11-12 Preview: #9 Northeastern Huskies

Hockey East Preview: #9 Northeastern Huskies

2010-11 Storyline:  Huskies unable to bounce back from 1-8-3 start to season.

2011-12 Storyline: Can Northeastern recover from an offseason full of loss.

Player To Watch: Anthony Bitetto

Player Missed Most:  Jamie Oleksiak

Newcomer To Keep An Eye On:  Josh Manson

Random Fact:   St Botolph Street has become a refuge of sorts for the wayward in Hockey East.  On the Huskies roster is Cody Ferriero who went to Northeastern after decommiting from BC where his brother played, Joe Manno who was at one time committed here to UMass, and Vinny Sapornari who was kicked off of the BU squad by Jack Parker.

Usual Beer The Triangle Pre-game Spot:  Pizzeria Uno.  Seriously, how can you be in the middle of a metropolitan city and not have a decent beer bar within walking distance?!?

Northeastern has some very talented players on its squad such as Bitetto, Chris Rawlings, Anthony Quailer.  But, frankly, Northeastern is a mess.  After starting off horribly last season they improved somewhat only to have head coach Greg Cronin and an assistant coach suspended for recruiting issues as they went down the stretch of the season.  Cronin was ultimately reinstated but spring saw a strange “Is he or isn’t he?” melodrama regarding if he would bolt for the pros.  Ultimately he ended up leaving for an assistant coach role with the Maple Leafs.  That was obviously a blow to the Husky program since Cronin had led a resurgence in his time there, but the worst was yet to come.  When it came time to replace him as head coach the school waited.  And waited.  And waited.  Seemingly the entire summer transpired before they finally named Jim Madigan as head coach, an administrator without head coaching experience who hasn’t been behind a bench since 1993.  Needless to say, his appointment wasn’t enough to keep stud defenseman Jamie Oleksiak in school plus the Huskies lost three top end recruits in John Gaudreau (BC), Garrett Haar (WMU), and Justin Kovacs (WMU).

The Huskies still have talent and they have it where it matters in Rawlings, a seasoned goaltender in net.  But between the early defections of key players, losing their top recruits, and having a coach who’s still trying to figure out which door leads to the bench, I don’t see Northeastern doing much this season.  They’ll likely keep games close with the players they have on the blueline and in the crease, but mentally I think the team has been through too much already and the season hasn’t even started.

They’ll Finish Lower Because: They’re emotionally spent after this offseason.

They’ll Finish Higher Because: Opposing teams are unable to solve Rawlings.

Fear The Triangle Fearless Hockey East Predictions
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9.  Northeastern Huskies
10. Lowell River Hawks

Marvin Degon has returned from playing overseas and will attend Providence  Bruins training camp.

College Hockey News has come out with their preseason top 10.  Two Hockey East teams, Boston University and Boston College, are on the last at #2 and #5 respectively.  In addition Maine is listed as a team to watch.  Non-conference opponent Yale is ranked 10th while surprisingly Holy Cross is listed as a team to watch as well.