(Marc-Gregor Campredon) Dexter's face says it all
- The offense generated 2 goals, tonight, without the help of the PP. Piazza tapped in a rebound in front of the net for Michigan's third goal -at the end of an OMR. Cutler Martin led a 2v1 and the defender took the pass, so Martin fired a shot past Berry to bring Michigan within 2, halfway through the 3rd.
- Michigan actually created some offensive chances, tonight. They got inside the circles and slot quite a few times. They did not always convert, but there were actually more opportunities than I thought, watching live. I had Michigan with 39 attempts, but 32 of those came in the last 2 periods. The flip side of this is that Wisconsin gives up 3.5 goals a game. So, its not exactly a lock-down defense. They are good on the PK, but not so much 5v5. Michigan took advantage to a degree, but against a defense struggling like that, I would have hoped for a bit more.
- Michigan really has 2-3 guys that would be considered Top 6 forwards, and a couple of them are freshmen. Its just tough going when you're trying to generate chances with guys that have mostly played on 3rd or 4th lines.
- Its just not good at all. They struggle getting the puck out of the zone. They turn it over in the neutral zone. They don't keep guys out of the crease. They blow assignments, leaving guys wide open.
- As I look through the shot charts, Michigan's defensive zone is litered with chances. Just in the 2nd period alone, Wisconsin had 5 shots from the lower slot/crease area and 4 of them went in. Like...I don't know what to say with that. The circles are filled with attempts. Wisconsin had the puck all over the attacking zone.
- Yost is not a fun place to be these days.
- I'm starting with the Penalty Kill. They still take too many penalties. Wisconsin had 2 PP goals -and they're very good on the Power Play. They came in scoring at 23%. When you struggle on offense like Michigan does, you just cannot give away man advantages. Alex Kile got a 5 min major/game misconduct for checking from behind. Michigan's captain. Wisconsin actually did not score on that...but that's just unacceptable if you even want to give yourself a chance. In the end, Wisconsin finished 2 of 7.
- Michigan actually scored on their first 2 Power Play chances. They have a respectable scoring rate at 20% and added to it, tonight. Neither were lucky bounces or fluke goals. They got the 1-3-1 set up and great passing between Lockwood, Allen and Piazza netted the first. Luke Martin also tallied his first career goal from the left wing...a result of nice passing, as well. Michigan finished 2 of 5.
- Its very difficult for me to say anything negative about Hayden Lavigne in this game. He played very well, despite Wisconsin scoring 6 goals against him. He may have been able to make a world-class save one goal but...woof. He was put in some perilous positions.
- Wisconsin's...5th? 6th? goal was a wrap around that Lavigne was beaten soundly on. Ok, that was on him.
- Nagelvoort came in for the 3rd and faced a lot of time on the PK. He looked great as Michigan goalies tend to do, these days. The Badgers also hit the post 3 times on him, FWIW.
- The defense is and has been a nightmare. Playing behind them is not a receipe for success. Not even close.
ODD MAN RUSHES
- So, I had 0 in the first period. There was a couple of rushes that were close but...eh, not really.
- Wisconsin scored on b2b OMRs in the 2nd. One of these was on 2 very favorable bounces, including Lavigne saving the puck into Piazza who deflected it past Lavigne. Ugh.
- Trying to keep up with a lot of what was going on, I may have missed a few more OMRs after those initial few. Also, as Wisconsin dumped 5 goals in the 2nd, I may not have been trying to keep as close an eye on them. The bottom line is that this team turns over the puck -in all areas of the ice- at an alarming rate...when they are lucky enough to catch hold of it.
FINAL CORSI SCORE
I had Wisconsin 52, Michigan 39
www.collegehockeynews.com had: Wisconsin 45, Michigan 39
(James Coller) The result of too many DZTOs and OMRs
- Michigan actually wins its first CORSI game of the season...I think? Lake State is also 44th in RPI. They got the puck deeper and between the circles more as the game went on. They also did not convert. This is the other end of the luck they have been receiving all season. Outplaying an opponent and not converting. Sounds like an inverted Michigan game.
- They did create chances and forced some penalties. That is a positive takeaway. Unfortunately, I'm more inclined to believe this is more because of the opposition, though...
- Wilton Speight will play, it seems. That would be encouraging. If he can hit something deep and stretch the field...sigh, that would be greeeeeeeat
- Maybe some of the better defense that M has played this year. Most of the 5v5 opportunities were pushed away from the circles and out towards the blue line...which is where you want attempts to come from. They did not give up TOO many chances, but both of the non-emptynetters were on the defense and not JLF.
- De Jong was beat behind the net and there was not rotation to the Laker in the slot on the first goal. That would be a DZTO The second was a hustle OMR...it will be touched on later.
