Saturday, October 30, 2010

Predators Forget to Show Up in Detroit

Who was that out there? Surely it wasn't the same Nashville Predators that started the season 5-0-3. Well, in a way, it wasn't but I'll get to that later. The Nashville Predators got run out of Joe Louis Arena by the Red Wings, losing a 5-2 contest that, in all honesty, really wasn't that close. Here are some key points from the game:

GOALTENDING
Pekka did not play very well tonight at all. He gave up rebounds and was out of position regularly. Granted, he defense didn't help him at all but it was still a pretty poor outting from Rinne.

DEFENSE
The Predators defense is usually the strength of their game. Tonight, it was the weakest part of their game. Not one player had a good game defensively. Each defenseman was out of position multiple times and nobody really played well until Weber and Klein hooked up for the goal. I'm not sold on Alexander Sulzer at all. Frankly, he appears to be getting worse with each passing NHL game. He was truly awful tonight, as was the entire team. AND YOU CAN'T LET HOLMSTROM PLANT HIMSELF IN FRONT OF PEKKA RINNE AND NOT EXPECT TO GET SCORED ON! Sheesh, how many times have we heard that one?

OFFENSE
Although they only scored two goals, the offense really wasn't THAT bad tonight. They got pretty good pressure in parts of the game and clanged a couple off of the post. Colin Wilson almost made it a 5-3 game in the third when he beat Osgood. The post was simply the enemy for him tonight. It certainly wasn't a great offensive game, but it isn't the worst offensive performance they've had this year so far.

WHERE WAS THE INTENSITY?
We were playing the Detroit Red Wings. That's not usually something to be lax about. I'm not going to say that they didn't care because I think they did care. They just were lazy on several plays and it's very uncharacteristic of them. Lazy passes, sticks not being on the ice to receive passes, and most of all it looked like they were just kind of gliding around tonight. I rarely saw anybody REALLY skating hard after a puck. Physicality was almost non-existent in this game. It wasn't a very intense game at all by the Predators.

INJURIES KILL
It was painfully obvious how much this team is missing Ryan Suter at the moment. They were dreadful defensively tonight. Suter, Lombardi, Goc, Tootoo, and the Cube, were all out tonight. Tootoo and Bullion were not expected to be out coming into the game so it was surprising not to see those two in there. So, in a way, it wasn't the same Nashville Predators that started 5-0-3. A fourth of them aren't out there! This team has got to get healthy and stay healthy.

MARTIN ERAT
Erat has been awful this year. He really hasn't looked good at all and I'm really not sure what they problem is. When Erat is on, he is a very creative offensive player. But I think he's gone from creative offensive player to nothing right now. As we all know, he makes a lot of really stupid plays that cost us (I.E. game 5) and he seems to do it at the worst possible time.

RANDOM NOTES FROM TONIGHT'S GAME
Linus Klasen played his first NHL game. Nothing too good and nothing too bad.

Datsyuk had 2 goals and an assist tonight.

The Wings had 28 shots and the Preds had 25. Really not that much difference. Our defense really let us down tonight.

Sulzer logged 28:18 of ice time tonight. He played almost half of the game. Weber logged 27:08.

Dumont and Weber both had 4 shots, which tied for the team lead.

Ward and Klein were the goalscorers for the Preds.

The Red Wings have scored a power-play goal in 8 straight games. Must be nice.

This was Chris Osgood's 19th career victory over Nashville.

The Preds next game will be Wednesday night against Pheonix. We'll see who all comes back from injury for that game. We need Suter back quick.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Preds vs. AARP Saturday Night(Also Known as the Red Wings)

The Nashville Predators will square off against the Detroit Red Wings on Saturday night at 6:00 at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit. It's always fun to play these guys and it brings out every ounce of hatred that I have stored in my body for them. Here are a few notes for tomorrow night's game:

Predators have recalled Linus Klasen from Milwaukee. Klasen had 7 goals and 3 assists in 7 games for the Admirals. His 7 goals put him as the number one goal-scorer in the AHL. Klasen was injured in the Preds rookie game vs. the Florida rookies and missed training camp. He's said to already have as much offensive talent as anybody who is currently on the Predators roster. The problem with him is he is not a very good defensive player. Basically, he's Alex Radulov. A much shorter version of Radulov.

Both teams are coming off of a loss on Thursday night. The Preds fell to the Blues by a 3-0 score and the Red Wings lost to the Coyotes by a 4-2 score. This will be the first of six meetings this year in the regular season between these two clubs.

