Saturday, October 9, 2010

Duck, Duck, LOSE! - Preds Win Home Opener Against Ducks: 4-1



The Preds are back for their 2010-2011 season and come out swinging!  This year's motto is simple: "Together".  That is exactly what we saw tonight, the Preds playing as the Preds do.  Goals came from everywhere (Goc, Sullivan, Hornqvist and Dumont respectively) and there were so many "almosts" to boot!

The game was also chippy as hell as penalties were handed out throughout the night.  PK units were tested on both sides (both teams with rather effect 5-on-3 units...or just really crap PP units [Sully's scoring shift excluded]).  Franky the Cube got into a fight with Troy Bodie (with half a foot on him), to which he said, "Size be damned" and lay waste to the opposing fighter's ass at a speed that would make Matthew Lombardi blush.  I believe Shane O'Brien was surprised a handful of penalties had been issued in the 1st alone and none of them were against him!

I can't really pick stand outs because most everyone did everything right.  SOB looked great out there for his first night as a Predator, blocking shots, picking up turnovers, keeping the puck in the zone...things that some of our lower line D don't seem to bother with at times.  I can't wait to see more of him.  Weber stood up for his teammates (Getzlaf trying to start something with Suter...Weber skated up right beside him and the tiff ended), Klein stood up for Rinne when...again...Troy Bodie...half-tackled/half-fell into the netminder causing a pileup on Rinne that resulted in an undisclosed injury despite him being able to play a shift afterwards, and being able to skate off on his own account (best possible scenario; see Josh Harding - MN Wild preseason game against the Blues for worst possible scenario).

Step in Anders Lindback.

No warm-ups, first NHL game, playing against a rather agitated opposing team.  He played a bit nervous, but held his own against any rushes that got past his new teammates looking out for him as well.  I overheard one fan say, "Might as well be Rinne!"  It's true...Goc might as well have been Wilson.  Sully might as well have been Erat.  Legwand might as well have been Hornqvist (getting his own rebound even!) and's Hornqvist - no one parks it in the face of danger like he does.  The point is...when you play strong win games.  No egos, no malarkey.  Just hockey.

As long as the team plays like a Preds team does,  I have no worries about the results of this season.  If we can just tweak that PP strategy towards the direction of "effective" - even better.

Tis the season to be season is back!!!



Sunday, September 26, 2010

Rookie Defense + Lacking Captain Debut = Caps Win 2-1


I honestly don't know where to take this blog format wise.  I know thus far it's been a stream of consciousness letter to all of you readers (all...six or so of you, though I can't forget my Asian porn spamming friends that leave random comments here and there), but I don't know if it's worth giving the general run down if so many other lovely, thoroughly detail driven local bloggers are doing it better and quicker than SPC.

I need an angle, dammit, and I haven't given it much thought lately due to all of the events going on outside of the hockey realm of my brain (I know, I'm surprised there is one too). I'll be thinking of that angle more and more because I want to give you something you're not already seeing.

That being said, here's a general run down:

Defense = #RyanEllisProblems - He wasn't that good despite having what seemed like every other shift of ice time.  Spitfires...he's yours for a while longer.  That being said, Johnson looked quite strong, a #2 that was actually fighting to do something *coughhammercough*, Sulzer quite the opposite.  Parent didn't do anything bad or noticeable really.

Capt. Weber...awful debut - left everyone scratching their heads with every move.  I wanted him to aim for Backstrom, take him out and hear a collective sigh throughout the arena of everyone with a fantasy league. That didn't happen. Mr. Wilson (Colin, not Kelsey) also didn't do much in the realm of expectations. Well...damn.

If Arnott = half a Halischuk and some change for Lombardi, I wish we had another Arnott to get rid of! #24 with the only notch on the board for the Preds and a nice break away.  Lombardi with his Nightcrawler-esque abilities of being on one side of the ice and magically leaping through time and space to the net...I can't wait to see him in full force.

If Lombardi is our fastest player, how's about Lindback as our 2nd fastest?  He knows his skill set and wasn't afraid to show it off to the rest of us, and the Cap who thought he had a breakaway chance, but instead had a face full of ice.  Also,  the one that went by Lindback wasn't over his top glove side, so...that was a bit of a shock despite an overall strong performance. A friend of mine had talked to Rinne recently and said he didn't seem to think Lindback was ready to be backup.  If tonight's performance says anything about Lindback, it's "*BeepBeep* Hey Pekka! On your ass!".  The back-up decision just got even tighter! I can't wait to see what develops.

Belak...drop the gloves more, have A/V play that montage of yours right afterwards each time, you'll become the fan favorite you think you already are! That being said, you're funny and I can't wait to see you at Zanies again.

The Caps newbies look pretty good.  #50 (Cody Eakin) was a pest on the forecheck and showed off some sharp handling skills.  Neuvirth looked quite strong despite our only goal against him.  Non-newbie Mike Green tried a one-timer, rebounded off Rinne, and they set up the same exact move only he made it...due to the same exact defensive for your patience.  Enough Caps love - that's what Ovi does to the Press for the rest of the season.

That's that.  I can't wait for Monday.  I'm eager to see what Atlanta brings to the table - if it's more rookie-oriented of if they're trying to get the final roster set.  I feel they'll actually give the Southeastern division something to talk about, make the playoffs and pull a last season's Phoenix...but that's just me.

See you at Zanies on Sunday or at The Bridge on Monday! 


Thursday, September 23, 2010

Welcome Back Fodder


It's been a hot minute, hasn't it?  I must apologize, but a lot has been going on, the good and the bad, that has kept me away from tippity typing away.  Relationship status changes, job schedule changes, money pit home improvement changes and what-to-use-my-free-time-on-as-a-hobby changes - even seat changes (303 B! Up from H this year!).  Change seems to be the theme of this past month and change is what will be taking place over these next pre-season games.  Changing up lines, changing pre-conceived notions about the younger players, and, hopefully beyond hope, changing the way Special Teams takes to the ice.

Tonight, we saw a team of primarily rookie players take on a team of primarily top line NHL professionals (sans their goalie).  It was a chance to see what many of our draft picks were finally made of on the big stage.  Some performed well.  Most performed like rookies playing against veterans.  And there were enough broken sticks in this game to make an NHL11 demo blush.  Players we all had high hopes for made some poor mistakes (see Blum, Laakso, Beck).  Others were a pleasant surprise (Parent - looking a few tads better than Franson out there).  And then there were the familiar names we all know and love, putting on a helluva a show for us whenever they took the ice ( god, Rinne; Tootoo, Dumont, Goc).

All of the above will change, of course.  I'm sure Dekanich, who played alright in net for the 2nd half of the game, will be replaced with Pickard and/or Lindback over the next few games, and THAT situation may change completely with the possibility of a Theodore or Toskala hanging out on the sidelines with their trapper gloved fingers crossed.

What won't change is the passion the fans have, putting us over 14k for the evening (see pic of Coyotes/Kings pre-season opener here).  What won't change is the fact that this year's team is looking to be the best team the city has ever had on the ice.  What won't change is...well...the Poile/Trotz tandem and their mad genius that only shows itself as the season goes on and as the homegrown drafted players grow into captains.  The respect the rest of the world has for this team...that WILL change, despite our city's local rag of a paper flat out refusing to change.  That shouldn't be a surprise though - the same thing happens with our local rock bands: the world takes notice, while we refuse to say anything nice cos we're too busy criticizing things that don't really matter...though that's a whole 'nother rant.

Anyway - what we saw tonight was a welcome change to what we've had over the last 3 months (no hockey, whatsoever) and it was an interesting experiment to say the least.  Let the younguns season up a bit, try out every goalie to see if they can hold their own and thensome, watch that Rinne save on the highlight reel over and over again and put him a round or two higher in your fantasy rankings and get ready for a helluva season.

In other news...I answered a lewd classified ad and found myself becoming a writer for Intent to Blow. Weeeeeird, right?! But awesome.

A Goalie A GoGo update will take place soon.  I've been gathering equipment and talking with a few folks that would also love to see me between the pipes.  I personally can't wait (but I have to...cos I still don't have a helmet yet). feels great to be back, doesn't it?


Saturday, July 24, 2010

New SPC Blog Spin-off: Goalie A Go Go


As I had mentioned in previous posts, I'm bored as hell and I'm not gonna take it anymore! Rather, not only does off-season have me jonesing for hockey, I had this thought LAST FALL, but didn't really start actively seeking out ways to deal with it until this past April.

The goal: to teach myself to be a goalie.

This means teaching myself to skate, to physically re-invent myself, to study and memorize movements and techniques, to commit myself to the laundry list of items required for the position, and to swallow my pride and ask for any and all advice from anyone who would like to help a very late-comer to the game.

The link will now on be included in the right column here and will soon be available at

Thanks to those who have already been helpful through the mere beginning few months of this journey.  @maalivahti has already made such a journey (beginning in 2005), if not a more impressive feat (due in part to the gender barriers associated with contact sports) with her blog From the Couch To The Crease. The first handful of posts had me looking around myself, nodding, practically following similar paths - and giving me insight on what challenges I may face in the future.  That, and her love of industrial music tickles me black. Anyway, the chance that I stumbled upon her blog a few weeks ago through a Twitter conversation with Justin from The Goalie Guild was too perfect to ignore.  Things are moving in the right direction and that's all there is to it.

