road I would say that might be a doable thing, well that would be doable if they could actually do it, but all this weekend did was reinforce the fact that this team is jekyl and hyde. They can put together a period like the third yesterday where they go on a tear, but they were ineffective in almost every phase of the game Saturday and again on Sunday they were just going through the motions for two periods.
I really hope I'm wrong and that my pessimism is misplaced and the switch will get flipped and they will go on the second half run they are known for, but this season continues to feel very different from past seasons. In past seasons you could tell they were right there and as soon as they fit the last couple of pieces together they were poised to take off. This year just doesn't feel that way at all. There just seems to be far more disfunction than function, to many pieces not fitting together and seemingly no real answers as to why.
Perhaps getting Trouba and Merrill (hopefully) back will shore up the defense, but then they still have score goals and yesterdays third period aside, they have struggled to do that all season (at least once they started playing solid competition on a regular basis).
I think you are right on the record, I think they can afford no more than 2 or 3 losses in the second half and that would be just to overtake 4th place in conference and get that first round bye. I just don't see that happening which means they will most likely have to play that first round playoff series and all of their playoff games will be on the road. If, by some miracle (at least that what it looks like it will take at this point) they manage to make the NCAA's, well that's a new season for everyone and anything can happen (Michigan fans have certainly seen their share of strange things in the tournament), but right now I would say the string of tournament appearances will end at 22.
Right now the team is 7-10-2, 19 games played meaning they have won roughly 37% of their games. If they win 37% of their remaining games they would win 6 more games, losing nine for an overall record of 13-19-2. You would have to go all the way back to Red's second year, 1985-86, to find a team that bad (that team finished 12-26-0). Man that is just depressing. Of course that record for 85-86 was the final record and there will be at least some conference tournament games and these projections (based on 1st half results) are only taking regular season games into account, but still right now we are looking at an almost 30 year low if things keep going like they have been.
Well that's enough of thinking about that. New Years Eve approaches, I think I'll have a beer and forget about hockey for day or two :)