Games between these two teams will, in my opinion, ultimately decide the winner of the Central division. I think whoever wins the season series between these two teams will end up being the Central division champion. It all starts tomorrow night. As a Preds fan, these types of games are what you live for. This is when it gets really fun. Do we respect the Red Wings? Of course we do. They're a really good hockey team. Are we afraid of them? Not by any strech of the imagination. If we play our game, we will win. Plain and simple. The challenging part will be playing our game. Puck possession will be pivotal in this game. The Wings are superb at possessing the puck, and that's how they generate their offensive scoring chances. The Preds will have to separate men in red from the puck, and play a physical, Nashville Predator type of hockey game. If they do that, Preds fans will be happy at the end of the night.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Predators Lose first game in regulation

The Nashville Predators lost to the St. Louis Blues by a 3-0 score on Thursday night. They never really got any offense going and struggled to get consistent pressure. Jordin Tootoo was given a 5 minute major and a game misconduct for a charging penalty late in the third. It was a very weak call but that's not what lost them the game.

Not really much to say about that game. They got outplayed. Now you've got to learn from it and focus on Saturday night at Detroit. We all hate the Red Wings, players included. Let's get em

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Unlikely Key to Preds Success

The Preds are off to a 5-0-3 start this year and are the only team in the league to gain at least one point in every game so far this year. There have been several key players so far this year. Anders Lindback has been better than anyone could have possibly for, Steve Sullivan got off to a hot start, and Pekka Rinne has been sharp. But the Preds also have another unlikely hero this far into the season.

Cal O'Reilly is tied for the team lead in points 8 games into the year with 6. He's been hightly effective on a line with Steve Sullivan and Patric Hornqvist and has played very well. All of this comes after most people, myself included, questioned where Cal O'Reilly would fit into the line-up. We've all been waiting for O'Reilly's game to arrive at the NHL level. He's been dominant in the AHL the past couple of seasons but his game never quite transferred up to the National Hockey League.

Has his game finally arrived at the NHL level? After 6 points in 8 games, the answer would seem to be yes. But this league is all about consistency. We'll have a good idea where O'Reilly's game is when the All-Star break arrives. So far, however, he has definitely been an unsung hero for the Nashville Predators.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Preds Have Successful Weekend;Sweep the Weekend

The Nashville Predators had as good of a weekend that you can ask from them. They got two out of two wins. On Saturday night, they defeated the Dallas Stars by a 1-0 score in a shut-out performance by Pekka Rinne. They followed that up, after arriving in Tampa at 3 in the morning, with a 4-3 victory against the high-powered Tampa Bay Lightning. Here are some key points from this weekend:

GOALTENDING
Both goaltenders were stellar this weekend. Pekka Rinne made 30 saves in his shut-out performance, and Anders Lindback stopped 42 shots against the Lightning, including a couple of breakaways against Vinny Lecavalier. Great goaltending this weekend by the Predators. The Preds were outshot 45 to 26 against the Lightning.

FIRST GOAL AS CAPTAIN
Shea Weber knotted his first goal of his captaincy on Sunday vs. Tampa Bay. It came against his former teammate Dan Ellis.

MOST POINTS IN THE NHL

As of Sunday night, the Nashville Predators have the most points in the NHL and thus are in first place in the entire NHL. It's good to say that now but it would be better to say that at the end of the year!

After back to back games, the Preds are off until Thursday night. It's college night so it should be a pretty packed house! The Preds look to keep their point streak alive as the St. Louis Blues make their second trip to Nashville.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Preds Lose in OT again; Martin Erat's Stupid Mistake

The Nashville Predators are seemingly incapable of winning a game when it goes into overtime. They fall in OT once again to the Pittsburgh Penguins by a score of 4-3. Sidney Crosby had two goals in the game while Evgeni Malkin had one goal. Kris Letang got the game-winning goal in OT. Crosby also had an assist on the game-winner by Letang. This moves the Preds to 3-0-3. Here are some points from tonight's game:

KEVIN KLEIN
I was impressed with Kevin Klein's play tonight. He stood up for Jordin Tootoo after he had been boarded by Malkin. Klein dropped the gloves and really showed some grit.

MARTIN ERAT
It's always something with him. In the third period, the Preds were in possession of the puck on a delayed penalty against the Penguins. Erat just took off and checked a Penguin that was nowhere near the puck. Erat got a penalty and Crosby scored on the 4 on 4 play. I'm beginning to wonder if he is even worth putting in the line-up. He is probably the dumbest player in the NHL by a wide, wide margin. Also, he gets the puck and has another wide open net and doesn't lift the puck. Just like the shot against Kiprusoff the other night, Erat keeps the puck on the ice and doesn't lift it and doesn't get a goal. Erat needs to figure out what he's doing out there or the staff needs to limit his ice time.

