Tuesday @ The Rink

CHAT LIVE With CSTV's Hobey Baker Watch Panel

Welcome to the CSTV.com moderated chat room!

On Tuesday, March 13 at 1:00 p.m. ET, "Tuesday @ The Rink", presented by CSTV.com and USCHO.com, will host a discussion with members of the CSTV.com Hobey Baker Watch panel, discussing the top contenders for the Hobey Baker Award and other topics from across the board in college hockey.

The CSTV.com Hobey Baker Watch is in its second season, with a new edition appearing every Wednesday morning on CSTV.com. Each week, a panel of writers and analysts from across the country make their picks for who will win the Hobey Baker Memorial Award, college hockey's top individual honor.

The members of the Hobey Baker Watch panel are: CSTV play-by-play announcer Matt McConnell, CSTV color commentators Dave Starman and Troy Ward, CSTV studio host Adam Zucker, CSTV.com "Rink Rat" Elliot Olshansky, College Hockey News editor Adam Wodon, and writers Bob Snow of NHL.com, D.J. Powers of Hockey's Future, Ken Schott of the Schenectady Gazette, Neil Koepke of the Lansing State Journal, and Todd D. Milewski of the Capital Times.

** GET YOUR QUESTIONS IN NOW!!: Our Hobey Baker Watch voters won't be stopping by until 1:00 p.m. EST on Tuesday, March 13th, but feel free to submit your questions now and we'll save them for their arrival!
Elliot Olshansky: Hello, and welcome to our "Tuesday @ the Rink" panel discussion, presented by CSTV.com and USCHO. I'm joined by CSTV analyst Dave Starman and Todd D. Milewski of the Capital Times in Madison, Wis., and we're set to take your questions.
Todd D. Milewski: Happy to be here to answer some questions.
Dave Starman: Listening to Jimmy Buffett and ready to talk college hockey!

joe (dover, nh): How come after all the chat on Hobey candidates from goaltenders, Kevin Regan from UNH always gets overlooked? He plays on a more offensive team, doesn't have that great defense in front of him and still has been at or near the top in save % all season. Not to mention a GAA just over 2.
Todd D. Milewski: It's an unfortunate thing to say, but Ryan Miller spoiled the Hobey for all goalies following him. Now you've just got to be under 2 in goals against to get noticed.
Dave Starman: Great question, wish I had a great answer. Fair or unfair, I always rate Regan vs his performance in the Clark Cup playtoff run for WAterloo, and that performance is just so hard to live up to or replicate.
Dave Starman: He's a very good college goalie, but I agree with Todd, Miller just so raised the bar for goalies.
Elliot Olshansky: Regan has certainly had a great season, and is definitely a candidate for some postseason honors. That said, however, I think having a great offense in front of you is underestimated in terms of what it does for goalies. Minnesota certainly looked like a much better defensive team early in the season, because their offense controlled the puck so much and the defense wasn't tested nearly as often. Take away Tyler Hirsch, and all of a sudden, they don't control the puck as much, and their defensive liabilities show a fair bit more. By the same token, I think UNH's offense shouldn't be looked at as a liability for Regan...I'm not saying his numbers are inflated, but I don't think the offense is working against his performance, either.

Andrew (Grand Rapids): Does Hensick have a better chance for the HBA because the goalies will cancel each other out?
Dave Starman: No.....because under my criteria he is just behind Ryan Duncan. Ranking skaters vs. goalies is not as big a deal as it gets made out to be. Hensick might have had a better chance if he just focused on being the dynamic one way player he was earlier in his career.
Todd D. Milewski: Good point, but I think Hensick has a better chance for the Hobey because he's back putting up big numbers.
Dave Starman: However, Hensick's evolution into a better two-way guy has decreased his explosive offensive threat but probably increased his chances of being in Colorado's lineup next season.
Dave Starman: I am pulling for Hensick. Great kid who shown he can change as a player for the betterment of his career and his team.
Elliot Olshansky: I agree. I think that hat trick against NMU on Saturday helped him a ton...it would have been very tough for a forward to win the Hobey with fewer than 20 goals, I think...now that he's hit that mark, he will be viewed more seriously by more people.

Jon (Minneapolis): Does the fact that Ryan Duncan's success has coincided with North Dakota's run since Christmas will help his chances?
Dave Starman: North Dakota's run since Christmas has coincided with the rest of the team playing as well as Duncan!
Todd D. Milewski: I think Duncan has a great chance because people are seeing how good a team North Dakota can be. A lot of coaches and scouts have raved to me about how Toews and Oshie have come along recently, but Duncan has been there all season.
Elliot Olshansky: Duncan has done a fantastic job for North Dakota, but I have to echo a point Adam Wodon raised last week: he didn't have any real campaign behind him until recently...Toews and Oshie were supposed to be "the guys." I think his big run has done more to put him in position for next year then get him to win this year.
Dave Starman: Ryan has been consistent, scored in big games, scored on the road, played every role needed, and has fit on a line that has two first round picks on it and been the glue that has held the #1 line together through Toews being away at the WJC and Oshie playing with a bad hand. Lamoureux being healthy and Bina's improved play, as well as a good supporting cast show just how good Duncan was while everyone else got into a groove.

