Goal-by-Goal Analysis: Penn State- Part 1

Goal-by-Goal Analysis: Penn State- Part 1 Comment Count

Adam Schnepp March 14th, 2016 at 3:43 PM

Friday, March 11, 2016

#9 Michigan 7, #14 Penn State 1

1st period

Sturtz goal, Penn State

UM 0 PSU 1 EV 02:25 Assists: Glen & Goodwin

The puck’s careening around the defensive zone when Cecconi comes to close to gathering it, but a Penn State skaters swipes at it and knocks it toward the net. Sturtz fires a backhander that misses, hits the boards, and travels toward the top of the zone.

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As all of the Michigan defenders in the frame gravitate toward the puck, Sturtz slips in behind the defense and heads for the front of the net. Juha carries up the boards for a split second before dropping the puck back for Goodwin.

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Connor carries Juha to the top of the zone, so Compher comes over to the wall to cover Goodwin. This opens the middle of the ice, and Glen notices; he cuts underneath Motte and gets himself ready to receive a pass off the wall. Both defensemen step forward once he gets the puck, and no one sees that Sturtz is in Racine’s face.

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Goodwin releases a really strong shot without anyone close enough to alter it, and Sturntz, who’s still unchecked, tips it in.

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UM 1 PSU 1 EV 15:14 Assists: Compher

Juha sees that the forechecking pressure is soft, and he has time to think through his next move before passing. He decides his best outlet is up the boards, but his pass misses Kerr and is intercepted by Compher.

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Compher immediately dishes to Connor, who is cutting underneath Kerr. All three PSU skaters in the area jump in to defend Connor; he manages to outskate them all.

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Connor stickhandles once—just once!—and it causes McAdam to almost hit the ice. It seems almost like his muscle memory led him to do so, because he immediately bounces up and tries to push to his right. That’s the Kyle Connor Effect; he doesn’t even make a true move and goalies are worried to the point they’re getting themselves out of position before Connor’s even attempting to shoot. Look at Connor and you can see that this shot doesn’t come off a huge windup; he’s basically going to shovel the puck on net, but his release is quicker and stronger from that position than most everyone else’s in the nation.

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McAdam essentially falls over himself trying to do the aforementioned get-up-lateral-push-butterfly-again move.

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[If you don’t hit THE JUMP you’ll miss more Connor insanity and you’re smart, you wouldn’t do that]


Goal-by-Goal Analysis: Ohio State- Part 1

Goal-by-Goal Analysis: Ohio State- Part 1 Comment Count

Adam Schnepp January 19th, 2016 at 10:00 AM

Friday, January 15, 2016

Ohio State 5, #6 Michigan 5

1st period

Jobst goal, Ohio State

OSU 1 UM 0 EV 09:12 Assists: Larocque & Brevig

Brevig shoots for the boards, and the puck rolls around to Larocque at the opposite point. This looks like a pretty innocuous start to a play until we focus on what’s happening in that scrum in front of Racine.

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The next three screen caps take place as the puck is making its way from Brevig’s stick to Larocque’s. Martin shoves Jobst, who bumps Racine hard enough that he ends up nearly outside the crease. Racine’s first reaction after the goal is to skate directly to the ref to complain about the contact, but it was initiated by his own skater.

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To make matters worse, Cecconi accidentally skates into Racine. He’s able to reset and lock down the opposite post, but it’s a panicked scramble just to get there.

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Jobst, who you may remember as the guy who ran into Racine a couple of screen caps ago, has now skated out of the crease and is lingering in the bottom of the faceoff circle. Larocque throws a shot on net from the point, and Jobst redirects it just inside the far-side post.

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Martin gets bumped by another skater in the crease and loses Jobst, allowing him to get out of the crease and into the faceoff circle unchecked.