DAVID LEGWAND
Leggy playd very well tonight. He got the goal 53 seconds into the game and played solid defense all night.

4 INCHES AWAY FROM VICTORY
Despite another bonehead play by Martin Erat, the Preds still came within inches of victory. Dumont let a shot go that popped off the shoulder of Fleury and came within inches of crossing the goal line in overtime.

OVERTIME WOES
I don't know what it is about this team, but they don't seem to have any luck or intestinal fortitude in overtime. They get lax defensively, don't seem to want to push the puck on offense, and the Pekka was simply out of position. The Predators have now GIVEN AWAY three games in a row. As a fan, I'm sick of it. The main part that I'm sick of is that it's obviously not seeming to bother them at all if they keep allowing it to happen. Eventually, pride should take over and the team should will it's way to victory. It's time for a gut check in the locker room.

It's time to figure out what this team is made of. The finishing effort in the last three games has simply not been good enough. They come out firing and then just seem to put it in cruise control. That's simply not good enough. The Preds got out-shot 17 to 5 in the third period. There's a lack of emotion in the locker room after these types of losses. It's really infuriating when I see it. "We've gotten points in every game this year, but we haven't played that well,"said Barry Trotz. They definitely haven't finished well at all and it's time to start finishing well.

Points in October are every bit as important as points in March and April. They've given three away. ONE point can be the difference between a playoff spot and not making the playoffs at all. ONE point can mean the difference in a Central Division championship and finishing 5th or 6th in the conference. So far, three have just been tossed aside like they're irrelevant. It all comes down to the third period. The Predators have been awful in the third period the last three games.

These are home games. These are games you are supposed to win. Over the weekend, the Preds go to Dallas and Tampa Bay. Maybe a road trip is needed right now. In any case, it's time to get it together. It's time to show some emotion. It's time to get some passion and some emotion out of the players. It's time to play a full game of hockey.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Injury Strikes Again; Preds Give Another Point Away

The Nashville Predators lost in overtime once again in front of the home crowd, this time to the Calgary Flames by a score of 1-0. Rene Bourque scored the game-winner for the Flames. Pekka Rinne looked extremely sharp in his return to the line-up. Unfortunately, he was about the only one who played worth a damn.

Ryan Suter was injured very early into the game with a lower body injury and did not return. The injuries for this team are getting ridiculous this early in the year. It's almost impossible to see what type of team we have because they haven't all been healthy yet. As of now, Lombardi, Goc, and Suter are out and Lundmark was put on waivers. Don't expect a call-up from Milwaukee. Expect Alexander Sulzer to get his first action of the season on Thursday night against the Penguins.

The question is who do you put on a pairing with Weber? My personal vote is Bouillon, or really anybody except Klein.

The Power-play went 0 for 5 tonight. It hasn't been looking very good lately. Suter's loss had a lot to do with that.

Mikka Kiprusoff played a fantastic game tonight for the Flames. He's the reason they won by far. Pekka Rinne also played great put couldn't get any offensive help.

This overtime loss means the Preds are 3-0-2. They've gathered 8 out of a possible 10 points. Most people would probably be satisfied with that to start the season. I'm not. If we were getting blown out and losing then that's a whole different scenario. If we got beat by teams who out-played us then that's also a different story. The simple truth of the matter is that the Predators have already given away 2 points this year. They had Washington. And, while they weren't playing well at all, they were playing well enough to get a win over Calgary. We've got to have the killer instinct. It was there for the first 3 games. It's been noticeably absent the last two games.

Sidney Crosby brings his whine.......Wait, I mean his team, into town on Thursday night to face the injury-depleted Predators. It's going to take a much better effort than was given tonight to beat the Penguins.

And the boys probably need to start drinking more milk to protect themselves a little better.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Dekanich, and Random Notes

The Nashville Predators have sent goaltender Mark Dekanich back down to Milwaukee. This means that Pekka Rinne will be ready to go on Tuesday night against the Flames. Expect him to get the start on Tuesday night. Still no word yet on Erat, Lombardi, or Goc.

I'm still waiting to hear what happens to Backstrom.

I'd be really interested to know what our record is in our new third jerseys. I don't think it's a very good one.

The Preds will come into Tuesday's game with a 3-0-1 record(7 points).

The Predators will play 2 home games this week against Calgary and Pittsburgh, and then will travel to the undefeated Dallas Stars on Saturday night. Next Sunday, they face Dan Ellis and the Lightning in Tampa.

