Tuesday @ The Rink

CHAT LIVE With CSTV's Matt McConnell and Dave Starman

Welcome to the CSTV.com moderated chat room!

On Tuesday, October 9 at 2:00 p.m. ET, CSTV's Matt McConnell and Dave Starman visit "Tuesday @ The Rink", presented by CSTV.com and USCHO.com to take your questions as the 2007-08 season gets set to begin.

Dave Starman

Matt McConnell

Join CSTV hockey announcers Matt McConnell and Dave Starman for a chat to kick off the 2007-08 season. The network's inimitable duo will be taking all your questions to help you prepare for an exciting new year of hockey.

** GET YOUR QUESTIONS IN NOW!!: Matt and Dave won't be stopping by until 3:00 p.m. EDT on Tuesday, October 9th, but feel free to submit your questions now and we'll save them for his arrival!
CSTV.com Moderator: Hello, and welcome back to Tuesday @ the Rink, brought to you by CSTV.com and USCHO. We've got Dave Starman and Matt McConnell here, ready to take all your questions.
Matt McConnell: Welcome back, hockey fans! I'm looking forward to another great season, and can't wait to get going.
Dave Starman: Hi everyone, and thanks for being part of the chat. It's an honor to be back with CSTV for year five, and Matt and I are ready for some pucks to drop.

Tony (Philly): A lot of people around the country have been saying Michigan States National Championship run was luck. They return all their scoring and they still have Jeff Lerg between the pipes. Can the Spartans silence their critics adn repeat?
Matt McConnell: I think they can, but far be it for me to jinx my alma mater. The '09 line is back, and will provide plenty of offense. Goaltending is also a strength with Jeff Lerg, but what scares me are the expectations. Traditionally, Michigan State teams that face large expectations tend to come up short. Last year, nobody expected MSU to do what they did, and credit Coach Comley for maintaining an inner concentration for the team. So, if they can maintain that mindset throughout this upcoming season, they very well could go all the way because the talent is there.
Dave Starman: When you are good you are lucky and no team has won without some luck...just look at the Cleveland Indians! I think Rick Comley said it best when he and I talked in September, and that was he was much more concerned with being a really good team than he was with repeating. If you can get your team to peak at the right time and have the horses that can run the race (which they do) then they have as good a chance as any.
Matt McConnell: Thank you, A-Rod!

Matt (Rochester): Other than the Oshie-Duncan-whoever line, which line will be the best in college hockey this season?
Matt McConnell: Justin Abdelkader, Tim Crowder, and Tim Kennedy at Michigan State. I would say that line is as good as any, but it's so hard to tell. With all the new faces around college hockey this year, it'll be fun to watch that develop as the season goes on.
Dave Starman: Abdelkader-Crowder-Kennedy. This line does it all and does it at high tempo. I like whomever skates with Kevin Porter and Chad Kolarik at Michigan. BU, BC, and UNH have some real talent up front. I wonder if Benn Ferrerio, Nathan Gerbe, and Brock Bradford are a trio on a consistent basis...good luck stopping them every night. Gerbe is great, and should be a Hobey candidate.

Rich (Syracuse, NY): Is there a new guard in the ECAC (Quinnipiac, St. Lawrence, and Clarkson) or will Colgate, Cornell and Harvard return to the front of the league as they have been in recent years.
Matt McConnell: I really like Quinnipiac to win that league. They return offensive forwards like David Marshall and Brandon Wong. Their goaltending is solid with Bud Fisher and an insurance policy in former Hockey East Rookie of the Year Peter Vetri. With that said, I think Clarkson will be right there at the end, and Harvard and Cornell always seem to figure out a way to make a run.
Dave Starman: That's a very good question, and one that I have been asking ECAC coaches lately. The consensus is that there will be a rebound year from the big guns like Cornell, Harvard, and Colgate, but right now Clarkson has a very strong lineup and great goaltending. Bud Fisher at Quinnipiac is the most underrated goalie in the conference. How Quinnipiac handles the loss of Reid Cashman will be worth watching, but they have some defensemen who can scoot. I think Quinnipiac wins the ECAC.

dennis (foxboro): As a former goalie yourself, what are your thoughts about Petizian from SLU and Rosen from Brown to be able to follow up on their strong freshman year and what they mean to their teams this season?
Matt McConnell: Dennis, I'm surprised you would ask Dave this, since he was the goaltender who helped run the University of Hartford hockey program into the ground!
Dave Starman: I cannot comment on Petizian because I have never seen him play, but I have known Dan Rosen since he was 12 years old (and coached him previously) so I'll talk about him. Rosen has really impressed me because his biggest flaw was how soft he was mentally for a while. he had a tough time facing adversity on the ice. However, he went to the USHL, took his lumps, and became a solid person and a great goalie. Rosen should continue to improve because his work ethic is great and he is very focused on improving. Mostly, he has lost his fear of failure and changed that to a pursuit of success.
Dave Starman: And ask McConnell how many D1 goalies we have produced at Apple Core before he yaps about my goaltending.
CSTV.com Moderator: OK guys, settle down...let's move on to the next question.

