Michigan Hockey 17-18, Game #10: Minnesota 6, Michigan 6 (SOL)

Submitted by NastyIsland on November 12th, 2017 at 12:13 PM

There are too many narratives for this game that can only be summed up in one word (JD Scott)

OFFENSE

 

Corsi

House

Possession %

First Period

14 6 56%

Second Period

11 3 39%

Third Period

19 5 70%

Overtime

8 3 66%

TOTAL

52 17 57%

Analysis: This was such an odd offensive performance again. Michigan tallied 52 attempts on net, though the majority of those came from the edges. I can live with that many shot attempts against a talented Gopher team, for sure. The odd part was more reflected in their ability to put pucks away with their few opportunities from in close. Michigan got deep in the slot or around the crease and scored five times in 15ish chances. That seems a little high to me, especially given that most of those were even strength. Minnesota also seemed to let up a little after stretching their lead to 6-3. Once again, Michigan took advantage of a few breakdowns in Minnesota’s defense. I will also say that it seemed that Michigan has developed two top scoring lines. They’re now a Top-5 offense and Minnesota is included in that sample size. If they can continue this one more week, things will be looking way up.

[After THE JUMP: how the defense fared, switching goaltenders, and winning Corsi]

This happened too much (JD Scott)

DEFENSE

 

Corsi

House

Possession %

First Period

11 4 54%

Second Period

17 8 61%

Third Period

8 4 30%

Overtime

4 3 34%

TOTAL

40 19 43%

Analysis: Such a weird game. Michigan limits Minnesota’s overall chances, but they sure gave up some great looks. Minnesota had around 40 attempts (between what I had and CHN), which I will take every time. The specifics of their defense were not great, though. I would pin most of the goals on the defense. There were at least two goals off of OMRs, there were DZTOs, there were unchecked attackers…not great. Michigan was down 4-0 at one point and 6-3 at another point. Minnesota came out on fire and really took it to Michigan’s defense, taking the puck and converting a couple of good scoring chances. Michigan’s defense was not great, but I also think Minnesota’s skilled forwards had a lot to do with that, especially in the beginning of the game. So, numbers were great; gameplay left a few things to be desired; Minnesota took their foot off the gas…Michigan probably better than I’d thought going into the this series, but still not to the level of shutting down elite forwards.

SPECIAL TEAMS

 

PP For

PP Against

PP Corsi For

PP Corsi Against

PP Shots/Min For

PP Shots/Min Against

First Period

0/1 0/2 4 5 1 .25

Second Period

0/1 0/2 4 8 1 1

Third Period

n/a 0/1 n/a 2 n/a 1

Overtime

0/1 n/a 2 n/a .5 n/a

TOTAL

0/3 0/5 10 15 .83 .7

Analysis: Michigan took more penalties against Minnesota on Saturday than they did on Friday. They did kill those penalties, though. Michigan had a few chances on their power plays and could have won the game in OT. I thought they moved the puck well and generated quality chances. They did almost average a shot/minute, which is the new metric I’m tracking. I do not have a whole lot more than this to say.

GOALTENDING

 

Shots Faced

Shots from House Faced

First Period

9 4

Second Period

14 7

Third Period

6 4

Overtime

0 0

TOTAL

29 15

Analysis: So, LaFontaine started and gave up three goals in the first period. I don’t think any of those were on him. That was the part of the game were Minnesota pressured Michigan into turnovers and looked to put the game away early. Michigan opted for a goalie-switch, heading into the second period more to shake up the team than to punish LaFontaine. That didn’t necessarily hold well in the second period, as Minnesota scored a couple more goals. The final goal was probably on Lavigne, though. He sent a juicy rebound out into the slot that an unchecked attacker puts away, again, seemingly putting the game out of reach (which did not hold up). Someone probably should have checked the forward who was left alone, but still, not a great rebound. I don’t think this changes anything regarding the goalie rotation.

ODD-MAN RUSHES

 

Rushes

Advantages

Escape %

First Period

     

Second Period

     

Third Period

     

Overtime

     

TOTAL

     

Analysis: I could not track this for the entire game. My viewing situation and camera angles, etc, were not the greatest for being able to see that much detail. I think I got the first period correctly, though, and Minnesota had three OMRs. They scored one goal and drew a penalty on another. There were at least two or three more OMRs that I saw during the rest of the game. This was hopefully (probably) an outlier in what has been an improved defensive season for the Wolverines. Minnesota stretched the ice well and pressure Michigan into mistakes and got some great chances by victimizing Michigan’s defensemen. Hopefully, this is just a bad one-off.

