I mentioned this a couple of times while watching
by wearendhockey (2019-03-31 10:04:20)
Edited on 2019-03-31 10:07:40

In reply to: Would like to add a few offensive weapons....  posted by Wolfetone

the two games. The program has obviously done quite well playing a puck possession style of game with a patient, cycle the puck and score opportunistic goals approach in the offensive end. But having an explosive scoring threat or a great finisher might be what we are missing.

The most capable offensive players we've had in the Jackson era happened to play here at a time when this team didn't have the chops to win it all. Lucia was a great college hockey finisher and Lee could and does score goals at any level of the game he finds himself in.

From 2007-2011 we saw two Frozen Fours and 6 NCAA wins. But then from 2012-2016 we failed to win a single NCAA game with a lot of NHL "talent." Now in the last 3 seasons we seemed to have found the right mix again, 2 Frozen Fours, another title game, and 6 NCAA overall wins.

But one thing all but one of our NCAA games have in common is they are both tight, and low scoring. Almost all of our wins are 1 goal games and 6 of them took overtime. Teams rarely blow out their opponents in NCAA tournament play, but seeing teams play with 2 and 3 goal leads is not unheard of. In our tournament history -- 23 games to date -- we've had a multiple goal lead for well under a game's worth of time, and the last time it happened was in 2008. That stress wears on you, and even when you win, carries over.

But one thing true now is that Jackson has said he doesn't necessarily want to go after the ultra high end recruit any longer because the one-and-dones and the never-gonna-show-up-on-campus have spooked him. He has said when they look at the kids from the USNDT program they pay closer attention to the kids flying under the radar. Well often the kids he might shy away from are the ones who can finish, who have NHL-level shots. The kind who turn an efficient, puck possessing offense into one that can pot two or three goals in a short period of time, taking a 1 goal nail-biter and turning it into a three goal 3rd period lead.

I guess I don't know if it really matters all that much. For the last few seasons I have been loudly preaching about how this tournament is a ridiculous crapshoot, and anybody can win. I still believe that. Of the 6 teams left, 2 have never won, one has a title so old I don't even remember it, and 2 have only recently become members of the champions fraternity. Only Denver has a decades long pedigree as a blue-blood, and even they wandered in the desert for 30 seasons before becoming a fixture in the national tournament again in the early 2000s. But then their teams in the last decade and a half have had that mix of goaltending and explosive scoring. 8 of their last 10 NCAA wins have been by more than two goals. Must be nice.