After an absolutely abysmal start to their season, Northern Michigan has been one of the strongest teams in the CCHA. Since the calendar flipped over to 2009, NMU is 9-3-2 and is rocketing up the CCHA standings.
That about sums up their season so far. Thanks to Ohio State's *ahem* win on Saturday, Northern Michigan can't finish any higher than 6th in the league, but they could be the most likely candidate to pull off an upset in the second round of the CCHA tournament. Of their possible second round opponents, going to Ann Arbor seems the likeliest, which is a tough draw, but they could end up in Fairbanks, against whom NMU is 1-0-1 on the season, or at Oxford against a Miami they beat last Friday night, and tied on Saturday despite being outshot by an astounding 47-7 margin. And that's what could make them so dangerous in the playoffs. If they get goaltending like that that will keep them in any game, they're going to be very tough to beat. All this assumes they even make it out of the first round of the playoffs where they could be hosting Michigan State, who isn't a very good team, but still has a goaltender of their own capable of stealing a game or a series.
Before the season, I wrote: But regardless of expectation, the Wildcats always seems finish in the middle of the pack in the CCHA, make a run to Joe Louis for the CCHA tournament, but end up a game or two short of making the NCAA tournament.