FINAL CORSI NUMBERS

I had: Michigan 52, Minnesota 40

www.collegehockeynews.com had: Michigan 49, Minnesota 37

Comments

Commie_High96

November 12th, 2017 at 4:32 PM ^

This weekend must have causied an existential crisis for Minnesota hockey fans. To go up 3-0 two games in a row and then go 0-1-1....I'm gonna go check out some Minny blogs and see.

Alton

November 12th, 2017 at 5:11 PM ^

I have seen Minnesota play at Mariucci and at The Excel Spreadsheet Center or whatever they call the NHL arena in St Paul.

I am a huge Michigan fan, but I don't even hate Ohio State football as much as Minnesota hockey fans hate their own team.  The invective that is directed at the Gophers when they are under-performing would amaze you.  So yeah, I can only imagine what you will find.

Alton

November 12th, 2017 at 4:47 PM ^

* I have been watching college hockey for quite a while, and Minnesota might be the most vulnerable non-Michigan top-4 team I have ever seen at Yost.  They did not impress me, not at all.  Yes, they have shooters up front and can put the puck in the net, but their all-NHL drafted defense corps struggled all weekend to control the puck, struggled to keep Michigan from breaking into the zone, and especially struggled to cover Michigan's forwards when Michigan had possession.

* Or...is the problem with my opinion of Minnesota that my opinion of Michigan is too low?  Coming into the weekend, I had been thinking of Michigan as a .500 Big Ten team, and of the Big Ten as weak from top to bottom.  I'm starting to wonder if I have been right about my assumptions.

* Minnesota mostly just rolled 3 lines and Michigan played all 4 of theirs.  This may have been a factor in Michigan's third period performances this weekend.

* Coming into the season, my hope for Michigan was a 4th place Big Ten finish, even though it seemed out of reach.  Right now, I don't see any way Michigan will finish behind Michigan State or Penn State, and I think Michigan is as good as Wisconsin or Ohio State.  Anywhere from 3rd to 5th seems to be the window right now, and I think 3rd is much more likely than 5th.

* My guess is 3 Big Ten teams make the NCAA tournament, so 3rd place would probably be the right side of the bubble.  Michigan might still finish only a couple of games over .500, but the Big Ten had a very good non-conference performance this year, so even 19-16-2 or so could be a tournament record.  Let's say 20 wins is the NCAA tournament target this season.

Alton

November 12th, 2017 at 5:00 PM ^

Wisconsin was supposed to have turned the corner with that transfer goalie that they have (Kyle Hayton, who transferred from St Lawrence), but he has badly underperformed.  Hayton had save percentages of .937, .935 and .929 in his three seasons at St. Lawrence, but is only at .900 so far this season at Wisconsin.

If Michigan can keep putting the puck in the net, Wisconsin might be vulnerable.  "Sweep at home, split on the road" is always the goal, so I would say you could read something into any result this weekend other than a split.

gpmurf

November 12th, 2017 at 5:31 PM ^

It was great to win, it was a great comeback and it was great to grab four points. It was not, however, a great performance. The numerous odd man rushes and going down three goals in any game cannot equate to greatness by any metric. There were several instances of lazy back checking on Saturday as well which directly influenced both scoring chances against and one goal.

While I do think we will finish slightly ahead of .500 and the offense is edging toward greatness, we need to tighten up considerably on all aspects of the defensive side of the puck. There are areas of accountability to the team/scheme that need addressing. As I have said, and will continue to say; this is a young team that is coming along nicely. To sustain these wins, though, we need to be better defensively and not rely so heavily on late game bursts.

25dodgebros

November 12th, 2017 at 9:22 PM ^

The biggest difference between this team and the last few years' teams is effort and cohesion.  With this year's team you can see a scheme, a pattern of play, and an overall plan.  That has not been true in previous years.  Also, this team does not quit when it is down.  They are not great defensively and they are thin up front but last year's team would have lost Friday 6-1 and 7-2 on Saturday.  

murf

November 12th, 2017 at 11:10 PM ^

I agree for the most part. It is clear there is scheme, buy in and grit, and that is exciting.

On the other hand, I'm not sure they are lacking (thin up front) so much as they are still very green and working with a (new) scheme for the first time. Red was good at letting guys play to their strength and gave everyone a lot of leash to create. Mel will allow that to an extent but also make them accountable and expect them to work within a framework. Watching MTU for the last couple of years indicates this. Give em time, I think it will bear this out.