Tuesday @ The Rink

CHAT LIVE With The Writers' Round Table

Welcome to the CSTV.com moderated chat room!

On Tuesday, November 27 at 2:00 p.m. ET, "Tuesday @ The Rink", presented by CSTV.com and USCHO.com, will host a Writers' Round Table featuring college hockey writers from across the country offering their take on issues and events all over college hockey.

The Writers' Round Table is a new recurring feature as part of "Tuesday @ the Rink." College hockey beat writers from across the country will join CSTV.com's Elliot Olshansky to discuss the weekend that was, the weekend ahead, and national issues in college hockey.

Confirmed for Tuesday's Writers Round Table are Brandon Thomas of the Ithaca Journal, Kate Crandall of the Gazette in Colorado Springs, CSTV color commentator and USCHO national columnist Dave Starman, and CSTV.com Rink Rat Elliot Olshansky, who will moderate the panel.

** GET YOUR QUESTIONS IN NOW!!: Our panel members won't be stopping by until 2:00 p.m. ET on Tuesday, Novembder 27th, but feel free to submit your questions now and we'll save them for their arrival!
Elliot Olshansky: Hello, and welcome to another Writers' Round Table on "Tuesday @ the Rink," presented by CSTV and USCHO.
Elliot Olshansky: Joining me on the Round Table this afternoon, we have CSTV color commentator and USCHO national columnist Dave Starman...
Dave Starman: Hello, College Hockey fans...listening to the Grateful Dead and ready to talk college hockey.
Elliot Olshansky: Brandon Thomas of the Ithaca Journal...
Brandon Thomas: Greetings from unexpectedly sunny Upstate New York.
Elliot Olshansky: And Kate Crandall of The Gazette in Colorado Springs.
Kate Crandall, The Gazette: Ready when you are
Elliot Olshansky: We have a doozy of a question to start with...