Personal updates, achievements, opinions, news, equipment reviews, and more...chock full of SPC-style goodness - now available at GoalieAGoGo.


Friday, July 9, 2010

NHL 11 Is Almost Here & Kovy Still Doesn't Have A Contract


Have you been enjoying the summer as I have? No? I understand - I've been going through hockey withdrawals as well.  Oh, believe me, I tried to get back into it (if you've been following my Twitter feed - SeePuckCity) by going to the official NY Rangers draft party to help console Rangers fans when they had the chance to pick the 3rd and 4th best player on the list and instead went with a much lower "enforcer" type.  I tried to get back into it by going to the NJ Devils equipment sale hours early, only to find myself with No.323 and among a slew of folks wondering what the hell was under their feet.

After being in the Big Apple for a month to test the waters for a possible future fit up north, I came home with a hankering for real BBQ (which up north they believe is either "anything on a grill" or "Texas-style beef brisket" - wrong on both accounts with the correct answer being "smoked pork, you damn Yankee") and my beloved Hockeytown South.  Sure, they've got some great fans and even a greater amount of amateur hockey leagues, and local hockey shops with *gasp* a large amount of goalie equipment, but something was lacking.

I monitored every bit of news coming out of the Poile camp like the rest of you, only I did it from a 400 sq ft studio sublet in Brooklyn with no A/C...and yes, it was pretty much the same weather Nashville had the whole time I was there.  Activity began stirring about...something we're not often used to seeing.  Capt'n Concrete was sent back to NJ while I was looking out at it from the Q train, while Hammer and Ellis were sent off to be someone else's recyclables.  Forwards were picked in the draft - something else we're not used to much!  And then the (rather obvious) rumors that Weber would be named captain began floating about just in time for me to touch back down in the heartland in time for Prospect Camp (after being near Prospect Park for a month) and the Skate of the Union. That's more like it!

My question was, and still is, who will back up Pekka Rinne with Ellis now set to take over Tampa Bay?  Will Deks be brought up from Milwaukee or will Poile set aside a chunk of change for another, more veteran goalie presence?  If Deks comes up...will Pickard take over?  The video above shows what I think is the future of Preds goaltending: Anders Lindback.  If he's out to challenge a shooter, the shooter will lose.  At 6'6" (that's TALLER than Pekka), pucks just bounce off of him.  Over the first 2 days of Prospect Camp, Lindback has been the best of all 4 (Lindback, Pickard, Smith and Engren - and in my opinion, that order). Pickard will have to watch his back if he's trying to win that starting role in Milwaukee.  We'll see how the rest of Prospect Camp unfolds this weekend!

Lastly, the Skate of the Union.  I left the camp to check out the arena, find out any more details regarding the equipment sale that I could.  The NJ Devils sale left me a bit paranoid, having arived there nearly 3 hours early and still having 300 people in front of me - I caught a glimpse of a jackass with 10 or so goalie sticks all wrapped up in a bundle, all Brodeur of course - nothing spared for anyone else who gave a damn.  Sadly, that's the way of the world, even in Nashville.  I grabbed a bite at SATCO and headed back to The Bridge around 1:30.  One other fella was standing outside of the arena when I plopped my bag of books down on the trashcan in the entry lobby.  He came inside and we began talking about hockey.  Some of his friends came in a few minutes later and we had a decent chat.  I mentioned the fella above, with all of the Brody sticks and they all agreed that the guy was a nogoodnik. Then I found out through hours of conversation that the fella I had been talking to nabbed not just 1 Rinne stick last year, but most of them.  I'm sorry to say, for the sake of all the Rinne fans, for the up-n-coming goalies (or well-established goalies looking for cheap equipment), for TigerPredsChick and a few others that asked me when they got through the line and saw me with my 1 Ellis stick, that same guy grabbed all 4 Rinne sticks, handed 2 to his friend that was behind me, and began trying to bargain to other fans for a Hornqvist stick. read that correctly - bargaining with merch that wasn't yet actually his own.  Cheap-shot move, buddy.  Stay classy.  It was then that I realized that maybe the "treasure hunt" technique the NJ Devils people used might not have been a bad idea after all.

Ptty! Phooey! Thhhpt!! Now that I've got that bad taste out of my mouth, Weber is now Capt'n and Lombardi is #15.  Hopefully soon we'll hear about Franson and Hornqvist, but until then...have a helluva Friday with all your new (or used) toys from the sale and I'll see you all at Centennial Sportsplex on Saturday if you decide to show up and recognize me.


Thursday, May 13, 2010

Beast of 7 - Summer Begins: Random Bits


The Habs did it.  They beat Washington in a Best of 7.  They just beat Pittsburgh in a Best of 7 (and yet the talking heads - no, not the good David Byrne ones - still won't let the Crosby/Ovechkin comparisons die).  The Bruins have allowed their series to go to a Best of 7 (I wish them the best in their folly; they looked a bit like the Preds in October last night).  The Red Wings beat Phoenix in a Best of 7 (but lost to the Sharks).  Pred's ECHL affiliate Cincinnati Cyclones came back from a 0-3 game deficit to win their Best of 7 last night (congrats, Cyclones and Cyclones fans)!  The summer (technically still Spring, I know) is starting out on fire to say the least - especially if you're a Montreal cop car.

Enjoying the highlighted links? I know I've been missing them for awhile!

The 2010 IIHF World Championships have been a blast - a blast for the upsetters anyway.  Team Germany defeating Team USA (a sign of things to come for what will soon be known as Team Relegation; go Goc!), Denmark beating Finland (Pekka's only game thus far) then USA, Switzerland just beat Canada for their first time in 76 years yesterday, and Norway has been on a roll themselves beating the Czech Republic and just finished beating France as I type this. PredsOnTheGlass has more to tell regarding Team USA's downfall.

That being said, the IIHF website has had a few fun fan-oriented activities.  One such example was asking fans to send in questions for Team Germany captain (and familiar face of Preds forward greatness) Marcel Goc to answer.  I did my civic duty as a Nashville Predators fan paying attention to the Worlds' games and sent in a handful of questions - most of which he answered! I've got a white Team Germany jersey that will soon have a #57 on the back (thanks to IceJerseys being great).  

Yes, I've still got to look into WordPress formatting.  I keep seeing more and more sites that are built on WordPress, but I've got no idea about coding or format or any tech-y gobbledy-gook.  Any suggestions from my web-savvy readers?

Lastly, I've got two big summer projects I'm working on.  One is myself - building myself to become a hockey player, specifically a goalie.  I've skated as many times as I've got fingers on my hand (not counting the thumb), but I've come to grips with the fact that I can no longer just be a fan - I want to be more (kinda like that old commercial where the kids drop the video games in favor of actually playing the sports outside).  I'd like to document it via this blog, but in various media formats (and, again, with better web design).

The other...well...are there any hockey-loving artists in the house? Who might also like comic books? I'm looking for an illustrator that love hockey and I think you know where I'm going with this.

[Below: 3 games at the same time: Habs/Pens on the left, Bruins/Flyers upper right, Cyclones/Royals bottom right - schizo hockey!]

Today, the insurance adjuster comes to the SPC Haus to inspect damage from the flood rains seeping through the basement walls, causing me to tear out all carpet and foam, and soon go to work on the drywall (hey, it could've been much worse, so I'm lucky I got away with that).  The adjuster's phone number is a Massachusetts area code - I'll be wearing my Bruins shirt to break the ice. Wish me luck!


Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Thank You Preds: An End To A Better Season Than Last And A Look To The Future


And so it goes.

A blistering 1st period in a must-win game had the Preds down by 1, 5-3.  An excruciating 2nd period in a must-win game had the Preds killing power plays for 10 minutes.  A nail-biting 3rd period in a must-win game had the Preds with the man advantage for nearly 10 minutes, but in the end...they could not muster the must-win.  Thus, the Predators took a bow, shook the hands and exited off the ice for the last time in the 2009-2010 season.

Thank you, Preds.

You've shown us that even under that gritty facade, you are in fact a 100 point earning team.  You've shown us that you can climb that Top 8 ladder without the use of "loser" points [see: Detroit Red Wings].  You've shown us that there can be a balance that is stronger than any marquee name or marquee line. You've shown us that the future of the Preds is strong in the youth that ended up outshining the vets tenfold.  You've shown us all of these things that make me proud to be a Predators fan and believe in you when you step out on the ice.

The only thing that I'm a bit curious and a bit anxious about, is how we find ourselves out in the 1st Round once again.  The coaching staff and the team worked their tails off to get to the middle of the playoff pack, but once again, when the playoffs finally rolled around, things got bumpy.  The PP was a hindrance instead of a relief.  The vets disappeared after Game 1, never to truly be seen again.  The whole mind-game hullabaloo with Hornqvist's injury just added insult to it rather than doing much good.  And Game 5...enough said there.

