Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Media Roundup: UNO Sweep

The media roundup is substantially late this week, but because of that, I've got a few more articles to point out.

The Michigan Side:

Antoine Pitts questions if the Wolverines are really deserving of the #2 ranking. Obviously they aren't the second best team in the country at this point, but based on their record, who they've played, where they've played them, and some bad losses by the other "elite" programs, you have to say that they "deserve" to be ranked where they are. This article also indicates that Caporusso sat because he missed a team meeting Thursday night. Nothing major. Also, Anthony Ciraulo might see action this weekend due to Fardig's broken knuckle.

Pitts did not attend the games this weekend so the Ann Arbor News coverage of the games themselves are from local reports.

Pitts also had a short article about the freshmen defensemen. Pretty clear that they're all talented and that Langlais has shown why he's in the lineup every night. He was honored with the CCHA's Rookie of the Week award for his play in Omaha.

The Daily also has an article about Langlais--who is now tied for the team lead in assists--with some very complimentary words from our captain. A poster on USCHO was saying that at the BU series, the NHL scouts sitting by him (Edmonton I believe) were wondering aloud "where has he been hiding?"

Michigan needs to cut down on penalties. The big revelation in this article though is that Billy Sauer's GAA has improved by a full goal since this time last year. He's got a 2.49 now, which, especially on a team like Michigan who scores so many goals, is great.

It's a good thing we're really good in the third period, because the second periods this weekend left something to be desired.

I thought that, while he made some huge saves on Saturday (especially the glove save on a breakaway), Sauer struggled somewhat with leaving rebounds. The Daily was more impressed. They break down the reasons for the 7-1 start.

Stat Hunting:
With points by Lebler and Summers this weekend, Llewellyn is the only player who has dressed for a game that doesn't have a point.

In 7 games, Louie Caporusso is halfway to matching the point total of last year's leading freshman scorer, Chris Summers (6-8--14 in 41 games).

Kevin Porter already has 5 PPGs. Last year, he had 6.

Travis Turnbull is +8 in 8 games, after being just +6 last year.

Steve Kampfer has already matched last year's point total. He also made a tackle on Louie Caporusso after the GWG against Boston College that was more impressive than anything our linebackers have done this year.

If you want an indication of how stats lie, despite dropping his GAA a half goal a game from last year, and despite the fact that he's clearly played much better hockey, Billy Sauer's save percentage of .896 is equal to what it was at the end of last year.

Our goals per game has dropped just .1 from last year's team, which led the nation in scoring.

We're depending much more heavily on power play goals than last year. 10 of our 33 goals have come with the man advantage. Thankfully our PP% is 5 percent higher than last year's mark.

We're outscoring our opponents 18-10 in the third period. We lead 7-4 in the first, and 7-6 in the second.

Porter, Caporusso, Hagelin, and Rust have combined for 19 goals on 57 shots for an impressive .333 shooting percentage. Hagelin and Rust are over 40%.

Only one player on our roster that takes more than 2 faceoffs per game (Fardig) is below 50% on draws. It's been a long time since we've been able to say that faceoffs are a strength.

The Opponent's View:

The OmahaHockey Weblog was much more impressed with Kaufmann than Dupont, which is hard to argue after that Kampfer goal on Friday night. Dupont is clearly talented though. The writer was also very complimentary about the Wolverines, especially their passing and how well they use the boards. I've noticed that as well. Maybe it's just that I'm seeing the games on TV so I have a better view of our defensive zone, but I swear we're using the boards to aid in passing a lot more this year.

The Mavs are a frustrated hockey team after playing fairly well and having nothing to show for it, after running into Miami and Michigan back to back. Sauer was the #1 star Saturday night, so perhaps I was a little harsh in my assessment. More than anything, though, that should be a compliment that I didn't think he played all that well. Last year, I would've done just about anything for a performance like that. This year, I was kind of m'eh about it.

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