...says Denzel Valentine of Big Ten Tourney favorite MSU, which is 5-7 in its last 12 games. Cumong, man.
Monday Morning Um... First Line Center?
So, right. Frigging hockey. A critical series against MSU and Michigan blows a 2-0 lead by giving up goals with 2:30 and ONE SECOND left to tie 2-2 Friday, and then lets in a goal with 3:18 left to tie 1-1 at the Joe on Saturday.
What to take from these games? Well... I think it's just bad luck. Total shots on the weekend: Michigan 85, MSU 49. Michigan dominated both games from start to finish. Vicari played out of his mind, and State got very lucky with a lot of pucks. One horrible turnover led to Brandon Graham's goal on Friday. The other two were just pucks that got away. I'm disappointed that Michigan couldn't turn their dominance into four points, but I will take this weekend in a second over their on-again, off-again performances against NMU and OSU. Michigan came to play this weekend and if they keep up a similar effort the rest of the way, they will win the CCHA crown.
Will they do that? Couldn't tell you. Michigan is still suffering from the Ortmeyer hangover. There's no one who can pick up the team when it needs picking up. Effort comes and goes. It's just the way of things. The good news is that, when motivated, Michigan can play like they did this weekend. And they will be motivated for the playoffs. The bad news is, well, sometimes hockey's funny and throws up results like we got against State. Or the BC game last year that we had no business being in.
As to individual players: Dest is playing much, much better. I haven't screamed at him in several games and have even found myself offering grudging respect. The next step is wanting him on the ice, and then a disturbing amount of knowledge about the young man. Tambellini has started performing like he can. I couldn't even follow his goal on Friday. It left his stick and my head was only halfway to the net when the light went on. He's driving people wide again and getting an absolute ton of shots.
Montoya played better. I can't fault him for either tying goal and the Graham shot that beat him was an excellent shot that was unexpected, coming right off of Woodford's stick. Speaking of Woodford, how many glaring errors does he have to have before Red removes his trust in him? There are two and half minutes left in a game you lead 2-0. Just dump it up the boards! Don Cherry is livid! You threw it up your own middle, you... curse you, mgoblog policy against swearing! Foiled again!
Michigan must come out and play the way they did this weekend against a much-improved UNO team. They must sweep. Three split weekends in a row has narrowed the CCHA lead from five points to one. It's time to get serious, now. Or I will... not swear at you.