Friday, December 18, 2009

Preds at Oilers

Back in October the Preds were embarrased at their own arena by the Edmonton Oilers, LAST night however, they got their revenge..... and it was SWEET!

The first five minutes of the game seemed to be going the same route as the previous one, but with an early time-out by Coach Trotz, and a goaltender switcheroo, the momentum came straight to the visiting team's bench. In all fairness, the 2 early goals by the Oilers (one on a powerplay and the other where the Defense was just schooled) were not Pek's fault, but Trotz had to make a tough choice and get the team fired up...... AND it worked. You see that Trotzy haters? HE MAKES GOOD DECISIONS..... like always!

7 minutes later, Ryan Jones scores his fourth goal of the season, bringing the boys within 1, and continuing to post his reasons why he should be in the Big League, after all, he IS getting paid those Big Boy dollars. If Jones keeps playing like this, there will be no doubt for the nay-sayers out there regarding Jonesy.... He belongs up here, and it is very good to see him producing and playing very well.

Not to be outdone, the hottest line for the Nashville Predators, the Ward, Legwand, Smithson line connected for Wardo to get the game tying goal around the 16 minute mark of the first period. It is so good to see this line really connecting and producing for the Preds, cannot tell you how long we have been waiting for Leggy to really connect for the team and produce like we know he can. Watching the set-up and the goal there really was never any doubt that the puck was going in to the net on that sequence, and that is what makes this team fun to watch. They are creating chances and the follow-up from the guys is what is really impressive. This team will not quit, and that is what is going to take them far.

Just to steal more momentum from the home team, Marcel Goc (one of my new favorites to watch) scores 50 seconds later and helps take his team to the locker room after the first with a come from behind 3-2 lead. Goc is truly making a name for himself with this Predators team, and JP Dumont set him up for that goal beautifully. Goc has 5 goals on the season.......Marcel Goc... who would have thought THAT was going to happen?

The Predators did not lay low for the second period either, with Patric Horn-Dog Hornqvist scoring the 4th goal on the night for the Preds (his 9th on the season). Playing hard and generating chances seems to be working for this team, but Deslauriers kept the game close (if you can call it that). The Oilers team is fast, and usually the Preds cannot keep up with that kind of speed, usually losing confidence and allowing the other team to come back and score a few. The Oilers did make their mark during one of these unfocused times with Nilsson netting a powerplay goal during the second to pull within 1. Horn Dog would not have any of it though, taking full advantage of the extra man and scoring goal number 5 for the visiting team, his 10th on the season. Yes, you read that right, 10th..... BY THE WAY, only Jason Arnott and Martin Erat have more goals than Horny.....

The third period, was not the Preds but they came through it not allowing any goals, and scoring a legitimate goal from Jerred Smithson with seconds to go in the game, effectively nailing the coffin shut for the Oilers. Smithers was determined to score, since his empty netter was called back seconds before for an off-sides by Legwand.

Last night's game was fun to watch, and being a Predator fan has been a pleasant surprise this year. A rough beginning, a hot streak in November, a couple of rough games to begin December, and the start of a new streak in the making now. The tough part will be when they visit the Calgary Flames on Saturday for the second meeting of the season. The first, much like the first meeting between the Oilers and the Preds, did not go well for Trotz and his team, but with the team's confidence rising, and realizing that even with their "no-name" talent they can do well, maybe they can exact revenge on the Flames. Calgary does seem to school the Preds everytime they meet, and with their offensive talent and Kipper in net, they have every reason to do so. Personally, I am hoping for a huge upset on behalf of the Preds.

During his Post-game interview, Ellis told Pete and Terry that Peks was suffering from a little bit of the flu....... get better Peks!!!! That makes the decision to pull him so early a little more understandable, considering the 2 goals he had against him were not neccesarily his fault, a great decision by Trotz. He needed momentum, and he got it. It just sucks that Peks was feeling bad, and couldn't get this "W".

Looking forward to Saturday's game, even though I won't be able to see any of it..... ahhhh the life of a retail store manager at holiday time. No room for hockey.....

Let's Go Preds!

