Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Hockey East Coaches' Conference Call

Terrier head coach Jack Parker and the seven other Hockey East coaches whose teams are in the playoffs participated in a conference call yesterday. Parker's comments follow below and you can find the other coaches' remarks here.

Overall Comments:
The goal of every BU hockey team is to make sure we win enough games in the regular season to get home ice in the Hockey East playoffs and to get selected to the national tournament on the basis of our regular-season play without having to win our (conference) tournament.

If you said that the entire college hockey season ended today, we would say we had a very successful season. But that isn’t how college hockey, and certainly not Boston University hockey, is measured. We will be judged on how well we do from here on out, when the two biggest tournaments are available and the biggest championships are available.

So far, so good. Now it’s clean the slate. It’s all new – everybody’s got a chance. As Al McGuire used to say ‘We’re in position to be position’, so we’ll see how it all works out.

On facing a historical rival like Maine in a 1-8 matchup:
At this stage of the game, everybody worries if your team is going to be ready for the playoffs; it doesn’t matter if you’re a four playing a five or a one playing an eight. We have been involved on both ends on it. We’ve been a one team that got beat by an eight team, and we have been an eight team that’s beaten a one team. So we know exactly what can happen in that round, and hopefully our guys know that. The good part about that is that the last time we played Maine, they tied us 2-2 in what was a really well-played, tough contest for us and for them – a really good college hockey game. It’s not like we blew them out and we think it’s going to be an easy game.

On the keys factor in the team’s run since the losses to Vermont in November:
After the Vermont series, we were ranked 35th in the nation in penalty kill, and today we are ranked fourth. From that time on, we’ve been the best penalty-team in the nation, and that has been a big boost for us. The turn- around came with confidence in our special teams. The power play kept going – it was going well and it got even better – and the penalty kill really took off. We also started getting into some games right after that like BC. I would say that was the real turnaround. We tied them here, 1-1, and then beat them up at BC; in fact, I think that we played better in the game that we tied here. I’ve always thought that a good outing against BC can boost our team, because there is so much pressure in those games.

►College Hockey News editor Adam Wodon's take on brackets for the NCAA tournament would have the Terriers--all but locked into the top seed overall--playing in the Bridgeport regional on March 27 & 28.

►Further information on Webcasts of Hockey East tournament quarterfinal games are here. Cost for individual games is $8.

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