Michael Schumacher (the hockey player not the race car driver) picks up his game

Sault Star: Great imports boost Hounds

Right now, Sergey Tolchinsky and Michael Schumacher are providing the [Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds] with, arguably, the best 1-2 import punch in franchise history.

Tolchinsky, a right-winger, and Schumacher, who plays the left side, are among the top scorers on one of the best offensive clubs in the Ontario Hockey League.

Now there have been several other impressive, foreign-born players who’ve called the Sault their hockey home. But I don’t think the Hounds have ever had two players who contribute as much as Tolchinsky and Schumacher [...].

[...] Tolchinsky, a native of Moscow, Russia, has been an absolute pleasure to watch.

As quick and tenacious a player as we’ve seen in many years, Tolchinsky possesses outstanding skill and remarkably quick hands. [The] five-foot-eight, 160-pounder can be a magician, capable of both scoring and setting up goals.

[...]

As for Schumacher, acquired from Owen Sound in the Daniel Catenacci trade, he’s coming off of an impressive, 26-goal, 24-assist rookie season.

A native of Gothenburg, Sweden, the six-foot-five, 210-pounder began his second OHL campaign slowly. But like several of his teammates, Schumacher appears to have benefited from the club’s early-December coaching change. Sheldon Keefe replaced Mike Stapleton behind the bench on Dec. 3. Schumacher has two goals and 13 assists in his 10 games under Keefe. He’s registered three points [...] in [each of] three of his last five [games].

For the season, he has 11 goals and 21 assists in 37 games. That’s good for third in team scoring. While it’d be great to see Schumacher use his size and play more of a physical game, it’s simply not his style. But he is playing with more grit than he did a year ago and, by keeping his feet moving, has been much more effective offensively of late. Separating him from the puck isn’t an easy task for opponents.