Tony (Ann Arbor): Which player in college hockey has the most impact on their team and the game?
Kate Crandall, The Gazette: Wow, way to ease us in here.
Elliot Olshansky: Well, let's talk about goalies first, since there are clearly a few who have been the big difference makers for their teams
Dave Starman: Any team that has a stud goalie has a huge advantage over anyone. Look at the past few years. Curry was unbeatable until he got hurt late last season. Look at Lerg, look at Brian Elliott, Cory Schneider, Phil Lamoureux. Its all about goaltending.
Kate Crandall, The Gazette: The hot start for Colorado College has been largely because of Richard Bachman. Even in their 5-1 win over Denver, it should have been a much, much closer game. He makes game-altering saves with ease.
Kate Crandall, The Gazette: But up the road an hour, I'd say Denver could chalk up a lot of their early success to Peter Mannino.
Dave Starman: I don't think a all world goalie at the NCAA level can make an average team a title team, but an above-average team becomes a contender with a Mannino in goal.
Dave Starman: I don't think a all world goalie at the NCAA level can make an average team a title team, but an above-average team becomes a contender with a Mannino in goal.
Elliot Olshansky: And over here on the other side of the country, there's a couple of goalies in Boston who have been huge for their teams...and they don't play for BC and BU. Kyle Richter at Harvard and Brad Thiessen at Northeastern have both been tremendous.
Elliot Olshansky: And over here on the other side of the country, there's a couple of goalies in Boston who have been huge for their teams...and they don't play for BC and BU. Kyle Richter at Harvard and Brad Thiessen at Northeastern have both been tremendous.
Elliot Olshansky: And over here on the other side of the country, there's a couple of goalies in Boston who have been huge for their teams...and they don't play for BC and BU. Kyle Richter at Harvard and Brad Thiessen at Northeastern have both been tremendous.
Brandon Thomas: Richter's numbers have been unreal so far this year.
Dave Starman: Don't fall in love with first half success...that second half is a whole lot harder when those games become a little bigger.
Dave Starman: Judge players more critically in their last ten as opposed to their first ten, that's when the men show up. That's why Adam Berkhoel will always be a special goalie in NCAA history, what a story he wrote.
Brandon Thomas: Brian Elliott wasn't a bad story either.
Dave Starman: Agreed.
Elliot Olshansky: Right down to his dad's moose call at the Hobey presentation.
Brandon Thomas: I have to admit I look forward to how Ben Bishop handles his maturation process.
Dave Starman: David McKee was in that category, but the Red just didn't have enough and unfortunately ran into a team that had the same goaltending excellence they did.
Brandon Thomas: 50-something saves and one goal allowed was too much.
Dave Starman: McKee's performance agauinst Wisconsin was what NCAA legends are made of.
Brandon Thomas: In his last college hockey game, no less. It's been a tough act to follow at Cornell, especially with David LeNeveu coming before him.
Dave Starman: Same problem happening at BU/BC/Minnesota/Wisconsin.
Brandon Thomas: If Brett Bennett continues to play like he did Saturday, BU won't have many problems. For a game with nine goals, there was some great goaltending at MSG.
Dave Starman: You are very correct...Scrivens would love to have Pereria's goal back, that was the weak link and it opened the flood gates.
Dave Starman: BU looked like Cornell in their approach...attack the net and shoot when possible.
Elliot Olshansky: Dave, don't you think Minnesota's greater problem is the inexperience on D? I know Briggs has the WCHA wins record, but the bigger loss is being felt with Johnson, Goligoski and Vannelli, wouldn't you say?
Dave Starman: Yes I would agree. Minny's biggest problem is that they are handling the puck like its a hand grenade...seems other than Okposo or Barriball, no one wants the puck.
Kate Crandall, The Gazette: I think so. You can't underestimate mature defensemen in the transition game. I thought Minnesota had major puck-handling problems out of the defensive zone when they played CC. Granted, it was the first series of the year.
Dave Starman: See, Kate and I are on the same page here!
Dave Starman: And with all due repsect to Frazee, who I think is a good goalie, my feeling is that he won't make a good team better, he'll just make them a good team.
Kate Crandall, The Gazette: I haven't seen them since, but when you compare Minnesota to Wisconsin, which has confident defensemen (even though they are young), it's just night and day. Wisconsin's defensive corps, like Minnesota's d-corps last season, poses a serious offensive threat.
Dave Starman: Kate is correct, Eaves has always got his D's active, and last year might be the one season they just weren't as effective in that area, but they did not have three-line depth up front after the big line.
Dave Starman: Mike's an unreal coach, and his assistants are terrific teachers...I think Wisco is back to being an elite team after a one year layoff.
Elliot Olshansky: So then, this brings us to the other half of the question...who are some of the skaters you think have the biggest impact?
Dave Starman: Offensive minded defensemen can change a game. One of the best was Peter Harrold at BC. Then again, name me a better offensive defensemen than Matt Gilroy, and he will continue to improve because his instincts are just so good.
Brandon Thomas: Matt Gilroy was fantastic on Saturday.
Dave Starman: Gilroy spends more time in front of the other net than his and yet he's a very good defenseman.
Brandon Thomas: There are a few in the ECAC. Brandon Wong made Quinnipiac a lot scarier last year as a freshman.
Elliot Olshansky: Brandon, I saw Quinnipiac on Saturday before the MSG game, and he just seemed to be so well-marked, and hasn't been as effective.
Brandon Thomas: Agreed. He didn't look good when they were here at the beginning of the month.
Brandon Thomas: It's pretty similar with Tyler Burton at Colgate.
Dave Starman: Forgot Reid Cashman in that group of offensive D...though Matt Sorterberg will be a very good offensive defenseman as he matures.
Kate Crandall, The Gazette: Out here in the west, I think Denver's Chris Butler is pretty good about asserting himself. CC's Jack Hillen has become very confident shooting the puck as well.
Dave Starman: To sum it up...I think Michigan and North Dakota have defensemen that control games, and Robbie Bina has been great in the four games I have seen him. Chorney has NHL All Star written all over him.
Elliot Olshansky: We haven't talked about many forwards, and I really like Martinez' teammate, Miami captain Ryan Jones, as an impact guy.
Kate Crandall, The Gazette: Names are escaping me, but I think New Hampshire has some great skaters... Matt Fornataro comes to mind.
Brandon Thomas: Then again, if you can't skate, you'll never survive on UNH's ice.
Kate Crandall, The Gazette: It's pretty huge.
Brandon Thomas: There are no Olympic-sized surfaces in the ECAC, so it's a different ball game when these teams venture out to places like UNH.
Kate Crandall, The Gazette: As someone who grew acquainted with hockey at the Yale Whale, it was a whole new world coming out to the WCHA. Wow.
Elliot Olshansky: Getting back on point, what I like about Jones is that he's an excellent power forward who commands a lot of attention in front of the net, he makes big hits, and he's a real leader, in his-second year as captain. He sets the tone in the locker room and then he sets it on the ice.
Dave Starman: Biggest difference between the ECACH rinks and the WCHA is that the WCHA has corners. Watch dump-ins at ECACH rinks..pucks get into play pretty quickly...in the WCHA, goalies need a cab to corral a cross-corner dump in.
Brandon Thomas: Maybe they should bring the trapezoid into ECACH.
Elliot Olshansky: Heh...OK, I think this is a sign that it's time to move on

