Goal-by-Goal Analysis: Ohio State

Goal-by-Goal Analysis: Ohio State

Submitted by Adam Schnepp on March 6th, 2014 at 10:35 PM

Really crunched for time this week so I don’t have a column-like thing to lead off with. Instead, please enjoy these non-sequiturs from Alex Guptill and Delonte’ Hollowell.

I love the all-caps philosopher. So true.


Ohio State at #13 Michigan


Friday, February 28, 2014


1st Period

OSU 1 UM 0 04:26 EV

Schilkey from Niddery

Ohio State carries the puck through the neutral zone and gain the offensive zone, where it looks like the puck carrier is going to cut to the middle. That shouldn’t be a problem; Serville can take the guy skating towards the outside while Sinelli checks the guy in front of him.

Instead this turns into a lesson in why one shouldn’t chase the puck carrier. Sinelli gets caught up in his own feet trying to go front-to-back, but Copp’s close enough to check the puck carrier. Serville should stay in the circle that I’ve drawn around him and check the OSU player in said circle.

He skates all the way over, leaving the side of the front of the net exposed. Sinelli eventually fills the void, but he doesn’t notice the forward (Schilkey) who’s coming in with speed until it’s way too late.

I call this screenshot “Lost in Spacing.” Which is a stupid, punny way of saying hey maybe the defensemen shouldn’t defend an area with the same five-foot radius.


OSU 1 UM 1 19:31 EV

Guptill from Compher


2nd Period

OSU 2 UM 1 10:00 PPG

Szczechura from Jardine & Jedig

Lynch does a good job of getting back across the ice and into shot blocking position. He gets his stick in the shooting lane, and Jardine’s shot deflects off of it.

It takes a strange bounce, and Szczechura comes in behind the play to tap it into the net.


3rd Period

OSU 2 UM 2 14:44 EV

Guptill from Allen

Allen wins a battle in the corner and rifles an incredible pass to the slot for Guptill.

Guptill’s initial shot is stopped, but Tomkins gives up a rebound off of his left pad. Guptill is right there to put the puck up and over the already-butterflyed Tomkins.



#13 Michigan at Ohio State


Sunday, March 2, 2014


1st Period

UM 1 OSU 0 02:26 PPG

Kile from Copp & Downing

Copp has the puck at the top of the circle, and you can see that Michigan has two players in front of the net. They’re there, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re screening the goaltender.

That does not, however, mean that the netfront players are in a bad position. Copp shoots, and the puck goes in off of a redirection from the blade of Kile’s stick.


UM 2 OSU 0 7:03 PPG

Moffatt from Copp & Downing

OSU is in a traditional box on the penalty kill. Looking at the red arrows below, you can see that none of the sticks that OSU players have in the passing lanes dissuade Copp from passing to a wide-open Moffatt.

Moffatt puts a great shot on net, but credit Kile for setting a great screen in front of Tomkins.


2nd Period

UM 2 OSU 1 3:03 EV

Gust from Niddery & Healey

Downing gives up the puck after getting run over in the defensive zone. OSU picks it up and moves the puck through the neutral zone. They end up on a break with a 2-on-none advantage.

De Jong almost gets back on the backcheck but, like, doesn’t. Racine’s in a bad position; his stick is out like he thought about poke-checking Niddery before he passed. He vainly tries to apply that poke-check to Gust, but Gust just puts the puck over Racine’s blocker.


UM 3 OSU 1 6:12 PPG

DeBlois from Guptill & Nieves

Nieves misses a shot high and wide that then ends up in the corner. Guptill gets it and passes to DeBlois in the slot. OSU’s defenders are a step too deep, and they can’t do anything to stop the one-timer.


UM 3 OSU 2 17:45 PPG

Angeli from Jardine & Gedig

OSU enters the zone with speed. Like, lots of speed.

Angeli runs over Racine and the puck somehow goes in. Sigh.

Circled below: a centaur, but worse.


3rd Period

UM 4 OSU 2 10:30 PPG

Di Giuseppe from Clare & Nieves

The defender circled above in red is shaded off of Di Giuseppe, instead choosing to check Guptill. This leaves Di Giuseppe open on the outside. Clare, playing his signature point position on the power play, moves the puck down to PDG.

PDG one-times the puck into the open corner of the net before Tomkins can flinch. Di Giuseppe cathartically jumps for joy after he scores.


UM 4 OSU 3 11:49 EV

Jardine from Niddery & Johnson

Racine stops the first shot and the rebound bounces all the way out to the faceoff circle. That’s actually not that dangerous, but this still ends in a goal. Jardine gets the puck near the blue line, holds it, and then unleashes a big shot that beats Racine (who stays upright for too long).

Goal-by-Goal Analysis: Minnesota

Goal-by-Goal Analysis: Minnesota

Submitted by Adam Schnepp on February 20th, 2014 at 9:46 PM

Before you read this I want you to stare at the picture below for at least five seconds. I’m not kidding. Five seconds. You’re going to need it to peruse a sweep that felt so close but yet was so, so far from being anything but two Minnesota wins.

