Posts Tagged ‘eklund’

h1

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!

Advertisements
h1

Where Is PredJoe?

July 22, 2008

Many Predator fans have been wondering where Pred’s blogger PredJoe has been this off season. This article pulled from wire reports answers this question.

Ufa Russia – While the international dispute continue over young Alexander Radulov and his NHL and KHL contracts one American is also seeing if he too can strike gold in Russia.

PredJoe has been blogging about all things Predator for the past two seasons on his own blog site http://www.predjoe.wordpress.com as well as the popular Hockeybuzz.com site but saw an opportunity he couldn’t pass up.

“I was thinking that maybe, just maybe, I too could make some big bucks by coming over here,” said PredJoe.

So he packed up his bags and he moved to Ufa Russia where he found life a bit different in the Republic of Bashkortostan than that in his home state of Tennessee.

“Well the first thing I noticed was all these long lines. At first I thought it was to see the new Batman movie until I saw people walking away from the line with blocks of cheese and toilet paper,” said PredJoe.

Still having a dream PredJoe began knocking on doors asking for a Radulov type payout. First he stopped by the local paper where he was refused job because he did not speak Russian. “I really thought that they would think outside the box and see the opportunity that I was bringing them,” said PredJoe.

Next he stopped by the local TV station hoping that his good American looks could translate into a big Russian payday but there too he was met with resistance.

“Apparently in this part of Russian having two eyebrows is looked down upon,” said PredJoe after leaving the TV station.

PredJoe would not be denied though and searched on for his millions. He went to any media outlet he could find begging for an opportunity to strike it rich but was finding nothing but rejection until he met Yiri.

“When I met PredYosef I knew that he would be the perfect fit for our firm,” said Ufa executive Yiri Kachkayev. “He has strong mind and big head so we offer him job right away.”

So with that the hockey blogger from Tennessee had his gig in Ufa. Although not exactly what he wanted when he arrived and far from the millions he expected to find in the land of plenty PredJoe is living his dream.

“I will be working daily with Radulov at Ufa Arena where his team plays. Right now I am director of fan satisfaction but it is just the first step of what promises to be a lucrative career here,” said PredJoe as he loaded another tray full of cheap Vodka for the vendors to sell in the arena to the rabid hockey fans. “Me and Rudy will make good team.”

While PredJoe believes he is living his dream this reporter was saddened by the quality of life this young blogging star will living under in Ufa. He did not find his millions but seemed content sipping an occasional Vodka while pouring them for fans at Ufa Arena. Hopefully, someday soon, PredJoe will realize that Russia is no place for dreams to come true. No place for poor men to become rich. No place for bloggers to blog.

h1

Can’t Stop Thinking About Barry

June 25, 2008

Ever since the news of the return of Barry Melrose was announced I can’t get it out of my head. I just find it odd. I think Barry made a fine contributor to ESPN’s attempt to cover the NHL but there was something about the bloodshot eyes and the Suave hair product dripping from his mullet that have me wondering if this is the right move by Tampa.

A few questions I have:


Will the players respect Barry?
This is a question that I have pondered here in Nashville when the ‘fire Barry Trotz talk’ would surface because people would always throw Terry Crisp’s name into the ring. I wonder once a guy is away from the bench for so long and is more friend than mentor to the player can the relationship/or assumed relationship change? I think the right person can change it but it may take a while. There could be unneeded growing pains.

How is he with his X’s and O’s? Despite hearing him breakdown games I have never really thought of Barry as an X’s and O’s kind of guy. Tampa has some great young players and one incredible talent in Steven Stamkos and these players really need someone who can teach them the ins and outs of the NHL game. Maybe Barry can do that but that doesn’t strike me as his strong suit.

What does Tampa expect from him? Does Hollywood producer and new owner of the Lighting Oren Koules want to put a little star power behind the bench? Do they think they need an ESPN figure to help sell seats? If Stamkos alone doesn’t sell an extra 2,000 in season tickets then you have a problem. Yes, I know Barry has won at every level and even took the Kings to a final but does anyone else say ‘but he had Gretzky on his team’ when that is brought up?

Don’t get me wrong Tampa fans. I wish you and Barry well. I think getting some new/old blood back behind the bench is a good idea. We’ve seen the same players on the coaching carousel for a while now…bringing back someone like Melrose could be good for hockey in Tampa and might be good for some good sound bites as well.

If Eklund is right and Barry is looking at trying to bring in Ray Emery I think it’s a great idea. Ray has talent. He is a freakin head case but he has talent. I would like to take a chance on a guy who is trying to prove to the entire league that he belongs!

Now that I’ve talked about this I feel better…thanks for listening and letting me talk about something non-Preds related.

h1

I Wish I Could Trust Him

March 26, 2008

ellis-mason.jpg
Dan Ellis has unseated Chris Mason as the Predators starter.

“I wish I could trust him.”

That’s what kept echoing in my brain last night following the superb performance by Dan Ellis last night in goal. for the second game in a row Ellis has stood on his head and led this team to victory. First it was the 2-1 shootout victory over the Blackhawks where he stopped 37 of 38 shots then last night he shutout a hungry Columbus Bluejacket team that was hoping to play spoiler to the Preds. Nary (wow…when was the last time I used the word nary. I guess I am running out of descriptive words!) one of Columbus’s 36 shots made it through the mighty wall that was Dan Ellis last night. He was playing inspired hockey and once again was there to bail out the defensive lapses (though those did seem less frequent last night…but there will still some).

