Saturday, January 30, 2010

Preds Ice Thrashers 4-3


For those of you who braved the weather to get to Sommet tonight, you earned yourself a helluva game!

The pre-game included a corner of Atlanta Kovalchuk, I mean, Thrashers fans, making more noise than the PA down by the ice as Preds fans slowly (and carefully) made their way to the arena.  Once the game began, the Bluelanders made their way to the opposite side of the arena, two levels underneath our sacred 303,  and continued to challenge the crowd.  The crowd didn't disappoint, however, with showing the attendance ended up at 16,646 (though there were prolly 3000 or so that didn't make it through the snow).  Preds fans are die hard, what else can I say?  I'll give credit to the ATL fans and their 4 giant tour buses and marching band mentality - you trudged through the snow too...but it was all for naught.

The Preds jumped to an early lead with Ward notching one 4 minutes into the 1st.  Smithson wristshot  one from his knees at the midway point of the 1st to make it 2-0.  Then Bryan Little decided to step up and be the thorn in the Preds' side for the remainder of the game, scoring on the powerplay.  The 2nd saw Martin Erat answer back, but that was all she wrote for the Preds in the 2nd.  Turnover after turnover, a minute and a half long 5-on-3 wasted, then Chris Thorburn gets the shorthanded goal.  That momentum was kept alive by Little again just a few minutes later to make the 2nd a 3-3 tie.  Poor defense and turnovers cost us the 2nd period and nearly the thank Pekka for making the 2nd not as bad as it could've been.

Something happened during that intermission.  I wonder if Trotz informed Jason Arnott that he'd chose the new captain next week with a Ouija board, because the first 7 seconds of the 3rd saw Capt'n Arny breakaway and score, marking his 13th of this season.  I hope to see THAT captain from here on out, and if I don't, I might bring Trotz a Ouija board, or at least a dart board with all of the players names on it to try out.  After that, it was a game of keep away, while trying to take chances every now and again.

"Dogboy" Jones will shoot the puck when he's near the net - that is awesome - give him more minutes.  If Klein doesn't turn it over, he will shoot on net because he knows he's not good with the puck thus he gets rid of it as soon as possible.  Franson will shoot the puck or try to make a smart pass (though half the time, his target isn't paying attention).  I don't even need to explain what Hornqvist does cos you already know he does what is called of him.  Sullivan needs to learn to shoot.  Cal O'Reilly needs to learn how to shoot.  Both had chances to bury it and both hesitated or threw it away in attempts to pass it for someone else to shoot.

But hey - the boys played another hard game well (the 2nd of a back-to-back) and this time came out on top.  This game wasn't plagued with penalties (unlike Detroit), though the few called on Arny in the 3rd were rather bogus - the PK finally woke up in the 3rd, so hopefully they'll stay awake - and Pekka made amazing saves when the D broke down.  Whatever - keep on keeping on and keep yourselves in that Top 8!

As far as those Thrashers fans go...Preds goals might be dirty, but at least our city is cleaner!


Friday, January 29, 2010

When It Snows, It Fails: Red Wings Defeat Preds 4-2


Haven't posted in two games.  The last game would've been the same ol', same ol' from this end: play a full game, blah blah blah.  This game against Detroit, however...we could've won.  We just didn't.

Detroit, coming off a recent losing streak and playing against the only divisional rival in the way of their playoff spot, came to play.  Jimmy Howard has been hot and our boys just didn't know what to do.  With all 48 shots on this fella, I nicknamed him (in anger, mind you) "Howard the #uck".

Where was "Snow Storm" tonight?  Well, the snow storm was going on at home instead of on the road, and the rest of the blame could possibly be due to CONTINUING TO PAIR "HAMLOOSE" AND "DE-KLEIN" TOGETHER!!! Trotz...stop.  Really.  You're changing up rules you used to follow, so for the love of the hockey gods, quit trusting ANY of your instincts and separate those two now. No, really, NOW.

I'm on a nickname streak tonight, don'tcha think?  How's about "Cody FransomebodyhelpmeIcan'tdoitalone"? Or "Patric HornsomebodyhelpmeIcan'tdoitalone"? Or even "Francis BouillatthisrateyoumightaswellcallMEcaptain"?

5 games lost, gone; points ka-put.  What do you think is going to happen tomorrow against Atlanta? That is, if you go.  It's snowing.  People here can't breathe properly if stuff falls from the sky.


