PLUS/MINUS: Four Takeaways from BU vs Vermont

By: Dan Shulman

  • Neutral Zone Play

The Boston University Terriers looked sloppy this weekend in the neutral zone. A credit to Vermont for clogging the middle of the ice this weekend, making it difficult for BU to make stretch plays in transition. The Terriers struggled to create offensive pressure on both nights. Play in the neutral zone was marred by turnovers, lost puck battles, and brilliant transition play from Vermont. The Terriers need to sharpen up in the neutral zone in order to generate more scoring chances while keeping opponents off the scoreboard.

  • Defense in Front of the Net

The biggest recurring issue for the Terriers is a lack of defensive presence in front of the net. There were multiple occasions of the Catamounts being allowed to waltz in toward goal uninterrupted. If not for the play of both BU goalies this weekend, the series would’ve been over in a hurry. The Terriers have had an invisible net-front presence all year long, and it has sorely cost them on countless occasions. BU needs to fix this issue quickly or it is just going to continue to translate into losses.

  • Turnovers: Make the Smart Pass

Turnovers were an issue all weekend. BU was always looking to make the cross-ice pass rather than the short five-foot pass. In the end, the latter would’ve been more effective, but instead, there were too many heroes. The Terriers looked to complete the clever pass, but instead were thwarted every time. Sometimes, simplicity is all it takes to win. This could never be truer for BU.

  • Injury Bug

Again, the injury bug reared its ugly head this weekend. Nikolas Olsson was hurt early in the first game of the weekend, and looks to be out until at least January with an upper body injury. With Matt Grzelcyk missing from the blue line with a knee injury, the Terriers depth is really being tested. Hopefully, the Terriers will get healthy over the next couple weeks, especially with Brandon Hickey on his way to World Junior Tryouts for Team Canada next weekend, prompting him to miss games against Quinnipiac and Yale.

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