well that's just, like, your opinion, man
Michigan State, you're our rival. We love to snipe at each other; we hate losing to each other; we look forward to games between our schools in all sports with a burning fervency.
You have a proud hockey program. You have won three national titles. You have multiple Hobey Baker Award winners. You had one of the most consistent, dedicated fanbases in the sport. Michigan-Michigan State hockey games were red-letter dates on any sports schedule, capable of selling out not only Joe Louis Arena but also our respective FOOTBALL stadiums.
Why are you deliberately killing your hockey program? News breaks today that Tom Anastos is being retained as coach for a sixth season. Your AD says, "I feel really good about where we're at."
Really? Your team went 10-23-4 this year. This season's sole accomplishment is successfully avoiding last place in a terrible hockey conference, and the only team you beat just fired its coach and hired a program guy with serious NHL chops. Your once-proud fanbase, which used to sell out literally every game at Munn Ice Arena, is so shattered that even games against your arch-rival Michigan offer plenty of available seats. And those seats are taken by Michigan fans, who watch Michigan win at Munn, a lot.
The worst moment may have been your team getting carved up like a Thanksgiving Turkey by Michigan at Munn, a 9-2 drubbing in which Michigan did basically whatever it wanted. But the score wasn't the worst part of that game. The worst part was the reaction of Michigan fans to the rapidly growing scoreline:
Long gone are the days when a positive result at Munn was the highlight of Michigan's season. Now, a winning record against MSU isn't just hoped for--it is taken for granted. I and several other long-time Michigan hockey fans stared at the abyss that was the MSU bench that day, and I felt unmitigated pity for the lifeless husk of a program wearing uniforms that once belonged to a college hockey power.
Your program is so bad that it cannot even elicit distaste from its biggest rival.
Now, I have nothing personally against Tom Anastos. I think he was a decent commissioner of the CCHA, and I have no reason to believe that he is not a decent person. But "decent" does not mean "qualified to coach a major college hockey program."
Tom Anastos has produced disastrous win totals of 19, 11, 11, 17, and 10 in his five seasons. The only NCAA tournament appearance in that span was a first-round loss in his first season, playing predominantly with players recruited and developed by his predecessor, Rick Comley. The only other significant coaching on Tom's resume is a short, unremarkable stint at UM-Dearborn that ended in 1990.
There is zero evidence that Tom Anastos is a good hockey coach.
Decent guy? Sure. Able conference administrator? Seems that way. Capable of winning at a level that befits one of the winningest programs in college hockey history?
Michigan State, something must be done. You cannot seriously believe that Tom Anastos is the answer. And now, you can no longer believe that Mark Hollis has the interests of the hockey program in mind. There must be a change in Michigan State's hockey program. Continued inaction condemns Michigan State Hockey to exile, never to be more than a relic of distant memory.
The greatest shame is not that Michigan State is holding steady with a losing program. It is not that Michigan, in a serious down period, is playing on a a vastly higher level. It is not that Michigan State cannot succeed in a conference in which every single program is either brand new or seriously underachieving.
The greatest shame for Michigan State's hockey program is that Michigan fans feel they have to say something to you. And not for our own pride or satisfaction. Not for our own benefit.
But for yours.
The Wings have the longest running playoff streak in sports, but after getting thumped by Pittsburgh this past weekend those chances are in big trouble. Looking at tonight's box score, they were down 2-0 in the first period and pulled Mrazek (sp). Then the Wings scored 3 power play goals in the second to take a 3-2 lead over Montreal.
They have alternately played well, then limped along and played like crud for most of the year. So do the Wings make the playoffs again this year or is that streak going to die this year? Also, is Jeff Blashill the right hire on a go-forward basis, or merely a stop gap until someone better comes along?
Saw this one coming. Unfortunately Hockey games are impossible to find online in terms of being downloadable. I would've done a Best of Downing with him killing people.