Monday, December 7, 2009


I am currently suffering from MASSIVE hockey withdrawal right now waiting for Saturday's game at 501 Broadway against the Red Wings.....

Hopefully the result will be much better than the last home game against the Wild. Especially after the incredible win versus the Hawks the night before. Unfortunately, there are many, many people that watch the Predators and have realized that team plays to the team that they are playing against. When they play an elite team like the Sharks, Hawks, Red Wings, and many others, there appears to be a fire in their hearts and skates. On the flip side, when a last place team or close to last place team comes in to the arena, the Preds play down, whether they believe it should be an easy game, or simply don't want to work as hard.
A large problem that has been discussed amongst fans of the Preds is the lack of heart brought to the ice by our Captain, Jason Arnott, who seems only to have the energy or willingness to play about half of the time. The way he plays right now, and has for a while is lack-luster to say the least. Half of the time, I am simply unaware that he is playing, unless the goal horn goes off and Paul announces his name for the goal. yes, I know he is a leading scorer, but honestly he is not fun to watch. GIVE ME TOOTS (this year), Horny, and even SCATCH ANYTIME!
Now the young talent on the team comes out guns a blazing and generates chances, those are the players that should be on the ice. Have a bad night? BENCH them.... no matter what line they are on. Remember what happened to Erat? Injury or not, the scratch did him some good. He has totally won back a little piece of my heart in the past few weeks and actually appears to be having a good time on the ice, and generating chances with his patented spin moves.
Simply laying out my peace to keep frustrations from building up.....
LET'S go Preds!!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Preds @ Blackhawks 12.04.09

1st goal of the game.... Hammer & Elly get schooled by Toews. Yes boys, that IS the same Toews from the press conference the other day that got signed for A LOT of money by the Blackhawks, the same on that Coach and everyone else has told you to watch and take care of.....
2nd goal: Hammer totally redeems himself. assisted by Oreilly and Franson :0)

Ryan Suter interview after 1st intermission: Says that Trotzy has told them not to cross their skates, or you get "screwed" hahahahahhahaha That made me smile a lot!

Also seeing the United Way commercial with Jonesy doesn't make me sad now because he is back up!

Brouwer trips Klein into the boards hard sending Klein to the dressing room immediately....but Klein returns to the ice shortly after, taking his regular shifts, even though there were tweets to Admirals staff asking if Sulzer could come back to Nashville after their game tonight.... all is well though...

Then in a surprising move, ok... just surprising to him, Erat redirects a puck from Toots leading to the 2nd goal of the night for the Preds... THIS is what happens when you have net presence boys!

Leggy with an awesome D move in the second as Elly and Weber get tied up on a breakaway, Leggy continues to play strong and seems to be having a wonderful year. He and Ward are really communicating and creating opportunities, plus blocking the other team's chances.

Suter swatted away an opportunity in the second while the Hawks crashed the Pred's net and continues to play strong.
THEN Tootoo fed a shot to Erat to make it 2-1 Preds. Really glad to see Toots get the assist on this goal, but even more stoked to see his GOAL

The third period starts with an immediate shot on goal by the Hawks, but it was gobbled up by Ellis, who was OUTSTANDING tonight!
The Hawks never let up, but neither did the Preds, they were absolutely playing to WIN!!!

Toots had been due for a goal with his play over the last month, and finally cashed in with his second of the season, followed 35 seconds later by a pass from Leggy to Ward that resulted in the 4th and final goal of the game.

Incredible win for the Preds tonight, now they should be looking to exact revenge on the Wild tomorrow after their awful loss a few days ago.......
Needless to say, GO PREDS!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Sharks @ Predators

Thank you Predators for yet another home win! It makes the 2 1/2 hour drive home a lot easier to swallow.....

The Preds won 4-3 last night against the San Jose Sharks, same score as the last meeting of the two, but different outcome. The Preds pulled out a huge win against argueably one of the best teams in the NHL. There was no point in the game that the home team was slacking off, though sorry Arny, you did seem like you were calling it in all game...... Maybe Patric Hornqvist will give you some pointers on how to play with heart, just a suggestion.

