Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Our Ballot

As a member of the ECAC Hockey Media Association (and once again, thank you to EHMA head Ken Schott for including blogs as insightful league observers), we have a vote in the yearly pre-season media poll and post-season media awards. We always promise to be as fair as possible in the balloting process - no instant boosts for the team we follow, just because we follow them. Anyway, here's the ballot WaP submitted as part of this year's media poll.

1. Yale
2. Cornell
3. Union
4. Quinnipiac
5. RPI
6. Princeton
7. Dartmouth
8. Harvard
9. St. Lawrence
10. Brown
11. Colgate
12. Clarkson

That was sent about a month ago, so... if I had to do it over again, I think I've probably overvalued Harvard and undervalued Colgate... I'd probably swap the two, and maybe swap Princeton and Dartmouth too. Our Know Your Enemy series, I think, explains most of these placements - except, of course, for RPI.

I'm being a little pessimistic with the Engineers as opposed to where I think they can finish, but only because I think a significant part of the power from this team could come from the freshman class - and in preseason predictions, it's never a good idea to put too much stock in freshman performance, since you can never tell how they're going to adjust to the college game. Some would say I'm even being optimistic in fifth, since the Engineers lost more offense than any other team in the league from last year to this year - but this happy medium should be about right. That said, if RPI comes in fifth again this year... heart-ache.

At any rate, here's the actual media ballot, and the coaches' ballot as well (first place votes in parentheses). My top seven gel with what the rest of the media had, which is satisfactory.
1. Yale (23)
2. Union (11)
3. Cornell (3)
4. Dartmouth (1)
5. RPI
6. Quinnipiac
7. Princeton
8. St. Lawrence
9. Clarkson
10. Colgate
11. Brown
12. Harvard

1. Yale (9)
2. Union (2)
3. Cornell
4. RPI
5. Dartmouth
6. Quinnipiac (1)
7. Harvard
8. Princeton
9. St. Lawrence
10. Colgate
11. Clarkson
12. Brown

Both All-ECAC teams included:
G - James Mello, Dartmouth
D - Nick Bailen, RPI
D - Danny Biega, Harvard
F - Brian O'Neill, Yale
F - Andrew Miller, Yale

The media chose SLU's Greg Carey for the final forward spot and the coaches had Brown's Jack Maclellan.

My preseason All-ECAC picks, with explanations for the deviations.
G - Eric Hartzell, Quinnipiac: The obvious choice here is Mello, but from our admittedly limited opportunity to see both Mello and Hartzell, RPI lit up Mello while struggling to score on Hartzell. Last year I rolled the dice with Dan Clarke over Kinkaid and York here, and obviously lost, so... yeah, this might be a shot in the dark too.

D - Nick Bailen, RPI

D - Danny Biega, Harvard

F - Brian O'Neill, Yale

F - Kelly Zajac, Union: Can't argue with the consistent numbers he put up last season. Kinkaid got a lot of the credit but it was guys like Zajac who, on nights their netminder wasn't on top of his game, put Union in the win column anyway.

F - Greg Carey, St. Lawrence: Could have gone with Union's Jeremy Welsh here, but Carey wowed the crap out of me last year and he's going to be a leader for St. Lawrence again this season. Figured he deserved some credit for doing what he did last year, but Welsh is a close fourth in my book.

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