Archive for December, 2007

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12 In A Row!

December 28, 2007

Last night’s 4-3 victory was the twelfth time in a row that the Predators have won over the Columbus Bluejackets. Honestly i can’t believe it. Even a blind squirrel finds an acorn every now and then!

Last nights win did not come easy though (actually all of the contests between Columbus and Nashville are heavily contested) with Nashville having to come back late in the third down 3-2. Getting goals from Jordin Tootoo (career best 7th of the year) and Ville Koistinen the Preds got ahead with less than two minutes left and held on for the win.

Ville Koistinen continues to impress and is winning praises from Preds coach Barry Trotz who, according to an article on TSN, has called Ville the teams best defencemen. He continued his praise for the young blueliner after last nights game.

“The puck-distributing part of Ville’s game is really solid,” Trotz said. “He has a lot of life in his legs right now. Ville gets the job done with his feet. He has been good. He had a huge goal.”

With Suter and Weber both out with leg injuries (how generic is that?) this is a good time for Ville to step up his game. If only Kevin Klein could take a page from his book and do the same.

Mason’s second goal allowed was a softy for sure but I think slowly but surely that Mason is getting the swagger back in his game. He will need all that and more when the Sharks come calling Saturday night to the Sommet Center.

Family Four Packs: Okay…here’s the deal. This is the perfect deal to take some newbies to. For $99 the Preds are offering 4 attack twice mezzanine seats, four hot dogs, four drinks and four skating passes…and let me tell you, those seats in the attack twice mezz are, for the money, the best seats in the house. Close to the action and a perfect view of the ice.

Tickets are still available for Saturdays contest with the Sharks…a great New Years weekend activity for the whole family!

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Merry Christmas

December 24, 2007

Nice win by the Preds last night with a 3-1 win over the Bluejackets…I didn’t get to see it but I liked what I heard. One name that I kept hearing last night was that of #22 Jordin Tootoo. I am loving his game and the way he is taking on the responsibility that the coaches are giving to him. Tootoo is making a case for him to be a top RFA signing for the Preds.

Glad to have Mason play a solid game
before a couple days off. He needs to reassert himself as the number one and last nights 30 save performance. We all know what Mason is capable of and he does too…nights like last night must make Poile sleep a little better after trusting Mason with the starters job.

Last minute herorics:
I was sitting in my car fully expecting the game to go into OT when ny heart sank as Dumonts shot hit the post. Ugh…I thought. Then Pete and Terry start talking about how Dumont was pointing saying it was in. They reviewed after time had expired and BAM! 2-1 Lead. Add an empty netter by Jed Ortmeyer (a guy who is endearing himself to Preds fan with his great work ethic) and we got a 3-1 game. I was thrilled to not give Columbus a point last night…that was huge.

Eklund Rumor:
Wow…I hope this is one rumor that does NOT come to pass fomr Eklund. That of Shea Weber going to the NE. This guy is a franchise player and not signing him would be a huge mistake. He will be the face of this team for years to come.

Merry Christmas:
Thanks to all my readers of this blog both on myhockeybuzz and here at predjoe for reading, commenting and emailing me your feedback. You keep me going. I wish each and everyone of you a Merry Christmas and hope that each of you experience the true joy of the season this year…Jesus.

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A Step In The Right Direction

December 23, 2007

While winning one game stops a losing streak I don’t know how far it will go in turning the Preds season back around. Truth be told I can’t get real excited about a home win against the LA Kings. The only thing I knew going into last nights game was one of these poorly playing teams had to win…there was no way around that.

The Preds came out flying
and really looked to me like a team with a mission for the first ten minutes of play. They were flying to the puck, aggressive on the forecheck and attacking the net. It was exciting hockey that resulted in some quality scoring chances that culminated in a great pass that captain Jason Arnott tipped home for his first of three goals on the night. Who mdse that great pass you ask? Why none other than Jordin Tootoo who got a look last night on a line with Arnott and JP Dumont. That line had some great chances and Tootoo made some great passes throughout the night. Those Tootoo haters around the league will be surprised to see the well rounded player that Toots is becoming this year.

Dan Ellis played well last night and the D played a strong game around him (with the exception of a few lapses by the D and a costly turnover by the usual sure handed David Legwand that resulted in a short handed goal by Patrick O’Sullivan) and continues to earn playing time from Barry Trotz.

Ryan Suter continues to get goals by simply throwing it at the net. It amazes me what a simple concept that is but how so many of our players fail to grasp it. Put the puck to the net and good things happen.

The Preds play a 4:00 matinee in Columbus today. This is a four point game with the Bluejackets who sit 4 points ahead of the Preds. The Preds do have a game in hand on Columbus. It is these games that the Preds must win going forward to have any chance to make the playoffs. You have to beat the teams ahead of you…right now for the Preds that’s just about everyone! The Good news is that there is still 49 games left for the Preds and that they are only 10 points out of the number four spot held by Colorado.

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Has The Game Always Been Like This?

