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TMR Live Chat (10/18): Previewing Merrimack vs. UMD

Join our weekly TMR Live Chat at 9 p.m. ET tonight as we preview Merrimack vs. Minnesota Duluth …

Mike McMahon10:36:46 AM
Welcome to tonight’s live chat! I’ll be back at 9 p.m. ET tonight to preview Merrimack’s weekend series at Minnesota Duluth.
Mike McMahon8:55:03 PM
Just running a little late. Let’s make the start time 9:15.
Mike McMahon9:11:18 PM
Alright, I’m back. Ready when you guys are.
WesternWarrior9:13:31 PM
Hey Mike, I read your PP article today and mostly agree but I think we need more traffic in front.
MCWarrior10119:13:34 PM
Excited for what should be a good weekend. I want at least a split
GoMackAlum9:13:49 PM
Go Mack!
Mike McMahon9:15:27 PM
Western – I agree. That could help. But honestly, I think they are getting good traffic. They’ve been really unlucky. I know that sounds like I’m making excuses, but the numbers suggest that they’ve just been really, really unlucky.
Pauly9:15:58 PM
Any news on D1?
Mike McMahon9:17:11 PM
Their status basically hasn’t changed. Waiting for an invite, and when that comes, I think they make the move.
David229:17:21 PM
Any update on when loof will be playing
Mike McMahon9:17:39 PM
Could be a bit. It sounded like it might be around the semester break. Maybe 1st of the year.
Pauly9:18:00 PM
conference?
Mike McMahon9:18:14 PM
The NEC has always made the most sense … and the NEC has expressed interest.
GoMackAlum9:18:19 PM
Kolquist OK after he got hurt blocking a shot?
Mike McMahon9:18:31 PM
Yes. He returned after that play.
WesternWarrior9:19:09 PM
Kolquist is a WARRIOR. So under rated!!!!
MCWarrior10119:20:14 PM
The PP is so confusing. Like you said Mike we are getting shots. Tons of shots. Nothing through. So weird
Pauly9:21:28 PM
NEC would be good
GoMackAlum9:21:31 PM
Do we think Halladay gets a crack at a game this week?
Mike McMahon9:22:37 PM
Halladay could get a game this weekend. It usually makes sense to get the new goalie a non-conference game at some point. But, they might also want to do that at home. It could be they hold off until 11/10 vs. Bentley, for instance. Either way, it wouldn’t really surprise me one way or the other.
Mike McMahon9:23:36 PM
There is some interesting data I’d like to share, too.
Mike McMahon9:24:08 PM
I did some research today on a formula that takes a lot of different categories and comes up with an “expected win percentage” which you can apply to determine an expected record.
Mike McMahon9:24:21 PM
I applied it to the last three seasons and here is what I came up with.
Mike McMahon9:24:44 PM
2014-15: 16-18-4 with an expected record of 16-18-4, so there was no change.
Mike McMahon9:24:49 PM
Here’s where it gets interesting …
Mike McMahon9:25:26 PM
2015-16: 13-19-7 with an expected record of 17-15-7 … that’s a huge difference and based mostly based on Merrimack’s percentages, PDO and possession.
Mike McMahon9:25:51 PM
2016-17: 15-16-6 with an expected record of 17-14-6. Again, that’s a significant difference.
Mike McMahon9:26:32 PM
Through three games this season, Merrimack’s expected record, based on performance, would be 1-1-1 instead of 0-2-1. And again, that makes sense if you consider the loss to Colgate where Merrimack outshot the Raiders 39-19.
Mike McMahon9:26:39 PM
Just some interesting data …
Jack9999:26:41 PM
Why do we schedule such a tough OOC schedule? Recruits don’t want to go to schools with countless losing seasons
Mike McMahon9:27:41 PM
If you want good programs to come to you, then you have to go play good programs in their buildings, too. And the goal is to get to a point where you are on the same level as some of those “bigger” programs.
Mike McMahon9:29:18 PM
Merrimack was 7-8 OOC last year, 8-9 the year before that and 11-4-1 the year before that. They haven’t been hurt by their OOC schedule.