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[After THE JUMP: “Fluky,” the all-encompassing adjective of the day]


Goal-by-Goal Analysis: Wisconsin

Goal-by-Goal Analysis: Wisconsin Comment Count

Adam Schnepp December 9th, 2015 at 2:00 PM

Friday, December 4, 2015

#12 Michigan 6, Wisconsin 4

1st period

UM 0 UW 1 PPG 06:28 Kunin from Hughes & Davison

Wisconsin’s lucky this play even unfolds. Not only is the pass to the point almost picked, it bounces and almost rolls out of the zone. Hughes pulls it across the blue line just before it trickles over.

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Nothing unconventional here; Michigan sends a defender up to cover the point, so Wisconsin passes to the wing. Meanwhile, Shuart starts to retreat, trailing a Wisconsin player toward the front of the net.

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With Warren defending high and Shuart tracking a guy in the equivalent of man-to-man coverage, there’s a big seam across the ice that’s inviting a quick pass from wing to wing.

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As Kunin receives the pass he sees two options; it looks like he wants to pass, but he wisely decides not to force the puck to the front of the net and instead shoots.

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The pass fake delays Nagelvoort for a portion of a second, but he’s still able to lock down the nearside post. Kunin rips a perfect shot over his shoulder; Nagelvoort doesn’t have a chance at that, and the shot probably doesn’t happen if Shuart peels off the guy he’s decided to play press-man on.

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[After THE JUMP: Someone needs to add a team-specific modifier to the COY’s “we want moooore goals” chant]


Goal-by-Goal Analysis: Penn State

Goal-by-Goal Analysis: Penn State Comment Count

Adam Schnepp March 9th, 2015 at 4:07 PM

Friday, March 6, 2015

Penn State 6 Michigan 4

1st period

PSU 1 UM 0 EV 03:13 Scheid from Richard and Conway

Penn State chips the puck in and chases. Zach Werenski loses a battle along the boards behind the net, leaving Scheid with the puck. As he takes off up the boards Kevin Lohan skates behind the net to cover.

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Dylan Richard starts skating to the net while Scheid turns behind him. It isn’t quite a pick, but it (apparently) is enough of a diversion to wreak havoc.

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Lohan makes an intelligent coverage switch to cover Richard. Scheid shoots, however, and beats Racine five-hole. This kind of goal (read: soft) is the reason no one has been able to win the starting role. It’s the goaltender problem in microcosm.

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[Hit THE JUMP for the rest]


Goal-by-Goal Analysis: Wisconsin

Goal-by-Goal Analysis: Wisconsin Comment Count

Adam Schnepp March 3rd, 2015 at 12:20 PM

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[I hope I get to overuse this screen cap by the time the season ends]

Friday, February 27, 2015

Michigan 3 Wisconsin 0

1st period

No scoring

2nd period

Michigan 1 Wisconsin 0 PPG 01:35 Hyman (19) from Nieves (17) and Werenski (15)

Boo Nieves sets a screen for Zach Werenski, who is skating toward the blue line. Werenski draws a defender high; Nieves stays stationary. Werenski passes to Nieves before the defender can make a play on the puck, and Nieves takes off for the net unscathed.

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Nieves makes a simple pass to Zach Hyman.

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Hyman is looking to the opposite faceoff circle, but the puck never gets there. It hits the leg of the netfront defenseman and is deflected into the top corner.

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You may remember me from such emoticons as ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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[After THE JUMP: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ redux]


Goal-by-Goal Analysis: Ohio State

Goal-by-Goal Analysis: Ohio State Comment Count

Adam Schnepp February 23rd, 2015 at 5:31 PM

Friday, February 20, 2015

Michigan 3 Ohio State 5

1st period

Michigan 1 Ohio State 0 EV 03:52 Larkin (11) from Selman (8) and Hyman (22)

Michigan enters the offensive zone with a numerical advantage. Dylan Larkin passes to Justin Selman instead of dropping it to Zach Hyman, and I’m not sure why considering the defenseman in front of Selman and the open lane in front of Hyman.

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Selman gets tied up, but the defenseman is unable to knock the puck away from Michigan’s forwards. He gets a weak swing on the puck, but Larkin is in the process of cutting from the corner to the front of the net and intercepts it.

