Well, we have arrived at the end of the regular season:
Michigan is one point back of Minnesota with one to go. A B1G title is on the line tonight, anything other than a Minnesota win in regulation/overtime and a regulation/overtime win for Michigan gives them at least a share of the conference title. They did clinch a bye in the B1G tournament last night, they can finish no lower than #2.
Senior night for Boo, Racine, and Selman....also probably the last game at Yost for Werenski, Connor, and Red (and given how past years have gone probably others). Lets hope for a memorable finish as we move into post season play.
Game is at 730, BTN2Go/Comcast 900 is your television tonight, it looks like no charge for BTN2Go as long as you can prove you have BTN by signing in with your TV provider.
Michigan Hockey Hosting Ohio State
Yost Ice Arena, 5:05pm, Fox Sports Detroit
Michigan is coming off a somewhat debacle in Columbus where they got smashed, made a great rally, gave it away, before losing in a shootout.
Racine back in net for Michigan
Need a win to keep their pairwise ranking status (still #8) and also to keep pace with Minnesota and Penn State for the Big Ten title.
#6 Michigan vs Ohio State
6:30pm Fox Sports Detroit (also on FSNorth and Sportstime Ohio according to PBP guy Dickerson)
Value City Arena, Columbus
Racine vs Tomkins in net
Must win for Michigan, cannot afford too many losses against horrid PWR teams
edit: corrections included
Well, college hockey in the B1G kicked off for real this weekend. Much like last year, it looks like the B1G is going to struggle with national prominence. First the results:
Saturday, October 10, 2015
- Michigan State 4 @ Lake Superior 1
- Northern Michigan 3 @ Wisconsin 3 OT
- Ohio State 0 @ Bowling Green 2
- Penn State 6 @ Canisius 1
- Vermont 3 @ Minnesota 0
Friday, October 16, 2015
- Mercyhurst 4 @ Michigan 6
- Michigan State 2 @ Denver 4
- Miami 3 @ Ohio State 2
- Notre Dame 7 @ Penn State 4
- Minnesota-Duluth 3 @ Minnesota 1
- Wisconsin 0 @ Boston College 6
Saturday, October 17, 2015
- Michigan State 0 @ Denver 3
- Notre Dame 3 @ Penn State 5
- Ohio State 1 @ Miami 3
- Minnesota 0 @ Minnesota-Duluth 3
- Wisconsin 1 @ Boston University 4
Sunday, October 18, 2015
- Mercyhurst 2 @ Michigan 3
- Two weeks into the season, only Michigan and Penn St have shown signs of life. Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Ohio St are all winless, with all three looking like they're going to have issues this year-- Minnesota with replacing goaltending and upper class talent; Wisconsin with avoiding a death spiral of ineffective recruiting & player development, coupled with a HC on the hot seat; Ohio St being Ohio St hockey. Michigan St only has a win against Lake St with two uncompetitive losses to Denver. Hildebrand's looking vulnerable in addition to the usual MSU lack of offensive firepower. All the bad results from Minn, Wiscy, and OSU being OOC losses to NCHC teams will kill us down the road in strength of schedule calculations.
- That being said, Penn St looks good in context. A split with ND is a respectable showing, and considering their trajectory, this could be a leap year for the Nittany Lions. They have scoring (their PP looks legit), but their goaltending may be a liability. I need to watch them more in person.
- Michigan will probably not have a problem scoring goals (again), but uncertain goaltending and a loose defense will be issues (again). I've seen 2 of the 3 games Michigan has played this year so far in person, and here's to hoping Nagelvoort takes the job and runs with it, because Racine did not look good. I will say that encouraging signs are Nieves seems ready to make a big leap, and the passing against Mercyhurst was much improved over what I'd seen in the past two years.
Early season bottom line
- If you asked me to call it now, I'd say this is going to be a 2 team race for the conference title between us and Penn St, and if we get competent goaltending, Michigan could run away with it.
- I'd be suprised if B1G gets two teams in the NCAA tourney, with the exception of Michigan winning the conference by a large margin, and then a Cinderella team wins the conference tourney. If it's a close 2 team race between Michigan and Penn St for the conference, unless both teams only have losses to each other in conference, it's probably a one bid league.