What can you do to redeem those weaknesses and to regain the trust and love of Predator fans that might just be calling for "a cleansing" of the organization over the summer.  It's similar to what Jacques Lemaire said regarding his Devils' Playoff team:  [paraphrasing] "Sometimes you look at players [in our case, the coaching staff or perhaps just the system] when you are trying to get something through to them and you see in their eyes that they understand it but this time I look in their eyes and I saw they did not get it."  Something didn't click as well as it should've and it's about time it's taken into serious consideration what that is and how to fix it over the next few months.  I feel this will be the brunt of off-season conversation as well as the diamonds in the rough that Poile found in the regular season (Goc, Grebeshkov) and those that are very much going to make a difference in what kind of team the Preds can be (Hornqvist, Wilson, Boyd, etc).

A toast to our AHL brethren in Milwaukee, sadly also being taken out of contention by...Chicago.

To the Blackhawks' fans' trio of idiots in 304, lead by a fella that looked a bit like this and kinda like this for his asinine behavior throughout the evening...a well-deserved, mostly full souvenir cup of soda, chucked from twenty feet away.  Kudos to the "anonymous" Preds fan for having precision aim and retaliating against folks that rivaled the idiocy of Blues fans [and for those of you who had to put up with these fools in 303 and 304, you can send your thanks and emoticon wishes in the comments section, and I'll tell her about them in a few minutes ;D ].

I'll update SPC from time to time over the summer, but I'm still coming up with new ideas on where to take it.  You can follow me on Twitter - SeePuckCity, natch.  Congrats to Boston on heading to Round 2. Sympathy for the Devils - I'll be very curious how the off-season will treat them and what kind of team will come back in October.  I'm going to teach myself how to skate in the next few weeks, so wish me luck on that - I may do a few special posts regarding my embarrassing ice-capades for your enjoyment.  And that's it for this post.

Thank you Predators. Thank you readers (except for you Asian spammers that keep leaving comments to spam voyeur sites - you're barely any better than Blues fans).  And lastly, thank you bloggers for creating more venues for information, entertainment and opinion based around hockey in the South - it helps get the word out to the world that it is here and it's here to stay.

Predators Hockey: It Stays With You...indeed.

See you in September.


Saturday, April 24, 2010

Preds Blow Game 5 In Regulation By Going To OT: 5-4


Jack Daniels would be making so much money if they were a Preds sponsor, especially after games like this afternoon's Game 5. 

They battled back and overtook the lead late in the 3rd period...and while on the power play...instead of playing 4 corners for 1 minute and 3 seconds...they allow the Blackhawks into the zone to tie it up.  The game may as well have ended there.  With 2 and a half minutes of PP left in the OT, it seemed as if the Preds were just waiting to hand the puck over to Hossa...which they did...and got out of the way.

What a waste.

A waste of time, of talent, of emotion, of energy - all for naught because we have the sorriest PP in the Playoffs - one that actually hinders us from doing anything positive whatsoever.

Yeh, I'm pissed.  And Monday, the Preds have some making up to the fans to do by doing what Chicago did today: tie it (the series) up.  Then they will win in Chicago, as they should have done today. 

Easier said than done, but it's not improbable.

Kudos to Grebs for playing so well after not having been with the team since early March.


Friday, April 23, 2010

Give And Take A Whoopin' Part 4: Preds Take A Whoopin' 3-0


I could've sworn the ice said "Stanley Cup Finals" on it last Tuesday.  And I think I also saw a Bridgestone logo down there too.  So...why did the Preds' game play look like they rewound the clock back to October?

I can't really find the words, partly cos of tired and partly cos that game was way to frustrating to even think about.  Sloppy play plagued the Predators and they didn't seem to mind - that's why the 7th Man quit giving a damn and began heading to the parking lot in the final 4 minutes.  Rinne can't bail out the whole team...only half of it.  And Hornqvist's handlers better let the kid play.  I don't know if this is some bizarre mind game the coaching staff is playing, waiting to the last minute to unleash the beast or saving the Swede's energy for Round 2, but if the rest of the team plays like they did tonight, there won't BE a Round 2. 

Was that Hamhuis and Klein I saw for a majority of the game, or at least during the 2nd goal against? I thought so. 

Put Grebs out there, separate #2 and #8, let Horny do the damn thing, drill the idea into JP's noggin that he can be worth a damn and bring the A game to Chicago this weekend, cos this C game...well...the "C" stands for "Crock of ----".

The team knows what it can do and it needs to stop this trend of following what the other Western match-ups are doing and show them they're better. No more "Win, Lose, Win, Lose" - take the reigns and reign down upon the Windy City with revenge.


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Preds Take Game 3 Against 'Hawks With A Familiar Score: 4-1


4-1.  Seems like the Preds like that score.  They did it the first time around, tried something a lil different and decided that 0-2 wasn't all that it's cracked up to be, so they went back to 4-1.  That being said, the series stands at 2-1.  I feel our boys would very much like that to be 4-1 in the end of it all, and I feel that Pred Nation does too.

A crowd of 16,075 rallied in Nashville, making it look and sound more than "sold out" cos Preds fans are just that hardcore (it's a fact that 1 Preds fan is equal to that of 1.59 fans of other NHL teams - think British pounds to dollars and you've about got it).  The crowd didn't disappoint and neither did the boys in blue.  A 60 minute hockey game is what we've wanted out of the team during the regular season so many times, and finally a 60 minute game is what they gave us.  Everyone fought with vigor, but not carelessly so as seen in Game 2.  Power and patience was the name of the game, whether it was choosing between going in the zone alone or waiting for a full change to waiting for the referees to finally call one of the many tackles on Martin Erat in the 3rd (the third hit hooked him and resulted in a successful penalty shot - something we rarely get to see, especially in the playoffs).

SPC kudos go to Pred "vets" Legwand, Erat and Sullivan for stepping up to that level the organization dreams of becoming consistent because these fellas are capable of being just that.  More kudos go to...well...I was going to name names, but the whole Defensive corps was damn fine (with the exception of the brief moments in the 2nd where Hamhuis and Klein were out together - the fact that they both did quite well defensively when NOT pair further proof that that is what works).  And of course, the most consistent kudos of them all goes to Pekka Rinne for once again being brilliant.

4-1.  Again(la) and again(la)! Man, I'm hoarse.

Go Preds!!!


PS. It has been brought to my attention that Otter's Chicken Tenders is adding a little something extra to their Preds Fan Appreciation deal thanks to the 2010 Playoffs!  If you didn't know already, if you wore a Preds jersey or Preds gear to Otter's (Demonbreun location) on game day, you'd get a free appetizer.  Now, add the option of 2-for-1 beer to that!  Sweet! Perhaps I'll see you there Thursday?

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Preds Follow Suit With The Other Upsetters, Lose Game 2 To Blackhawks: 2-0


Everyone else is gonna say it: the first two periods looked like a mirror image of Game 1.  The 3rd was supposed to continue with more force from the Preds, perhaps another fluke bounce to get the game back on track.  Well...that didn't happen.  Lots of penalties happened though.  And the Preds didn't convert on the few that weren't on them. 

How I miss Patric Hornqvist in games like this.  How I hate Patrick Kane in games like...well...any game, really.

I gotta do more than just post-game blogs here and I'm working on ideas.  Only doing post-game blogs burns ya out...especially when there are at least ten other sources online saying essentially the same thing.  Meh.

More fire...that's what I need on this site...and that's what the Preds need on Tuesday.


Friday, April 16, 2010

Nashville Predators Win 1st Playoff Road Game VS. Chicago Blackhawks: 4-1


It's been a lil while - I seem to have fallen into the hole of blogging only after games - something I will have to change soon...perhaps in June ;D. 

The Predators have done it: they've won their first playoff game on the road...and win they did.  A scoreless 1st, a swarm of a 2nd by the Blackhawks gave Taxi Kane the first goal of the game.  Then J.P. Dumont happened in the 3rd...twice.  The Predator went into overdrive in the 3rd, creating turnovers in their favor as the Blackhawks did in the 2nd.  Niemi was pulled not once, but twice in the final minute and a half of play...resulting in not one, but two goals for the Preds (Smithson; Erat).  Let's let'em play 5-on-6 as much as they want with those odds!

This has been the season of the OT point making a difference and the post-season of statistical upsets thus far.  As a fan of the dark horse team, I'll just say this: let's keep pissing on everyone's hushpuppies!

Go Predators!


Sunday, April 11, 2010

If Those Were My Fans, I'd Have The Blues Too: Preds Win 2-1 In SO


As I'm sure you've already guessed since I began this blog, if there's one thing I dislike more than Red Wings fan, it's a Blues fan - especially when they're in our house.  Yes, that's "butts in seats", but there's something that just goes with having to hear something that sounds kinda like "BOOZE" over and over again from some jackass that thinks their hometown BBQ is better than that of the South and that their hometown king beer is worth the dimes worth of paint it takes to put a Bud Light logo on the ice.  Thank you, Blues fans, for deciding to use your fiscal tidings in our lovely city instead of your own festering swill-hole - it goes to making our home that much more delightful for the next time you wish for an escape.

Apologies for the venom, but when you're a part of 303 and you turn to find 301 is a bit less Navy blue and gold and a bit more Royal (pain in the ass) blue and (Bud) yellow...AND when you read an article earlier in the week how Branson is calling itself "The OTHER Music City"...nothing from Missouri will escape my blog-wrath! MUAHAHAHA!

