Goal-by-Goal Analysis: Wisconsin Comment Count

Adam Schnepp January 27th, 2015 at 9:06 AM


[Patrick Barron/MGoBlog]

Friday, January 23rd, 2015

1st period

UW 1 UM 0 PPG 02:48 LaBate from Dougherty and Schulze

Michigan starts in a box on the penalty kill when Andrew Copp comes up high to attack the puck near the point. Wisconsin passes the puck down the boards and then back up to the blue line, and as Copp turns he runs into what is essentially a pick being set by Grant Besse. When Copp came up high someone else (Tyler Motte) should have moved over to cover the opposite side of the ice. He doesn’t, and Michigan ends up having three of their four defenders smushed together.

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The pass gets through because of Motte’s error, but he isn’t the only one who makes a mistake here. Kevin Lohan needs to be lower in order to eliminate the backdoor player and step up and tie up the guy in the center of the crease if need be.

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Leave the middle of the ice undefended and it’s not surprising what happens next. Zach Werenski hesitates and it looks like he’s trying to take away both the pass and shot, and the result is that he takes away neither. Dougherty passes to LaBate for an easy tap in.

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[After THE JUMP: Michigan scores with Enthusiasm Unknown to Mankind]

UW 1 UM 1 PPG 13:47 Selman (3) from Kile (9) and Werenski (13)

Michigan is in their typical umbrella on the power play, which I’ve drawn on the screen cap below. Wisconsin was defending this with a box, but as the puck moves to Werenski at the point a defender comes up to challenge and it ends up looking more like a 1-2-1. It’s at this point that Werenski passes to Alex Kile on his right.

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With a 1-2-1 alignment the middle of the ice is going to be open. Kile sees this and passes to Selman.

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Justin Selman just has to tip the pass to get a shot on net. Selman shovels it a bit, and this gets the puck airborne enough to go over the goaltender’s leg pad as he does down into his butterfly.

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UW 2 UM 1 EV 14:13 Besse from LaBate and Dougherty

Wisconsin carries through the neutral zone in apparently innocuous fashion. As the wall gets shut down LaBate passes to Besse. There is still a 2-on-2 matchup, and Michigan’s defenders appear to be at the right depth to avoid having a forward race past them.

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Michigan seals Besse to the inside, and though one defender does turn and allow the winger to get past him on the back side the passing lane to said winger is currently cut off.

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Michigan again has good defensive positioning here; the skater is checked, the gap seems appropriate, and the back side winger isn’t going to get by unchecked. Giving this shot up isn’t that bad as far as long-distance opportunities go.

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The puck hits Racine and falls into his feet, where he loses it as it trickles past the line. Yakety sax goal, this one.

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UW 3 UM 1 PPG 18:41 Besse from Schulze and Rockwood

JT Compher’s stick is broken before I started screen capping this, but you can see it below the red line to the left of the goal below. Without a way to poke check Compher dives as Schulze skates past him, hoping that his body can shut down the passing lane.

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Compher does shut down the passing lane to the slot (where there isn’t a Wisconsin skater), but a lane opens to the high slot as Compher gets up. Michigan shouldn’t have collapsed around the net so soon; doing so is the reason that there’s a guy open and ready for a one-timer. Selman needs to recognize that Besse is behind him.

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Ignore the Force ghost in the foreground and focus on Racine’s pads as the shot is being released. He had locked down the post in case Schulze tried a sharp-angle shot and is now gathering to move across the crease, but with the shot on the way there’s no chance he’s able to reset and stop the shot.

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[Note: Red pulls Racine and puts in Nagelvoort to start the second]

2nd period

UW 4 UM 1 PPG 02:21 Soleway from Hughes and Schulze

The passing lane to the point in cut off, but Hughes has a lane that he can take to the net pretty easily. Additionally, Sinelli has two guys in the corner that he’s going to have to try and defend; Wisconsin has a numerical and positional advantage here.

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Sinelli steps up to try and engage Hughes, but Hughes steps around him and leaves Sinelli off-balance and barely in position to poke check.

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Hughes nudges the puck to Hughes, who anticipated it and lets go of a one-timer. Nagelvoort isn’t able to seal the post, and he gives up a goal that he shouldn’t on a shot from a bad angle.

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UW 4 UM 2 EV 03:32 Selman (4) from Hyman (17) and Larkin (18)

Hyman heads behind the net off the draw, and as the puck moves up the boards the defenders go with it. Hyman camps out, Lohan pinches down, and once Lohan realizes Hyman’s alone he puts a well-placed long pass on Hyman’s blade.

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This leads to an easy opportunity for Hyman on his backhand. Credit Wisconsin goaltender Joel Rumpel here, as he poke checks the puck away from what otherwise would have been a sure goal.

