Thursday, January 14, 2010
Nanooks Set Up Shop in Ann Arbor
Talking over this series with some friends, it never struck me before how pissed off Michigan fans get when you don't say "gold and blue". You know what grinds my gears? If you blatantly refuse to use the "Maize" term, Michigan fans get REALLY mad. A guy literally used three expletives when he corrected my "misuse of an accurate color description". Laughing at him only made it worse. But as he got more and more enraged, it became more and more funny. But I digress.
This series is yet another big one for the 'Nooks. The points race is tight. That first round bye and home ice for the second round hangs in the balance. They haven't had a sweep since Ferris took beating from us back in October (yeah, that's right, those two losses the 'Pups have came at the hands of UA), and this weekend is going to be a different story.
Greenham's first test as a starter came against this crippled Wolverine team, who have struggled to find their legs after Aaron Palushaj jumped ship during the offseason, and number 35 stonewalled the Nanooks to a shutout, despite being outshot 2:1. Let's see if he can do it again. Scottie's a notch above UM's Bryan Hogan as far as stats are concerned, but Hogan has had some pretty stellar games this season... just not against us. Greenham played unexplainably well in Omaha and rolling into Ann Arbor, he's gotta be feeling good about this weekend. Especially since it's much warmer there, than it is here...
The one player I'm worried about for them is Louie Caporusso. He has this knack for finding twine, but he's been off and on so far this season, but if he gets on, there could be trouble afoot.Carl Hagelin has been on a bit of a scoring streak and presents a scoring threat.
I'll re-assert that the Nanooks are the least penalized team in the country, averaging 8.9 penalty minutes a game, an average of two less penalty minutes per game than the next guy. While ACC is proud to be number one in at least one category, the Nanooks know you can't win in the penalty box. How many penalty minutes did the Seawolves have in the Denver series? Oh yeah, 85...
If last weekend didn't point it out, the much more difficult second half of the season starts now. Points are harder to come by, and every point counts. Sitting a stones throw out from a seat in the NCAA tournament, every win matters.
Paula Weston predictably picked a UM sweep (big surprise). I'll assert that Dallas Ferguson has yet to be swept by UM. In fact, the only team that has pulled off a sweep against him, was then-No. 1 ranked Notre Dame last season in South Bend. I can honestly say, the Nanooks don't have a very strong history in Yost, but this year, more-so than any, a UA sweep can be had.
Friday: Nanooks 2-1
Saturday: Nanooks 5-3