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owslachief
10-06-2017, 08:27 AM
Michigan State has hit the hockey reset button, having brought in a new head coach and two new assistants behind the bench.

The Spartans will be the youngest team in B1G this year with but 6 upperclassmen, 11 sophomores and 8 freshmen. The program also has to rekindle some hope and rebuild a fan base that used to be among the loudest and best. And it may be a while before it lands the kinds of recruits we had in the Mason era and early in his successor's tenure. One pretty good recruit, the previously announced captain for 2017-18, bolted for the NHL.

That's the ugly.

Some good news ...
Last year's freshman group had a pretty good season, as that class posted its best offensive output as a percentage of team scoring in several years. MSU returns 56% of its of scoring from 2016-17. Ed Minney should be sharper, having healed from an injury that plagued him toward the end of last season, and he will contend with sophomore John Lethemon in what sets up to be a pretty fair goalie competition.

No captain has been selected as of today, but D Carson Gatt (sr), F Brennan Sanford (jr) and F Sam Saliba (so) begin the season as assistant captains.

None of the stuff in the "good news" category has swayed where general wisdom and any media outlet that predicts these things from forecasting anything other than a 7th-place finish in 2017-18 for MSU in a 7-school league. So we as fans look for positives wherever we can.

Pirateasaur
10-06-2017, 11:13 AM
I think we're pretty locked into 7th place, unfortunately. Although, OSU did lose to Ryerson but that likely doesn't mean much.

It'll be interesting to see who dresses and what the line combos/pp units look like tomorrow. I'm interested to see which freshmen play and how they perform. Perhaps all of them will make an appearance.

Our season is starting late. Many teams are officially starting this week and several played actual games last week. I think this benefits us as it gives the staff more time to establish things before the games count.

Pirateasaur
10-07-2017, 05:19 PM
Good start, even though it doesn't count.

Team looked young to me and for the first period had to adjust to Toronto's size and physical maturity. We took the game over in the 2nd and 3rd period which was good to see.

Defense and goaltending looked good. Toronto didn't threaten very often and neither goaltender was truly challenged.

Hirose looked wonderful. Loved his PP unit and how it is designed to anchor specifically through him. He is perfectly suited to the role and should be a boon to a PP that has been anemic for years. I am pretty sure his breakaway at the start of the 2nd was a designed play in the event of a clean face off win. It was executed perfectly except for missing the net. It's nice to see some coaching wrinkles already emerging.

Freshmen did a fine job. Smith and Lewandowski stood out to me.

This team does look young and might take its lumps this season. There should be a lot of growth as the year goes on.

owslachief
10-08-2017, 12:15 PM
I felt pretty good about what I saw yesterday. Pretty sharp in every zone. And yes, Hirose was pretty amazing. Remains among the smartest players on the ice.

But now it's about to count.

Spartanforlife4
10-09-2017, 05:58 PM
With BGSU playing WMU tomorrow, that means it will be four of the last five years where our opponent will have a game in the books when we take the ice for the season opener. Only year that didn't happen was, fittingly, the Icebreaker. The other three resulted in a 1-2 record with an average score of a 4-2 loss.

Good news is it's a different coach and they only get three days rest in between, though that probably doesn't make much difference this early in the season. It'll be interesting to see how full Munn is Saturday, given the state of the program and a night football game. As it stands right now, essentially anything outside the blue lines minus the student section is around 75% availability or higher.

Pirateasaur
10-10-2017, 11:11 AM
With BGSU playing WMU tomorrow, that means it will be four of the last five years where our opponent will have a game in the books when we take the ice for the season opener. Only year that didn't happen was, fittingly, the Icebreaker. The other three resulted in a 1-2 record with an average score of a 4-2 loss.

Good news is it's a different coach and they only get three days rest in between, though that probably doesn't make much difference this early in the season. It'll be interesting to see how full Munn is Saturday, given the state of the program and a night football game. As it stands right now, essentially anything outside the blue lines minus the student section is around 75% availability or higher.

Oh, I'm sure Munn will be a graveyard. I have a **** wedding to attend so I also will not be there. I was looking forward to seeing BG back in Munn, too.

TalonsUpPuckDown
10-10-2017, 03:15 PM
Oh, I'm sure Munn will be a graveyard. I have a **** wedding to attend so I also will not be there. I was looking forward to seeing BG back in Munn, too.

We're also glad this series is starting up again. Hopefully it'll be back to an every year thing. Sure was a rivalry back in the 80's/90's ("Go Green, Go White, Go blank yourselves!" though I never shouted that...:p)

owslachief
10-10-2017, 03:55 PM
We're also glad this series is starting up again. Hopefully it'll be back to an every year thing. Sure was a rivalry back in the 80's/90's ("Go Green, Go White, Go blank yourselves!" though I never shouted that...:p)
2017-18 is CCHA Nostalgia Tour season. Did you know?

Now if only MSU had set up a weekend tourney with NMU, Alaska and Miami, it would be complete :)

gomsuman
10-11-2017, 03:02 PM
First time in a long I am excited for the season to start. Can't wait to see what this team brings on a weekly basis.

Pirateasaur
10-13-2017, 11:06 AM
Well, it's finally time to start.

