Posts Tagged ‘chicago blackhawks’

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State Of The Preds…Offense/08-09 Predictions

October 10, 2008

So far I have touched on the defense (I think we are good), goaltending (bold prediction…I think we are great) and now comes the offense.

I have saved the most difficult for last. Let me say up front that offensively I think we are going to have problems. I am not blaming all this on Radulov’s journey back to play for the Russian mafia but we will miss his 26 goals for sure. I am also not blaming this on the growing prospect that we will never see Steve Sullivan in a Preds uniform, or any uniform for that matter, again. We made it through without him last year so I can’t blame him.

The fact is that the Preds did nothing to bring in a goal producer. Before you go shooting at me I understand that these type of players don’t grow on trees…they are tough to find. I know that but we did nothing. Yes Joel Ward is a great story. The emergence of some of our young prospects (Rich Peverley, Patric Hornqvist, Ryan Jones) is exciting but is it the answer?

Who Needs To Step Up:
Jason Arnott – We need him to be solid, strong and to not afraid to park his big body in front of the net.

JP Dumont – If the Preds are going to make the playoffs for the fifth straight year I think that JP will have to have a career year. We will need him to produce like never before!

Jordin Tootoo – It is time for his game to go to the next level. I have been a huge supporter of his and continue to be but it is time for him to show up on the offensive side. 15-20 goals is you don’t mind Jordin. [:)]

The Young Guns – Rich Peverley, Patric Hornqvist, and Ryan Jones need to show us why they made the roster out of camp. You need not look further than Chicago last year to see the impact that talented young players can have. The Emergence of two of these guys will give us a huge boost.

Overall Prediction: As much as I want to say that the Preds will make the playoffs again I just don’t think we will see it this year. Too many other teams got stronger while the Preds seemed to have taken a step back. Until we see someone replace Radulov’s output and someone else step up we are destined to finish somewhere between 9-11 in the west.

Please let me be wrong…Please!

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Cliches Abound

February 15, 2008

Man…I could think of a many headlines to describe last nights game. I could go for the obvious and make reference to a St. Valentines Day Massacre. Maybe the Preds had a Red Wing hangover following their emotional win on Tuesday. I could go subtle and talk about how the Preds ‘Do Little’ after a brilliant rendition of the Star Spangled Banner by Melinda Doolittle but instead I think I’ll just say last nights game sucked.

Yup…it sucked. Let me also say right now that when the fifth goal went in I went out the door. I was done watching this pathetic attempt at hockey. I’m not usually that guy who leaves but I couldn’t watch anymore. My good buddy Jason put it best.

“I don’t mind watching the team lose. I just can’t stand when they don’t even show up.”

Brilliantly put Jason…I couldn’t have said it better myself. This team did not show up at all last night. Soft goals allowed by Mason. Little help from the D. Sloppy neutral zone play. The Preds did put on a nice tape to tape passing display last night…problem was it was going from the tape of their sticks to the tape of the Hawks sticks. Not only did I have put up with the pathetic play on the ice I had a winner sitting next to me drinking two fisted and taking the Lord’s name in vain at every Pred hiccup…and there were a ton of hiccups.

Honestly I don’t have much else to say because this game is one I want to forget. I give credit to the Blackhawks who, at the end of a seven game road trip put up 13 goals in the last two games…maybe I was wrong yesterday when I said they would be sellers. These guys are not going to go quietly.

The Preds need to make some quick adjustments and get back in top form because a hungry Blues team heads to the Sommet on Saturday to a sell out crowd…let’s make sure they all go home with a smile on their face!

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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.

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If…

November 17, 2007

I hate to write blogs based on ‘ifs’ but this one was too good to pass up.

IF
(not the use of bold to emphasize how this is not happening) the NHL season were to end today (it would be crazy for it to since we haven’t even hit the quarter pole yet) the Central Division would boast FOUR (note bold use again…this time to emphasize how crazy this statement is) playoff teams. Take a look at the seeding.

1. Detroit
2. San Jose
3. Colorado
4. Minnesota
5. Nashville
6. Chicago
7. Columbus
8. Anaheim

While these are early results it does point to one thing that I have been harping on over the past few weeks…the Central is one tough place to play hockey. Gone are the days that the Preds could beat up on the Blues, Blackhawks and Blue Jackets…these teams are too good. We will not win all eight tilts against the Blues like we did last year (in fact we lost our first contest during our six game slide) nor will we control the Hawks or our rival in Columbus.

This makes this year, for me as a Preds fan, not only more exciting but better for our team. I think it will make us a better team come playoff time having to play night in and night out against what could end up being the best division in hockey this year. Yes I know it’s early and there are some teams on the outside of that top eight right now who may find there way in but don’t be surprised come April when you find three Central teams in the playoffs.

And yes…like it or not Nashville will be one of them.

Big Game Tonight: Another Central game and the return of Paul Kariya as the St. Louis Blues skate into Nashville. I hope that the fans treat him with the respect he deserves. I can’t blame him for wanting to make six million a year from the Blues. Nashville owes Paul a debt of gratitude as he was the first marquee player to come to Nashville as a free agent.

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Fortitude

November 16, 2007

Fortitude: mental and emotional strength in facing difficulty, adversity, danger, or temptation courageously.

That is exactly what the Preds showed last night. After a solid first period that found the Preds leading 1-0, the Preds were out played by the Blackhawks in the second. While some may say that this was a horribly played period by the Preds (I do agree there), I think you must give credit to Dennis Savard and the Blackhawks. They came out and owned us in the second and scored three unanswered goals. Sure we got away from our system but it was the play of Chicago that forced that.

The third was another story where the Preds scored three unanswered goals only to see it tied up in the last minute of regulation. They Preds were getting traffic, getting to the rebounds and limiting Chicago’s chances. This was a pretty 20 minutes of hockey for the Preds.

Today Chicago fans will be saying how they should have won. Blew a two goal lead…hit the post several times…all those things are correct but I can remember countless times when the Preds couldn’t seem to buy a goal and I would hear the shot off the post in my sleep. These games happen. One thing Chicago fans have to remember is that winning is not something the Blackhawks are entirely used to yet. Please don’t take this as a slam but I remember a few seasons back when the Preds were starting to turn the corner (like Chicago is now) and we would lose games because we couldn’t close them. Now…we win games that, in all practicality, we should have lost.

The Central sure is going to be fun this year!

Great play last night from Radulov, Arnott and the hard working Bonk.

Next Up: The return of Paul Kariya and the St. Louis Blues.