And there was much to laugh about as Erat put one over Conklin to win the game in a shoot-out.  OK...that's not much to laugh about at all, but Capt'n Arny's shot returned with his brand new helmet to boot.  Our PP disappeared again, but that's what happens when your best goal scorer is out (expected back for Round 1 of the playoffs or so I've read).  Ward was injured to some degree, sadly, and still no word on Grebeshkov.  One of these days, we'll have a healthy team going into the playoffs - can laugh at that one. 

Until then, the boys currently sit in 6th place as LA and Detroit both play tomorrow (rather, later today as it's 2AM right now) to change the outcome of the lower half of the Western Playoff teams.  If Detroit and LA lose, we're set for 5th.  If Detroit loses and LA wins, we're set for 6th.  If Detroit wins and LA loses, we're set for 6th.  If the both win, we're set for 7th.  If Chicago wins tomorrow and we end up in 7th, we play San Jose.  If they lose, we play Chicago.  If we set up in 6th, it's Vancouver and if somehow we end in 5th, it's Phoenix.  I've been hoping for a Vancouver match-up cos Luongo's been off as of late, but tonight's game with Daniel Sedin's hat-trick and his brother notching 4 assists...makes me team is going to be easy.  At the same time,  this season (based on NCAA's basketball and hockey tourneys) has been quite generous to the dark horse IT!

Congrats Blake Geoffrion on the Hobey Baker award! Tennessee represent! Yes, you Northerners, we DO care about hockey here - on EVERY level. Some more than others, but the passion is here nonetheless.  Take me, for example: I've barely set foot on the ice, let alone in ANY kind of skates, but this year, I have made it my goal to play in goal by learning from the ground up (namely cos I feel I will be spending a lot of time on the ground as I learn to skate fluidly)! I'm already older than your average pro-hockey player, but I'm going to do it anyhow because I feel a connection to the sport that I cannot shake, and in fact, would fight if I were forced to shake it.  I can't wait to get on the ice...for only the 2nd time in my life, so I can learn to physically live hockey. 

It will soon be playoff time for Nashville and for a Predators team that seems best suited to march through these upcoming playoffs more than any other I've seen. 

Let's do this!  PREDATORS!!!


Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Preds Dry Up In The Desert: Lose 5-2


With Detroit and Chicago winning tonight and LA being a crap shoot (but rather strong in that last win against the Ducks), all I'm going to say tonight is:

Please Not San Jose
Please Not San Jose
Please Not San Jose

Kudos, Desert Dogs - you're like us, only on a hotter hot streak.  To be honest, perhaps Vancouver would be the better team to play - Luongo's been so off since the Olympics, why not?


Saturday, April 3, 2010

Preds Clinch A Playoff Spot and Top Detroit In OT: 4-3


Playoff hockey at it's finest...only a couple of weeks before they actually begin!  The Preds come back again in the 2nd, take the lead, then (in what has become distinctly Red Wingean this season) Detroit ties the game in the last minute of regulation to take the game to OT.  Though that automatically gave Nashville the point needed to clinch a playoff spot, it gave the Red Wings their 14th OT point.  You know what - Ryan Suter didn't take kindly to that, so he ended OT as quick as possible by putting one past Jimmy Howard to win the game and get that extra point.

The Nashville Predators are in the 2009-2010 playoffs.

Re-read that if you will.  Doesn't it feel nice?

Weber, Hornqvist, Dumont and Suter on the goals for the afternoon.  Spaling and Boyd (#13 and #14 respectively) had near misses on Howard, so kudos to their performance as well.  Rinne, another strong performance, especially considering being at the Joe Louis Arena where calls do NOT go the Preds' way.

Here, here, Predators! Enjoy that happy flight back home.  You've got one more round trip to pick off in the desert and one more game to show the fans that you appreciate them.  Then...playoff time - not that these last few weeks have been any different from those types of games.

When you compare last year's team to this year's team...who's feeling good about the playoffs this year?

This guy.


Thursday, April 1, 2010

Preds Bounce Back On The Blues: Win 3-2


Learning from mistakes, the Preds did not let off steam in the 3rd period.  Nope - that wasn't an April Fool's joke - they battled back from a 2-0 deficit to tie it at the end of the 2nd (thank you Boyd and Wilson, respectively).  They took that 2nd period momentum to the 3rd when Sully popped one in from Hornqvist and Goc (gotta LOVE that line!) to make it 3-2 around halfway through.  Even after the lead, the Preds didn't just play "keep away", but the Blues began pushing and pushing to the final minute, giving them the best chances in the no avail.  Pekka "Iron Man" Rinne stood firm.  The refs gave the Blues nearly 3 seconds to add to the clock in the Preds' zone because that's what refs do to the home-team here in Nashville, but the home-team stood firm - no flukes were to be allowed.

The Nashville Predators came back from a weak 1st to tie in the 2nd and win in the 3rd.  Sounds kinda like the season in a nutshell, doesn't it?

Let's keep tonight's 3rd period atmosphere for the next handful of games, shall we?  That's Preds hockey.


PS. Whomever Tweeted with that Belak report for April Fool's - you got me.  I mean, c'mon - we re-signed Klein after all.  I forgot that "holiday" until I was Rick-rolled early on.  Kudos.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Kings Played A Game: Won 2-0


I promise you that I'm going to put as much effort into tonight's blog as the Preds did in tonight's game.


Monday, March 29, 2010

Preds Mauled By Panthers But Survive To Tell The Tale In OT: Win 3-2


I did tell you that the Preds have got a patent pending on the "3rd Period Breakdown", right?  Never the ones to disappoint, that's exactly what happened near the beginning of the 3rd.  Prior to that...Legwand scored the only goal in the game - so you KNEW something was up!

The piss and vinegar dried up soon after that as the legs got tired.  Two deflect past Ellis and the game quickly changed its tune.  Thankfully, the line that many fans are loving to watch (Horny, Sully and Goc) didn't like that tune and changed it with less than 4 minutes left in the game to tie it up.

1 point for each team, but since its Florida in the East, no big deal (though it would have been...if the Preds were in the division it SHOULD be in - it only makes sense, Bettman! Make it so!) - but it soon was time to take off the little kid gloves and put on the very mad gloves.  Once again, that lovely line that tied up the game had Goc drop pass one to Francis Bouillon and he took full advantage, putting it past Clemmensen at exactly one minute into OT - winning the game and bringing the team up to 94 points in the Race of the West.

Tomorrow, Quick and the Kings.  Will an injured player finally be back tomorrow? Who knows? As long as the team plays all three periods, it shouldn't matter.  And if Pekka keeps up what he's been keeping up, no fan or casual viewer should have doubts.  We're goin' to the playoffs and I fear once the team knows how to keep it up for the whole 60 minutes...the other teams won't know what to do with them!


Saturday, March 27, 2010

Red Wings Outlast Predators In Shoot-Out: 1-0


That was a battle to be sure, but a battle that leaves me asking questions about the following:

Mascot Madness: Why was the Thrashers mascot in town? Was there a furry convention or something? Eerily enough...those exist.

The D: What gives?  Klein actually looked better than Suter for most of the game.  Yes...I don't feel bad if you have to re-read that sentence again.

Mitch Korn: What? No tape on Howard? C'mon!  I'll admit - he is very good.

Arnott's Return and Injuries In General:  When and how much does it matter? I recall twice this season where the team won more games while the Capt'n was out.  Sadly, the lack of Arnie and Wardo has actually hindered progress.  Bring Denny back soon!

Red Wings Fans:  Are they still "the worst"?  Once they stop chanting, they've got great things to say about Nashville as a city and how it's taken to the sport of hockey - the ones I overheard tonight, anyway.  Blues fans (my friend Edwin aside)...can wither away and DUI.

Rinne / Howard: Who played better?  I'm going with Rinne cos the team left him out to dry on a few occasions - something Detroit doesn't do that often.

Urgency:  Where in god's name did it go?  Too many times, too often, did a Pred get the puck and either toss it away to a Red Wing, pass it away to someone who wasn't there, or stop it completely and move it back instead of forward.  Even my favorite of the year, Marcel Goc, was guilty of sitting with it for a few seconds while the period wound down instead of moving it forward while the Red Wings were on a change.

Next Saturday:  Revenge by playing it like you meant it twice.


Thursday, March 25, 2010

Legwand Anvil Company Drops One On The Coyotes: Preds Win 4-3 In Shoot-Out


It should've ended 4-3 in regulation, but alas, Hornqvist was questionably called for off-sides as Goc scored on Bryzgalov - something that apparently hasn't been happening often.   That, and Goc's assists and set-ups of the evening have me wondering how much Poile is going to re-sign him for - he fits in the system, nice and snug.  Again, #9 & #27 - sign them now for a number of years.

It didn't end though.  That's not how the Coyotes play hockey.  They play overtime hockey and they won't let other teams forget it.  They play shoot-out hockey and they won't let other teams forget it.

Thankfully, David Legwand forgot it for them.

32 games since Leggy had scored a goal and he couldn't have picked a better time to shatter that burdensome record. Congrats, Leggy! Now...let's work on keeping droughts like that from happening in the future.

Once again, it wasn't a full 60 minutes of gameplay - more like 47, but our boys are getting closer.  A more balanced and consistent effort will have the Predators plowing through the rest of the season and whatever team happens to be standing in their way come playoff season.  Anything less would be uncivilized (not to mention a damn shame).

