Say what you will about Boston College men’s hockey’s recent trip to Minnesota, but it sure was eventful. The game on Saturday was historic, and the game on Sunday was historic…ally bad. (BC’s biggest margin of defeat in 15 years, according to the media guide.) The latter has some convinced that the Eagles are about to enter their typical mid-season phase where it looks like the wheels are about to fall off the bus. If so, it’s not worth much worry.
We see what happened last year, when the Eagles had a month-long stretch where the goalie situation was in flux and the offense could not get going. All of it culminated in a disastrous weekend in Maine where BC got swept. The team captain, Tommy Cross, then reportedly addressed his team and all but told them to sack up, and what they did thereafter was win 19 straight games, including a game against Ferris State that may have been a bit meaningful. Last season wasn’t the first time it has happened, either: the 2009-10 Eagles, the previous national championship team, had a lousy 3-5 January and sunk to #14 in the rankings, for all the harm it ultimately did them.
Counting on a team always rebounding from a mid-season slump would be nice, but it doesn’t always happen. In fact, we don’t have any evidence that this team will go into a slide at all, based off of just one very bad game against another top five team. What we do know is that if the Eagles hit a pothole on the road to another NCAA Tournament, especially given that some key players are out for the time being, there is every reason to believe that they are capable of rebounding. Having the winningest college hockey coach ever on your bench also helps for some perspective.
If this were another sport, like men’s basketball where we’re charting every minute of their progress, we might be soiling ourselves by a few losses in the middle of the year. Even if this team does hit a snag in the near term, reserve your worries until February. That’s typically when this team comes to play.