The weekend couldn't have gone much better for MSU, as the Spartans swept the Buckeyes and moved into a 7th place tie with LSSU. MSU currently holds the first tiebreaker (regulation/OT wins) as well. With all the other CCHA games played this weekend, the standings look like this:
1. Ferris State 41 points (6 games left)
2. Western 39 points (6 games left)
3. Michigan 38 points (6 games left)
4. Notre Dame 36 points (6 games left)
5. Miami 36 points (4 games left)
6. Ohio State 36 points (4 games left)
7. MSU 35 points (6 games left)
8. LSSU 35 points (6 games left)
9. Northern 30 points (6 games left)
10. Alaska 27 points (4 games left)
11. BGSU 19 points (6 games left)
A couple of important things to take note...... Michigan State has a slightly bigger lead over Northern for home ice in the first round of the playoffs. It was two points coming into the weekend, and now it is five. Not that five points is a huge lead, because there are six points up for grab each weekend. Also, if MSU were to win just one of their two games on hand with Miami & Ohio State, Michigan State would pass them both and earn a first round bye in the CCHA tournament. Remember, the top five teams get byes in the CCHA tournament, though finishing 5th means you are on the road in the quarterfinals. MSU is only one point behind Notre Dame for home ice and a first round bye in the CCHA tournament.
So, it begs the question if Tom Anastos deserves a serious look as a CCHA coach of the year candidate. Bob Daniels would obviously be the favorite should Ferris State close this out. Amazingly, MSU still is only six points (two wins) out of the CCHA lead. Crazy season.
The weekend also moved Michigan State back into the NCAA tournament. MSU currently is ranked in a tie for 13th in the PairWise with Northern Michigan. MSU would win the tiebreaker against Northern based on the head to head comparison. Here is a projection on how the NCAA tournament would look:
NCAA Tournament Projection
Great weekend for MSU, but now the focus shifts to Michigan. Yup, it's Michigan week. Michigan State is 0-2-1 against Michigan this year, so I'm sure the Spartans will be really gearing up to end the winless streak this season against UofM. Michigan is on a roll going 8-1-1 since the MSU series last December (which Michigan went 1-0-1). So Michigan is 9-1-2 in their last 12 games. Friday night will be at Munn, and the series shifts to Detroit on Saturday.
Lansing State Journal Recap: Spartans Finish Sweep
Columbus Dispatch Recap: Buckeyes' Skid Continues
That's it for now - happy Super Bowl Sunday.