Sunday, November 05, 2006

Comments on the "Good" Michigan-MSU Game

Didn't get to catch Friday night's loss due to volleyball and my own hockey game, but they looked pretty good last night. Random thoughts:

-Sauer would like to have the first one back for sure (got caught looking over his right shoulder when the puck was behind the net, they came out to his left and stuffed it...he never moved), but apart from that he played very well. Absolutely can't fault him on the second goal. He did a great job at locating the puck...lots of goalmouth scrambles tonight.

-Jason Dest is going to get killed when they look at the film of the second goal. We were killing a 5 on 3 (the call on Summers was BS, and I didn't see the one on Johnson but I'm betting that they wouldn't have called it on 99% of the other players in college hockey...seemed to be the trend tonight) and Dest cross-checked someone in the slot (It was a legit call, he did it Chelios-style). When Dest saw the ref was going to make the call, he stopped playing to look up at the sky in disbelief. When he did that, the MSU player snuck in behind him and scored.

-Great crowd tonight and they were loud. The maize out really works when they give out shirts (go figure!).

-Hensick and Porter were outstanding tonight. Hensick was a "passing machine" as tbarr put it, and Porter actually hit the net about 70% of the time, including his second goal, which I believe went 6-hole (over the head) on Lerg. I've been waiting for one of those since Mini-Me came into the CCHA. I think teams are starting to figure him out; he's had an awful year so far. Hensick actually was pretty good defensively tonight as well. He even lined someone up in the third period. Didn't quite connect, but Jack still would've been proud.

-Shegos called a terrible game. Just brutal.

-Johnson and Hunwick were really disciplined defensively tonight. Neither one had a rush that was remotely irresponsible. Solid stuff out of both of them tonight. Funny enough, the defenseman that made it the furthest into the zone tonight was Cook.

-I haven't seen the last 3 games, but I'm guessing the turnovers finally caught up with Kampfer as he was sitting tonight.

-I still can't believe Cogliano's wheels. Every time I see that kid play his speed just amazes me.

-I was really happy with how guys were throwing their bodies at the puck tonight. Haven't seen the blocked shot numbers but we had a LOT.

-Can't even get the alumni band director to dance anymore. That's sad.

-I wish they allowed fighting, so we could see Tim Miller drop the gloves. I'm guessing Kennedy wouldn't have been talking so much at the end of the game if Miller or Johnson was allowed to beat his head in. Miller just cross-checked him instead. Got his money's worth on that one. Not sure how Jack ended up in the box beyond "he was on the ice so he must've roughed someone after the whistle". He actually showed restraint because Kennedy hit him first and Jack didn't pop him back like you know he wanted to.

-Naurato has such a great release on his snap shot. It really makes you wish he could do more out there and be kind of a Kaleniecki type player.

-If Kolarik ever gets a "C" or "A" on his jersey, he wins the Scott Matzka Memorial Award for "Most likely to be stripped of it for blowing up on the ref".

That's all I got.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Great recap. Johnson's presence was the main difference. You saw a UM team playing with confidence and a MSU team looking over their shoulders for Johnson. Maybe Johnson sitting out Friday will end up a good thing for this team, maybe they won't take him for granted.

Anonymous said...

The same Director of Bands who cut dancing from the hockey band handed down the same ruling to the alumni band. Even though he's not technically anyone's boss in that group, he gives them permission to play, so politics have to be considered.

Send your comments, as usual, to prof. Michael Haithcock at mlhaith@umich.edu

Colin said...

That was probably the best game I've ever seen us play in the two plus years I've been watching. Crisp passing, aggressive defense, playing with vision, looking for the puck and understanding their roles...man and the fire they played with! Where has that team been this year? That's the team I thought we could be if we stepped it up.

Also, statistically, how many times has a team lost to a team by three goals and come back to beat them the next night by three? Isn't that the second time this year we've done that? Goal differential is supposed to be a pretty good indicator of how much better you are than the other team, I thought? If this team can throw the switch into ON for a long stretch, it will be damn good.

Naurato, if he keeps this up, CAN be a Kal/Ebbett type player. He's showing a lot more offensive skill than we saw last year and still has that physical presence he had last year.

I loved seeing TJ get into it and start roughing guys up. That was tremendous...the most passion I think I've seen out of him yet. His vision is incredible and he's been having a great year (that assist to Dest was brilliant), but he's always seemed to lack that fire. If he starts being a leader on this team, that could be the thing that throws this into the ON position for good.

All in all, it was exciting to see this team's potential play out, if only for a game. Here's hoping for the rest.

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