Thursday, March 1, 2007

CCHA Playoff Predictions

Writing a series preview with no game notes is quiet the challenge, especially when I decide to be a history buff. Check out the Mining Journal tomorrow for my preview of the Ohio State-Northern Michigan CCHA playoff series.

For a good laugh, check out my predictions from the beginning of the year. Here is a brief summary of where I slotted teams and how far off I was.

1. Michigan State (-3)
2. Michigan (E)
3. Miami (E)
4. Ohio State (-3)
5. Northern Michigan (-5)
6. Notre Dame (+5)
7. Nebraska-Omaha (+2)
8. Ferris State (-1)
9. Lake Superior State (+1)
10. Alaska (-1)
11. Western Michigan (+5)
12. Bowling Green (E)

Difference: 26

I would like to note that after learning about Tom Fritsche being out, I moved the Buckeyes to seventh and Omaha to fourth, bringing my differential down to 24. Not bad if you take out my botches with NMU, Notre Dame and Western.

But still, since my regular season predictions are off, I must make new playoff picks. Kyle Whitney's predictions can be found at

Ferris State at Lake Superior State
- The Bulldogs have won 6-of-8 to close out the season and may be the hot team in the first round right now. The Lakers on the other hand have skid their way into a home ice slot, winning only five games in 2007. Jeff Jakaitis will steal one game, but the Lakers are a sad team in the playoffs.

Ferris State in three.

Alaska at Western Michigan
- Almost as hot as the Bulldogs are the Western Michigan Broncos, who have won 5-of-6 to close the season. The Nanooks on the other hand have lost six straight and were swept at Western three weeks ago. The Nanooks used to look like they were on the right track a few years back when they reached the final four at Joe Louis Arena but now the roles have reversed. Jim Culhane has is team firing and for once, they aren't getting fired themselves in net.

Western Michigan in two.

Bowling Green State at Nebraska-Omaha
- Bowling Green has played teams tough in recent weeks but tough has not been good enough. This may be Scott Paluch's last stand. Seven wins in a season is not acceptable for this once historic program. Omaha isn't very hot either, however. The Mavs have won three straight but prior to that were 0-3-2. Still, BGSU is bad. Hell, NMU swept them.

Omaha in two.

Northern Michigan at Ohio State
- Did the Wildcats get back on track Saturday night in a 4-1 win over Miami or was it just a burst of energy for senior night? Did Miami let off the gas since the won Friday night? I guess it's nice to see the inconsistent Cats back over the consistently bad Wildcats. Northern has lost 7-of-9 and that does not scream "hot team" coming into the playoffs. The Buckeyes have won 4-of-6 and if you've picked up on the trend with these picks, you know what's coming. The Cats will make it close and interesting. They will even pick up their first win in Columbus since the 80s but there will be no free beer in Detroit this year (Please prove me wrong here Bates!)

Ohio State in three.

From here roughly, I'll take the home teams next weekend - Notre Dame, Michigan, Michigan State and Miami. There is a big difference between the top and bottom of the league right now.

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