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gomsuman
10-08-2019, 01:44 PM
Again take all this analysis with a grain of salt.. Western Ontario is no Big Ten opponent.

Thought MSU finally looks like a team with age and skill combined. We dominated a clearly lesser opponent (as they should). Hopefully means a rise out of the basement may be likely this year..

Defenders looked sharp besides a couple mental breakdowns. The twins especially looked like they have taken major strides this off-season on both ends of the ice.

Forwards looked pretty good. I agree that Muller will be great on that first line. He also showed some spunk last night and is not afraid of a little contact and smack talk. (I have thought for years now we have missed a little edge to our game)

The other freshman I thought played really well and showed some flashes. Nodler had a nice move as they were entering the zone one time that almost resulted in a goal.

I agree at times they looked like it was the first game with sloppiness in the neutral zone and a little rust on the power play with new guys fitting into roles.

Lambdin's goal was a thing of beauty. Hopefully we can expect more of that this season out of him. Would be real nice to have 3 lines this year with the ability to score..

Both goalies played pretty well. I think if I had to choose one over the other I'd pick DeRidder right now. Seems like he is the type of goalie that will win you a game where Lethemon is a goalie who isn't going to lose you games if that makes any sense..

wsummers
10-08-2019, 03:05 PM
I would just add that 3 powerplay goals is deceiving. It wasn’t that good. We had 3 long two man advantages and a 5 minute major on the powerplay. Two of the goals were scored during the major with Cole running lines (top line did not play during it) and WO waiting for the game to end. A good powerplay would have scored a couple more goals. This is the area I saw of greatest need. Few quick passes and only one one-timer. It was pass, hold it until defense adjusts, pass and hold it until defense adjusts.

gomsuman
10-08-2019, 03:31 PM
I would just add that 3 powerplay goals is deceiving. It wasn’t that good. We had 3 long two man advantages and a 5 minute major on the powerplay. Two of the goals were scored during the major with Cole running lines (top line did not play during it) and WO waiting for the game to end. A good powerplay would have scored a couple more goals. This is the area I saw of greatest need. Few quick passes and only one one-timer. It was pass, hold it until defense adjusts, pass and hold it until defense adjusts.

I agree but this is something easily fixable with coaching and some film time. I would chalk it up to being early in the year and guys figuring each other out since all 3 freshman are on the 2 powerplay lines. I have seen worse powerplays here at MSU in the last decade... :D

Spartanforlife4
10-08-2019, 05:13 PM
I feel like I had a much more negative takeaway than everyone else from last night. My first reaction was that I’m glad we had an exhibition because they looked all out of sync. Can’t believe Northern started last year without one if those are all the cob webs a team has to shake off.

I thought the PP moved the puck well, but everyone appeared tentative to shoot, at least early on.

PK looked lost their first time. Settled in later, but still didn’t look great.

Can’t be giving up so many breakaways. If anyone on WO knew how to deke they probably put up 4, but they just sort of slammed it into the pads.

Also liked Müller playing on the top line, though a couple times he took bad routes to loose pucks that took him out of the play, but he should pair well with Khodorenko and Lewandowski.

I thought it was funny for how physical WO was, their coaches wanted a penalty anytime one of their guys got touched.

FLHockeyMom
10-08-2019, 05:32 PM
I don't think anyone is expecting miracles this season. I mean, we're being picked to finish at the bottom of our conference once again for good reason: 1) we lost our top scorer a year early; 2) we only brought in 3 new players; and 3) neither goaltender has grabbed the starting role. We just have to hope a lot of guys make good progress this season and wait for the reinforcements over the next few years.

Fun fact: WO's giant goaltender Ovsjannikov played for my son's AAA teams for several years in the late aughts. Even then he was a big kid.

wsummers
10-08-2019, 05:41 PM
Yes, at a listed 6’6” I don’t remember facing a taller goalie.

I’m not as pessimistic as you. I expect this team to finish above 7th. There is enough talent and experience to be somewhere in the middle.

FLHockeyMom
10-08-2019, 06:51 PM
Yes, at a listed 6’6” I don’t remember facing a taller goalie.

I’m not as pessimistic as you. I expect this team to finish above 7th. There is enough talent and experience to be somewhere in the middle.

I think I'm being a realist, not a pessimist. Plus, I'm one of those dying-breed defensive-minded hockey fans who thinks it's all about the goaltending (hence why I think Penn State won't win the conference, but rather Notre Dame and perhaps OSU are in a better position). So until one of MSU's goalies takes ownership of the role, I'm not convinced. But hey, I'd like nothing better than to be proven wrong. Go State!

