DE JONG GOAL
ASU 0 UM 1 EV 09:12 Assists: Warren & Sanchez
First of all, it’s hard to tell a lot from these because for some reason the Pac 12 Network decided to post the recap with really quick cuts and zoomed in. Replays a la Michigan Stadium’s pore-o-vision cameras means I’m working from what I remember while watching the stream.
Warren’s carrying the puck up the boards and sees De Jong start to pinch down in the middle of the ice. With two defenders near him and a big gap between De Jong and the nearest defender, the smart play is to move it and let De Jong skate in a bit.
He does precisely that, settling the puck and shooting after a second or two. His cause is aided greatly by an Arizona State player standing in the middle of the slot, screening the heck out of his own goaltender while defending no one. Arizona State goaltender Joey Daccord never sees the shot, which is a rocket that finds its way outside the ASU screener, inside the Michigan skater, and over Daccord’s shoulder.
[After THE JUMP: a goal GIF that you'll undoubtedly watch in slow motion]
Now that we're using gfycat, you can watch GIFs in slow motion. This is incredibly useful for hockey. Click to open the GIF and use your arrow keys to slow it down or speed it up. Let me know what you guys think of gfycat in the comments.
ASU 1 UM 1 EV 15:35 Assists: Gorodetsky
Arizona State takes a turnover in Michigan’s offensive zone and breaks out on a 2-on-1 the other way. Griffin Luce is the lone defender back for Michigan, and as the puck enters ASU’s offensive zone he’s doing a nice job taking away the passing lane.
Lappin takes a few more strides and, frankly, displays some nice stickwork here. He drags the puck up like he might shoot, then pulls it back and slightly opens his hips like he’s going to pass. Luce isn’t sure what to do at this point; giving up the shot is still textbook, but there’s no guarantee that a puck can’t be passed through his legs.
Lappin brings the puck up, back, and up again before shooting. He catches Nagelvoort by surprise a bit, and the shot also happens to be placed perfectly inside the top corner. I guess Nagelvoort could have been a little bit further up in the crease, but I think he sank back a bit because he’s waiting for a possible pass through traffic to his left. It may have had even more of an effect in keeping him a half step further to his left than he should have been; that could have thrown off his angle and allowed the puck over his right shoulder. All told, it’s a combination of that and a really well placed shot.
ASU 1 UM 2 EV 06:17 Assists: None
Arizona State tries to throw the puck deeper into their offensive zone from the blue line, but Lockwood applies pressure high and strips the puck away after the ASU skater whiffs on it. He’s out all alone and starts near the boards before cutting fairly hard to the middle of the ice. He toe drags and shoots, and Daccord reads it totally wrong. He drops his right shoulder and stabs at the puck with his glove, but it’s rising over said dropped shoulder.
The puck hits the post, bounces down, skitters along (and, as you can see in the screen cap below, across) the goal line, and ends up sliding out of the crease. The goal is upheld after review.
ASU 1 UM 3 PPG 10:24 Assists: Kile & Piazza
Michigan’s doing a nice job cycling the puck on the power play. Winborg has it in the corner and centers it for Slaker, but Slaker isn’t able to connect according to the official scorers; I think he touched the puck.
Either way, the puck ends up in the crease. Daccord tries to glove it and freeze it, but he also accidentally kicks it out and into the slot. Heh. Oops.
Winborg has the presence of mind to come off the boards and skate in behind the two nearest defenders as Slaker glides through the crease to the area behind the net.
Winborg notices the loose puck and sweeps it in, somehow threading it between two ASU defenders and just past Daccord’s outstretched pad (see screen cap above) to the far side.
ASU 1 UM 4 SH 09:50 Assists: Martin
Lockwood knocks the puck away and again gets out on the rush, though this time his team is shorthanded. He carries in along the right boards, where it seems there’s a defender perfectly placed to keep him from cutting to the inside. The defender is, in fact, positioned that way, but that doesn’t keep Lockwood from pulling the puck back and looping around the defender. This is the equivalent of a perfectly run route by a receiver. That defender is crispy. Lockwood’s insane ability to throw on the brakes and pull the puck across also messes with Daccord. He’s already so far away from where he should be in the frame below that he might as well buy a postcard and write his teammates.
Lockwood pulls the puck across on a string, and the shot itself isn’t difficult because it doesn’t have to be. The goaltender is so far to Lockwood’s right that he just has to snap the puck straight in. This is a skill play of the highest order.
Notes and observations:
- I really like the way Winborg and Lockwood are playing. Lockwood's been good from the drop; it's easy to see why he was a third-round pick. A lot of times being billed as a two-way skater means you're pretty good at most things and not great at anything. He's legitimately good defensively and has more offensive skill than I thought. As for Winborg, I thought he played really well along the boards. We knew that he was gifted offensively, but if he continues to develop his forechecking and board game he's going to be really, really good.
- Michigan played well on the power play, and they had to: they were shorthanded seven times, including four times in the first period. The refs were calling really iffy stick fouls, and there isn't one penalty that stands out as being egregious on the part of the player. Michigan's PK pressured well and did a nice job clogging passing lanes. It would have been worth noting if Michigan hadn't played well on the kill, as ASU's power play is converting at a woeful 8.8%
- Michigan finally outshot a team, 38-32. That's something of a relief considering the way the season has gone. Michigan's Corsi (shots on goal+missed shots+blocked shots) is still miserably bad. Their Corsi For % is just 40.5%, and their even strength Corsi For % is just 39.9%. Even Arizona State's CF% (42.1% overall, 41.5% at even strength) is better. Outshooting Arizona State is a start, but they won't be able to survive against Boston University this weekend unless 1.) they're able to make possession closer to even or 2.) a goaltender plays the series of his life. With all three goalies playing close to equally well right now, the former is far more preferable. That's not to say it will be easy; BU's overall CF% is 51.8%, while their even strength CF% is 55.9%.