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Performance Under Pressure

January 23, 2008

Knowing that the playoff push has started in earnest for them the Predators posted an impressive 4-0 road win over a team that they are chasing in the standings. Resembling the M.A.S.H 4077th more than the team that started the year the Predators played inspired hockey in their victory over the Av’s.

While Chris Mason’s recent play (4-1-1, 1.32, .948 in last 5 GPI) has diminished talk of a goalie controversy here in Nashville it was back up Dan Ellis (1-0-1, 0.96, .971 in last 2 GPI) who shined once again posting a shutout while stopping 39 shots. Nashville has been waiting all year for both goalies to be firing on all cylinders and both seemed to have hit their stride leading the Preds to a 6-2-2 record in their last ten and three wins in a row.

JP Dumont continues to play for a big contract next year as he extended his point streak with a gorgeous assist on Alexander Radulov’s third period goal. While JP might still prove to be trade bait were the Preds not be able to continue their run towards the post season he is playing arguably the best hockey of his career right now. Pred’s Captain Jason Arnott was vocal in the paper recently saying how much he wants the Preds to resign the UFA siting the great chemistry he has with the top line winger.

Martin Erat came back to life last night tallying two scores. I have been wondering where Erat’s game had gone recently. I thought he had appeared lost and wondered if his recent line assignments had made his game suffer. Erat, to me, always seems to play to the level of his line. Put him on the top line and he is creative as they come. Put him on the third line and he appears lost not knowing his role. Great to see him get back on the score sheet in impressive fashion last night.

A Couple Personal Notes: Some have been wondering what had happened to my blogs. I have a loyal readership both at Hockeybuzz.com and at http://www.predjoe.wordpress.com and I apologize for not writing lately. A week out of town for a wedding and then playing catch up at work and home has kept me away from the keyboard. I’m back.

I make my living in the radio business and our profession is a small world. One of our own, Rick Burgess (of the syndicated morning show Rick and Bubba), suffered a horrible tragedy this past weekend when his two year old son Bronner drown in their backyard pool. I listened this morning to their show and they played comments from Rick at the memorial service yesterday…it was the most compelling radio I have ever heard. Rick was, in this time of great pain and suffering, giving glory to God and calling believers to go out and be warriors for God. It was amazing. I am not sure if they will post an MP3 of this or not but you can check their web site http://www.rickandbubba.com/ if you are interested. Please pray for continued strength for the family.

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