Archive for the 'Big Ten' Category

Weekend Preview: Big Ten, Jan. 23

Saturday, January 24th, 2015

In conference play this weekend, Michigan and Wisconsin square off while Michigan State hosts Ohio State. Minnesota participates in the second annual North Star College Cup, and Penn State hosts Northern Michigan.

Michigan’s high-powered offense will be a difficult challenge for Wisconsin, which was dominated by the Gophers last weekend. Ohio State was impressive last weekend despite its numerous injuries, but should have a tougher time against a much better Michigan State defense.

The North Star College Cup features Minnesota-Duluth, Minnesota State and Bemidji State. The Mavericks are ranked No. 1 in the PairWise, and have been strong all season. They’ll be Minnesota’s first matchup of the tournament, but don’t forget – Minnesota-Duluth gave the Gophers trouble earlier in the season.

Senior CLASS Award candidates were announced this week, featuring Ohio State’s Tanner Fritz, Michigan’s Zach Hyman and Minnesota’s Kyle Rau. Hyman was also named a finalist for the Hockey Humanitarian Award, along with Wisconsin’s Joel Rumpel.


Big Ten: A Look Into Corsi, Penn State

Friday, January 23rd, 2015

Each week this season I’ve looked into Big Ten Corsi stats. A few days ago, College Hockey News introduced metrics for each game – which accounts for all shots taken by each player on each team.

The stats are lifted off shot charts, so it displays attempts that were blocked, wide, hit the post, saved or were goals. This allows us to calculate the Corsi For total for each players. Unfortunately we have no way of knowing (yet) how many shots were taken against these players while they were on the ice. But looking at the Corsi For totals for each player can give us a better idea who’s shooting the most, where their shots are going, and how many of their attempted shots are goals.

Penn State is a team known for puck possession. They average 40.29 shots on goal per game, most in the country. And they average 73.38 attempts per game. Of all their attempts, Penn State has recorded 71 goals – converting on 4.61 percent of their total shots attempted.

Casey Bailey leads Penn State with 26 goals, and he leads the team in shot attempts at 212. Almost half of Bailey’s shots have been on target, and he’s converted on 10.85 percent of his total attempted shot. In close situations, Bailey isn’t converting as much. But the forward still leads Penn State players with 142 attempts. So in close situations, Bailey averages 6.76 shots per game, and in total he averages 10.10 shots per game.  (more…)

Three Things I Think: Big Ten, Jan. 19

Monday, January 19th, 2015

The return to Big Ten play featured a couple of ties and a very heated Minnesota-Wisconsin rematch. Penn State emerged on top of the conference standings, with a 5-2-1 record. After a 10-6 win over Ohio State, Michigan is second. The Gophers moved up from No. 5 to No. 3, while the Badgers are still in the basement.

“Heated” doesn’t accurately describe the closing minutes of Saturday’s Gophers-Badgers match. A very, very ugly hit from Eddie Wittchow on Leon Bristedt. That resulted in a full-out brawl – which includes Brady Skjei running and tackling a Badger and Joel Rumpel grabbing Skjei in a chokehold.

It was crazy.

On Friday night, the Gophers dominated the Badgers. But Wisconsin scored two goals late to tie the game, and then won in the shootout. It was a pretty disappointing result for Minnesota, which has been struggling lately. The Gophers are now 18th in the PairWise. Michigan passed them and moved up to No. 17, now the highest-ranked Big Ten team.

Michigan State and Penn State tied on Friday, but Penn State’s offense exploded in a win over the Spartans on Friday. Maybe that’s not the right word, because I think “exploded” would lend itself more for the 10 goals Michigan scored over Ohio State.

Anyway, Penn State has one of the best lines in the country of Taylor Holstrom, Casey Bailey and David Goodwin. They might not be as flashy as Dylan Larkin, Alex Kile and Zach Hyman, but they’re pretty solid. Penn State slipped in the PairWise after a slow post-break start, but is now 21st.

Going back to Ohio State. Anthony Greco recorded his second hat trick, and joined Robert Morris’ Cody Wydo and Canisius’ Ralph Cuddemi as the only players in the nation with two hat tricks. If it weren’t for injuries, the Buckeyes could have competed in the weak Big Ten.

(After the jump: Why I still don’t trust Michigan, why Penn State differs from its Big Ten counterparts, and Mike Eaves gives the best analogies.) (more…)

Big Ten: A Look Into Corsi, Week 14

Monday, January 19th, 2015

Big Ten play resumed this weekend, giving us a chance to compare possession during in-conference play. Penn State and Michigan State tied on Friday night, but the Nittany Lions offense broke out on Saturday for the win. Michigan dominated Ohio State, while Minnesota dominated Wisconsin – yet still ended the weekend with a tie and win.

Despite Michigan scoring 10 goals in its win over Ohio State, the Buckeyes actually finished with a slightly higher Corsi. But the Wolverines did score a couple of goals on a five-minute major power play.

The Gophers dominated possession against Wisconsin on Friday, but allowed the Badgers to tie the game very late. And Wisconsin won in the shootout, earning the extra point in conference play and leaving Minnesota disappointed. That rivalry resumed its hatred on Saturday night, with a crazy scrum ensued in the closing minutes. There were a lot of penalties handed out.

The complete Corsi stats are listed below, along with the score context and Corsi close from each game: (more…)

Weekend Preview: Big Ten, Jan. 16

Friday, January 16th, 2015

It’s a full slate of conference play this weekend, with a couple rivalries resuming. The Buckeyes visit the Wolverines, while Minnesota hosts Wisconsin. Penn State and Michigan State will play two in Pennsylvania.

