Tuesday @ The Rink
CHAT LIVE With Boston University Head Coach Jack Parker
Welcome to the CSTV.com moderated chat room!
On Tuesday, February 6th at 1:00 p.m. ET, Boston University Head Coach Jack Parker enters the chatroom at "Tuesday @ The Rink", presented by CSTV.com and USCHO.com. The No. 8 Terriers defeated Northeastern, 4-0, in the Beanpot on Monday, and play No. 17 UMass on Friday before next Monday's Beanpot final.
Jack Parker was named the Terriers' 10th hockey coach on December 21, 1973 and has a coaching record of 756-384-93 at Boston University (following Monday's Beanpot win). His 756 wins mark the most of any college hockey coach at the same institution, while he ranks second among active coach in wins and third in winning percentage.
He has won two NCAA titles, four consecutive Eastern crowns, 19 Beanpots and six Hockey East titles. He has topped the 20-win total 22 times, with only seven losing seasons and has coached the team to a record 21 NCAA Tournament appearances, the most of any active coach.
Parker has received countless honors including the Spencer Penrose Memorial Trophy as the NCAA Coach of the Year twice. The first was in 1975 when he guided his first team to a 26-5-1 mark, as it was the best major college record in the nation. He also was named Coach of the Year after guiding the 1977-78 team to a 30-2 record and the NCAA title. He also has been Hockey East Coach of the Year five times (1986, 1992, 2000, 2005 and 2006). Since 1976, 19 of his players have played in the Olympics.
** GET YOUR QUESTIONS IN NOW!!: Jack won't be stopping by until 1:00 p.m. EST on Tuesday, February 6th, and his time will be limited, so feel free to submit your questions now and we'll save them for his arrival!
|CSTV.com Moderator: Good afternoon, and welcome to "Tuesday @ the Rink," presented by CSTV.com and USCHO. We're all set to go, and we're joined now by Boston University head coach Jack Parker.|
|Coach Parker: Hello, thanks for your interest.|
|Ed (Walpole): Your team has now won 24 of the last 25 opening round games of the Beanpot. With a record like that, its obvious your guys come mentally prepared to play for this game, and tournament every year. Why do you think your players respond to playing in this tournament better than the other three schools respond? Do you think they are intimidated by BU?|
|Coach Parker: I certainly don't think any of the other schools are intimidated by BU. BU has been fortunate to have good players and good goaltending, and we seem to be able to put it together in January and February. If the Beanpot was played in November, we wouldn't have nearly the record that we've ahd. We usually take longer to figure the team out as a coaching staff, and hopefully we gel after Christmas.|
|Kevin (Stoneham): Huge Terrier fan! Brandon Yip may be the greatest single influence to a BU team's depth that we have seen in a long time. When he is in the lineup the PP clicks and the guys seem to play on lines much better suited to their abilities. When he has been out though the offense seems to really struggle for goals and everyone looks a step out of synch. Hockey is a team game so what can we do not to carry the weight of this team on his shoulders? Is it a matter of the other guys taking a leadership role in the dressing room and stepping up their play on the ice?|
|Coach Parker: I think it's always a matter of upperclassmen taking a leadership role. It's a matter of people stepping up their play, because we've lost a key player. For example, I think addition or subtraction of Yip pales in comparison to the addition or subtraction of David Van der Gulik. It is amazing when you take a first line player out or put him back in. If you were taking out your 12th best forward or putting him back in, it wouldn't change much. When you put in one of your top forwards it has a domino effect: he plays the first line, the guy that was playing the first line plays the third line. The guy who was playing on the third line plays on the fourth line, so every line gets better.|
|Coach Parker: I think it's always a matter of upperclassmen taking a leadership role. It's a matter of people stepping up their play, because we've lost a key player. However, I think the addition or subtraction of Yip pales in comparison to the addition or subtraction of David Van der Gulik. It is amazing when you take a first line player out or put him back in. If you were taking out your 12th best forward or putting him back in, it wouldn't change much. When you put in one of your top forwards it has a domino effect: he plays the first line, the guy that was playing the first line plays the third line. The guy who was playing on the third line plays on the fourth line, so every line gets better.|
|Tom, MA: Coach, how do you feel Kenny Roche has played this year? He seems to step up in the bigger games, but really he and his linemates haven't been able to string together consistent production this year.|
|Coach Parker: I don't think there's any question that Kenny's been an enigma for us. He had a great second half last year, stringing together a bunch of big games. This year, he's been up and down with his effort and his play, and therefore, his production. He and his linemates had one of their best games of the season last night in the Beanpot, and hopefully that will be a catalyst for them. It has been in the past.|
|Jay (Boston): Going to BU home games this year has been very frustrating as a fan. Why does it seem the team rallies together and performs at or above expectations on the road but plays below expectations at home? Do you ever feel like the team is holding you hostage with their subpar play against below average teams? What message can be delivered to get this team to perform like a championship driven team?|
|Coach Parker: I don't think there's any question that our play on the road much better than our play at home, especially our offensive play. Example: we have 48 goals scored on the road and only 22 goals scored at home. If I had the answer for that differential, I'd be making a lot of money. I assume that it has something to do with being too comfortable at home, thinking the games might be easier at home, or just hoping we don't have to play that hard because we're home, but you would think that the competitive spirit that they show on the road could be called up easier at home. That has not been the case as yet. We're still working on it.|
