NCAA Frozen Four
Frozen Four Championship: Coach's Take
Inside College Hockey talked to coaches
whose teams have played the teams involved in Saturday's
championship game. In exchange for anonymity, they gave
us their candid breakdowns of the matchups.
Boston College has more of the X-factor players
with guys like Boyle and Gerbe but Michigan State is underrated
in that regard. They are tough physically, but BC is a better
BC has more sex appeal and plays a higher
tempo game but MSU can skate and play a good, hard game.
It's important for Michigan State to play a lot like the
way they did against Maine. They have to control the boards
and play in a confined area and protect the puck. Can't
allow Boston College to get into a transition game, because
BC is more explosive and can make something from nothing.
And I think it's important for MSU to get the game going
their way and make BC adjust to them, because Boston College
is more versatile.
With Jeff Lerg, everybody wants to think that
his size impedes him and in a lot of ways his size helps
him because people underestimate him all the time. Every
time someone underestimates him, he stands up that much
bigger. Size is only a state of mind. He plays solid positionally,
he was awesome controlling his rebounds (against Maine).
If he’s in solid position and controls his rebounds,
that’s a tough combination to beat.
They have a nice combination of talent on
the top line. Abdelkader is smart and gritty, and the real
playmaker on the line is Kennedy, and Crowder is more of
a power-type guy. So it’s a nice combination of players
and they know how to play different ways. They play good
offensively and they play well defensively, so they’re
as good a line as I’ve seen in college hockey this
year, and it’s not as is the Lerg line is a big drop-off.
Michigan State plays a difficult style to
play against. Never say never. Not in college hockey. They
play a tough defensive style, Lerg can stand up to the best
of them and they’ve got enough offensive depth to
create some opportunities, so I wouldn’t say it’s
a slam dunk, that’s for sure.
I don't think the underdog
versus favorite aspect will play much of a role. These teams
have been through the grind, and it's not a David and Goliath
situation here, BC is playing Michigan State. The coaches
are outstanding and have won national tournaments.