Michigan and Penn State are tied for first in the conference, while Minnesota and Wisconsin are in the bottom two slots. Yes, Minnesota is just slightly above Wisconsin, which is in the Big Ten basement,

The Wolverines have been rising in the PairWise, while Minnesota has been dropping – and now is No. 16. This is a big weekend for the Gophers, and it should be a pair of easy victories for a team struggling to win.

The Penn State and Michigan State series should be interesting. The Nittany Lions seem to have shaken off their winter break sleepiness, while the Spartans have played well in their past few contests.

As for Michigan-Ohio State, well, the Wolverines are just too good right now. And Ohio State isn’t really healthy.  (more…)

Three Things I Think: Big Ten, Jan. 13

Tuesday, January 13th, 2015

Big Ten play resumed last weekend, as Penn State, Ohio State, Minnesota and Michigan combined for a couple overtime games. Michigan finished with the sweep, relegating the Gophers to fifth in the conference.

The Wolverines are now tied with Penn State for the Big Ten lead, and have one conference game on hand. After scoring 11 goals on the weekend, Michigan’s offense is ranked second in the country. Zach Hyman now has 26 points, and is eight away from doubling his total from last season.

Ohio State held a 4-1 lead over Penn State before the Nittany Lions scored four goals in the third period to tie the game. Ohio State salvaged the game but winning in overtime, and is now 2-3-0 against Big Ten opponents.

There’s not much to say about Wisconsin except the Badgers are still bad. They tied BU, but that happened partly because the Terriers scored in their own net.

(After the jump: Minnesota is in trouble, from goalkeeping to offense, why Michigan will win the Big Ten) (more…)

Big Ten: A Look Into Corsi, Week 13

Tuesday, January 13th, 2015

Big Ten conference play created some interesting games, with overtime contests between Ohio State and Penn State as well as Minnesota and Michigan.

Penn State, known for good puck possession, continued that trend as it possessed the Buckeyes in a weekend split. Meanwhile, Wisconsin’s poor Corsi numbers continued as the Badgers tied and lost to Boston University.

The Corsi stats are listed below:

Weekend Preview: Big Ten, Jan. 8

Thursday, January 8th, 2015

All Big Ten teams take the ice this week, highlighted by a couple conference series. Michigan State hosts the NTDP, while the Badgers welcome Boston University to Wisconsin.

Michigan and Minnesota face each other in the Big Ten series to watch this weekend, as the teams were expected to compete for the first and second spots in the Big Ten. Minnesota struggled at its holiday tournament, while Michigan powered past Michigan Tech and Michigan State to win the Great Lakes Invitational.  but Minnesota

Penn State and Ohio State face off, as the Buckeyes continue their Pennsylvania road trip. While the Nittany Lions came back from the holidays healthy, the Buckeyes will be undermanned this weekend.

The Hobey Baker fan ballot was released, and the Big Ten had seven members nominated – Penn State’s Casey Bailey and Taylor Holstrom, Michigan’s Andrew Copp and Zach Hyman and Minnesota’s Mike Reilly, Kyle Rau and Adam Wilcox.


Three Things I Think: Big Ten, Jan. 6

Tuesday, January 6th, 2015

The Big Ten turned in one if its better non-conference weekends, finishing with a 3-2-1 record. The Gophers fell to Merrimack but defeated RIT, Ohio State beat and tied Mercyhurst, and the Badgers split their weekend against Michigan Tech.

The Buckeyes put up eight goals in the Snowtown Throwdown, with Matt Johnson’s hat trick leading Ohio State’s six-goal effort on Friday. Ohio State is one of six programs that have had two different players record a hat trick this season.

With a 2-0 win over Michigan Tech on Saturday, the Badgers became the last team to reach the two-win mark this season. Joel Rumpel made a career-high 47 saves in the shutout, one night after the Badgers lost 8-1 to the Huskies. I use “upset” minimally, but Wisconsin’s win was an upset and an anomaly. The Badgers are still in a bad state, but the rest of the conference – especially Michigan – should thank Wisconsin for getting a huge out-of-conference win.

Speaking of Michigan, the Wolverines are now 21st in the PairWise, and Penn State has dropped to 22. After falling to Merrimack, the Gophers dropped to 10. There are still some non-conference games left, but it might be too late for the Wolverines or Nittany Lions to earn an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament. (more…)

Big Ten: A Look Into Corsi, Week 12

Sunday, January 4th, 2015

This week, Wisconsin, Ohio State and Minnesota combined for a 3-2-1 record. The Gophers and Badgers split their weekend, while Ohio State defeated and tied Mercyhurst.

Despite missing Hudson Fasching and Ryan Collins on Friday, Minnesota still recorded its highest 5-on-5 Corsi for the season. This marked the fourth and fifth time so far the Gophers passed the 60 percent mark for 5-on-5 Corsi.

The Badgers earned their second win of the season, snapping a four game losing streak. But Wisconsin’s Corsi numbers hovered around the 35 percent mark for both games, and the Badgers won Saturday largely because of Joel Rumpel’s play.

Ohio State scored six goals on Friday, while controlling 5-on-5 play. The second game between Mercyhurst and Ohio State was more even, and the Buckeyes recorded a 50 percent Corsi for 5-on-5 play.

The Corsi stats are listed below: (more…)