Sunday, November 9, 2008

Changing of the Guard part 1

As the winged helmets on ice struggled on the road against Sarah Palin's money at work. I read the score in the game tracker that said that Michigan State lost 3-0 to that school in Columbus. This came as an absolute shock to me because normally the Spartans would take apart a team like the Nuts. But not only did the Bucks beat MSU on the scoreboard, they outshot them 49-21. While outshooting opponents has never been State's mantra, this was still pretty jarring, even with as good a goalie as Jeff Lerg is in goal, Michigan State let the Bucks let loose on him and eventually he let three in. On top of that, the next day OSU completed the sweep with a 3-1 victory in a much more even handed game.

This plus the fact that the Nanooks played Michigan ridiculously close in both games despite the fact that the Wolverines outshot them in both games, cause me to wonder whether there is going to be a changing of the guard in the CCHA. It makes me wonder if the intra state rivalry is going to carry as much weight as it has in the past. With the emergence of Notre Dame in the last two years under Jeff Jackson questions have been raised and a new quadrumvirate has arisen in Michigan, Michigan State, Notre Dame and Miami (Ohio). Now with State starting to falter and Michigan having playing under .500 hockey on the road it raises questions about who the State of Michigan's top two college hockey programs are.

Well rest assured dear readers one of them is undoubtedly still Michigan, they just need to adjust to playing on the road better. This year they've been letting the Yost crowd carrying them through the early part of their home schedule. I understand that this has been the way it's been done in the past, but they'd better snap out of it by now because otherwise they're not going to get very far in the season if they can only win half their games on the road. It's a tough conference to play on the road in, but this is a problem that needs to be addressed and soon, and hopefully they will when they face the Lawson Lunatics this upcoming saturday after my dear friend Peter Saul will try to attempt the impossible and get a one camera broadcast of a hockey game this Friday against Western Michigan.



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