Saturday, November 21, 2009

BGSU 4, Michigan 2

This is worse than Panic! at the Disco.

Things were going well, Michigan was up 2-1 in the third period and with Lee Moffie in the box, Steve Kampfer took as dumb of a cross-checking penalty as you're ever going to see. Michigan goes down two men, BGSU scores just before Moffie's penalty ended. They stay on the power play, score again. Then Hogan leaves a juicy rebound and gives up his token soft goal another minute or so later. It's suddenly 4-2 bad guys, and a previously 1-8-1 hockey team who got blown out by the effing NTDP was skating out of Yost with a win.

Not to say there weren't positives. Louie Caporusso woke up offensively with a highlight-reel goal, where he split two defenders, danced around a diving defenseman, and then slid it into the net while he was falling to the ice. Robbie Czarnik had a freaking laser into the top corner to put us up 2-1. The two of them also did some great work on an first period penalty kill. The power play showed signs of life and even scored a goal (!) (Caporusso's). Even Hogan made some big stops in the first couple of periods.

But none of it matters. Too many odd-man rushes given up. Too many penalties--and stupid-ass penalties to boot. Too many rebounds. Too many soft goals. Not enough offense.

Five losses in a row. Four losses at home in a row. 4-7-0 on the season. 11th place in the CCHA, 14 points out of first. 28 goals in 11 games. This is a complete disaster. There's still time to fix this (again, I'll bring up that North Dakota seemingly does this every year) but the margin of error in order to make the tournament is slipping away. We've already got seven losses (more than we had in the Frozen Four season two years ago, by the way). Miami squeaked into the tournament last year with 12 losses. This can get fixed, but it needs to get fixed quickly, or this will be the first Michigan team in two decades to be sitting at home come tournament time.

Other Stuff:
Lucas Lessio was named to Team Ontario for the World Under 17 Challenge.

McKeen's just spoke with Mac Bennett. They offered up this glowing assessment:
Bennett has already impressed by displaying a level of puck poise rarely seen by defensemen in their rookie USHL season, even if his 1 goal and 3 assists in 8 games prior to playing for Team USA at the 2009 World Junior A Challenge weren't on pace to match those of his RoughRider predecessors Donovan and Phillips. However, the Montreal Canadiens prospect's future looks every bit as bright, if not more so, than the New York Islanders' Donovan or the Chicago Blackhawks' Phillips.

NTDP Coach Kurt Kleinendorst offered up his assessment of his players that were ranked highly on the CSS list, including Jon Merrill and Jack Campbell. He said he's never seen a goalie his age handle the puck so responsibly. He also said you could make a case for Merrill as the #1 defenseman on the list, instead of the seventh spot where he's currently ranked.

25 comments:

Anonymous said...

The defense is a HUGE issue with our team. Granted the offense is struggling and miserable. but, BGSU should NEVER have even gotten as many shots as they did. But will the coaching staff ever get our defense to actually play defense????? Yes, we could use Merrill. We could use any defensemen committed to solid defense right now.

MGoDoubleMs said...

I find the decision to not dress Llewellyn distressing. Gameplay-wise, he is one of our top 3 defensemen, even if he's good for one terrible penalty a game.

Also, why do we dress 3 goalies? Is there any real reason for it?

I think Hogan is the biggest issue at this point. He has given up an embarrassing number of soft goals. He had 5 or 6 times last night, not including goals, where you had to be like 'shit shit shit shit shit shit shit, theres a puck right there, and about twelve feet of net right there, and oh phew someone knocked it away by the skin of their teeth, thank god, they were about to have the softest goal since the last goal he gave up'. Hogan is just plain bad, there are no two ways around it. We need Campbell. If only Hunwick wasn't the smallest person ever, he'd be a feasible switch-off goalie.

Anonymous said...

What games are you watching? Llewelyn contributed to several of the goals against during the MSU series and has NOT been playing well. Trouble is there aren't many good alternatives. Are any of the DMan playing well- terrible passing, coughing up the puck,stupid penalties, etc, etc, Having said that, soft goals are killing us as well and no offense is too.

KC8NIY said...

I was pretty happy to see Red sit Tristin for a game. Yes, he's arguably one of our better defenders, but there have to be consequences for those ill-advised penalties. When you're headed to the box too often, and for something that had no effect on the game, then you've got to get the emotions in check. Sitting him out to let him think about that was the right decision.

