Kevin Lynch Signs With Grand Rapids

Kevin Lynch Signs With Grand Rapids

Submitted by Sac Fly on September 10th, 2013 at 9:01 PM

Reported yesterday on Twitter and officially confirmed today by the team, the Red Wing's AHL affiliate in Grand Rapids has signed Kevin Lynch to a 1-year deal.

Lynch was drafted by Columbus in 2009, but became free agent last month after he did not sign. Kevin joins former Wolverine teammate Luke Glendening on the roster.

Goal-by-Goal Analysis: Northern Michigan at Michigan 3/8/13

Goal-by-Goal Analysis: Northern Michigan at Michigan 3/8/13

Submitted by Adam Schnepp on March 12th, 2013 at 11:20 PM


A cursory glance doesn't reveal many similarities between Michigan basketball and Michigan hockey these days. After all, one team took the court this weekend with a share of the B1G title on the line and fans that lined up something like 22 hours before tip-off. The other team took the ice this weekend with no title on the line and not even a live televised feed of their games. 

Take a closer look, though, and some broad similarities appear. Basketball and hockey are both games of runs. It's just the way the game goes when there are no pre-established offensive and defensive turns. You hit and you'll get hit back. You exert pressure and that pressure will eventually be exerted on you. Michigan basketball ended on the wrong side of a run, suffering a knockout punch that was one part bad luck and two parts missed opportunity. Michgan hockey, on the other hand, survived the inevitable pressure Northern Michign exerted after Michigan took a 3-0 lead.  

A 3-0 first period lead wasn't something the Wolverines could rest on. Too many times this season they've taken an early lead only to be swept away by the undertow of another team's run, late goals and late pressure that were too much to overcome. With their postseason hanging in the balance Michigan responded on Friday, doing what was sufficient and holding serve in the third period to weather the storm and in the process made that dim glimmer of hope we hold that Michigan can extend its NCAA tournament streak to 23 consecutive seasons a little brighter.

1st Period

06:39 Northern 0 Michigan 1: PPG Jon Merrill (2) from Boo Nieves (20) & Phil Di Giuseppe (17)
Merill starts the rush and moves the puck to PDG, who carries the puck down low. Northern is in a basic box on the PK and they move down to compensate for PDG. Norther does do a good job of taking away the pass to the slot, but the vulnerability they open is at the point. By all moving below the dots in the faceoff circle they make it easy for PDG to wheel up the boards and pass it back to Merrill.
Merrill waits for Boo to cycle up and passes it to him above the faceoff circle. It's really Boo that makes this play possible, as he skates to his left and draws the attention of three Northern defenders, two of which move left with him.
Merrill moves laterally back to his right and Boo dishes to him because he has a wiiiiiiiiide open shooting lane. The shot takes bounce off of a Northern player in front of the net to get in, but it finds the back of the net nonetheless.
15:11 Northern 0 Michigan 2: PPG Kevin Lynch (8) from A.J. Treais (13) & Alex Guptill (16) 
Treais has the puck at the point and moves it into the corner to Guptill. Guptill carries up and back down the boards before cutting towards the slot. This draws two defenders and opens up a pass to Copp in the corner.
Guptill's decision to skate into the slot means that the defender who should be covering the point has to collapse on net and cover him, even if only for a second. That same defender has to double back and can't get to the point in time to stop a slapshot from Treais, who just got the puck back on a pass from Copp.
Treais' slapshot is stopped but a huge rebound is kicked out directly to Lynch. He's unchecked and snaps a shot past the goaltender, who can't do much about it since he's already hit the ice. 
18:30 Northern 0 Michigan 3: SH Kevin Lynch (9)
Michigan loses a board battle but it ends up benefitting the Wolverines as the Northern player throws a cross-ice pass to no one. Northern's point man tries to come and chop at the puck to keep it in the zone but Szuma gets to it first and pokes it out of the Michigan zone.
Northern regroups and gathers the puck in front of their bench, but two players run into each other as one goes off for a line change. Lynch sees the opportunity and charges hard, stealing the puck and creating a breakaway.
Lynch fakes the shot and Northern's goalie takes the bait. He then glides through the crease and flicks the puck into the twine abyss available over the goaltender's left pad.
2nd Period
04:57 Northern 1 Michigan 3: Kory Kaunisto (5) from Wade Epp (4) & Jake Johnson (2)
Northern wins an offensive zone draw but Trouba is the first to the puck. He tries to pass behind the net to what momentarily looks like an open man, but he gets hit as he's passing and ends up turning the puck over. I don't fault him for the play Trouba tried to make, as passing behind the net seemed like a better play than blindly passing behind himself.
No Michigan players have skated much since the faceoff. With four defenders around the net and no one covering the point (the closest M player is circled in blue) Northern moves it back to the blueline for what should be a wide open shot.
The puck gets tipped and is redirected past Racine. There's really not much he can do to stop this one.
16:00 Northern 2 Michigan 3: Darren Nowick (6) from Stephan Vigier (14) & Ryan Daugherty (11)
Northern starts their breakout and carry the puck with speed through the neutral zone. As the puck carrier cuts towards the middle of the ice Bennett picks him up, though there are two circle players that could have done so. Bennett should have continued skating backwards in order to cover the front of the net but didn't.
The guy cutting towards the middle passes to the wing, who rips a shot through the Michigan defense.
Racine makes the initial save but gives up a rebound and pays dearly. The guy circled is the one that was able to slip in behind the defense because of Bennett's blown coverage, and he tucks the puck in to narrow Michigan's lead to one.
3rd Period
No scoring

