dire need of a reliable, consistent scorer. Who would you want to have the puck on his stick with the game on the line. Probable answer may have been Cam Morrison; but it appeared that most of his magic was for the 2018/2019 season.
a way to improve on the offense. And while the less successful (missing the NCAAs) seasons are generally a failure at both ends of the ice, the offensive woes are usually a little more pronounced.
The 11 NCAA teams were ranked, on average, 19 in offense among all NCAA teams and the 6 that failed to make it were ranked 42. There is a similar correlation defensively, but the range is smaller. The NCAA teams averaged a 9th place ranking among all NCAA teams while the 6 that missed were 29th on average. So when the offense goes south, it makes it all the way to Miami, but when the defense wants a warmer winter it only makes it as far south as South Carolina.
I don't think it stretches the imagination to know that the less successful seasons experienced problems on both offense and defense, but to me it looks like the bad seasons are caused more by the failure to put pucks in nets.
Related, the cliche that defense wins championships has always been a bit of a pet peeve with me, because it often is not true. Since Notre Dame first got a chance to play for an NCAA title in 2004 16 NCAA champions have been crowned. 8 had offenses that were ranked higher than their defense, and 8 were better defensively. The average ranking for the offense was 9.3 and for the defense it was 8.7. Interestingly Yale had both the worst offense (24th) AND the worst defense (25th) of any team that claimed a title in this stretch. 10 times a team with a top-10 offense won, and 9 times a top-10 defense won, while 5 times the top-3 defense won and 4 times the top-3 offense took home the big prize.
I'm more concerned than pessimistic, although it would be fair to say I do harbor some pessimism as well.
You are clearly more optimistic about the scoring prospects. We were scoring at a good clip in the beginning, but 6 of our first 10 games were against Lake State, Air Force and Wisconsin, all weak teams with porous defenses, especially Wisconsin and Lake State. Burke had 13 of his 21 points against those 3 teams.
After the 8-1-1 start we scored 2 or fewer goals 21 times, not surprisingly losing 2/3rds of those games. And as noted by a couple of us, the offense has been losing steam. We've scored fewer goals than the previous season 3 years in a row.
Of the 16 teams that would be in the tournament if it started today, 11 are in the top 20 in scoring. Of the 5 that are not only Penn State isn't among the top 15 in defense. But to me that says to be in position to make the NCAAs, a solid offense might be more important that a great defense. We need more scoring.
I also expect Stastney to be our most effective player. He does need to shoot more. He has a quick release when he wants to and I think he could easily be among the leagues scoring leaders as far as blueline players. 45 shots on goal from him is not enough. I don't know about doubling that, but I would sure like to see 65-70 or so and see what happens.
Hopefully your sense of optimism is rewarded.
decommitting and going to the Gophers (just like Perbix last year). Sounds like a great prospect. Having 4 sophmores on D may limit future playing time for high-end prospects leaving 1 spot open for the next two falls to replace Dello and then Hellickson although the Gophers were playing 3 Frosh and a sophomore on D this weekend
there are 16 underclassmen among the top-6 defensemen as far as games played (9 frosh and 7 sophomores). Only 1 has no freshmen among the top 6, Minnesota State. MSU is an experienced team for sure, with 15 upperclassmen among their 21 most regularly dressed players. Of course experience does not = NCAA success. MSU is still looking for their first NCAA tournament win after 6 tries, including 2 straight losses to #4 seeds.
I don't want 6 freshman on the blueline, but until my dying days I believe Jackson overuses the experience crutch. The 2011 team had 3 freshmen and a sophomore manning the blueline in front of a sophomore goalie. The lone senior was a transfer who had not played a game in an Irish jersey before that season and the two leading scorers up front were also freshmen.
edited: For some reason I left American International out of the mix of underclassmen playing defense, and they have 1, sophomore Brennan Kapcheck.
Of course it is sometimes hard to predict what will happen after someone gets to campus, but good recruiters (Slaggert is certainly that, and not just because he has long gotten good players to come to Notre Dame) can usually figure out what personalities will mesh well.
Sometimes talent isn't worth it. Kyle Palmieri is a good example. Probably one of the 2 or 3 most talented players to ever skate for the Irish (maybe more NHL goals than any other ND product or is that still Poulin?) but he didn't want to be here. Didn't help us when he was here, didn't miss him when he was gone.
especially with D-men and the way they're developed in USHL, high school, and below, which varies widely.
I've found it nearly impossible to follow recruiting, so I never quite know what to expect from the incoming freshmen. Recruiting isn't an exact science for football or basketball either, but there is so much more information available.