- Peppers has to make a big play, right? Huge INT or forcced fumble. It's going to turn The Game
- Again, Michigan finds a way to score on the PP. Calderone took a quick shot from the slot, keeping the puck on the ice, and slipping one between Defiel's pads. That was it on the power play, however. 1 for 7 in total, tonight. Woof.
- Michigan mostly tried to go 1-3-1 with whatever lines were on the ice. That was new. Usually, they stay away from that after Line 1. It also came back to bite them because they did not have a 2nd defenseman to keep the puck in the zone...which lead to the turnover...which lead to the 2v1 on which LSSU scored the winner.
- On the PK, Michigan continued its great success, forcing LSSU to go 0 of 5. That's still too many penalties, though...especially for a team that struggles on offense.
- Kenny Allen has been solid since his early season hiccups. Converting on trips into OSU territory will be a must, tomorrow.
- JLF played lights out, tonight, despite letting a couple goals get by. He really couldn't do much on either goal. His overall ability and positioning were again on display all night.
- Michigan does not appear to be a very good team, overall. However, goaltending is not an issue. Neither is backup goaltending.
- He also momentarily saved the game as the PP gave up a breakaway.
- You know Harbaugh has been gameplanning for this since M was run off the field, last year. Hiring Don Brown was evidence of that. This is his time.
ODD MAN RUSHES
After not giving up many OMRs over the last few weeks, old habits die hard, apparently. Michigan surrendered four, tonight. The first couple were nothing of note as LSSU couldn't complete a pass or even get a decent attempt on net. The third was a Michigan PP breakaway conceded that JLF just stoned. The last, however, was a hustle 2v1. After a PP faceoff win, Kile couldn't keep the puck in and Piazza got back to shut down the break. However, the 3rd man into the zone was a Laker and he fired one past a bare JLF. OMRs up a man can happen in a 1-3-1...but this one lost the game for Michigan.
- Advantages for Michigan, tomorrow should be in pass defense, Peppers-ing, and general experience. If not now, when?
FINAL CORSI SCORE
I had: Michigan 51, Lake Superior State 34
collegehockeynews.com said: Michigan 48, Lake Superior State 31
This is going to be an abbreviated Breakdown (mostly bullet points, etc). I am going to try to catch the 2nd half of Hoops at Crisler and then we leave for Iowa City in the morning. So, I'll see what I can get you, tonight...
(James Coller) Betcha didn't see this coming, heh heh
- Not good. By my tally, M created 31 attempts. This seems about on par with the rest of their season.
- The first 5v5 goal (to make it 3-0) was an elite move by Lockwood to swim a defender and and unbelieveably difficult finish from Slaker, who had the slimmest of angles to get it inside the post. But he did.
- The other was an empty-netter with 4:30+ left in the 3rd. Ok, sure.
- Lockwood/Slaker duo looks fantatstic. They made most of the offensive chances and seem to be the future offense of this team.
- Alex Kile and Max Shuart did not dress. Along with 2 other veterans.
- I don't want to slam this defense too much. It was not great, but they did a decent job starting 3 freshmen and 2 sophomores.
- Other than a second period with multiple M penalties, the defense did a respectable job of keeping BU out of the slot/crease...especially given the talent depth for the Terriers.
- That being said, there were still a few bad DZTOs and struggles to get the puck clear of the defensive zone. Given the strength of the opponent, though, I've seen worse defensive performances from M this season.
- Nolan De Jong did not dress.
- As per usual (at least the games I see), Michigan scores of 2 of their first 3 power play shots.
- M finishes 2/5 on PP, which is still great. They are now 10/40 on the season.
- With all of the suspensions, they could not go 1-3-1, setting up almost exclusively with 2 high at the points.
- M commits a lot of penalties (6) but looks solid on the PK, killing them all and not ceding many great looks, down a man.
- Hayden Lavigne was fantastic. He absolutely stole the 2nd period.
- Lavigne made a ton of positional saves and looked good moving around the net when he was forced to scramble.
- He also recorded his 2nd shutout of the season...this time against a Top 10 scoring offense.
- Michigan will probably still rotate goalies, to a degree, but I expect Lavigne to get most of the minutes going forward.
ODD MAN RUSHES
- Perhaps, I fell asleep, but I do not remember a single OMR for BU. I asked around, but no one else near me could give me a single detail about one OMR they remembered. Huh. Obviously, even if there was one, it wasn't overly threatening, then. Yay!
- There was one horrendously bad DZTO where Luce centered a BU attacked from behind the net and he walked in on Lavigne. Hayden said NO.
- I am encouraged by this!