More Tomorrow.....

Preds vs. cRaps - Dub's Notes

I'll keep this one short and simple.

Hustler award: RW-Jordin Tootoo. Toots didnt take a shift off last night, and he played one of the best positionally sound games in his career last night. For once, he made smart passes, smart ON TARGET shots, and didnt take himself out of the play with any stupid checks. Honorable mention: G-Anders Lindback.

Letdown: The entire team, sans Toots. If you watched the game, no explanation is needed. And the "3 games in 4 days" excuse doesnt work for me. Sorry, these guys are professionals. They started playing "Jeff Fisher" hockey; i.e., they went into conservative mode, and stopped being creative or agressive.

I will say that we hit at least 4 solid posts last one, with one hellacious blast that hit the crossbar by El Capitain.


Notes: I was very impressed by how we gameplanned Ovie. You could tell he was frustrated all night. We gave them too many opportunities on stupid penalties.
Suter's trip: I wasnt too upset by the call. Should it have been called? Probably not, as Suter hit the puck first...but he DID take Ovie's legs out. Suter got beat and scrambled. Plain and simple.

While this is our first loss of the year, it wont be our last. The positives are that we gained a point. We also didn't give any points to a team in the West. It happens...we just have to hope that the boys learn from it.

Now, let's go get the Flamers!

Preds Lose in Overtime to the Caps

Well, it started off good. The Preds outshot the Caps 18-7 in the first period and had a 1-0 lead with a couple of pucks off the post to go along with it. The second period wasn't bad either as Nashville escaped with a 2-0 lead. However, the third period was dreadful. There was no pressure in the offensive zone, several stupid turnovers were commited, and the Preds were essentially playing with 3 lines after Goc got knocked out of the game by a cheapshot by Backstrom.

The Capitals rallied and beat the Preds by a score of 3-2 in overtime. The goalscorers for the Preds were Dumont and Tootoo, while Semin, Fleischmann, and Laich scored for Washington. Ovechkin was pretty much non-existent tonight until the final shot that was tipped in by Laich. Weber and Suter did a very good job on him for the most part. Here are some key points to take away from the game:

60 MINUTES
Nashville struggled with this all of last year and it has been a problem in the last two games. The Preds barely escaped with a win vs St.Louis after a terrible third period effort and weren't so lucky tonight. YOU'VE GOT TO PLAY THE WHOLE GAME. I understand that Goc was out. I understand that Kostitsyn is virtually ineffective with his broken toe. I understand that Erat, Lombardi, and Rinne are also out. But you've got to keep pushing. They proved that they could outplay the Caps through the first 2 periods. Why stop what you were doing? They went into a defensive mode of hockey which is a huge mistake against the Caps. The best defense is always offensive possesion.

BACKSTROM HIT ON GOC
I'm very upset about this. Nicklas Backstrom's hit on Marcel Goc was simply dirty, and he should be suspended for it. Goc didn't have the puck and had his back turned to Backstrom. He hit into the boards head first, came up looking like he was significantly injured, and did not return the rest of the game. The league needs to look at this and suspend him. I don't care if he's Nicklas Backstrom. It was a dirty hit and there's no place in the game for it. He should've been kicked out of the game. Of course, he wasn't, and went on to have 2 assists on the night in the one-goal overtime victory for the Caps.

EVERY POINT COUNTS
You don't have to be some sort of nuclear physicist to figure out that every point in the NHL is important at the end of the season. The Preds simply gave a point away tonight. Nothing will irritate me more than lack of effort and they showed a serious lack of effort in the third period tonight.

SUTER PENALTY
Was it the right call? I don't particularly think so. Is Alexander Ovechkin going to get that call every single time? Yes. Suter was caught out of position and Ovechkin had a step of him. Ovechkin fell. He got the call. And he'll get it 100% of the time. Is that right? No, it's not. But i'm not going to sit here and say that cost us the game. Give a better effort in the third and it wouldn't have gotten to that point.

I'm very upset about this game. Having said that, we've got to put it behind us and focus on Calgary. Pekka Rinne and Martin Erat are "close" to getting back. Does that mean Tuesday? I personally think so. We'll find out more about Matthew Lombardi on Monday. Put this loss behind you and move on. One game at a time. Let's go get 2 points on Tuesday.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Preds Hold On vs. Blues 4-3

The Nashville Predators came flying out of the gate against the Blues scoring 3 goals in the first period. Marcel Goc continued his hot streak and scored a goal less than a minute into the game. Steve Sullivan scored on a 5-on-3 power-play and also on another even strength goal in the first period. He almost had the hattrick on a breakaway in the closing seconds of the first period. The Preds went into the first intermission with a 3-1 lead.