|Vince (Boston): You have always seemed to have an extremely talented crop of freshman that play a large role on the team every year, but this year there doesn't seem to be any freshman standouts. What do you attribute that to?|
|Coach Parker: I would not agree with that statement. We've had two freshman defensemen who have played extremely well all year long, and have really filled the gap for the loss of Dan Spang and Jekabs Redlihs. Our freshman goaltender is a very talented guy, but won't get much opportunity to play this year because of the play of John Curry, and one of our most valuable players to date has been Luke Popko. He hasn't put up great numbers offensively, but has been one of our best defensive players, filling a huge role and playing as well as any of the upperclassmen have done.|
|Bill, Maynard: Can/should anything be done about the low attendance at the Beanpot? All the ticekts are sold but the place is empty. Great job last night! Go BU!!|
|Coach Parker: This is a pet peeve of mine in recent years. It appears as if the fans that come to the Beanpot are not college hockey fans. They are people who want to say they went to Beanpot like they would say they went to Opening Day for the Red Sox or got a World Series ticket. Bottom line, these people are showing up for the third period of the first game and for the first and second period of the second game, and they go back to their trading desk the next day and say they saw the Beanpot. There also could be a better following of students, but some schools' students don't want to travel even if only on the Green Line. We've always had a great support from our students, but we should make it easier for students (less costly) to support their schools. This problem does not arise in the final. We have a full house and they'll stay to the end.|
|Alex (Southie): I read recently in an article that you are an adamant supporter of bringing larger nets to the game. Is this true and if so could you explain why?|
|Coach Parker: I am, because I think the game needs to have more scoring to be exciting, and we've got to make a drastic step for that to happen. Smaller steps have been taken, like taking out the redline in NHL, enforcing the rulebook with stricter interpretation, and making goalie equipment smaller. In my opinion, all of those are just half measures. The basic problem is this: the goaltenders are too good. No position in any sport in my memory has made a jump in how to play that position better over the last 7-10 years than has the goaltender at all levels. They are better athletes, they're better coached, and they have a better technical approach. The way Ken Dryden played goal and goalies of that era, it's like a different planet. I'm not trying to make the game different. I'm trying to make it like it used to be. By making the nets larger, we wouldn't be jepoardizing Wayne Gretzky's numbers. We'd be giving Brendan Shanahan the same playing field Gretzky had. People didn't complain when they moved the goalposts from goal line to the back of the end zone, and say they would ruin field goal kickers' statistics. People don't complain when Bob Gibson goes for a 0.71 ERA and the next year they decide to lower the mound. You can't make the goalies a) less talented and b) smaller. Therefore, make the nets bigger. We do not want this to be soccer.|
|Steve (Boston): Coach Parker, I found your comments last week after the loss to Lowell interesting, especially in reference to the senior leadership. Clearly the seniors do not lack the capability to lead the team on the ice and in the locker room, but at times they seem a bit lackadasical or complacent about it. What are your thoughts on how they responded to the criticism and how you think they will adjust as the season continues?|
|Coach Parker: It was tie against Lowell, not a loss, but it felt like a loss, so I can see where you're coming from. My comments were emotional after the game, because I felt we didn't play anywhere near up to our abilities, and took somebody for granted. When you don't respect your opponent, you're in trouble. It's not the first time that's happened to us this year. As I alluded to earlier, that was a home game, and we've had that at home more often than on the road. I think that's the seniors' responsiblity, to handle the locker room and keep everybody more focused. They responded well the other night in the Beanpot, but that wasn't a home game, and as the legendary Snooks Kelley once said, "One snowflake doesn't make a blizzard." We have a bunch of big games coming up down the stretch, both home and away, and it will be interesting to see how mentally prepared we can get, for all of them.|
|Kellie (Boston): Hey Coach Cograds on last nights win! If you had to choose one area where you think the Terriers needed the most improvement in for the stretch run what would it be and why? Also, how realistic do you think John Curry's chances are for a Hobey Baker? Good Luck!|
|Coach Parker: I would like to see us improve our power play output. It has been inconsistent all year. I believe we're the third best team in our league on the power play as far as percentage goes, but that's misleading. UNH and Maine have been consistent on the power play. The rest of us have been shabby. I think that would help us more than anything else, if we were to make a run at the championship in March. As far as John Curry goes, he has a great shot at being a Hobey Baker finalist, he has a great shot at winning, he has a great shot at being an All-American and all-league, and none of that matters to him or his teammates if we don't win something important at the end of the year. He well deserves all the accolades he has received thus far, and I hope he receives more in the future, but what's most important is that he continues to be our most valuable player, and gets Ws for us. There is no question that he has been a great story.|
|CSTV.com Moderator: That is all the time we have with Coach Parker this afternoon.|
|Coach Parker: Thank you for your questions. Thought provoking for sure. I hope you enjoyed the time.|
|CSTV.com Moderator: That will do it for the first of our "Tuesday @ the Rink" chats this afternoon. Just as a reminder, the Rink Rat blog will be up and running LIVE for the second day of the Beanpot at http://slog.cstv.com/rinkrat, along with more Hockey East action this Friday and Saturday night.|
|CSTV.com Moderator: Come back at the top of the hour when we're joined by U.S. College Hockey Online CCHA correspondent Paula Weston.|