I was unable to attend tonight's game in order to get work off for the last Red Wings home game of the season, though honestly, every game is playoff hockey at this point - it's hard to miss any of it - even if it's not Preds hockey! How's about how Columbus handed Chicago their buttocks, piece by piece earlier tonight? That's somethin'!  It's been getting more and more exciting as the finish line is in the distance, and it's always interesting to watch how teams that have nothing to lose (or win in this case) play against teams that are in contention with a handful of others.

The hot rumor is that next year our 3rds will become our 1sts and our 2nd will be lighter versions of our 3rds and we'll have no 3rds cos of the new 1sts and 2nds.  Fine by me.  If you're not going to go "mustard" at all, take it out completely.  I like the navy, black and blue-steel color scheme - and for those that think it's too similar to Toronto - I highly doubt anyone will mistake the Preds for Toronto...we win games. 

Here's what I feel really contributed to Rinne standing taller than Bryz and how Leggy really won in the shootout:

"So where were the Coy-otes - while the puck tried to break past Bryz,
 Just the red light to guide us,
 So he ripped it past the pads and we crushed their sweet plans!"

'Til Saturday!


Tuesday, March 23, 2010

NHL Stars Of The Week Can't Handle The Ones From Dallas: Preds Lose 3-1


Ya know what?  I'm glad that the next games are against some of the top teams in the West.  Phoenix, LA and the hearty Red Wings are a welcome change to tonight's opponents.  And you already know why - cos the teams the Preds are ABOUT to play...are good teams - and we play very well against the GOOD teams.  Tonight's play against Dallas - our boys (excluding one or two of them; Wilson and Hornqvist...lookin' in your direction) couldn't have cared less.

There was no hustle - no fire.  It's as if they read that they really have to botch it up to not make the playoffs and figured they could sit this one out.  Pekka Rinne skated around like he had cement shoes on, being way out of position on many counts - making me realize either how well the D was working earlier on or most likely just pointing out how lousy Dallas really can be.  As many shots as we had on goal (namely thanks to Weber, who got the lone goal of the game), you'd think we would be outplaying them, but alas...nope.  The Preds had it tied at the end of the 2nd merely in order to walk into their 3rd period breakdown (patent pending; and, most of you may not know this, you can only keep a winning streak alive if you either have a Top 5 marquee player or are owned by the NHL - it's one of those lockout rules in fine print that generally doesn't come up).

The 2nd goal against is one Pekka would like back because it ramped up his pad and up off his glove like Evil Knievel.  The 3rd goal had every Predator on the ice with their back turned away from the play, only to turn around after the puck was in the net.  The team was playing a second behind Dallas the whole 3rd period...'cept for Wilson and Hornqvist, but the blonde boys couldn't do it all and it was too late by then.

So yes - it stings, but it's not like it wasn't expected.  The Stars are the last "Meh" team that we play for the rest of the season (sans the Blues), so that's something we should all be happy about.  Playoff hockey is sure to return in 2 days against the!

'Til then.


Saturday, March 20, 2010

Preds Shut Down "Little Brothers" In OT: 1-0


Before I get to the rather stat-less recap, I gotta ask - what's YOUR reception like on your phone in Bridgestone Arena?  My AT&T iPhone was as useful as a scratched player on a hockey team (or in our case, we can just say "Belak").  Couldn't text, call during intermission - nothing - despite seeing full bars and a 3G showing up.  If I can barely get reception in parts of my home, at all in my 2nd home (ie. The Bridge), or at work...what the hell is the point? AT&T...YOU SUCK!!!

I never thought I'd actually miss Cingular. response to the Red Wings grabbing a point with 0.2 seconds in regulation only to lose in a shoot-out against the Oilers, our boys in black & blue went into OT against our divisional "little brothers" as some like to think of the Blue Jackets.  Lots of great chances and lots of great saves.  The way Sullivan and Goc played together, you'd think there would be a few more notches up there, Erat - the same, but alas...Mason seemed to have returned to his rookie season form.

Come into OT:  Erat's a quick lil Czech to be certain, and his quickness got it to Cody Franson who ends up being a near capacity crowd's knight in shining armor.

3 stars (via radio broadcast):

3 - Cody Franson (Really? Not #2?)
2 - Steve Mason (One goal in OT against...fine.)
1 - Pekka Rinne (13th shut out! 3 of them in the past 4 games.  Thank you, Rinne!)

This was a close one against a lesser team that played a game last night.  Why was it close? That's the question that needs to be asked and overcome tomorrow night against the Blues.  There should be 100+ folks in Navy and/or Mustard to root the boys on, so loud - make noise! Lord only knows how loud and obnoxious they get in our barn!  Man, I hate Blues fans.


Friday, March 19, 2010

Preds Shut Down Wild With Zanon Goals: 5-0


That's right - I wore my Zanon jersey tonight, and that's what the Preds left us with at the end of the 3rd - Zanon goals (Preds Zanon...not Wild Zanon, though that would've been nice as well) and a frosty richer!

Coming off of a day where the Tennessean actually prints a positive article about the Preds being the most point-producing team with the 2nd amount of 30+ point players just behind the Washington Capitols, our boys in blue top off the night with five goals (Wilson, Dumont, Arnott in the 1st; Goc in the 2nd; Hornqvist in the 3rd) and a shut-out thanks to last week's NHL 3rd Star of the Week, Pekka Rinne, who has been quite calm and cool with each and every one of his recent string of wins.  Yes, that was one massively uncalled for compound sentence.

I'll say it to the fans and more importantly to those SEC folks that looked a bit lost while crossing the street from the honkytonks in the general direction of hockey: this is a playoff bound team - pay attention.

To the doubters, with tonight's attendance of 16,615, if we keep on with the numbers we've been having over the past few months, we will easily have over 14k average. As of tonight, we topped that magic number the doubters like to use as a de-marketing tool.  With numbers like this, hockey won't just stay "until" 2012, it will very much surpass 2012.  My heavens - I wonder what the Sports "Authority" thinks of the possibility of the World Cup being held in their team's precious stadium:

"These Nolensville Road types keep cawlin' it futbol! Hey - learn how to speak American! This ain't football! Too many foreigners - not an American sport - denied! I'll use this authority I so wrongly have been given to deny you, World Cup! You think you're bigger than me?"

Yes...yes it does.  And so does hockey.

Opponents of sports that are on a sports council are half-wits and cowards and should be stripped of their title and power - simple as that. Yes, we are lucky to have even been given a chance to have a professional hockey team, though we are luckier still to have the youth that are already die-hard fans and players to keep it alive in our great city. Hockey might've been late to our party, but it's still the guest of honor for the rest of the night(s).  Hockey is a way of life, no matter what backwoods Southern town or incorporated village a doubter may have hailed from prior to their personal knowledge of the sport.  Once a doubter finally realizes that, they no longer have any ground to argue.  And once our team hits that playoff ice, perhaps they finally won't want to.

My apologies for the rant, but it's painful to see how little respect is shown not only to Our Team, but to the sport in general - especially by what are supposed to be objective media outlets and government-paid councils.


Lastly, if you could spare your thoughts and/or prayers with Mark Hollingsworth (founder of Cellblock303) and family - his father recently passed on.  I don't know him on a personal level, but as a member of 303, a fan of hockey in general, and the fact that he's that guy that's usually always smiling, it just feels right.  From everyone at the SPC Haus, our thoughts are with you, Mark.


Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Preds Send Flyers Back To The City Of Brotherly With A Shoot-Out Loss: 4-3


I'll begin with a quick note, I was at work the whole time Sunday's early game against the Kings was going on so I only had our lovely Preds Tweeting Choir to go by.  If I had been witness to it, I would've written a blog with a title something along the lines of "Jack Be Nimble, Jack Be Quick, and If He Is Quick Then He Don't Know Jack" or something that nearly resembles a half-ass'd attempt at being clever.  But again...I wasn't a witness, so that's my excuse for missing that one.

Tonight, however, I was so there. How fun it was to be back in my 2nd home that I call The Bridge.  Quite convenient considered now that we can all park in Lot R for the next while that we actually have to cross a bridge to get to The Bridge.  I smell marketing genius at work...though it could just be these tacos I just finished making for a very late dinner.  I did not see any green beer in celebration for St. Patty's Day, but those jerseys were killer (making me wonder why the minor leagues get to have all of the fun of themed jerseys more than we do)! How much did you Williamson County fans outbid me on this one?

Once again, the first two periods showed a cool and confident team.  Sure, we had to climb the hill at first (Anyone else think "Get Carter" after that first goal?), but after 2 solid periods of play, Sullivan and Erat scored on Leighton and Smithson made it 3-1 after scoring from the first face-off of Bouchard's game (Leighton fell back and injured his ankle on what looked like bad ice throughout the whole game thanks to the SEC-ness from last weekend).  So...a similar song and dance - we enter the 3rd up with a two-goal lead, Pekka is on his game like flies on a Philadelphian, Capt'n Arnott gets tripped and falls while the refs don't catch it or don't call it, the crowd reacts, the Flyers score in a swarm at the goal.  Momentum swiftly decreases.  Another flurry in the Preds' zone, and although Rinne's got it under wraps, Hamhuis decides to handle the goal post like a handicapped bathroom rail in order to dismantle it.  The refs didn't like that very much and the crowd didn't like that they didn't call the Flyers on anything, but called Hammer on that...which lead to a Flyers PP goal.