chad (east lansing): I remember a question awhile ago about a matchup between miami vs North Dakota. We have played both now and gotten beat by both. I know you guys said UND would win, but now that we are pretty deep into the season do you still have the same opinion. I thought miami looked pretty strong when they played us at munn.
Elliot Olshansky: Well, for the record, I don't know if I committed to one side or the other, just that it would be a classic, and Kate and Brandon weren't here for that one.
Kate Crandall, The Gazette: It depends on which UND team shows up, in my opinion. But I haven't seen MU for myself.
Elliot Olshansky: However, Kate, you've seen the Sioux fairly recently, and the struggling team, as opposed to the one I saw in October that had Jean-Philippe Lamoureux stopping everything.
Kate Crandall, The Gazette: The Sioux that showed up on the first night against CC were the scariest college hockey team I had ever seen.
Kate Crandall, The Gazette: The next night, though, once CC wasn't just handing them the puck in the neutral zone and committed to better wall play, North Dakota looked pretty tame.
Elliot Olshansky: You kind of reminded me of the Frozen Four, and how scary BC looked, right up until the NCAA title game. I think Miami has a similar work ethic to what Michigan State showed - although I can't imagine a team working harder than MSU did in the tournament last year - and I think they have the talent to hang with North Dakota.
Dave Starman: NoDak is still my team. Deepest defense, most explosive offensive players, very good goaltending, very motivated, experience in big spots, and a lot of dissapointment in April. That usually helps down the road.
Kate Crandall, The Gazette: I do think North Dakota has the potential to be the best team down the stretch. The Sioux just need a little consistency right now.
Dave Starman: I have watched the Sioux a lot in the Hakstol era and they have had their moments when it doesn't seem to be going well. Then all of a sudden they stop fooling around and become a very hard team to play against. ND has one huge advantage....physically, no one can win a war of attrition against them...they can beat you up, wear you down, and for the most part defend in their own end as well if not better than anyone.
Dave Starman: And they finish every hit.
Kate Crandall, The Gazette: They will definitely finish their checks. I thought on the Saturday game against CC, though, that the Tigers brought it just as hard and were rewarded for that. I can only speak from what I've seen.
Dave Starman: Watch third periods against them when their physical play is going well, defensemen don't want to go to the end boards to get dump-ins, they're tired of getting pounded. CC is developing a nasty edge to them also. I like what they are doing.
Elliot Olshansky: OK, this is all good talking about down the stretch, but here's the question I think the MSU fan was getting at: tomorrow, neutral sheet, MU vs. NoDak, who you got?
Kate Crandall, The Gazette: I'd have to go with NoDak, with complete WCHA bias.
Dave Starman: I couldn't answer that. Ask each coach, they'd probably say the other, ha ha.
Dave Starman: I will say that NoDak is deeper, that's the big intangible.
Elliot Olshansky: But I like Jeff Zatkoff over Lamoureux.
Elliot Olshansky: At least, Lamoureux now. Lamoureux a month ago, different story.
Elliot Olshansky: But I think there are a lot of people who are going to be suspicious of Miami until they play St. Cloud at the Ohio State tournament. I don't think it's right, necessarily, but that's what's going to happen.
Brandon Thomas: At RPI for a pair in a couple of weeks won't be a cakewalk either. Seth Appert has that team over-achieving already.
Elliot Olshansky: I like a lot of what I've seen from RPI too. Seth's doing a great job. However, the people who aren't impressed by Miami's split with Notre Dame and sweep of Michigan State aren't going to be impressed by RPI, either.
Dave Starman: Tough to win inter-conference games on the road. They sweep, it wil attract attention.
Brandon Thomas: Agreed. I can't see RPI losing both of those games.
Elliot Olshansky: Brandon, I couldn't see RPI almost losing to AIC last Friday, but it came darn close to happening.
Brandon Thomas: I wish I could have seen that. Then again, AIC gave Quinnipiac a run earlier this season, too.
Elliot Olshansky: Tom Fenton stood on his head.
Brandon Thomas: Which is becoming a trend, I understand.
Elliot Olshansky: Well, he'd actually lost the starting job, but the freshman, Dan Ramirez, tweaked his groin, so he got that start. However, when you're talking about AIC's goaltending, you know it's time to move on.
Brandon Thomas: Good point.

