Friday, February 20, 2015
Michigan 3 Ohio State 5
Michigan 1 Ohio State 0 EV 03:52 Larkin (11) from Selman (8) and Hyman (22)
Michigan enters the offensive zone with a numerical advantage. Dylan Larkin passes to Justin Selman instead of dropping it to Zach Hyman, and I’m not sure why considering the defenseman in front of Selman and the open lane in front of Hyman.
Selman gets tied up, but the defenseman is unable to knock the puck away from Michigan’s forwards. He gets a weak swing on the puck, but Larkin is in the process of cutting from the corner to the front of the net and intercepts it.
Larkin has a tremendous advantage in that he’s undefended and the goalie has already hit the ice. Christian Frey is square to a shot from where I drew the arrow on the screencap, but…
Larkin can skate around Frey faster than he can move across laterally to re-square himself to the shot, resulting in an uncontested shot on a half-open net.
[More after THE JUMP]
Michigan 1 Ohio State 1 EV 07:35 Johnson from Jones and McLean
Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: Michigan can’t clear the zone, and it leads to a scoring opportunity. Al McLean banks a shot off the end boards that Nicholas Jones retrieves to Steve Racine’s left. Cutler Martin, the lone net-front defender, follows Jones to the corner.
Jones backhands a pass to the slot, where the puck hits someone and loses momentum. That provides us a great opportunity to pause and look at how the you-can-camp-in-our-net-front-area-free-of-charge phenomenon that Brian brought up last week has again manifested itself.
Matt Johnson turns and backhands it past Racine. It’s a soft goal, but at the same time Racine was as hung out to dry as a goalie can be. Ugliness all around.
Michigan 1 Ohio State 2 EV 18:16 Johnson from Fritz and Lampasso
The Buckeyes dump-and-chase near the blue line, which gives Michigan time to get everyone into the defensive zone. Sinelli wrests the puck from Lampasso, but is going to be knocked down by Tanner Fritz momentarily.
Larkin skated behind the net to support the puck battle but then drifts to the corner before turning back toward the front of the net. This leaves Johnson undefended once again, with Larkin and Selman too far away to recover. Fritz backhands it to Johnson, who (too easily) beats Racine.
Michigan 2 Ohio State 2 EV 04:45 Hyman (17) from Martin (7) and Racine (1)
Racine makes a save and pushes the rebound to the faceoff circle, where Cutler Martin picks up the puck. He carries it for a second before passing to Hyman near Michigan’s blue line. Hyman, who is not a bad guy to be on a 2-on-1 break with, carries through the neutral zone.
Ohio State’s defense eliminated the pass, as you’re supposed to on a 2-on-1. Thankfully Hyman is Hyman, and he picks a corner and hits it. His shot is ludicrously accurate (not just on the backhand anymore). Hyman is the king of the two-screen-cap goal.
Michigan 2 Ohio State 3 EV 07:11 Fritz from Johnson and Lampasso
Michigan blocks a shot and the puck arcs to the corner. Lampasso cuts underneath the defense and gets to the loose puck, passing immediately to Johnson. He is open. You are not surprised.
Racine stops Johnson’s shot. The rebound pops out front, and Sinelli waves at it and kicks at it, almost able to get his stick on the puck. Almost. Fritz is right there, and the blue rectangle makes clear what happens next. That, and this being a goal-by-goal analysis.
Michigan 2 Ohio State 4 EV 17:55 Angeli unassisted
Josh Healey has the puck at the blue line and tries to chip it down the boards as he falls. The puck hits Larkin’s stick, and he turns to retrieve.
As Larkin turns on the puck Nick Oddo chops at him, and Larkin panic-passes. He has Downing next to him, but the pass is too close to Downing’s body. It sails through the gap and into the high slot.
Angeli is winding up for the shot long before the puck reaches him. We have another instance where Racine is facing an undefended shooter with milliseconds to react. Angeli lets a powerful slapshot go that beats Racine high to the far side.
Michigan 3 Ohio State 4 EXT 18:31 Motte (8) from Larkin (23) and Compher (10)
Ohio State tries to clear the puck but it’s held in along the boards by JT Compher, who drops it to Larkin.
Larkin’s shot hits Frey and bounces over and behind him.
OSU pulls a Michigan and leaves a guy open and standing next to the goaltender; that guy is Tyler Motte, and he taps the puck in.
Michigan 3 Ohio State 5 EN 19:25 Schilkey from Fritz and Gust
Ohio State scores from barely outside their defensive zone. The pièce de résistance is that the puck bounced off a Michigan stick and directly to Nick Schilkey.
Sunday, February 22, 2015
Ohio State 2 Michigan 5
Ohio State 0 Michigan 1 EV 13:17 Hyman (18) from Larkin (24) and Martin (8)
Hyman passes across the back of the net to Larkin before being checked into the boards. Larkin carries to the front of the net, and as he begins to spin Hyman has gotten up off the ice and started to move to the side of the net.