In the second period, things got a little harder for the Preds. They didn't seem to play as well and gave up a goal to the Blues. But then, Patric Hornqvist responded with another power-play goal after a good shot by Cal O'Reilly, who had 3 assists on the night.

In the third period, the Predators got very lucky. They seemed to be running out of gas. The game the night before and the two periods that they had played already seemed to be catching up to them and they played sluggishly. However, Anders Lindback showed what he can do and saved the day for the Preds. The Preds held on to win the game by a scored of 4-3.

GAME TIDBITS:
The Predators scored 2 power-play goals tonight.

Marcel Goc has 3 points in 3 games.

Steve Sullivan now has 4 goals on the season in 3 games.

The Preds are 3-0-0 with 6 points.

Matthew Lombardi was scratched with an upper body injury.

Martin Erat was put on IR and is expected to come back on Tuesday.

MY THREE STARS OF THE GAME
3. Anders Lindback. He played very well tonight and was the real hero for the Preds in the 3rd period.

2. Steve Sullivan. Sully had 2 goals tonight and played really well in the first period. He was a little shaky after that but played a pretty good game.

1. Cal O'Reilly. Cal played very well tonight. He had great vision and ended up with 3 assists.

Preds vs. Caps on Saturday night at the Bridge. That ought to be a really fun game. If the Preds can contain the explosive offense of the Capitals, they should be able to score some goals against the defensively challenged Caps. One game at a time.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Dub's Quick Hits from 10/13

Players of the game...Wardo and Leggy. They didn’t take a shift off, even in the 2nd period when the rest of the team was soft. They hustled all night, and were really the only line that dictated play.

Biggest Letdown: Kevin Klein…again. He must have pictures of Trotzy committing inappropriate actions with goats--that's the only explanation that I have for how he stays in the lineup. He's slow, makes dumb decisions, doesn’t move his feet...and just sucks. I'd rather have Sulzer up.

Notes: Trotzy's gotta get the boys fired up, and I think he did so after the second. I have a feeling that it wasn't fun in the locker room after the lax 2nd period, as Peterson blasted them during the intermission interview for a lack of urgency and hustle. He also hit the nail on the head and said we were playing “safe”. I cant disagree there. Oh, and even though the GWG was on the man advantage, our PowerPlay is still anemic.

The Hat: Postgame, Wardo was rocking the team mandated Preds' Cowboy Hard Hat. My thought is that this might be an example of Weber's young, energetic leadership. I like it.

All in all, it was a great win against the defending champion Blackhawks. We're only two games in, but we're already showing fire and desire, and the ability to overcome adversity and adapt.
Now, we've gotta keep it rolling against the bloosers tonight.
-Dub

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Predators Defeat Blackhawks in Dramatic Fashion

The Nashville Predators know that winning one game in the regular season against the Hawks isn't anywhere near the redemption that they're ultimately looking for this season. But that doesn't mean that this win isn't sweet. The Preds defeated the Blackhawks by a score of 3-2 on a Joel Ward Goal with less than 30 seconds remaining in the game.

Anders Lindback was pretty solid in his first NHL game. He only gave up two goals, and those were to Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews, who have scored on tons of goalies so Lindback has nothing to be ashamed of. I think he played very well and looked more comfortable as the game went on.

Steve Sullivan scored the first goal of the game, giving him two goals in the first two games of the year. Colin Wilson also scored on a one-time that deflected off of the Chicago defenseman in front and into the net. Marcel Goc added an assist tonight bringing him up to two points in two games. Cal O'Reilly also notched an assist tonight which is good news for him and for Predators fans.

The Preds were trailing 2-1 going into the third period against the defending Stanley Cup Champions in their house. Coming back says a lot about the character of this hockey team. They didn't panic and they didn't make rushed decisions. They're much more mature than they were even a few months ago. That series against Chicago really taught these boys something and it's showing right now. Oh, and Martin Erat wasn't out so there was no goal by Kane with 13 seconds remaining.....Still hurts. I've gotta get it out of my system.

Thursday night, the Predators play host to the undefeated St.Louis Blues and newly acquired goaltender Jaroslav Halak. It's college night so if you're a college student, bring your student ID and you can get upper bowl tickets for $10 and lower bowl tickets for $25.

Great win for the boys in Chicago. Now, it's over. Put it behind you and focus on St. Louis. One game at a time baby. One game at a time.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Predators vs. Blackhawks Preview

The Preds and Blackhawks faceoff tomorrow night at 7:30 at the United Center in Chicago. The Preds are coming into this game a little shorthanded. Pekka Rinne will not make the trip to Chicago. Martin Erat, Sergei Kostitsyn, and Jamie Lundmark will also not make the trip.

