As close as the series itself [James Coller]

Goal-by-Goal Analysis: Wisconsin Comment Count

Adam Schnepp November 28th, 2018 at 10:00 AM

Friday, November 23, 2018

#14 Michigan 1, Wisconsin 1 (2OT, W)

1st period

No scoring

2nd period

Messner goal

UM 0 UW 1 EV 3:01 Assists: Zirbel

Hughes pinches and blows a tire, which allows Zirbel to pick up the loose puck. He has Messner streaking ahead to his left, which is the easy play here. Michigan's in a fairly good situation themselves, though, as they're able to get two defenders back; Lockwood is pictured in the bottom right corner of the frame, and Cecconi got even deeper after seeing his defense partner fall.

m uw fri 1-1.png

Cecconi plays off, I'm guessing as a way of keeping himself in position to rotate to the weakside winger if Messner passes to his left. Instead, Messner throws a shot on net. Lavigne stops it, and though he allows a rebound it's at least in the best possible position: to the side, almost on the red line.

m uw fri 1-2.png

Lockwood turns and glides and watches Messner get deeper than him while Cecconi lets Messner cross his face to get to the position below, so this is a defensive miscue by both of the defenders. I put this more on the winger than the defenseman, though, because the defenseman's typically going to take the front of the net to cut off a backdoor feed, which Cecconi does here. Messner gets his own rebound and flips it high on a shot Lavigne shouldn't have had to face to begin with.

m uw fri 1-3.png

[The guys who could key a step forward for the offense get on the board after THE JUMP]

3rd period


UM 1 UW 1 EV 10:26 Assists: Warren & Hughes

via Gfycat

Check the gif above to see the true genesis of the play, which is Quinn Hughes digging a puck out of the corner and flipping it ahead to Brendan Warren. A Wisconsin defender reaches for the puck as Warren does, but he's able to shovel is ahead to himself. He gains possession near Michigan's blue line, then goes inside-outside on the defender who steps up on him. Warren slips past the hip check and slithers down the boards.

m uw fri 2-1.png

Warren could center the puck to Winborg for a second, but then Tischke, the defenseman back, gets in the middle and uses his stick to more or less shut down the passing lane, or at least make passing a worse idea than shooting. Warren throws it on net.

m uw fri 2-2.png

He gets the rebound he's hoping for, as Berry stops the initial shot and steers it to the side. The advantage of shooting from the angle Warren's at is that a rebound pushed to the side is in front of the crease. Morgan ties up one of the two defensemen, and Tischke's turn is fine but not in time to get a stick on Winborg. Winborg just has to flip the puck into the empty net. Michigan gets back on a 3-on-2 what they gave up on a 2-on-1 a period prior.

m uw fri 2-3.png


No scoring



Technically UM 1 UW 1 Assists: Hughes & Lockwood

via Gfycat

Lockwood has the puck and skates until he's in line with the defender's stick, then he loops back to the top of the faceoff circle. He skates toward the middle, getting the defender at the top of the triangle to bite on the potential for a cross-ice pass. Once said defender lays his stick on the ice, Lockwood drops the puck for Norris. 

m uw fri 3-1.png

Ess, the defender at the corner of the triangle that's on the nearside faceoff dot, extends his stick in an attempt to keep Norris on the perimeter and to keep him from passing through the triangle. Norris skates down the boards for a second and then reverses course, in the process shaking Ess, who can now do nothing more than wave his stick around. The defender at the top of the triangle tries to come over and help, but the transition in defensive responsibility gives Norris the split second and space he needs to launch a saucer pass to Hughes. 

m uw fri 3-2.png

Hughes gathers the puck and takes a couple of strides, essentially just burning time until he can draw a defender in. Meanwhile, Lockwood skates right at the defender on the lower corner of the triangle to force the pick up, which means Hughes has one less defender to account for. Once he gets him close, Hughes fires a perfect cross-ice saucer pass to Norris.

m uw fri 3-3.png

Berry tries to get across but this is an impossible shot to stop. Norris finishes a perfect one-timer. Vivia 3-on-3!

m uw fri 3-4.png

Saturday, November 24, 2018

#14 Michigan 2, Wisconsin 2 (SO, L)

