Anyone in Ann Arbor heading to a bar to watch the hockey game at 3?
...says Denzel Valentine of Big Ten Tourney favorite MSU, which is 5-7 in its last 12 games. Cumong, man.
The ding: minor. Sheridan's injury won't last much past spring:
Nick Sheridan has suffered a non-displaced fracture of his leg that will not require surgery. He will be out 4-6 weeks, and will be back with the team in time for summer workouts.
React to that as you will. I have absolutely no emotion relating to that news.
Drop the puck. Yost Built has ten things about Air Force for you before today's 3PM puck drop. As always, I'm petrified. There is nothing more terrifying that single-elimination playoff hockey, and nothing more shattering than that moment when the knife twists and the wrong red light comes on.
That's a lot of hamburgers. The Frozen Four is coming to Ford Field next year, which is a lot of seating for a college hockey game even if they, as planned, cut the stadium in half and put up temporary bleachers. They have changed the plan:
The NCAA announced today that the rink for college hockey's championship event will be in the middle of Ford Field next April, just like the basketball court will be in a couple of weeks.
There had been talk of putting the rink in an end zone and curtaining off part of the stadium because of crowd-size and viewing concerns.
Uh… thumbs down. Are you really going to get 70,000 people at the Frozen Four next year? In Detroit? Very unlikely even if Michigan makes it. This seems likely to be a debacle that makes the committee avoid Detroit for future events. Hurrah.
Adios. Toney Clemons' departure was handled with slightly more class than that of Mr. Plow:
"I was recruited in to play in coach (Lloyd) Carr's more pro style offense and that was an offense that allowed me to utilize my talents, using my size and speed combination to stretch the field, run precise routes and make plays down field in the passing game," Clemons said. "The offensive concepts were very different than the ones that coach Rod (is) running now and that was a system that I feel I could go into and thrive in. I gave this new system a chance thinking that I could switch lanes and use my athleticism to excel in the system but it just didn't work out for me, I just had a feeling that I wasn't what they were looking for."
By all accounts, Clemons was an outstanding kid—Breaston's cousin, so not surprising—and someone with talent in the right system. Hopefully he lands somewhere he can use that talent.
Sucker bets. Bruce Feldman checks in with Vegas to see if there's been any recent movement in the BCS championship lines. He finds one particular team surging:
Apparently, there's some enthusiasm for Michigan in Year 2 under Rich Rodriguez. The Wolverines went from being a 200-1 shot to win the 2010 BCS title game (on Feb. 3) to a 100-1 shot as of March 24.
Feldman cites the usual jump Rodriguez teams in year two, the six redshirted offensive linemen, and the Tate/Robinson combo at QB as reasons this might have happened. But all these things were true on February 3rd except maybe Robinson. I credit (blame?) drunk Michigan fans in Vegas after the Clemson game.
Here's an education, sort of. The Globe and Mail took a look at the CHL's education packages, getting some quotes along the way from Red Berenson:
“I think what's happened is that the Canadian Hockey League has done a good job of contaminating these kids in terms of their eligibility,” said Berenson, a Regina native and former NHLer who has coached in the NCAA for 25 years. “They're drafting these kids at 14 out in Alberta and B.C. and 15 in Ontario, so they draft them and get them excited about playing in the O [OHL] or the Dub [the WHL] and they bring them up and play them in a game and they're done. Once they've played a game, they've lost their [NCAA] eligibility.
“They can tell the kids they're getting everything they're getting in the U.S., but they rarely do.”
This is correct: junior players can get scholarships but only one year for each year they play in junior. Even sketchier, as soon as you sign an AHL or professional contract the money is gone. Heck, if you sign an ECHL contract you have one year and then the money is gone. Only 32% of CHL players end up getting anything at all.
Junior advocates will tell you this is still a good bet for future stars, and it may be for the tip of the pyramid, the top-ten picks who aren't long for any junior league. But once you take the numbers and start creating league equivalencies, 1) the USHL has the same quality of play as any of the Canadian junior leagues, and 2) college hockey is considerably tougher. The case that waiting for college hockey will delay your development has been blown up by the move of the USHL to tier one and the corresponding increase in quality of play. Junior now provides zero advantages unless you just don't want an education, which the CHL is happy to not supply.
Elsewhere in the hockey blogosphere, Tom Benjamin says Berenson is "full of shit" and proceeds to completely misinterpret the above quote:
Every young player knows that if he plays a game of Major Junior he loses his chance at an NCAA scholarship. This rule has not changed in recent years and therfore this rule does not explain why fewer and fewer Canadians are opting for the NCAA. It is happening because the CHL offers better opportunities - a faster route to the NHL and the scholarship program - now.