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Larkin has a tremendous advantage in that he’s undefended and the goalie has already hit the ice. Christian Frey is square to a shot from where I drew the arrow on the screencap, but…

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Larkin can skate around Frey faster than he can move across laterally to re-square himself to the shot, resulting in an uncontested shot on a half-open net.

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[More after THE JUMP]


Goal-by-Goal Analysis: Michigan State 2/7/15

Goal-by-Goal Analysis: Michigan State 2/7/15 Comment Count

Adam Schnepp February 9th, 2015 at 3:19 PM


There are dozens of us. DOZENS!

[Patrick Barron/MGoBlog]

1st period

UM 1 MSU 0 EV 01:43 Downing (5) from Calderone (6) and Nieves (14)

Tony Calderone gets the puck via a stretch pass Boo Nieves makes from along the boards in Michigan’s defensive zone. The pass comes from the same spot Nieves wasn’t able to gain control of the puck last Friday (which subsequently led to a Spartans goal), so it’s nice to see him seal the puck and get it out of the zone this weekend. Calderone skates to the red line before walking it back up the boards in an effort to avoid the MSU defender.

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Michigan State’s defenders have collapsed around the net, which is typical of their style. That’s not really a criticism; if you’re going to give up shots from the point and your goaltender is Jake Hildebrand you’re probably going to do alright. Calderone passes to the blur at the top of the screen cap. That blur is Downing, and it’s easy to see how much he’s able to put on the shot from the camera’s inability to focus on him.

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It looks to me like the puck goes under the defenseman’s stick and beats Hildebrand on his blocker side in the little green square I’ve drawn on the screen cap. This isn’t a good goal for him to give up; despite having a defenseman in front of him in the screen cap he was able to track the puck and squared himself to the shot. That d-man in his view came in after the pass had been made to Downing and Hildebrand was starting to butterfly.

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[After THE JUMP: Darth Vader makes an appearance, and it’s not in discussing MSU or Dave Brandon]


Goal-by-Goal Analysis: Wisconsin

Goal-by-Goal Analysis: Wisconsin Comment Count

Adam Schnepp January 27th, 2015 at 9:06 AM


[Patrick Barron/MGoBlog]

Friday, January 23rd, 2015

1st period

UW 1 UM 0 PPG 02:48 LaBate from Dougherty and Schulze

Michigan starts in a box on the penalty kill when Andrew Copp comes up high to attack the puck near the point. Wisconsin passes the puck down the boards and then back up to the blue line, and as Copp turns he runs into what is essentially a pick being set by Grant Besse. When Copp came up high someone else (Tyler Motte) should have moved over to cover the opposite side of the ice. He doesn’t, and Michigan ends up having three of their four defenders smushed together.

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The pass gets through because of Motte’s error, but he isn’t the only one who makes a mistake here. Kevin Lohan needs to be lower in order to eliminate the backdoor player and step up and tie up the guy in the center of the crease if need be.

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Leave the middle of the ice undefended and it’s not surprising what happens next. Zach Werenski hesitates and it looks like he’s trying to take away both the pass and shot, and the result is that he takes away neither. Dougherty passes to LaBate for an easy tap in.

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[After THE JUMP: Michigan scores with Enthusiasm Unknown to Mankind]


Gorgeous Georges

Gorgeous Georges Comment Count

Brian January 26th, 2015 at 11:10 AM


[Patrick Barron]

Back in the day I had a brief period as an Edmonton Oilers fan. (Long story short: never had much of a Red Wings connection since I grew up in pre-Avs Colorado and Edmonton had Mike Comrie.) This was at the point where they had one of the most bizarrely popular players in the league, Georges Laraque.

The French-Canadian was more province than man, kept on the team to grind on the fourth line and facepunch people. He had one more skill than that, though. If provided the puck along the boards in the offensive zone, he could keep it there indefinitely.

This had almost no utility. Laraque couldn't do much of anything once he had established possession. He was too slow to threaten to take the puck off the boards himself and not skilled enough to pick out his teammates. Even so it was a thing to see: Laraque fending off increasingly enormous piles of opposition players as the arena got more and more fevered about something that would never, ever lead to a goal. In this it was like his fighting, there to entertain in a way totally orthogonal to the stated goal of hockey.