Larkin passes off the backhand to Hyman, who’s just too strong for his defender to keep off the puck. If you’re a defenseman and you’re tasked with checking Hyman you can’t really do it better than that. At the same time, this goal is a great example of why Hyman is a Hobey-worthy.
Ohio State 0 Michigan 2 PPG 05:15 Larkin (12) from Nieves (16) and Kile (10)
After a back-and-forth exchange with Werenski that helps draw the defense toward the blue line, Nieves skates the puck toward the net. He moves it to Kile in the middle of the ice, who immediately passes back to Nieves. As he receives the puck Nieves notices Larkin wide open on the opposite side of the ice; all he has to do is get the puck through the middle of OSU’s box.
Nieves has no problem delivering the puck to Larkin, who one-times it over the glove of Frey before OSU’s defenders can turn all the way around.
Ohio State 0 Michigan 3 EV 08:40 Werenski (6) from Larkin (25) and Hyman (23)
Hyman carries the puck down low, and the defense follows the flow of play toward the net. He then abruptly stops and moves the puck back up the boards, leaving the OSU defense too low as the puck reverses direction.
Larkin waits for the nearest defender to commit to him before passing back to the point and a wide-open Werenski.
If you’re going to give up shots a long slap shot from the blue line isn’t that bad provided your goalie can see. Frey can’t, however, and the excellent screen from Craig Dalrymple allows this puck to go in on the far side over Frey’s blocker.
Ohio State 0 Michigan 4 EV 09:05 Selman (7) from Larkin (26) and Hyman (24)
Hyman gains control of the puck at the blue line and skates it in on his backhand while protecting it from a defender. As he gets to the net-front area he gets leveled, but the defense collapsing on him leaves three guys in the same spot.
Larkin enters the zone and picks up the loose puck, deftly skating backward without turning and getting around a defender.
Larkin draws the attention of two defenders; Michigan now has a numerical advantage down low and also a positional one, as the two defenders are placed such that they give Larkin a perfect passing lane.
Selman shovels it just under the bar and over a sprawling Frey.
Ohio State 1 Michigan 4 EV 12:25 Fritz from Oddo and Moser
Werenski takes away what he thinks is going to be a pass along the wall with his stick, but Nick Oddo sees this and skates out front instead.
Kevin Lohan is in no man’s land; he stays net-front so that Oddo can’t walk in uncontested, but by doing so he’s too far away to make much of a play on Fritz. Oddo makes the obvious pass to Fritz.
Fritz puts a wrist shot over Racine’s glove, which is typically a strength.
Ohio State 1 Michigan 5 EV 14:34 Werenski (7) from Selman (9) and Hyman (25)
Hyman carries the puck across the blue line and passes to Selman. Selman tries to put a pass in front for Larkin to tap in, but the puck goes through the crease and hits the boards to Frey’s right.
The puck skitters up the boards, and Werenski steps into a one-timed slap shot.
Frey can’t close off the five-hole before the shot’s in the back of his net. File this under “soft goals.” I mean mentally, not literally. I’m not making a “soft goals” tag. Not this year.
Ohio State 2 Michigan 5 EV 19:34 Lundey from Jones
Nieves wins the draw and it goes back to Werenski. He skates it behind the net, where the puck is then stolen.
Jones backhands a pass to Lundey, who’s in front of Weresnki and has free reign of the slot.
Lundey stickhandles long enough to get Racine to butterfly and he then lifts it over his blocker.
Stop letting the other team score: TV crews love to reference Michigan’s No. 1 offense, but that was achieved in a glut of midseason barn burners where Michigan squeaked by (see: Michigan- 10 Ohio State-6) while pulling their own goaltender in games they won. Their defense is No. 40 nationally, allowing 3.00 goals per game. Hmm. If you score 3.96 goals per game and allow 3.00 things have to line up perfectly every night to come out ahead. The problem has become clear.
PairWise Watch: You probably don’t want to watch, actually. Michigan dropped from 16th to 22nd after Friday’s loss, then rebounded to 20th after Sunday’s win. I was really hoping that the Big Ten Tournament would be an afterthought this year, but it won’t be. It may not be Michigan’s only way into the NCAA Tournament, but I’m probably being overly optimistic and yeah, it’s probably Michigan’s only way into the NCAA Tournament.
Michigan has to sweep the rest of the regular season (home v. Wisconsin, road v. PSU, home/road v. MSU) if they have any shot at earning an at-large bid. PSU is now 24th in PairWise, eliminating a potential quality win bonus I was hoping Michigan would be playing for. That’s the bad news. The good news is that Wisconsin is awful, Michigan State is a known entity, and Penn State has lost three of their last four games.
Wolverine in Exile wrote an excellent diary post on the topic that you should read.
Hobey Watch: Hyman is second in the nation in scoring with a 18-25-43 line. Uber-frosh Jack Eichel leads the country with a 16-33-49 line.
Subscribe to BTN Plus and you, too, can enjoy the complete Value City Arena experience. The video feed was from OSU’s jumbotron, which meant the film was full of stuff like what’s below. The downside: no clock. Finding goals to analyze without a clock is like finding eight needles in a relatively modest hay stack.