Michigan Hockey: Michigan State Preview
|Michigan Hockey: Michigan State Preview|
|2/10/12 Michigan (17-9-4) at Michigan State (15-11-4) 7:35pm (BTN)|
|2/11/12 Michigan State at Michigan 7:35pm (Fox Sports Detroit)|
The first game will be played at Munn, the second will be played at Joe Louis Arena.
Pretty much the same things can be said about the forwards since the last time we saw them. Looking at the +/- you can tell who is playing with who, outside of Reimer and Wolfe there isn't much defense from this group.
The one major change is the added production from freshman Kevin Walrod and Matt Berry, this gives MSU options behind struggling upperclassmen Dean Chelios and Daultan Leville that they did not have before. The key matchup will be how Red uses the forecheck, with some younger guys on the ice and some less talented players on the lower lines it could make for a long game for the Spartans.
Unlike the forwards, nothing has changed here. The top line of Krug and Shelgren reigns supreme and everyone else just tries not to blow it until they can get back out.
The cupboard Comley left them could not have been emptier. Chelios is listed at both forward and defense, Crandell can score but his defense is awful, Grassi and Sturges and reserves and Buttery is completely useless.
Key matchup will be our 2nd and 3rd lines against the Spartans lower pairs. The bottom line is this group is not very good, so it's going to take many Wolverine mistakes to be shut down by the Spartans. I expect a good game from Phil Di Giuseppe and I think tonight is the night Lindsay Sparks breaks his almost 3 month scoring drought.
The one area MSU has significantly improved in. Coming into the last series I thought Yanakeff would start to push for the starting spot, and with Palmisano struggling he has done just that.
The key matchup here is very similar to what we usually say, just put it on net. With a terrible defense in front of him we just need to get it to the goal, the opportunities will be there we just need to take advantage of it.
|Phil Di Giuseppe||8-9-17||76||+11||12||17|
While the scoring has always been there for us this season something is different here, the swag is back. It made a few appearances this year and last year, but for the most part it was make 4 passes and turn it over, or try to pull the string on three guys in a row and lose the puck. The Wolverine finesse has made it's return.
*Suspended for unlicensed castration of Will Weber.
I wish I had the time to pull stats from every game this season because I would love to see how much of a difference has actually been made. This is the same group who spent the first half of the year getting owned by teams like Northeastern and Alaska, but what changed? The easy answer is Jon Merrill but that's not all of it, to be honest I have no idea what happened. The teams on ice awareness was non-existent the first half, adding Jon Merrill didn't make Greg Pateryn realize someone was skating in behind him.
The one thing I don't like is the annual “will he go pro or not” period. I think we are getting to the point where Lee Moffie is going to take a hard look at joining the San Jose sharks because his game is getting to that point.
I can't talk enough about how great Hunwick has been for us, but everyone else can because the media is pouring out Hunwick articles. His numbers are ridiculous and he should be receiving a national award at seasons end, and hopefully an NHL team will take a chance on him in the late rounds.
The loss of Brown hurts but Michigan is still a much better team then state. The variable that I expect to decide the game is who keeps their heads on straighter, the Spartans are young and they're going to be pumped up for this game. The second game is almost a home game for us, so I don't see any issues there. I haven't missed one since the GLI so I am confident that we can sweep them.