Berenson's not saying the kids don't know they'll lose their eligibility, he's saying the CHL teams are getting kids to play in a game or two when they're too young to have any idea whether or not it's a good idea, when they're really vulnerable to the far-off and unlikely dream of making the NHL. Mudcrutch has an excellent rejoinder, and Benjamin gets pwned in his own comments:
It’s also worth noting that the CHL’s scholarship program is a lot less financially generous than is a full ride NCAA scholarship. The fact that the “full ride” in the OHL is limited to first round picks from the Midget draft is outrageous - no wonder guys like Berenson are miffed. If it is about education, then you extend the offer to all players, not just an elite few whom you are concerned might bolt for greener pastures. It also takes at least four years to get a degree, not two or three, and the fact is that the CHL is usually only paying for two years for many of the players.
Junior is a scam, man.
Anyone in Ann Arbor heading to a bar to watch the hockey game at 3?
Still debating between The Arena (better crowd) and Aubrees in Ypsi (better viewing/sound).
Anyone know whether the hockey band (or some subset of it) is traveling to the regionals this weekend?
they are though its a smaller group. a friend of mine whos going described it as 'bare minimum instrumentation' so probably 20-25 members
You're generally right about juniors, though I will point out that education packages can also be negotiable. Any good player with decent representation negotiates a deal where they're guaranteed four years of schooling as soon as they give up their NCAA eligibility. The problem is that not all players can negotiate like that, and for those that can, most don't end up using those education packages anyway.
For example, two years ago when the Vancouver Giants were trying to steal Kyle Turris away from Wisconsin for one season, they promised him four years of college at any school he wanted, but they knew that he was going to get drafted high enough that he'd at least get a shot in the NHL and they'd never have to pay a dime of that.
The line on Michigan was 100-1 in mid-February, and I have the drunkenly purchased betting slip to prove that.
Brian, I completely agree on the Sheridan injury. I have absolutely no emotion relating to it.
Just checked my off shore and indeed UM is 100/1
Have not been tracking, dont know how long its been that way....but just to make sure, I double checked my bets to make sure I did not do anything foolish post-Clemson game winnings.
MSU is also a 100/1 shot, btw.
We'll be better than we were last year, and significantly better still in 2010 and 2011, but 100-1 for 2009 is preposterously optimistic. I've got a better chance of getting hit by lightning on a sunny day while sitting inside in my office than Michigan has winning it all this season.
If you think Michigan has top 4 (in the Big Ten) talent level, then I don't think 100-1 is a bad bet. The non-conference schedule is a joke, the conference is still poor, the best two teams on the schedule are at home, and the 12 game schedule means I think they can lose one and still be in the national title mix. IF, and that's a huge if, they put it all together, they could be in the mix at the end.
That being said, I think they have a better chance of going 3-9 again than 11-1.
I just wanted to formally unjinx the hockey team, as mgoblue.com already has a placeholder for "Michigan vs. Yale or Vermont" on their multimedia playlist.
My work is done here.
Lovely. Bad goal given up there. Outshooting them by a bunch and down 1-0.
Anyone know if there is a place to watch the game online (at work)?
Come on...Air Force? Really?!
scared the hell out of Minnesota two years ago (led 3-1 before blowing it) and went OT with Miami last year. They're no pushover when the tournament rolls around.
Air Force wasn't the usual crappy AHA autobid -- their PWR was in the top 14. Their KRACH isn't good because their conference opponents were pretty terrible, which isn't really their fault.
And as seen repeatedly in the NCAA tournament (such as Jeff Lerg's national title in 2007), a hot goalie trumps all in single elimination hockey.
Are you going to address the fact the the Coner does not seem to be injured like the original poster claimed ?
If Sheridan will be good to go in the summer, then this injury is arguably a good thing - it means more practice reps for Forcier in the spring, without sacrificing depth for the fall.
Options are always good, Sheridan sucked but, he might be better then the unknown.
1st rounders & Meatheads will always work the CHL and 1st rounds will always be matched up against other top choices. Smart children in Canada get set south for a free ed always ( tweenerss) unlike football where coaches tell them they can get in, kids that will just not make it, play CHL, make about 30K for 3 years and pay for their own schooling (if they go).
CHL is 2 tier. NCAA is right in the middle and yes therefore better TEAMS. I don't post often here but I am a canuck, and such post against the CHL irk me. The Memorial cup is like watching the NCAA Tourney, and if you dont get to see it you wouldn't get it but really its not the frozen 4 its much better.
From Frozen LAnd up north