it's a major award
Michigan Hockey: Ohio State Preview
#13 Michigan (12-8-4) at #2 Ohio State (14-4-3)
1-13-12 7:35pm (BTN)
1-15-12 5:05pm (Fox Sports Plus)
We come into this series in the exact opposite positions than the last time. OSU is ranked high but coming off a series sweep in favor of Bowling green and Michigan climbing back into the rankings hot. Like I predicted in the last preview this is the once in a decade Buckeye team, only much better then we have seen before.
Led by Crane and Dries the Buckeyes come into the series with a respectable 3.14 GPG which is good for 19th in the country and a not so good powerplay unit. This is not a team who is going to wow you with their offensive ability and the production drop is huge when the first line is off, but they're the kind of physical grind it out unit that we have had trouble with all season long.
The key matchup will be who plays harder in front of the net. At times this our defensive pairs have been so soft, screeners have stood in front of Hunwick and nothing happens to them. It's as simple as this, if we let them push us around they will score.
Although the offensive numbers are not so great the defense has been outstanding for Ohio this season. They come into the series with the 4th best GAA in the league at 2.05 GPG and .10 of a goal is the only thing separating them from being #1.
The matchup will be taking advantage of the weaker pairs Ohio puts in the ice, specifically Gallacher or DaSalvia. It's hard to see strengths and weaknesses without video but by the numbers you can assume that Krough and McLean play great defense, and even with the supreme awesomeness of Cal Heeter in goal Gallacher and DaSalvia do not.
It's Cal Heeter, everyone knows who he is. He's the above average goalie who turns into Brodeur when he plays us. His kryptonite was discovered in the last series but Michigan was not able to take advantage of it, that is why the key matchup will be shooting high. Heeter's tendency for whatever reason is to drop early, so we need to try and get some lift on the puck. It sounds easy but if it was we would have scored more than 1 in our first game with them.
|Phil Di Giuseppe||8-7-15||66||+10||12||10|
It looks like the offense may have finally turned a corner. After going the entire season without being able to score on Fridays or on the road they took Alaska and MSU at home, Boston College at a neutral site and notched two more Friday night wins. We are red hot right now and Ohio State is as cold as a team with four losses can be, it only helps that one game is in Columbus and the second is in Cleveland; an Outdoor game at Progressive field I'm sure everyone forgot about.
Some minor notes: Kevin Lynch has quietly posted a 4-4-8 scoring line after not recording any points for much of the season. It has been the opposite for Lindsay Sparks, after starting the season hot he has cooled off to the point where he isn't going to see the ice. After posting thirteen points in ten games Sparks has not recorded a point since November 5th, and with his sub-par defensive ability if he isn't scoring he isn't going to play. The Lindsay Sparks show is officially over.
The defense had started to play better after the break, but what a difference it makes having Merrill back. I really saw a different unit out there during the GLI holding Boston College to two goals, it's a major improvement over the same group who got embarrassed by Northeastern on our own ice.
We knew Serville was going to have growing pains this season but we didn't expect it to be anything like this, his neutral zone turnovers are awful, which makes Merrill's return even more important. I've been down on this group the entire season but I really feel like they are trending upwards, this weekend will give us a good indication of how much things have really changed.
Like the defense he had his shaky moments during the first half, but has picked up his play lately. Like I said before the defense didn't help him very much so he shouldn't be shouldering any blame.
I really think this team is turning the corner. I think a sweep is definitely possible, I would imagine Saturdays game not having very many Buckeye fans so this can almost be like a home and home series. Michigan speed on a bigger sheet like the Big Chill is a major advantage for the good guys.
In a strange situation to say the least... The Montreal Canadian's Mike Cammalleri was pulled off the ice, and sent to the team hotel Mid-game tonight.
Reports are that Cammalleri was sent to the team hotel to "wait further instructions." Wednesday Cammalleri made some questionable remarks regarding the team they included: "We prepare for our games like losers. We play like losers. So it's no wonder why we lose"
Edit: Reports coming out he has been traded. In a very classless act the Canadian's sent him to the hotel via taxi.
Edit 2: Report traded to Calgary for Rene Bourque (See links below). Thanks guys.
A light hearted article by Chris Brown on the NYTimes hockey blog about the upcoming Frozen Diamond game against Ohio.
Not as much hype surrounding this as the Big Chill but this game probably means more to the season overall as a win (hopefully a sweep) on their turf would be nice to avenge the earlier sweep by tOSU at Yost!
I just saw this pop up on twitter. Andrew Perrault was suspended for one game for "delivering an illegal hit to the head of [Hunwick]" at the "19:08 mark of the second period".
I had thought Hunwick was out because he took a slapshot to the helmet but maybe this added to it too. Did anyone see this live?
So the NHL Central Scouting Midterm Rankings have been released. They live here. Ranked commits for 2012 are below, including draft-eligible freshman Phil Di Giuseppe.
North American Skaters
9. Jacob Trouba
28. Phil Di Giuseppe
31. Cristoval "Boo" Nieves
157. Connor Carrick
175. Justin Selman
North American Goalies
37. Jared Rutledge
Very excited about Trouba and Nieves. A bit disappointing to see Rutledge as the last goalie ranked, but we'll be happy to have him. Expected to step in right away and play over Janecyk.