- In a "damn it" realization, I think it's safe to say the NCHC got the better of the CCHA dissolution, probably even long term. Every single one of their teams except for Western Michigan and St Cloud St have established themselves as national level programs now. Maybe NoDak takes a step back if the coaching loss really was that big, but they're still prominent enough they can absorb a couple down years and regain status fairly fast.
- Hate to say this, but the next two weeks are probably make-or-break for Michigan's at-large dreams. Sweep #11 Union, RPI, and Robert Morris from now through Halloween, Michigan can probably split the BU and still be OK. Lose two of the next four, we may need a Boston sweep to keep at-large dreams alive. Such is life when you're in such a sucky conference.
Article looking at the short time limit that players have to use their school scholarship money that they get from playing in the CHL. Often talked about here in relation to NCAA scholarships, so I thought people might be interested. I hope at the very least, the policies change so that these kids get some school paid for. If the extra pub this issue gets pushes a couple more kids to College hockey, so much the better.
FUCK THIS SHIT!!!! I have been working on this for 2 hours now. had tables which took FOR EVER to work out and then when i went to USCHO.com to look at pairwise I come back to the Diary page and it is all gone.
It shouldn't be this difficult so I'm saying fuck it. I got better stuff to do. I have almost broken my keyboard figuring this shit out for nothing.....
So here is the last part that I hadn't written up yet. I will be posting Open Threads Friday and Saturday this week as I will not be attending the Michigan games.
Michigan is currently in a tie for 15th in the Pairwise. I have run a few tests based off this weeks matchups assuming the following
-Michigan State sweeps Wisconsin
-Minnesota sweeps Oho State
-Rensselaer is swept by Clarkson
-Harvard sweeps Brown
-Northeastern sweeps Merrimack
-New Hampshire sweeps Connecticut
-Vermont sweeps Maine
-Denver sweeps St. Cloud State
-Bowling Green sweeps Alabama-Huntsville
some of these are part of conference playoffs and wouldn't allow for a third game so i had to go with sweeps.
If that happens this is where I have Michigan ending up based of the following scenarios
-Michigan sweeps Penn State: tied for 11th
-Michigan splits with Penn State: tied for 16th
-Michigan wins and ties (goes to shootout): 12th
-Michigan loses and ties (goes to shootut): 19th
-Michigan is swept:20th
a sweep puts them in position to actually be a 3 seed. A win on Friday night will ease concerns and leave them with a shot at an at-large. Lose Friday and and Saturday is a MUST WIN.
My Prediction: Split
3 Things Michigan needs
-a win this weekend
-Minnesota to sweep (this is actually a HUGE deal for Michigan)
-Michigan State to sweep (NEED them to move up for next weekends showdown)
With Three weeks remaining in Michigan's regular season the playoff picture hasn't really cleared up, in fact the loss last Friday night was thought to be a knockout punch when in reality it just made the road a little rougher.
A diary posted by Wolverine in Exile on Monday asked the question if the at-large bid was dead or not, well I'm going to show here that it is in fact not dead and still a very possible goal. I will save this for the end though and provide updates from around the country last week and a quick look at some big games this weekend.
Michigan suffered an upsetting loss on Friday night thanks to some sloppy play in their own zone (sound at all familiar???).and came back with a win on Sunday on home Ice. Sunday's game featured some great passing in the offensive zone (Larkin showing he is the best player on the ice) but still had some horrendous defensive zone play. The first period in particular featured some awful breakout passes that led to scoring opportunities which forced Racine to step up and play one of his better games this season.
Around the B1G: The standings remain the same! Minnesota splits at Pegula winning 2-1 Friday night and dropping a 4-3 overtime contest Saturday. Michigan State splits out at Kohl losing 2-1 Friday night and a 3-0 bounce back victory Saturday.
Our Non-conference opponents: RPI goes 0-1-1 on the road at Cornell and at Colgate. UMass-Lowell picked up a road tie at Boston College in their only game of the weekend. BC had the tie and an overtime victory in the Beanpot 3rd place game over Harvard. Boston University had a 1-1-1 weekend with a 0-1-1 home series with Notre Dame and the overtime win in the Beanpot Final over Northeastern. New Hampshire swept Connecticut in a home and home series. Ferris State swept Alabama-Huntsville on the road.