December 21, 2007


I’ve been a hockey fan all my life. Regardless of who is playing I always enjoy a good hockey game (raise your hand if you watch the IHL All Star Game) but with the recent Chris Simon incident (see video above) I have begun to question if the game has always been like this?

As a fan of the game I know that coaches put out enforcers at certain times knowing that they are going to drop the gloves but when a player like Simon goes off the deep end and attempts to injure outside the play of the game that bothers me. Don’t get me wrong, I love the feel of the arena when the coaches match enforcer against enforcer knowing that these guys will go. At that moment I am transported back to ancient Rome to the coliseum watching gladiators fight for their lives. But what Simon did…what Bertuzzi did to Steve Moore does not belong in our game.

I remember many an IHL game as a youth when my Flint Generals and a foe (many times the hated Saginaw Gears) would have bench clearing brawls. While we don’t see that kind of play much any more (the Sharks and Coyotes did all pair off last night in a heated game go HERE for that) what gets the attention is bonehead plays like Simon or like the Predators own Scott Nichol. (Let me say this now. I don’t see the game through Pred colored glasses when a Predator does something like Scott Nichol did they need to be punished. There is no place in our game for that. None.)

As a fanatic of the game I do, of course, defend the honor of my game to those who don’t understand it but these types of acts make it hard to do. Where is the honor Simon? Where is the honor Nichol? Where is the honor of the entire Philadelphia Flyers team? I feel that Colin Campbell is doing the right thing and making the suspensions tough but the players themselves need to hold each other accountable to this. Bring back the honor to the game.

So I ask the question to the readers of the blog…has the game always been like this or have we become more sensitive to this type of behavior? Are we seeing more because of more cameras at the games? What gives? Help me out here.

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Pathetic

December 20, 2007

Pathetic. That’s the best way to describe the effort put forth by the Preds in a 5-2 loss against the Blackhawks.

It all started last night with lackadaisical goaltending from Chris Mason who gave up two goals on two shots before being pulled. Dan Ellis could do no better giving Chicago their third goal on only their fourth shot. I knew then it was going to be a long night. Sure we could complain about the reverse call on Radulov’s goal (honestly I couldn’t tell where he touched the puck) but the fact remains that if you give a team a three goal lead you can’t place blame anywhere else.

Apparently the team held a closed door meeting last night. While I’m encouraged by that, part of me thinks that this meeting should have happened after Tuesdays loss in Minnesota or maybe after the back to back losses against the Av’s. It’s like losing five in a row is the magic number where you realize something is amiss…funny I don’t think it took the fans that long!

All I can see is that I am thankful for DVR. I had to pause the game for a while to get my little girl down for bed…luckily at a point I was able to fast forward and not subject myself to the torture that this game was.

Whats Next? Well the Preds head home for a Saturday date with the Kings, the only team in the West with a record worse than the Preds. Yup…for those keeping score at home the Preds now sit in 14th place in the West. 14th!

Okay Poile…time to work some of your magic. Time to shake things up. In with the new out with the old…do something! If we are not going to play Klein then trade him. He does us no good watching the games in a suit.

On the bright side the Preds were 2-5 on the powerplay last night!

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Chris Mason To Start Tonight

December 19, 2007

The Tennessean is reporting that Chris Mason will start tonight’s game against the Blackhawks in Chicago.

Mason needs to assert himself, once again,as the number one goalie for the Preds. He has proven in the past that he has the game to be a starter (filling in great for Tomas Vokoun last year) but seems to have lost the confidence and swagger he once played with. I believe Mason has the game and I predict a great game from him tonight…look for the guys to come out flying again and play some inspired hockey. I doubt they liked looking at their sub .500 record this morning!

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Good Grief!

December 19, 2007

Seriously…it’s days like this that I hate my self imposed obligation to blog about the Preds. The day after a game that we should of won…in the midst of bad streak of games. Ugh. I just don’t feel like writing today.

I can view last nights 3-2 loss two different ways and support each view with a decent argument. The first view being that the Preds lost that game last night and the other being that the Wild won that game.

Up 2-0 going into the third the Preds seemed to have the game in hand. While the play was pretty even throughout the first two periods I felt this was the Preds game. Forty one seconds into the third the Wild tie it up just after a power play expired. Then up 2-1 Greg Zannon decides now is the time for me to pinch in and just like that we are tied up. A horrible decision by one of our better d-men. While we can’t sit back and play protective hockey you cannot make a decision like that when the game is at a critical point. The Preds lost this game.

Down 2-0 going into the third the Wild turned it up big time! Being aggressive on the forecheck and finishing their chances the Wild took control in the third. Getting production from the guys that make this team so tough (Gaborik and Rolston) the Wild scored three unanswered goals. The Wild won this game.

Ellis played well. No sure I like Tootoo on the top line…I am a huge fan of his game and I think he is going to turn into a Scott Walker mold of player (maybe even better). Nice to see the Arnott, Erat and Dumont line produce a goal last night. All three of those guys really seemed to be skating hard last night. From the hustle I saw last night it appears that the flu bug that was going through the team has left.

Preds travel to Chicago tonight…coverage on 104.5 The Zone and FSN.