GoMackAlum9:30:17 PM
The expected win perc. is interesting. What does that mean? We are under performing?
Mike McMahon9:30:43 PM
It goes along with PDO to suggest that the level of play is good, but either a lack of finish or unlucky play. A combination of both.
Pauly9:32:44 PM
Crazy talk
WesternWarrior9:33:09 PM
Mike, who do you think emerges as go-to scorers
Mike McMahon9:33:56 PM
Tavernier, Seney, Hennig and Ludvig Larsson to start. Cole McBride at some point this year will score and don’t sleep on Petti. I also feel like Logan Coomes is just a few inches away from being a good scorer. He seems to be so close on so many plays.
Mike McMahon9:34:11 PM
Hit posts, shots just wide, etc. Coomes puts himself in really good positions.
GoMackAlum9:35:38 PM
Why wasn’t McBride playing Saturday?
Mike McMahon9:35:54 PM
Coaches decision. Not a huge surprise. We’ve seen that happen with new players in the past. Helps get their feet wet.
Pauly9:36:34 PM
Random question but do you think Curtis Carr can be a head coach somewhere for another d1 team? Seems like he should be with his experience
Mike McMahon9:37:27 PM
Absolutely. I’m surprised he didn’t get a serious look for any of the AHA jobs that were open this past summer. ADs typically want to see head coaching experience and he has that, as a former head coach and GM with Youngstown in the USHL. If I were Niagara, for example, he would have been on my shortlist of candidates.
Pauly9:37:38 PM
who got that job?
Mike McMahon9:37:53 PM
Jason Lammers, who was a head coach in the USHL and was formerly a Lowell assistant
WesternWarrior9:38:09 PM
Thoughts on UNH?
Mike McMahon9:38:34 PM
They are drastically overachieving. Their PDO is more than 107 right now. That’s incredibly high, which suggests their level of play is not at all sustainable.
WesternWarrior9:40:18 PM
I agree there. Still think Mack is 5th-6th
Mike McMahon9:40:40 PM
Yes. The record doesn’t reflect it, but I think MC has played quite well. I’d even say their best two games have been the two losses.
Pauly9:40:53 PM
How do you think a 4-1 loss is a good game
Mike McMahon9:41:43 PM
Shot attempts were 70-52 Merrimack and 46-35 at even strength. Merrimack had the bulk of possession against a team that right now is ranked top-5. That’s a good sign.
Mike McMahon9:42:35 PM
Merrimack’s Corsi at even strength is 5th in the country. If they remain there all season, they’ll be a team that wins 18-19 games easily.
Mike McMahon9:43:15 PM
People laugh at possession metrics, but they can tell you a lot. Merrimack has played well. They’ve controlled possession by about a 60% margin.
Dreamer9:43:18 PM
Back to raising the roof at JTLA: if they raised the roof they can add 700 cantilevered seats on the 114 side. Easy. Not touching the ground so no wetlands problem. Could add a nice balcony on both ends. Another tier of luxury boxes. Just need some imagination. We need a place to get smoked by an ACC team. 🙂 Hammel won’t cut it.
Mike McMahon9:44:27 PM
I’m not an engineer, but to properly build a balcony I would think that you would also have to go back, not just up. So you would need to go into the second rink.
Mike McMahon9:44:37 PM
Those seats need to slope backwards.
Jack9999:45:20 PM
What are your predictions for this weekend? Can we sneak away with at least a tie?
Mike McMahon9:45:39 PM
The way Merrimack is playing, and the way UMD is playing, there’s no reason Merrimack can’t at least split.
Mike McMahon9:46:52 PM
Merrimack and UMD have both been REALLY good possession teams. Duluth is having similar scoring problems to Merrimack (UMD is shooting 5.8%, Merrimack 3.6%). The biggest difference right now is goaltending. Vogler has played well for MC despite the Wisconsin numbers (2 tips and a 2-on-1). UMD’s team save percentage is .854
Mike McMahon9:47:18 PM
Now, Nick Deery did emerge, it would seem, last weekend. He shut out Bemidji State in a 0-0 tie.