Pirateasaur
10-08-2019, 07:13 PM
I think I'm being a realist, not a pessimist. Plus, I'm one of those dying-breed defensive-minded hockey fans who thinks it's all about the goaltending (hence why I think Penn State won't win the conference, but rather Notre Dame and perhaps OSU are in a better position). So until one of MSU's goalies takes ownership of the role, I'm not convinced. But hey, I'd like nothing better than to be proven wrong. Go State!
I agree that defense needs to be #1 priority to the point that during our last coaching search I felt we should put out feelers out to Cornell’s coach but I also think we can win with 2 goalies. One of my concerns with last night is that the Krygiers are still unpredictable with the puck. I lauded Cole K on a couple very nice defensive plays to stop WO scoring chances but he also committed a nasty turnover and had to take a penalty to prevent a breakaway as a result. On that note, the twins being paired together did surprise me for this reason. On the plus side, they’re big, have skill and they seem to have good top end speed for carrying the puck through the neutral zone.

But like I mentioned, the lineup and heavy, HEAVY special teams play made things hard to read.

GoMSU mentioned the power play being underwhelming and I agree. We got 3 goals but a good power play probably pots 6 with all those opportunities.

gomsuman
10-09-2019, 12:12 PM
My personal opinion is that this team has more overall talent/skill than last year. That game Monday could very easily have been 10-1 had MSU scored on their own odd man rushes or breakaways.

Losing Hirose will hurt for a bit but I am confident Muller will figure it out, this is the first time he is not playing on an Olympic sized ice sheet after all.

I have confidence in this staff to fix the "fixable" problems (power play, turnovers, etc). Some of those problems just take a few games to figure out..

Western Ontario was playing a different style then MSU is used to as well.. in the 3rd period once they got down their forwards were trying to jump passes and leaving the d-zone early causing a couple breakaways. Probably won't see that aggressive of a style very often from normal opponents.

My early prediction would be middle of the pack in the final conference standings. But the conference is so competitive I could see anywhere from 3rd to last place.

wsummers
10-09-2019, 10:40 PM
Losing Hirose will hurt for a bit but I am confident Muller will figure it out, this is the first time he is not playing on an Olympic sized ice sheet after all.


So you’re saying playing the first 4 games that count on Olympic ice is a good thing... :)

Pirateasaur
10-11-2019, 11:31 PM
Heeey not bad. I’ll take any W up in Marquette.

21 total shots is not great, but 5 goals entirely from NOT the top line is pretty cool.

Nevertheless, I have a feeling we’ll need to be better tomorrow to complete the sweep.

Pirateasaur
10-12-2019, 08:42 PM
Alright, game just ended and we dropped it 2-0. I listened to a radio stream so I figured i’d post before I head out on the town.

Hard not to be disheartened about the offense. 15 total shots, which is dreadful. It seemed about a hundred times I heard Scott Moore say “shot misses wide”, “blocked by the wildcat defense”, or “And the puck is knocked off his stick” while the Spartans were in the offensive zone. Our top line was completely shut down all weekend. I hope Hirose didn’t stir the drink THAT much.

The positive is that we played well defensively. NMU also generated quite little in terms of scoring chances. It sounded like a real defensive slog.

DeRidder was quite good but apparently absolutely flubbed a beach ball for the dagger near the end. He just flat out missed it. He must have lost track of it in the lights or something.

I’m still pretty sure we’’ll be an improved team over last season but we sure couldn’t outskate the wildcats this weekend.

Pirateasaur
10-21-2019, 03:16 PM
Not much new to talk about. Thought we looked mediocre against the U-18 team. Powerplay looked like **** but goaltending has been good.

The KML line is still our best but noticeably less impactful than the KHL line. Certainly no disrespect to Müller, but Hirose was clearly a rare talent.

FLHockeyMom
10-21-2019, 03:39 PM
Not much new to talk about. Thought we looked mediocre against the U-18 team. Powerplay looked like **** but goaltending has been good.

The KML line is still our best but noticeably less impactful than the KHL line. Certainly no disrespect to Müller, but Hirose was clearly a rare talent.

Hard to get excited about the goaltending when we remain scoring challenged. But I'm the one who continually harps on goaltending consistency, so I'm here to throw the goalie tandem a bone when it's improved.

In other news, and speaking of scoring remedies, I see that the one who got away, Afanasyev, just signed his first NHL contract with the Preds. I'm hopeful Cole has identified similar scoring talent in the pipeline who will stay in college a few seasons.

I'm relatively new to this, but when do we start the 2019-20 thread? Unless it's just going to be you and me going back and forth, Pirateasaur!