As talented as Michigan hockey is this season, the results have been quite a roller coaster. For the second straight weekend, the No. 7 Wolverines split a series where they were clearly the better team, winning one game big and letting the other game slip away. This team is so much better than .500, and both the eye test and goal differential validate that, but unfortunately the record is the record.
With only five games left on the schedule (and no clarity on if any missed contests will be rescheduled), the time is now to step on the gas. The Big Ten regular season title is out of reach, but barring a monumental collapse, Michigan should earn an NCAA Tournament bid despite its PairWise ranking. Perhaps the most important thing is finally finding some consistency ahead of the postseason.
Series Info & How to Watch
Teams: Arizona State Sun Devils (6-14-2) at No. 7 Michigan Wolverines (9-8-1-0, 29 pts)
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
Game 1: Friday, Feb. 26, 7:00 pm ET — TBA
Game 2: Saturday, Feb. 27, 7:00 pm ET — TBA
If there was ever a series to show that this team is capable of a convincing sweep, it is this one. The Sun Devils have tried their best as a pseudo Big Ten squad, but playing every game on the road is incredibly challenging. Furthermore, ASU was probably due for some regression anyway, so its struggles this season are not overly surprising.
Given that Michigan has been fairly static in the rankings over the past few weeks, it seems likely that a 2 or 3 seed is in the cards for March. However, there is very little transparency on the selection committee’s process this year, so all the team can do is prove that it belongs in the tournament. The talent is there, but the results have not always been, so this is the time to fix that before it is too late.