Josh (Boston): Who are some of the top Freshmen so far in college hockey?
Kate Crandall, The Gazette: Definitely Richard Bachman.
Kate Crandall, The Gazette: I like Anthony Maiani and Kyle Ostrow for Denver.
Kate Crandall, The Gazette: Wisconsin's blueliners -- Brendan Smith and Ryan McDonagh -- have some game.
Elliot Olshansky: Garrett Roe from St. Cloud has been very impressive.
Kate Crandall, The Gazette: Can't wait to see this Roe kid in two weeks.
Elliot Olshansky: It's not just his scoring, either...I saw St. Cloud play Anchorage at the beginning of the month, and late in the game, when they were trying to come back, Roe was taking key faceoffs and winning them.
Dave Starman: Colin Wilson from BU, Max Paccioretty from Michigan. Kyle Turris doesn't suck.
Brandon Thomas: I liked the simplicity of Wilson's game on Saturday.
Kate Crandall, The Gazette: Don't know what he's done since, but James vanRiemsdyk was pretty impressive at UNH.
Elliot Olshansky: vanRiemsdyk has one point less than Turris, and about a third of the hype in college hockey circles. Bit different among NHL folks, I suspect.
Brandon Thomas: What did you think of Riley Nash?
Dave Starman: I like Nash's game. Pretty composed, good hockey sense, good physical skills.
Brandon Thomas: He's not a dazzler by any means, but he does all of the little things well, and his adjustment to college hockey was very fluid.
Elliot Olshansky: Nash is a great talent, and he really stands out when I've seen him. He moves with a ton of confidence out there, seems to know exactly what he's doing and where's going.
Dave Starman: Totally agree. He is a presence out there, you can see that he generates things in each end.
Brandon Thomas: He skates a lot like his brother, Brendon, very smooth and deliberate.
Brandon Thomas: Yale goalie Billy Blase deserves a mention, in my opinion.
Kate Crandall, The Gazette: Yes, definitely! Haha, so biased...
Kate Crandall, The Gazette: But he's done a lot for the Bulldogs, especially on that Clarkson-St. Lawrence swing.
Dave Starman: I'd agree with that...Dartmouth defenseman Danny Markowitz had been good and CC's Steve Schultz will be a very good player.
Kate Crandall, The Gazette: Well, if you're going to mention Schultz, then you have to throw in Tyler Johnson. His hands are unreal.
Dave Starman: Really like James Marcou at UMASS. He's a special player. As good a pair of hands as you'll see in Hockey East.
Brandon Thomas: I'll see him Friday. What an OOC schedule UMass has.
Dave Starman: He'll remind you of Nathan Gerbe and will probably be as good at some point, and that's high praise because I think the world of Gerbe!
Dave Starman: I'll give you one more...not an impact guy but will be a good solid two-way guy as a freshman, and that's Jason DeLuca at Lowell. He's an older kid so he'll have less trouble adapting to college hockey. Very good on draws.
Elliot Olshansky: Tyler McNeely and Wade MacLeod at Northeastern have been a big part of their surprise run to the top of Hockey East, let's not forget those two. By the way, anyone else think that Greg Cronin and Ted Donato wish this wasn't the year they play each other in the first round of the Beanpot?
Dave Starman: No, because Beanpot time means anyone who plays BU loses, and BC will have its act together by then, and Harvard and NU are good first half stories at the moment...long way to February.
Brandon Thomas: Harvard's young, it's hard to imagine they won't have a hiccup or two down the line.
Elliot Olshansky: Good thing, too, because if Harvard-NU were ever the late game on the second Monday in February, I think the world would explode.
Dave Starman: Ask me that again the last week of January, hopefully for Harvard and NU, their success will continue. Would be great for hockey in the capital of college hockey in America.
Elliot Olshansky: Oh, I can hear the shouts of "East Coast Bias" on that last remark, Dave...
Kate Crandall, The Gazette: I just kept my lip zipped there.
Dave Starman: I've picked NoDak to win the Frozen Four, picked Ryan Duncan to win the Hobey, have a Michigan State watch...what East Coast bias?
Elliot Olshansky: And on that note...time to wrap this up.
Kate Crandall, The Gazette: Thanks for having me.
Brandon Thomas: Likewise.
Dave Starman: Have a safe and healthy holiday season everyone. See you at the rink!
Elliot Olshansky: That'll do it for another "Tuesday @ the Rink" on CSTV.com, presented by CSTV and USCHO. Be sure to check back for info on next week's guests. Until then, have a great week!