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January 2008 Archives

Thursday, 01/31/08

To Tie Or Not To Tie?

With the Beanpot coming up this Monday, I'm getting ready to head to Boston once again, and I had a great time talking about the Beanpot last night during my regular appearance on Hockey On Campus on 1510 The Zone in Boston. Of course, one of my favorite parts of the Beanpot is the atmosphere in the press room before the game with so many of my wonderful colleagues in the media. It's one of those events where you see so many of the regular faces and it adds to the attraction of the event.

With that in mind, I'd like to write on a subject raised recently by one of those colleagues.

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Posted by Elliot Olshansky at 09:38 PM | Comment

Wednesday, 01/30/08

A Tale of Two Jeffs

There were some interesting developments in the CSTV.com Hobey Baker Watch this week. For the first time in what feels like forever, someone decided that Kevin Porter shouldn't get his first-place vote this week.

Who got the vote instead? The man most responsible for keeping Porter off the scoreboard this weekend Michigan State goaltender Jeff Lerg.

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Posted by Elliot Olshansky at 06:16 PM | Comment

Monday, 01/28/08

The Rink Rat Rankings: Season 2, Edition No. 12

We're now over two-thirds of Division I in the Rink Rat Rankings, and more than half of Atlantic Hockey is now part of the rankings with the addition of "God and Country:" Holy Cross, Sacred Heart, Army and Air Force.

And of course, there was all kinds of craziness going on among the nation's top teams, which you folks undoubtedly care much more about.

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Posted by Elliot Olshansky at 05:12 PM | Comments (1)

Saturday, 01/26/08

Things I Find Funny

Under normal circumstances, I try to sprinkle my smartass remarks throughout my commentary, as I've found that my sense of humor is best taken in small doses (very small doses, if you listen to some of my colleagues).

However, a few recent developments have amused me to the point where I have a number of observations to share with you.

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Posted by Elliot Olshansky at 06:47 PM | Comment

Wednesday, 01/23/08

The Other Jeff

I'll admit it...I'm very interested in what you folks think of what I do. I don't let it affect what I write or questions I ask, or even things I say in my radio appearances - like the one I made this evening with Bernie Corbett and Paul McNamara on 1510 the Zone's Hockey on Campus - but I do try to make myself aware of what you folks are saying. I've been known to lurk on a school specific message board or two - I've been checking out Bowling Green's Ay-Ziggy-Zoomba a lot since last Friday's brawl with Western Michigan - and I read a lot of team blogs (and had a nice exchange with the "UNH Hockey Blogger Guy" last Friday).

Then, there's the fanbase I've never quite gotten on the good side of...Minnesota.

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Posted by Elliot Olshansky at 10:40 PM | Comment

Tuesday, 01/22/08

Precious Moments

When Miami head coach Rico Blasi was a guest on "Tuesday @ the Rink" a couple of weeks ago, a question came in about the recently-enrolled Andy Miele. Miele, a highly-regarded recruit out of the USHL, was not expected by many to play for the RedHawks, using a full year of eligibility for a portion of the season, but Rico said that he'd be eligible to play just like anyone on the team.

Clearly, he meant it, since Miele made his RedHawks debut against Lake Superior this past Friday, and scored the game-winning goal for the RedHawks.

Smart move.

Not just because of the goal, either (Miami had plenty more that night).

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Posted by Elliot Olshansky at 04:30 PM | Comment

Monday, 01/21/08

The Rink Rat Rankings: Season 2, Edition No. 11

The Rink Rat Rankings continue to grow, as we add the defending national champions to the mix, along with another team from the great state of Michigan. Of course, both teams spent part of the weekend in Ohio, where folks from Michigan aren't looked on too kindly, and neither team was thought of particularly well when they left, albeit for very different reasons.

All the teams I've seen this season, from 1 to 37, yours to see when you click "more."

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Posted by Elliot Olshansky at 12:23 PM | Comment

Sunday, 01/20/08

Fighting Words

I have really weird dumb luck with seemingly random CCHA games and fights.

A year ago, during a January foray into CCHA country, I was in the building for a post-game altercation between Michigan State and Alaska.

Then, this past Friday, I was in Bowling Green to take on Western Michigan, and after a strong effort by the Falcons produced a 4-1 final score, this happened.

(click to view video)

Amazingly, it's not the ugliest thing I saw this weekend.

Of course, that's just because Ohio State decided to wear their third jerseys on Saturday against Michigan State.

