Swept by the Irish…

It’s really hard to get excited about writing blog entries when the team just doesn’t play up to par.  Back to back defeats at the hands of the Irish are just to painful to recall.  We can’t expect that we are going to win games scoring just one goal with our lineups.  We have to find ways to put the puck in the net multiple times a game.  The defense and our freshmen goalies have to keep us in games (which I think they did for these two games), but we definitely have to outscore the opposition.

It sure would have been nice to win on the night of the Rededication of Yost.  They had a huge ceremony with a large number of former Wolverines on the ice during the first intermission.  They had a large pair of scissors that was supposed to “Cut the Net”, but they were having trouble making that work (anyone have a pocket knife?).  The crowd was given Blue Glowsticks to use during the intermission.  That might have been the highlight of the night.

When was the last time we were in ninth place in the CCHA this far into the season.  That’s another thing I just don’t want to contemplate.  Heck, tonight we host Bowling Green, the proverbial doormat of the CCHA and I’m nervous that we aren’t going to come out victorious for this one either. 

Ok, so last post I said I wasn’t panicing, but I’m now close.  The boys need to step up and start delivering on the promise of this team.  My feeling is that we’re going to be without Merrill for an extended period of time yet, so the defense is going to have to step up, and so are our goal scorers.   A.J. can’t shoulder the burden of this.  Guptill, PDG, and Lynch mob need to start putting the puck in the net.  We need 4-5 goals per game to be successful.

Let’s see what we can do to help.  I expect tonight might be a quiet night at Yost.  Make yourself heard and let’s see if we can’t bring home a victory before the holiday!

And now for the pictures from the game:

Andrew Copp along the right side boards in front of the bench

Another shot of Copp along the boards.

Trouba makes his way back to the bench for a line change.

Former players on the ice, Blue Glowsticks in hand for the crowd.

Treais coming on the ice for a faceoff.

Boo Nieves prepares for a faceoff

AJ handling the puck at the blue line on the power play

Hyman lets loose a slapshot.

@eaglescout03 with his best Bullwinkle impression.

PDG changing lines

Lynch with another faceoff win.

Two games in a row we had to have an empty net. The EN goalie gave up a goal as well each game.

Lee Moffie, stick in hand and ready to go.

Nieves skates off with his head hung low after the sweep by the Irish.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Splitting with State – A Home Win

Friday night at Yost the Wolverines looked unbeatable.  In a 5-1 win they looked like the totally dominant team.  On Saturday night the Spartans returned the favor at Munn with a 7-2 whipping of the boys in blue.  What is going on with the Friday/Saturday splits.  I really wish I could figure it out as it really seems to make no sense at all.

Jared Rutledge was in goal for Michigan on Friday and for the first two periods on Saturday.  In Friday’s game he looked great, on Saturday he gave up 3 goals in the first 10 minutes.  I wish that things were more clear on why there is such a big difference from Friday to Saturday.

As I sat in my seat in Section 25 on Friday I really tried to determine why the Wolverines looked so dominant.  They looked faster, more physical and more confident.  Maybe it really is a home ice advantage.  I’m not really sure.  One thing that occurred to me is that we have seemed stronger on the faceoff this year.  In particular I have thought that Travis Lynch seemed to be exceptionally strong when the puck drops.  I was rather surprised to look at the season stats and find that we are only winning faceoffs at a .517 clip.  It has certainly seemed better to me.  Digging deeper into the stats though I found that with the exception of Treais, anyone who has more than 4 faceoffs is winning exceptionally more of them.  Selman, Guptill and Lynch are at .540, .531 and .521 respectively, while Treais is only winning .485 of his faceoffs.  So maybe my perception isn’t that far off.

I’ve learned not to panic too early with Red’s teams, as he seems to find a way to have them peak at the right times, but right now, running at a .500 clip every weekend is a little depressing considering the talent we seem to have on these lines.  I know, I know….we have two freshman goaltenders and have had a number of issues with Defensemen missing games for various reasons.  I still wish we could replicate our Friday successes and turn our weekend splits into weekend sweeps.

It’s already late in the week, and the first of the two Notre Dame games is over and I haven’t yet had a chance to post this installment, so I’m going to go ahead and post the pictures and then get ready for tonight’s game and hope for our Friday night magic to work again!  Go Blue!

 

Lee Moffie with the puck followed closely by Forfar

Yanakeff looks over his shoulder to see the puck in the net off the stick of Sparks

 

Kevin Lynch wins a defensive zone faceoff.

The Russian Bar Trio performed at half time. If you missed it, you should definitely check it out on Youtube. She was phenomenal.

Kevin Lynch goes in for a shot on Yanakeff, but is turned away. This is the only bad part about my seats…why didn’t we go for seamless glass?

Another Handsome Goalie, this time it’s Rutledge showing off in front of the net.

The team celebrates the 5-1 win over State with Rutledge