I'll try to get a GBGA of Saturday's game up....sometime. Not sure when, but I'm working on it. Look forward to more pictures, more laughs, and most importantly moooooooooore goals.

(Burke photo cred: Julian Gonzalez, Detroit Free Press)

Goal-by-Goal Analysis: Ferris State at Michigan 3/2/2013

Goal-by-Goal Analysis: Ferris State at Michigan 3/2/2013

Submitted by Adam Schnepp on March 4th, 2013 at 2:38 PM

It's amazing how easily we take things for granted. We become acclimated and everything turns into background noise, only to gain our attention when things shift unexpectedly. It's how I felt when I graduated and moved out of Ann Arbor, and it's how I've felt about this year's hockey team.

I was introduced to Michigan hockey in 2006. Having grown up in a house with a die-hard Michigan State alum for a mother and a father who cared more about what went on in the philosophy and astronomy world than the sports world I had some catching up to do. I remeber reading the Daily's hockey season preview and thinking that becoming a fan of Michigan hockey was just a natural extention of my love of the Red Wings. I folded up that newspaper insert and stuck it in my backpack so that I could re-read it whenever I wanted. My conversion to a Michigan hockey fan had begun.

I never made it to a game that season. Instead, I had to rely on keeping up with the team through Daily articles and watching the few games that I could find on TV. Jack Johnson became something of a folk hero to me, a player that I still regret not seeing play while he was wearing the winged helmet. I vowed to myself that I would not make the same mistake twice.

Fall 2007 rolls around and mini-season ticket packages go on sale. A few friends, my girlfriend (who's now my wife) and I decide to get a mini season ticket package. I'll never forget going to my first game at Yost. If there's one arena in the world that can't possibly be done justice by TV this is it. I remember walking in through the cramped corridors and past the ornate woodwork. Then you walk into the stands and it's a fluorescent blast of white exacerbated by a sheet of ice. The corridors scream history while the inside of the rink just screams. If Michigan hockey is powered by a fuse box it only has one switch and that switch, which is permanently flipped, has "ON" printed above it on label tape. 

I went to a CCHA playoff game that season and was struck by how the regular season atmosphere is essentially the same as the playoff atmosphere. There's no way for it to get louder and rowdier than it already is, especially when you're in the student section. At the time that seemed hard to believe. Again, I wasn't used to Michigan hockey just yet. Having been a Red Wings fan for so long you get acclimated to regular season games with half empty lower bowls that switch to rabid sell outs when the second or third round of the playoffs roll around.

