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Clarkson Hockey: Time to Drink the Kool-Aid?

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  • Clarkson Hockey: Time to Drink the Kool-Aid?

    Clarkson is off to a start this year that most people would honestly find surprising. In an objective sense, I don't know if we should be that surprised. I mean the fact of the matter is if you look at the RPI Rankings for Clarkson since Jones took over the team, they have finished 40th, 51st, 25th, 44th, 24th, and 24th after finishing 39th in Roll's last year (unfortunately, that's as far back as the Wayback Machine goes), which looks like improvement to me. Last year's senior class was the first to finish with a winning record in seven years. For some reason though, this didn't feel like a team on the edge of a breakthrough. One only needs to scroll through the history of this forum to see how many times people have called for coach Jones's head in the past few years, and that was in spite of the fact of improvement. Last year in particular, the team could appear to be top-notch at times while at others looking like one of the worst in the nation. Now, Clarkson is sitting in a place it has been a long time since it has sat. They are in the top 5 for the first time since the 2006–07 postseason. They swept Colgate and Cornell on the road for the first time in two decades, and both teams were ranked. They are currently receiving first place votes in the USA Today/USA Hockey poll. I don't know when the last time that happened was. There are three one-loss teams in ECAC play and each of those teams' loss has come against Clarkson. It seems like Clarkson should now be the favorite to win the ECAC and possibly even have a chance to make waves on the nation picture. Yet there still feels like there is reason to be skeptical. Their only other recent foray into the top 10 was in 2013–14, a promising season that, perhaps bolstered by a weak first half schedule (something not in play this year), fizzled out in the second half. Even I, while excited, prevented myself from getting too optimistic about last weekend until the games were played. Now in the lead in the ECAC with wins against the conference's top teams, I ask, do you drink the Kool-Aid? Do you buy into the success Clarkson has had so far, or are you still waiting for the other shoe to drop, as it has in the few seasons over the past decade that could be considered okay? I'm holding my cup to my lips. Let's hope I get reason to drink.

  • #2
    Originally posted by Hydra88 View Post
    ..... I'm holding my cup to my lips. Let's hope I get reason to drink.
    Whose Kool Aid is in your cup, Regular, Unsweetened, or the Jim Jones variety? As long as the injury bug or poor grades does not hit this team, raise a glass of regular cherry for me. Lake Placid and the NC$$ Tourney or bust.

    Vicb

    Fan of the 2014 , 2017 & 2018 NC$$ Women's Div I Hockey National Champions http://letsgotech.com/roundtable/cor...om/lgtanim.gif
    If Union can do it, why can't CCT http://letsgotech.com/roundtable/cor...om/lgtanim.gif

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    • #3
      Tuesday, November 21, 2017 7:50 AM

      Enjoy your beverages, gentlemen, while I consume blackberry sangrias from Carrabbras or my friend's house, where they are home made.

      Let's hope we have many reasons to celebrate this weekend AND for a long time afterwards. This team is the real deal, and I love it.

      May Irish eyes smile on the Golden Knights and bring them the best of luck in winning the Friendship Four Tournament in Belfast, Ireland. If I remember correctly, Mike mentioned the starting time for Friday's game is 9:45 AM. Can anyone verify this?


      KNOW NO LIMITS, CLARKSON GOLDEN KNIGHTS

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      • #4
        No cool aide

        I have a nervous feeling pretty much all the time with Tech due to the lack of success for an extended time. I'm not up on all the details, facts, knowledge that most of you have on Tech and college hockey, but it seems that injuries have had a big impact on us many years. Let's hope the can stay healthy, and I feel we will go a LONG way!

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Goldie Knight View Post
          Tuesday, November 21, 2017 7:50 AM

          Enjoy your beverages, gentlemen, while I consume blackberry sangrias from Carrabbras or my friend's house, where they are home made.

          Let's hope we have many reasons to celebrate this weekend AND for a long time afterwards. This team is the real deal, and I love it.

          May Irish eyes smile on the Golden Knights and bring them the best of luck in winning the Friendship Four Tournament in Belfast, Ireland. If I remember correctly, Mike mentioned the starting time for Friday's game is 9:45 AM. Can anyone verify this?


          KNOW NO LIMITS, CLARKSON GOLDEN KNIGHTS
          I think Mike starts the broadcast at 9:45AM with the puck drop at 10:00AM or a few minutes thereafter.
          Vicb

          Fan of the 2014 , 2017 & 2018 NC$$ Women's Div I Hockey National Champions http://letsgotech.com/roundtable/cor...om/lgtanim.gif
          If Union can do it, why can't CCT http://letsgotech.com/roundtable/cor...om/lgtanim.gif

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          • #6
            If you combine one of the best goaltenders (if not the best) in the country to a carbon copy of Mike Schaefer's coaching style, your teams will succeed. The difference between the Roll teams and Casey's team this year is the recruiting. Somehow the staff has gone from getting DI/DIII borderline players to DI players and a couple that are borderline top DI players. Cornell shared this recipe of recruiting success for several years but, of course, their endowment and reputation allowed them to recruit places that we can't, like the NTDP. In that sense, I give Casey and his staff a ton of credit.

            The biggest new wrinkle I've seen in Casey's coaching thus far this season is the forecheck. This team's forecheck is more tenacious than many NHL teams. This team isn't falling back into its shell when it gets a lead. It continues to keep pressing. Instead of playing to prevent a loss, they are playing to secure a win. I don't know if that's also a function of the better personnel, but it's working.