It looks like Anders Lindback will make his first NHL start. Mark Dekanich has also been called up to back up Lindback. We'll see where this injury with Pekka goes. It's obviously more serious than they originally said because he's not even making the trip to Chicago. After the game Saturday you would've thought he could've played on Sunday the way they were talking about it. I happen to like Lindback. He really looks like Pekka from two years ago.

Martin Erat not making the trip can be viewed from a couple of different perspectives. The Preds lose some offensive creativity, but they also lose some stupidity. Hopefully, there won't be any more repeats of Game 5 tomorrow night when Erat made the dumbest series of plays in the history of the Nashville Predators and possibly the NHL. So this is, I think, a positive and negative thing for the Preds.

Chicago defenseman Nicklas Hjalmarsson has been suspended for 2 games, so he'll be out vs. Nashville. He gave a pretty nasty hit Monday night against the Sabres. Patick Sharp seems like he will play even though he's been banged up for a bit, but Brian Campbell will be out.

The Preds come into the game 1-0-0 with 2 points and the Blackhawks come into the game 1-1-1 with 3 points. Nashville's job will be a lot tougher without Rinne but, heck, I'll take Lindback over Turco any day.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Tuesday Notes

Looks like Pekka Rinne will miss the Chicago game on Wednesday. Anders Lindback will start and expect Mark Dekanich to be called up.

ESPN.com has the Predators ranked 11th in their weekly Power Rankings. The Wings are at the top. Chicago is 22nd.

Preds dancer Lakelyn Foutch announced she's leaving the dance team and going on tour.

The Preds have 3 games in 4 nights this week. Wednesday night at Chicago, Thursday night vs. St Louis, and Saturday night vs. the Capitals.

Hornqvist scored his first goal of the season on Saturday night and was key in Sullivan's game winner. Look for Horndog to continue this type of play. He gets in the hard areas and it works.

Preds vs. Blackhawks at 7:30 P.M. central time on Wednesday night. The game is televised on FS-Tennessee and will also be on 102.9 the Buzz

Sunday, October 10, 2010

What We Learned From Game 1

The Nashville Predators defeated the Anaheim Ducks by a 4-1 score in front of 17,113 at Bridgestone Arena. What did we learn from opening night?

THE CROWD
There was a great crowd at the Bridge on Saturday Night. I was very pleased to see that there was a substantial amount of people in the arena for warm-ups. There was a definite buzz and feeling of excitement in the building that I felt from the moment I walked in. It was a great crowd and we were alive all night.

SPECIAL TEAMS
The special teams performed reasonably well on Saturday night. They notched 1 power-play goal in 6 trys but two of the powerplays were in the last few minutes when all the Preds were trying to do was kill the clock. The Preds got 16 shots on goal during the power-play which, I thought, was a very good sign. The penalty kill played extremely well tonight. They didn't give many lanes to shoot the puck and the killed of a 5 on 3 penalty. Overall, the Preds looked very good on the special teams front tonight.

OFFENSIVE BARRAGE
Nashville notched 49 shots on goal. 49. That's a very encouraging sign to start the season. In the past we've gotten on to them for making "the extra pass." On Saturday night, they very rarely made the extra pass. They put the puck on the net. Weber had 8 shots. Goal scorers on the night were Goc, Sullivan, Hornqvist, and Legwand. I picked Goc to be the breakout player and he's off to a good start!

KEVIN KLEIN
Kevin Klein worries me. He was truly awful on Saturday night. And this isn't me just speaking out of rage of his play last year. Klein got consistently beat last night and it's something that I think is going to be a problem. He was in bad position all night, he seems to be absolutely terrified to stand someone up when they're coming down along the boards, and he looks to be our worst defenseman by a considerable margin. I think it's something that Trotz and the staff are going to have to look at throughout the season because Klein hasn't gotten any better at all and it's going to cost us some games like it did last year.

PEKKA RINNE/ANDERS LINDBACK
Pekka Rinne really looked good last night until he had to leave the game with a "lower-body injury." He stopped 29 of 30 shots and didn't give up rebounds. Pekka's looking sharp and I hope he's able to come back quickly. He's listed as day-to-day. In is absence, Anders Lindback came in and stopped 7 out of 7 shots and really wasn't tested that much. The shots came from out wide and far away. The defense really locked up when Pekka went out. Lindback looked pretty good though.

