Monday, September 20, 2010

Hockey East Preseason Power Rankings: No. 7 Northeastern

By Scott McLaughlin/DFP Staff

7) Northeastern University
2009-10 record: 16-16-2 (11-14-2 HE)
Finish in HE: 9th (missed tournament)
Key returners: Sr. F Wade MacLeod (14-16-30), Sr. F Tyler McNeely (12-16-28), So. F Steve Quailer (10-15-25 in ’08-09), So. F Garrett Vermeersch (5-18-23), So. G Chris Rawlings (2.83, .913)
Key losses: F Kyle Kraemer (17-11-28), D Jake Newton (9-13-22), D David Strathman (4-7-11), D Jim Driscoll (2-5-7)
Notable freshmen: F Cody Ferriero, F Braden Pimm, D Anthony Bitetto
Coach: Greg Cronin

How they finished
After an 8-2-0 run from mid-January to mid-February, the Huskies found themselves smack in the middle of the race for home ice. But then they went 0-4-1 to close out the season -- including a sweep at the hands of BU on the final weekend -- and missed the playoffs by a heartbreaking one point.

The Huskies finished ninth in scoring last season, but there are plenty of reasons to think they’ll be able to light the lamp more frequently this year. They return eight of their top 11 scorers and they also bring back Steve Quailer, who finished fourth on the team in scoring as a freshman but missed all of last season with a knee injury. Northeastern also brings in some talented freshmen up front -- including fifth-round NHL draft pick Cody Ferriero, who signed over the summer after de-committing from BC.

Defense and goaltending
Chris Rawlings returns in net after a solid freshman season that earned him Hockey East All-Rookie Team honors. In front of him, though, Northeastern loses its top three defensemen, making the blue line this team’s biggest question mark. Everyone, including a freshman group headlined by sixth-round pick Anthony Bitetto, will need to step their games up, as there is not a star d-man among this group. Although their first job will be to make sure Rawlings gets the same protection he got last year (the Huskies ranked fifth in team defense), the blue-liners will also have to contribute more on offense -- NU returns a whopping zero goals from defensemen. If the back line is up to the task, a trip to the semifinals isn’t out of the question. The Huskies are most likely a year away from returning to that stage, though.

Scott's poll
1) Sept. 28
2) Sept. 27
3) Sept. 24
4) Sept. 23
5) Sept. 22
6) Sept. 21
7) Northeastern
8) Providence
9) Massachusetts-Lowell
10) Massachusetts


  1. Most obnoxious student fans in Hockey East. Even worse than BC alumni.

  2. Best students fans in Hockey East...don't confuse creativity and passion for obnoxiousness.

  3. I agree with the second comment. NU certainly has its fair share of obnoxious students, but so does every other school. From what I've seen, I'd say NU has the best student section followed by BU and Maine.

  4. If Rawlings has an improvement from last year NU will get home ice in the first round. He has a habitat of playing great one night than mediocre the next. NU has a really weak OOC so they will win alot of games and should have some momentum going for them early on. They should beat Harvard in the first round of the Beanpot and if they face BC in the final they will have a decent shot to win it since they seem to match up really well against BC the past couple of years.

  5. Fans, in particular student sections, can be passionate without being obnoxious.
    Northeastern's fans are passionate and they are obnoxious. They show no respect for the opposition; they don't appreciate great play from the opposition in any circumstance. Maybe that's because they've never experienced winning ANYTHING.
    The old cliche about 'acting like you've been there before ..." Well, none of the current Huskies student supporters have ever been anywhere. Except on the short end.

  6. What about Grand Rapids to conclude the 08-09 season? I'd call that getting somewhere.

  7. i've been to NU-bu games at agganis, our section is louder than everyone else in the arena during the run of play

  8. "When you say North...eastern, you've said ..."
    A team that never wins any trophies.
    And student fans that are loud, abrasive, obnoxious, rude, crude and low class.
    They don't add anything to the enjoyment of the game. They spoil it for anyone with a maturity level beyond middle school.

  9. If you think Northeastern fans don't have any class, I take it you have never witnessed the Umass student section. At least the NU fans are somewhat clever while being obnoxious and abrasive.

  10. There was a group of BU alumni, professional people in their 30s through 40s, some who brought their kids, who had season tickets in the section next to the away section at Agganis. They didn't mind the friendly banter or sitting next to the "enemy." And most of the real venem was usually between the student sections.
    Except when Northeastern plays at Agganis.
    There has been nothing fun about these so called student-fans. In general, they are just plain obnoxious and there is nothing clever about them.
    It is interesting that in the visitor's section, Northeastern generally has the highest percentage of students and the lowest percent of adults going to the away games.
    Maybe it is because their alumni fans are embarrassed by their conduct.
    Sophomoric behavior, often with a nasty edge, isn't supposed to last five years.