Saturday, November 29, 2008

Wisconsin 3, Michigan 0

So we really just can't score goals for Billy Sauer. Michigan has scored 10 goals in the 7 2/3 games Sauer has played, and eight of those came in the games against OSU and St. Lawrence. They've got two goals combined in the other 5 2/3 games.

Sauer was nothing short of fantastic between the pipes tonight, but when you get no offensive support it's hard to win hockey games. He gave up two power play goals that he had no chance on, and the Badgers added an empty-netter late.

Unlike last Friday against Miami, I can't fault the effort in this one. Michigan was trying out there, things just weren't going their way. They played a great first period, but things unraveled in the second. They took three penalties in quick succession and never regained the momentum after that.

I don't want to say a ton about the officiating until I go back and watch the tape--the game is reairing right now and I can't wait to see the replay of Lebler's clipping--yes clipping--penalty that he was assessed a 5 minute major for. At first watch, I thought the officials were horrendous. It seemed like Red, Mel, and David Wohlberg were equally happy.

The best player on the ice tonight, by far, was Carl Hagelin. That kid is an amazing hockey player and it's one of the most underrated joys in the world to get to watch him play in person. He's always going. I wish I had a count of how many times tonight he went in on the forecheck and somehow came out of there with the puck. I love him and Rust together.

Michigan really didn't end up with a ton of great scoring chances. Wisconsin is really sound defensively. We outplayed them 5 on 5, we just didn't have a lot of opportunity to play 5 on 5 sadly. 17 of Wisconsin's 30 shots (including 10 of their 12 in the third) came during their 19 minutes of power play time. You're just not going to win hockey games when you have to kill penalties for an entire period's worth of time.

What else, what else...I thought Wohlberg had another strong game. Palushaj didn't do much. The Kohl Center is beautiful. Their little power play song is pretty catchy even if we heard far too much of it.

The passing kind of sucked tonight. I don't know if the ice was chippy because of the basketball game earlier in the day--it was bouncing around quite a bit, at least in the end we defended twice--but they just weren't clicking tonight.

Worst smack of the night: "Save your voice for your bowl game....ohhhhh!" Umm...we beat you. I'm 26 and you've beaten us something like 4 times in my life. This was the worst team in the history of Michigan football and we still beat you. And you guys had a crap year least we had somewhat of an excuse. You were supposed to contend for the Big Ten. So yeah, probably not a great time to bring up football.

This season is giving me a headache. I feel so bad for Billy Sauer. He deserves a lot better than this. He was simply stellar in net tonight and they just couldn't help him at all. It's going to get to the point where they have to play Hogan just because he's the guy we play well in front of, but if we get to that point it's no fault of Sauer's. He's giving them a chance and they're not getting it done.

There's no excuse to not rail Michigan State next weekend...


Anonymous said...

Minnesota and Badger fans are railing Lebler on USCHO for being dirty.

Give us the scoop, Tim, on the video since we couldn't see the game here.

I can't say Michigan is the cleanest team, but 9 penalties? Come on.

Packer487 said...

There really wasn't a good shot of it. It looked like Lebler was going low kind of needlessly, but there wasn't a good clip of it.

Bobby said...

I made the trip from Ann Arbor up to the Showcase... I agree that the officiating looked awful from where I was sitting at the Kohl Center. A lot of really weak and unnecessary calls, IMO. Obviously made it extremely difficult for Michigan to get into any kind of offensive rhythm.

I did not receive a single negative or mocking comment from any Minnesota or Wisconsin fans during the whole trip. Kind of disappointing, actually. I was prepared to be ragged for football (as you were) but nobody said anything. Weird.

bouje said...

We sat by some meathead wisco fans *shocker* and they said things like

"go back to east lansing"

and my personal favorite "sparties suck"

Weak all around... and I really have to disagree with Tim's assessment of the Kohl Center.. yes it is really "beautiful" if you like new stadiums that look like pro stadiums. IMO it was too big for a hockey stadium.. There was no friendliness like at Yost..

This was my second game at a Wisconsin stadium and like going to the football game i walked away unimpressed by the wisconsin fans.

I wasn't impressed by Jump Around and I ABSOLUTELY HATED their power play cheer. There was nothing "magical" about it. It sucked...

Impressions of Wisconsin:

1. Meat-head retards

2. Basically like a stupider version of Staties

3. Not very creative

That is all

Packer487 said...

I dunno Bouje...I don't think the Kohl Center had the kind of stale atmosphere that a lot of those arenas have (like the Schott in Columbus). You also have to keep in mind that it was over Thanksgiving, the student section was only half full, and there were lots of empty seats elsewhere. Yost isn't Yost when the students aren't there either. I was at a Senior Night vs. MSU game that had no atmosphere whatsoever since the students were on Spring Break. My seats were awesome, so I'm not sure how the view is in the upper bowl, but I felt like it was just intimate enough that it could get super loud in there....It didn't feel like a cavern like the Schott did.

Everyone seems to hate Wiscy fans. I've heard it from SO many people that I can't doubt the experience or write it off to a few meatheads. I've never had anything but good experiences myself--even before I lived here.

The power play "song" was different. I enjoyed it, but I can see how it might grate on the nerves...especially when we heard it as much as we did. The one thing I'd admit is that at times it'd probably be better to just get rowdy during the PP instead of quietly singing. I still thought it was very cool, especially with how the whistle would blow and everyone would immediately launch into singing louder.

Packer487 said...

Meant to include this in the last comment.

I wouldn't trade Yost for anything, but I do think a big, modern arena is ok as long as you can keep it pretty packed.

OSU shouldn't be playing hockey in a stadium that big. Wiscy can probably get away with it.

There's a tradeoff between the intimacy of a place like Yost and the ability to put 13,000 fans in there for a big game. Benefits to both. I prefer places like Yost, but as long as there are butts in the seats, I don't have a problem with a big venue.

bouje said...

Well I was up in the upper deck last row.. Completely blew chunks... The overhang blocked out every play along the penalty box side.

And yeah I know I'd have to go back to Kohl Center to really get if it is a good experience or not but frankly I cannot stand Wisconsin fans. They know nothing about sports, they just drink themselves stupid because frankly there is nothing else to do in Madison.

It just oozed of commercial-ism. The electronic halo that had tons of ads on it was gaudy and I hated it. The whole atmosphere reminded me of a pro arena. I don't like the pro's, I like the pageantry of college athletics and frankly I think that Wisconsin killed it

pz said...

I'm sure most frequenters of this site have seen this, but a nice Daily article on Kampfer's progress:

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