There are definitely two different dangers of exhibition games. The first is that you can never really gauge how well you did against an exhibition opponent. How good are they really, especially compared to the rest of your competition for the year? Does a 7-3 win mean you played well, or does a 3-2 loss mean you played poorly? The truth is you don’t know, and you certainly can think you are better than you are, or lose confidence thinking you aren’t as good as you thought as well. Michigan won 7-3 this year, and it’s really hard to gauge if this was a good win or not from that point of view.
My thoughts from the viewpoint I have in Section 25 are that in the first period we looked sluggish. Perhaps this was caused by the early scoring opportunity by Treias that certainly looked like a goal, but was eventually waved off, or perhaps it was just the overall pace, but either way most of the energy seemed to come from Windsor in the 1st period. The result of the period was a 1-0 lead for Windsor with I believe two goals waved off for the Maize and Blue. In the second period we played with more energy, scored more goals, but we also started out with a habit we picked up last year, which was too many penalties. We can’t afford to have our players sitting in the box while we try to kill off power plays as it also limits our scoring opportunities. In the end you can say that we scored enough goals that it might not matter, but we need to take less penalties in future games including tonight if we expect to win. After the first period, things looked more energetic and I thought the play was positive. In fact, after the first period I really felt like we played more like this was a midseason game than an early exhibition.
The second danger is of course that you could suffer injuries in a meaningless game. Even though both coaches wanted to make sure that their teams came through without injuries in this exhibition game, this is after all a contact sport and the Wolverines sure seemed to come out on the short side of the danger curve. I have a unique advantage over some of you because I sit right next to the tunnel and it’s much more obvious to me when players leave the ice and I can often see what is going on. We now know that Merrill is seriously hurt and is going to miss some time. When he got up and almost immediately went back down I knew he was in trouble, and a few shifts later when he left the ice looking very pale and shakey I figured that at best he had a good concussion, and it could be worse, which of course it has turned out to be. A cracked vertebrae is nothing to mess with and I expect he’ll be out for several weeks. What seems to have received a lot less coverage, and perhaps because it isn’t as serious is the injury to Selman. He came off the ice with a bad cut to the back of his leg just below the knee. There was a lot of noticeable blood showing through his sock and although I haven’t heard any official reports, it wouldn’t surprise me if he is missing for a few weeks as well.
I want to get this posted and game time is soon, so I’m going to upload the pictures and go. I’m feeling pretty good headed into the game tonight. Root them on as I’ll be missing from section 25. Tonight. I’ll be following on twitter and game tracker as best I can. See you all tomorrow night.