When Zach Hyman started doing this at the outset of last season, it had a Laraquian feel to it. He was stuck on three points a third of the way through the year and no amount of cheerleading from this space made a difference. At that point Hyman was a guy who had a great season as an overager in junior but had done nothing to suggest he was going to replicate that through 60% of his career at Michigan.

And then he started walking into the slot.


Michigan's weekend was a rote walkover introduced by a penalty-induced hangover. I've been on both sides of games like Friday where the ice tilts towards the losing team and no lead seems safe, and by the time Michigan scored to pull within 1 late in the second period that game felt like a Michigan win.

The way it transpired is quickly becoming familiar. Hyman walked off the wall again, flicking the puck to the far side of a goalie worried about a wrap-around attempt. Then Michigan marauded through the slot for the go-ahead goal and the double-tap to make sure Wisconsin's zombie upset bid was well and truly dead. They'd solved prominent goaltending issues by removing them from the relevant section of the game. An empty-netter felt appropriate as an extra-point exclamation mark.

Saturday's game was over two minutes in when Michigan had scored twice and chased Joel Rumpel to the bench in world-record time. By the time Michigan scored to go up 5-0 early in the second period they were barely celebrating. After two periods shots were 37-9.



Even Wisconsin's frustrated after-the-play Standard Hockey Goonery felt obligatory. It takes a remarkable mental state to shove someone without meaning anything by it, but by the third period Wisconsin was doing it solely by reflex, thinking about what they would watch on Netflix after the game.

Eliminate Tony Calderone's five minute major and this weekend wasn't a hockey series. It was a reason that Michigan should be forced to wear body cams when on duty.


Hyman's surged into serious Hobey Baker contention in a way I don't think I've ever seen a Michigan player do so. Previous dominant Hobey types have mostly been the little puck wizards that felt like Michigan's birthright for most of the 90s and aughts. Brendan Morrison was an NHL-sized version of those guys, Kevin Porter a gentleman who scored buckets of goals without being dominant in any particular facet of the game.

All of these guys reached the point where you look for them to hit the ice because they are generating chances every shift. Most of them did so by having the puck on a string. A guy like Hyman, who is so physically dominant he creates most of his chances off the cycle, is a new thing.

He's a good metaphor for the team as a whole: eventually overwhelming. Michigan shoves line after line at you—they have eight guys on or within a couple points of a PPG, and that doesn't count NHL Draft second-rounders Boo Nieves and JT Compher. Every time they go for a line change someone you don't want to see is coming over the boards.

They do have to get their act together on defense. The goalies' flagging save percentages are not entirely their regression. Michigan's giving up grade A scoring chances with alarming regularity. Not so much this weekend, but Wisconsin is truly, bogglingly bad.

Even so at this point you have to wonder if they can outscore anyone. The 80s called, offering their hockey again. All aboard the firewagon.


Michigan's sweep did count for something, as they moved up about four tenths of a point despite Lowell and Minnesota (teams that give them quality win points) having bad weekends. Wisconsin has a solid SOS (4th in RPI terms) and that helps them remain somewhat relevant. Then the road multiplier kicks in.

That four tenths of a point corresponded to a whopping five-spot move in RPI/PWR because the teams immediately in front of Michigan had horrible weekends, with three getting swept and a fourth taking just one point.

Michigan is now solidly in the tournament but vulnerable to backsliding. They're barely a point above the 16 slot which is guaranteed doom.

Suggestion: keep winning. Michigan has 12 games left in the regular season and probably has to go 8-4, maybe 9-3 to feel secure entering the Big Ten Tournament. Given the way they've been playing and the way the rest of the Big Ten has, that's not too tall an order.


Pile 'em in. Michigan has surged to an enormous lead in scoring offense, a full six tenths of a goal past #2 Robert Morris. Last year's leading offense, BC, was at 4.1 GPG; Michigan is at 4.4. BC got their piles of goals thanks to 80-point Hobey winner Johnny Gadreau.