I think BG gets us pretty good tonight. They're a few games deep already and will come out excited at home. I'll say we sneak out a close one tomorrow.

4-1 BG Friday
3-2 MSU Saturday

owslachief
10-13-2017, 12:15 PM
Tanner Kelly became the 4th Forward commit to MSU for 2020-21. He's a 2002, playing for Little Caesars.

TalonsUpPuckDown
10-13-2017, 03:34 PM
Well, it's finally time to start.

I think BG gets us pretty good tonight. They're a few games deep already and will come out excited at home. I'll say we sneak out a close one tomorrow.

4-1 BG Friday
3-2 MSU Saturday

Looks like the Ice Arena will be sold out for tonight's contest. Hope you Sparty Boys got your tickets early. Looking forward to a good game, great to have State back on the schedule.

Spartanforlife4
10-14-2017, 12:36 AM
Well, it's finally time to start.

I think BG gets us pretty good tonight. They're a few games deep already and will come out excited at home. I'll say we sneak out a close one tomorrow.

4-1 BG Friday
3-2 MSU Saturday

1/1 so far. Let's hope you go 2/2 for the weekend.

Pirateasaur
10-14-2017, 09:59 AM
1/1 so far. Let's hope you go 2/2 for the weekend.

Oh, don't worry. I definitely have super powers.

Cross out "undefeated" from this year's list of goals.

owslachief
10-14-2017, 09:39 PM
Oh, don't worry. I definitely have super powers.

Cross out "undefeated" from this year's list of goals.

4-1 BigSue, 3-2 MSU. If you ever need to share driving duties to Vegas :D.

I am sad I've yet to see my first minute of for-real MSU hockey this year! Esp. win #1 at home in the Danton Cole era. BTW, who got hurt? The spectator who texted me could not see who was helped off the ice.

Spartanforlife4
10-14-2017, 09:55 PM
4-1 BigSue, 3-2 MSU. If you ever need to share driving duties to Vegas :D.

I am sad I've yet to see my first minute of for-real MSU hockey this year! Esp. win #1 at home in the Danton Cole era. BTW, who got hurt? The spectator who texted me could not see who was helped off the ice.

Khodorenko. Looked bad, holding his left arm, but then he was back literally 90 seconds later on the PP, so they worked some sort of sorcery back in the dressing room.

It was a nice progression thoughout the game. First period looked just like last year's team. Second period we controlled play, but gave up a couple chances and just couldn't find an open shot. Third period was domination. 16-5 shots, and it barely felt like five for BG. If we can just have games that comprise of the effort in the second and third, it'll be an alright year.

owslachief
10-15-2017, 07:39 AM
Khodorenko. Looked bad, holding his left arm, but then he was back literally 90 seconds later on the PP, so they worked some sort of sorcery back in the dressing room.

It was a nice progression thoughout the game. First period looked just like last year's team. Second period we controlled play, but gave up a couple chances and just couldn't find an open shot. Third period was domination. 16-5 shots, and it barely felt like five for BG. If we can just have games that comprise of the effort in the second and third, it'll be an alright year.

Hey thanks! and big "whew" for Khoderenko. From the official video that was some sick, slick move by Hirose to get the winning goal.

Pirateasaur
10-15-2017, 07:36 PM
4-1 BigSue, 3-2 MSU. If you ever need to share driving duties to Vegas :D.

I am sad I've yet to see my first minute of for-real MSU hockey this year! Esp. win #1 at home in the Danton Cole era. BTW, who got hurt? The spectator who texted me could not see who was helped off the ice.
Ha I am thinking I need to schedule a trip out there while I've got the touch.

I am pleased to see(not in person) something that has been sorely lacking for years and that is a dominant 3rd period. Even though it does not truly matter in the grand scheme of things it's also nice that the Cole era's Munn debut was an exciting win. It'd have been unsurprising but still disappointing to open with 2 losses. Hopefully we can keep the enthusiasm train rolling here in the non-con.

gomsuman
10-16-2017, 11:43 AM
Yes I battled the rain and used up some data to stream football game on my phone during 3rd period but it was worth it to watch the first real game under Cole at Munn. Boy was I impressed. My thoughts:

1. I'm not sure how much Bowling Green was tired after playing Tuesday, Friday, and then making the trip up to EL but MSU dominated the 3rd period Saturday. It felt like MSU should have scored at least 2-3 more goals than it did.

2. The coaches actually coach on the bench. I'm not saying the prior regime never did.. but I'm saying after almost every shift you could see 1 or 2 of the coaches saying something to the players who just came off the ice. At the very least I think it keeps the players accountable and focused on the game.

3. Power play has seemed much better so far this year than it did the entire last year. Seems like a better scheme (I'm no hockey X's and O's expert), but I think we are running an umbrella?

4. Lethomen looked pretty darn good. Made a couple big saves early on to keep the team in it. Then was solid in the 3rd when he didn't get much action (sometimes tough to stay focused).

Pirateasaur
10-20-2017, 11:13 AM
Tonight will be my first chance at seeing MSU play a real game under Cole so I am pretty excited. WMU is probably a decent team so hopefully we will continue to take steps forward. As always, I will be interested to see who dresses tonight and who will be in net. I have a feeling it will be Minney.