Dear Diary Mails It In Comment Count

Seth September 20th, 2013 at 11:59 AM

I'm gonna Akron this column today since we're sending the final PDFs of Hail to Hoops and Hockey to the printer. The contents (click to make it readable):

004 toc_v5

Actually we had to cut the 2nd Bartelstein article today

If you don't know what Henri* is doing in the upper-right corner you didn't follow hockey so much last year. If you did follow hockey last year you probably have strong opinions on goaltending. HTTV contributor MGoBlueline put together a neat diary this week trying out the "quality start" metric they use in baseball for hockey goalies. He gives them out for having a save% better than the DI average, i.e. a start that gave your team a chance to win. My quibble: it's justification of feelings-ball (-puck whatever).

Freshman goaltender Steve Racine (1) in game versus Western Michigan. Michigan won by a score of 5-1. (Paul Sherman/Daily)
Racine's year to MGBL: 12 quality starts, 10 non-quality, 5 cheap wins, 2 wasted quality starts. [Paul Sherman, Michigan Daily]

The problem with any gamesmanship stat is this: have you ever met a goalie who ever liked any goal going by him in any situation ever? It makes sense for pitching because it's possible to surrender a run to get an out, a pitcher's most important currency; for goalies the currency is time. What you're measuring is consistency, which is useful so long as you remember that's what you're measuring (and that we wouldn't be having this conversation if Racine posted any shutouts last year).

While we're being realistic, alum96 wrote a board post that got diary-bumped that compared the recruiting profiles of Michigan's defensive line to those of Ohio State. His metric for guys is the quality of offers—Michigan's were mostly regional while OSU's guys mostly had Alabama offers and plenty more power programs after them.

True, and that's a big part of why Michigan is hard after the top DL recruits in the country right now. If you take away the Heininger Certainty Principle Michigan's DL looks really thin; since pass rush is more of a talent thing it should be no surprise that the deficiency in recruiting stars is most apparent there. But then Ohio State's line is just ludicrously stacked right now—Michigan doesn't need to get 8 guys Saban wanted badly to get to good.

[Jump for the Weeklies, Best of the Board and some badly needed zen]

The Weeklies:


Zoltan may actually punt to Saturn this year. Butterfield added a "Wolverines in the NFL" weekly update and included a "Wolverine of the Week" but added the caveat that the team needs to win; not sure I agree since Mesko's leg is basically Pittsburgh's offense right now. Since the Steelers are unlikely to get near the 50-yard-line very much this season, Zoltan has a shot to break NFL records for punt yardage.

Eye of the Tiger took an interesting approach, starting with the expectation and adjusting the score down to 28-24 by factors like "Gardner went nuclear."

Enjoy Life's turnover analysis says…oh hell you really don't want to look except to smile at Countess.

You've got to be the dumbest smart kid I know.

Bronxblue, you're a positive guy. Let's go to "Best and Worst" and skip to the "best":

One of the more underrated moments in Varsity Blues is the “hungover” game played by the West Canaan Coyotes after Mox, Tweeder, Billy Bob, Wendell, and Lance spent a night at the Landing Strip Gentleman’s Club*.  Hungover and clearly off their game, they lose in embarrassing fashion and Bud Kilmer turns to threatening Mox about his scholarship to Brown if he doesn’t shape up and fall in line.

He's not saying the players were all at the Vu on Friday night; he's sayin' if they were there wouldn't have been a damn thing different about that game.

ST3's Inside the Boxscore has to have some good news right?

23 players showed up in the defensive stats section.

Oh, well at least it seems the defensive depth is starting to…

but not for the reasons I would have guessed before the game. Five of those were offensive players, due to the turnovers and possible special teams play.

Not nice. You guys are just not nice.

Etc. Replacing Mary Sue Part II, LSA shows the Big Ten is very Big Ten!!! this year and checks in on the AP poll to find they're probably not awake yet this early in the season. Baseball recruiting. UConn miniprogram.

Best of the Board



I like LongLiveBo's friend's version of the skywriting over Spartan Stadium because you can see the scoreboard.


Dangerous Logic is back to making moving versions of the picture pages features.

Tune Out, Turn On, Shoot Gaps and Explode:

The rest of the ND here, and the one from Akron is here.


This comes from the thread about everyone's worst/craziest fan experiences:

A friend of mine who was in the MMB in the late 90's told me he saw an OSU fan punch a girl clarinet player in the face at the 96 game.  And he wasn't even drunk.

Wolverine Historian always has the most interesting stories. Stories from the Children of Yost are always good too—if someone wants to collect as many of those as they can and organize them with some semblance of good writing and whatnot that should go in next year's Hail to Hoops & Hockey.

Meanwhile BostonWolverine wants to consolidate all the traditions. I don't think he means your personal ones but things like "Can't have one without the other," etc.


There's just an hour left to contribute to the "let's make Jon Falk a jug replica" kickstarter by MGoPatio. They hit their goal already.


ESPN Coverage map for tomorrow's night games:


The yellow area gets the game on ABC. Gallon Man-Crush is looking into a situation that affects eastern Iowa and parts of Illinois that aren't Chicagoland.


Thx MAgoBlue.

ETC. Winged helmet turns 75. The most rational rationalization of the Akron game yet. Key & Peele is awesome and I don't just say that because I know one of their writers, but the second name skit doesn't do anything the first didn't. Totally OT but the guy who fixed Star Wars is back with Episode II—can we Kickstart $140 million so he can remake the prequels?

* Your Moment of Zen:

Because we can't just steal photos and print them I tracked down the original photographer of the Henri shot. That is Eve Astrid Andersson, the otterly subject being one of the denizens of the Seattle Aquarium. Here's some other Henri shots by Eve:


It's that kind of week.



September 20th, 2013 at 12:55 PM ^

I have strong feelings about people being so down on the goalies last year. It wasn't perfect and Racine isn't without his bad habits, but the goaltending was more than adequate for a well rounded team to win with; M just didn't have a well rounded team.

Adam Schnepp

September 20th, 2013 at 1:36 PM ^

I completely agree. I was a little hesitant to even write about quality starts because it's so easy to start labeling guys based on a stat that's really context dependent. I'd say quality starts are like a corner piece in a 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle; it's just one piece but it's a little more important than some others. I think that Racine's performance bodes well for this year, and that it will once again come down to what kind of defensive performance the team turns in (both from forwards and defensemen).

Also, a big thank you to Seth for mentioning my diary post and tracking down the Henri pictures for my HTTV piece.


September 23rd, 2013 at 3:00 PM ^

I charted the goalie stats for Michigan's 2012-13 season and the results are not that discouraging.  Racine, through the last 10 games of the season, posted a .921 save percentage facing an average of 24.4 shots per game in that span.  That's not Hunwick good, but it's pretty damn close.  Granted he had a rough start to the season, but I think the proficiency and consistency he showed during the stretch run through the last month of the season bodes well for Michigan this coming year.


September 20th, 2013 at 1:09 PM ^

Yeah, the AP Poll diary is admittedly not terribly definitive right now due to the sample size. I don't know that I will put it up again until we're six or seven games in, but it will have "The Hater Index" as a calculation - that I have decided.

Also, is it me or does the ABC coverage map look approximately like a map of the US versus terriitories (with noted variations) sometime around 1830 or 1840?