|Michigan Hockey: Alaska Preview|
|Michigan (7-7-2) at Alaska (6-8-2)|
|12/2-12/3 7:05pm Alaska Time|
Something occurred to me while I was looking at the Nanooks stats, they are exactly are same as we are. Talented playmakers on offense; a good goalie who has to work way to hard, and a defense who is totally clueless. They also spend most of the game in the box, so it's an exact replica of our team without the draft picks.
Carlo Finucci is the leader of the team and is probably the most talented player they have, and his +7 leads all forwards. On paper this offense isn't anything special, but as we have seen all of this season you don't need to be in the Top 40 to score on us.
Another bad defensive unit, the stats tell all. The Nanooks blueliners don't score, they are just as lost as we are, and they sit in the box. Does this matter? No it doesn't, because on Fridays hockey god says “Thou shall not score more than one goal.” One thing they do very well is block shots, Aaron Gens leads the team with 42. He probably doesn't walk much, and his dark red shins may or may not be mistaken for Brian Kelly's face. But seriously, that could be a huge problem for us because all season long our team has struggled to defend the other teams rush. Blocked shots can easily lead to transition opportunities for the other team, so they need to control the puck.
Does this look familiar?
Not a bad goaltender but he has to works way too hard. He comes into this series at 20th Nationally, but with the way his defense has played for him it's amazing that he has preformed so well. The NCAA stats are skewed because players who have only played a few games still count, so he could be much higher than 20th. If he is on his game this series is going to be very difficult.
|Phil Di Giuseppe||7-5-12||42||+8||12|
It's hard to figure out what is going on with this offense. Somehow they are 4th Nationally in scoring, but something is just not right. There are many factors that could help us understand what is wrong, but I can't put my finger on it. I firmly believe that Lindsay Sparks is hurting more then helping, his offense is outstanding but on defense he is killing us. It's hard to tell what line he is on without seeing an entire game, but at this point Red needs to consider moving him down. He just doesn't possess the skills to defend a 1st or 2nd line college player.
Maybe I'm getting a little ahead of myself on this idea, but I also feel that Phil Di Giuseppe has become one of the most important players on this team. Just looking through the box scores Michigan is 5-1-1 when he records a point, and just 2-6-1 when he does not. This team has scorers but he is a playmaker, and that is what we are lacking. Just a thought, but it is something to consider.
I don't even no where to start. It's so bad even the sound of Al Randall's voice can't make it better. Just watching highlights Northeastern should have had at least 6 goals. Seriously? One of the worst offensive teams in the Nation took us to the woodshed on our own ice. This picture doesn't look like much but it summarizes everything that is going wrong, that's Greg Pateryn skating about 20 feet to far forward. WTF man?
I think a part of me died inside when I watched a NE player throw the puck from the offensive zone faceoff circle, over a Michigan defenders head to someone standing all alone in bolivia for a breakaway. Ughh.
It was expected that the workload would catch up to him and it has. Hunwick has played outstanding in the net and his heroics have kept us in most of our losses, but he can't do it all by himself. I haven't gotten on Hunwick for his performance and I won't start now.
This is a hard one. We have the talent to do it, but the factors going into this game make me very pessimistic. It's always hard when we have to play in Alaska; it's a Friday game, we are in free fall, we lost to Northeastern. I have to say a split is the best case, but the season is on the line and im sure Red has them in panic mode. I think we lose the first game and take the second.