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Posted by Elliot Olshansky at 11:04 PM | Comment

Saturday, 01/19/08

It's Not Easy, Bowling Green

Greetings from Findlay, Ohio, where I've stopped for lunch on my way back to Columbus from last night's Bowling Green-Western Michigan game.

It was my second visit of the season to BGSU Ice Arena, and while my general comments on arenas, fans and bands have tapered off since I haven't been to many new places this season, Bowling Green is new to me this month, and after a pair of visits, I think I'd ought to contribute a few thoughts.

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Posted by Elliot Olshansky at 01:15 PM | Comment

Thursday, 01/17/08

Hatin' On Nate

It looks like I picked the right week to write a column about BC's Nathan Gerbe.

We're a week removed from the launch of a Gerbe For Hobey blog, a day removed from Gerbe cracking the top three in our Hobey Watch and taking the lead on Inside College Hockey's Hobey Tracker, and a few hours removed from a great hue and cry from our good friend Chris Dilks over at Western College Hockey (and the UNH Men's Hockey Blog had its say as well).

I honestly can't say where I'm surprised by any of the above.

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Posted by Elliot Olshansky at 05:58 PM | Comment

Wednesday, 01/16/08

Miller's Shadow, Redux

I knew Igor Olshansky was going to get me into trouble. Instead of my nice big block on Hockey On Campus today, I was crammed into the last five minutes of the show. I'm telling you, you do not mess with New Englanders and their pro teams.

Just what I needed...really...

But enough about that. I'm sure Tom Brady and the Patriots will have their say this weekend, so let's shift gears from Brady to another Michigan man or two...starting with Billy Sauer.

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Posted by Elliot Olshansky at 04:23 PM | Comment

Tuesday, 01/15/08

Trash Talk

Well, isn't this just what I needed?

I was contacted today by one of those crazy BU students whom I rode out to Ann Arbor with, and was told that that show where the two guys from the Washington Post yell at each other for half an hour began today's episode with the headline "OLSHANSKY TALKING TRASH?"

Great, just great. Now I really have something to look forward to when I make my regular appearance Wednesday on "Hockey On Campus" on 1510 The Zone in Boston. And after all the trouble I've gone to in making sure those Sox fans in Hockey East country know that I'm not a Yankees fan, now I get another Olshansky causing trouble in Boston.

For the record: I do not know whether or not I am related to the Chargers' Igor Olshansky. There is some physical resemblance in terms of facial features if you look at our photos, but that's all I know. If you're a Boston sports fan who wants to give me a hard time about "Cousin Igor," then do a bit of research and see if you can find out a definite connection before you get on my case, ok?

For the record #2: I do know exactly which show that is, and who those guys are. In fact, I am a major devotee of Mr. Tony's radio show, which airs in Washington - home of the 2009 Frozen Four (just a reminder) - on Talk Radio 3WT.

Geez...no wonder one of the unused questions for today's "Tuesday @ the Rink" Writers' Round Table was "Why is Olshansky such a clown?"

Meanwhile, in other New England sports news...

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Posted by Elliot Olshansky at 11:49 PM | Comment

Monday, 01/14/08

The Rink Rat Rankings: Season 2, Edition No. 10

OK, I goofed.

Remember last week when I said I'd be adding New Hampshire, Army and Canisius to the Rink Rat Rankings this week?

Yeah. I didn't realize until two days later that the Black Knights were hosting the Golden Griffins this weekend, as opposed to last weekend, when I somehow allowed myself to believe they were playing at Tate Rink when I was making my schedule during the off-season and never corrected myself on.

So, instead of adding three teams to the Rink Rat Rankings this week, I'm just adding one.

Yeah, I know, you're disappointed. Hey, if you're that ticked off, feel free to leave an insulting comment. If you need inspiration, just check out what some particularly ornery Memphis basketball fans did to my colleague Josh Herwitt.

Geez, next to building my entire day a couple of weeks ago around watching the US-Canada game at a Buffalo Wild Wings in Bowling Green, only to find out once I got there that they don't get the NHL Network, that may be one of the dumbest things I've done all year.

Alas, the year is young yet...

May as well just get onto the rankings.

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Posted by Elliot Olshansky at 10:37 PM | Comment

Sunday, 01/13/08

Ready For A Break?

If this were college football, I would be so screwed right now.

I talked about it during my regular appearance on Hockey On Campus on 1510 The Zone in Boston on Wednesday. The next morning, I talked it up with Rodger Wyland and Ken Schott on Fox Sports 980 in the Capital District.