But all is not right in my hockey world. We have seen these stretches from Ellis before. We have seen him post shutout wins before. We have seen him make huge save after huge save before. As much as I want all the good to be my memory I can’t help but remember all the times that he has been pulled from goal. All the times that he has allowed some soft goals. All the times I wondered what happened to that goalie who seemed to have an ‘S’ etched on his chest.

I wish I could trust him. I wish I could believe that the Dan Ellis that we saw these past few games would be the one we could ride the rest of the season.

That being said I still believe that Ellis is our best option going forward. Mason has seems to have lost his game somewhere. While I don’t think all is lost with Mason I do have to wonder what role he will play for us in the future.

Scoreboard Watching:
Calgary helped us out last night by keeping Vancouver in striking distance but tonight the Canucks play the Avalanche…meaning tonight we are rooting for the Canucks to win in regulation. The absolute worst possible outcome would be a three point game. The way the schedule lays out the rest of the week the Preds will have a real good idea where they stand when they visit Columbus on Friday. Colorado hosts Vancouver tonight and then host Edmonton (who have played themselves right back into the mix as well) on Friday.

h1

What’s That Smell

February 25, 2008

What you are smelling is the rotten egg that the Preds laid last night against a very good Dallas Stars team.

Where It Went Right: The first period for the most part was solid and the Preds played step for step with the Stars. It looked like this was going to be a game decided in OT or by a late goal. Both teams were skating hard and playing a physical game.

Where It Went Wrong:
For me it all went wrong when the Preds failed to convert on an extended five on three power play…I think the Preds had like 1:20ish of 5 on 3 time. They kept looking for that perfect play. They kept looking for Steve Sullivan to be available back door or for Paul Kariya to make that perfect pass. We are not that team. We have to create the chances…throw the puck at the net. That kill coupled with the horrible clock management at the end of the first killed all Pred momentum and gave the Stars life. They took over the game from there.

Injuries:
Yes we were without Gelinas and Radulov and Jed went down leaving Trotz to juggle lines but it’s no excuse to the way we played. That was pathetic hockey. Pathetic.

To Trade Or Not To Trade: Arnott called out David Poile after the game urging him to make a move to help the banged up team. What will Poile do? I have long maintained that this team needs a star…if one can be procured through this process as more than a rental (al la Brad Richards who has a few years left on his deal) then let’s make it happen. If it’s just a rental then we stay put and make a splash in the free agent market. It will be an exciting few days…if anyone can make something happen it’s David Poile.

David Legwand: So…it appears David Legwand was pulled over for a DUI. It’s a sad day for a franchise that, for the most part, has stayed remarkably clean in it’s ten years history. It sounds like he made a poor decision and now has to face the consequences. David is a bright guy and even bright people do stupid things. I just hope this is a one time thing for him and not the beginning of something worse. At least the Preds are still better than the Titans and their thugs…Pac Man anyone?

h1

Playoff Preview?

February 23, 2008

When the Dallas Stars come calling tonight to Nashville it could very well be a preview of a potential first round match up. If the playoffs started today the Predators, as the number seven seed, would find themselves playing the number two Stars. What a series that would be.

While I don’t like the idea of going against a world class goalie like Turco for seven games the 2007-2008 Predators seem to match up well against these Stars. Leading the season series 2-0 (a 5-1 win at home in early October and a 1-0 shutout in Dallas on New Years Eve) the Preds, at least so far, seem to have shaken the bug that has been Dallas for so many years.

Tonight a red hot Dallas
(8-2 over their last ten) comes in to face a Preds team that has found points in eight of their last ten games. Both of these teams are playing well and have taken their games up since the beginning of the year.

Things To Look For:
The Sommet should be sold out tonight so it should be rocking. It is vital for the Preds to get on top early. We are one of the best first period teams and we’ll need that tonight. I expect Ellis to be in goal tonight. Not only is it his turn but he proved that he likes to play against Dallas posting that 1-0 win in Dallas in December. With Gelinas out with an ACL injury Jed Ortmeyer will get the start. I love Jed’s game and truly don’t get why he has been a healthy scratch so many times this year. This should be a good one…game is on FSN tonight so if you don’t have a ticket tune in and watch ol’ Eklund with Pete and Terry as well.

h1

Whoo…That Was Close!

February 20, 2008

With the game in hand and the ice tilted in their direction the Predators let the Edmonton Oilers nearly steal two points in Nashvhille last night. The Oilers scored goals in bunches and scoring three unanswered goals to take a 4-3 lead. The Preds answered back seconds later knotting the game at four a piece. JP Dumont finally rescued the Preds in the final minutes and then the Preds held on and took the two points to move into fifth place in the West. Yes…FIFTH place people!

The line of Arnott, Dumont and Radulov
continues to hit on all cylinders. Dumont jumped right back in after missing two games with the flu and looked fresh.

Tootoo’s goal was beautiful!
That line was scrapping and fighting for that goal and the hard work paid off.

Ellis was solid in net and only the fourth goal was soft…he should have had that one. The others were crazy bounces or major breakdowns from the D.

Question to all Pred fans
:Eklund (over at http://www.hockeybuzz.com) and I got into a bit of a debate over Hossa and Richards. Who would you like and why?

Out Of Pocket:
I will be out of pocket until at least Sunday as I am out on business…tow huge home games coming up for the Preds. Get down to the Sommet and support the boys.