Although Pekka Rinne had some spectacular saves, he had an average game overall. The real story of last night was the Ward, Legwand, Smithson line......
Really and truly that line has played some of the most exciting hockey we as Preds fans have seen in a long time. It was really great to see the chances that Leggy has been generating pay off with a goal and 2 assists and first star honors! Seriously, when was the last time Leggy was a star of the game?

Not to be put aside, Smithers has continued to play great hockey and generated a lot of excitement on the ice. Ward seemed to be right in the thick of the action and would not give up, really this line is Fang-tastic!! Cheesy? yes.... LOVE IT!

What was up with the game clock though? Trotz was ANGRY about it during his post-game interview and rightfully so. The Sharks should not have been allowed all of that extra time to rest and get a strategy together, if there was ever a team that could make a game-tying play within those 3 seconds, the Sharks are it. Thankfully the Preds were able to stave off any plays for that 3 seconds, but still, it should NEVER have happened. PLUS, it was delaying my departure, that's all I am gonna say about that though. Game Clock Officials, GET IT TOGETHER!

Overall, an incredible game against an incredible team. Where will the Preds be in March if this keeps up? All the line juggling, all of the hate for Trotzy, all of the lack of support for the team will be null and void if they continue to play with the heart, determination, and confidence that they have shown in the last few weeks. Yes, there have been some heart-breaking losses for the Preds (last Sharks game, etc..) but with the current roster, and the gritty under-dog mentality, we may just have ourselves an exciting season of hockey to watch!

Congrats again to the Preds on a FANTASTIC win! Can't wait to be back on Monday as you take on the WINGS!

Let's GO Preds!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Preds keep Habs off scoreboard

Saturday's game at the Sommet Center brought Pekka Rinne's second shutout of the season.... but the real star that night was Carey Price. He stopped 53 of 55 shots, and was downright incredible. Plus, he stopped outside the arena for a gaggle of fans seeking autographs can anyone say awesome?

Before the game, Jordin Tootoo's dad was standing next to the silent auction table and signed a ticket stub, then called us back, and gave us a pen and a pin bearing the name of his nation. Incredibly nice guy....

Ok... but here's the real story:

The Preds started the game with a lot of energy and never let up. There was never any doubt that this game was all about them, if Price had been off this would have easily been a 5-7 goal game for the Predators. They were right where they needed to be about 99 percent of the time, and the funniest moment had to be when Shea Weber sent a hard shot at Price, who went straight in to self-preservation mode.

Each player was on... no complaints at all.

Short and sweet wrap-up, huh?
Lets go Preds!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Preds VS Blues

Yet again the Preds are facing a team with a couple of former players, and we as fans hope that the outcome is different from the Sharks game the other night. We want a WIN!

Although the Predators looked like the team that fans have been waiting for the entire season, they managed to give the game away with minutes to go. Even though the scoring chances were there for them, they could not put the puck in the net to tie it before regulation ended, prompting a 4-3 loss. The Preds always play well against the Sharks, and seem to be coming together even amongst the plague of injuries that has taken hold of the team.

Returning tonight to the line-up is J P DUUuuuuuUUUmont, and knowing this has prompted some hopeful feelings from me. Whenever he is on the ice, the Preds seem to play better, maybe he should have the "C", not Arny......just a thought....

The lack of sleep from the West Coast game schedule will be worth it if the boys return from this road trip with a win tonight against the Blues.

Dan Ellis- please watch the puck and know where it is..... AT ALL TIMES! You cannot let those squeakers go through your pads with minutes to go during a tied game, and well, you can't let that happen ever!

Weber was getting his legs back after his injury, but played well and Suter has continued to play strong with or without his line partner. The team does rely on the D for scoring too, so hopefully that trend can continue AND the offense can score a little too..... is that too much to ask for?

Hopefully Peks will be in net tonight, as that seems to be Trotzy's play, lose a game, ride the bench (Ellis). This season, the goaltender's confidence has been pulled up and down with the decision of who is starting and who is sitting, so it begs the question:
Is either goalie worthy of the starting position? Or do the Preds simply have a 1a and 1b goalie rotation? Let's just let them play, and see how it goes from there, obviously I do not have the experience or knowledge that Coach Trotz has, so I cannot say that he is making a poor decision by rotating them.

