It’s all B1G hockey all the time from here on out. So far, Drew Claussen and I are doing okay.
Drew: 4-2-0 (.667)
Paula: 6-0-0 (1.000)
Drew: 64-40-13 (.603)
Paula: 66-38-13 (.620)
All series are Friday-Saturday and five of the six games are televised.
Michigan State vs. Michigan
Drew: If you take away all the disappointments each team has experienced playing any other team, at least the games that Michigan State and Michigan have played against each other have been competitive. These two are currently 1-1-1 against each other this season with Michigan getting the shootout point after the tie last time out. Friday will be the second year for the Duel in the D and the final one played at Joe Louis Arena. Michigan’s offense has been hot as of late, so I’m going to predict that the Wolverines will score enough to get a sweep.
Paula: Friday night’s game will be the 57th contest between the Spartans and Wolverines in JLA and their last if the two don’t meet in the Big Ten tournament in March. Michigan is 31-20-5 in this games, but as nostalgia-producing as this meeting may be, the focus of each team will be points. Each is trying to gain some ground with an eye on the playoffs. In the Big Ten basement, the Spartans have just four points; right above them, the Wolverines have eight and trail the Buckeyes by six points. Michigan scored 10 goals last weekend in a split with Ohio State, so I tend to side with Drew on this one. Friday’s game begins at 7:35 p.m. and will be aired by Fox Sports Detroit. Saturday’s game begins at 7:30 p.m. in Yost Ice Arena and will not be televised.
Drew’s picks: Michigan 4-3, 5-2.
Paula’s picks: Michigan 4-2, 3-2.
No. 10 Penn State at No. 17 Wisconsin
Drew: Two teams headed in opposite directions will meet up at the Kohl Center this weekend. The Badgers are flaming hot and the Nittany Lions are most certainly not, but I think Penn State’s four-game losing streak will come to an end this weekend. Penn State may not have been as good as it seemed when the Nittany Lions ascended to the top of the rankings, but I don’t think they’re as bad as they’ve played in the past four games.
Paula: This is the first of two series these teams will play against each other as the season winds down. The Nittany Lions are 9-7-0 all-time against the Badgers but have won eight of the last nine meetings and were 3-1-0 vs. Wisconsin last season. Last weekend, the Badgers swept the Spartans on the road and the Nittany Lions dropped two road games to Minnesota, bringing Penn State’s road record to 3-3-1. It’s a tough series to predict because these are not the same Badgers of recent past seasons and these do not seem to be the same Nittany Lions of the first half of this season. Someone’s streak has to end; not only is Penn State winless in its last five, but the Badgers have won five in a row. The games start at 7:07 p.m. Friday and Saturday and are carried by The Wisconsin Channel.
Drew’s picks: Penn State 5-3, Wisconsin 4-2.
Paula’s picks: Wisconsin 4-3, 3-2.
No. 5 Minnesota at No. 12 Ohio State
Drew: If a team was to get a sweep in this series, I think it would be Minnesota. That being said, a split seems like the probable outcome. Ohio State needs to shore up its defense and goaltending after giving up 10 goals at Michigan last weekend. If the Buckeyes play like that again, Minnesota will sweep easily.
Paula: These teams split in early December in Minneapolis, but the Gophers beat the Buckeyes five times in the 2015-2016 season. Having Schilkey back in the lineup is a big boost for the Buckeyes, but their lack of consistency can’t come at a worse time for them — while the Gophers seem to have become a very cohesive team as of late. Games begin at 8:05 p.m. Friday and Saturday and the Big Ten Network will have them both.
Drew’s picks: Ohio State 4-3, Minnesota 4-2.
Paula’s picks: Minnesota 4-3, 5-2.
As luck would have it, I’ll be at the only untelevised B1G game this weekend, Saturday’s contest at Yost between the Spartans and Wolverines. Keep me company @paulacweston.