FINAL CORSI SCORE
I had: Boston University 55, Michigan 31
collegehockeynews.com had BU 53, M 32
(Bill Rapai) Just wanted to use this photo
Not good. I have Michigan with a CORSI score of 27. That is just over half of what they had last night. They got six combined attempts from the slot. They scored on three of them. I am running out of things to say about this offense. They just generate very, very few quality scoring opportunities. The attempts they do get are mostly from quite a distance. Yet, enough shots go in. Yay being lucky, I guess...
A major hat tip to Alex Kile who slithered through the slot on his knees and roofed a puck to give Michigan a lead. That was one of the most impressive non-Connor goals I've seen Michigan score in a while. Cutler Martin finished off a rebound to tie the game late in the third after Calderone had driven the net and Pastujov created a nice rebound in front of the crease. Those were both actually very repeatable even strength chances.
Michigan should have gotten destroyed, tonight. I had Tech getting a CORSI score of 59. That over double what Michigan had. And that's exactly what it looked like, as well. If it weren't for some fantastic netminding (and a handful of missed opportunities), this game would have been Tech by 3-4 goals. Michigan Tech was again able to get wherever they wanted on the ice. At least in the 3rd period, Michigan was able to push Tech away from the slot. So, I guess there's that. Tech also hit the post at the end of regulation and again in overtime. Overtime was completely dominated by Michigan Tech, as well. Michigan again struggled with Tech's forecheck, clearing the puck, and retaining any sort of possession anywhere on the ice. It just seems like a matter of time before the goaltending dam breaks and there is a flood of opposing goals.
Michigan, again, finds a way to score on the power play. Will Lockwood snapped in a rebound from the left circle to give Michigan a lead early in the opening period. They ended up going 1/5 in total. In the early third, M had back to back power plays and could not muster more than a single shot. That was discouraging and about when Tech took over momentim and scored a couple of goals. One interesting note: Michigan goes with the 1-3-1 with their first PP line and more of an umbrella on their second PP line. I'm guessing this is because they do not trust anyone but Piazza to stand by himself on the blue line.
Michigan did another good job of only giving Tech four power plays, tonight...not that it didn't seem like even strength was a Tech power play all night, anyway. They did not surrender a power play goal.
There was an interesting bit of 3v3 hockey as both teams took two isolated penalties each. After initial rushes for both teams, no one really took another chance and nothing really came of such a rare opportunity.
Jack LaFontaine put in a shift tonight. Michigan surrended 45 shots and he stopped 42 of them. Tech consistently got down low and filled the slot with scoring chances. Their first goal was the result of a well-played 3v2 that was jammed in by the post. The second was an attempt through a handful of skaters that was twice deflected and went between his JLF's legs. The third goal, he may want back. He was beat far post by a snapshot from outside the left circle...in a seemingly benign chance. Other than that, he did almost everything else at a very high level, especially considering he was pretty much under siege the entire game. JLF looked athletic, quick to react, and controlled his rebounds rather well. Michigan does not seem to have any issues in net.
ODD MAN RUSHES
I counted only three. There were about 2-3 almost OMRs in the second period, but since the puck never got out of the zone, I could count those more as DZTOs. Tech scored an a beautifully worked 3v2 that got stuffed in the far post, beating JLF. The goal was reviewed but it was determined that it was not a kicking motion. It was pretty close. The last two OMRs were a 2v1 and another 3v2...neither came to anything as M actually defended them well. OMRs do not seem to be an issue for M, this season. That's a positive, I suppose.
FINAL CORSI SCORE
Michigan Tech 59, Michigan 27 ( 31% possession)
www.collegehockeynews.com had it 72-29...that's even worse
(Paul Sherman) Late game heroics!
Michigan tallied a season high 45 attempts at the net, tonight (courtesy of www.collegehockeynews.com ). That is their best 5v5 offensive output, yet. Is it growth or might it be the result of playing against another lowly WCHA team? Ummmmm...we will see, but I'm still leaning toward the latter. Jake Slaker notched another goal, early in the first period. He seems to be starting to produce more on the top line. Tony Calderone also nabbed another goal. He got into the offensive zone on a 1v3 and did about the only thing you can do in that situation...he threw it at the net and it went in! Hooray!
Through the first couple periods, Michigan's attack was still rather sparse. They only managed three attempts from between the circles, yet scored on two(!!) of those three. Most of the rest of their attempts came from the edges of the circles or out to the perimeter. In the third period, Michigan doubled their combined 1st and 2nd period CORSI score. They were also better able to get the puck down low and into the slot. The placement of attempts in the third period encourages me...but I'm going to need to see that from an entire game (or a few games) before I am ready to get excited about the offense.