Image via cardmine.co.uk


#10 Michigan at #2 Minnesota


Friday, February 14th, 2014


1st Period


UM 0 Minnesota 1 05:29 EV

Kloos from Condon & Parenteau

DiGiuseppe tries to make a play along the boards, but Minnesota retains possession of the puck. Condon sees Kloos coming through the neutral zone with speed and passes it up to him.

As Condon reaches the blueline he has two options; drive the middle of the zone and try to split the defenders or skate to the outside. Credit where credit’s due, Michigan’s defenders have this 2-on-2 under control positionally. They force Condon to the outside.

It looks to me like Downing gets faked into thinking that Condon is about to take a shot and drops to a knee to block it. Condon sees this and walks around Downing, who can only stretch his stick out in a vain attempt at poke checking the puck away.

Racine is relatively square to the shooter yet still gets beat farside. This scoring chance starts because of a blown defensive play, but it’s completed on an average shot that Racine misses.


2nd Period


UM 0 Minnesota 2 01:19 EV

Fasching from Warning & Rau

So much of this game comes down to timing. Pinching down for a big hit away from the puck usually doesn’t end well, but doing so against Minnesota’s track team of forwards just isn’t the time to do so. This hit leaves Clare behind the play and gives Minnesota an easy opportunity to enter the neutral zone with speed.

Fasching has a breakaway; after he swims through the D there’s no way either defender will catch him

Racine doesn’t want to get beat over his glove or blocker, so he doesn’t butterfly until Fasching’s practically in front of the crease. This leaves his five hole open, and that’s precisely where Fasching tucks the puck (though that’s not what he meant to do; if you look at the replay he clearly intended to make another move before the puck just rolls off his stick). Clare’s timing was off, Racine’s timing was off, everybody in blue’s timing was off and look where the puck ends up.


UM 1 Minnesota 2 09:45 PPG

Copp from Compher & Bennett

Compher has the puck at the point and looks like he’s going to pass to the right faceoff circle until he doesn’t. Instead he backhands an insanely beautiful pass to Copp.

Copp one-times the puck farside. Thanks to a nice little netfront screen Wilcox isn’t ready for the puck, and Michigan gets on the board.


UM 1 Minnesota 3 09:51 EV

Cammarata unassisted

Michigan wins the faceoff, and the puck rolls back to Downing. Pretty innocuous start to a play.

Downing tries to make a D-to-D pass but fans on it. This is a problem because, like, look.

Cammarata has too much speed to be caught by either defenseman. He skates it in and scores five hole on Racine which ughhhhhh recurrent theme I don’t like.


UM 1 Minnesota 4 17:29 PPG

Ambroz from Warning & Marshall

There’s potential for this to have played out differently if Copp doesn’t move his stick. At the onset of the play he has his stick inside his body in an attempt to cut off a pass to the slot. He quickly swings it outside to dissuade the puck handler from passing to the point, but this opens up the shot into the slot. Warning takes what he’s given and this is tipped in front by Ambroz.


UM 2 Minnesota 4 18:35 PPG

Compher from Copp & Bennett

A really nice outlet pass from Bennett gets the puck to Copp in the neutral zone. The defender squares up to Copp near the blueline. Copp sees Compher a step ahead but holds up his pass as he gains entry to the offensive zone. The defender steps towards Copp, and once he’s sure that the defender has committed he passes across to Compher.

Just look at how much room Compher has to make a move. The only defender in front of him is plying centerfield and has to come across the slot to attempt to check Compher, but there’s no way that’s going to happen before Compher shoots. He releases the puck and beats the goaltender high; like, pop the water bottle up high.


3rd Period


UM 3 Minnesota 4 02:47 EV

Hyman unassisted

Hyman gathers the puck from a scrum in the corner and turns it toward the goal. He has one defender standing between him and the goaltender.

He pulls the puck around the defender and then has to deal with a poke check from the goalie.

Hyman somehow avoids the poke check and snaps a shot past the outstretched Wilcox.

This goal was what Mike Hart would look like if he was a goal.

Photo via mgoblog. Fuller? Upchurch?

UM 3 Minnesota 5 15:21 EV

Guertler from Reilly & Lettieri

What at first looks like an incredible defensive play turns into a big mistake and the final nail in Michigan’s coffin. Tyler Motte is without his stick and tries to Kirk-Maltby-circa-2002 this one out of the zone. I have captured here the exact moment that Brian screamed “JUST HAND PASS IT!!!!!”

Minnesota regains possession and passes the puck down low, where Minnesota is already in behind the defense.

Credit Reilly with an incredible move behind the net. He spins and dishes the puck to the slot, where Guertler is waiting to one-time it. Racine is guarding the post because he thought that Reilly was going to shoot, so he’s out of position to stop the shot from Guertler.


