Archive for October, 2007

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Mason Back In Goal Tonight

October 30, 2007

Chris Mason will be back in goal tonight for the Predators as they face the Calgary Flames at the Saddledome. Tonight begins the first of a stretch of five road games for the Predators and all are against worthy opponents. No off nights here. The Western Canada swing is always a tough one for any team then they follow it up with stops in Chicago and Detroit before heading home.

Coach Barry Trotz is trying to put an end to any talk of a goalie controversy here in Nashville by giving the start to Mason following two terrific starts by back up Dan Ellis. Trotz sounded very positive about Mason and his belief that he is still their number one.

“I don’€™t question Chris Mason,” Trotz said. “He has worked at his craft to become a consistent goaltender, and he has tremendous character. If you want to describe what hockey player’s that make the substance of a player – he has all of those.”

That is exactly what Trotz needed to say. Mason is the man…unless he continues to flounder in start after start. We, as Pred fans, know how good he can be now its time for Mason to remember that as well.

I wish tonight’s game was on FSN because I would love to see if the D plays better for Mason than they have been. I guess I’ll be listening. 8:30 central start on 104.5 The Zone.

Go Preds!

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In The Right Direction

October 28, 2007

Two in a row! Wow…this feels a little better. The Preds still have a ton of work left but string together a couple of wins is a step in the right direction for sure!

While I feel a little bad that Mason did not get to go head to head against Vokoun last night I think the right choice was made by putting Ellis in net. You don’t bench someone coming off a shutout in any situation. Trotz’s choice proved to be the right one as Ellis made some huge save on route to his second win in a row. He gave up some big rebounds and one of them came back to haunt him (the third goal by Ollie Jokinen was a result of a huge rebond and great second chance shot from a near impossible angle). All in all though a great game by Ellis.

Radek Bonk
tallied a goal a key assist (banking it off of Jered Smithson’s behind!) on the last goal. Bonk has played some inspired hockey this year and is sending a message that he still has some gas in his tank. Those who were laughing at the Preds pick up of Bonk won’t be laughing much longer.

Vokoun’s return was emotional and he made some of the great saves that I have seen him make so many times before. It felt weird for me as a fan to watch him. Part of me was rooting for him to make the save. Part of me felt sad for him that he was traded. But when Florida went up 1-0 all that went out the window and I wanted him beat and bad! The Preds did play a video montage as the first TV timeout and the crowd responded with a standing O for the 9 year Predator keeper. IT had to be a surreal moment for Vokoun who did acknowledge the video and the crowds response.

Next Up: A long road trip. First to the northwest and then to a much improved Chicago team and finally against Detroit. Five big games on the road. Let’s see if the Preds can keep it going.

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The Return Of Tomas (UPDATED)

October 27, 2007

*** 2:49 CST: The Predators go with the hot hand and Dan Ellis will start in goal for tonight against Tomas Vokoun. ***

Well…the much anticipated return of Tomas Vokoun happens tonight. Wheter Tomas faces the man (Chris Mason)who has taken his place as the Preds number one remains to be seen.

Mason entered the season as the undisputed number one but a bumpy 2-6 record caused him to give way to back up Dan Ellis who got a shut out against the Thrashers in his second career start. So does Trotz go with the hot hand or give Mason a chance to beat Vokoun head to head.

While I love the way Ellis played I think this start is needed for Mason. He needs to play tonight and have a good start and win…if he does this could be just what the doctor ordered. Goalies seem to be fragile head cases and this might be what he needs to get his groove back. If this match up happens it will be fun to watch…both of these netminders have alot to prove tonight.

Preds need to get a quick start and force Vokoun to make some big saves early. Test him and test him often. Expect a charged Sommet Center and a sold out house tonight…Go Preds!

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RIP Crotch Bang

October 26, 2007

So…after instituting the Crotch Bang on my blog the Preds went on to lose six games in a row. That was brought up to me by Hockeybuzz user ‘themax’:

October 24, 2007 9:24 AM ET | Delete
notice how the Preds have fallen apart since you introduced this bizarrely gay “crotch bang” phrase into your blogs? You’ve cursed them. Try writing a blog w/o it and I think you’ll be surprised by the results.

So like any good superstitious hockey fan I took his advice and did away with the ol crotch bang to test his theory. Well…after a well played 3-0 win over the Atlanta Thrashers I am happy to announce that the crotch bang is officially dead!

More on the game tomorrow…but props to Dan Ellis for earning a shutout (in his second career start), Tootoo for a solid game, Smithson for being everywhere tonight and for Kevin Klein looking like the second coming of Bobby Orr on his set up to Tootoo.

Zidlicky was scratched…wondering if there is a chance he is on the trade block or if Trotz was trying a different D -line up?

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Quick Hits

October 25, 2007

11:46 AM UPDATE: Dan Ellis will start in goal tonight for the Predators. Whether or not this will be a spot start remains to be seen! Thanks to Jason for pointing out the news to me on this one. It’s hard to work and stay on top of a struggling hockey team!

Thought I would throw out some game day quick hits:

The City is requesting that the new ownership group commits to staying in Nashville for five years if lease concessions are made. I think the city is right on the money requesting this. I do think, however, that Freeman and comapnay will not go five but the deal may end up looking closer to three years.

Preds GM David Poile said in the paper today that he is not planning any significant roster changes. The way he sees it right now the Preds are not playing to potential. I agree with not making deals when your guys are not playing as good as they can. Poile did say that he would be “comfortable” with Dan Ellis starting in net instead of Chris Mason. This has got to serve as a wake up call for Mason…your job as number one is not safe.

A tale of two teams: Yes the Atlanta Thrashers find their way to town with Bob Hartley…wait he got fired…with Don Waddell behind the bench. The guy who is a coach at heart needed only a six game slide from Hartley and company to jump at the chance to coach the Thrashers. They have won two out of three and I am sure smell blood in the water here in Nashville.

Just had an argument with a co-worker friend of mine who said that Calgary drew 19k to their mid week game last night and Nashville will be hurting tonight to get to 10k. I agree that Nashville is struggling right now but to compare Nashville and Calgary is almost like comparing the Montreal Expos and New York Yankees attendance figures. I am sick of people bashing the Predators and all but calling them dead. Are we in trouble? Abso-freakin-lutely! Are we dead? Not yet!

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Brady Bunch Theology

October 24, 2007

I think the Preds could learn a little from the Brady Bunch right now.

“When it’s time to change you’ve got to rearrange!”

It’s time for a change behind the bench…Trotz needs to go. He has lost touch with this team and they are not responding to his coaching or lack there of.

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Well…that didn’t work!

October 24, 2007

Tony Robbins is full of crap! I tried that positive thinking stuff yesterday and got nothing!

There is no where to start on this one. The Preds stunk up the place last night. They looked bad start to finish.

Something has got to change. The Preds cannot continue to keep playing this way.

That is why today I have finally come to the conclusion that Trotz really needs to be gone. What I thought would happen following the Preds early playoff exit (see April 20th post HERE) needs to happen now. This team is NOT this bad.

Heck…let’s throw Terry Crisp back behind the bench. He wouldn’t allow for this kind of play from the team.

(oh and I have been called out saying that ever since I have started crotch banging that the Preds have failed to win. That is true. So I am putting the crotch bang to rest until further notice)