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Grading the Coaches; Melrose On Quick, Recruits Update

So last week I took a shot at grading the players’ performances so far this season, now it’s time to take a look at those behind the bench.  First off, there was a lot of griping about the schedule before the season started, saying it was too full of cupcakes and would hurt the Minutemen by not giving them chances to win key out of conference games.  Ok, I was one of the people saying that as well.  But perhaps we were too quick to judge this schedule.  It may be just the kind of lineup this team needs to gain confidence and give the young defense a chance to develop.  It also has featured some quality opponents like Yale, Quinnipiac, and even Union whom UMass will play next week.  All three of those teams are in the top 15 of the RPI.

As for the actual in-game coaching, I think it’s been pretty good.  With a couple exceptions Toot has allowed to team to open up its play and use its speed to its advantage.  The few times when the game plan seemed to initially be too conservative, such as the first period of Quinnipiac, in-game adjustments have been made when it wasn’t working.  I’d love to see this type of play, combined with a strong forecheck, continue as the season goes along when the ice surface allows it.

A lot of credit has to go to assistants Red Gendron and Len Quesnelle who coach special teams, the penalty kill and power play respectively, as both have been key to the team’s success this year.  The kill is about where they were last year, but the power play, which at best last year was inconsistent and at worst completely horrid, has been transformed into one of the best in the country.

Overall I think the coaching has been very good.  They’ve adjusted when necessary, especially when early injuries forced players onto unfamiliar lines, and more importantly they seem to have this team believing in themselves.  Now is the tough part though, to keep the team focussed through the holidays and the winter break period.  So far so good though and I give the coaches an A- so far.

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Only the USA Today/USA Hockey rankings were released yesterday.  UMass stayed put at #15.

The handful of results over the past week pushed UMass down to 10th in the pairwise.

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Be sure to check out this article on the Kings from ESPN Los Angeles. Not only does it include a Jon Quick and UMass mention, but the video feed at the top of the page has Barry Melrose praising Quick’s play as well.

Greg Mauldin is currently 28th in the AHL in goal scoring.

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Conor Allen scored his first goal of the season on Friday as his Sioux Falls Stampede fell in overtime to Fargo.

Eric Filiou scored his 10th of the season as Penticton beat the Surrey Eagles on Friday.

Mike Pereira is currently 11th in prep hockey in scoring with 9 goals and 8 assists in nine games.  Conor Sheary has 4 goals and 11 assists.

Pereira’s Avon Old Farms team lost their exhibition game to Taft yesterday on the Fenway ice.  The Courant article includes a photo gallery as well.

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4 Comments

  1. Bullmoose

     /  December 22, 2009

    Taft sure has some ugly uniforms… yikes!

    Like

    • I’m hoping they’re some kind of throwbacks.

      Of course I’m still also trying to figure out what a Winged Beaver is as well.

      Like

  2. justin

     /  December 29, 2009

    Umass radio just claimed that Toot has the team trapping after they come back to make it 4-3, shifting into prevent mode right after they get the lead. I’m sure the team is tired (they worked hard to come back), but why change what’s worked the whole 3rd period?

    Good, Brock is seeing eye to ear with me.

    Like

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