Saturday, February 15th, 2014


1st Period


UM 1 Minnesota 0 01:31 EV

Sinelli from Hyman & Nieves

Nieves moves the puck to Hyman, who enters the offensive zone and is outmanned. He waits for Sinelli, dropping a pass back to him.

Sinelli takes a shot from high in the offensive zone and scores. That’s about the extent of the analysis I can provide for this goal. Hockey, man.


UM 1 Minnesota 1 17:46 EV

Warning from Rau & Fasching

Minnesota chips the puck in and gains possession again in Michigan’s defensive zone. Minnesota has a 2-on-1, with the skater getting behind the defense.

The netfront defender for Michigan does a good job of using his stick to take away the passing lane. This forces the shot, but having a skater behind the D comes in to play in the next frame.

Warning is able to (barely) get a stick on the shot, redirecting it past Racine. There’s no way Racine can stop a deflection this close to the net.


2nd Period


UM 1 Minnesota 2 02:53 EV

Reilly from Guertler & Lettieri

Minnesota chips it out of their own zone and then…this.

Well, at least the pass was well defended. The slap shot, however, was not. It hits the top corner above Racine’s glove.


UM 1 Minnesota 3 15:20 EV

Condon from Lettieri

Bennett tries reverse the puck to Downing, but the puck hits the boards and just dies. There’s no one in front of him, so he should have just tried to rim it out.

Minnesota swoops in and retrieves the puck. This draws the attention of the two defensemen, as well as the nearest forward. Minnesota starts their cycle.

There are three Michigan players bunched in the corner, and a Minnesota player who’s about to take a pass and skate freely into the crease. 3MichDbehindplay+1MinnOpen≠Good.

Condon’s shot deflects off of Selman’s stick and goes in high on Racine.


3rd Period


UM 1 Minnesota 4 08:37 PPG

Fasching from Rau & Boyd

It’s a power play goal against. It happens somewhere in the circled area after the first two shots were stopped. It is largely irrelevant.

Goal-by-Goal Analysis: Wisconsin at Yost

Goal-by-Goal Analysis: Wisconsin at Yost

Submitted by Adam Schnepp on February 6th, 2014 at 11:32 PM

I wish I had some witty intro for you all this week but I really don't. It's been a really busy week, and between a tough week of class and a family member who was unexpectedly hospitalized (everything's alright now) I'm just happy to have this done. I still managed to find spots to make fun of both teams, so hopefully you'll still find it enjoyable.


#12 Michigan vs. #9 Wisconsin

Friday, January 31st, 2014


1st Period

UM 1 Wisc 0 13:10 EV

Motte from Nieves

Copp passes to Moffatt in the slot, whose shot is stopped and brushed aside into the corner.

Wisconsin tries to clear but Nieves holds it in along the boards. He moves the puck back to Motte in the corner, but the puck is picked off by a Wisconsin player. He passes into the faceoff circle, where another Badger gains control and flips a backhanded pass...directly to Nieves, who is still along the boards.

Nieves carries in and the goaltender thinks he’s going to shoot. He gets low in his crouch and is about to butterfly, which he does as soon as Nieves passes to Motte.

Motte gathers the puck and backhands a shot into the wide open net. Wisconsin’s goaltender had no chance at getting back across the crease in time to stop the shot.


UM 2 Wisc 0 14:30 EV

Guptill from Compher

Nagelvoort has to stop a point-blank shot for this scoring chance to be created. There’s a Wisconsin player unchecked in the slot (surprise, surprise!) who shoots one into Nagelvoort’s chest, and the rebound falls in front of the crease. Guptill gathers the puck and takes off.

Guptill sees the defender’s outstretched stick and knows he has to dish to Compher.

Compher carries into the neutral zone, where Guptill swims around his defender and gets inside positioning on him. Compher’s defender stayed in front of him, which leaves him behind Guptill. Since Guptill has his man beat he just has to gather the pass from Compher and he has a breakaway.

Well, whadda ya know? Guptill is out on the breakaway and has extra space thanks to his defender momentarily combusting, falling to the ice, and then continuing to pursue. Guptill uses a toe drag (the good kind, not the scraped-along-the-bottom-of-the-pool kind) to freeze the goaltender and then, like, scores.


2nd Period

UM 3 Wisc 0 12:05 EV

Hyman from Bennett & Moffatt

Wisconsin has the puck deep in their defensive zone and tries to clear up the boards. Motte does a nice job of hitting the player the pass is headed for, which frees up the puck. Bennett retrieves it and starts to move laterally.

Bennett shoots the puck from near the middle of the blue line into a screened goaltender. The shot is stopped, but there’s a rebound in front. Hyman is able to score because Rumpel crumples himself up on the initial shot, and it’s all he can do to get a leg pad stuck out on Hyman’s shot.