All in all, the Preds are looking good, and overcoming huge obstacles early in the season, and really, aren't they ALWAYS going against the odds? Didn't we make it to the playoffs with a bunch of nobodies a couple of years ago, and ALMOST make it this past year? Considering what this team has been through in its short tenure, and what Coach Trotz has been given, talent and injury-wise, I feel confident that the team will do well this year. Sure, a super-star would be incredible, but if that is not what we are meant to have, then fine, I will root for them no matter what. The Preds are my team, and I will not simply run away from them because they are having a rough time. (I do love when they win though) Call me's not a dirty word.

Cannot wait for Saturday's game against the Habs too.... First game back in the Sommet Center since the incredible Stars game. Hopefully it's a GREAT and LOUD crowd for our boys.

And as always: LET'S GO PREDS!!!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Problems for the Preds?

Weber, Wilson, AND Dumont?..........OH MY!

Just when Predators fans found out that Captain Arny and Toots were on their way back to the line-up, they received word that their #1 D-man Shea Weber would be out for 1-2 weeks with a foot injury, Rookie Colin Wilson reaggrevated his lower body injury, AND J.P. Dumont left practice hurting. Does this scenario spell doom for the Preds just when they seemed to have found their groove on the ice?
Pekka Rinne, with a slow start this season, has been snatching pucks out of the air with ease the past few games to help muster a 3 game win streak, but with the west-coast road trip looming on the horizon, will the depth of D-men be able to control the puck enough to keep the streak going? The goalie cannot win games by themselves, as evidenced by the Buffalo game where Rinne, on fire, stopped 40 of 41 shots faced.
The question is, will the players returning to the line-up be able to slip in un-noticed, or will they be just what the Preds need to continue winning games?
Thursday is so far away, leaving ample time for speculation, but the true test will be on the ice.
Will the Preds continue their winning streak or will the Ducks, Kings, and Blues leave them Clicking their heels and saying "There's no place like home, there's no place like home, there's no place like home"?

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Preview: Dallas at Nashville 10/31/09

Happy Hockey-ween all!
The first 2 games of Nashville's 09-10 season gave Preds fans big hope...... The season opener in Dallas was a 3-2 shootout victory for the visiting team with Dan Ellis in net. Arnott and Sullivan netted the 2 goals in regulation, and Mike Santorelli scored the game winner in the shootout against Turco. Also J.P. Dumont was injured with a nasty, but seemingly legal hit from Stephane Robidas, missing the rest of the second and third period.
On October 14th, the result was not so fantastic for the Predators being shutout 6-0, and starter Ellis being pulled from the goal 7 minutes in to the first period. Rinne stepped in allowing 3 more goals in the rest of the game. Granted, the Preds were without J.P. Dumont (their leading scorer last year) and Jordin Tootoo, though not an offensive threat, Toots may have been able to break up some plays, or at least lay out certain Stars players like last season.
With Ellis as the starter for the lst two games against Dallas, will Trotz bench Peks, who has seemed to find his groove in favor of a goaltender with more experience against the Stars? For Rinne's sake, I hope not. Peks has exhibited great confidence in the last two meetings, stepping in for Ellis against the Wild allowing no goals for the rest of the game in a huge road win, and riding high from his shutout against one of the most offensively driven teams in the NHL, the Chicago Blackhawks at home on Thursday.
Rinne's glove is hot right now, snatching pucks out of the air with ease, in his post-game interview he credited the highly motivated defense for making it so easy for him to see the puck. Thank you SHEA WEBER and RYAN SUTER, from the bottom of my heart, for listening to Trotz and following through to help your goaltender!
The key to tonight's game will be CONSISTENCY.......ALL around, goaltending, offense, and defense. Trotz seems to have found his groove with the line juggling, and the team is responding well. Does everyone remember seeing Belak out for a PP shift last game? Though nothing came of it, I was happy to see them taking chances on the ice, and those chances are beginning to work. Don't get me wrong, let's not go crazy here, just take the smart plays and capitalize on them!
SMITHERS- let's go ahead and get another goal, hopefully it will not have to be short-handed because we don't want to take any penalties if we can help it! Jerred you are quickly becoming a favorite of mine to watch, keep it up!
Currently wondering how Peter Olvecky is going to fit in to the rotation tonight after being recalled from Milwaukee..... I guess I will have to wait and see!
As for me, I will be rooting for the boys from 329 tonight..... then making the 2 1/2 drive home after, so the post-game wrap-up will be posted tomorrow.
Everyone please have a Happy and safe Hockey-ween!!!!
Let's go Preds!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Preds VS Blackhawks again: Post game

