Category Archives: Mailbag

Princeton Hockey Mailbag

Ryan Kuffner splits Penn State defenders

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.

If you have any additional questions for a future mailbag, you can tweet me @icehockeystick, tweet the blog @puhockeyblog, or email me at jashvinapshah@gmail.com.

https://twitter.com/davependrys/status/675116530460434433

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.

https://twitter.com/davependrys/status/675116934158000128

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!

https://twitter.com/davependrys/status/679434928036139008

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.

I would like to do more mailbags in the future, so if you have any questions, you can tweet me @icehockeystick, tweet the blog @puhockeyblog, or email me at jashvinapshah@gmail.com.

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Friday Mailbag

It’s the offseason, so it’s a great time to talk about Princeton hockey. I fielded some questions on Twitter about the season for the first installment of what I hope will be a weekly mailbag next year.

In this edition, I address the Gentleman’s Agreement, the team’s identity for the season and how long until the Tigers become a force in the playoffs.

I had to put this one at the top because it’s my favorite question. Ah, the age-old argument over the Gentleman’s Agreement. It’s controversial in all of college hockey, but even more in the Ivy League, a conference without NLIs. Ivy teams only have verbal commitments until that player arrives on campus the fall of their freshman year. I’m sure recruits have been poached by Ivy schools in the past, but we’ve seldom heard about it – until now.

A few months ago Josh Melnick decommitted from Princeton. It shocked me because he’s from New Jersey, he had been verbally committed for a long time, and he played with some of Princeton’s current players while he was at Delbarton. Melnick decommitting wouldn’t have been a huge story across college hockey, but it was tweeted that Melnick was essentially poached. I then published he was committed to Harvard.  Continue reading Friday Mailbag

Princeton Hockey Mailbag

It’s the offseason, so it’s a great time to talk about Princeton hockey. I fielded some questions on Twitter about the season for the first installment of what I hope will be a weekly Princeton hockey mailbag next year.

In this edition, I address the Gentleman’s Agreement, the team’s identity for the season and how long until the Tigers become a force in the playoffs.

I had to put this one at the top because it’s my favorite question. Ah, the age-old argument over the Gentleman’s Agreement. It’s controversial in all of college hockey, but even more in the Ivy League, a conference without NLIs. Ivy teams only have verbal commitments until that player arrives on campus the fall of their freshman year. I’m sure recruits have been poached by Ivy schools in the past, but we’ve seldom heard about it – until now.

A few months ago Josh Melnick decommitted from Princeton. It shocked me because he’s from New Jersey, he had been verbally committed for a long time, and he played with some of Princeton’s current players while he was at Delbarton. Melnick decommitting wouldn’t have been a huge story across college hockey, but it was tweeted that Melnick was essentially poached. I then published he was committed to Harvard.  Continue reading Princeton Hockey Mailbag