Look at's a tie game.

And look at that...nothing else is called for the rest of the game, and sadly, the Flyers picked up on that waaaay before the Preds did.  They're not just dirty cos they're from Philly - they're dirty cos they're the Flyers.  Tootoo got a stick to the face.  I forgot who looked like he was nearly boarded. This went on through the OT period.  Intensity was flowing throughout a near sell-out crowd, complete with various high school hockey teams throughout the state, newbies sitting behind me wondering what Tootoo's first name was and what happened if "no body won the shoot-out" and old favorites like the lady with the voice that sounds like she's choking on a dying cat that thinks it can survive if it scratches a chalkboard repeatedly (and with vigor; always a blast).

Hopes were met when Erat was able to make it past the Flyers' 2nd back-up goalie while none of the skating pumpkins could put one past our 6'5" Finnotype.

It was a good game, then a stressful game, then an exciting game, then a damn fine game.  The officiating was awful, but in the end, that's just another bump the team has to overcome, especially on this final stretch to get to the latter half of April.  To that, I say this:

Keep winning in front of the tried and the true,
Keep winning in front of the young or the new,
Keep winning them at home where you know we are loud,
Keep winning on the road and you'll shut up their crowd,
Keep winning any way and every way that you can,
Keep winning with dirty goals as long as you win,
Keep winning and you will win over the doubters,
Keep winning and force local media to focus,
Keep winning cos the playoffs are just up ahead,
And whatever happens will happen, you are Ours - you're the Preds.

(yes, I just wrote that - first poem I've written since the 10th grade - who says hockey doesn't bring out the sensitive side?)

Hockeytown South, folks - you SEC kats need to re-visit Nashville for a hockey game and we'll soon know your faces and names.  See ya Thursday.


Saturday, March 13, 2010

Birthday Present In Anaheim: Preds Outfloat Ducks 1-0


If I let myself continue typing without editing the first word would have come out as "Readquiot>". Yep - my birthday celebration is over, though the liquor is still flowing.  That being's going to be a short post tonight.

Weber...thanks for my present. I liked it very much (see MST3K for full reference of phrasing).

SPC Steph, SPC Stache and I went out to Whiskey Kitchen for a late lunch/early dinner - ran into my sister in from NYC by complete accident - headed out to see Alice in IMAX 3D (it's good - but not $15 IMAX good) - then bowled while the server turned the game on for us.  Came back home to the company of friends, had another drink or so, played Mass Effect until I began to cuss (cos there are so many spots where you wonder if you played the game wrong and should've leveled up somewhere else - geek sheik - piss off) and that's where I am at the moment.

Tomorrow will include a full hair coat of the dog with more friends for post-birthday celebrations then lazing about the haus all day.  A gift unto itself, I believe.

Preds...Sunday you'll meet back up with the Kings.  Do to them what you did last time and I shall be content with a 3-1 road showing.  50-50 is NOT playoff showing...just so you know.

Cheers (seriously...CHEERS! Last call, etc)!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Preds Forget That Games Are 60 Minutes - Allow 6 Goals In The 3rd: 8-5 Sharks


It seemed that the Preds would let me open up an early birthday present, leading in the beginning of the 3rd 4-2.  Oh what a period I and any Predators fan would be in store for.

I don't have all of the stats in front of me at the moment, and to be honest, I'll admit, I'm going to be lazy cos everyone else (NHL, TSN, OnTheForecheck, PredsOnTheGlass, etc.) will have the same stats tomorrow, if not tonight.  The gist of it is this: our boys dropped trou, gave San Jose a Sharpie and fell into a coma.  It was tied up easy.  Actually, they got one-up on us easy.  Then it became a game again...for a moment.  The Preds realized, "Oh - I might have a falic symbol on my face, I might need to wake up!" to tie it up at 5...then got cozy again while the Sharks tagged their face 3 more times with random vulgarities.  It seemed like the team was going to wake up when it rolled over and replaced Mr. "3rd Period Swiss Cheese" himself, Dan Ellis, for Mr. "I Know I Am A Lil Bit Taller, Perhaps I Am A Baller, Or Perhaps I've Just Got A Sweet Contract Irregardless", Pekka Rinne...who let one goal by him...then an empty netter.  Pictures taken...sent out in a mass e-mail...complete failure and embarrassment complete.

I'm 28 now, just as the game came to its disappointing end.  Don't fail us, the ones that forgive you for falling asleep in a room of frat boys with Sharpies, in Anaheim...home of the 13th in the West.  We are better then them.  Hopefully you'll play the full game knowing that we're better than that.

Happy birthday to me.


Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Preds Squeeze By Thrashers 2-1


I'll believe it after this road trip. 

The latest plague of later-season injuries makes me wince just typing this sentence out (possibly due to the fact that anything resulting in testicular surgery is enough to make any man wince when doing...well...anything). 

Our boys beat the Thrashers by one goal.  So...they beat the 10th in the East by one goal...which is like beating the 13th  in the West by one goal...which is good, cos we're playing them (the Ducks) on my birthday and I require a birthday win as a gift despite the fact none of them know me.  I'd rather them beat the Sharks as an early birthday win, and though I could come off as a spoiled no-good-nik, I'd very much like to ask for them to win the whole dang road trip...just for my birthday (and all of yours as well).  The question is...will they?

Suter and Wilson showed up big in tonight's game, as did Erat.  Dan Ellis did the rest to make sure the team kept the lead.  "It's like playoff hockey," stated Wilson, and Ellis knows how to handle this team in these types of games (I admit, he didn't look himself against the Red Wings at all, but the Preds didn't look like themselves against the Red Wings at all). What will they do against tougher foes without key D? Sulzer and Franson must step up and prove that they're Predators. Hamhuis has been looking better as of late, Suter has been using that post-Olympic play to the best of his ability, Bouillon has been making his presence known to the other teams and one of only two penalties against...and that's...that's something.

If they can keep tightening the D's chemistry, allowing each player to work their game while staying true to the system (it doesn't have to be an oxymoron) and keep working on making the once dismal PP better and better with each game (and it seems to have been making its way towards that as of late), this road trip will happily show us where the team will be come playoff time and that would be one helluva birthday gift.

I won't open the presents yet though.  Well...perhaps I'll open one Thursday.


Sunday, March 7, 2010

Canucks Cause Preds To See Big Green Men - Lose 4-2


As far as the Detroit game went, we played like we didn't care.  As far as Ellis is concerned, he didn't get the 2 year contract - I feel like he played like he didn't get the 2 year contract. The Red Wings are bouncing back from their bad Canucks loss like a game of jacks by a hyper-active child with OCD.  Chicago had their 2nd period against them.  We had our 3rd period with Vancouver. Game-changers, game-deflaters, game-losers.

It didn't start out that way.  Edler had the first goal, but Arnott (rather, Luongo) struck back, ending the 1st 1-1 with 10 shots each.  Wilson set up Tootoo for what seemed to be like the game-changer, knocking his own rebound over the shoulder of Roberto Luongo (that's right you Northern Tootoo haters...#22 beat #1 - regardless of the loss, suck on that for a moment - tastes like ipecac, doesn't it?).  The 3rd started with confidence, but a few bad bounces or awful strokes of bad luck shot it all to hell.  Hansen got his rebound on Pekka who thought he had it covered...he was wrong.  Samuelsson notched one in and one of the twins (forgot if it was Daniel "Diving Bell" Sedin or Henrik "Butterfly" Sedin) scored the empty-netter.

Detroit inches ever so closer as they're 1 point away in 8th while the Preds begin to lose grasp of the 7th.  Thankfully the next week sees plenty of pavement, as the Preds have fared well on the road.

Thanks to those of you that have already taken part in SPC Steph's Otter's Chicken Tenders special - At the Demonbreun Otter's store only, if you bring your Preds ticket or if you wear a Preds jersey before the game, you get a free appetizer.  Tell your friends and help make Otter's the pre-game hang out!

See you on the 16th vs the Flyers and possibly around town for the away games. Friday, March 12th against the Ducks, I will be at Dave & Busters for my birthday - smashing pins with a 14 pounder while pounding them back 'til I'm smashed! Perhaps I'll see you there or you'll see me on the news destroying anything with a duck on it in Opry Mills mall (I'm looking at you, Bass Pro Shop).


Thursday, March 4, 2010

Not Quick Enough: Preds Overthrow Kings 4-2


Tonight's game was brought to me by my Sportacular iPhone app and 104.5 The Zone during the 3rd, as I ended up having to work.  At work, however, I did noticed a fella in a NJ Devils shirt and we talked shortly about my recent trip to The Prudential Center and I noticed another fella with a Panthers jacket so we talked a bit about Vokoun - mentioned college night, etc.  It's great to see college-aged hockey transplants in Nashville that can naturally just talk hockey.

The top line gave us reason to believe they're at the top with Dumont and Arnott each notching a goal despite Frolov's early upstaging in the 1st. Goc reminded the folks that were quick to dismiss Team Germany in the Olympics that regardless of whatever team he's on and whatever better team he might be playing against, he is going to score, and Smithson chimed in at the end for the empty-netter, despite LA's attempts at tying it up in the 3rd.

