A major challenge in writing these posts is to add an interesting/unique perspective to the events we see, especially around the games. For those who watched you already know that last night’s 5-4 OT loss to Notre Dame was one of the greatest hockey games you’ve ever seen. If you didn’t watch it you were pounding Google looking for Jake Long updates and would trade this Frozen Four appearance for a third down conversion against Utah. Those looking for a breakdown of the game know where to go.
From my perspective, the epic that unfolded last night combined with the way the Blue fought back makes it hard to be too down over the result. I’ll admit that part of this is lack of dedication to the hockey program (although I’m on the season ticket waiting list) and thus my skin isn’t so much in the game as say a dude that bought tickets to Denver in January. Yes, it hurts that the #1 seed Wolverines are heading home to finish up their independent study courses and it doesn’t help that the opponent hails from South Bend.
But I’ve had this feeling before. I’ve attended just about all of Michigan’s nail-biters in the past fifteen years and have seen some tough losses. The game I liken to last night’s epic was the 54-51 loss to Northwestern in Evanston back in 2000. I remember watching Drew Henson trot off the field after the botched field goal and thinking “Brother, you just watched a classic battle…now let’s go get some pizza”. I basked in that feeling for about a day before starting the online petition to fire Jim Herrmann. And no, I didn’t get that warm feeling after last year’s opener despite the eerily similar ending.
As far as takes, just a couple:
Sauer Grapes – William Sauer will be a hot topic in the M hockey nerdosphere for months to come. Guys make mistakes, but two of the first three goals should have been stopped. While I admit I’m a novice on hockey technique (I’m also a novice of disguises), the goal at the end of the first shouldn’t have happened. The guy had no angle except for the inside post and of course that’s where it went. All this said, man I was was surprised that Red pulled him for Hogan to start the second. The freshman was very impressive and he moves like a cat. There’s no way that dude could have expected to see the ice before the game but he didn’t show it. He gave the guys a chance to win and showed some major poise.
Coverage notes – I thought ESPN did a nice job. It was annoying to hear Mike Golic call in during the first period but he did discuss the magnitude of the rivalry and described his first game in Michigan stadium. The interview with Porter after the first period was classic. Not necessarily for the words he spoke but for the captain’s demeanor: he was cool, he was focused and you left thinking that maybe this wasn’t over just yet.