Any MGoBlog users going to the Mi vs Dartmouth hockey game tonight? I will be in Alumni ticket group. Let's be loud! Go blue. Also F State
(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
Twitter won't embed properly right nowMgoblog couldn't handle a twitter emoji, hopefully now fixed, but this is worth seeing:
On a night where Tyler Motte and Zach Werenski trade goals to open the scoring in the Columbus-Chicago game, where the hockey team wins in the last minute with a shorthanded goal wearing the splendid throwback maize script jerseys, and where the 1996 national title team is honored, the show is stolen by the intermission entertainment.
Marty Turco, Brendan Morrison, and Mike Legg with one more glorious night at Yost Ice Arena.
(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)
Just watched the end of the Wings game, a 5-3 victory vs. the Predators. That's their 3rd straight win to get them to 3-2, after starting the season 0-for-Florida. They didn't do too much in free agancy and seem to be destined to be an 8 seed in the playoffs, just barely able to keep the play off streak alive. Are they better than that?
And for the Pistons, they did sign Drummond again and have most (all?) of their starting five back, and they too finally broke back into the playoffs last year as well.
So the question is this: What are these two teams going to do this season? Mediocre? Marked improvement? Deteriorate and crater? Why?
Hope you are all going to the game tomorrow. Enjoy.