1st period

Emberson goal

UM 0 UW 1 PPG 5:18 Assists: Miller & Malone

via Gfycat

Miller skates the puck slightly deeper into the zone, enough to get Norris to drop his stick to take away the passing lane. In response, Miller swings the puck to Emberson, who is gliding down toward the faceoff circle.

m uw sat 1-1.png

I'm not sure this would have altered the shot in any appreciable way but I'm also not sure where Raabe is going here. He's the skater on the left edge of the above frame, and below he's closer to the other faceoff circle. He decided to switch the opposite way of the puck's movement. Emberson wires a shot, and though Blankenburg gets into the lane, the puck gets through him.

m uw sat 1-2.png

Lavigne is pushing across with the puck's movement, but he's actually a bit too far to his right for this shot. That's not an admission of fault; he's trying to get across to stop a one-time, so it's understandable that he's not set completely square to the shooter. Lavigne gets his glove out to snare the low burner of a shot, but it hits the glove, then the ice, then trickles over the line.

m uw sat 1-3.png

2nd period

Gorniak goal

UM 0 UW 2 EV 9:29 Assists: Baker & Tischke

via Gfycat

Olmstead has the puck knocked away as he enters the offensive zone, and the turnover turns into a 2-on-2 rush the other way that's close to a 2-on-1 but for Hughes covering a ton of ground to get into the middle of the ice to help on one of the two Wisconsin skaters.

m uw sat 2-1.png

Gorniak dishes to his left a few strides into the zone and continues skating through Michigan's two defenders. 

m uw sat 2-2.png

Hughes takes Gorniak as he goes to the front of the net, and Boka steps up on the puck carrier, Baker. Boka dives and takes away the pass to the front of the net, but he's a second too early and gives Baker enough time to pull the puck around Boka's outstretched stick. Baker fires a high shot that hits Lavigne in the chest and bounces directly in front of him. Baker follows up the shot and tries to poke in his own rebound but Olmstead has recovered and gotten back into the play, and the two of them fall to the ice as the puck rolls behind them.

m uw sat 2-3.png

Gorniak, who has been in front of the net most of the play, is able to turn on the puck and put a shot into the mass of bodies in front without really looking. Worth noting that Van Why came off his guy and picked up Gorniak.

m uw sat 2-4-1.png

Gorniak finishes spinning around and finds the puck loose in front as Van Why turns to look for where the shot in the frame above went. Gorniak, now essentially unchecked, lifts the puck over poor dang Lavigne. 

m uw sat 2-5.png


UM 1 UW 2 EV 13:14 Assists: Norris & Hughes

via Gfycat

Hughes carries in and he's some kind of wizard because he drops the puck for himself knowing that he'll need to slam on the brakes to create space. Not only does he do this, but the puck somehow just dies and waits for him to shake the defender, who ends up being the thing that slides away.

m uw sat 3-1.png

Freytag comes down and gets into the passing lane to a cutting Jack Becker, so Hughes instead lofts a pass across the ice that connects with Norris off a hop.

m uw sat 3-2.png

Norris never even moves his feet. Instead, he gets the pass from Hughes and glides forward long enough to get Kalynuk to bite and hit the ice. That's when Norris threads the puck to Becker at the hash mark.

m uw sat 3-3.png

Lebedeff actually does a really nice job getting across his crease to square with Becker, but unfortunately for him, he's about to be screened by his teammate. Inamoto falls over Lebedeff, and Becker lifts the shot over the now hapless netminder.

m uw sat 3-4.png

3rd period


UM 2 UW 2 EV 12:41 Assists: Martin

via Gfycat

Everything starts with Luke Martin in the corner tying up Tischke. Luce comes in and hits both of them, but Tischke takes the brunt of the impact. Martin is able to dig out the puck and skate away from the corner.

m uw sat 4-1.png

Martin then launches an insane stretch pass. There were just two Wisconsin skaters in the corner, so it's not insane that he has the time and space to get the pass away.

m uw sat 4-2.png

No, the insane part is below. Martin threads the puck through three Wisconsin players and hits Luke Morgan in stride.

m uw sat 4-3.png

The importance of being hit in stride shows here, as it allows Morgan a big enough gap between himself and the nearest defender that he can just hold the puck at his side and glide through the slot without fear of the puck being stripped. Lebedeff hits the ice, and once he does that Morgan has what he wants. Morgan fires near-side top shelf.

