Between now and the start of the regular season, The Eagle Tribune and Warriorrinkrat.com’s Mike McMahon will preview each Hockey East team in order from 10th to first, based on his predictions for the 2010-11 season.
Last Year’s Record:10-20-4 (10th Place)
Kyle MacKinnon (12g, 13a)
Matt Bergland (12g, 11a)
Alex Beaudry (9-18-4, 2.87, .916)
Why they’ll finish 10th
The Friars have to prove to me that they’re not a last place team. For the past two years, they’ve been the league’s doormat. Just like Merrimack had to prove the pundits wrong before the Warriors would be taken seriously again, so do the Friars. Stressing defense is a smart move, but once PC went in that direction, it lacked anyone who could score with any amount of consistency. The Friars goal differential was worst in Hockey East last season by far – they scored 38 goals less than they allowed (over a goal per game) – and their 46 league goals were 24 goals less than the next highest team (Northeastern scored 70 goals).
Kyle MacKinnon and Matt Bergland – PC’s top returning scorers (12 goals each) – are both solid forwards, but haven’t yet proved to be the type of players to strike fear into opponents. There are a lot of very good players on the roster, but it seems to lack those one or two star players that you can rely on to put the team on their back with the game on the line.
Why they could finish higher
Alex Beaudry could be the best goalie in the league. That’s tough for me to admit, too. When I saw this kid play as a freshman in 2008-09, I just didn’t see it. I didn’t see what Tim Army was so excited about when he brought Beaudry in mid-season to help solve what was a desperate situation in net. After watching Beaudry in his second week in a PC uniform, I thought it was clear that Army had his back against the wall and had no choice but to make a move. Then I read reports that he received a full boat … I was floored. I just didn’t see what was so special.
Then came last season.
Early last season, PC was still running an up-tempo, run-and-gun, high-octane offense which left Beaudry fed to the wolves more often than not at the other end. They tightened things up towards the end of the season on the defensive end, but Beaudry still posted a 2.87 GAA and .916 save percentage playing in 31 of 34 games for a team that lost twice as much as it won.
9. Posted Sept. 8th