Here are the facts: the Hockey East division is considered the most elite collegiate hockey division in the US. Teams from Hockey East have won the NCAA title eight times since the 1993, and are consistently in the NCAA Frozen Four. Many legends have risen out of the Hockey East division, including Chris Kreider, who is contending to be the NHL Rookie of the Year.
The Hockey East teams usually represent the best of the best. But for some reason this year, the standings are deceptively skewed. Naturally, Boston College is sitting at the top of the league, with an 11-1 Hockey East record, and Merrimack is suffocating, as usual, at the bottom of the league, having only won one division game. To the untrained eye, also known as the normal college student, the league standings seem to be no different than usual.
However, a few things really just don’t seem right. Northeastern, who started out the season at the bottom, are currently seated just below BC, with a 7-4 league record. Maine, who has an occasional good season, but who usually can’t heat up their sauce passes until it’s too late, is currently fourth in the league. All things considered, that shouldn’t be happening.
Adding to the twist even further, two Hockey East teams, who are usually top contenders, are playing like dusters this year. BC fans will be happy to hear that these two teams are the University of Notre Dame and Boston University. Notre Dame and BU are ordinarily two teams to not be taken lightly - they are consistently in the NCAA tournament, and BU has won the whole thing twice. Notre Dame is eighth in the league, and BU is second to last, sitting at the 10 spot.
To put things in perspective: Notre Dame is actually ranked 15th in the country - but when it comes to playing Hockey East games, they have only won three out of eight. I can’t say the same about BU - they are really playing like hosers this year. And for those of you who are unclear with this terminology, the term hoser comes from the pre-zamboni days, when the losing team had to hose down the ice at the end of the game. Hence, the term “hoser." And yes, since they are the losing team, there is a negative connotation that comes along with that.
The standings of Hockey East, at the moment, really indicate how tough the league is. It is very competitive, and as Providence, Vermont and Maine have shown, hard work and good strategies can really carry a team to the top of the league. And, in the opposite sense, Notre Dame and BU have shown how coaching errors and false senses of entitlement or overconfidence, can lead a team to failure.
The season is not yet finished. Each team still has room to operate, and to try to build up some last minute points. BC fans can rest with ease, as the Eagles are not only top of the league, but are currently ranked 2nd in the nation. With the Beanpot and Hockey East tournament quickly approaching, each team will have the chance to pull themselves back out of the muck and consequently into glory.
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