ONE GAME AT A TIME
It's an old cliche, but it's something that the Predators are going to have to live by this year. We had a great opening night and, in all honesty, really dominated the Anaheim Ducks. That's great. It's over with. Now we have Chicago. We have to put the Anaheim game behind us and focus on the Blackhawks. We have to take each game that we play and put it behind us whether we win or lose. The next game is always the most important game. Getting 2 points in these games is just as important as getting 2 points in games at the end of March. We have to focus and bring are A-game to Chicago because, let's face it, we really really really want to beat them and so do the boys.

Overall, it was a really good night besides Kevin Klein. We've had our day to celebrate and now it's time to focus on the winless Chicago Blackhawks. Let's go get em boys.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

It's Finally Here!

Opening night of the regular season is finally upon us and I am revved up and ready to go! The Nashville Predators will play host to the Anaheim Ducks tonight at Bridgestone Arena! The Ducks are just coming off of a loss to the wings last night, and should be hungry to get on the right track tonight. The Preds are obviously looking to start their season off right. If they come out with the killer instinct that I expect they will, Nashville will win this game by 3 goals or more. They have something to prove this year. They're more fired up than I have EVER seen them before and that is a very good thing.

Remember to be there for warm-ups! If they're going to give us a good effort this year, then we can return the favor by giving them a good effort and showing them that we're behind them. All fans will receive a free t-shirt upon entrance to the game so make sure to wave those!

I hope to see you all at the Bridge tonight! Let's cheer the Preds on to victory tonight and start this season off right! Let's go Predators!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

NHL Center Ice to be free for first 18 days

From NHL.com;

NHL fans will get a free gift to start the season -- NHL Center Ice will be offered free by cable systems across the country for the first 18 days of the season.

From Oct. 7-24, fans will be able to watch up to 40 out-of-market games per week, as well as see the numerous innovations that are part of the 14-channel package.

Among the features are a multi-screen mosaic, featuring all the current action, with score and clock, available on the first channel of the package. There also will be a stats channel, and when possible dual feeds, featuring home and road broadcasts of the same game on separate channels. The package also will offer up to 12 games per week in high definition.

Participating cable companies are: Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Cox Communications, Bright House Networks, Cablevision Systems, Bresnan Communications, Charter Communications, Midcontinent and Verizon FiOS, plus a number of independent affiliates.


Fans who purchase a full season of NHL Center Ice by Oct. 31 will receive the Early Bird price of $171.80.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Radulov, Game 1, and Random Notes

A few years ago I was sitting on my porch when I received a phone call from a good friend of mine saying that Alexander Radulov was leaving the Preds, and bolting off to Russia for the KHL. My first thought was wow, really? I buy your jersey 2 months ago and now you leave?(I still to this day will not buy a Shea Weber jersey no matter how badly I'd like to. Call me superstitious. That's something I'm not going to take a chance on.) My second thought that came into my mind was simply how can he legally do that? He was under contract with the Predators. Surely he can't just leave. Well it turns out that once you get to Russia, they have a hard time letting you come back. There are rumors that after this upcoming season in the KHL(when his contract expires. Funny how he wants to honor this one.), he might make a return to the Nashville Predators. Do we want him to come back? How will the locker room accept him if he does come back? How much money would he be worth? For starters, I'd really have no problem with having him back. The guy is a talent. The Predators have never had a player anything like Alexander Radulov. He's creative with the puck, he's got the skills of a good finisher, and he's still young. Now, he has a maturity problem that would have to be sorted out. That's where I'll start with the next question. Would the locker room want him back? I think they would. Granted, they'd have to have a serious closed-door talk with him and he'd have to gradually earn their trust back, but I think the players would definitely take him back since he'd be able to help this team. As far as how much money he'd be worth, I wouldn't give him an outrageous amount. The level of competition that he's been at the last few years simply isn't NHL level(although it might be fairly soon if players keep going over there). Make him prove himself for a year or two and then try to structure up an agreement.

Game 1 of the 2010-2011 season is Saturday night. Don't forget to show up early for warm-ups. One game at a time for 60 minutes. If the boys do that on a consistent basis, we're looking at a very successful season. More so than any other season we've ever had. It all comes down to leadership, maturity, and focus. Do the boys have enough focus to get through every game and play at a high level? If so, the sky is the limit.