Thursday, January 21, 2010

Preds Receive A Jobbing(.com) From The Coyotes: Lose 4-2


I was at work during the 1st and the Nil-Nil score made me think we were playing at the same pace...until I found out we outshot them 14-4 (or something similar) once I got to the car stereo.  I got home to listen (cos the video feed on kept glitching) to the 2nd and the usual suspects (Horny and Erat) took us up to 2-1 by the end of the 2nd.  As we've done in the past, once we get ahead, we lose steam...and ex-Pred Scottie Upshall used his magic (hair) to earn himself a hat-trick, keeping us down 4-2 for the rest of the game.


I normally don't curse here at SPC, but to lose so much steam in the most important part of the game...that's infuriating.  Tomorrow, however, we face Colorado - yet another foe in the playoff race.  We can't let up.  We can't only partly show up.  This is a team game and the whole team should show up and play until they can play no more.  Yes, this was our first of our series against Phoenix, but that's no excuse.  We should not have let this 3rd period play take place - especially when I deleted Upshall from my fantasy team once he was day-to-day not too long ago.  That bastard!

Go Preds!


Monday, January 18, 2010

Phil Of The Future Past: Kessel Finally Helps Maple Leafs Out Over Preds 4-3


Well would ya look at that?  Maybe it was Kessel's dream to boot-scoot at the Wild Horse once Poile made the move to bring him to Nashville...and he didn't pull that trigger...and tonight was payback. Or maybe we didn't play a full 60-minute game against one of the worst teams in the league and we lost fair and square.  The "hot" Canadian teams, piece of cake [editor's note: due to hosting a multi-birthday party last Friday, I didn't get to fully pay attention or blog about the Calgary game - I'll I'm saying is...give Ellis the respect he deserves for shutting them out and keep on saving up for your customized Hornqvist jersey] - we'll bring it, but the Toronto "Make Beliefs" (as my co-worker called them today when a fella walked by in that distinct blue jersey)? It's like "Casey At Bat" with our boys sometimes, and tonight was one of those times.

I know it's only fair to hang Pekka out to dry like our D did to Ellis last year, but now's not the time or the place (save it for the off-season, Klein, Hammer - those "-3"s don't look too good on your daily report cards, fellas).  Franson, on the other hand, had a goal and an assist, so once again the newbies are handling their own rather well.  Dogboy (Jones) notched another one and Goc earned his double-digit in goals for the year - players that are "doing it right" and do as much as they can with the minutes they get.

Not that you can really fault him, but isn't it strange that whenever Capt'n Arny comes back from an injury, we generally lose that first game back?  Thursday is an important road game against a team who wasn't even easy to beat when they were awful, the Phoenix Coyotes -  let's hope we can at least keep getting those road wins instead of doing our best Blues impersonation at our own barn.


Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Road Rage Part II: Burning Oil(ers) - Winning 5-3


Weber then Goc in less than 30 seconds? Yes please! Can we have some more?

JP Dumont waking up and realizing he's not only good for assists, but for scoring, notched one on the board - nearly two if it weren't for the fact he hit it in a bit too high.

Hornqvist continuing on his mission to make us forget about the typical "top line" and love him instead scored a goal (another tip of the hat to Goc for an assist on that goal and vice versa).

"Dogboy", Ryan Jones, tipping another feed from Dumont to complete that night of scoring - yes please! More more more!!!

The 2nd game in Canada, the 2nd of a back-to-back - this time with only one penalty late in the 3rd (as opposed to last night's debacle) and we came out strong, firing all cylinders, and scorching the Oilers - making them seem lifeless in contrast.  Good.  We've been doing road games well this season.  Let's keep up the great work, let's keep chasing the No.1 goalies out of the net, and let's keep scoring from every angle and position.

That's Preds hockey after all.


Dealing With Road Rage: Preds Take It Out On Canucks 3-2


What a game, what a game!

It's raced right out from the get-go with the Preds scoring in the first few minutes shorthanded thanks tow Ward, then Burrows followed.  Jones (or as we call him around here at SPC, "Dogboy" - see last year's Pedigree calendar picture...and be thoroughly freaked out) scored the second, though due to some odd calls tonight, on a PowerPlay, Burrows followed.  More calls on both sides, calling everything, I'm sure the refs even called St. Paul (bad pun a brewin'), and Shea Weber scored the 3rd and final goal the Preds would need to stay ahead.

