|Michigan Hockey: Weekend Preview|
|11-25-11 Northeastern (3-7-2) at #11 Michigan (7-5-2) 7:35pm|
|11-27-11 #12 Union (6-3-3) at #11 Michigan (7-5-2) 3:05pm|
I find it very amusing that they have more video footage available than almost every other CCHA team, but linking videos isn't even worth it because they don't score very much. They try to follow the typical Hockey East formula, score as many goals as possible and don't play defense. That doesn't really work when you cant score. They have very balanced scoring lines but still don't have the numbers to crack the NCAA top 40, but neither did Miami. The difference here is that Northeastern's powerplay is so bad (.078) that we should be able to avoid our WTF moments that have hurt us so much this season.
This is a what a Hockey East defense looks like (BC Excluded). This is the first time the entire season I have watched highlights of a team who makes the same mistakes as we do, and manages to do it worse. Our mistakes are usually one individual out of position or not paying attention, for them it's a team problem. I know it's a Friday but if we can't score enough on these guys to win, kiss the tournament streak goodbye because we won't win a Friday game for the rest of the year.
Chris Rawlings is the workhorse and since it's just one game we should see him anyways. There is skill here, this guy makes a ton of saves but amount of shots he is seeing is ridiculous. From watching the video he isn't getting any chance at all, bad turnovers and “He's behind you” moments just leave him out to dry.
Forward Overview: (Union's website does not record SOG or +/-)
This is a weird team, we will just start with that. Scoring is decent (20th), but they win games with great defense, special teams, and awesome goaltending. Not exactly what you expect from the conference but they also are unable to win at home (1-2-2) and are outstanding on the road (5-1-1) which isn't good for us.
Without video or a +/- rating it's harder to see who stands out on defense but overall it's a solid group, with a pretty good scorer in Mat Bodie. On paper Union has the #4 ranked defense and Michigan has the #3 ranked offense, so it should be a great match up to watch on sunday.
Troy Grosenick: GP 10, MIN 519:52, GA 14, SV 201, SV% .935, GAA 1.62, W-L 5-2-2
Colin Stevens: GP-4, MIN 212:33, GA 7, SV 81, SV% .920, GAA 1.98, W-L 1-1-1
Like the defense it's hard to tell how good the goalie is without seeing how the blueliners play, but the numbers are solid. Again it is a match up game, as Michigan is outscoring opponents 40-20 in games that are not on Friday.
|Phil Di Giuseppe||6-5-11||35||+10||10|
Scoring like crazy, but at times wildly inconsistent. It seems like whenever the offense gets cold the defense plays good enough to keep them in the game, but when they're hot they have big problems keeping the other team off the board. Phil Di Giuseppe has really cooled down, only recording two points since the Miami series. At the same time other freshmen have stepped in to contribute, Travis Lynch has been outstanding this season and Big Gup has given us a presence in front of the net.
For real this time, what is going on? I don't put as much of the blame on them for game 1 as game 2. I've watched the highlights of OSUs second goal so many times and I still can't figure out how it went in. The season is on the shoulders of this group right now, and if they can't step up soon the season is over.
Hunwicks heroics can only take us so far and we are getting to that point. His numbers are still solid but we can't expect him to play at the level he was at last year every game. The defense has to help him out or else.
We are getting into dangerous territory here. I hoped at the beginning of the year we would not get to this point but here we are. I am going to say sweep, because it is the only option that we have. The schedule only gets tougher the rest of the way and if we can't get points here it's an uphill battle to the NCAA tournament.