Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Adversity for the Crimson

Well, you usually hear stories like this from other programs. I will leave out names, but we all know which programs walk a very fine line with regards to ethics, judgment, etc.

In any event, it seems that Harvard will be without the services of 2 of its key players for next season. The two players are Kyle Richter and Jack Christian. I have not heard definitively the reasons and I'm not going to rumor monger, but they were obviously serious enough to warrant a decision that must be very dificult to bear.

What does this mean for Harvard? Well, they go from probably a solid #2 finish (Princeton is the clear favorite) in the ECAC on paper, to probably a #4 or #5. And the ability to move up and down from those numbers will be significant- that is what happens when you have to rely on goaltenders with no college hockey experience. We all remember 1989 with Roy & Hughes...but we also know that is the exception as opposed to the role.

Taking a year off from competitive hockey...any competitive sport is devastating. Not only is it very difficult to recreate game-like situations, but mentally, it can be even harder. Both players will have to regain the trust of their teammates, who I am sure at some level feel like they have been let down. However, Harvard is entering the season fully informed of all of this and can prepare accordingly. Having your chemistry altered mid-season is a much tougher pill to overcome.

In any event, adversity can be an interesting enigma. It can bring a team closer together and be something they can rally around or it can be a source of division and excuses. I think we will all learn about the type of character in Harvard's dressing room and the type of leadership that exists.

I am confident that Harvard will come through okay!!

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