We played from the get go, 1st period - that's what we've been missing for awhile.  We've got Ward back, giving us that first goal, and as the stats will show, we're now 17-0 when he tallies a point.  Hornqvist had more help than usual in the down and dirty areas where he normally excels.  Ellis didn't allow the rebounds he normally gets called out for allowing (though, in his defense, it's normally cos the defense isn't doing their job).  And the determination to get the puck back to Weber as quick as possible regardless of how many attempts it takes...always a long as our boys stay out of the way.  Good show, fellas!

Now the negatives, though I'm sure you all know what I'm about to say...if you frequent this site...which, if you do frequent this site, post a comment (they are always more than welcome!): SEPARATE HAMHUIS AND KLEIN! Hammer might as well be inflatable clown mallet when he's paired with that beady-eyed excuse for a defensemen.  The first goal, Hammer's fault. And most bad passes and turnovers can just be pointed in #8's direction, cos if he wasn't actually at fault, he will be in the next game - trust me.

Other than that, I can't say much else.  I went back to work today, but thankfully these late Canadian games come on right as I get

'Til tomorrow.


Saturday, January 9, 2010

Duck...Duck...Lose!: Ducks Fly Over Preds 3-2


Another Saturday sell-out at the Sommet! 17,113 in attendance, braving a chilly 18 degree climate and even colder wind chill.  The folks came out in droves despite the temperature, and sadly, we were the only ones that seemed to have the "get-up and go" while our boys down on the ice...did not.  Well...there are a few obvious exceptions.

By now, you know that I, like any coach or book of hockey cliches, stress the importance of playing a full 60-minute game.  I keep saying it, the play-by-play guys keep saying, I'm damn sure the coaching staff keeps saying it, but apparently it's easier said than done.  Neither team did much in the 1st period with those lovely single-digit shot counts on both sides. The Ducks came alive in the 2nd, leaving us down 3-0.  As what is becoming the usual in our games, especially our losses, the only boy who came to play was Patric Hornqvist, putting us on the board 3-1.  Then the fella that also had a point/goal streak until he was injured, returned to the game - yes, Erat was back to his old tricks making the game within reach with 3 minutes left. With 6-on-5 and a minute and a half left, we sadly couldn't tie it up, thus the Ducks got revenge on the Predators for last Saturday's game.

What went wrong, aside from the general "not playing a full 60"? Well...there was immense trouble trying to get the puck past the neutral zone, too much time spent lollygagging in front of Rinne with little to no help, and too much time spent looking for a pass instead of looking for a shot when we did make it into the Ducks' zone.  Hamhuis and Klein NEED TO BE SPLIT UP.  They began sucking as a team since the beginning of the season and when Trotz initially split them up, it was good.  Was it Hamhuis and Franson, Klein and Bouillon for awhile there? That worked...then Trotz put them back


No, really. No.

On top of that, there were a handful of turn-overs (natch) and with more and more Admirals testing the Nashville waters out (during a time when most of the water is currently frozen in pipes), the lack of chemistry - that whole "getting to know you" period - is showing.

Road trips seem to smooth these things out, so hopefully Ward will recover quick, Arnott recovers from whatever injury he's sustaining (perhaps a bruised ego? a swollen pride gland?), Toots and Smithers tandem back in before the Father/Son trip to give the team their "random goals from all places" spark they do oh-so kind of well. 

Congrats again to the fans and complete strangers who came to some of their first hockey games tonight.  We hope you enjoyed it, and also realize there are 82 games a season and if you witness a loss, that doesn't mean the team sucks (unlike in football).  It means you should come out and witness a win, feel the energy in the building, and keep coming back for more.


Thursday, January 7, 2010

Blizzard Beats Hurricane: Preds Freeze Carolina 4-2


Are you curled up in your warmest blanket yet? Sipping hot cocoa or warm milk to get to sleep in this tundra-esque weather that reminds you that it finally is winter? Me too - only with a nightcap to warm my soul...and take care of the coffee I drank earlier this afternoon.  Well, one thing is for sure, whatever you're doing in the cold, you can sleep soundly knowing our boys in blue gave us a win tonight - and that's enough to warm any Preds fan up in any weather. 

