Have to think this means someone else in the conference is starting a program?
Well, we have arrived at the end of the regular season:
Michigan is one point back of Minnesota with one to go. A B1G title is on the line tonight, anything other than a Minnesota win in regulation/overtime and a regulation/overtime win for Michigan gives them at least a share of the conference title. They did clinch a bye in the B1G tournament last night, they can finish no lower than #2.
Senior night for Boo, Racine, and Selman....also probably the last game at Yost for Werenski, Connor, and Red (and given how past years have gone probably others). Lets hope for a memorable finish as we move into post season play.
Game is at 730, BTN2Go/Comcast 900 is your television tonight, it looks like no charge for BTN2Go as long as you can prove you have BTN by signing in with your TV provider.
Michigan Hockey Hosting Ohio State
Yost Ice Arena, 5:05pm, Fox Sports Detroit
Michigan is coming off a somewhat debacle in Columbus where they got smashed, made a great rally, gave it away, before losing in a shootout.
Racine back in net for Michigan
Need a win to keep their pairwise ranking status (still #8) and also to keep pace with Minnesota and Penn State for the Big Ten title.
#6 Michigan vs Ohio State
6:30pm Fox Sports Detroit (also on FSNorth and Sportstime Ohio according to PBP guy Dickerson)
Value City Arena, Columbus
Racine vs Tomkins in net
Must win for Michigan, cannot afford too many losses against horrid PWR teams
edit: corrections included
Well, college hockey in the B1G kicked off for real this weekend. Much like last year, it looks like the B1G is going to struggle with national prominence. First the results:
Saturday, October 10, 2015
- Michigan State 4 @ Lake Superior 1
- Northern Michigan 3 @ Wisconsin 3 OT
- Ohio State 0 @ Bowling Green 2
- Penn State 6 @ Canisius 1
- Vermont 3 @ Minnesota 0
Friday, October 16, 2015
- Mercyhurst 4 @ Michigan 6
- Michigan State 2 @ Denver 4
- Miami 3 @ Ohio State 2
- Notre Dame 7 @ Penn State 4
- Minnesota-Duluth 3 @ Minnesota 1
- Wisconsin 0 @ Boston College 6
Saturday, October 17, 2015
- Michigan State 0 @ Denver 3
- Notre Dame 3 @ Penn State 5
- Ohio State 1 @ Miami 3
- Minnesota 0 @ Minnesota-Duluth 3
- Wisconsin 1 @ Boston University 4
Sunday, October 18, 2015
- Mercyhurst 2 @ Michigan 3
- Two weeks into the season, only Michigan and Penn St have shown signs of life. Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Ohio St are all winless, with all three looking like they're going to have issues this year-- Minnesota with replacing goaltending and upper class talent; Wisconsin with avoiding a death spiral of ineffective recruiting & player development, coupled with a HC on the hot seat; Ohio St being Ohio St hockey. Michigan St only has a win against Lake St with two uncompetitive losses to Denver. Hildebrand's looking vulnerable in addition to the usual MSU lack of offensive firepower. All the bad results from Minn, Wiscy, and OSU being OOC losses to NCHC teams will kill us down the road in strength of schedule calculations.
- That being said, Penn St looks good in context. A split with ND is a respectable showing, and considering their trajectory, this could be a leap year for the Nittany Lions. They have scoring (their PP looks legit), but their goaltending may be a liability. I need to watch them more in person.
- Michigan will probably not have a problem scoring goals (again), but uncertain goaltending and a loose defense will be issues (again). I've seen 2 of the 3 games Michigan has played this year so far in person, and here's to hoping Nagelvoort takes the job and runs with it, because Racine did not look good. I will say that encouraging signs are Nieves seems ready to make a big leap, and the passing against Mercyhurst was much improved over what I'd seen in the past two years.
Early season bottom line
- If you asked me to call it now, I'd say this is going to be a 2 team race for the conference title between us and Penn St, and if we get competent goaltending, Michigan could run away with it.
- I'd be suprised if B1G gets two teams in the NCAA tourney, with the exception of Michigan winning the conference by a large margin, and then a Cinderella team wins the conference tourney. If it's a close 2 team race between Michigan and Penn St for the conference, unless both teams only have losses to each other in conference, it's probably a one bid league.
- In a "damn it" realization, I think it's safe to say the NCHC got the better of the CCHA dissolution, probably even long term. Every single one of their teams except for Western Michigan and St Cloud St have established themselves as national level programs now. Maybe NoDak takes a step back if the coaching loss really was that big, but they're still prominent enough they can absorb a couple down years and regain status fairly fast.
- Hate to say this, but the next two weeks are probably make-or-break for Michigan's at-large dreams. Sweep #11 Union, RPI, and Robert Morris from now through Halloween, Michigan can probably split the BU and still be OK. Lose two of the next four, we may need a Boston sweep to keep at-large dreams alive. Such is life when you're in such a sucky conference.