Posts Tagged ‘predators blog’

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What A Night!

April 15, 2008

I am still at a loss as to how to describe last nights game. It was electric. It was amped. It was hockey heaven for a Preds fan. I cannot imagine a more gutsy performance or never say die attitude than what the Preds displayed last night.

Some observations:

Following the two goals in 9 seconds to give the Preds the lead the place went berserk! For the final four and a half minutes the place was on it’s feet yelling and screaming. My ears we’re ringing as I left the game last night…and no that is not an exaggeration. It was that loud!

I mentioned in a couple of my in live game blogs that Hasek appeared a little shaky last night…like he could give up some goals last night. Hasek was not sharp last night and the go ahead goal was one that normally he would get. Is this is a sign of things to come? Is there a point that Osgood gets the call?

Our sloppy play is still leading to Red Wing chances and goals. A nuetral zone turnover by Radulov led directly to the early third period goal by Pavel Datsyuk. The Preds have got to be stronger on the puck and watch the errant passes.

As much as I want to believe it we just don’t have an answer to Datsyuk, Zetterberg or Holmstrom…these guys are good. Very good. We have solid players but not all stars who you fear will score anytime they touch the puck.

Dan Ellis continues to play solid in net. While not pressured as much last night he made the big saves when he needed to. While not his best performance of the year it was good enough for his first playoff win.

Barry Trotz did what he rarely does when he switched things up midstream last night and put Arnott, Radulov and Erat back together and put Leggy with Dumont and Hlavic. It was just what the doctor ordered. I was thrilled to see the on the fly adjustments and can’t wait to see what he throws out for game two.

Legwand looked great last night. He was flying all around and had five shots on net. He was a big reason we won that game last night!

The fans last night made a difference.
After last night I would put our building against any other in the league. We may be rednecks, we may not have been born with skates on our feet, some of these people may have never heard of hockey prior to this team but we are fans. Great fans who love our team and our city and will let them know whenever we can!

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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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Preds Drop Game One…

April 11, 2008

Some quick thoughts before bed (have to get up at 4:45 to work out!):

Preds were out shot 40-20…that cannot happen and we have a chance in this thing.

Dan Ellis is showing the rest of the NHL what we have learned this season…this kid is legit! Solid game for his first playoff start ever. He kept us in it for sure and bailed out the D several times.

There is no better puck possession team than the Wings. They are good. At times tonight they seemed to be putting on a keep away clinic.

Not only are they great with the puck but they fill the slots and holes so well that getting pucks through to the net or teammate seems, at times, impossible.

You hate to see the deciding goal be a questionable one. This is a game of bounces and breaks and the Wings got one here. Maybe we’ll get one next time.

I firmly believe that if we can get 25-30 shots a night on Hasek we will win this series. He is giving up rebounds and is not the force he once was…there are chinks in his armor but we have to be able to get to him.

It’s only a matter of time before Tootoo and McCarty drop the gloves. Early in the game I thought I saw Tootoo mouthing to McCarty something to the effect that we’ll get around to going, don’t worry.

Will be interested to hear the long term outlook on Scott Nichol. He is one of our big time energy guys and a big part of our PK. I’ve been hard on him in the past for some of the bonehead penalties he has taken in the playoffs but he has been so valuable to us this season.

It appears that Legwand was close to coming back tonight…let’s hope we get him back for game two.

It stinks to be down 1-0 but overall I felt we played Detroit pretty well tonight and I think we could be in for a long series!

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Detroit…It’s Lovely This Time of Year

April 10, 2008

Ahhh yes…the playoffs…every hockey fans favorite time of year. Where 16 teams are given that chance to win the sports ultimate prize, The Stanley Cup.

Round one has the Predators traveling to Detroit to face the President Trophy winning Red Wings. The Preds typically play the Wings tough and should provide more than enough for the Wings. Instead of doing my typical breakdown of the matchup and making my bold prediction I would go another direction(Preds win it in 6…you didn’t think I would actually not post a prediction did you? And seriously…I am Pred fan and it is my duty to believe and I do!).

Yesterday while perusing the web and reading Red Wing Blogs I found that many were disrespectful to Nashville and Predator fans. We were called rednecks and bubbas and some even thought it funny to put up funny pictures of ‘life in the south.’ I thought I would return the favor today…so here are a few of my favs.

Let the games begin…Go Preds!


Some of Detroit’s finest…I think they call this dancing


Beautiful downtown Detroit


And last but not least…the leader of Detroit. Who wouldn’t love to live there!

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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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Emotional…

April 4, 2008

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I’m an emotional guy. I am. I cry at Applebee’s commericals (you know the one with the coach where they ask him to hang up his team championship photo), baptisms at church, movies (too many to name but most recently watched Rudy again for a good cry!), heck I even got teared up that first home playoff game (man that place was electric!)…so to put it bluntly I am an emotional guy! Luckily I have a wife who doesn’t mind if I cry so that’s okay.

Last night with four and half minutes to go during the final TV timeout of the game I experienced something I had never experienced before. A loud, sustained, crescendoing standing ovation that nearly took the roof off the Sommet Center! It lasted the entire two minutes and well into the next play. I was…emotional. I was fighting back the tears (mostly because my step-Dad was next to me and he would of thought me a fool!) big time. In those tow minutes you could feel every bit of frustration, every bit of support, every bit of wondering, confusion and every bit of sheer support for the hockey team we almost lost. In that applause was thanks for David Freeman and the local group of new owners, there was applause for Dan Ellis and the year that he has had, there was applause for Rich Peverly filling in, for Barry Trotz who endured a tumultuous year and for David Poile who managed to give the coaches the tools they needed and lastly there was applause for the fans…who stuck with this team all year.

It was emotional…

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Preds Control Destiny

April 2, 2008

Not so much a blog as just some random comments…this is getting good people!

With the win last night the Preds put themselves in control of their own destiny…win out and they are guaranteed at least the 8th spot.

Let’s take a moment and ponder the fact that no one thought we would be here at this point…NO ONE! Many of the experts were picking the Preds to finish fifth in our division! Look who’s knock, knock, knocking on the playoffs door!

I think Trotz might be on to something with the Peverly, Tootoo and Bochenski line…they looked great last night and produced points and chances. This might be a preview for next year third line.

Rich Peverly continues to impress since his last call up. I am not seeing breakdowns in his game. I am seeing a young confident player show is willing to carry the puck into the zone and work hard along the boards. I can really see him developing into a 35-45 point type of player.

Ellis continues his feast or famine play. I know from my experience from playing goalie in my fifth grade floor hockey tournament that you have to be mentally tough to be a goalie. One goal can really throw you for a loop. Oh…I have stories about that tourney! I honestly can’t say that Mason played spectacular since he was never really tested…but the bottom line is that he got the job done.

Where does Trotz go tomorrow night in goal? My guess is that he goes back with Ellis who has been lights out. He tends to play well after being yanked and last night did not make me believe that the old Mason is back.

It looked to me like Radulov was gripping his stick a little tight (insert ‘That’s what she said’ comment here). It looked like he was forcing the play and could never really find his groove.

Boy oh boy…tomorrow night will be electric at the Sommet.