My favorite boy this season, Patric Hornqvist, is the perfect example of what a Predator player should be: gritty, determined and a team player.  The guy scores two goals tonight and gives us an assist, sticks up for players hit, takes the guff from the other team after trying to plow the puck through the goalie and keeps playing through the whole game.  There are others that do most of this, but alas, they're injured at the moment (sans Goc, but you already know these two are my favored pair this season...for all of these reasons and their accompanying results).

As for the "big guns", JP put the first goal on the board to tie up the game and had a perfect chance for another goal, but he's had a habit this season, at least in the past month or two, of blowing his chances by trying to do what he knows he does better...assisting.  He needs to get that shooting confidence back.  Sully picked up a beautiful goal while kneeling before being boarded into the glass, falling to the ice in pain with little movement.  One Twitter post tonight mentioned it was a shoulder injury and after being X-ray'd, he seemed in better spirits - I hope that information is correct and that Sully recovers with ease. Arnott needs to step his game up and take back that scoring position we all know he's capable of...though I am curious...once his contract is up in 2011 (or is it 2012?), do we re-sign him if he keeps going down this inconsistent path of little production (say, if by the end of the season he only has 20 goals and next season looks similar)?  If not, who could captain the team or fill in that Center spot on the 1st? We'll see how he comes out of the Olympic break.  I think we all never thought, especially at the beginning of this season, we'd all be desperate to see Erat back on the ice.  Myself, I don't know how Miroslav Satan stayed a free agent so long this season - good on the Bruins for picking up some possible offense since they are also a team in need of goals this season.  Half a season for $700k - not bad at all.

What do you think bothered Pekka so much this evening?  The boy seemed way off his game, allowing rebounds not unlike the ones Dan Ellis-haters like to over-exaggerate about.  There were too many close calls tonight where Rinne would seemingly be reacting with a 1-to-2 second delay against the rest of reality, and, as one fella in Section 303 put it, if it weren't for the fact that we were playing Carolina, the game would have been a lot worse.  Tuesday night during warm-ups, Pekka was gloving down shots with speed and grace, while Ellis was kicking the pucks away.  We need our goalie to stop the puck and play it with finesse - Pekka gloves them better when he's "on", but tonight was not that night.  Tonight, seems like Nittymaki called him right before the game and gave him a raspberry over the phone.  That's not the goalie we need in net (though neither is a goalie that doesn't stop the play with heavy traffic around) - but again, we were playing Carolina.

We won...though based on some of tonight's performances, it could've gone either way.  That's not the team Nashville truly is.  We've seen that strength, we know it is there.  It's just up to the whole team to put in everything they've got for the whole game.  Hornqvist did it tonight.  Sully did it tonight.  I'm not saying they need to put their lives on the line (though the argument can be made since they play such a dangerous sport, it already is), but I am saying they don't need to be second-guessing chances they're being given (whether that be a puck on the end of your stick with a great shot on net oooooor another chance to prove you can be the starting goaltender) or not giving 100% just because it feels like an "off" night.  You're in the NHL - you don't get "fat days".

14,910 in attendance on this icy Thursday evening (we had the pleasure of giving away our extra tickets to bring four friends along with us), even with the final (finally) college bowl game going on on television.  Let's keep proving why we're the best damn fans in the league, making up the majority of ticket sales vs. every other market where the corporations make up the majority of ticket sales.  We are the tried and true, especially those that came out tonight in the 20-odd degree weather (dealing with, not only the dangers of ice on the road, but the reactions of the typical Southern drivers in said conditions - that takes balls) .

The Ducks are flying back South for revenge this Saturday.  Let's take care of the fowl.


Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Burnt / Gold


I don't need to say it again, but I will. 60 minutes.

The important story, however, is...



This is going to be an interesting Olympics to be certain, and I don't have much more else to say tonight - there will be many who will. I know, a slow night for these bloggin' fingers.

Now...where can I get one of those championship hats?


Saturday, January 2, 2010

Lame Ducks Fall To Preds 3-1; Not Really Hiller's Fault


That's the kind of result we Preds fans like for the new year, 2010: wins.

AJ, from Pull My Fang Finger, wrote a 3-part opus regarding what the team has become (quite good, actually) and what it needs to do to continue their march in turning Nashville into a "hockey town" in the eyes of everyone outside of the southeast - and that's winning. And win we did, though not easily.