            The one concern that I've had is Clarkson's ability to create chances when behind. Their play from behind hasn't been awe inspiring so far, but taken with a grain of salt, most of their time behind has been spent against a team that is probably underrated and should be top 2-3 in the country.

            I still don't like Casey's coaching style. However, with the tools he has right now, it is working. I wondered whether he could ever draw the kind of recruits needed into his "boring" style of play to generate the successes that Cornell does. It sure seems that right now he has the right mix.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by FireKnight View Post
              The difference between the Roll teams and Casey's team this year is the recruiting. Somehow the staff has gone from getting DI/DIII borderline players to DI players and a couple that are borderline top DI players. Cornell shared this recipe of recruiting success for several years but, of course, their endowment and reputation allowed them to recruit places that we can't, like the NTDP. In that sense, I give Casey and his staff a ton of credit.
              I'm not sure why I think this but didn't the addition of Josh Hauge have a huge positive impact on recruiting that we weren't getting previously?

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              • #8
                Originally posted by dave techer View Post
                I'm not sure why I think this but didn't the addition of Josh Hauge have a huge positive impact on recruiting that we weren't getting previously?
                BINGO!!
                Vicb

                Fan of the 2014 , 2017 & 2018 NC$$ Women's Div I Hockey National Champions http://letsgotech.com/roundtable/cor...om/lgtanim.gif
                If Union can do it, why can't CCT http://letsgotech.com/roundtable/cor...om/lgtanim.gif

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                • #9
                  Roll and his staff recruited pretty well, they just didn't develop a lot of talent and never fully rounded out their recruiting classes for depth purposes and I feel that was a problem with Casey early on as well. Junior hockey has also come such a long way since the Roll days and quite frankly with only 60 D1 teams there is an overflow of talent, one thing I think Jones and his staff are doing well is they're getting on these kids early and developing relationships so if they develop into a special talent it's easier for them to pass up on a chance to go to a bigger school and in most cases for Clarkson just stay local which is the case for a lot of Canadian kids.

                  Clarkson doesn't play the Cornell style either, our personnel doesn't fit what Cornell does, if we were Cornell then McCarthy and Schneider would be playing regularly. Our defense can skate circles around the Cornell defensive unit and we try and get up and go whenever we can. Even up front Cornell tries to go after large athletic forwards and they will try to score by committee, Clarkson just doesn't have that anymore like they have had to rely on in years past, Brosseau - Sturm - Rempal are one of the best lines in the country and are getting better, the Charyszyn - Dickinson - Jacome also has a knack for being in the right place at the right time and they work extremely hard. As I've said before I truly believe the sophomore class has changed the culture of the program and now the freshmen this year are feeding off of it and hopefully that trickles down to next years highly coveted recruiting class. I hope the sophomore class sticks around as I think we can compete with just about anyone in the country but if a player has professional ambitions you can't fault the player for following their childhood dreams. Casey has also mentioned this a few times, they're starting to take kids who come from a winning culture and I think that plays a part for the young guys as they come in and will do anything for the team in order to win.

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                  • #10
                    The Knights have been on a great run and we all hope it continues. Just like in "King of the Hill", where any would-be attacker is as or more important than the last one, each game is important to the run. That said, two games, IMHO, pop out as most important for the year - with the most important one potentially coming this weekend; a second game vs. Providence. Why? That answer is in proving that this isn't a flash in the pan run, and obtaining proper respect.

                    Look at the polls vs. the RPI and KRACH. The "Easy-AC" traditionally garners less respect than western conference teams and it is showing this year with North Dakota and "home cookin" Notre Dame being lower in the RPI and KRACH yet being ahead of us in the polls...while we've played one of the three hardest schedules in the country when you factor in where and who and how CU's done. #1 St. Cloud has an amazing 8-0 record at home, and a measly 1-2 record on the road...yet they are #2 in the polls. Denver loses at home last weekend and remains in first. North Dakota beat Denver on the road, but Denver lost twice to Western Michigan on the road...a team we beat and tied there. Those western team move up faster and down slower. If CU loses to a top team at home, they'd drop five or more spots...that's due to the lack of respect for the ECAC in the coaching ranks. This being CU's first Jones era run in the top tier, the need to continue to prove themselves for real or they will drop like a stone because "we are Clarkson...and everyone knows the Easy-AC isn't good". That is the attitude I've heard for years from co-workers and friends from those western schools...less respect.

                    Playing a Providence team on a neutral ice, and winning that match convincingly (provided of course, neither team lays an egg first), would do more for garnering respect in the polls that they will lose when they focus on an all ECAC schedule where traditional power teams are in a down year. It is always harder to win a second game vs. a team, especially when playing weeks apart. I hope the Knights will be up to that test in a game I see as more important to win than Cornell. If things continue and we do suffer a few losses more before the end of the year, the out of conference schedule and results will be most important in looking at placement in the brackets for the NCAA's. This, potentially being the last OOC game against a ranked opponent, and being that second test, is huge.

                    The second most important game of the year was the opening game vs. Penn State where we earned the first victory and got these guys amped up to believe they can play on this stage (which they can).

                    What I like about this team...not nearly as much dump & change hockey and that they are better in their D corps without deHaas, and offensively, they haven't missed a step without Sam V. Heck, I'm not sure where I'd even slot Sam V. if he remained for his senior year.

                    The cool-aid is in the cup but right now, the Fireball is in the shot glass and in the hand toasting these talented group. Keep it up CU!

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