Archive for the ‘predators’ Category

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Immigration Issues…State Of The Preds

October 7, 2008

Well…after a short stint as a vodka vendor in Russia and getting caught up in a immigration for what seemed like a life time I am back. Now that I’m back the question I’m asking myself is, what is the state of the Preds?

My fellow Pred fans I am here to tell you that the state of the Predators is good. Not great…good.

Over the next few of days I will be breaking down the Preds and giving you a preview of what I see for the coming year.

Let’s start with the positive stuff –

Defense: I think people will be hard pressed to find a better group of young, dynamic d-men on one team. With Shea Weber and Ryan Suter both wrapped up until 2011 and 2012 respectively the Preds have some stability on the blueline. When I think of championship teams they are all marked by great play from the point and these guys give that to us. Both these guys are so good and so young and I am confident we have yet to see the best from them.

Both of these youngsters have much to prove but I think it’s Shea Weber who, perhaps, feels it more than Ryan. He has been talked about in the same breath as Calgary’s Dion Phaneuf and wants to break out of the shadows to being not only a team leader but a top D-man in the NHL.

Suter has played his entire life trying to live up to the name on the back of his sweater. Last year he went a long way towards doing that. His solid, dritty play during the playoffs last year changed my opinion of him. I think I used to think of him as begin too soft but we saw some fire from Suter. This year we will see more. I don’t think we will see an offensive explosion from him but solid play.

There is more to our D than these two young stars. Veterans Greg De Vries and Greg Zanon provide some stability for the defesive corps. I, like many Pred fans, would not mind seeing De Vries leave via trade (I think it might be possible that he could before the year is out…regardless of the Preds position) and think that trial by fire for some of our younger defensemen might not be a bad idea. Zanon doesn’t dazzle you with finesse but he is a picture of team and sacrifice. He knows his role and throws his body out all the time for the sake of the team. He is a bargain!

We have seen flashes of brilliance from Kevin Klein and Ville Koistinen but they need some more ice time for us to get a clear idea of what we can expect from them each night. They both have offensive gifting and this year we may need that creativity more than their defensive play. I’ll never forget Klien taking the puck in his first game and going coast to coast to put a great shot on net.

Last but not least is Dan Hamhuis. When I think of Dan I think of one word and that is solid. He has a great all around game and continues to play whatever role is asked of him. Whether on the PK, PP or 5 on 5 Dan has the game to fit. He is a physical presence out there who does a good job of getting under the skin of the opponent. I just love watching him when he is out there.

Overall the Preds D is in very good shape. There will be a few games this year that they alone win it for us. Not only by playing solid D but by chipping in a goal or two in those 2-1, 1-0 games that we may see more of this year. With our offense struggling this year our D may be more important than ever.

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1-0 Wings

April 14, 2008

pretty play…Wings jump up early.

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Call It What You Want

April 14, 2008

Call tonight’s game what you want…

“Must win.”

“Statement Game.”

“Gut Check Time.”

“Critical.”

Whatever you want to call it the Predators have no other choice but to win tonight. While it’s not win or go home it is win or start looking at where you’ll be vacationing next week.

While the Preds find themselves down 2-0 in the best of seven contest the series has been close. A couple of bad bounces (or calls) go our way and we could be all tied up or better heading into tonight. The Preds hope all those bounces start going their way as they find their way back to home ice tonight.

Much has been said about our top line being shut down during the first two games. I am as frustrated as the next guy but going up against Daytsuk and Zetterberg (tow of the best all around players in the game) is not easy. These guys can light it up but they also know how to shut down opponents. They have done a great job so far. Tonight Trotz gets the last change…it will be interesting to see what he throws out there.

The Preds played one of their best periods of hockey during the first on Saturday. They came out and played an up tempo style and really took the game to the Wings. I expect the same energy tonight as the Preds will be feeding off the always potent home crowd.

Nothing would make me more happy
than to see David Legwand out there tonight. He is a much needed presence in the line up…especially with Nichol out.

I’ll be there tonight…will you? Let the boys hear you!

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Not Just Thankful

April 9, 2008

When the season began few expected that the Nashville Predators would be preparing for their fourth straight playoff appearance. Not many teams can lose Tomas Vokoun, Kimmo Timonen, Scott Hartnell, Paul Kariya and Peter Forsberg replace them with Martin Gelinas, Jed Ortmeyer, Radek Bonk and Dan Ellis and expect to complete. Not only did the Preds compete this year but at times they looked like (and did) they could beat anyone.

This is not last years edition that coasted into the playoffs. This team had to fight like crazy the last two weeks to get in. This is not that team that mortgaged it’s future to bring in Forsberg last year. This is a team that brought in near unknowns to bolster it’s playoff hopes. This is not the stacked team that we had last year. This is a team. A team that had to play together. Win and lose together. This is a team that grew up alot this year.

It seems only appropriate that our first round foe would be the Red Wings. This years team is more like our first playoff team that faced the Wings…not overflowing with talent but a blue collar team that can make life hard on opponents. If I were the Wings I would be a little nervous to face us right now.

Let’s take a look at our playoff teams past and present:

1st playoff team – happy to be there! Thrilled for the chance to play with the big boys.

2nd playoff team – starting to feel like we belong and at the #5 seed felt like we could make some noise. We were clearly outmatched by the bigger stronger Sharks.

3rd playoff team – went into the playoffs struggling but with Foppa we thought all would be good. After the 2 OT loss at home to the Sharks it was all downhill.

4th playoff team
– we are not supposed to be here. No one is expecting us to win. The least talented team since our first appearance.

Despite the odds being stacked against us I really like our chances here. I don’t just think that the Preds make a series out of this but I think that they actually win this series. We will need great goaltending from Ellis and top notch, disciplined (read don’t take penalties) play in our end and we will get this done.

These Preds are not just thankful to be here…they have some work to do.

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End of 1

March 21, 2008

shots on goal

Red Wings 9

Preds 5

outplayed for most of the first. pathetic powerplay time but escaped with a 1 goal lead. we’ll take it.

not a real physical period as the first half seemed to be very sloppy and neither team was able to get a good groove.

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Three Power Plays…

March 21, 2008

No shots on goal for 5 and a half minutes of power play time…horrible play…just horrible

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who do I love? and scratches

March 21, 2008

obviously my wife and daughters but in addition to that tonight I am a big Oilers fan who play the Canucks tonight and I would love for the Flames to beat the Av’s.

We need to care of business ourselves but we will need some help.

Kevin Klien ind Ville Koistenin are both scratched again. I think their offensive abilty should keep them from getting X’d so many nights.

legwand and hordi are also out. for thw wings stuart, holmstrom,mccarty lead the list.