leadership was in flux when the initial captain was suspended. How have Matt Gilroy and you, along with the "A" Brian Strait, taken steps to make certain leadership within the team is a year-long strength?
A—Matt, Brian, and I have tried to stress the fact that we need more leaders on our team, especially among the upperclassmen. We are trying to emphasize the fact that just because you don't have a letter on your jersey does not mean you are not responsible for doing the right thing and making sure everyone else is doing the right thing.

Q—How important is that on a team with 10 freshman and 5 sophomores, making the team about 60% underclassmen?
A—As I said, even the younger guys that would not usually be depended on to be leaders have to step up and fulfill that role because we are in such a unique position of having the majority of our team be freshmen and sophomores.

Q—You usually get the first call at forward when the Terriers are down two men. What are the keys for a successful penalty kill in that circumstance?
A—We work on those situations a lot in practice and it is really about outworking the power play, blocking shots, and making sure you are forcing the power play to take low percentage shots. Also, when the opportunity presents itself, it is important to take short shifts to make sure the penalty kill has energy.

Q—BU had one of the league's top power plays last season, but struggled on the penalty kill. What must the PK units do better this season?
A—I think we just need to get back to the mentality of outworking the power play. We need to worry a little bit less about the "x's and o's" and a little bit more about beating the power play.

Q—In his Coach's Mailbag interview, Jack Parker talking about taking "a new approach" to avoid the slow starts of recent season? Can you tell us what that will entail? What areas will get more emphasis as BU prepares for the IceBreaker to begin the season?
A—We have changed a few things up this preseason and I think it will benefit us when the season starts. We have been having half team scrimmages with referees and I feel that will help to adjust to the game speed that we play at during the season. Also, we have increased our conditioning with morning runs which should also help us have a smoother transition into the season.

Q—Your line was more productive on offense last year than the previous season. With potentially more offensive skill available this year, and potentially as your wings, do you see your role changing? What is that role?
A—I plan on doing whatever I can to help my team win. I think once things get sorted out and guys start to recognize their roles, that is when our team really starts to develop and we can become successful. I need to make sure that I recognize my role on the team early in the season and do my best to fulfill that role and hopefully help to make my team better.

Q—You joined Nick Bonino at San Jose Sharks development camp this past summer. What did that experience do for you?
A—I thought it was a great experience just to see the guys that played in the NHL and what they do on a day-to-day basis to get themselves in the position that they are in. It was definitely a learning experience that I felt helped me become a better player.

Q—What are your individual and team goals for the upcoming season?
A— My goal is to set a good example for all of the younger guys as far as what we need to do to win games. I think we need to play better in the early part of the season instead of waiting until Christmas to play our best hockey. Hopefully we can win a lot of games and make a long run into the postseason.

Q—Which of your teammates will surprise Terrier fans this season?
A—I think Chris Connelly will have a big year for us. He works very hard and seems to recognize what he needs to do to help the team win.

Q—What was the best moment of your first three seasons at BU?Winning my first Beanpot my freshman year was a lot of fun.

Q—You were a standout quarterback at St. John's Prep prior to your USHL year and then entering BU. How much do you miss football?
A—I do miss football in the fall when I watch it on TV, but I definitely don't miss the practices.

No comments:

Site Meter