Michigan (#19) hosts Wisconsin (#55) for a two game series Friday (7:30 FSD+) and Saturday (4:00 BTN). Obviously a MUST SWEEP SERIES. Wisconsin is entering the series as the #55 team (out of 59 teams) in the country and sit dead last in the B1G standings.
Around the B1G: Michigan State (t#33) goes on the road again this time out to Minnesota (#10) for a Thursday (9:00 BTN) and Friday night (9:00 BTN) series. State needs to pick up some points if they want to keep themselves close to the top teams in conference and potentially grab a bye to the second day of the B1G tournament. Penn State (t#25) goes down to Columbus for a Friday (6:30 BTN) and Saturday (7:00) series against Ohio State (#43) and they need to win both to keep their conference title hopes strong.
Non-conference foes: American International (#58) has a home and home series with Army (#57), RPI (#48) welcomes Clarkson (#38) in on Friday night and St. Lawrence (#20) Saturday night. BC (#9) goes on the road to South Bend for a rivalry series with Notre Dame (#32) Friday and Saturday. BU (#6) has a home and home series with Northeastern (#t#21) (the same team that they beat 4-3 in overtime Monday night). Lowell (#16) stays at home to take on Vermont (t#17) in a series of top 20 teams who are fighting for a chance at an at-large bid. New Hampshire (#35) hosts Merrimack (t#29) for a two game series Friday and Saturday. Ferris State (#37) hosts Bemidji State (t#25) for 2. Michigan Tech (#5) goes on the road with a solid chance to help Michigan's RPI as they travel to Mankato to take on the #1 team Minnesota State for two games.
Other games of note: Harvard (t#17) hosts Quinnipiac (t#11) Friday. Yale (#15) hosts Colgate (t#21) Friday and Cornell (31) Saturday. Miami (#4) travels to Denver (#7) for two games. Nebraska-Omaha (#8) travels up north to take on Minnesota-Duluth (#3) twice.
1. Michigan 27pts 9-5-0-0
2. Minnesota 27pts 8-3-3-0
3. Michigan State 25pts 7-5-2-2
4. Penn State 25pts 8-5-1-0
5. Ohio State 12pts 4-10-0-0
6. Wisconsin 10pts 2-10-2-2
1. Minnesota State
2. North Dakota
5. Michigan Tech
6. Boston university
9. Boston College
13. Bowling Green
14. St.Cloud State
20. St. Lawrence
t25 PENN STATE
t33 MICHIGAN STATE
35. New Hampshire
37. Ferris State
43. OHIO STATE
58. American International
Points (B1G rank)
t3 (1) Zach Hyman 43
t11 (2) Dylan Larkin 38
t11 (2) Zach Hyman 18
t6 (2) Dylan Larkin 26
t10 (3) Zach Hyman 25
Team Offense #1 (1) 3.96 Goals per Game
Team Defense #40 (4) 3.00 Goals per Game
Power Play #5 (2) 23.23%
Penalty Kill t#33 (2) 81.9%
I ran some tests on a Pairwise simulator and if Michigan sweeps Wisconsin it looks like worst case scenario (non-conference opponents lose, teams around Michigan win) Michigan remains #19 and one of the better case scenarios (with help of some reasonable upsets and favourable outcomes from non-conference opponents and teams around Michigan) the Wolverines could move up into the 15th spot. A reasonable outcome this weekend would leave Michigan a couple spots shy and rank #17 before next weeks series at Penn State. The hopes for an at-large ARE NOT DEAD!
I want to start with a quick apology for missing last week. I was on afternoons, ticked about losing the game at the Joe and PISSED abouit the fiasco that was scheduled for last Saturday.