Hiller, as a member of Section 303, I didn't really mean that it was your fault. If it weren't for you doing your job (you bastard!), the first two periods would've shown a different score on the board (I'm gonna go out on a limb and say 4-1).  We came at you with everything (including a few kitchen sinks), and we just couldn't get it past you.  Kudos, Hiller! You saved your team from further embarrassment for 2 periods of play.  The last period was ours, however,  in the "Benny Hill Dept. of Production" - we wasted an opportune powerplay, didn't even dump and chase (more like "drop and skate from"),  and acted as if we were up 4-1 in the last few minutes in terms of energy (I'm looking at you, Belak, and your dinky-ass "checking".  Listen to something heavier than Metallica and it will do you wonders - try Absu for a change...or if that's too fast for you, earlier Isis...perhaps old Ministry...or, from Vancouver, Front Line Assembly).

But even with a 6-on-4 in favor of the Ducks with 8 seconds left, it was too late for a comeback.  Legwand cemented the 3-1 win with no time left on the board (awarded at 20:00 in the 3rd) and the first (hopefully of many) win of the year was won - thanks to Weber's many attempts from the blue-line and Arnott's multitude of set-ups and Leggy's keen sense of timing.  That's not to say that the young'uns haven't been kicking ass and chewing bubblegum - it's their fire in the first half of this season (and in Legwand's case, I'm including his newborn son in the group) that warmed up the vets, melting off their shackles of ancient apathy, reminding them why they play the game in the first place - the fire...and the win.

Speaking of fire, we've got the Flames coming up next (then Carolina...which we can't assume we will win...cos we've done THAT too many times, then Anaheim looking for revenge for tonight).  We've got the injuries filled with that youthful fire doing a good job finding the team chemistry - we just need's turning into a coaching cliche here at SPC - I was about to say what I've said countless a full 60-minute game.  Tonight we played 40...perhaps 45.  Our PK was successful tonight, which is saying something, but the 3rd period was sloppier than an interview with Sean Avery.  Let's hope Trotz has forced a New Year's resolution on the boys to never "assume" they've got the win in the bag.  Let's.


Friday, January 1, 2010

Welcome to 2010 / Beautiful Beantown


I know I said I'd have a New Year's Eve post up before the Preds game, but cooking got the best of me and I found myself doing that from 3-7, making various salsas and a huge spread of what ended up being Soul/Mexican.  Last night was also the last time an East Nashville culinary staple, Dee's Q, would be open to the public. As of last night, Dee's Q is no more (so I picked up a few pounds for the freezer and then some).

While cooking, I was able to tune in to the Preds/Blue Jackets game, but couldn't hear very well over the stove fan or the food processor, but I did hear the end result and that's exactly how I wanted my 2009 to end - with 2 points (thank you, Thuresson and thank you, Legwand [and thank you, Ward for creating the chances])!!!

That being's now 2010.

And what a game!!! The 3rd Annual Winter Classic turned out the way I (and I expect most Bruins fans) wanted: a close game filled with close calls, acrobatics, fights, and in one goalie's case, redemption (Thomas seemed to let his temper get the best of him when the puck found him out of position...but that last couple of minutes in the 3rd showed why he is on Team USA - with our one and only, Ryan Suter)...and of course, a hometown win. ;D  I lived in Boston for six months while entering college, but realized I missed too much Nashville-way and moved back down.  The city is beautiful, the people were actually rather nice (to "that Southern boy", despite my lack of any accent), great history and architecture, great public transportation, great pubs - it's a city I'd like to check into again sometime. And why would I root for a team that lured a handful of our former boys away? Oh...and I visited Philly before moving to Boston, and Philly is an incredibly dirty city, especially in comparison to Beantown. Call is bias if you want. Go Bruins.

More fun photos will be had of Steph and myself in our new hockey gear we got one another for Xmas, and of course more of Falkous the Hockey Dog (who really should win that Pedigree contest, don't you think?).
I've got off work until the 11th, so I'll be in Section 303 for all of the upcoming home games and I might even make it up to Cincinnati to catch a Cyclones game - been wanting to do that for awhile!

Oh, to the ladies that want Women's Style 3rds - they're apparently on their way.  Steph had mentioned the topic to a certain person near the top of the marketing ladder and he informed her that they should have come in when the regular ones came in last month, but something happened at RBK that delayed the shipping.  Me thinks it was "creative marketing": everyone buys the regular 3rds for gifts and once everyone has the regular version...the Women's version is finally released upon the unsuspecting wallets.

Cheers - now gimme my hoverboard!