As for Hogan, he has been good for one soft goal per game, and that's just not going to work. But I can't say there's any more fault on him than anyone else on the team. He needs to step up and play consistently well, versus the flashes of it here and there. He's proven previously that he can be a great goaltender, he just needs to get back some of that confidence.

Which brings me to the defense. This team has been suspect defensively all season, which is just baffling considering that our defensive core was supposed to be one of the deepest and most talented in the country. Make no mistakes though, team defense is where the problems lie in their entirety, not just the guys on the blue line. Turnovers in your own zone and failure to break out are a recipe for disaster, which can be seen in the goals against column.

Goon said...

What the heck is happening to the Wolverines? Very un-Michigan like.

KC8NIY said...

Goon: There's plenty of things wrong, which I'm sure you've seen in your internet travels of the usual places. The problem is finding a solution to whatever the real underlying problem is. We're not very good, but the troubling part is, why? There's plenty of talent that has proven itself in the past, and even the freshmen have showed flashes of brilliancy at times in October.

Anonymous said...

I think Red got the point across about taking dumb penalties by sitting T.L. as the game didn't seem to have very many penalties, especially compared to the previous 4 games. The Moffie, Kampfer 5-3 was just bad timing. BTW, Kampfer's penalty...pretty weak call. Yes it was a cross check, but holy christ, nice embelishment. It's as if the defender felt the hit in the back and thought, "Note to self: fall to your knees."

Goon said...

I can't believe with a team as good as Michigan having trouble to win with all of those blue chippers on the that tema.

streaker said...

Goon: Blue chip status doesn't mean shit once you jump up to D1. None of the talent is NHL quality at this point, not like Cammalleri, Cogliano, Hensick, Tambellini... guys that could catch lightning in a bottle and carry an offense. Rust, Hagelin and Caporusso are solid D1 talents, but are missing the grinders from last season that gave them space to operate. Secondly, there is no offensive threat from the blue line- Kampfer and Langlais are nice players, but they are struggling. Hogan is a mess, although he and the team apparently played pretty solid tonight in Toledo. The team is still not very confident. There is a ton of youth on this team and they get knocked off the puck too easily and mentally seem to get rattled very quickly. They are failing at putting together their raw blue chip talent and their mental game.

Anonymous said...

Hahahaha, after all the smack talk about MSU! How the mighty have fallen...

Anonymous said...

check your facts on JMFC!!!

Anonymous said...

Anonymous Sparty thinks that our program is done. Wait until April and we'll see.

Anonymous said...

Campbells not coming Blogger. Totally bad news.

Anonymous said...

You got proof? or are you talking typical Sparty crap? More likely the latter, considering how you obsess with our program.

Anonymous said...

This isn't MLive.

Quit the mudslinging, talk intelligently or don't bother posting, all sides involved.

Anonymous said...

JMFC- is he on early signing list?
WTF?

Dave H said...

Yeah, reports are that Campbell hasn't signed his LOI and is going to report to Windsor.

KC8NIY said...

I have no words for today's events.

Anonymous said...

I do- SELFISH, SPOILED BRATS!

Anonymous said...

Lets face it the kid would be at michigan for one year at best...this is the right move for him as sad as it to say.

Anonymous said...

It probably is the right move for him and i respect him for that choice. I do NOT respect him informing Michigan ater the LOI signing period began. Had he told Michigan in advance, we would have had opportunities to recruit other goalies that might have been going to less desirable situations. Very very disappointing,and in poor taste if you ask me.

Anonymous said...

JMFC played the game - he wanted to say that he had a huge college commitment last October after his teammate at USA had committed to MSU. He doesn't like being thought of as 2nd to any other goalie. Hopefully in the end he gets what he deserves and has worked hard for - not what daddy got for him. As another poster said "SPOILED, ROTTEN BRATS". I hope that they remember that what goes around comes around.

Anonymous said...

Campbell is NOT a spoiled brat. He is a quality kid and an excellent goalie. But he should have made his plans known earlier - not at the last minute.

streaker said...

Yep I agree, Campbell played Red.

I feel bad for Czarnik, but I think he's making a mistake. he'll never materialize playing for Plymouth. I guess he doesn't have to worry about being pushed or school or any of the other expectations. Those who stay, you know...

Anonymous said...

THESE KIDS ARE CANCERS, it is all about them and not the team. No wonder the Blue are struggling, there is no team concept and being held accountable. These kids and their sleazy agents all call the shots. Only a very small percentage will see the "show".
Coaches must be going crazy!