alternate headline: man does job
|Michigan Hockey: Alaska Preview|
|Michigan (7-7-2) at Alaska (6-8-2)|
|12/2-12/3 7:05pm Alaska Time|
Something occurred to me while I was looking at the Nanooks stats, they are exactly are same as we are. Talented playmakers on offense; a good goalie who has to work way to hard, and a defense who is totally clueless. They also spend most of the game in the box, so it's an exact replica of our team without the draft picks.
Carlo Finucci is the leader of the team and is probably the most talented player they have, and his +7 leads all forwards. On paper this offense isn't anything special, but as we have seen all of this season you don't need to be in the Top 40 to score on us.
Another bad defensive unit, the stats tell all. The Nanooks blueliners don't score, they are just as lost as we are, and they sit in the box. Does this matter? No it doesn't, because on Fridays hockey god says “Thou shall not score more than one goal.” One thing they do very well is block shots, Aaron Gens leads the team with 42. He probably doesn't walk much, and his dark red shins may or may not be mistaken for Brian Kelly's face. But seriously, that could be a huge problem for us because all season long our team has struggled to defend the other teams rush. Blocked shots can easily lead to transition opportunities for the other team, so they need to control the puck.
Does this look familiar?
Not a bad goaltender but he has to works way too hard. He comes into this series at 20th Nationally, but with the way his defense has played for him it's amazing that he has preformed so well. The NCAA stats are skewed because players who have only played a few games still count, so he could be much higher than 20th. If he is on his game this series is going to be very difficult.
|Phil Di Giuseppe||7-5-12||42||+8||12|
It's hard to figure out what is going on with this offense. Somehow they are 4th Nationally in scoring, but something is just not right. There are many factors that could help us understand what is wrong, but I can't put my finger on it. I firmly believe that Lindsay Sparks is hurting more then helping, his offense is outstanding but on defense he is killing us. It's hard to tell what line he is on without seeing an entire game, but at this point Red needs to consider moving him down. He just doesn't possess the skills to defend a 1st or 2nd line college player.
Maybe I'm getting a little ahead of myself on this idea, but I also feel that Phil Di Giuseppe has become one of the most important players on this team. Just looking through the box scores Michigan is 5-1-1 when he records a point, and just 2-6-1 when he does not. This team has scorers but he is a playmaker, and that is what we are lacking. Just a thought, but it is something to consider.
I don't even no where to start. It's so bad even the sound of Al Randall's voice can't make it better. Just watching highlights Northeastern should have had at least 6 goals. Seriously? One of the worst offensive teams in the Nation took us to the woodshed on our own ice. This picture doesn't look like much but it summarizes everything that is going wrong, that's Greg Pateryn skating about 20 feet to far forward. WTF man?
I think a part of me died inside when I watched a NE player throw the puck from the offensive zone faceoff circle, over a Michigan defenders head to someone standing all alone in bolivia for a breakaway. Ughh.
It was expected that the workload would catch up to him and it has. Hunwick has played outstanding in the net and his heroics have kept us in most of our losses, but he can't do it all by himself. I haven't gotten on Hunwick for his performance and I won't start now.
This is a hard one. We have the talent to do it, but the factors going into this game make me very pessimistic. It's always hard when we have to play in Alaska; it's a Friday game, we are in free fall, we lost to Northeastern. I have to say a split is the best case, but the season is on the line and im sure Red has them in panic mode. I think we lose the first game and take the second.
I am sad at the lack of Danger Zone
EDIT: embed (finally learned how!)
In addition to beating Ohio today, UM Alumnus, Carl Hagelin, just scored his first NHL goal.
Michigan up 1-0 after 1 period
|Michigan Hockey: Weekend Preview|
|11-25-11 Northeastern (3-7-2) at #11 Michigan (7-5-2) 7:35pm|
|11-27-11 #12 Union (6-3-3) at #11 Michigan (7-5-2) 3:05pm|
I find it very amusing that they have more video footage available than almost every other CCHA team, but linking videos isn't even worth it because they don't score very much. They try to follow the typical Hockey East formula, score as many goals as possible and don't play defense. That doesn't really work when you cant score. They have very balanced scoring lines but still don't have the numbers to crack the NCAA top 40, but neither did Miami. The difference here is that Northeastern's powerplay is so bad (.078) that we should be able to avoid our WTF moments that have hurt us so much this season.
This is a what a Hockey East defense looks like (BC Excluded). This is the first time the entire season I have watched highlights of a team who makes the same mistakes as we do, and manages to do it worse. Our mistakes are usually one individual out of position or not paying attention, for them it's a team problem. I know it's a Friday but if we can't score enough on these guys to win, kiss the tournament streak goodbye because we won't win a Friday game for the rest of the year.
Chris Rawlings is the workhorse and since it's just one game we should see him anyways. There is skill here, this guy makes a ton of saves but amount of shots he is seeing is ridiculous. From watching the video he isn't getting any chance at all, bad turnovers and “He's behind you” moments just leave him out to dry.
Forward Overview: (Union's website does not record SOG or +/-)
This is a weird team, we will just start with that. Scoring is decent (20th), but they win games with great defense, special teams, and awesome goaltending. Not exactly what you expect from the conference but they also are unable to win at home (1-2-2) and are outstanding on the road (5-1-1) which isn't good for us.
Without video or a +/- rating it's harder to see who stands out on defense but overall it's a solid group, with a pretty good scorer in Mat Bodie. On paper Union has the #4 ranked defense and Michigan has the #3 ranked offense, so it should be a great match up to watch on sunday.
Troy Grosenick: GP 10, MIN 519:52, GA 14, SV 201, SV% .935, GAA 1.62, W-L 5-2-2
Colin Stevens: GP-4, MIN 212:33, GA 7, SV 81, SV% .920, GAA 1.98, W-L 1-1-1
Like the defense it's hard to tell how good the goalie is without seeing how the blueliners play, but the numbers are solid. Again it is a match up game, as Michigan is outscoring opponents 40-20 in games that are not on Friday.
|Phil Di Giuseppe||6-5-11||35||+10||10|
Scoring like crazy, but at times wildly inconsistent. It seems like whenever the offense gets cold the defense plays good enough to keep them in the game, but when they're hot they have big problems keeping the other team off the board. Phil Di Giuseppe has really cooled down, only recording two points since the Miami series. At the same time other freshmen have stepped in to contribute, Travis Lynch has been outstanding this season and Big Gup has given us a presence in front of the net.
For real this time, what is going on? I don't put as much of the blame on them for game 1 as game 2. I've watched the highlights of OSUs second goal so many times and I still can't figure out how it went in. The season is on the shoulders of this group right now, and if they can't step up soon the season is over.
Hunwicks heroics can only take us so far and we are getting to that point. His numbers are still solid but we can't expect him to play at the level he was at last year every game. The defense has to help him out or else.
We are getting into dangerous territory here. I hoped at the beginning of the year we would not get to this point but here we are. I am going to say sweep, because it is the only option that we have. The schedule only gets tougher the rest of the way and if we can't get points here it's an uphill battle to the NCAA tournament.