Friday, February 11, 2011

Men's Hockey: If the ECAC Playoffs Started Today 2

With another weekend on tap, it's time to once again look at what the ECAC playoffs will look like if they started today. (For a more mathematical look of where the team's could still finish, check out Brian Sullivan on USCHO.)

The Byes:
1. Yale (19-4, 13-3)
2. Union (20-7-3, 12-3-1)
3. RPI (18-6-4, 10-5-1)
4. Dartmouth (13-7-3, 9-5-2)

As you can see, a little bit of movement here in the byes. Top two stay the same but RPI moves up a spot and Dartmouth knocks out Princeton. Sets up a big game on Saturday between the Big Green and Tigers in Hanover.

The First Round Matchups
5. Cornell (11-9-3, 9-5-2) vs. 12. Colgate (4-22-2, 1-13-2)
Cornell has really been coming on strong in the last few weeks and is tied with Dartmouth for that last bye spot. Still, there's something fun about rivalries in the playoffs, especially since records get thrown out in both the playoffs and rivalry games. And Colgate would be thrilled to throw away their record. This would be a fun one to see, especially for both sets of fans.

6. Princeton (14-8-1, 9-6-1) vs. 11. Harvard (4-18, 3-13)
Another rivalry, this time an Ivy rivalry, and a rematch of last year's opening round playoffs to boot. Harvard fans would probably be happy with this as they remember Harvard's sweep of the Tigers in last year's opening round, not to mention, as the WSJ pointed out today, it's not the liveliest home crowd and as Brian Sullivan showed on USCHO, Princeton isn't always the best at winning there. That said, these are not the same two teams from last year, particularly Princeton, a team in bye contention. Could be that tonight's game is a preview of a playoff matchup. This almost certainly though would not be the Princeton/Harvard game being focused on during that weekend by either campus. In fact, it could be the third most important game/series between the two schools that first weekend of March, setting up a fun Crimson/Tigers rivalry weekend.

7. Quinnipiac (13-11-5, 6-7-4) vs. 10. St. Lawrence (8-14-5, 4-10-1)
One of the two first round matchups unchanged from last week's look, there's some history between these two sides. Could be the best chance of an upset among the three series looked at so far. St. Lawrence beat Quinnipiac 6-4 on the road and the Bobcats managed a tie up in Canton.

8. Clarkson (12-13-2, 6-8-1) vs. 9. Brown (7-11-4, 5-9-1)
Well these two teams meet tonight and the media in Potsdam is looking at this as a playoff like game. A Brown win will split the season series and put the two teams tied at points while Clarkson could nab the tiebreaker with a win or tie tonight and put them ahead of the Bears with Bruno needing help to get home ice for this encounter. Should be one to watch tonight.

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