Thursday, January 8, 2009

Michigan vs. Miami series hype blog.

Disclaimer: i'm kinda drunk right now, so please excuse the way i might come off here.

The winged helmets on ice are going into what seems like the most important series of the regular season. They're coming into it pretty pumped up from winning their second straight GLI with Inside College Hockey's new hidden Hobey Louie Caporusso. Judging from that and the "Hobey Baker" chants i heard at the Joe after the death of the Spartans it wouldn't surprise me if he got some consideration for the hockey version of the Heisman trophy.

The Wolverines are hoping to capitalize off a win two weeks ago against a team that was limping through their season. Miami is hoping to recover from a loss to a team that hadn't won in 56 days. Ironically, or perhaps fittingly Michigan ended that team's season last year in the game that sent them to the frozen four.

There are many factors in this game, not the least of which is vengance. Last year that was a big enough factor in getting the Wolverines over the Redhawks in Miami with three hard earned points, especially considering how crazy that second game was.

Other than that there are the scorers. Michigan boasts two 25 point getters in Aaron Palushaj (who played in the World Junior Championship) and Louie Caporusso (who did not). Miami has the leading scorer in the CCHA in Carter Camper with 27 points 12 of them from goals. Louie trails him in points but is considered more deadly with his shooting as 18 of his points come from goals. He will probably start and he will probably get the old Bobby Hull treatment, wherever he goes, the Redhawk defenders go with him. With him and probably Camper being constantly trailed both teams will have to look to other options that are more likely to be open.

Special teams will also be a factor, Miami has a decided advantage in that department with three of the top seven power play goal getters in the CCHA. Staying out of the box will be absolutely crucial for the Wolverines if they want to win. They have to be able to play the type of disciplined hockey that Red Berenson has been preaching since he came back to Ann Arbor from the pro ranks in 1984. They need to play like they are ready to give their coach a championship in his last season. In order to execute that latter statement they have to get at least two points out of this series in order for them to be taken seriously by the selection committee, and that will also go a long way to get the team to make a first round bye in the CCHA tournament for the umpteenth year. They need all the help they can get they can get it from everybody who's available.



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