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Hyman quickly closes on the loose puck before it gets to the corner and puts another one of his spectacular backhanded passes in front of the net. Selman is able to tap it in relatively easily; he and Larkin are in front of the net, Rumpel is way outside the crease, and there’s one Wisconsin defender to take both of the Michigan skaters.

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UW 4 UM 3 PPG 14:53 Copp (11) from Downing (11) and Compher (9)

Michael Downing has the puck at the point on the power play after having just received a pass from Copp. He stickhandles and fakes a step forward, which causes one defender to step toward him and another to tie up the Michigan skater in the middle of the ice (to take away the pass Downing may have had).

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The movement of the circled Wisconsin defender away from the puck opens up space for Copp, so Downing passes back to him.

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Copp stickhandles a couple of times before shooting; he gets the shot off a split second before the defender circle in the above screen cap can close the gap and take away the shooting lane. Max Shuart is setting a screen in front of the net, and from the camera angle above the net it appears that Rumpel is looking around the screen and just misses the puck with his glove.

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3rd period

UW 4 UM 4 EV 09:19 Hyman (14) from Selman (4) and De Jong (5)

Selman gets outside leverage, which allows him to use a swim move to get out of the hit from Zulinick. He retains possession and continues to carry up the boards.

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Selman leaves a drop pass for Hyman to pick up as he skates down the boards. Zulinick gets ready to hit Hyman, but he’s already skated past him by the time he’s ready to do so. You can see from the screen cap that Hyman’s going to leave at least three defenders in his wake, as they all have to shift their momentum from going toward the blue line to going back toward the net.

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Hyman sees a defender come down to takea away the path to the front of the net and gives a perfect head fake that freezes both him and Rumpel before continuing to skate behind the net.

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Hyman hits the far side corner with a backhanded shot that is just….I don’t…I mean, this guy is able to do things on his back hand that I don’t know that I’ve ever seen. Patrick Barron photographed the game for us and got this incredible shot of the goal.


You need to go check out the rest of his album from the game.

UW 4 UM 5 EV 10:20 Kile (11) from Shuart (8) and Downing (12)

Downing throws a puck down the ice that would have been icing in ye olde hockey, but with hybrid icing Shuart has a chance to nullify the icing if wins the foot race (which he does).

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Shuart absorbs a hit behind the net and turns his body to shield the puck. He retains possession and starts to skate it out.

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I mean, I don’t want to tell anybody how to do their job but it just seems like a bad idea to have four guys all looking at the same player. Usually that leaves guys like, I don’t know, the circled one in the screen cap below open.

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That’s amazing. It’s almost as if I had watched a replay and knew what was going to happen next.

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UW 4 UM 6 EV 11:22 Selman (5) from Larkin (19) and Hyman (18)

Hyman wins a race to nullify yet another woulda-been icing. He gets tied up along the boards, but he’s able to get the puck to Larkin. Hyman then Jordan Morgans his defender, creating a lane for Larkin to skate through.

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Larkin comes around the net and is picked up by a Wisconsin defender. He decides not to try a backhanded shot, but does see Selman in the slot. The defender on Selman is skating away from him as he steps toward the net, and he’s able to release a nice one-timer that just beats Rumpel.

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Good job, hybrid icing. You the real MVP. Although that gives Selman a hat trick, so he’s sorta like an MVP too. And Hyman, obviously. I’m never sure how much truth to throw in with a joke. Just click the link, ok?

UW 4 UM 7 EN 18:52 Copp (12) from Motte (15)

Tyler Motte clears the puck, which then hits a Wisconsin skater and bounces right in front of Copp. Wisconsin, you have done something to offend either the hockey gods or a gypsy. Or maybe both.

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Drawing the arrow on the shot just seems like it would be in poor taste here.

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Saturday, January 24, 2014

1st period

UW 0 UM 1 EV 01:12 Larkin (9) from Selman (5) and Hyman (19)

A broken play begins with Rumpel kicking a loose puck into the corner. This accomplishes his primary goal of getting the puck away from the front of the net, but I don’t think he meant to leave hectares of ice open behind.

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Larkin sees Rumpel turn and decides to use Rumpel’s equipment against him. The shot hits his leg pad and ricochets into the net.

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This goal killed Rumpel. Just like Greedo *clap* *clap* *clap clap clap*

UW 0 UM 2 EV 02:03 Hyman (15) from Larkin (20) and Selman (6)

Larkin has the puck behind the net and tries to pass to Hyman while being hit. He winds up clinging to the wall and looking like me when I took my first swim lesson, but Hyman digs the puck out of the mess of legs and loose sticks and skates away with it. That arrow is pointing to Tim Davison’s stick; he now has to defend a likely Hobey finalist without.