GoMackAlum9:48:18 PM
UMD lost a lot from the team last year
Mike McMahon9:48:28 PM
They absolutely did. I think 12 players, including goaltender Hunter Miska.
Mike McMahon9:49:12 PM
UMD is playing a lot of freshmen and sophomores.
WesternWarrior9:50:08 PM
I think we come out 1-1 this weekend, 1-0-1 next weekend and then 1-1 vs BC and a win over Bentley. Puts us at 4-4-2 through 10 games. I’ll take that.
Mike McMahon9:50:29 PM
That’s totally reasonable.
Pauly9:50:55 PM
on the year do you think we finish above .500?
Mike McMahon9:51:54 PM
Yes. I’m not going to overreact to 3 games. Merrimack was barely below .500 last year (15-16-6) and they were .500 at the end of the regular season (14-14-6). I think they’re better this year, so yes, I think MC finishes above .500
Mike McMahon9:52:46 PM
Think of it like this … if Merrimack won that first Colgate game, which they very well could have, they would be 1-1-1 right now. No one would think that’s a big hole. It’s three games. If you think the year is over after 3 games, you’re nuts.
WesternWarrior9:53:15 PM
I love how you just tell it like it is because you are right, anyone thinking year is over now is totally insane. Go root for another team.
Pauly9:53:24 PM
Never said the year was over
Mike McMahon9:53:48 PM
Pauly – I know you didn’t. Just saying, in general, if you are really worried because of a three-game stretch, you’re crazy. Didn’t mean you, just speaking in general.
WesternWarrior9:54:23 PM
I am predicting 20 wins. Including playoffs
Pauly9:54:20 PM
we cool bro no worries
WesternWarrior9:54:23 PM
I am predicting 20 wins. Including playoffs
MCWarrior10119:55:43 PM
Mike you have been around a while. Be honest, did you ever think Merrimack would get to where it is now? Hockey first, and then just athletics as a whole? Seems like so many people care now.
Mike McMahon9:56:37 PM
The short answer is no … That playoff run the 2010-11 team had really galvanized the college. From there, athletics took on more importance throughout the campus. That was the starting point. That team was incredible, on and off the ice, and captured the entire campus.
Mike McMahon9:57:05 PM
And Jack999, that’s what I’m referring to. Things like that not only never happened, they were never thought possible.
Mike McMahon9:57:49 PM
I remember during the fall of 2010, during the 2010-11 season, I was explaining the PWR to someone and said, “you’ll never have to worry about that because Merrimack is never in that conversation” … they were a 2 seed only a few months later.
MCWarrior10119:58:45 PM
Going back to that team, what do you think happens if we beat Notre Dame? How far do you think that team goes?
Mike McMahon9:59:37 PM
If Merrimack beat ND, they would have gone to the Frozen Four. They had beaten UNH so badly that year. There was no way UNH was beating Merrimack. UNH also had injured Da Costa earlier in the year. … I think MC would have gone to the Frozen Four and honestly, they could have won a national title. Duluth (ironically) won that year as a 3 seed.
Mike McMahon9:59:57 PM
UNH would have played Merrimack in the regional final for a trip to the Frozen Four.
MCWarrior101110:00:33 PM
Makes me sad lol. Talk about being unlucky that goal was a total fluke goal by Notre dame
Mike McMahon10:01:50 PM
Alright folks, that does it for me tonight. I have to get working on some more stuff for TMR and CHN
Mike McMahon10:02:00 PM
Thanks for checking in tonight and we’ll talk again next week as Merrimack preps for UMass.
MCWarrior101110:02:28 PM
Thanks Mik
WesternWarrior10:02:25 PM
Thank you Mikey!
GoMackAlum10:02:29 PM
thanks
MCWarrior101110:02:28 PM
Thanks Mik
GoMackAlum10:02:29 PM
thanks

Mike McMahon is in his 12th year covering Merrimack College for The Eagle Tribune and is the founder and managing editor of The Mack Report. Mike also serves on staff as a senior writer at College Hockey News. Follow him on Twitter @MikeMcMahonCHN

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