Yes, by now, you may have heard a bit about "Break Out, Break In," our look at four teams that surprised in the first half of the season, and are trying to carry through on those promising beginnings: Michigan Tech, RPI, Bowling Green, and Northeastern.

And then, this weekend...oof!

Well, let's just say it's a good thing that - unlike the season that just ended - one weekend in the middle of the season does not a season make...or break.

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Posted by Elliot Olshansky at 11:31 PM | Comment

Thursday, 01/10/08

Many Happy Returns

It's not all that often that I encourage people to read something I've written, but every so often, I have the opportunity to tell a story that I feel is special. It's not about me, but about the people who are living it, and I feel fortunate to have the opportunity to show you folks what's going on. It's in that spirit that I encourage you to look at my column for this week, on Minnesota's Mike Carman, who returns to the Gophers lineup tomorrow night against St. Cloud.

He's not the only major player returning to a college hockey lineup this week, of course.

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Posted by Elliot Olshansky at 06:31 PM | Comment

Wednesday, 01/09/08

Topsy Turvy All Over

It's been a year of surprises all around, huh?

Northeastern is the No. 7 team in the country. Minnesota is struggling to stay in the top 20. That loaded juggernaut from North Dakota has a .500 record in the WCHA but is hanging around the Top 10. Bowling Green has gone from projected last-place finisher in the CCHA to the most significant threat to the conference's dynamite top four. BU and Maine are struggling to so much as make the Hockey East playoffs. The Michigan team that looked like it
wcould be happy with a fourth-place CCHA finish is No. 1 in the country with a rock-solid Billy Sauer in net (yes, I just typed "rock-solid Billy Sauer." I'm as shocked as you are.)

But has anyone looked at ECAC Hockey lately?

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Posted by Elliot Olshansky at 11:05 PM | Comment

Tuesday, 01/08/08

Feeling Patriotic

You know what I love about Hockey East?

Actually, there are a lot of things I love about Hockey East. There are also a lot of things I love about the CCHA, the WCHA, and ECAC Hockey, so you if you were about to start shouting about East Coast bias, you can stop right there.

But anyway, what I love about Hockey East is that it's really the only true regional conference in college hockey.

Yes, the CCHA is pretty geographically close, but less so when you incorporate Alaska and Nebraska-Omaha. The WCHA is much more far flung, with schools in four different time zones. ECAC Hockey is close to a 50/50 split between New England and the Mid-Atlantic Region, and Atlantic Hockey is 60/40.

But when you get the Hockey East coaches on a conference call, you find regional events are on minds across the conference.

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Posted by Elliot Olshansky at 03:38 PM | Comment

Monday, 01/07/08

The Rink Rat Rankings, Season 2, Edition No. 9

Well, folks, 2008 got off to an interesting start this weekend, starting on Friday night in Bowling Green...and guess who was there?

OK, I can't say I planned that one - if for no other reason than that it would mightily annoy my friends from Miami - including SID Nick Banaszak, who lent me his computer on Friday - but still, what a way to launch into the first Rink Rat Rankings of 2008 (also, coincidentally, the first Rink Rat Rankings written by yours truly at the age of 26, thank you very much).

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Posted by Elliot Olshansky at 05:20 PM | Comment

Sunday, 01/06/08

Of All The Nights...

When you start with the idea of seeing as many of the Division I men's hockey teams as you can, the schedule you come up with can often seem fairly random. However, that random schedule can sometimes put you in unexpectedly convenient positions.

Last season, I was lucky enough to be in Denver on the night that Danny King saw the only game action of his Pioneer career, and had the pleasure of writing about his long-awaited debut.

It also just so happened that I was in East Lansing on the night of that wild postgame fight between Michigan State and Alaska, which produced

And then, I just so happened to be at Bowling Green on Friday.

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Posted by Elliot Olshansky at 11:54 PM | Comment

Wednesday, 01/02/08

Talkin' About Practice

OK, so you've seen some of what I've been up to over at Power Plays, and here on the Rink Rat blog, but the camera was rolling, and now, I can show you how I spent the day between the Lightning College Hockey Classic and the Outback Bowl.

That's a Tampa Bay Lightning practice you see in that photo, and I wasn't the only college hockey guest at the Brandon Ice Sports Forum. After playing in the Florida College Classic in Estero, the Maine Black Bears came up to visit their alumni: head coach John Tortorella and defensemen Doug Janik and Mike Lundin.

(click to view video)

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Posted by Elliot Olshansky at 05:55 PM | Comment
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