Jason (St. Paul): What, if anything, can the NHL and the NCAA do about players leaving after 1 or 2 years?
Matt McConnell: At this point, nothing. I think players need to look at the bigger picture and realize that when they go to college, first and foremost, they should be there to get an education. In a lot of ways, they have the best of both worlds, where they can obtain a college degree and sharpen their skills as a hockey player. That may or may not end up as a career in the National Hockey League. When you talk to scouts, most of them will tell you that college prospects, whether they've been there for a couple of years or all four years, need to play games. Keep in mind that a kid that plays junior in Canada is playing 70 games a year, and the average college kid is playing a maximum of 34 in the regular season. A prime example of this is Grant Lewis from Dartmouth. Here's a grade-A prospect that got an Ivy League education and has more or less been told by the Atlanta Thrashers that he needs to play a lot. Thus, they sent him to Chicago in the AHL. Granted, there are the few exceptions, like Jack Johnson and Jonathan Toews, who make the jump, but to me, the college game has afforded its players the best of both worlds: playing experience and an education, and I wholeheartedly agree with Michigan head coach Red Berenson that kids who decide to go the college route should stay for all four years.
Dave Starman: Sadly not much. The only thing I could think of is that if you make the scholarship commitment a binding legal agreement, like when a pro signs a four-year contract, and he is bound that team for the duration of the contract. Could you legally enforce a document to a kid that says "If we scholarship you, then you are committed to us for four years?" I don't think so.
Dave Starman: The only thing you could do is ask the NHL to be more respectful of college programs, but if you were the Carolina Hurricanes last fall, wouldn't you want to have Jack Johnson in your lineup? Jack told them to fly a kite so they traded him to LA and the Kings, by being patient one more year, got a great player. He was also ready to leave school and face a bigger challenge.

bill new ulm mn: Is north dakota everyones pick preseason ?
Matt McConnell: I think they're going to be in the hunt at the end. It'll definitely be a younger lineup, but I expect a vintage type of North Dakota season, in that they may start out a bit slower, but will have it ramped up come stretch time, and that's really a tribute to their head coach, Dave Hakstol, and his coaching staff. They'll be very good, but my pick to go all the way is Boston College.
Dave Starman: I don't know or care what everyone else picks, I'm picking North Dakota based on these factors. 1) Their goaltending is much better than given credit for. I almost fell over laughing last April when ESPN's studio show was killing Lamoreaux for a bad middle part of the season. Did you guys have any idea that he had a high ankle sprain most of the year? The kid can play and will play well. 2) They have depth up front outside of the big two. Brad Miller is great, what a character kid. Rylan Kaip will knock over a tank to get to a loose puck. Andrew Kozek and Matt Watkins are solid contributors. Their defense is probably better now than it was last year. 3) They are so well coached its laughable. Dave Hakstol has a handle on that program that makes it the type of team that can roll through adversity and respond.
Matt McConnell: Dave is dead on regarding Brad Miller. He might be the most underrated player in the WCHA heading into the season.
Dave Starman: Matt-Boston College? Two rookie goalies is a tough task to win a national title. However, they have the nations best captain in Mike Brennan!
Matt McConnell: Dave, your Long Island boy is a great leader, but you know me...I'm going out on a limb with the two freshman goalers.

Anthony (Wilmington, DE): Who are you Frozen Four teams?
Matt McConnell: I like two coming out of the east, Boston College and New Hampshire. Both will have epic battles throughout the season atop Hockey East. North Dakota will make it on the strength of its returning core and one of the best head coaches in the game, and I really think Miami is going to have a tremendous year in the CCHA. Their goaltending with Charlie Effinger and Jeff Zatkoff is as good a tandem as there is in the college game today. They could be the most dangerous team come tournament time. Now, does this mean I'm down on my Spartans? Absolutely not. I would love to do nothing more than order up another championship t-shirt come spring. It'll go well in my Spartan wardrobe that includes the 2007 football shirt, the 2006 Izzone t-shirt, and this inexpensive t-shirt purchased on eBay that simply reads, "STATE."
Dave Starman: I keep wavering on this, and hate to do this when captains practices are just ending, but I'd say North Dakota, UNH, Michigan State, and either Miami or Notre Dame. Notre Dame has young goalies, but Jeff Jackson is so great at developing goalies that they just might get to Denver.
Dave Starman: Hey Madd Dogg...still have the Mike Rozier jersey?
Matt McConnell: The Pittsburgh Maulers were one of America's great football franchises back in the day. Dave, I look forward to our first venture into the CCHA, so you can enlighten me on the tremendous strides being made by the CCHA officials.
Dave Starman: There is a great topic for us, Matt...a lot to tell there.
Matt McConnell: Keep Delta, my Delta.
CSTV.com Moderator: OK, I think that's enough of that...that's all the time we have for today with Matt and Dave
Matt McConnell: Thanks for all the great questions. I look forward to seeing you at the rink.
Dave Starman: Thanks for taking part in this chat. This will be another great season for all of us, especially on November 24 when BU and Cornell play at Madison Square Garden on CSTV. Can't wait!
CSTV.com Moderator: Thanks again to Matt and Dave, and Red Berenson, and all of you for being part of this week's chats. Keep checking back to CSTV.com for more info on next week's guest. See you next Tuesday "@ the Rink."