Mike - Minneapolis: I find that playoff success is due much more to team play than to individual effort over the regular season. Considering this, how much do you feel the Hobey is still up for grabs? Will it now depend more on how far each candidate's team advances?
Elliot Olshansky: Obviously, Matt Carle won the Hobey in spite of an early exit last season, but one also has to ask how much Minnesota's tailspin toward the end hurt Ryan Potulny. That's a point I hadn't considered before, and I think it may wind up being a factor.
Dave Starman: Yes and no. Todd and I talked earlier this season about how the Hobey can be won in February and March. If you have a clear cut candidate then March is less important. This season, March means a whole lot to each candidate because no one is clear cut. Last season, Matt Carle won the award in my mind by January.
Dave Starman: Hensick, Porter, Curry, Goepfert, Brown, and Duncan are the guys to keep an eye on this weekend. Big weekend for all. All on teams with good Frozen Four chances.
Todd D. Milewski: Not necessarily. Remember that Matt Carle won it last season even though Denver's season was done after the first round of the WCHA playoffs. And during that time off, Brian Elliott and Chris Collins were doing some pretty good things. But I hope the voters include the whole season in their consideration.

Gilbert (Massena, NY): Clarkson does not seem to get much press , even though they are ranked number four in the league, how come players like Nick Dodge, David Leggio, Shawn Weller or Steve Zalewski are not getting any hobey hype?
Todd D. Milewski: To be honest, I saw them play here in Madison at the Badger Showdown, and I didn't think any of them were at the best-of-the-best level. Granted, that was just one weekend, and the team played really well, but I wonder if they're collectively better than they are individually.
Elliot Olshansky: I think Dodge has a good shot to be a Hobey Finalist, since someone from the ECACHL will be. Personally, I think it'd be more likely to be David Jones of Dartmouth or Reid Cashman of Quinnipiac, but Dodge is a hell of a player who has been a real key to a great season for the Golden Knights.
Dave Starman: The last time I saw Clarkson play Ken Scuderi was on the roster. Clarkson is hampered by a small local press corps. If you want your players in the national media, better get their names into the hands of those who need to see them.
Elliot Olshansky: Well, you'll get a good look sometime soon, I dare say.
Elliot Olshansky: Well, you'll get a good look sometime soon, I dare say.
Dave Starman: On that note, great job by the SCSU SID staff in their hyping Goepfert and Gordon for Hobey. They are doing a great job getting those two players' names out there.

Bryan Cloud: After this weekend does bobby goepfert stock rise at all??
Elliot Olshansky: Well, I think going triple overtime after having an OT game the night before is an impressive feat, and it certainly helped his numbers. As for losing a game, the question is whether he lost the game or his team lost it. Goepfert, as some have pointed out, doesn't get the same kind of help from his D that John Curry and David Brown get. I think the stamina he displayed in that game certainly speaks well of him...not sure how much of a difference it will make.
Dave Starman: Elliot....couldn't disagree more. Impressive that won back to back OT's, but I think that shows their opposition better that it shows St. Cloud.
Todd D. Milewski: I still think Goepfert has a long way to go with David Brown and John Curry out there.
Dave Starman: Believe me with Bobby being a Long Island kid, I'd love to hype him to no end, but not on this one. Would love to see a Long Islander win the Hobey, would drive the rest of the country nuts.
Elliot Olshansky: Dan Rosen has three more years, Dave.

Jeff (Boston): The more I think about it, I feel like it is almost a sure thing that Hensick or Duncan will be winning the Hobey Baker. I'm rooting for Curry with as much passion as any other terriers fan, but I feel like it is very tough to distinguish between Curry/Brown/Goepfert. All three goalies are deserving, but none of them seem to stand out among the three, and if David McKee can't win the Hobey Baker two years ago (27-5-3, 1.24 GAA, .947 save%), what shot do the goalies this year have in distinguishing themself as the deserving goalie?
Dave Starman: Goepfert has the best shot because he plays behind a team that thinks offense in a conference where you have very good high end offensive players. Curry is next because BU doesn't score much. Curry has probably come the farthest in his ascent to elite status. Brown plays in a system that is air tight and has very good attention to detail. Personally, if Brown wins the Hobey, his staff gets a lot of credit because from what I am told, Jeff Jackson should get a lot of credit for pushing David Brown this far. However, in crunching numbers the goalies are just short of the top spot overall.
Todd D. Milewski: The way it looks, slim and none. I'll go back to my previous answer about Ryan Miller setting a new standard that, fair or not, everyone is being compared to.
Todd D. Milewski: I think it's going to take a season where there are very few quality forwards or defensemen, and a goalie having a great year.
Elliot Olshansky: I've talked about the Ryan Miller thing before, but the more I think about it, I don't believe it. Who had more to do with Dave LeNeveu not winning in 2003, Ryan Miller or Peter Sejna?

