From The Spartan Sideline, Wolverine Edition: Michigan vs. Michigan State Preview

Michigan-State-Spartans-Logo-jpgThe time is finally here to once again celebrate Michigan and Michigan State week, the one time of year the Great Lakes state is completely flipped on its axis and filled with vitriol prior to one special Saturday afternoon.

As usual, Spartan Sideline gets it’s seasonal visit from Wolverine Walkthrough to break down the biggest game in the state. What do the Spartans have to do to reprise their status as overwhelming favorites? How can Michigan pull one of the more shocking upsets in the series?

It’s all here to preview 2014′s edition of the backyard brawl. Continue reading

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VIDEO: Jimmy Howard Denies Sidney Crosby on a Breakaway Attempt

The Detroit Red Wings already trailed the Pittsburgh Penguins by a pair of goals Thursday night when Sidney Crosby walked in all alone on Jimmy Howard. But Howard was up to the task, turning aside two Crosby shots on a breakaway, keeping the score at 3-1.

Those heroics left the door open for a late comeback. The Wings finally provided Howard with some support late, tying the game in the final minute and winning in OT.

Here’s Howard closing the door on Crosby:

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VIDEO: Justin Abdelkader Scores OT Winner to Cap Red Wings’ Thrilling Comeback

Down two goals with three minutes left, the Detroit Red Wings looked dead and buried Thursday night against the Pittsburgh Penguins. Just a little while later, the Wings skated off the Joe Louis Arena ice with a stunning 4-3 OT victory.

Justin Abdelkader put the finishing touches on Detroit’s comeback, jumping on a loose puck in the slot and rifling it past Thomas Greiss for the winner. Continue reading

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Detroit Red Wings Analytics: Jakub Kindl and Kyle Quincey Lead D in Corsi

detroit_red_wings_logoThe Detroit Red Wings have two often criticized defenseman, Jakub Kindl and Kyle Quincey, and it may surprise some fans then that both players lead the team in “Corsi for %” in all five-on-five situations*.

Now many fans may not have bought into the new “analytics movement” that is happening in hockey. Truth be told I have not either. One thing I do like to use the advanced analytics for is to back up or debunk some preconceived notions I may have. For instance, in this article, I am using the metrics to backup what I firmly believe from the first six hockey games of the year, that Kindl and Quincey are playing darn well.  Continue reading

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VIDEO: Pavel Datsyuk’s Incredible Goal Waved Off on Questionable Call

In his first game back from injury, Pavel Datsyuk nearly added another brilliant highlight to his resume. Heck, he did so anyway, even if his goal was waved off on a brutal call in front.

Datsyuk pulled off a spin-o-rama backhander that beat Carey Price top shelf, but Justin Abdelkader was called for making incidental contact with Price. Replays showed that Price appeared to initiate the contact with Abdelkader, who had stopped outside the crease.

The goal would have made it 2-0 Detroit. Instead, Montreal tied the game at one late, then won in overtime.

Nevertheless, here’s the Datsyuk gem: Continue reading

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Michigan State Spartans’ Ground Game Needs More Than Just Appearances By Delton Williams

Michigan-State-Spartans-Logo-jpgWhen the Michigan State Spartans and Michigan Wolverines take the field on Saturday afternoon, a popular historical axiom throughout the series will likely continue to play a significant role in determining the overall victor.

Whichever team rushes for the most yards, historically, is likely to win. Some might think it to be a dated determiner, but it has proven true even as college football has changed. Last season, Michigan didn’t manage to cross into positive territory with regards to this, leading to their tough defeat in East Lansing. Additionally, despite their quality run in the series, whenever the Spartans have struggled, they have also failed to run the football. Continue reading

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VIDEOS: Henrik Zetterberg Sets Up Johan Franzen for a Pair of Goals

Henrik Zetterberg assisted on all four of the Detroit Red Wings’ goals Friday night, in an impressive 4-1 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Johan Franzen capitalized on the first two Zetterberg feeds — their first connection handed Detroit an early 1-0 lead, then Franzen made it 2-0 in the second period. Gustav Nyquist and Justin Abdelkader tacked on goals later in the game.

The two Zetterberg-to-Franzen hookups:

Continue reading

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From the Spartan Sideline, Hoosier Edition: Michigan State vs. Indiana Preview

Michigan-State-Spartans-Logo-jpgFresh off their second straight win that was closer than it needed to be in the end, the Michigan State Spartans continue their trip across the state of Indiana this week by preparing to take on the Indiana Hoosiers on the road.

Like Purdue, the Hoosiers put a small scare into Michigan State last year in Spartan Stadium, using an explosive offense to score early on the Spartans and plant some small seeds of doubt in the team and the crowd.

The Spartans roared back, however, and used that game to kick-start their own offensive rebirth. Now, the Hoosiers are down their starting quarterback and look ripe for the picking. Can they circle the wagons and pull the upset the Boilermakers couldn’t? Continue reading

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