UM 3 Wisc 1 13:16 EV

Soleway from LaBate & Simonelli

Michigan has one forechecker putting pressure on the D (circled) and two other skaters in the neutral zone. Wisconsin is able to unload a long stretch pass that goes through the neutral zone to the far side boards.

Wisconsin has a 2-on-1 entering the offensive zone. If Downing is farther over he might be able to dissuade LaBate from passing to the slot, but he isn’t and as it stands Clare is the only D who can possibly prevent a pass.

The pass gets through to Soleway in the slot, who one-time backhands it past Nagelvoort. Downing is turned and wouldn’t be able to do much besides either attempt a poke check or put a stick in Soleway’s stomach if he had held on to the puck any longer. The play was quickly developing and did feature a 2-on-1, but I’ve seen Nagelvoort make way more difficult stops than this one.


3rd Period


No Scoring



Saturday, February 1st, 2014


1st Period


No Scoring


2nd Period

UM 0 Wisc 1 01:02 EV

Mersch from Faust & Navin

Wisconsin wins a battle along the board and Faust passes down low to Mersch.

Mersch then takes the puck and backhands it…

To himself. Yes, himself. I don’t even know, man. You can see from where Nagelvoort’s hand is that he was thinking about going for a poke check here. I get the sentiment but it doesn’t work in this instance.


UM 1 Wisc 1 10:10 EV

Motte from Downing & Hyman

Michigan wins the faceoff and the puck goes directly back to Downing. He puts a slapshot on net that looks like it might hit something in front, but it’s initially saved nevertheless.

I drew an arrow pointing to the rebound. Motte has great position in front of the net and, despite being tangled up by a defender, is able to backhand the puck over Rumpel.

The guy with the dress shirt under his hockey jersey likes it.


UM 1 Wisc 2 16:14 Penalty Shot


Zengerle takes a wide angle and skate it in. Nagelvoort is playing at the top of his crease, appropriately aggressive.

Zengerle puck handles and then shoots over Nagelvoort’s glove for a goal.

I don’t…like, why do you think they’re going to cheer for you?


3rd Period

UM 2 Wisc 2 07:02 EV

Moffatt from Hyman

Moffatt has his shot blocked, and the puck goes to the corner. Moffatt wins the race for it and regains possession.

Moffatt drags the puck out of the corner and into the slot. It looks like he’s going to put a backhander on net before he puts on the brakes and starts to turn.

He shoots through an incredible screen of players. Rumpel can’t see the puck and gives up the tying goal.




No Scoring



MICH - Alex Guptill - MISSED

UW - Morgan Zulinick - MISSED

MICH - Luke Moffatt - MADE

UW - Michael Mersch - MISSED

MICH - Andrew Copp - MISSED

UW - Mark Zengerle – MISSED


If you want to watch the shootout here’s the link. The shootout portion starts at 1:42


Goal-by-Goal Analysis: Michigan State

Goal-by-Goal Analysis: Michigan State

Submitted by Adam Schnepp on January 27th, 2014 at 10:57 PM

There’s a recurring gag in American Hustle in which Louis C.K.’s Stoddard Thorsen is trying to tell Bradley Cooper’s Richie DiMaso about a time that Thorsen went ice fishing (in Michigan, no less) and something happened to his brother, but DiMaso cuts the story off. DiMaso thinks he has the ending figured out, that there’s no reason for Thorsen to waste time attempting to explain something that’s so painfully obvious. In actuality DiMaso never gets the end of the story right.

This is the way the season has gone for Michigan hockey. Just when we think we might know what this team is or is not they surprise us. Prior to the season there was a great deal of skepticism surrounding everything because last season didn’t exactly inspire confidence in any area. Then Michigan goes on a run, beats a number of legitimately good teams and ends up ranked #3. Fast forward to the end of December and Michigan is losing in the most unenthusiastic fashion imaginable to the same State team they swept aside this weekend.

The truth about this Michigan team is that we don’t know where they will end up when the season’s over. I think they’ll make the NCAA Tournament, but what happens after that is impossible to discern. I could have barked out disparate conclusions after games in October and December and either of them could still come true. Luckily for us the “good” Michigan, the team that I actually believe could make a run in the Tournament, showed up this weekend.


Michigan State vs. #14 Michigan


Thursday, January 23, 2014


1st Period


No Scoring


2nd Period

UM 1 MSU 0 11:36 EV

Compher from DeBlois & Guptill

Guptill has the puck behind the net and initially loses it, but he checks hard and twice keeps a State player from clearing the puck out of the zone. On one of the clearing attempts it hits him and stays stationary before being picked up by DeBlois.

DeBlois passes to Compher, who’s open at the side of the net. State’s lone defenseman is watching the play unfold up the boards and doesn’t even think about moving towards Compher until he already has the puck.

Compher sees that Hildebrand has one pad on the ice and is sealing the post well, so he tries to pass across the crease. The puck goes off of the State defenseman’s stick blade and ends up back with Compher.