This is the fight we need to continue to see to get to the top of that ever-changing List-O-Eight. Thus far, Poile has done us a solid in not giving up Hamhuis for just picks, picking up a defenseman who is just as good, if not better than Hammer, and we'll see what Boyd can do on the 3rd or 4th tomorrow night.

Boys and girls, I believe we've got ourselves a contender.


PS.  Via SPC Steph (who works with the company) if you bring in your Preds game ticket or wear your Preds jersey before the game to the Otter's Chicken Tenders on Demonbreun (only this location at the moment), you get a free appetizer! Did someone say chicken for lunch on Sunday? I think they might have!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Grebeshkov Drills Oilers @ The Bridge - Preds Win 4-3


Welcome back to Nashville Predators hockey!!!  Yesterday, we learned we had a new player flying in with the rest of the opposing Edmonton Oilers, Denis Grebeshkov (greh-bezh-kahv - c'mon people).  Today, our newest Predator scored himself a Gordie Howe hat-trick - an assist (on Colin Wilson's goal), a goal, and immediately after that goal...a penalty.  Welcome to the club, Denis!

Who played well against the worst team in the league? Grebby, obviously, proving that a Russian's loyalty lies with the front of the jersey, despite what they just left behind.  Colin Wilson had a great game in nearly every department - goal, good passing, great puck movement, etc.  Francis Bouillon looked sharp as a tack being paired with Grebeshkov. Smithson had a rather sharp 3rd period to say the least. Arnott with a goal, nearly two, building walls like he was Amish. Hornqvist with a number of shots on net. Weber with a goal...

Who played meek against the worst team in the league? Oddly enough, Weber was way off play when Suter had to deal with a 3-on-1 that lead to Edmonton's 1st goal.  Ward was invisible, and when he had the chance, the energy just wasn't there.  Dumont did little to help his case back on the top line. Pekka, re-signed as the Preds starter for the next two years, let a couple softies by (though again, that 3-on-1...couldn't have been handled either way) - lord only knows if Trotz keeps that blasted rotation going or not now. Lastly, Erat, Mr. Spinderella himself, didn't know exactly what to do with the puck whenever he had it, so for that, I call him out. ERAT! EEEERAAAAT!

In the end, however, we won against the worst team in the league, so bully for us, right?  Next up - a much better team - the LA Kings on Thursday.  I'll try to make it - but will most likely be working.  If I don't see any of you kind readers then, I'll see you Sunday at 2PM at The Bridge!

[Below: 1st star of the game, Denis Grebeshkov]




Sources [the science experiment gone wrong's genius lab mice whom reside in the right side of my brain] have told me what Poile is about to pull:  Hamhuis & Grebeshkov to Florida for Vokoun while Dan Ellis takes a Joel Ward-sized pay-cut in order to fill in as a forward since no team in the league currently wants a non-Finnish goalie. Eh? Any takers on this "rumor"? [Below: Rizzo, the anonymous SPC Rumor Specialist]




In all seriousness though - Grebeshkov...okay, I'll bite - he could work.  What else ya got, Poile? Hamhuis for Ovechkin? Anymore of those Eklund-sized schtick rumors / ideas that stemmed from a dare on poker night while sopping up Alberta Premium? No? Then what are we getting excited about again (as usual at this time of year)!??!

C'mon folks - just because there is a trade deadline and rumors are flying around, doesn't mean anything will take place...unless...the time spent around Brian Burke knocked some sense into the old bean. I mean...there are more folks saying that our organization will be making moves soon - so does that mean we actually will this time?  Hmm...

 Time will tell, and then another blog will be posted. Perhaps with more merit than this one. ;D


Sunday, February 28, 2010

Sidnerella's Golden Necklace / Team USA Gets Silver; Comes Up Short in OT 3-2


Congrats to Team Canada winning the Gold in the hockey tournaments on their home soil and in front of the world. 

Congrats to Team USA for being the underdogs in the beginning and becoming the king of the hill by the end of these 2010 Olympics - I do believe these past handful of games will do more for the game of hockey in the US than this whole 2009-2010 NHL season, and that is precisely why Gary Bettman should shut his yap when it comes to complaining about the 2014 games.  It's times like these past few weeks that breed new fans, Gare-Bear - stop fooling yourself.

The only thing that I am unhappy about in today's game of games, isn't exactly about the outcome, but about who fired the shot.  I would've been fine with Niedermayer, Iginla, Weber (especially Weber - go Preds!), hell - even if Luogno scored, I would've been fine.  But no.  It had to be the game's most recent "Golden Child" - Sidney Crosby.  I find it a bit convenient and rather cliche, in one of those "early 90's Chicago Bulls Michael Jordan is the end all and be all" moments - the marque name in the NHL scores in OT for Team Canada for the Gold.  Recall the first Winter Classic? The OT shootout against...well what do ya know...Ryan Miller and the Sabres.  And the fact that the first game back from the break is the Penguins vs. the Sabres.  But what happened has happened.  Crosby will most likely get a few streets named after him in Nova Scotia or something after this.  We in the US will be hearing all about Crosby for another four years easy, and lord only knows how this will boost the arrogance of the typical Canadian hockey fan/blogger/reporter/Don Cherry.   To that, I'll just nod, smile and say, "See you in give me a Tim Horton's doughnut."

I was unable to join Section 303's blast at Bleachers, but SPC Steph and SPC Stache were able to make the trip, and took the all-too familiar 303 sign that we made in NYC with them.  Apparently 100+ RSVP'd and judging by a few pictures and stories from Steph, that seemed about right.  Fan-made events like this one are what successful hockey markets are made of, so you know damn well we're doing something right!  Myself - I was at work - preparing for dinner on campus - but I was able to take my break in the middle of the 3rd.  With two minutes left in the 3rd, I noticed a handful of students began flocking around the TV.  Girls talking with one another, "You like hockey?" "Um - yeah - I love hockey!" and "OhmiGawd, I wish I knew how to play hockey," among many other similar quotes had me grinning.  The college kids that grew up with the Preds are obviously coming around.  There were at least 20-odd students around the TV in the last thirty seconds when Parise scored the goal that took it to OT - an Asian-Canadian sitting next to me cursed loudly and chuckled.  It's as if he knew how OT was going to unfold all along. Curse'd goose-faced Sid the Skid.

Now that the gold, silver and bronze railroad-run-over coins have been given out, it's time to get back to the game.  Trade-deadline is coming up. Fantasy teams will be up and running in two days. I can't wait! Pekka got his 2 year extension - hopefully he'll live up to it for the rest of the season and then some.  I wonder what will become of our Danny Ellis.  I'd like to keep him, cos the kids in Milwaukee aren't ready to step up yet - Deks is finally coming into his own in the AHL and Pickard needs another year or so there as well before being considered as an NHL back-up.   These Olympic games have certainly had me missing the hell out of Vokoun.  You too?  Thought as much.

Perhaps a goalie with a significant mustache?



Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Hockey Is No Joke - It's A Packed-Out Comedy Show


Did you have an extra $15 lying around a week or so ago when word got out of some strange VH1 Storytellers type of night at Zanies was featuring our very own Terry Crisp?  Did you have an extra $5 on you yesterday when they announced it was then only $5 to get in on the action to see Crispy, Jim McKenzie, Stu Grimson, Wade Belak and Ralphie May? Well...plenty of us did, and honestly, I'd say it was a good $20 worth if not more for a hockey game length's amount of hilarious hockey stories and jokes.

Knowing how Zanies works, we (myself, SPC Steph and SPC Stache) got there fifteen minutes before the doors opened - and there was already a small line.  By 6:30, 30+ people snagged the best seats in the house.  By 7:00, 75+ people had been seated.

By the time the guests came out, Team Canada had scored twice (Weber firing one through the net) and Team Germany once (Goc'ya! Go Preds!).  Jim McKenzie, Stu Grimson and Wade Belak - all Predator players at one point in their careers, all enforcers in their own rite, sat on stools right in front of us and shared stories with Terry and newly appointed Preds hockey fan / Southern comic cruise ship Ralphie May while watching various clips from their wildest times on the ice and answering questions that came from the audience.
Near the 3rd period, er...latter portion of the evening, the group was joined by none other than Pete Weber to bring even more fun to the event [best moment: Pete using his announcer voice after Ralphie May mentioned being quite high at the game and noticing himself on the megatron - "And Ralphie May is here, stoned as balls." Ralphie responded by hoping they didn't let out the flying tiger and mimicked what a "balls-stoned" Ralphie would do...if being attacked by a giant flying smilodon].  Also, at the end of the night, Pete mentioned that if we enjoyed the evening, let Zanies know through their website and they'll be able to host more events like tonight.  With the money going to the Nashville Predators Foundation, there is nothing to lose in shooting the folks at Zanies an email! 

The place ended up being packed-out! If anything has impressed me during this Olympic break, it's the events the Preds organization has been a part of putting together for the fans and the fans for even going so far as organizing a few of their own (see the Gold Medal game NHL Tweet-Up at Bleachers as a prime example).  Great job everyone - it's almost as if we're not even on a break! 


Road To The Stanley Cup Is Less Bumpy With Bridgestone Tires


Music City Center is totally messing with the chances of parking anywhere downtown, but thankfully I had enough crumb and soda-covered change in my car to snag a metered space right next to 501 Broadway for this morning's press conference.

