...says Denzel Valentine of Big Ten Tourney favorite MSU, which is 5-7 in its last 12 games. Cumong, man.
“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.
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
Boston Globe profile of new Boston College AD Brad Bates. Bates was a football walkon during the Bo Schembechler era in the late 1970s.
Given the way Dave Brandon has scheduled with other ADs with Michigan ties (Jeff Long-Arkansas, Bob De Carolis-Oregon St, Warde Manuel-UConn, & Derrick Gragg-EMU), I bet we will see Boston College on Michigan's football schedule soon.
Brad Bates, who Bo Schembecher thought would make a great Michigan AD in "Bo's Lasting Lessons," leaves Miami (NTM) for Boston College, according to the BC school paper The Heights. Bates played under Bo from 1977 to 1981 as a walk-on DB.
We are just a few minutes away from puck drop in Tampa for the 2012 Frozen Four.
Our 4:30 game is Union vs Ferris State (ESPNU) and the 8:00 pm game will be Boston College vs Minnesota (ESPN2). Should be another day of great hockey so tune in if you get the chance.
At least it sounds complimentary to me. Emphasis mine.
"There's a certain BC type of player that I like to have. It's hard to describe it but, he's gotta be — this is where he wants to go to school, he wants to compete at a very, very high level, and he wants to go to school," York said. "Because it's not an easy place to play Boston. There's pressure on the kids that go to BC or BU, and they have to handle that type of pressure. Michigan is the same way — you go there, you have to be ready to play."