Michigan Tech generated a 57 CORSI score, tonight. This is really not good news. Tech is 1-5-1 after tonight's game. They have played 5 road games (all against ranked opponents), but they are clearly not off to a great start. Looking through the shot charts, Michigan's defense was unable to keep Tech's offense out of the slot all night. In fact, Tech was able to get off shots from all over the attacking zone. The second period was especially disconcerting as Michigan surrendered 35 attempts (22 on even strength). Michigan is walking a very dangerous line with this defense. They are struggling with intense forechecking (same as last season) and are turning the puck over before getting deep into the attacking end (also something not new). Michigan's superior offensive talent bailed them out time and again over the last couple seasons. With the offense taking a step (or 2) back this season, the defense really needs to play at a higher level if Michigan is to compete against better competition. That has not happened, yet.
Jake Slaker continues to stay hot, notching another power play goal. However, in five power play opportunities, Michigan only generated five total shots. That is not nearly enough. I was unable to see the game, tonight, but from what I read and heard, the power play looks slower and inexpereinced (not a total shock after losing so many contributors, last season). It seems that they are still finding a way to take advantage of some opportunities, but unless they are able to create more chances, this rate seems unsustainable.
On the PK side, Michigan only committed four penalties. They only surrendured six shots on those four chances. That is definitely a number they can live with. Improvement from the PK is a nice positive from this game. To add to that, Will Lockwood was also able to score the GWG with under a minute left while being short-handed. Michigan now has three short-handed goals...Max Shuart with an assist on each one. This, also seems highly unsustainable. But Michigan will surely take it, right now!
Hayden Lavigne got his second start in net, tonight, and performed well enough. He faced a ton of shots and chances but was able to stay in front of most of them, stopping 31 of 34. He was also forced to deal with the puck in his slot and crease quite a few times. He looked a little shaky on one goal, according to a few different reports. Still, seeing the sheer volume of attacks he faced, it seems difficult to expect a lot more out of the freshman. Still, the way that all of the goalies have performed, I would expect to see LaFontaine or Nagelvoort in net tomorrow...with no disrespect to Lavigne at all.
ODD MAN RUSHES
I was filming Cass/King at Ford Field for FBO, so I was unable to count OMRs, tonight. Tomorrow, I should be at Yost and will finally be able to fill out this section.
FINAL CORSI SCORE
Michigan Tech 57, Michigan 45 (44% possession for Michigan)
Caveat: I, unfortunately, will not be able to cover every single game due to football season and other Blog-related responsibilities. Also, as far as the statistical approach goes, I will be at the mercy of both the video availability of games and the creative ways to get shot charts from each game. (Like for the Ferris State game, they apparently only gave out 1st and 2nd period shot charts). Hopefully, I can make this work for the most part.
(Paul Sherman) Quite a debut
Like I stated previously, I was unable to see this game and only have two of the three shot charts. However, through two periods, M only generated 16 attempts at the net in 5v5 play. That is even worse than the first game against Union (the second game was a little better). The offensive questions still abound. Multiple people who did see the game told me that Ferris generally dominated play and M had trouble finding scoring opportunities. The shooting charts seem to back that theory. While they did manage to win this game, Ferris State is an 0-4 WCHA team. If you are unable to control the puck against them, it does not bode well for upcoming weekends.
I had the CORSI score at 22-16 in favor of Ferris State through two periods. I can definitely live with giving up 22 attempts in two periods. They did allow the Bulldogs to get seven chances in the lower slot, however. I would hope to see more of those attempts come from the perimeter. Again, the Wolverines got some steller goaltending, which again seemed to cover up a somewhat leaky defense.
One of the bright sides for M has been their power play. They tallied both of their goals in this game on the man advantage. Jake Slaker got his first career goal as M took the lead midway through the second period. Slaker would also tally an assist on the Wolverines second power play goal. Sam Piazza's game-winner also came up a man in the third period. It was Piazza's third goal of the season, giving him the team lead. Michigan did draw five power plays on the night and definitely took advantage of their opportunities.
Unfortunately, Michigan's parade to the penalty box continued against Ferris State. They took seven penalties in total. That is still too many, especially from a defense that is struggling to keep puck away from the front of the night. Fortunately, on Saturday, Michigan was able to kill six of the seven Bulldog power plays.
This has definitely been the brightest spot for the Wolverines...and they apparently are ridiculously deep. M has started a different goalie in each game this season and all three goalies have performed very well. Jack LaFontaine got his first career start and stopped 28 of the 29 shots that he saw. He came into Michigan as a highly regarded recruit and, by all accounts, lived up to the billing in his first opportunity. A knowledgeable friend said it was a "stand on his head" performance. Even with a bit of a leaky defense and a lacking offense, Michigan's goaltending has put them in position to win every game this season.
ODD MAN RUSHES
n/a for tonight
FINAL CORSI SCORE (though 2 periods)
Ferris State 22, Michigan 16