Sunday, March 11, 2007

CCHA Quarterfinals Game Two: Michigan 8, Northern Michigan 3

Well if anyone still needed a reason to vote for Hensick for Hobey, that should've settled it. What a performance out of the best player in the country! Nice for that kid to get a hat trick in his last game at Yost.

Thoughts on last night's game:

-Hensick, as stated above, was awesome. I'm pretty sure he's the best passer I've seen since I've been following college hockey. I don't think I've ever seen anybody with that ability to put a pass right through the slot no matter where he's at in the offensive zone.

-Cogliano put on a show as well. One of his goals--I believe it was our third of the night maybe?--was a nifty little play where he pulled the puck out of the corner, got to the center of the ice all alone, and kind of back-handed-slap-shotted the puck into the net.

-Despite the piss-poor save percentage that he had working for awhile, Billy was actually decent. Hard to fault him on any of the goals. The first two were complete breakdowns by the defense--one against Santorelli, which you know isn't going to end well. Then the third goal was a shot from the blueline that got tipped on its way through. He also made some pretty big saves in the third period. Not his best performance of the year, but he didn't revert back to early-season Billy by any means. We can win a championship with the way he's playing right now.

-JMFJ had a nice game out there, though I was happy he made it through without getting ejected or anything like that. There are few things I enjoy more than watching him wind up for a slapshot and let one rip. He stung Stewart on one of them--though he didn't knock his mask off unfortuantely. He also had one of the most amazing moves that I've seen when he was coming down the wing. He absolutely froze the defenseman, cut toward the net, and roofed one. The goalie barely got his shoulder on it and it ended up on top of the net. The roof would've blown off that place if he would've was buzzing even though it just ended up netting a stoppage of play.

-I was less happy with Hunwick's play last night--mainly because he took another stupid penalty that ended up with the puck sitting in the back of our net. Just a needless slash, and they scored like 15 seconds after the call. We can't have our senior captain doing that. I understand he's a defenseman and they take penalties, but you have to play smarter.

-If the power play is ever going to get going, now would be the time to do it....

-The crowd last night was as good as it has been the entire season. Loud for most of the game, some clever chants from the students, and the place was packed. Great way to close the year.

-It was also great of Red to get Mike Mayhew into the game at the end. He also made a couple of decent saves. He had one for his career coming in...which was iffy if it was actually a shot on goal. So it was nice to see him make a couple of legit stops between the pipes.

-Based on the way Jack's dad was waiving to the crowd and the way the players were patting Jack on the head as he was leaving the ice, I gotta believe he's gone. Though I always read way too much into that stuff. I'd love to see him back, but he's ready for the next level. Anything after the first year was gravy...still hoping for seconds, but I think I'll have to settle for watching him on Center Ice next year.

-I've never been a Pio fan, but after a steady dose of Hoberg, McInchak, and a few of those other jokers, it makes me really happy to see him doing our game. He might not get everything right, but you never get the feeling that he's making things up as he goes along.

-That whole "Sweep of Miami" thing? Yeah. That's why I wanted no part of Jeff Jakaitis. Jakaitis vs. Brown should be a nice matchup, even if the score is going to be like 1-0.

-Well...I guess we can't tie MSU this time when we play at the Joe. Hopefully the boys come out with more spark than they had in the GLI Championship.

-I'm playing in the CCHA Media Game at the Joe on Thursday. That will be an absolute thrill for me to skate on the same ice that so many of my heroes have skated on. I'm already giddy thinking about it.

-Lastly, a brutally honest take from NMU coach Walt Kyle during his FSN interview in the second intermission (courtesy of Tech Still Sucks II):
Shireen Saski: "How do you stop the Michigan offense?"
Walt Kyle: "End the game."



Anonymous said...

I've gotta agree on all accounts. Yost was loud, which was nice to see. I haven't seen an atmosphere like that since the BC game last year. It's been awhile. Thank the students for that. OK, so Hensick, Cogs, and JMFJ had something to do with it also.

JMFJ is done. I don't know if you caught it or not, but he gave the stick salute to the students as he was leaving. I can't think of a better way to go out than his performance last night. Thanks Jack, it's been fun!

TJ: again, what better way to end your career at home? He was on fire from the second the game started. The place just erupted when he buried the third one. Awesome. Hard for me to see the kid go. This is the first class I've followed entirely since regaining fandom in '03, and he's always been my favorite since day one.

Kyle's quote: Classic!

Have fun at the game Thursday. Most would be pretty envious of your position.

Kyle Whitney said...

Johnson's outta there. The last two seasons he has been offered the max contract ($850,000), but has elected to stay. Essentially he has paid 1.7 mil to stay at Michigan this long. He claimed that money couldn't buy what he has gotten while there, but I imagine that he has gotten enough that he wants the 850 this time around.

Anonymous said...

As an older follower of Michigan hockey (man, doesn't seem like it was 10 years ago), Hensick is the best pure passer we've had since Morrison. Morrison had awesome thread-the-needle passes as well, as his career assist totals attest to.

JMFJ is gone. Fun while it lasted though. In my approximately 15 years of following UM hockey, he's by far the most physcially gifted player I've seen. His end to end rush was unreal, he would be a dominating power forward if he chose to play that position as well. Hell, it wouldn't shock me if he was an awesome goalie too. Just an incredible athlete. He'll be my sleeper pick in fantasy hockey next year.

And congrats in getting to skate on the JLA ice Tim. That would be a thrill, no doubt.