Lackluster start costs Wisconsin Badgers as Michigan gains series split

Da-news-now

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No. 19 UW suffered from a lack of intensity in long stretches of a 3-1 loss to Michigan that gave the Wolverines a Big Ten Conference series split and sent the Badgers back under .500.

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Crease Creature

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This team is so up and down, and that's squarely on the coaching staff. These are Granato's guys! He has the team he wants, and he has a great class coming in! And they still can't get up to put away a piddling Michigan squad on their home ice.

As nice as it is to have gotten Caufield and Holloway, those guys and lots of others on the roster just aren't quite ready for high level NCAA hockey, they're too young and if they are really only here for the year (I really don't see them staying for another season) then that's a fail on Granato again. Those two guys specifically are small, though really talented, but they could use some physical development.

As nice as the pipeline from the USNDT is, these are still 17 and 18 year olds coming in who aren't likely to stick around.
 

Keg Man

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Crease, where would they go if they don't stay at WI? Juniors in Canada?

Out here in I haven't caught a game yet, but if they're small how are they going to jump to the NHL?
 

Crease Creature

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Crease, where would they go if they don't stay at WI? Juniors in Canada?

Out here in I haven't caught a game yet, but if they're small how are they going to jump to the NHL?
They'd go to the NHL, these guys are top draft picks. Alex Turcotte was the 4th overall pick, Caufield was the 15th, and Holloway is gonna go in the top 10 next year.

And their size is part of the reason they'll go. Their teams will put pressure on them to get into their S&C program, and their abilities will be emphasized while their hindrances will be covered up by a GM who can bring in older guys to play with or play around them. Goaltending behind them should be better too, not that Lebedeff is bad, but his pro prospects are either bouncing around the minors forever here or in Europe.

And true to tradition, UW's best d-man is offensively minded (Miller was the 22nd overall pick in 2018) but is definitely not going at 100% all the time the way a Sean Dolan was.

These are good, individual players, who seem to be playing the way Granato wants to operate, but they also seem to lack a fire, they don't seem to be passionate about opening a series strong or closing out hard.

They've had one sweep, and it was an impressive one. But they've split every other and got swept by Penn State and looked really bad doing so. But they've beat good teams, and gotten beat badly by good teams. They should have confidence that they can skate with anybody, but they've yet to put it together.

There's nothing but conference games ahead of them now, but they've already got a lot of ground to make up, already 10 points behind PSU. A sweep this weekend of Michigan State potentially moves them from 6th to 4th, but that's iffy given how we've looked against Michigan (who's having a really bad year) and Minnesota (also having a down year).
 
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