Hildebrand has moved off the post and tries to shift back across the crease but can’t do so before Compher’s put the puck in the net.


3rd Period

UM 1 MSU 1 6:04 EV

Ferrantino from Cox & Holland

Michigan State wins the faceoff and gets the puck to the point. Holland shoots immediately and Nagelvoort makes the save but gives up a rebound.

Downing sees the rebound and tries to clear it put can’t do so before Cox stabs at the puck.

Ferrantino has good body position on the defender, and the puck is tipped past Nagelvoort off of his stick. Ferrantino is behind Compher the whole (admittedly very short) play, and this leads to a goal against.


UM 2 MSU 1 17:42 EV

Di Giuseppe from Copp & De Jong

This goal doesn’t happen without Andrew Copp. State has a chance to clear picked off their stick when Copp comes in from behind and steals the puck away, passing it to De Jong at the point. De Jong shoots and Hildebrand stops the shot but gives up a rebound.

Copp is in behind his defender and gets a shot on net that Hildebrand once again stops. Another rebound ends up in front of the net that PDG backhands into the half open net, up and over the sprawled Hildebrand


#14 Michigan at Michigan State

Friday, January 24, 2014

1st Period

MSU 1 UM 0 17:29 PPG

Sorenson from Walsh & Ferranti

Staee (that's not a typo) works the puck up the boards and moves it laterally across the blue line. Michigan’s penalty kill is in a box formation, and at this point I’m thinking that they’re collapsing on net purposefully. This is almost a carbon copy of a goal they gave up against Wisconsin. D-to-D passes are going to be completed without disruption when your strategy is to collapse.

This puck finds the only low part of the net that would allow it to go in. It worked so, uh, good job Staee, I guess?


MSU 1 UM 1 19:54 EV

Compher from Nieves & DeBlois

The Michigan State defenseman circled is late jumping back in to the play, which is why State’s other defender is in the middle of the ice. This leaves room for Compher to carry the puck in down the wing with speed.

Compher switches to the backhand and sees that the defenseman has decided to take away the pass. He has an opportunity to shoot and takes it, beating Hildebrand under his blocker.


2nd Period

MSU 1 UM 2 5:09 EV

DeBlois from Compher

Michigan dumps the puck in and DeBlois chases it down along the boards. You’ve heard of puck luck? Let’s watch it in stills.

The puck flutters, seems to hit the ice, and takes a jump.

Like a Miguel Cabrera shot to left, it just keeps rising and rising. Sorry, I was following along with Tigerfest on Twitter this weekend.


MSU 2 UM 2 7:19 PPG

Ferrantino from Haag & Sorenson

Michigan is once again set up in a box on the penalty kill. State moves the puck from the blue line down the boards. Michigan’s two netfront defenders take note and see that the skater is going to take the puck to the net.

Nagelvoort stops the shot but gives up a rebound in the slot. Serville picks up Ferrantino after he’s already charged the net, putting his stick in Ferrantino’s midsection. Ferrantino doesn’t hesitate to hack at the puck until it crosses the line.

Here’s the reverse angle.


3rd Period

MSU 2 UM 3 5:23 EV

DeBlois from Serville & Compher

This goal is a result of DeBlois being in exactly the right place at the right time. Michigan enters the zone and moves the puck back to Serville at the blue line. He snaps a shot on net, and it happens to deflect off of DeBlois’ stick and into the net.




MSU 2 UM 4 6:14 EV

Bennett from Selman & Clare

Michigan wins a battle along the boards and chips the puck to the blue line. Bennett and Selman take off, and Bennett works a give-and-go. After passing back to Selman he skates past his defender, bumping him in the process. The defender falls down and ties up another MSU player in the process.

Selman passes under an outstretched stick to Bennett, who is now freed up alone in the slot.

Bennett shows some stickhandling skill here, going forehand-backhand-forehand to beat Hildebrand. I liken this goal to being the shy kid in discussion section who knows they can contribute but is waiting for precisely the right time to do so. One day the GSI throws out a question that you immediately know the answer to, but no one’s answering. Is this it? Seconds pass, no one answers, and this becomes the moment that you seize the opportunity and run with it.


MSU 2 UM 5 13:54 SHG

Compher from Copp & Bennett

Michigan wins another battle behind the net, moves the puck up the middle of the defensive zone, and passes to Copp along the wing. He carries it into the neutral zone and has Compher in the middle of the ice with only one defenseman back to cover.

This is a Mickey Redmond bingo-bango special.


Game: Sweaters.

photo via lostlettermen.com

Goal-by-Goal Analysis: Wisconsin

Goal-by-Goal Analysis: Wisconsin

Submitted by Adam Schnepp on January 16th, 2014 at 2:03 PM

[ED: Bump.

Also: sorry, but this Nuss-at-Washington post is going to have to be delayed since the video conversion failed the first time I tried it.]