m uw sat 4-4.png


This is the space where I usually give you my thoughts on the series. The only issue: I don't have any. I was still occupied with football-related responsibilities last weekend (I have a feeling you might have been as well), but I wanted to shift gears as quickly as possible. That, and I ran out of FBO film. I can at least explain the weirdness of these games officially ending in ties despite there being a W and L above as they really ended with a 3-v-3 overtime win (Friday) and shootout loss (Saturday). Neither team got a 3-point win; for that, you have to win in regulation or 5-v-5 overtime. Friday's game went through the 5-v-5 overtime scoreless, which brings us to the Big Ten's biggest offseason change: five minutes of 3-v-3 overtime. Michigan scored, so they get the extra point. Saturday's game went through 5-v-5 and 3-v-3 scoreless, and Michigan then lost the shootout and subsequently the extra point.

If you're looking to get caught up on hockey, the absolute best, most efficient, most entertaining way to do so is to go back and listen to the Hockeycast. David and Anthony have done an excellent job with the show and can get you caught up from preseason expectations and position group previews to a recap of what happened during the non-conference portion of the schedule to a look back at the first few series of Big Ten play.


Reggie Dunlop

November 29th, 2018 at 3:19 PM ^

This is buried enough now where I want to throw in an honest critique. These seem to be a ton of work to put together - to cut these all up and painstakingly describe each and every movement, and I honestly can't imagine what anybody gets out of it. The Gif is there. We can watch the goal. This guy passed to that guy and he scored.

More importantly, when I do give it the time I end up reading sections like the Emberson Goal where you're confused by Raabe switching with Norris which is pretty basic stuff. (Raabe had to exchange and cover the Badger shooter on the far side since Norris walked across the top with the puck carrier).

Or on the Gorniak Goal. That's an absolute cluster, man. There is nothing Xs and Os to glean from that. It's an all-out fire drill that ends up in the net. That scoring chance actually was created when Michigan turned it over at the blue line on their entry. That's what caught Hughes out of position, he never caught up, so Boka slid across in desperation and yada, yada, Badgers score. We can all see it happen. But all of that was caused by whomever screwed up that entry in the 3 second prior to the start of the Gif. That's the interesting part, or at least the explanatory part. And it's missing.

These seem to be rooted in Brian's football UFRs. An in-depth, detailed look at the biggest plays of the game. It's not a bad idea. Nobody does this. But what you're explaining in painstaking detail isn't remotely necessary or revelatory. It's minutiae. And where Brian made a concerted effort to understand football concepts and strategies, these have wild guesses.

The basics of a hockey Penalty Kill are pretty simple. You basically have Box and Diamond. Of course it gets way more complex than that, but it's 100-level stuff why Raabe retreated to the other side of the ice on the Emberson Goal. To spend all of your time grinding these out year after year for very few reads and no reader interaction seems like time and effort wasted. You could simply post 8 gifs and just say "Game wasn't on TV - Here are the goals" and that would be just as useful as this post which must've taken hours to produce.

I mean no offense. I know this might come off a little dick-ish, which is unfortunately my default writing tone, but I'm actually a huge fan of the effort. There is space for this type of hockey content, but it has to offer something for the hockey fan to chew on. Brian doesn't simply show the 30 yard TD pass and illustrate the arc of the football using MS Paint, he shows the 4 plays prior where they pulled up the safeties by running an assortment of Down G to set it up. That type of idea. How did we get here? Why did Hughes get caught? Is that a common problem? Is he bored by the competition level and pressing too much? There are two goals - the Messner goal and the Gorniak goal - that seem to be exacerbated by Hughes' offensive aggression creating opportunities the other way. What's up with that? Is that a theme? Are we concerned?

And if you don't have the time or desire to really dig in or reinvent this wheel, maybe just save yourself the gruntwork and simply post the videos. Or just keep doing what you're doing. I dunno. Just trying to help. This is way too long. Best of luck and Go Blue.



November 29th, 2018 at 9:22 PM ^

I feel that I get something out of it every time you are willing to do the work to put it up.  Even though I go to a lot of games, I can use the Hockey 100 level for the simple goals and enjoy the discussion when it is more complicated.  In encouragement helps, please continue with the series.