Thursday, March 12, 2009

10 Things to Know About WMU

Michigan's opponent in the second round of the CCHA Playoffs is the 7th-seeded Western Michigan Broncos. Here are 10 Things to Know about the kids from K-zoo.

1) They come in 14-18-7 overall, but have won 5 out of 6 and 7 out of 10. They've gone 11-7-3 since the start of 2009, after winning just 3 games in the first half (one of which was against Michigan at Yost). They've played ten overtime games this season--or ten more than Michigan has played.

2) Senior Patrick Galivan won the CCHA scoring title, with an 18-28--46 line. He edged out Aaron Palushaj on the last weekend of the season. Sophomore Max Campbell chipped in with 16-15--31. Eleven of his 16 goals came on the PP. They have five guys with 28+ points, after that there's a pretty decent drop-off. Freshman Greg Squires comes in on a 7 game point streak. Western has the #35 offense in the nation at 2.77 goals per game.

3) A kinder, gentler Chris Frank? His PIMs have gone from 127 to 109 to 91 to 79 this year.

4) Riley Gill has played 2/3 of the games. In his 28 starts, he's gone 13-11-3 with a 2.75/.922. (You could probably add him to the list of guys who should've gotten All Conference before Jeff Lerg. I don't think you could accuse WMU of having more talent than FYS. And he actually, ya know, was above .500 and took a team to a higher position in the standings than where they were projected...and won a playoff series.) Jerry Kuhn has played 14 games and went 1-7-4 with a 3.37/.903. Kuhn hasn't been the goalie of record in a game since January 31. It's gonna be Gill. If you remember, Gill made 33 saves in the 2-1 win at Yost and then gave up 5 on 25 the next night at Lawson. They have the #40 defense at 3.05 goals per game.

Check out these numbers: 32, 33, 35, 38, 24, 37, 46, 41, 37, 40, 31, 54, 29. 21, 35, 41. The first group of numbers are the number of saves he's made in his wins this year. The second batch are the saves he's made in his three ties. The kid faces a ton of rubber and stops an awful lot of it. WMU averages giving up 36 shots a night.

5) Patrick Galivan has been on an absolute tear. He had 17 points in the first 24 games of the season. In his last 15 games (including a 13 game point streak), he's put up 11-18--29 and has 13 multipoint games. Might want to watch out for him. Max Campbell has had 18 points in that span.

6) It's important to get out to a good start against them. WMU has been outscored 45-23 in the first period of games, but they've been outscored just 38-37 in the second period, and have outscored their opponents by an impressive 48-36 in the third period and OT.

7) Michigan has won their past 6 playoff series with WMU, but they haven't met in the postseason since 1999-2000. Weird stat: WMU is 0-5-2 when outshooting their opponent this season and are 4-3-1 when giving up 40+ shots.

8) The power play is pretty solid, 19.0%, good for #13 in the nation. The PK is at 79.9% (48th overall). They've scored 7 shorties and have only given up 2.

9) Tyler Ludwig has 7 points in 8 career games against Michigan (1-6--7). Galivan has just two goals and no assists in nine career games against the Maize and Blue. Let's keep that up. Riley Gill is 2-5-0 with a 3.71, .891.

10) Michigan has won 19-straight opening-round playoff series, all at home. Brandon Naurato (3-3--6 in 8 games) and Travis Turnbull (2-4--6 in 10 games) are our leading career scorers against WMU. Louie Caporusso has 3-1--4 in four games (all those points came in our 5-0 win this year). Palushaj also has four points in four games. Bryan Hogan is 1-0-0 with a 0 goals against and a 1.000 save percentage against the Broncos, while Sauer is 5-2-0 with a 2.44 and a .888.

The CCHA announced their award finalists today:

Tim Miller is up for Best Defensive Forward, along with Carter Camper and Erik Condra. Gotta say, it's shocking to not see Carl Hagelin on that list.

Chad Langlais will go up against Eddie del Grosso and Erik Gustafsson for Best Offensive Defenseman.

Chris Summers is up for Best Defensive Defenseman, as are Kyle Lawson and Kevin Roeder.

And David Wohlberg joins Billy Maday and Zac Dalpe as candidates for CCHA Rookie of the Year.

We don't have anyone up for CCHA Player of the Year. Ocho Cinco, Jordan Pearce (who was only All CCHA Honorable Mention, go figure...), and Camper are up for that award.

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