The energy of Yost spoiled me, and I didn't realize that until this season. When things are about to be taken away from you, that's when you realize just how good you had it. I didn't think there would be a CCHA playoff game at Yost this year. Not after watching a team that had block M's on the front of their jersey but looked oh so unfamiliar otherwise. Now I realize just how amazing the atmosphere at Yost is. Now I realize just how important the CCHA playoffs are. These aren't throwaway games anymore, this is our ticket to the tournament. And, finally, I'm watching a Michigan team that I recognize. This is a team that somehow, someway dug deep and emerged from the shell of...well, whatever that was that took the ice from October through February. Maybe they realized what I realized; it's easy to take things for granted until you're about to lose them.

There aren't many goals to breakdown here, but that's a good thing. A team that was allowing almost four goals per game gave up two this weekend. Two! And I can't even make a joke about only giving up two and it not even being non-exhibition play because they gave up more than that to like Windsor, man. Let's analyze:

1st Period
07:59 Ferris State 0 Michigan 1: PP Goal Kevin Lynch (7) from Andrew Copp (9) & Alex Guptill (15)
The play starts with the puck pinned against the boards. Michigan fights to maintain possession but loses. A Ferris State player whacks at the puck for what seems to be a sure clear...until Mac Bennett steps in the way. Bennett holds the puck in the zone and deftly passes the puck up the boards as soon as it hits the ice, catching Ferris State out of position.
Guptill recieves Bennett's pass and starts to spin. He notices Copp skating around him and dishes what looks almost like a shovel pass to Copp, who then skates around the psuedo-pick and cuts in towards the faceoff circle. This leaves one Ferris State defender trapped behind Guptill while the other (the guy in the faceoff circle in the screen cap above) has to come over and cover Copp.
Copp makes a truly spectacilar pass through Guptill that ends up right on the tape of Lynch's stick. Lynch is now all alone in the high slot facing a goaltender who is going to have to move side-to-side to stop a shot.
Lynch doesn't hesitate, roofing a shot over the goaltender's glove that makes his Gatorade bottle jump.
2nd Period
11:54 Ferris State 1 Michigan 1: Zach Dorer (1) from Justin DeMartino (10) & Travis Ouellette (13)
Michigan loses another board battle, getting upended in the corner by a Ferris player who rims the puck around the boards. As the puck follows the yellow line and goes towards the Ferris State defenseman the Michigan defender steps up to close the gap, which is the right play under these circumstances. 
Ferris' defenseman has two options here: pass the puck to the point man or throw it on net and hope for the best. He chooses to throw the puck on net and see what unfolds.
Nothing really "unfolds," but it definitely bounces. The puck deflects off of a Michigan defender in front of the net and past Racine, who was stellar on non-fluke plays. 
Last weekend it was an Ohio State player but unfortunately this weekend it's Racine who gets HAGERUP FACEd.
Hey look this is controversial
Ferris State decides to pull their goaltender in the waning seconds of overtime, which results in a push towards their net by Michigan and an ensuing scramble to get the puck from behind it. Now, let's talk fundamentals for a minute. There are normally five skaters on the ice. If you pull your goalie you're allowed one more, which makes six. Counting the maroon guys in the screencap above gives us six, which is fine. That's what the rules say are permitted.
Three seconds later Ferris State gains possession and sends the puck ahead to a skater who just happens to be all alone near center ice. Let's count again. There are six Ferris skaters (one is off camera in the lower left hand corner, but there hasn't been enough time elapsed for him to get off the ice on a line change so we know he's there). Then there's the guy who's circled. A seventh. A seventh skater! Luckily Racine channeled his not-Jimmy-Howard and stonewalled the guy on the breakaway but wow. Not cool, man. Not cool.
From here the teams headed to the shootout. In my experience there's not a good way to screencap a shootout goal and do it justice, so instead I'd recommend clicking the link below and enjoy watching a senior forward and freshman goaltender seal the win. 