PPGs. Those eight(!) guys at or a couple points away from a PPG: Hyman, Larkin, Copp, and Motte are past that pace. Kile and Werenski are one and two points short, respectively. And after a five-point weekend featuring a Friday hat trick, Justin Selman is at 5-6-11 in just 11 games.

This goal was rightfully disallowed. Kile got a little bumped here but yeah:


[Patrick Barron]

I wasn't expecting that to stand after one replay.

Goalie issues. The BTN announcers made a great deal about Michigan's goalie issues this year, which I thought was pretty simplistic given the sheer number of grade-A chances they'd faced but then both goalies gave up horrendous goals on Friday and now that I'm poking at the numbers… yeah. Nagelvoort is 50th of 80 qualifying goalies on CollegeHockeyStats and Racine is 74th.

These things can turn around quickly—Racine was horrible the first half of his freshman year and put up a .920 the rest of the way—because you need a pile of shots before save percentage becomes statistically meaningful. Michigan's going to have to hope someone steps forward as we approach the stretch run. It's Nagelvoort's turn for a while, it seems.

Selman? Selman's been one of my argh-play-him-more favorites. Sometimes these work out (Hyman), sometimes not so much (Lindsay Sparks), but a five point weekend on the wing of Selman and Larkin probably buys him a few more weekends as the third wheel there. Selman brings a net-driving presence on a line that generates a lot of chaos and rebounds, and he seems like a good fit there.

Already prepping to pump Selman as next year's upperclass breakout forward, which has been an annual tradition (Rohlfs, Scooter) until recently.



Larkin. Hyman is carrying that line and has been all season but Larkin is obviously contributing, and he's contributing on a higher level since the GLI break, where he was one of the best forwards on the WJC team. Larkin reminds me a bit of Max Pacioretty, who wasn't particularly noticeable during the first half of his only year at Michigan but absolutely blew up in the second half. Larkin's adding some flair to his game now that he's comfortable with college and his line.

Sinelli on defense? Michigan listed Andrew Sinelli as a defender this weekend, leading to weird things like a box score featuring "XD" as a position for Nolan De Jong. Michigan rotated through its centers for extra shifts on the fourth line—when those guys are Compher, Copp, and Larkin that's not a bad idea—and played with what they were going to do on the back end.

I liked Sinelli as a defender last year. I actually thought he was a top four guy for them. He's not great shakes as a forward with the puck but for a defenseman he's very capable in that department, and while he's small he was generally in the right spot. That would be a large improvement for Michigan's defensive corps.

I'd keep an eye on that going forward, especially since Michigan is going to plug Lynch back into that fourth line center spot when he gets back. Given the Michigan offense a solid senior like Sinelli might be preferable to a guy who has more upside but offers up more WTF moments.


Goal-by-Goal Analysis: Ohio State 1/16/15

Goal-by-Goal Analysis: Ohio State 1/16/15 Comment Count

Adam Schnepp January 20th, 2015 at 10:14 AM

1st period

OSU 0 UM 1 EV 01:38 Hyman (12) from Larkin (15)

Dylan Larkin picks up the puck in Michigan’s defensive zone and carries it out himself. As he reaches the neutral zone the two nearest defenders react in very different ways; the far-side defender sees Larkin and steps toward him, while the near-side defender skates off for a line change. In the middle of a play. Where the guy with the puck is about eight feet away.

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Larkin is able to skate in to the neutral zone with ease thanks to the pick that the line-changing defender set on his neutral zone counterpart. Larkin’s speed gains him a step on the flat-footed defenseman that picks him up, and as he starts to go behind the net the opposite defenseman (circled below) panics. He jumps to try and pick Larkin up, thus vacating the net-front area he should be in.

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Larkin sees the second defenseman jump out of position and realizes that leaves Zach Hyman unchecked in front. He threads a perfect backhanded pass to Hyman, who shoots immediately. The puck hits Matt Tomkins’ shoulder and rolls down his back a bit before falling into the net behind him.

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 [After THE JUMP: M’s goalie gets pulled but they still win, so lots of scoring]