Michigan State is getting its chance at a national title through the back door. The Spartans were destroyed by Miami 6-0 and 4-1 in their last games of the season and spent the final weekend of conference tournament season on the couch hoping to see the Pairwise Rankings shake out in their favor
They did -- the club owes Western Michigan a fruit basket for winning the CCHA title -- and now that they're in the tournament, they will try to be the Spartans who won eight of 10 games in November, not the team that stumbled down the stretch.
Junior defenseman Torey Krug leads MSU in points (37) and goals (12). A two-time All-CCHA first team player and best offensive defenseman winner, Krug can do it all. The Hobey Baker nominee is on the smaller side at 5'9, but his size hasn't stopped him from being depended on to protect leads and play shutdown defense. His plus-18 rating is eighth in the nation despite averaging close to 30 minutes a game.
If Michigan State is going to beat top-seeded Union, they're going to need Krug and his defense at their best after getting lit up the last time out.
For more on the road to the Frozen Four in Tampa, stick with our 2012 NCAA hockey tournament StoryStream.