Thursday, February 14, 2013

Ice Time

TigerBlog was at a dinner at Catholic high school one evening when he found himself seated next to the priest who was the school principal.

TB remarked that he admired the great sense of community at the school, and the priest then asked TB if he had gone to a Catholic high school himself, to which TB remarked that he was "more of an Old Testament guy."

For the record, the priest laughed.

And why wouldn't he? It was funny.

TB, while an Old Testament guy, is fascinated by the story of Pope Benedict XVI and his retirement from the Papacy.

Benedict, the 265th Pope, is the first to abdicate since 1415, which is essentially 600 years ago. Before that, the last Papal resignation was in 1294.

TigerBlog, in addition to being an Old Testament guy, was a history major. As such, he's fascinated by the way the line of Popes can be traced back more than 2000 years, in an unbroken chain.

And about something that can happen in 2013 that hasn't happened since 1415.

If it goes the same way, then the next Papal resignation won't be until the year 2611. What will the world look like then? What will the Papacy be?

Will they still have Super Bowls then? Or any sporting events that currently exist?

TB wonders about stuff like that. Eventually, there won't be an NCAA tournament, right? But how will that evolution take place?

Will there be ECAC hockey playoffs in 2611? How about 2111? What did the people in 1913 think college athletics would be like 100 years later.

There will be ECAC playoffs in 2013, of course.

One of the great things about the ECAC is that year after year, the league reaches this point of February and there is very little certainty in the league standings.

The way the league works, the top four teams get first-round byes and get to host the best-of-three quarterfinal rounds after a week off. The next four get first-round home ice for best-of-three series; the last four go on the road in Round 1.

Right now, Princeton is tied for third, just two points out of second.

Or, if you're a glass-half-empty person, the Tigers are also just two points away from not even getting a first round at home, let alone a bye.

There are three weekends left, and Princeton is at home against Clarkson and St. Lawrence this weekend and Brown and Yale next weekend before heading out to Dartmouth and Harvard to end the regular season.

Princeton has 17 points in the ECAC, tied with Dartmouth and RPI for third, two points back of Yale.

One certainty this year is that Quinnipiac will win the league, as the Bobcats are 14-0-2 in the league with an 11-point lead over Yale.

St. Lawrence and Union have 16 points. Brown and Clarkson have 15 points.

In a 12-team league, seven teams have been between 15 and 17 points.

What does that mean? That one of those teams will not be home in Round 1. Actually, at least one, since Colgate has 13.

This seems to happen every year in the ECAC. Another thing that seems to happen is that a road team wins a playoff series, so even getting a bye or home ice in the first round doesn't guarantee anything once the postseason begins.

For Princeton, Baker Rink has been a friendly place fo rthe Tigers, who are 6-2-0 on home ice and 3-7-3 away.

On the other hand, two of those three away wins came last weekend, when Princeton defeated Colgate and Cornell on the road.

Baker Rink is a great place to watch hockey, and Princeton has drawn great crowds there this season.

Will there be playoff games at Baker in 2013? It's looking likely, but in the ECAC things change very, very quickly.

Will there be ECAC playoffs 100 years from now?

TB says yes. If he's wrong, come see him then.

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