If you’re a frequent visitor of this site then you’re familiar with the 2014 meme. Unfortunately it seems that the gilded griffin who’s been sprinkling magic dust on all of the arenas and administrative buildings across the athletic campus couldn’t make the road trip to Wisconsin. I heard it was icy, maybe that was an issue for the griffin. I’m not sure. What I am sure of is how frustrating this weekend was to watch. Even Michigan’s human embodiment of the 2014 meme, Andrew Copp, couldn’t turn this series around.

#8 Michigan v. #14 Wisconsin

Friday, January 10, 2014

1st Period

Wisconsin 1 UM 0 4:16 EV

Mersch from Schulze & Dahl

Wisconsin dances around Michigan in the neutral zone to gain the offensive zone with little pushback from the Wolverines. Instead of driving the net Schulze leaves a drop pass for Mersch, who has no one defending him. You’ve heard of gap control? Here’s an example of what not to do.

Mersch takes what appears to be a harmless shot. Nagelvoort has a good read on the puck and isn’t screened, but the puck hits the outside of his glove and deflects in. Nagelvoort was phenomenal most of the night, and this is just a tough break for the freshman netminder.


Ryan Raburn vs. Baseball

Wisconsin 2 UM 0 11:47 EV

Besse from Schulze & LaBate

Wisconsin shoots the puck from near the blueline into a crowd, where it hits someone and deflects to the side of the net. There just so happens to be a Wisconsin player in the vicinity, who grabs the puck and heads behind the net.

Besse skates out from behind the net and centers the puck to the slot. It hits the back of De Jong’s skate (who actually has his man well defended in front of the net) and deflects in between Nagelvoort’s legs. Two flukes, two times the puck finds the back of the net for Wisconsin. At this point it appears that Michigan’s just not going to have fortune smile upon them. Rarely does one bizarre goal happen in a game, but to have two happen in the same period puts a team so far behind the eight ball that they aren’t even playing pool anymore.


2nd Period

No scoring

3rd Period

Wisconsin 3 UM 0 11:47 EV

Dahl from Mersch & McCabe

How does a shot get through from the blueline to the front of the net? One way is for there to be a big defensive miscue, such as sticking with the wrong man when the other team is moving laterally. That’s exactly what happens here. This is especially unfortunate because Motte played an otherwise good game defensively

To his credit, Motte closes the gap fairly well even though the shot gets through. Nagelvoort stops the initial shot but gives up a juicy, grade-A rebound.

Dahl is right in front but can’t get his stick on the puck. The puck actually bounces in off of his skate, going through Nagelvoort’s legs in the process. Credit to Dahl for not kicking the puck.

[AFTER THE JUMP: Michigan's response, and sad happenings the next night.]

Goal-by-Goal Analysis: Great Lakes Invitational

Goal-by-Goal Analysis: Great Lakes Invitational

Submitted by Adam Schnepp on December 30th, 2013 at 3:39 PM


In Michigan athletics, it has been a year that volumes could be written about. They have, actually, but most are unfortunately housed in medical records across UMHS. There was missing the tournament in hockey, missing expectations in football, and missing a national title in basketball. There was Kevin Lohan's knee, Devin Gardner's foot, and Mitch McGary's back. There was sadness, frustration, and disappointment.

Then, in a place few expected, there was hope. A strange and slightly uncomfortable hope borne of early season victories over legitimately good teams. Hockey rose to being ranked #3, a ranking that seemed almost too high for a team with a young, turnover-prone defense and offensive weapons yet to break out. Yet the wins kept piling up, and Michigan found themselves having only the Great Lakes Invitational between them and the meat of the all-important B1G season.

The Great Lakes Invitational began with a game against Western Michigan, a familiar opponent from the former CCHA in an unfamiliar environment. Playing outside has a certain novelty to it, but it also exposes one to all of nature's elements. Exposure turned out to be the prevailing theme of the weekend, as all of Michigan's weaknesses were on full display in the Tigers' den.


Michigan vs. Western Michigan December 27, 2013

GLI Game 1


1st Period


No scoring


2nd Period

UM 1 WMU 0 6:35 SHG

Compher from Clare

Michigan is on the penalty kill when Clare wins a battle along the board, spots Compher up ice, and chips the puck out of the defensive zone. Compher catches the puck, drops it (look guys, I made it like FoxTrax! /ducks), and has an auto-breakaway in front of him.

Compher goes backhand-forehand-backhand-forehand. By the second time he goes to the backhand the goalie is absolutely frozen and looks like he expects the shot to be in his chest protector. The puck, however, is still on Compher’s stick. Compher tucks it inside the goal post for a shorthanded tally.

Where Michigan would be without Compher.


UM 1 WMU 1 10:11

Berschbach from Oesterle & Pitt

Michigan can’t clear the puck from their defensive zone. Three players get bunched up in the middle of the zone, but no one can get a stick on the puck or chip it out. Western retains possession and moves the puck down the wall. Serville moves to cut off the pass to the area behind the net.

