Monday, October 15, 2007

Michigan Thoughts

Billy Sauer-Sauer is only as good as the defense in front of him, and unfortunately, the defense in front of him isn't very good. Of the 7 goals he gave up, four came off of terrible defensive breakdowns. Only the second goal against BC was what I would classify as a bad goal on his part, but at the same time, he also has to step up and make a big save to cover a mistake once in a while.

Mark Mitera-Michigan's best defenseman. The Wolverines need him to play every other shift, at least when they have a lead. He's not an All-American by any means, but the most reliable option Michigan has.

Steve Kampfer-Very high risk/high reward. If the number of smart pinches(like on the goal he scored against Minnesota) outweighs the bad pinches and poor defensive plays in the neutral zone, he'll be a pretty good player. Aside from that one play against Minnesota though, I wasn't overly impressed.

Chad Langlais-I wasn't as impressed as everyone else seemed to be. Both nights, he tried to bat passes out of the air that ended up getting by him and leading to breaks for the other team. He also lost on Ryan Flynn when he fell down behind the net, leading to Minnesota's third goal.

Kevin Quick-The Wheeler goal just about says it all. Talented, but has a ways to go before he's ready for the highest levels of college hockey.

Scooter Vaughn-Didn't see a lot of ice time, and I was ok with that.

Tristin Llewellyn-He took the two dumb penalties on Friday, and it was probably ok leaving him out against a faster opponent in Minnesota, but I'd still like to see him playing every night.

Summers-Rarely was the answer to "Who is supposed to be back on defense right now?" which is about all it takes to be Michigan's second defenseman.

Kevin Porter-He's not going to score 58 points again without T.J. Hensick, but I was very impressed with how he played. Definitely a leader on the team, and he should still finish with at least 40 points this year.

Chad Kolarik-You can really tell that he and Porter are the only two seniors on the team. It looks like he's also going to really step up and have a nice year.

Max Pacioretty-Very talented kid. I think he'll start putting up points once he adjusts to the speed of the game and things start to slow down for him. He doesn't take much time to get his shot off, but I can think of one instance in the Minnesota game when a puck got dropped to him in the slot(not all the dissimilar to where White scored the winning goal), and he wasn't able to pull the trigger on the shot quick enough. Hopefully by the second half of the season, that's a goal for Michigan.

Travis Turnbull-I expected him to make jump this year, and it looks like he has. After Porter and Kolarik, he's probably the third best forward.

Tim Miller-Same as Turnbull. He looks much, much better than he did last year.

Carl Hagelin-I wasn't sure what to expect out of a kid from Sweden, but he's such a hard worker and is always making things happen.

Ben Winnett-Needs to add a lot of muscle before he'll be able to do much in college. He got put on his back a couple times against BC, but I was very impressed with his defensive effort all weekend. He won't provide a lot of offense this year, but will make a great fourth-liner for the time being.

Aaron Palushaj-It's nice that Wolverines will have someone to pick up garbage goals in front of the net, if nothing else.

Louie Caporusso-I think BC felt sorry for him after the way Ferriero abused him.

Danny Fardig-Always nice to see his effort rewarded on the scoresheet.