Sorry for the lack of content over the past few weeks. My laptop died and it was more of a problem than I originally thought it was. I bought a new laptop last night, so I'm back in business!
Michigan comes into a classic "trap" weekend against Ohio State this weekend. It would be easy to look ahead to The Big Chill next weekend--Lord knows I am--but there's some business to attend to first: A pair of games down in Columbus, where we'll hopefully avoid the "Just Like Football" chant, and instead get a "Just like life!" chant going.
Friday's game is on the Big Ten Network, while Saturday's will be streamed on BigTenNetwork.com
1) Michigan enters play this weekend two points behind Miami for first place in the conference (we have 2 games in-hand) and one point behind Notre Dame with the same number of games played. The Buckeyes are in 10th at 2-5-1-1 in the CCHA and 5-7-1 overall. They're really not very good. In this young season, they've lost to Quinnipiac and Bobby Mo. They have won four of the last six, however.
2) Coach Mark Osiecki is in his first year at OSU. Previously he was an assistant coach with North Dakota as well as Wisconsin. Hopefully, for our sake, he didn't bring the Badger power play.
3) The Bucknuts are heavy on seniors. Their five leading scorers--and six of their top seven--are in their final year with the program. Sergio Somma--who it feels like has been there for about ten years--has 6-7--13 on the season. John Albert and Danny Dries each have double digits in points, and Dries has matched Somma's six goals. They've got three defensemen who have more than 1/2 a point a game. Shane Sims has 1-8--9 to lead the blueliners.
4) In goal, it's been Cal Heeter all the way. He has a 2.57/.909. Last year he was 9-6-2 with a 3.19/.897. He played against Michigan twice last season, stopping 42 of 45 shots in a win, and giving up 2 on 36 shots in a loss. He also gave up 4 on 16 shots against us in half a game back in 08-09, when he was a freshman.
5) The Buckeye offense scores 2.92 goals per game, which is good for 26th in the nation. The defense gives up 2.69 goals per game, 23rd in the country. Not as bad as you'd expect in either account. To be fair, they've played a schedule that their school president would probably consider to be the weak sisters of the poor: Quinnipiac, Bobby Mo, Ferris, NMU, Huntsville, FYS, and Alaska. They lead the CCHA in shots on goal per game with 33.3 a night.
6) Their power play is very middle of the pack at 18.3% (they have given up 3 shorties) but their PK has been pretty awful, ranking 43rd in the country at 78.6%. Then again, we made the Gophers 56th ranked PK look like world-beaters.
7) Michigan leads the all-time series 65-30-11. In Columbus we're 28-15-5.
8) Interesting stat: Ohio State is unbeaten this year when they score 4+ goals, but have yet to win a game (and have only tied once) when scoring fewer than four times.
9) I had a feeling that Somma was kind of a Wolverine-killer. He has had 8 points in 8 games against Michigan and is +8. Sophomore defenseman Devon Krogh had two points and was +6 in the two games last season. Junior defenseman Sean Duddy hails (see what I did there?) from Ann Arbor. He's a traitor like LeBron.
10) Louie Caporusso has 3-7--10 in 6 games against Ohio State. Chad Langlais has 8 points in 8 games. Chris Brown has 4 in 2. Bryan Hogan is 4-2-2 against OSU with a 2.01/.918. Hunwick has never faced the Buckeyes.
Michigan announced an open skate for the day after the Big Chill. There are 8 30-minute sessions. Admission is $15 a person and you can buy tickets the day of the event, cash only. That seems really pricey, but some of the proceeds are going to Mott's, which is nice.
Also, for the lead up to the Big Chill, Michigan posted a poll for the ten top moments in Michigan hockey history. I'm disappointed that the Molly game isn't in there.