As means of introduction, thanks for reading the debut of Gladdy Says, which will be published here at INCH Writers whenever I feel like it. Over the past several years I’ve found myself reading more train-of-thought briefs from writers like Elliotte Friedman, Pat Forde, Buster Olney, Peter King and others. I thought I’d throw some thoughts out there in a similar format.
The distinguishing characteristic about Gladdy Says is that these briefs will be presented in order; ranked by Opponents’ Opponents KRACH Above Replacement. No they won’t, they’re (mostly) about hockey and capturing the spirit of the thing. I do encourage your comments, rebuttals and feedback at the bottom of this post or on Twitter at @INCH_Gladdy.
GLADDY SAYS: NOV. 19, 2012
• I don’t think anyone would’ve been surprised to see that Sacred Heart was the first team in the nation to allow 50 goals on the season, which they’ve done in the first 11 games. The next-highest total goals-against aggregate is 49, which RIT has allowed in 11 games and Alabama-Huntsville has surrendered in 12 games. Next highest after those two? Michigan and Colorado College at 39.
• I didn’t think there would be a point in the entire season where Cornell would be mired in a five-game winless streak (two ties and three losses) nor did I think they’d struggle to score like they have recently. Certainly, an uptick in degree-of-difficulty on the schedule has something to do with that, but the Big Red have been held to one goal in each of their last three games. That might be remedied in the coming weeks with games against Michigan and Clarkson, ranked 55th and 45th nationally in team defense, and a St. Lawrence team that has allowed 16 goals in its last four games.
• My Rams.
• As Mike Eidelbes and I mentioned via our @INCH Twitter account, we didn’t get the entire band back together but he and I were able to gather this past Friday in East Lansing and check out some college hockey games on the good old color television while catching up on some thoughts about the early part of the season. It was a special-engagement duet reunion show. We consider Jeff Howe to be our one-armed drummer. Of course, we also met up with distinguished hockey scribe Neil Koepke and got his takes on some of the teams and players. Good to see those guys as always.
• Of course, one of the games we dialed up was the Friday night contest between North Dakota and Minnesota Duluth. I encourage the readers to take advantage of your opportunities to watch Danny Kristo play hockey. He’s one of the best offensive talents I’ve seen in my years of closely following college hockey. I consider some of Kristo’s attributes as a combination of the players involved in the great Hobey debate of 2008. His anticipation to make plays and to be in the right places on the ice matches Michigan’s Kevin Porter. Kristo’s skill, excitement, and big-game contributions compare favorably to Boston College’s Nathan Gerbe. Even Jess Myers would buy a ticket to watch Kristo play.
• If I had a Hobey vote this year, I would vote at the end of the season. It’s too early to make any claims at this point.
• Stick Salute to Dartmouth for making my preseason projection that they’ll be a breakthrough team look pretty good in the early going, even without a ton of significant contributions from Dustin Walsh.
• Bench Minor to me for not giving Colgate a little more credit. They have relied on depth in scoring and have great team quickness and have accounted for the departures of Austin Smith and Chris Wagner very capably. Of note on the Raiders, head coach Don Vaughan mentioned that he loves the hockey intelligence that this freshman class has brought to the team. Seven freshmen have been lineup regulars for the Raiders this season and freshman goalie Spencer Finney has started to earn more playing time in recent weeks.
• Finally, a sincere thanks to those who sent many kind words about our work at INCH over the years. I consider myself fortunate to have met great people and to continue many of the friendships built while INCH was more prominent, especially within the ECAC Hockey circles. I can still be found at Lynah Rink for most Cornell home games and am looking forward to seeing everyone around the rinks.