He's between the pipes.
Mike Lantry, 1972
2/25/2010 – Michigan 3, NMU 2 – 22-9-4, 19-7-1 CCHA
2/26/2010 – Michigan 5, NMU 0 – 23-9-4, 20-7-1 CCHA – Champions
My AP Biology teachers were not very good at anticipating how much minutia an average high school student could write down in 54 minutes. They consistently wrote tests that were ten minutes too long. This compounded itself over the course of a day, so when we showed up for the last hour there was always a class full of frantic scribblers occupying our seats forever. Forced to wait, definitely not making any bus, and unbound by anyone showing up after us, my class would dribble out of the room anywhere from 15 to 45 minutes after the official end of the school day.
Except for me. Pointless memorization was my jam, man. I blew through the tests in a half hour, then waited outside for a friend who would need a ride. I'm sure this privately infuriated my teachers since most of my time in their class was spent asleep. If I'd failed a test or even not done so well they could have swooped in with Life Lessons, maybe even called my mom to describe what a terrible student I was. But as long as I was the only guy finishing their insane tests on time they were powerless.
Michigan has not been a particularly entertaining hockey team this year. They've been gritty and frustrating and occasionally elegant but only from the back end; Hagelin has been fast and Hunwick surprisingly effective. They split with an awful MSU team and didn't look like they even belonged on the same ice as Miami. They blew leads to tie seemingly all of their nonconference games. They didn't score much in the way they were trying to. It's been jarring.
Even this weekend they spent the first 90 minutes asleep. On Friday, Shawn Hunwick and some emergency defending saw them scrape a win they didn't seem to deserve. On Saturday it was looking like they were going to do the same after the first 26 minutes saw 12 shots total, one of them an attempted pass by Hagelin that a Wildcat deflected into his own net. Since I was watching the internet feed on my computer my melodramatic twitter feed features an existential crisis, incredible frustration, and the phrase "awful, awful, awful."
After the existential crisis the previous class shuffled out and Michigan got down to business. There was a humorous scene in which they wrote so fast smoke rose from the paper. When it cleared no one was even mad two goals had been waved off because four others had stood.
What was that? Was that something that's been there all along but isn't unearthed on the regular, or was it just like Michigan starting the Minnesota basketball game off 6 of 6 from three, a statistical fluke? Should we call Michigan's mother to tell on him?
I'm not sure we can. The test is in and it says "A":
No matter how deeply suspicious we are or are not, the test says "A". Michigan may have gotten blown out of Oxford but Miami won four fewer games in the league. On Saturday Notre Dame had three goals disallowed and scored none against Western Michigan. They did not put a knuckling puck through the Bronco goalie with 40 seconds left, then flick one into the top corner with two left. They allowed twelve more goals than Michigan and scored only three more. I'm still not sure how that's true but it is. Last year Michigan finished seventh in the league, and this year they won it.
Now we come to the knee-buckling section of the schedule. Last year Michigan reached this point down their starting goalie, playing a first-round series for the first time in forever and staring down the barrel of Michigan State, Miami, and someone else if they were going to extend their tourney streak. They did, and then they were robbed of a Frozen Four bid in one of the program's all-time classic games. They died like Vikings, turning their league D into a B.
This year they've got a much easier road. They've guaranteed themselves an at large and won't face either of the CCHA's other elite teams until the final. Hold serve and you're one game away from a one seed and a friendly bracket.
I don't know what to think. Maybe the subtler qualities really do exist and this series of narrow victories is just what happens when you're a really good defensive team that lacks magic midgets. I've never deeply cared about a team like this. Maybe this is what life is like when you've got six good to great defenders and Scooter Vaughn is vying to be your second-leading scorer. Or maybe the Miami series was a dark preview of what will happen whenever Michigan meets an elite opponent.
I'll know in the next month. They've got an A so far, but the only thing that matters in this class is the final. This is not fair. It is, however, college hockey.
The usual extreme detail from mfan_in_ohio.
Somewhat briefer: for a moment on Friday night Michigan had fallen to tenth despite their win against NMU, but when the dust cleared from the weekend Michigan moved up into a tie for fourth(!) despite losing OSU's record and gaining MSU's in their TUC category. Then a butterfly flapped its wings, sending MSU below .500 RPI. Voila:
Bracketology stuff usually has Michigan playing RPI/CC in the first round and getting the winner of Union/UMD in the second if they get there. Stop the season right now. I want to get off.
How did this happen?