The Preds traded Ryan Parent and Jonas Andersson yesterday for Shane O'Brien and a prospect. Interesting decision by Poile. O'Brien is a tough guy but sometimes is a little too overly aggressive. I do, however, like this move from Poile. I mean what can you say? Poile and the new ownership are serious about winning, and winning right now. Now all we have to do is take it one game at a time. And it starts on Saturday night.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Dub's hockey story

Robby, I'll follow your lead on this one...how did I, a southern boy, become a nut about hockey? Simple, I was one of the few kids from Nashville who grew up around it. A lot of people are not aware that we have always had minor league teams in Nashville.  My dad used to run the souvenir sales from the Knights, as well as worked for the Nighthawks, so I was always able to attend the games as a kid. Gotta love free hockey! I remember the hours of floor hockey in the hallway (until the Atlanta ownership came in and stopped us), the day of "Top Gun" Trevor Jobe, Brock "the Rock" Kelley, and John Reeeeeeeeeeeed "ohhhhhhhh". Those are great memories!

One of my earliest hockey memories occurred when the Knights were playing against a college team. One of the agreements between the squads was that there was not supposed to be any fighting. Anyone who knows minor league hockey should realize this is a very tenuous agreement. Anyways, after the second period both teams got into a fight off ice between the stands, right below where my mother and I were sitting. You had minor league hockey players, college kids, and fans brawling it out. For a kid in second grade, this was great! Maybe that's where I got hooked...I dunno.

As a kid I also always wanted to play hockey, but my parents never afforded me that opportunity. It was probably a smart choice...let's be honest, I was that small, midget-esque nerdy kid in class. I probably would have gotten killed. But I like to say it would have made me tougher. Who knows. However, for the last couple of years, I have been playing adult rec league hockey for the Mutiny--the baddest SOBs in the lower C league! Woooo!

None-the-less, I've been around the Preds, working and attending games since their Inaugural year. I've seen the horrible teams (whenever Denny Lambert is in your starting lineup, you're screwed)...to the teams that should have vied for the cup (the Kariya, Sully, Forsberg season).

I think the 2010-11 squad ahas a lot of promise. Veteran leadership, young guys that are ready to step up, speed and size (finally).  I think we're built well for a deep run. The biggest problem, IMO is our coaching staff...but that's a blog for another time.

Thanks for reading my ramble. GO PREDS!

Monday, October 4, 2010

My Hockey History

I thought I'd take some time today to give you guys a little bit of background information on me and how I became a hockey fan. For starters, I'm an 18 year old student at Middle Tennessee State University. I'm majoring in journalism and I hope to become a sports journalist one day.

My love for hockey began at a very young age. When I was a young kid, I loved to watch the "Mighty Ducks" movies. That is what really started my love for hockey. I thought that it was the coolest thing that I had ever seen. So, naturally, my first hockey game that I ever attended was the Anaheim Mighty Ducks vs. Nashville Predators in the Preds inagural season. I was five years old. Truth be told, I rooted for the Ducks in that game simply because I thought that the players on the ice were the players in the movie.

After I went to that game, my uncle started teaching me a little more about hockey. I gradually became a pretty big Predators fan at a young age. Jim Knott, my uncle, then got the Public Address job at the Preds games and I got to go to even more games. By the time I was 11 years old, I was an avid Preds fan. I remember the day the Preds clinched their first playoff birth. I remember the excellent fight they put up against the Wings in that series. Then came the lock-out. That was a really long year. The sport that I had grown to love was no longer being played and it was extremely irritating.

The following year, the NHL was back and with it came a new and exciting brand of hockey. More importantly, a new and improved Predators team came with it. The acquisition of Paul Kariya created a huge buzz around this town. The Preds went on to have very successful seasons the next two years, only to be eliminated in the first round both times at the hands of the San Jose Sharks.

I began sitting in section 303 during the 2007-2008 campaign, right in front of Codey Holland and Jeremy K. Gover of section303.com. I've been sitting there ever since, and it's a great place to watch the game. Bridgestone Arena is a great environment if you're looking to have a good time. There's nothing like a Saturday night in Nashville when the Preds are playing.

There's my hockey history. What's yours? Tell us about your first Preds game. What was it like? What's been your most memorable experiences at the games?

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Saturday Night!!

Saturday night the Preds open the 2010-2011 season! Remember to show up early for warm-ups so we can start this season on the right foot! Here are some little tidbits to look at in Pred Nation:

What will opening night's roster look like?

Check out predsontheglass.com and ontheforecheck.com. These are some truly great blogs and I'm very thankful for the support they've given myself and Phillip for starting Hockey Night in Nashville. I think we might have the greatest group of bloggers in the NHL.

Also, section303.com is another great one. Check out what Jeremy and the gang have to say.

Looking forward to seeing you all on Saturday Night! Remember, show up early for warm-ups and let's play some hockey!!!!