Saturday, February 04, 2006


I needed some time to calm down from last night because I was not a happy camper after that game.

Our goaltending was pathetic. Sauer gave up at least 2 that he HAS to stop, and the goal Ruden gave up was horrible. No, the defense isn't helping them one iota (e.g. Mitera made a horrible attempt to intercept a pass that turned a nothing play--a one on two--into a breakaway from OSU that ended up in our net) but at some point our goalies have to give up less than 3 goals in a hockey game consistently. Especially against a team with as problems scoring like OSU.

Johnson didn't have a good game, despite his goal. There's just too much offense and not enough defense with most of our defensemen and it keeps turning into breakaways and odd man rushes. I didn't get a look at his ejection, but tbarr said it wasn't a good call, and that's enough for me to believe it.

I finally see what MSUStudent was talking about with regard to Shegos. He and Langseth really gave us the Brokeback Mountain treatment last night. Shegos did his best Scott Hansen Buffalo '03 performance in blowing a play dead as the puck was crossing the goal line. Should've been a goal. Wasn't because he was too quick on the draw. Langseth calls a holding penalty on Michigan when Shegos is right there looking at it and not calling it. Kal gets boarded and somehow it's a 2 minute penalty, but when Jack does it--questionably--you better believe that it's 5 and a game. Thankfully not a DQ. Ref the game, not the number.

On the bright side, Ebbett/Kal/Kolarik looked very good once again. Montville didn't get a ton of ice time, but apart from letting a guy get behind him on the first shift, he didn't hurt us any.

And the biggest plus: David Rohlfs. Ho-ly. Crap. I like the kid back on D, but I love him as a forward. I don't remember him being THIS good. He was all over the ice against WMU, and he was even more visible last night. Scored a goal, had a couple other chances, and he's like a 50-pound-heavier Tomas Holmstrom on the PP. He parked himself in front of Caruso, and they couldn't do anything about it! We've found something there....He looked outstanding.

Mitera played a very good game apart from his one goof that led to the OSU goal. Didn't realize he was +3 until just now when I looked at the boxscore. At the other end of the spectrum: Hunwick and Turnbull -3 each.

Again, the power play did a much better job of moving the puck, and not just doing the same thing over and over. They were only 1-7 but they generated 12 shots on the PP. Good things will start happening if they keep it up. Still too much jacking shots into the defensemen--HENSICK!--but at least a couple times they made the effort to go down low. I love Rohlfs in front as a screen.

Too many defensive lapses, horribly shaky goaltending. But a good effort out of our forwards, and especially David Rohlfs. He just looks fantastic out there.

Shegos, you're a jackass. Langseth, you are too.

Sauer has just lost his confidence. It's not Red's fault for playing him because you can see the talent this kid has, it's the defense's fault for hanging him out to dry over and over. The kid was lights-out at the start of the year, and then our defense got worse and worse, and not coincedentally, so did Sauer's play. Now he's giving up cheapies all over the place. I don't doubt for a second these things are related.

Ruden does nothing for me and Sauer seems like he's just a wreck mentally right now. I don't envy Red about deciding who to go with down the stretch. Although, honestly...if they don't get this defensive crap fixed, it's not going to matter if we have Dominik Hasek or Stephen Hawking in net.


Anonymous said...

What game were you watching? When are you guys going to realize that goaltending is and has been the major problem. The team shows NO confidence in their netminding. As far as JJ not having a good game, again, what were you watching? Here is a kid, just turned 19, playing his heart out with very little support. He has so much talent Red should let him go and use it. He is the most physical force this league has seen in years, coupled with skills maybe NEVER seen by a freshman d-man. If you think he takes too many chances you probably critized Coffey as well. Johnson can carry this team if they let him. By the way, did he sign your jersey last night?

Packer487 said...

Anon: I'm not sure what came first: the chicken or the egg with our goaltending. Sauer was cruising along until the defense started hanging him out to dry. And now I'm not sure the team has any confidence in the goalie, and I'm pretty confident the goalie doesn't have any confidence in himself. It's a slippery slope for a kid that young.

Jack did sign my jersey (and my gf's jersey) last night, and his mom even threw in a schedule poster to have him sign. I chatted with his mom for a good while during the game, and his dad seems very nice as well.

Here's the thing though: If they want to give Jack the green line to be in the offensive end, I have absolutely NO problem with it. None. But they need to make adjustments if that's the case. They need to have a forward cheating back more then. Or they need to pair him solely with a guy who will not leave the blueline for anything.

I don't disagree at all with what you said about his talent. He's obviously loaded in it. But someone needs to make an adjustment here, and I don't know if it's Jack himself toning it down or the coaching staff in getting the team around him to play better defensively. Because what they're doing right now isn't working. And that applies to Hunwick too.

The goaltending has been awful, but even around the goals that you'd like to have back (1, 5, 6 last night) there were what? 2 breakaway goals? Billy & Noah haven't been good, but the defense hasn't helped them much either.

Colin: That's the problem. You're right. In our own zone, I think we're FINE defensively. But we're giving up way way way too many odd man rushes. Even Mitera got caught looking up ice yesterday, and you NEVER see him make that mistake.

If Jack and Hunwick are charging into the zone, then there needs to be a forward getting back. And to be fair, I can't say if it's the rushing D-man's fault for going too much or our forward's fault for not being aware enough to get back. I suspect it's some of both.

Anonymous said...

Probably too late for anyone to see this, but I disagree with both Packer and Colina bout UM's defense in our own zone. We recover the puck from the opposition, but turn it right back over trying to get out of the zone WAY too much. We'll get into the NCAA tournament, but that tendency will be our demise, no matter who's in net.