Mike (Potsdam): Is there ever going to be a Hobey player from the ECACHL? Who has a legitimate chance this year in the league?
Elliot Olshansky: I don't think anyone in the ECACHL will win the thing this year, but one will be a finalist. As I said, it'll be either David Jones from Dartmouth or Reid Cashman from Quinnipiac. As for next year, I think Jones and Nick Dodge should be candidates if they stay in school, but the Sports Info departments in Hanover and Potsdam will really need to get behind them early.
Dave Starman: David Jones, in my opinion, is a terrific ECACHL player, and would be in any conference. That being said, here is the problem. The ECACHL doesn't reach enough homes via television exposure. That could change with Quinnipiac's new rink because there will be a lot of games on TV from there because it is very TV friendly.
Todd D. Milewski: The toughest battle for the ECACHL is exposure for its players outside of its immediate area of coverage. I'd probably pick David Jones for the best player in the league, and I can see him in the top 10.
Dave Starman: That being said, Brandon Wong could have a great shot in a few years. I have said this many times, Quinnipiac has the chance to build a dynasty in the ECACHL because of their rink, a good program, a great location halfway between Boston and New York, and good academics. Rand has done a very good job there, and they are on the upswing. Amazing how a new rink could change a good program into a great one. With today's kids, it has a lot to do with bells and whistles.
Elliot Olshansky: Almost forgot about Brandon Wong, which would negate the purpose of those nifty publicity photos Quinnipiac sent out. He's another guy who should have a great opportunity to make some headway in the Hobey race next year or the year after.

Henry (Maple Grove, MN): Asking for a prediction here: Will the WCHA POY also finish the highest among WCHA players in the Hobey Baker race?
Todd D. Milewski: I voted for Ryan Duncan for WCHA player of the year, but I'm not completely convinced yet I'm in the majority. But I think he's the WCHA's best candidate for Hobey, based on an entire year of work. So for a prediction, I'll say yes.
Dave Starman: Word for word, I'm with Todd.
Elliot Olshansky: If I were voting for WCHA Player of the Year, I would probably go for Bobby Goepfert, because he's the single most important player to the team's success, and there's been an awful lot of success for the Huskies this year. That said, I think Duncan would be the guy with the best Hobey chances.
Todd D. Milewski: Then we get into a discussion about best player vs. most valuable. I think the award is for the best player, and, to me, that's Duncan.
Dave Starman: More pressure on NoDak to be good on a national level than St. Cloud.
Elliot Olshansky: Well, North Dakota had everybody back when they made their run, right?
Dave Starman: Yes, but they made a run because they were hanging around and Duncan is one of the reasons they were in striking distance to make a run.
Elliot Olshansky: Something tells me we could spend an hour debating Duncan vs. Goepfert...but we won't.

dan amatucci northville michigan: out of the 2 canidates from the ccha who do you belive has the better chance dan brown notre dame or tj hensick from uofm
Todd D. Milewski: I think Hensick has the better chance, if for no other reason the name recognition he has built up during his time at Michigan.
Dave Starman: Hensick. While Brown has been good at the marquee position, Hensick faces a bigger challenge on a nightly basis because teams prepare for him. Hensick is out in the open, Brown has a great team in front of him. His bulls eye is a little bigger.
Elliot Olshansky: Hensick. Yes, I know Brown led the Hobey Watch for a good long while, but I think in the end, he's going to lose votes to the other goalies, especially because they're more responsible for winning the games than Brown is. Hensick may have lost attention to Kevin Porter and or Jack Johnson, but the Wolverines have made it perfectly clear who their guy is.

Troy (Grand Forks): As of right now who do you see in the Hobey Hat Trick?
Todd D. Milewski: My choices would be Ryan Duncan, T.J. Hensick and David Brown. But it's all up in the air in the next two weekends.
Dave Starman: TJ Hensick, Ryan Duncan, John Curry.
Elliot Olshansky: If I had my pick, I'd have Eric Ehn, John Curry and T.J. Hensick. That said, I think it's more likely that Duncan or Brown will get in there.
Todd D. Milewski: Let me add here that I would love Eric Ehn to get into the top three because I think it would be great to have an Air Force player (and Cadet) in the ceremony, given Hobey Baker's history. Would bring a new element to things. I don't think it'll happen, though.
Elliot Olshansky: OK, that'll do it for today.
Todd D. Milewski: Thanks for the questions, and here's to some good hockey this weekend.
Dave Starman: Hey college hockey fans, thanks for your support at CSTV all season both on air and on the web site. No matter who wins the National title or the Hobey, college hockey wins because you support it!
Elliot Olshansky: And yes, this has been an absolute blast...that'll do it for this week's "Tuesday @ the Rink," presented by CSTV.com and USCHO. Keep checking back for info on next week's chats.