this may be of some local interest
“Bring me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free…”
Look, we need to talk. I’m worried about you. I mean, look at you. There are bags under your eyes, you’re pale, I mean…look, something just isn’t right. It’s the loss to Penn State, isn’t it? I haven’t seen you this upset after a loss since…well, since that other guy (you know, the one who wore the red wrist band) was still in town.
Guess what? I’ve got something to soothe your chapped and chafed sports-soul. It’s Michigan hockey. Weren’t expecting that after last year, were ya? Frankly, neither was I. And yet here we are, just two games into the new season and last year seems like a memory that we might just be able to get rid of and finally move on from. Last year was a memory burr; it hung around longer than it should have and felt like it might be impossible to get rid of, but once it was gone there was such sweet relief. See, a win over a Boston College squad that’s one of the top five in the country isn’t enough to do it alone. It’s the combination of not only winning but also showing defensive acumen and energy and situational awareness that’s so reassuring.
The official scoring sheet says that Michigan outshot BC over the course of the game, but let’s dig a little deeper. Below you’ll find Corsi tables, and if you aren’t sure what Corsi is read this post from last week.
Things didn't look good early on. Michigan was keeping up with Boston College, but that's about it. Granted, they did get a nice power play snipe from Luke Moffatt (whose performance was the focal point of Brian's excellent post), but that's about it. It seemed as though Michigan was doing all they could just to hang on for 20 minutes; hanging around for 60 is an entirely different thing, and winning that next 40 minutes is a different animal entirely.
Well, looks like the tables are starting to turn. Michigan and BC went back and forth this period, but Michigan looked better getting the puck out of their zone and moving it through the neutral zone. The shot totals above don't match the official scoring sheet, so it's worth noting the caveat that comes with this analysis; when the game is only available in standard def that's what I have to watch it in, and it can be hard to tell whether the puck hit the goalie or went just wide. Having said that, I do believe in what I saw and wrote down. We'll see how this takes shape over the course of the season.
The numbers end up looking like Michigan dominated the period, but that isn't how it began. BC carried the play in the first few minutes, and Michigan was allowing this to happen. They moved a forward high to defend and were dumping the puck in. Midway through the period this changed, and Michigan dropped the conservative schtick and started to move the puck again. One thing that went well: passing toa teammate on a zone entry and letting them carry the puck in instead of dumping it into the corner.
Michigan outplayed a higher ranked opponent by forechecking hard, backchecking hard, and making intelligent passes to keep the puck moving and away from the opponent. Michigan won. Read that again. Now do it again. Michigan (yes, that Michigan) beat an incredibly talented team and by game’s end made them look overmatched. Whether Michigan hockey is really back remains to be seen but this is certainly the only way to start.
As for overall shot percentages, I’ll let Seth handle that. He had a cool table in last week’s Dear Diary post and I don’t want to step on his toes because intellectual property, man. A quick programming note: I read your comments on the last article and haven’t given up on goal-by-goal analysis posts. I’m going to continue with this (because I think collecting the data over a full season will be worthwhile) but also start GBGA’s when the B1G season starts. Also, I can only do Corsi analyses for games that I have in full, so there won’t be one for the RIT game. Should be a Corsi post for this weekend's games, though, so look for that next week.
This is largely insignificant but since the whole board is on suicide watch I thought that we could just get some happy feelings from the hockey team doing well. 2-0 with a win over #4 BC in there. Whos this Al Borges you speak of?
(Ignore the numerous Big Blue references in the video. People in western NY are confused)
Moving picture is below
Is football driving you to drink? Let hockey take your mind off of it. Michigan is getting ready to drop the puck in Rochester to take on RIT
Edit: Since this became the game thread, Michigan just beat #4 BC 3-1 at home. Gigantic win this early for such a young team. Your outlook on the season should change accordingly
I thought I'd post some links for previews and such for the BC-Michigan game today as this is likely Michigan's biggest non-conference home game since...#7 BC lost to #5 Michigan 3-2 in 2005?
Also, even with all the TV coverage this year, somehow this game is relegated to Comcast channel 9e6 (or something) and that only. How the BTN, CBS Sports, NBCSN, and Fox Sports all managed to pass on this is beyond me.