Merrimack blew up. The lead people including myself thought was unassailable evaporated in a single weekend as meh Maine (14-10-6 before the weekend) swept. I think we PWR watchers underestimate how quickly teams high up in the RPI can backslide if they get swept. Merrimack has terrible Providence this weekend and can only lose ground—sweeping leaves their RPI basically where it is now.
WCHA teams did too. UMD only got one point out of their weekend with CC, and UNO split with Denver—the exact result Michigan wanted.
CCHA playoffs rooting guide:
The most important other thing: Die, Denver. You die and go to hell. Also, pull hard for UNH against BC this weekend.
Wat. If you were one of the dedicated few ripping the NMU radio guy a new one on twitter as you watched the B2E feed you might have wondered what the hell Michigan players were doing after the game, unless you were also one of the many who played NHL 94 incessantly. Michigan Hockey Net digs up a junior team doing the same thing. I'm impressed guys who were about three when '94 came out have even heard of it.
Feed BTW. It probably wasn't worth seven bucks if we're talking about a random midseason series. With the title on the line, though, I shelled out both nights and was relatively impressed. Negatives: the quality is not super high and you aren't getting replays. Positive: the feed was very smooth. I missed maybe a minute of game time total to internet hiccups.
The quality wasn't good enough for me to be able to say much about specific players, however. It was tough for me to figure out who was who most of the time.
One exception. Hunwick bounced back huge on Friday night after a disappointing series against Western. He stole that game. On Saturday he had very little to do, so points to the team defense there.
Highlights. HT to Michigan Hockey Net for digging up highlights from Friday and Saturday. Friday:
That post from MHN has a bunch of other stuff including Andrew Cogliano fighting someone much bigger than him.
“You’re instincts take over on a play like that,” Burlon said after Friday’s game. “(Hunwick) was the goalie on that one, but then, I’ve got to play goalie. You do anything for the team to get the win and that was just one of those plays.”
Yost Built hasn't updated. Frowns.
He's between the pipes.
"Merrimack blew up. The lead people including myself thought was unassailable evaporated in a single weekend as meh Maine (14-10-6 before the weekend) swept."
That assessment should have changed the minute Stephane Da Costa got hurt. That injury could have a really significant impact on this year's tournament, regardless of whether he makes it back or not. Merrimack will be in, and they'll probably a high #2, either way. If he doesn't come back, they'll make the road really easy for the #1 in that region. If he does come back, they'll probably win the region (because they'll get a weaker #3 and a weaker #1).
Man, your stereotypical high school rebel doesn't know shit about being a high school rebel. Get A's and you can do whatever the hell you like in class. I learned that lesson junior year and wish I'd figured it out sooner.
That takes me back.
Back to this:
Someone needs to get the Hockey Band to play Brass Bonanza.
Played that game non-stop in my dorm freshman year. Greatest Sega game ever!
Am I the only one that reads the hockey threads, understands all the abbreviations for playoff seedings, and still thinks it sounds a bit like the playoff scenario in BASEketball?
to sleep, but to each their own. (For some reason, the only AP course I took was U.S. History, which ugh.)
For some reason, I find myself falling asleep in meetings now, 20 years after my last undergrad class, especially when I'm not doing any talking. Not entirely sure where that habit came from ...
Easily the most softcore AP test of the science pantheon. I didn't study for it at all and I got a 5. During the year it was hell because my teacher's idea of running the class was to assign us to read 3 chapters in two-week cycles with tests at the end of them and spend the entire class time on dissections. She spent literally no time teaching us the material from the book. Funny story 5 years after the fact but at the time it was agony.
Here's to hoping that the CCHA regular season championship is just the beginning of this Team's great run. GO Blue!
I am much better at thinking than memorizing, so physics was always more interesting to me. memorization doesn't really help you in physics.
The AP teacher let people stay after class to finish the test, wow, they're way nicer than I am. (Then again, I know my test can and should be finished in 45 minutes, after housekeeping, so...)
That said, the NCAA Hockey tournament isn't just the Final, it's the AP test, and you better pray you get a DBQ conducive to your strengths (in this regard, the draw.)
Did they have DBQs for AP Bio? I only remember writing DBQ essays for AP Euro and US.
They only have them for History based exams, but since that is my realm, that is where I went.
I thought this was going to be Brian's Associated Press biography...
This was good too.
“You’re instincts take over on a play like that,”
How does Brandon Burlon speak the wrong homonym?
The Kamloops Blazers' NHL 94 game celebration was a WHL meme that lasted about two weeks before opponents quickly tired of it. I'm very surprised that 1990-94 born players picked up on a trend that occurred so early in their childhood. I've told players on my own team that the reason that I follow the Denver Broncos was because of Tecmo Bowl, only to be met with blank stares.