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Hyman skates into the high slot as Selman works his way to the front to set a screen. You can see that Hyman’s about to shoot and Selman isn’t quite in front yet, but he’s charging the net with speed. Whether that distracted Rumpel for a second is something only he knows, but it seems like it as Rumpel misses high again without being truly screened.

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UW 0 UM 3 EV 15:46 Calderone (3) from Copp (19) and Serville (7)

Michigan gains the offensive zone with some speed, though there’s nothing truly unusual about this. Calderone has time and space and has to make a decision to pass (no one’s open so he makes the right decision not to), shoot (from far away at a bad angle), or take it behind the net.

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Calderone decides to shoot and it goes in. I know that’s some [insert network here]-color-analyst level analysis, but there’s really nothing else to say. He shoots, he scores, and this time it’s on Wisconsin’s backup netminder Landon Peterson.

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UW 0 UM 4 EV 19:00 Werenski (4) from Sinelli (3) and Copp (11)

Sinelli skates it in, and as the defense converges drops it back to Werenski. Werenski has no one near him, so he decides comes away from the boards and toward the faceoff circle.

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Werenski starts to cut to the middle of the ice. The defenseman in front of him narrows his body to nominally block a shot, but it gives Werenski space to shoot around him.

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He waits for the goaltender to drop before shooting high, and the goalie doesn’t even get his glove up. There’s a lot of room for Weresnki to work with up top and he converts.

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[Note: Landon Peterson gets replaced between periods, as Patrick Eaves’ dad decides to throw Rumpel back in.]

2nd period

UW 0 UM 5 EV 01:16 Hyman unassisted

Rumpel stops the puck and gives to his defenseman behind the net who then moves it to the corner. Wisconsin appears to be about to break out of their zone when Hyman strips the puck in the corner and skates the opposite way of all the Wisconsin player’s momentum (i.e. they’re going to have to stop and start again, giving him a big advantage).

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Hyman’s alone in front (essentially). Rumpel puts his blocker down, which is a really, really bad idea because of the amount of space it opens on the far side and how difficult it’s going to be for him to cover that if Hyman doesn’t shoot.

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He doesn’t shoot. Or, more accurately, he doesn’t shoot until he’s around Rumpel and can easily backhand one into the open net. And heeeere come the pretzels.

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3rd period

UW 0 UM 6 EV 14:46 Werenski (5) from Motte (16) and Calderone (5)

Motte carries the puck from near the boards to the middle, which gets the attention of three Wisconsin defenders. He’s hit, but he’s still able to pass to Werenski.

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The circled defender below was drawn in by Motte, and this gave Weresnki the time and space to shoot. The defender scramble to try and cover Weresnki but you can see that he’s so far away he isn’t even able to get a stick in the shooting lane.

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PBS let a Wisconsin homer version of Red Green do color for the game, and he was absolutely baffled as to how a defenseman could lift a puck up on a shot. This goal just did not make sense to him, and he lamented “Joely” getting beat high (again).

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  • Brian wrote a game column that you should read.
  • Michigan moved up to #12 in the PairWise despite Wisconsin being Wisconsin Bad (though, as Brian noted, their strength of schedule is impressive and that matters in the rankings). Michigan really needs UMass-Lowell and Minnesota to stay in the top 20 because of the quality win bonus. The road series against Minnesota in early February has big PairWise/RPI implications with the increased weight the system places on road games and a potential quality win bonus in play.
  • Patrick Barron photographed both games for us. Check out the album. Now. Seriously, it’s great. He got some excellent shots. For example, this one, in which BTN conducts an interview to find their next color analyst.


  • Hyman is fourth in the nation in points, and only two behind top scorer Daniel Ciampini. He’s averaging an incredible 1.59 pts/game. Larkin is 12th in scoring with 29 points (1.45 pts/game) and is the second highest-scoring freshman in the nation behind only BU’s Jack Eichel.
  • Michigan raised their national lead in goals/game with Saturday’s outburst. They are now averaging 4.36 goals/game, 0.63 goals/game ahead of second-place Robert Morris. Defensively Michigan is 44th in the nation with 3.00 goals allowed/game so, uh…yeesh.
  • Michigan plays Michigan State at Joe Louis Arena on Friday in what is nominally a home game for M. Puck drop is 7:35 and you can catch it on Fox Sports Detroit.



January 27th, 2015 at 1:29 PM ^

left too many passing lanes open in the d-zone.   Great diagramming of plays reminds me of coaching clinic films.  Haven't followed as much hockey this year as it appeared they were not going to be a contender.  (I know I know-should follow them win or lose).  Looks now like they have a shot at the NCAA tourney?


January 27th, 2015 at 3:44 PM ^

Agree with you on the lanes, but will give them that the Kohl Center is an olympic sheet.  Big-time diffence on the PK if you're not used to it.  I think shit would have to go bad for them to not make the tourney, but I understand RPI about as well as I understand women.