Coaches' timeouts are worse. Basketball teams should get one, full stop.
Last night against NMU in a 4-1 loss. The first two goals were on Montoya being way, way too aggressive.
The game was entirely frustrating, as Michigan dominated the first ten minutes of the game but couldn't get much in the way of pucks on goal, and then a fortitous bounce changes everything. The puck was coming into the Michigan zone and Monotya charged out to get it... he didn't. And just like that Northern had a 1-0 lead with all of two shots on net. They finished the first up 2-1 with four shots on goal after Montoya made a poke-check attempt that left his five-hole wide, wide open.
Michigan almost doubled NMU's shots on goal and still lost badly. Can you really put this on the skaters? There were some turnovers, some poor plays, particularly Werner's screw-up that led to the fourth NMU goal, but overall, I mean... 14 shots against. I'd say it's bad luck, but I don't believe it bad luck when it comes to goaltenders. The sample size for save percentage is large enough that this far into the season you should have a good idea who's playing well and who isn't. The problem isn't with one goal that may have been soft or may not have been soft, the problem is that after every game there are one or two of those iffy goals. After every game.
Northern is a pretty good team. They plays a tight-checking game and blocks a ton of shots. I would take Oystrick and Waugh over any Michigan defenders. They're big, mobile, and unpleasantly dispositioned. Tarrki was very solid last night, making all the saves he had to and a couple that were really impressive--I am thinking in particular of a deceptive Kolark shot that was wired for the top corner that Tarrki managed to get with his shoulder. If they had a couple more guys who could score they'd be a serious contender for the CCHA.
Refereeing... didn't really notice it. Piotrowski has apparently abandoned the idea of calling those minor off-the-puck interference penalties, which is disappointing but expected. This always, always happens.
The penalty cheer and the riot that was going to break out? Uh, not so much. I think exactly two kids got booted, and one of them got booted for screaming at Tarrki... I would note that he screamed nothing profane (nor particularly witty), though, so that gets an official "what's up with that?"
At least a little good news. Thirty-one points for Smith against a previously undefeated Bellville team, although at this point I don't really care if he can score. If he can get dribble penetration and set others up for open looks without turning the ball over I'll be ecstatic.
Should have titled it Woe, Blue but what are you going to do? Many, many distressing things in that post, but the worst: Michigan has been outrebounded in four of the last five games. In three of those games the deficit was double-digits. And we have legitimate post players!
Soft, soft, soft legitimate post players, I guess. Someone needs to inject some angry juice into Sims and Hunter.
They're serious. It'll be interesting to see what happens tonight. I sit in the first row so I get to hug a policeyman tonight. I usually don't do the cheer at all, but I think I'll do this tonight:
What basketball game? Leave me alone.
According to the Free Press, Jim Presley will return next year after he left the team due to academic issues this year. With all the rumors flying around about losing a linebacker due to academics or medical or whatever, this is certainly good news.
This year's list can be found here. Bass is 2, Grady 5, Taylor 11, Manningham 12, Harrison 13, and Simpson 19. Where is Zoltan the Inconcievable? Outrage!
Other things of note: 2000 Best of the Midwest had no Wolverines. Kelly Baraka status: "attempting to sign with an NCAA Division I-A school for next fall."
Don Banks has written an article on the worst coaching mistakes in Super Bowl history. It mentions the Pats-Rams Super Bowl that Brady and Law were in... but not really. This really has nothing to do with Michigan at all. Sorry, but it's so unbelievably stupid that I have to talk about it.
The third worst coaching decision in Super Bowl history? Mike Ditka not getting Walter Payton a touchdown in Super Bowl XX. The Bears won that game 46-10! Freaking 46 to freaking 10! You couldn't have picked an event that had a material impact on a game? Or maybe a coach who's team, you know, lost? Number two is Mike Holmgren's absolutely correct decision to let the Broncos score on second and goal from the one with 1:45 left in Super Bowl XXXII. The Pack got the ball back with 1:39 to play on their 30 with two timeouts... oh, and Brett Fav-ruh. 1997 Brett Fav-ruh!
Enough of this. I condemn Don Banks to hell. That's all.
Bleah. He's going to Cal, after they had basically ignored him early in the process. I mean seriously, dude, have some self-respect. This is very disappointing, since Richards seemed like an under-the-radar guy that was very athletic and playing at a high level at a young age.
Fortunately, he was scheduled for a greyshirt in any case so Michigan has a full year to replace him. Sears made a visit to Oregon State recently... if he goes, hit the panic button. At this point signing day can't come soon enough.