Pickin’ the Big Ten: Nov. 10-11

It’s snowing in my corner of Michigan as I’m putting this together and Drew Claussen reports that it’s wintry in his part of Minnesota, too. It may be a little early for this, but with the turn in the weather and three B1G conference series this weekend — two in my corner of Michigan — it feels as though I’m getting a present or two. Here are our picks so far.

Last week

Drew: 4-5-1 (.450)
Paula: 5-4-1 (.550)

This season

Drew: 27-25-4 (.518)
Paula: 35-17-4 (.661)

Each of us is creeping toward even money.

This week

There are three league and one nonconference series, all Friday-Saturday, all single site. All times are local.

No. 4 Minnesota at Michigan

Drew: The Gophers are 10-6-0 against Michigan in regular-season Big Ten games, but they are 3-5-0 at Yost Ice Arena. Three of the four series that the two teams have played there have ended in a split; the other was a Michigan sweep during the 2014-15 season. Minnesota has played very well over the last two weekends, holding Clarkson and Michigan State to a combined three goals over four games, but I’ll predict that the split trend continues.

Paula: I think Michigan would be disappointed with a split this weekend because the Wolverines believe they can sweep. The Wolverines believe they can win every game. They’re young, confident, and playing more consistent hockey than I’ve seen from a Michigan team in a while. Last weekend at home, Michigan beat Ferris State 7-2 before losing to the Bulldogs in overtime, 3-2. Also at home, Minnesota swept Michigan State, allowing just one goal in two games. It’s because of their confidence that I can see Michigan splitting, too, but I wouldn’t be surprised with a Minnesota sweep. Games are at 7:35 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and the Big Ten Network has Saturday’s game.

Drew’s picks: Michigan 4-3, Minnesota 4-0.
Paula’s picks: Michigan 3-2, Minnesota 4-2.

No. 19 Penn State at No. 6 Notre Dame

Drew: Penn State has the potential to score a lot of goals or give up a lot of goals and lately it has been doing both. Notre Dame showed a glimpse of what it is capable of last weekend when the Irish swept at Ohio State. With the potential of getting a couple key players back from injury this weekend, I like the Irish to keep it rolling. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Nittany Lions managed to win one this weekend, but their defense is too much a of a mess to pick a split.

Paula: This is the third straight season in which the Nittany Lions and Fighting Irish have met on the ice. Penn State has a 2-1-1 edge in the series; last season, the teams played two games in South Bend, a 3-3 overtime tie and a 3-2 overtime PSU win. There is a very good chance that at least one of these games will be a high-scoring affair, as both of these teams are among the top ten nationally in scoring offense. Friday’s game begins at 7:35 p.m. Saturday’s 5:30 p.m. start will be televised by NBC Sports Network.

Drew’s picks: Notre Dame 4-3, 4-2.
Paula’s picks: Notre Dame 5-4, 3-2.

No. 7 Wisconsin at Michigan State

Drew: Even without their head coach, I think the Badgers will be hungry to pick up a couple wins after only managing a tie at home against North Dakota. Mark me down for a Wisconsin sweep.

Paula: The Badgers won’t be the only hungry team in East Lansing. The Spartans are 4-0-0 at home … and 0-4-0 on the road after losing twice to Minnesota last weekend. Michigan State has a slight edge in this series, 52-51-3, but the Badgers took all four regular-season games last season and are 5-3-0 against the Spartans in their last eight meetings. If Wisconsin wins Friday, the Badgers will tie this all-time series for only the second time ever; if Wisconsin sweeps, the Badgers will hold the edge over the Spartans for the first time in the history of this series. Games begin at 7:05 p.m. Friday and Saturday and neither is televised.

Drew’s picks: Wisconsin 4-2, 3-1.
Paula’s picks: Wisconsin 4-2, Michigan State 3-2.

No. 17 Ohio State at Connecticut

Drew: The Buckeyes could really use some positive results this weekend before diving back into their next six conference games. UConn is 3-7-1 with wins over Maine, American International and Vermont and a tie against Boston University. With the Huskies at home I think we’re going to get a couple close games and maybe even another Ohio State tie. Predicting ties is boring, though, so I’ll go with a Buckeyes sweep.

Paula: Well, the Buckeyes and Huskies did skate to a tie last season in Columbus the night after their first-ever meeting, a 7-4 Ohio State win. The Buckeyes are 4-1-0 on the road. I like those odds. Friday’s game begins at 7:05 p.m., Saturday’s at 3:05 p.m. and neither is televised.

Drew’s picks: Ohio State 3-2, 4-2.
Paula’s picks: Ohio State 4-2, 4-2.

Tweet us!

You can follow both Drew (@drewclaussen) and me (@paulacweston) on Twitter. Friday, I’ll be in Yost Ice Arena for Minnesota-Michigan and Saturday I’ll be in Munn Ice Arena for Wisconsin-Michigan State.

32 COMMENTS

    • Wow… I think denver is in too.. They will slip in by a hair(even though out played by wisco and tech) and probably win a game or 2 in the tourney. Thats how good the wcha is!

      • Junderscore – don’t know where you are from, but could you rephrase what you posted for those of us that are not from “there” so we can understand?

      • Outplayed by Wisco and Tech?  Really?  At times in those games, perhaps, but overall if you look at the SOG DU outplayed Tech yday and Wisco most of last weekend.  Only a good and hot goalie in both cases kept Tech and Wisco competitive.

        •  Ya tech played well last night but I wouldnt go as far to say Denver got outplayed…   It was a evenly played game with Zucker standing out and putting his Wild jersey on

  1. The Union not-making-it-scenario is as far fetched as it gets . . .  The chances of all those events happening are less than slim and none!

    • In all three scenarios you have a team other than Cornell or Union winning the ECAC. VERY doubtful—one of them will take the tournament.  And the Dutchmen won’t lose two, maybe one, but not two.
      And the Friars have NO chance against the Eagles. And Denver will not beat Duluth.
      So…it’s doubtful the sun will rise in the west.

    • If the odds are one in a billion it still means you aren’t a “lock” yet.  The list was clearly between definitely in and not.

  2. You have 9 teams in including atlantic champ, and 9 bubble teams to fill 7 spots? Are you sure you can’t go further out on a limb? Union , Denver, Lowell, and Maine are in unless the sun rises in the west.

    •  Providence is better than their record, I can say that as a Lowell fan who completely wrote them off before last weekend even started. But that being said, there is no chance they will win 2 games this weekend at the garden. They might win one, but no chance at getting the Hockey East bid.

      •  Rich, as a Sioux fan I have been impressed by Lowel this year.  Do you think they can make a run to the frozen though?   Any team that makes the tourney should be under “consideration” of winning it!  I dont want to see lame duck matchups and I am hoping the NCAA picks the right teams…  the teamz that are hot that is

        • I know!  Better keep those “undeserving” teams out.  Wouldn’t want a WCHA team to risk the embarrassment of losing to one.

  3. I think people here don’t understand what the bubble is.  It doesn’t mean “there’s a 50/50 chance this team makes it”.  It means “There are combinations of results that would result in both in and out”.  Yes, most of the bubble teams will make it, but every team still in a tournament needs only 2 wins to steal an at–large spot, and mediocre teams win 2 games in a row all the time.

  4. mgobluedotcom to watch the game for Gopher fans. It’s free….unlike some other conferences (with 1970’s technology)/teams.

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