For a deeper rundown of how BU fared against UConn last weekend, check out our From The FreeP post from this morning.
The short version is the Terriers snagged a 2-1 win away from home, only to lose 4-0 at home the following night. There’s a lot to digest from what unfolded, so we tried to sift through some of the minutiae. Without further ado, check it out:
1.) We saw junior defenseman Brien Diffley get the start in Saturday’s loss, filling in for classmate John MacLeod, who apparently is dealing with a nagging injury. MacLeod had been playing well alongside senior captain Doyle Somerby as of late, totaling three assists and a +5 rating in nine games. We’re going to guess that MacLeod will sit out Tuesday’s game versus Harvard if he truly is injured. We’ll try to get more information on his status before the game.
2.) Well, we finally saw freshman goaltender Jake Oettinger have a rough outing at home. Oettinger let up four goals on Saturday after going over 204 minutes without a goal allowed at Agganis to start his career. It was a shame to see his streak come to an end, especially in that fashion, but we have no doubt Oettinger will bounce back on Tuesday or down the road.
3.) Going off of that, it was comforting to see junior netminder Connor LaCouvee play so well in Friday’s win at the XL Center. He made 28 saves on 29 shots, often making acrobatic plays to deny the Huskies. Coach Quinn and junior defenseman Brandon Hickey noted that LaCouvee was extremely focused in practice once he found out he would get the start. Having the capable LaCouvee behind Oettinger will likely prove to be huge as the season wears on.
The Small Five
1.) In Saturday’s defeat, BU’s top line of freshman Patrick Harper and sophomores Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson and Jordan Greenway attempted 16 of the Terriers’ 37 shots. That’s astounding and lopsided to say the least, but this factoid becomes even more concerning when it’s noted that BU’s six D-men attempted 11 shots. That means BU’s bottom three lines only got 10 shots on goals — that’s just not good enough.
2.) The defensive partnership between sophomore Charlie McAvoy and freshman Chad Krys is so smooth. Both are cool as can be on the puck, and their instincts on the blue line are spectacular. The charge before them now is if they can lock down opponents’ top forwards, much like they did with UConn’s Max Letunov and Tage Thompson.
3.) One of the hardest things to measure is how a team bounces back when adversity rolls around. Specifically, when BU was losing 2-0, then 3-0, then 4-0 against UConn, there just wasn’t that much life in the squad. That’s concerning, especially because Quinn’s teams have historically been fantastic in the third period.
4.) It’s team to seriously consider what toll widespread injuries are taking on BU. Clayton Keller, Ryan Cloonan and Nikolas Olsson are all out, and they’re top-nine forwards. We honestly don’t know when they’ll be back, and it seems as though Quinn isn’t 100 percent sure either. BU needs their grit, scoring touch and hockey sense back — badly.
5.) Tuesday’s game against Harvard is no slouch, and Terrier fans would be foolish to view it as a guaranteed two points. BU snagged a shock 6-5 win last season, but the Crimson defeated BC last weekend. It wasn’t even close, as Harvard won 5-2.