Western College Hockey SBN College Hockey:
Escalating ticket prices and a resurgent basketball program have taken a big bite out of the vaunted atmosphere at Yost Arena in recent years, but with the excitement of a new season and the buzz of a nationally-known opponent in the building, it should be rocking tonight, and could put a very young Boston College team on their heels.
From Maize & Brew:
The game being at Yost means Michigan will come out hard, but if you can't beat Waterloo, BC is a different eagle all together. BC 5, Michigan 2.
From the Daily
Personally, I don't feel too great about this game. BC is likely loaded and we are reloading. Like M&B, I envision a 5-2 type game as well. If you're free tonight, find a ticket and go be loud at Yost. Goal horn be damned
Don't know how many people have a twitter and follow @MichiganHockey from Michigan Hockey Net, but he has been lighting up Dave Brandon about these recent ridiculous ticket prices for hockey.
Apparently for tonight against #4 BC, it is $65 for a ticket. $38 for an endzone seat.
Now I can kind of understand a somewhat higher price for a big time opponent like BC who we rarely see here, but a ticket for center ice against Niagra? $42.
I've been one of the biggest Dave Brandon defenders on here, but I've had it. This is absolutely ridiculous. His crusade to price the true fans out of the building in favor of coporations is awful.
What say you?
Think back to when you started reading mgoblog. Remeber that feeling of validation that there were indeed people out there like you, people who wanted to write about football in way that was funny but also disarmingly analytical? A site that values both memes and knowing the average yards per play for every formation Michigan has run so far this season is my kind of place. It's the reason I've been reading this site since 2006.
My objective for the coming hockey season is to add something empirical to the mix. I've always gravitated towards advanced stats in hockey, and for those of you who follow college hockey know all too well these types of statistics aren't readily available outside of the NHL. What I'm going to attempt to do is track Michigan's Corsi rating over the entire season.
Of course, Corsi is just one statistic (even if I'll break it down into a number of different components). The "big idea" behind Corsi is that you have to hold on to the puck to score, and that the team who does a better job of this has a better chance of winning. At the end of the day it provides some interesting insight into puck possession and could be useful for gauging the strength or weakness of special teams play, but it isn't a be-all-end-all stat. There are score effect problems, most notably that even strengh Corsi or Corsi from within one goal in the first and second periods is correlated with winning but it gets dicey in other situations. More on this later.
If you're looking for a nice overview of the statistic you can find that here.
What I need to know from you guys is whether you find it interesting and useful enough to continue tracking. If the fine folks of the MGoCommunity don't like it then I'll go back to writing up goal-by-goal analysis posts like these.
That's cool and all but this post is really boring me. No pictures yet? Come on, do you at least have charts?
Charts? This is mgoblog, fergodsake. Of course I have charts! Let's start by looking at things by period before looking at the bigger picture.
You don't have to know much about Corsi to see that Michigan carried the play in the first period. 72.9% of shot attempts came from the Wolverines, yet Waterloo ended up with the lone first period goal. Michigan made one mistake in defensive coverage in front of their own net and Waterloo took advantage. It's worth noting, however, that Michigan's Corsi total was bolstered by time on the power play (Waterloo didn't have one in the 1st). UM recorded five shots, seven missed shots, and five blocked shots over their two power plays.
Waterloo seemed to carry play in the second period and the Corsi numbers reflect that. Michigan's goal was something of a fluke, coming after Waterloo's goaltender badly misplayed the puck in front of his own net. Waterloo did get on the power play in the 2nd period, but they failed to register a shot. Their power play generated one missed shot and two blocked shots. Michigan's power play registered three shots, two missed shots, and two blocked shots.
Here's where the score effect problem I mentioned earlier comes into play. Waterloo was content to carry the puck into the neutral zone and play dump-and-chase in order to burn clock, and when you're playing that style a byproduct is a reduction in the number of shots you take. As you can see, that's certainly reflected in the numbers above.
Michigan had the edge in every category tracked here, yet they couldn't convert opportunities into results. I think that the reason for this lies in the type of shots Michigan was taking; most were from the perimeter, and perimeter shots are much easier for a goaltender to stop than shots through traffic. It will be interesting to see how the possession game plays out against BC, a team with a notoriously stringent defense.
Don't you usually draw on screencaps or something? Why are there all these charts?
Yeah, I call the screencap thing goal-by-goal analysis. I'm not set on moving away from that completely, but I want to know if people find the info above interesting. Like it and I'll keep tracking it, hate it and I'll go back to GBGA.