On with the show. Week 21:
Froday February 13
6:30 #55 Wisconsin @ #38 Ohio State
7:00 #20 Penn State @ #36 Michigan State
7:00 #15 UMass-Lowell @ #44 Mass
7:00 #54 Brown @ #42 RPI
7:00 #40 New Hampshire @ #3 Boston College
7:00 #8 Bowling Green @ #41 Ferris State
7:00 #21 Colgate @ #16 Harvard
7:00 #17 St. Lawrence @ #13 Quinnipiac
7:30 #19 Vermont @ #11 Boston College
7:30 #10 Providence @ #35 Notre Dame
8:00 #21 St. Cloud State @ #5 Minnesota-Duluth
8:30 #9 Denver @ #2 North Dakota
8:30 #25 Western Michigan @ #4 Nebraska-Omaha
9:00 #12 Michigan @ #13 Minnesota
9:00 #58 American International @ #51 Air Force
9:30 #7 Miami @ #48 Colorado College
11:00 #6 Michigan Tech @ #49 Alaska-Anchorage
11:00 #1 Minnesota State @ #32 Alaska
- Penn State travels to East Lansing trying to hold onto their Top 2 spot in the B1G standings (Top two seeds get first round bye in Tournament). Both teams play a defensive style of hockey with Penn State throwing anything and everything at the net in the offensive zone. Hildebrand will be in for a tough matchup against one of the top scoring players in the country (Casey Bailey). PSU should win both of these games this weekend and pick up 5 to 6 points but as we all know from the Duel in the D MSU just needs to block shots and play their crappy style of hockey and get lucky offensively.
- UMass-Lowell needs to rebound from a very tough stretch of games and keep themselves in the tournament picture. Lowell winning helps Michigan marginally as Michigan has played and beaten them this season.
- New Hampshire (a team Michigan holds a winning record against) goes on the road against a top five team in Boston University (a team that holds a winning record over Michigan). The odds of NHU pulling off this upset aren't good but if it were to happen it would help Michigan's RPI.
- Denver at North Dakota provides us with a top 10 matchup that could lead to Denver falling enough that Michigan could leapfrog them if everything goes our way (UND and Michigan sweep)
- Michigan @ Minnesota is the top series in the B1G. It is a matchup of top 15 teams (in the Pairwise rankings). Michigan needs to win at least one to boost their ranking back into the range where they are competing for a favorable seed in the tournament (being swept will hurt chances of at-large bid so much so that I think they'd need to win out). My prediciton for this series is that Michigan picks up 4 points (a win and shootout loss that counts as a tie in NCAA's eyes).
- 2 top ranked teams travel out to Alaska for series this weekend which always causes me a little concern.
Saturday February 14
6:00 #20 Penn State @ #36 Michigan State
7:00 #55 Wisconsin @ #38 Ohio State
7:00 #44 Mass @ #15 UMass-Lowell
7:00 #3 Boston University @ #40 New Hampshire
7:00 #18 Yale @ #42 RPI
7:00 #19 Vermont @ #11 Boston College
7:00 #8 Bowling Green @ #41 Ferris State
7:00 #33 Clarkson @ #13 Quinnipiac
7:00 #27 Cornell @ #16 Harvard
8:00 #12 Michigan @ #13 Minnesota
8:00 #9 Denver @ #2 North Dakota
8:00 #10 Providence @ #35 Notre Dame
8:00 #21 St. Cloud State @ #5 Minnesota-Duluth
8:00 #25 Western Michigan @ #4 Nebraska-Omaha
9:00 #58 American International @ #51 Air Force
9:00 #7 Miami @ #48 Colorado College
11:00 #6 MIchigan Tech @ #49 Alaska-Anchorage
11:00 # 1 Minnesota State @ #32 Alaska
Other Key Games:
- Wisconsin travels to Columbus in a matchup of the bottom 2 teams in the conference. Ohio State winning would be better for Michigan as we still have a road game down there and the B1G can't afford to have another team drop in the rankings. Wisconsin being so bad means its actually best for the conference if they lose out as they can't really climb in the Pairwise enough to help anyone.
- Ferris State has two shots to knock off a Top 10 team at home which would help Michigan's RPI.
- Boston College, who is currently ranked one spot ahead of Michigan hosts a hungry Vermont squad who are sitting just outside of the top 16. Vermont winning a game or sweeping will result in a great chance for Michigan to jump into the top 10 if they take care of business.
3 Things Michigan "NEEDS"
- A split on the road at Minnesota is crucial for a shot at a 2 seed going forward and obviously a help in the B1G standings
- Ohio State needs to sweep Wisconsin on home ice
- UMass-Lowell sweeping Mass and getting their season back together.