It’s the holidays, there’s no hockey and just a little bit of a break. But before I take some time off, here’s a Princeton hockey mailbag for the first half of the season.
Definitely faster. The Tigers have actually relied on their freshmen in recent history, and they’ve had many rookies who’ve been thrust into important roles. We saw that last year, with Eric Robinson and David Hallisey contributing on offense and Joe Grabowski earning to-pairing minutes on defense. But none of the freshmen have put up numbers the way Max Veronneau and Ryan Kuffner have.
It usually takes a semster for freshmen to really adjust to the collegiate game, but the two have benefitted from chemstiry created in junior hockey. They’re both skilled players, and so is Alex Riche. I knew they’d contribute and probably lead the team, but I didn’t realize their contributions would be this much.
Then you have Spencer Kryczka, who’s worked his way into the lineup almost every night. He’s more of a physical forward, but has added a few points. And on the back end, Princeton has relied on Josh Teves in a thin defense. While Teves (and all the freshmen) still has room to learn, he’s been a big part of the defense, and has helped offensively.
What are some pre/post game traditions? – Anonymous
I actually don’t have many, and definitely not as many as when I was at Boston University. I still make/bring my coffee with me, something that’s lasted since junior year of college. My favorite pregame tradition has to be walking around the rink. I’ll usually take a lap or two just to look at the old pictures and see if any familiar faces are hanging around. I love having pregame chats with fans and families. Then I usually walk around the benches or the penalty box to get some photos for my gameday Instagram picture.
As far as post-game tradition goes, my favorite is definitely the drive home! It’s the most relaxing part of the day and I usually blast some upbeat music to go with it. After that, I’ll put on some tea, write my post-game stories, edit some photographs and usually watch a horror movie while I’m editing pictures.
The best thing, though, is being at the rink after the game. Nothing compares to the peace of an empty hockey rink.
While Jonathan Liau was one of the offensive leaders last year, he didn’t contribute much statistically to the team this year. While he was still with the team, he actually only missed two games, but put up three points. Liau was arguably one of the faster players on the team, though, and the Tigers lose depth with his departure. It doesn’t seem like there’s much of a void to be filled, though, only because the underclassmen have really bolstered the offense.
What’s your go-to song/artist before a game? – Anonymous
It usually varies, depending on what I’m listening to at the time. I do have a set playlist of songs I listen to, all upbeat tracks. I like Shake It Off, because it’s really applicable to journalism (and the first place I heard it was at Baker Rink!) But I usually listen to Shake It Off on the way home. I like listening to “I Lived” on the way over, because it really calms me down. Defying Gravity from Wicked is also one of my go-to songs before games. The rest are a bunch of Hindi songs 🙂
Princeton doesn’t track advanced stats, although College Hockey News tracks things like Corsi. While I think they would be helpful, they’re not nesecary at the moment (especially because it’s hard to do in college hockey, including player Corsi). There are certain advanced stats I’d like to calculate (if time permits) because I do think they can help tell the story better!
Definitely higher. I knew they would be above 12th, but certainly didn’t predict they’d be tied for seventh. I also didn’t see them beating Yale – that was a huge win. It’s largely been a down or inconsistent year for the ECAC, which has contributed to some wacky standings in the conference. Given the way things are going, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Tigers hosted a first-round playoff series.