Michigan Hockey Recruits

Michigan Hockey Recruits

Submitted by WCHBlog on December 3rd, 2008 at 4:03 PM

Brian talked a little bit in Monday's Unverified Voracity about the Michigan hockey team's recruiting class. I've seen most of those kids at least a couple of times, so I figured this would be a good chance for my first ever diary entry, before moving on to future diary entries about my hopes and dreams(tentatively titled, 'Minnesota Drops Athletic Department').

Anyway, for the 2009 class:

A.J. Treais: I would definitely compare Treais to T.J. Hensick in terms of playing style, but not in terms of talent. I could see Treais getting off to a slow start next season, but eventually becoming a nice playmaker for Michigan.

Chris Brown: The comparison to Eric Nystrom is pretty much spot on. Neither is going to score a lot of points unless they get paired up with a superstar, but both play very hard and are solid responsible players. The big difference is that Brown skates better than Nystrom did, and is a little more physical. I'd expect him to get picked somewhere in the second round of the NHL Draft this summer.

Kevin Lynch: He's really tough to get a read on because he plays a really unorthodox style of hockey, and as a result, you'll get a lot of different opinions on his play. Personally, I think he goes a little lower in the draft than most people expect--somewhere in the last couple rounds-- but should have a decent career at Michigan as second or third line-type guy.

I haven't seen Lee Moffie play, but all indications are that he's a pretty solid player. It looks like he's having a really nice year in the USHL, which bodes well for his future. I'd imagine Michigan will look to add another forward or two for next year as well. If you consider that Palushaj is almost guaranteed to leave and that Ciraulo and Glendenning are walk-ons, that leaves Michigan with only 10 scholarship forwards on deck for next year.

The 2010 guys...

Brian is right that at least paper, this looks like a great class of kids. I think it's a stretch, however, to say three kids will go in the top 10 of the draft. Individually...

Jon Merrill: Merrill is the most likely to go in the top 10 of the draft. I haven't seen him play in a while, but he certainly has all the tools to be a big time player.

Luke Moffatt: I go back and forth on Moffatt all the time. I think his style of play is more suited for faster, tighter checking games like the NCAA and pro level. He's not much of a dangler, which makes him look unimpressive against less-polished competition, but he's very strong on the puck and can make quick decisions, which will serve him well later on. He's not off to a great start this year with the NTDP, but a lot of great players struggled until about Christmastime in their first year at the NTDP, and then really took off. It's tough to tell where he'll end up in the 2010 draft. It could be really high or really low. He'd be the biggest concern about never making it to Michigan. I'd say the chances of him wearing a Michigan jersey are about 50/50.

Kevin Clare: He's just a rock on defense. I'm not sure that he has the superstar potential the same way Merrill does, but he should be a very strong player. I could see him going late in the first round of the draft two years from now.

As a side note, every year, the NTDP likes to call up a couple guys from the U17 team to play for the U18 team at the end of the year, and these three guys would all be among the top candidates.

Jack Campbell: He's incredibly talented. A lot can change for goalies between the ages of 16 and 20, so nothing is a guarantee, but he certainly looks like a gem. I have no clue where he rates for the 2010 draft, since it's still way too early to evaluate goalies much.

Mac Bennett: He's kind of flying under the radar right now, but I think fans will really like him. He should be a pretty high draft pick this summer, and could step in and play for Michigan next year if he were done with high school. He's one of the most poised defenseman I've ever seen and is a great skater.

Jacob Fallon: He's another kid that is flying under the radar, but could end up being one of the most valuable players in this class. He's an excellent passer, and the NTDP has really tried to put him in the playmaker role this year. I think he has the tools to become a more all-around scorer though. He lacks prototypical pro size which means he'll probably get drafted fairly late, and should keep him at Michigan for a number of years.

It's nice to see Michigan really loading up on players born in 1992 for the 2010 class, because the group of kids for the 2011 recruiting class is looking fairly weak, and there might not be as many options.