The problem here is that de Jong leaves the front of the net to cover the man behind the net, but no one is checking the guy who’s open in the slot. By Serville cutting off the pass behind the net and de Jong floating back to cover the player behind the net Michigan has double covered one guy and left the front of the net wide open.

Nagelvoort butterflys immediately to stop a quick backhand, but this leaves him vulnerable when Berschbach switches to the forehand. Nagelvoort can’t move across laterally fast enough to stop the shot.


UM 1 WMU 2 15:48

Kessel from Killip

Centerice wrote on his blog about how much trouble Michigan’s defensemen were having with beating a heavy forecheck, and this is a good example of exactly that. Bennett doesn’t move the puck to his partner and instead gets tangled with Western’s one forechecker against the wall. This allows Western time and in turn allows additional Broncos to get into the Michigan zone.

Bennett has a second chance at the puck but can’t get it back from Kessel, who has just entered the zone. Kessel’s toe drag freezes Nagelvoort long enough for the shot to squeeze past him. It wasn’t the most difficult shot to stop (there was no one screening in front, Nagelvoort had a clear view of the shooter), but the offensive chance should never have developed for Western in the first place.


3rd Period

UM 2 WMU 2 5:24

Lynch unassisted

WMU passes and passes and passes their way around the neutral zone. Eventually someone loses their edge and falls down, which creates a loose puck with no Western players nearby and Lynch in prime position to pick it up.

Lynch shoots just before two defenders collapse on him. The shot is about as perfect as they come, just under the crossbar and over the goalie’s blocker. If ever there was a shot that could be dubbed a “laser” this is the one.



UM 2 WMU 3 4:41

Pitt from Oesterle & Hafner

DeBlois tries to bark out assignments, likely telling Serville to take the man along the boards in case the puck carrier passes. In the meantime, DeBlois gets walked around. Still, Michigan has a diamond of coverage and should be able to lock down the wings and at least put one guy on the puckcarrier.

Downing is the last man back, and he goes for the poke check. If you’re wondering how that went please refer to the cartoon above and yes, I’m available for commission work if you’re interested.

Downing then makes things worse by attempting to hit the puck carrier. He’s young and he’s talented and hopefully he learns from this, but what he needs to do is turn and try to send the puckcarrier to the corner instead of attempting to knock him down. There are ways to neutralize guys that don’t involve hitting, and hopefully these subtleties are picked up quickly by Michigan’s young defensemen. Alternative, Downing could go for the hit if he has support behind him but in this case there is none; as I mentioned before, he was the last line of defense in front of Nagelvoort.


Michigan vs. Michigan State December 28, 2013

GLI consolation game


1st Period

UM 0 MSU 1 1:23

Ebbing from Cox & Draeger

MSU charges Michigan’s zone with a 3-on-2 advantage. It’s pretty textbook, and Michigan has this defended as well as they can.

Ebbing shoots and Racine sort of stabs at the puck with his glove. Stabbing at a puck doesn’t usually turn out well, and whether it’s a mechanical issue or just rust the puck gets behind Racine. I’m guessing it’s rust, though, because after giving up this softie Racine settled in and made some really remarkable saves throughout the rest of the game.


2nd Period


No scoring


3rd Period

UM 0 MSU 2 7:32 PPG

Berry from Chelios (not that Chelios)

Michigan’s on the penalty kill here, and they’re seven seconds away from killing in the penalty. In what would become the theme of the weekend,  it seemed like they’d make it through this trouble spot, things were fine, ok, OH COME ON ARE YOU SERIOUS. Michigan takes away the pass to the MSU player in the slot, but…

…that leaves Berry wide open on the other side of the ice. He shoots it over the glove of Racine and Michigan State’s lead is increased.

Berry then pretends to hit a home run because haha get it they’re playing in a baseball stadium you see and when can this year end seriously.


UM 0 MSU 3 13:52

Darnell from MacEacher & Boyd

No analysis for this one because the people that make the highlight film have a heart and did not want the rest of us to suffer any longer.

The Return of GBGA, The Retirement of Corsi Charting, And Michigan Hockey's First B1G Win

The Return of GBGA, The Retirement of Corsi Charting, And Michigan Hockey's First B1G Win

Submitted by Adam Schnepp on November 30th, 2013 at 4:47 PM

If you’re looking for the weekly Corsi charts, you’ve come to the right place. Incidentally, they aren’t here, so you’re also in the wrong place. It’s not you, it’s me.

I’ve been busy finishing up work on my thesis, an additional research paper, and other assorted family things (hence the gap between posts), but I haven’t been completely ignoring hockey. I try to find as much to read about advanced hockey statistics as possible, and I ran across an article on the Maple Leafs’ SBN blog that caused something of a crisis of conscience.

