Good To Have That Bad Old Feeling Back Comment Count

Brian April 6th, 2018 at 2:37 PM

4/5/2018 – Michigan 3, Notre Dame 4 – 22-15-3, season over

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[Patrick Barron]

John Buccigross freaked out about it. So did Barry Melrose. So did I, when Michigan flung a puck across the slot and Tony Calderone ripped off one of his last trademark snap shots from the slot. This one was a one-timer. An ND defenseman screened the camera from the goal line so I flicked my eyes to the back of the net, where the net would soon bulge in reaction to Michigan's triumph.

Instead, nothing. Buccigross's register cracked glass as my heart sunk. I waited for a replay to see how Cale Morris had desperately flung some extremity or another at the puck and gotten lucky, so I could curse bloody fate.

The replay came, and it was even worse than that: Calderone had plunked Morris in the chest. On a cross-slot one-timer. Because Morris was already on the far post. What the &#*$. That's some Shawn Hunwick business from a guy a half-foot taller. So much for "Cale Morris is a system goaltender."

Half a period later, after the Pastujovs had gritted out a tying goal and overtime seemed inevitable, Michigan did not get a similar save. For ND to get a shot at all after they were apparently trying to run out the period with 16 seconds left deep in their own end is a team-wide thing, but the nature of that shot after Quinn Hughes kind of sort of tied up his man's stick was "mostly harmless."

But for some reason, Hayden Lavigne's attempt to reposition went about as poorly as Morris's went well. He pushed out of the crease vertically, opening up a gap that was less a five hole and more the Seven Nation Army video. The puck dinked his pad and slid to the back of the net.

Ah yes. That old feeling. The burnt, black dirt and grass.

---------------------------

And at least Michigan kind of deserved it? That's all I can say about this tournament format. I don't feel like this was an injustice. They blew a chance to correct various injustices past, for a given definition of "blew." Playing an even-ish game against a really good team and not winning it is… fine? Sort of?

I mean obviously black burnt dirt and grass, but if the difference in this game was having a .945 goalie versus a .910 goalie there can be no complaints to the persistently oafish hockey gods even if the thunderbolt came with five seconds left. From a fan satisfaction perspective I was in fact just happy to be here after one bid in five years, coming off a season in which the only thing keeping them from single-digit wins was, ironically, goaltending that exceeded expectations.

Restoring Michigan back to the juggernaut they were during the 15 prime Berenson years takes time. Michigan is ahead of schedule after the 14-4-1 tear to reach the Frozen Four, and they're back to recruiting like maniacs who want to play maniac hockey.

It feels like the train is coming. Once it is assembled and Michigan loses to Mercyhurst because their goalie makes a mole of saves, I will jump in the bathtub of bourbon and moan that the universe is a simulation created by Knute Rockne. Now I'll just enjoy feeling feelings about hockey again, and having a reason to mope around the house on a Friday with a yawning black pit of despair threatening to send me to my knees every 47.2 minutes.

Sports! Sports are fun!

Comments

bronxblue

April 6th, 2018 at 4:02 PM ^

Live by the plinko, die by the plinko.

Honestly, and I know this won't happen, but I wish people could remember what sports was like around here around December and realize that there was a very real concern that Michigan wouldn't make the postseason in basketball OR hockey.  But instead, both teams made fantastic runs to the very top of their respective mountains.  The fact they stumbled near the top is almost beyond the point.  Yes, you shouldn't assume opportunities like this will always come about, but in Mel's first year he took what was one of the worst teams in college hockey last season to the brink of a champoionship, and should only get better moving forward.  Sports are fun, damnit!

MGoLow

April 6th, 2018 at 3:08 PM ^

Me too. He's still in the apathetic Brian phase in re football. It seems Brian's mood dictates how much content he puts out regarding certain sports.

1. Happy Brian - lots of content. See basketball

2. Emo Brian - slightly less but still alot of content. See hockey.

3. Angry Brian - slightly less still, but still moderate amounts of content. See Hoke-era football.

4. Apathetic Brian - almost no content. Extant content amounts to "I don't care because the feelings hurt too much to feel." See last year football.

The Maizer

April 6th, 2018 at 3:04 PM ^

I think it's going to be even harder to wait for the start of hockey in October than it will be to wait for football this year. I want to see Pearson year 2 right now.

Michigan Arrogance

April 6th, 2018 at 3:13 PM ^

Can't wait for the season previews of hockey like the basketball guards post a couple days ago.

 

Also, Brain always feels like I feel, except those 2 times he didn't. 99.8% hit rate is still pretty good.

Sambojangles

April 6th, 2018 at 3:55 PM ^

The last paragraph reminds me of the 2016 football season recap, post Iowa and Ohio State. Yes, it feels like the train is coming. But there is no guarantee it gets here on time, if at all.

All three big sport programs are in a good spot, with hope for the future. Probably the first time you could say that since early to mid 90s.

bronxblue

April 6th, 2018 at 4:04 PM ^

Absolutely true.  But I don't see the injury wheels coming off quite as quickly for Mel or Beilein compared to Harbaugh at QB, and as has been said before, if 2017 is the "worst" year for football, that's fine by me.

I agree Michigan's big-name athletics are all in really good spots for what feels like the first time in forever.

Maize4Life

April 6th, 2018 at 4:22 PM ^

from Hockey throughout the years in the NCAA tourney..ALOT!..I sort of expected it but its Nice to see us back in the Frozen Four..I know it feels like Michigan is Jinxed in these National Stage games in all sports BUT at least were getting there and not sitting at home

pz

April 6th, 2018 at 4:42 PM ^

Strong take. Still bummed that we couldn't hang on for that last 5 seconds and take our chances in OT, but it is good to have feelings about hockey again...

Bando Calrissian

April 6th, 2018 at 4:46 PM ^

I'm back to that feeling of "well, maybe my sanity is best served by setting my calendar to annually remind me to quit Michigan Hockey cold turkey on March 1st. I'll do that next year."

I guess I too like this feeling. Which is why I never have.

ST3

April 6th, 2018 at 5:26 PM ^

100% worst thing ever would be THAT ending against OSU in the finals, if we had a 1 goal lead when that happened and for some strange reason goals scored with under 10 seconds counted as 2 points.

Esterhaus

April 6th, 2018 at 5:48 PM ^

We ran out of gas late and decisively. Good news is the issue can be addressed by improved conditioning. ND clearly was running at high octane near and at the end. Fixit.

SFBlue

April 6th, 2018 at 6:43 PM ^

Yeah Brian. A familiar feeling. Fuck. Feeling blue I suppose. To paraphrase the Dead, every happy Michigan moment has a touch of grey.

Yostal

April 6th, 2018 at 8:12 PM ^

Someone asked me today what my favorite Michigan athletics memory is and I utterly confused them by saying "Carl Saves Senior Night", that night in 2011 when Carl Hagelin scored with moments left in the third at Yost to tie the game on Senior Night and then scored with less than a minute left in overtime to win it.  I was told that this was a very specific memory, was there any reason for it?  I said "Because it reminds me to never count anything out until 0:00s."  Last night didn't go the right way, but sometimes, it has.

"I know that was then, but it could be again..."

lhglrkwg

April 7th, 2018 at 4:33 AM ^

I was trying to think of times where Michigan was on the giving end of heartbreak instead of the receiving end and that's one of the only moments I can think of where Michigan dealt the crushing blow. Only other thing I can think of is maybe beating UNO in OT in 2011?