Hoke was top notch at this aspect of his job.
Yost To Coast: Lonely at the Undeserved Top
3-2 over BC, 9-2 over Merrimack. Michigan stands 4-0-0 on the year.
- ETA on "Hobey Baker" chants for Johnson: 2 weeks, and he'll deserve each and every one of them. Incredible player who can literally do it all. He crushes opposing forwards. He skates with them. He dekes them out of their jocks. He can shoot hard an on target from anywhere with little provocation. He makes all the right passes.
- Cogliano scored his first points of the year with 2-2-4 against Merrimack but his best play was a straight nasty bit of stickhandling that got him past two Warriors and garnered a hooking call. I was disappointed with him in the first few games but he's beginning to assert himself.
- We are going to have trouble scoring on a consistent basis. We've got Hensick and Cogliano, Porter and Kolarik, and Hunwick and Johnson, but there's very little after them. Ebbet and Kal will score periodically but they're not to be relied upon. I miss Tambellini badly.
- David Rohlfs got skated around on almost every shift against BC. He's going to have to be protected against skilled teams. Ditto Tim Cook, who many say is improved but... uh, yeah. I don't see it.
- Only two goals against BC sounds good but both were very soft and made me think uncomfortably about that guy from last year who liked punching people. Ruden was his usual self: solid positionally and completely unable to control rebounds.
There's a distinct possibility that the CCHA doesn't blow this year. A lot of teams have opened up with very strong results:
- Michigan is 4-0 with a win over BC.
- MSU is 2-0 and beat North Dakota.
- Alaska-Fairbanks took 3 points from Minnesota in Minnesota.
- UNO is 2-0 with a win over UNH.
- Lake State took 3 points from ECAC contender Colgate.
- OSU split with Colorado College.
Northern Michigan's split against St. Cloud--a team likely headed for the WCHA basement--hurts, as does BG's loss to Merrimack and WMU's loss to Robert Morris (enjoy your lovely parting gifts, Jim Culhane), but other than that no CCHA teams lost games they were supposed to win. Several teams outperformed expectations, which will really help out in the pairwise towards the end of the year.
Games to keep an eye on this weekend:
- ND is going into the lion's den (OMG CATHOLICISM!) with a road weekend against DU and CC. A split here would be a tremendous result for the CCHA. Wouldn't get your hopes up, though, Jeff Jackson or no.
- Northern has a home and home with and improved but still bad Michigan Tech team. If NMU is going to be one of the CCHA's better teams (and they probably should be) dropping more points to WCHA bottom feeders will not help matters.
- Fairbanks travels to Alaska-Anchorage for a pair. If UAF can take 3 or even 4 points from a meh UAA team in their second consecutive weekend on the road they'll announce themselves as a CCHA contender and greatly help the PWR comparisons. Michigan also takes on UAF next weekend for a pair at Yost. They could come in smokin'. [UPDATE: I'm mistaken on the location of the UAF series. It's at Fairbanks, making the weekend look even more daunting. Thx to reader Puckhead.]
- A two part cheer directed at BC freshman Brett Motherwell: "I did your..." "Moooootherwell."
- Students screaming "dance" in the first period against Merrimack whilst up 6-0 and again up 7-0.
- A treasured "Goalie Goalie Sieve Sieve Sieve" against the Warriors.
- "If you're not good at hockey, go to Merrimack /
If you're not good at hockey, go to Merrimack /
If you're not good at hockey and you know you really suck, go to Merrimack"
The Next Weekend
One game against Michigan State at Yost. State's gotten out of the gate well and this one will be a typical MSU-UM game in which the Wolverines badly outplay and outshoot the Spartans but can't put it away due to Angry Michigan Safety Hating God. I have doubts about Sauer's preparedness but none about Vicari's. Call it 3-2, MSU.