The last two columns are the r-value for even strength Corsi and the R2 value as it relates to winning percentage. The first column to the right of 5v5CF% is the R^2 value over six years of statistics that the folks at Pension Plan Puppets collected. Their analysis indicated that Corsi is both highly replicable and relatively highly correlated with winning percentage.

Visualizing r^2, via BMG Lab Tech

Having said that, I’ve decided to shelve the Corsi project for now. It may be true that Corsi is related to winning percentage, but B1G hockey is starting and I wrote back in my first Corsi post that I’d start doing goal-by-goal analysis posts again at this point. I decided to stop tracking Corsi data because I only have a limited amount of free time to pour into this each week, and if I’m going to spend 5-8 hours a week analyzing Michigan hockey then I think most people would rather see GBGA than something that may be highly correlated with winning but has very little aesthetic appeal. If you’ve been using my Corsi posts in place of Ambien then I’m glad I had the opportunity to both inform you and put you to sleep. I’ll try and get back to Corsi at some point, but I can’t make any promises.


If you’re now wondering what GBGA is then I think I’d describe it as a Picture Pages/UFR hybrid. I break down every goal for and against, hoping to explain what happened in a sport where important things happen in tenths of seconds and add something entertaining/informative to the world of Michigan hockey.

1st Period

2:51- OSU 0 Michigan 1: Lynch from Kile & Allen

Michigan gets the puck in deep and Lynch goes to carry it behind the net. The two OSU defensemen should follow the routes drawn out on the screen shot; as one goes to cover Lynch on the wraparound, the other should go to the front of the net.

Instead, the right defenseman follows Lynch behind the net. This vacates the front of the net, which comes into play later. The left D has no choice but to leave Lynch and follow the pass to Kile.

A simple pass from Kile to Lynch puts the puck in a dangerous spot for OSU. Since the right D followed Lynch behind the net there’s no one to protect the net-front area. Lynch is going to get an easy wrap around shot. Look at how deep the OSU goaltender is in his net. He’ got the post locked down, but he’s still standing when Lynch gets the puck on his stick and you can see how open to five hole area is. Lynch puts this one away for Michigan’s first B1G conference goal.

15:46- OSU 1 Michigan 1: PPG Dzingel from McCormick & Szczechura

Michigan’s box is shifted far left. You can see that OSU has three players in the frame, which means that two are off screen and essentially undefended.

Motte makes a mistake and tries to block the shot in the slot. This really could fall to the defender in the front of the net, as Motte’s assignment is to cover the far right (where the arrow’s pointing, naturally).

Pretty obvious that this mistake leads to a really, really wide open shot. The goal itself was soft, as it just sort of rolls over Nagelvoort’s glove but the defensive breakdown is still key to this goal.

2nd Period

6:41- OSU 1 Michigan 2: PPG Compher from Moffatt & Guptill

The key here is that the top of OSU’s box has sagged down into the slot instead of staying high to cover the point. This allows Michigan to pass across the zone from the boards.

Moffatt takes the shot that’s there for him. It’s not a bad shot, but it’s not exactly a high percentage shot. The best case scenario is what happens, which is a big, uncleared rebound in front. The beauty of the power play is that Compher (circled above) is going to be undefended if the low defensemen doesn’t get there in time.

While it doesn’t quite work out the way I noted above, it still works out. The Michigan player essentially sets a pick, leaving Compher to backhand the puck into the really, really open half of the net. Also, OSU’s goalie Logan Davis is like whoa slow laterally.


14:26- OSU 2 Michigan 2: PPG McCormick from Szczechura & Fritz

DeBlois takes away the passing lane to the blueline, so OSU works the puck down low.

Bennett tries to take away the pass to the slot but is about a half second too late, and the puck gets tipped through Nagelvoort’s legs.

19:43- OSU 2 Michigan 3: Guptill from Compher

Compher wins the faceoff, which is huge. Even more important, however, is that DeBlois is able to tie his man up. This allows a clean tap across from Compher to Guptill…

...and a very, very clean shot from Guptill. He lifts the puck perfectly, hitting the top corner before Davis knows what (didn’t) hit him.

3rd Period

16:47- OSU 3 Michigan 3: Greco from Fritz

Credit where credit’s due, OSU’s forechecking creates this goal. Michigan makes a bad decision to play the puck back, and there’s no Michigan skater to collect the weak pass. OSU gets there first and gains possession.

No one notices the skater in the slot until it’s too late; Downing was behind the net and doesn’t cover the front fast enough, Motte can’t catch him either, and Nagelvoort (who was locking down the post) can’t stop the wide-open slot.

Michigan’s offense-turned-defense on this play.


3:38- OSU 3 Michigan 4: Copp from Bennett & De Jong

Mac Bennett, man. He sees a huge passing lane and puts a perfect pass….

…on the stick of Andrew Copp.

He gathers, shoots, scores, and then this.