Preview: #1 Boston University

Hockey East Preview: #1 Boston University Terriers

2010-11 Storyline: The 2010-11 season sees BU go without a trip to the Garden or the NCAA tournament.

2011-12 Storyline: Is experience the edge that lifts BU back to the top of Hockey East?

Player To Watch: Alex Chiasson

Player Missed Most: David Warsofsky

Newcomer To Keep An Eye On: Cason Hohmann

Random Fact: The last time BU went three consecutive years without making the NCAA tournament was 1989.

Usual Beer The Triangle Pre-game Spot: Sunset Cantina (aka “Mini-Sunset”)

Experience.  Is Boston University the most talented squad in the league?  Maybe.  Maybe not.  But they are experienced.  They bring back their entire roster save for two players.  Granted, those were two key players, Joe Pereira led the team in goals while David Warsofsky was one of the better defensemen in Hockey East, but the Terriers should be able to make up for their absence and then some.  Alex Chiasson will likely be one of the superstars of the league.  He and Chris Connolly will be expected to shoulder the scoring load while sophomores Matt Nieto and Charlie Coyle build off their strong freshman seasons last year.

Warsofsky leaving early to join the Bruins hurts somewhat but up and coming defensemen Garrett Noonan and Adam Clendening will help solidify the blueline which also includes the talented Max Nicastro.  In net Kieran Millan returns for his fourth year.  While I’ve always thought him to be somewhat overrated, his experience alone will help BU contend for the league title, especially with so many other teams going in with question marks in net.

They’ll Finish Lower Because: Millan is unable to replicate the numbers of the past few years.

They’ll Finish Higher Because: A typo in the standings puts them at 0.1.

Fear The Triangle Fearless Hockey East Predictions
1. Boston University
2. Boston College
3. Merrimack Warriors
4. New Hampshire Wildcats
5. Maine Black Bears
6. Massachusetts Minutemen (preview 10/5)
7. Vermont Catamounts
8. Providence Friars
9. Northeastern Huskies
10. Lowell River Hawks

There you have it, my predictions for the season.  What do you think?  Solid?  Crazy?  The product of too many beers in front of the keyboard?  Look for my in-depth UMass preview on Wednesday.

USCHO has their Hockey East preview where UMass is picked to finish 6th and 9th, simultaneously.  Their team preview focuses on, you guessed it, goaltending.  For some reason they seem to have already come to the conclusion that Jeff Teglia will not even contend for the goaltending job since the success of the team lies in the hands of Steve Mastalerz and Kevin Boyle.  Hmm…you getting all that, Tegs?

INCH picks UMass 6th.

Dick Baker profiles freshman Zack LaRue.

Inside Hockey has some pictures from Saturday’s scrimmage.

Justin Braun will join Matt Irwin and James Marcou in Worcester to start the season.

However it appears that Mike Kostka has made the Florida Panthers roster out of training camp and will look to make his NHL debut.

I received some bad news about Alex Berry, who was in camp with the AHL’s Portland Pirates.  In practice on Saturday Berry sustained an injury that broke his arm and damaged his wrist.  The compound fracture of the bone ended up severing an artery and doing some nerve damage.  The good news is they got him sewn up and he has some metal in his arm to help him heal.  The bad news is it’ll likely be a lengthy recovery.  Certainly my thoughts go out to him and hope he heals quickly.