I saw Tom Anastos at lunch Friday-- and the Michigan State hockey coach is pretty optimistic his team might get one of the 16 NCAA tournament bids when the pairings are announced at noon Sunday on ESPN U. The Spartans need some help with the proper teams losing in conference tournaments this week end. But they think the chances are good.
Where I sense Anastos is far more worried is about the future of captain Torey Krug, named Friday night the CCHA player of the year. Krug would return for his senior year unless he turns pro and Anastos was tight lipped but says he has a guess and it didn't sound optimistic to me. If Krug is back next fall he'd be a great anchor to build around-- but let's assume he's gone. MSU will need to find more defensive help and of course the Spartans need more offense too.
Anastos plans to practice his players at 10am Sunday just to keep them loose and ready, then they'll gather around the television to see if their season continues or is over at 19-15-4. My hunch-- they'll make the 16-team field for the first time since 2008.