I'm sure all of you were glued to your phones and computers when I tweeted "As of Mar 3rd 501 Broadway will become the Bridgestone Arena", not more than 30 seconds after Pete Weber announced it to the people of the press.  And shortly after, they corrected themselves with it being March 2nd, in time for the Edmonton Oilers game. 

What? You weren't??  You didn't see my awful twitpic of a picture I took with my iPhone of a picture I took with my camera of a picture on a tv screen? You waited twenty minutes for the official statement and clear graphics? C'mon! And I did my best to act "press-like"!  Actually...

I don't consider myself "press" (cos I'm not), and I somehow ended up there in my normal attire (black coat w/ Preds gear underneath - Goc shirt to be more specific, black pants, and crazy tall black boots - which apparently earned me the nickname "Boots" in the ProShop - though this "Boots" actually has some money in his bank account [wicked burn on Del Baggio]) while everyone else was a suit of some sort ('cept JR Lind in his trademarked bow-tie and jeans).  I doubt this was for the public, but hey - public was allowed in.  One lady decked in Preds gear (obviously un-Press)  even had the courage to ask a question that had already been answered. Psh - blew her cover (not that my spiky hair and giant boots did me any justice)!

My effort to hide in the back row was diminished when a fella sat next to me before the conference began.  This guy ended up pelting the speakers with negative nancy questions regarding the deal and how the Preds organization hopes to have signage up by March 2nd, despite not having a scheduled meeting with the Metro Sports Authority until the following week.  I smell Titanssean, but hey, I could be wrong.  Other than the "gotcha" questions (not "Goc'ya!", as I hope to see tonight against Team Canada), the conference went over rather well.  The Bridgestone speakers were all very positive and enthusiastic about the deal.  The graphics quickly ended up on the Nashville Post, making my 4th generation twitpic obsolete within the hour and I believe I saw free muffins as I walked across to Wild Bill's (delicious chicory coffee).  Talked with Derek Perez for a moment about my Prudential Center experience (see previous posts drenched in nothing but compliments) and he mentioned they're planning on representing the GNASH league high schools next season.  I stressed that presenting the proof of the growing hockey community to the public is the best way to A.) show appreciation for the growth and B.) show people coming into the arena for the first time that it exists and is here to stay.  Also, that Otter's on Demonbreun should be the unofficial hangout for Preds fans before games (as some of you at PredFans' Twitter have wondered).

You going to Zanies tonight? Terry Crisp and friends will be there to tell stories that I'm sure he began to tell on telecasts before Pete Weber elbowed him into blurting out "bubba" instead.  Terry Crisp will be accompanied by none other than Ralphie May, which is the "best" pairing I've seen since I saw this year's Bonnaroo announcement of Jay-Z and GWAR.  I'll be will SPC Steph...and SPC Stache.  The whole SeePuckCity crowd will be at Zanies tonight - so be sure to come out and support the Nashville Predators Foundation, Zanies (the only damn comedy club we've got!) and say "Hi!" to the SPC crowd (note: I'm the one with spiky hair, sideburns and tall boots if you haven't noticed by now).

Bloggers: what's better? Blogger/Blogspot or Wordpress? I'm at a loss.  Trying to type the picture-heavy blogs out is a pain in the butt here at Blogger.  I originally attempted SPC at Wordpress years ago, but with no knowledge of any code of any sort, I quickly gave up.  Last year, however, I noticed how Section303 , AJ and PsychoPuckBunnyDestroyer have skillfully used Wordpress to their favor.  It's a possibility I'm leaning towards, though, again, no code know-how no way, no how.

Team Germany is totally going to beat Team Canada tonight (buy me a round if I'm right, tonight, kay?).  And we're gonna sign both Rinne AND Ellis next season, only Ellis will be a forward and we'll trade Hamhuis to Florida for Vokie and a 1st-round cos we just love our goalies. Honestly, I wouldn't mind that if it were true. But it isn't. 


Sunday, February 21, 2010

USA! USA! USA (& Shea)!


Above was the chant that Gnash had the whole room at O'Charley's in Franklin yelling out prior to the beginning of the 2nd period of the epic match up between Team USA and Team Canada, not a medal game, but still one of great importance.  It was a chance for America to wake up out of their Ice Dancing-induced comas and see hockey for what it is, and that their own countrymen were the best when playing against the best.  With the World Juniors peering in from a few months ago, if Team USA gets the gold...this will be the year America can stand side-by-side with Canada in calling themselves a hockey nation.  Well...that case would be made better if games like tonight's were actually on NBC and not one of its sister cable stations, but nonetheless - it's a step in the direction all American hockey fans, especially we die-hards in the small markets, are hoping to see.

Rafalski x2, Langenbrunner, Drury and Kesler made the offensive case for USA.  Heatley, Staal and Crosby for Canada.  Though I love Brodeur, this was not an "on" night for him.  The exact opposite could be said for Ryan Miller, who stole the show, rewrote it, and turned it into an epic trilogy full of dazzling special effects - stopping 42 (the answer to the universe) of 45 shots.  Insert "Yo momma" joke here at the Team Canada's expense.

[Below: The Viewing Room]


Steph, our roommate Jamie and myself started the day off by checking out The Athletic Club.  We read a few tweets in regards to a small group of folks being there to watch the Russia/Czech game and figured that might be the place to be.  Great television set-up aside, we were wrong.  One lone woman was there when we arrived at the end of the 2nd period.  The scent of chlorine from the Embassy Suites pool and the lobby carpet that stretched into the whole bar just made the atmosphere a bit off-putting.  We quickly made our way to where we'd settle down for the rest of the evening: O'Charley's, home to many Predators viewing parties.  We just so happened to get there and hour and a half before festivities began. 

Half of the employees didn't know about the event, or the game for that matter, and the bar had most of its TVs on a NASCAR race (1 muted TV on the Olympics, 1 on women's basketball).  Thankfully, the staff was nice enough to change the loudest TV to the hockey game, which resulted in a handful of younger heads turning (servers and their friends on break) to enjoy the game with us.  It's a shame that Russia won (so hoping the Czech team to do well), especially after the collapse against Slovakia, but as they say in Nashville when things take a turn for the worse: "Radulov happens". 

At 5:07, we noticed a few folks snagging the first booth in the reserved room, so I raced in to get the next best booth in the house.  The gates were open, the people began to make their way in.  A giant 107.5 the River truck pulled up (cos when I think of hockey, I think of 107.5 the River) and began setting up a PA system, GNASH and two EquipLinq ("Wit a Que!") dancers showed up, and two mouths with 107.5 customized 3rd jerseys began making sounds with themselves. 
[Above: GNASH checks to see if something is wrong with this woman.]

By the time the puck dropped at 6:40, most everyone in the Twitter verse had beached themselves for the next few hours to watch what would end up being a glorious game - including AJ from Pull My (Fang) Finger [Right: J.K.& A.J.]. 
As usual, Preds trivia took place (Steph and A.J. won gift cards! I should've won a grab bag of Weber-signed goodies, but I didn't raise my hand ;D), Channel 2 popped in with a camera (I tried to make a 3-0-3 sign when the lens was in my direction, but who knows if they'll use any of that), great drink specials were had, and amazing hockey took place for millions of viewers.  A good night, indeed!

A few other notes:

Your thoughts on the rumors? Damn Hamhuis to the Bruins? Our old pal Vokie to the dreaded Blackhawks? I think it'd be better for both of them professionally, and I'd love to see Vokoun more often...just not in that sweater...and not against us.  Maybe as the new spokesperson for Vanderbilt Medical?

Lastly, I was searching all over the web for a Team Germany jersey - sold out, the Team Germany site only has some strange sponsor-covered version of the jersey available for a lot more, so I turned to my online heroine, eBay.  Found an auction late one night for an "Official 2010 Winter Olympics Team Germany" jersey for a bit cheaper than IceJerseys ($99 + shipping with MakeAnOffer) from the seller "thejerseyhq".  I did end up getting the jersey advertised, but something was wrong - the sleeves were different and nothing like what I remembered seeing on IceJerseys.  It was an official Nike Team Germany jersey...only from 2008! I emailed them to tell them of their folly of advertising it as 2010 and they replied of the 60+ sold, I was the only one to make such an accusation and that the other ones I had seen were mere replicas and what I held in my hand was "an authentic hockey jersey for 2010"...regardless of the fact the Nike tag said "RepJer" and was dated 2008 and was a Large, not a Size 52.  I sent them those tidbits of info, a link to (which I should've gone to first)'s actual Official 2010 jersey for sale, aaaaaand they still wouldn't acknowledge facts.  They said it was a "special edition jersey from 2010" and I'll have to pay a restock fee in order to get a refund.  Long story short - DO NOT buy anything "thejerseyhq" on eBay and always look at every picture closely before you buy something online...and don't do it late at night...after a few drinks.

My work schedule has shifted again due to drastic employee changes, so I might not get to join everyone next Sunday for the Gold Medal game at Bleachers. Hopefully I can make it out, but only time will tell.  At the moment, I doubt it.  Perhaps Steph and Jamie can make it instead.  Viewing parties like tonight are what being a hockey fan is all about!


[Below: SPC Steph & GNASH]