Preds fans were treated to a FangTastic win last night against arguably one of the top offensive teams in the NHL, and although tweets were flying about the scratch of Martin Erat, no one seemed to miss him on the ice. Coincidence or not, the Predators showed up, came together as a team and pulled out a HUGE win!
First- let me say a HUGE congratulations to Pekka Rinne on his first shutout of the season. Has he gained some of his confidence back in the last week? As someone said on twitter, he was laughing and smiling during his post-game interview, even while admitting that he had lost some confidence due to his slow start. Could it be that Peks has decided to forget about the sophomore curse and begun to focus solely on the game at hand? His glove was snatching pucks out of the air and not allowing key rebounds, in turn helping his D.
Weber and Suter did their homework for this game by tag-teaming Patrick Kane, not allowing him to shine with his puck handling, and cutting off key chances for the young phenom in the attack zone. Awesome hit from Weber on Kane down low, only to follow up seconds later with another check. To this I say THANK YOU, you ARE paying attention, and helping your goaltender out.
Patric Hornqvist is slowly earning a huge portion of my heart, his tenacity is being shown in each and every game that he plays. His favorite hang out was the crease (as it should be) and his breakaway was beautiful, though unaffective. Just keep doing what you are doing Patric, the rest will come to you!
Trotzy's line shuffles are working.... I cannot stress enough that I will not jump on the anti-Trotz movement unless he gives me something to truly get upset about. This team is having growing pains, as all teams do, and it's important that they still get support from their fans.
Whatever the reason for Erat's scratch, injury or not, I hope he takes a lesson from it, and realizes that the team does not have to have him on the ice.
WARD: Congrats on your first goal of the season!!!!!
CUBE: thank you for the incredible set-up for Wardo to get the first goal of the game, you are slowly worming your way in to my heart as well.
Was OReilly on the ice?? kinda quiet..... maybe I missed something...
All in all, I was impressed last night, my heart was able to stay settled for most of the game, though knowing the way the Blackhawks can play, it wasn't resting. Watching the game clock tick off the last few seconds, my fingers were eager to tweet the S word for Peks, I held out though so as not to jinx him, and it paid off!
AGAIN: Congrats to the Preds on an awesome win, and I hope to see the same tenacity on Saturday.....while propped in my seats in section 329.
Let's Go PREDS!

Preds VS Blackhawks- AGAIN

Yet again the Predators are facing off against the Chicago Blackhawks at the Sommet Center in Nashville.

Sitting and thinking about the starting goaltender for the Preds tonight, I can't help but wonder what happened over the summer. Is this truly the Sophomore curse in action for Peks, or is it simply a lack of confidence for the once un-shakable goalie? Watching as he took over for Ellis last night against the Wild, fans began to see the Peks of old... his glove seemed to have a magnetic draw to the puck, it was as though he was back in form again. My view may still be skewed because of last season where it felt like Rinne could not be beat, but this year's numbers do not fair so well for the Finn, with a save percentage at a measly .892 and GAA 3.30. As a fan, I hope he can gain the confidence back that we saw last year. We need either Ellis or Rinne to be the go-to goalie, and last year he (Rinne) filled the starting goaltender role so well, stepping in right when the team needed him most. I understand that Trotzy wants to try this 1 and 1 goalie system, but it feels as though neither goaltender is getting the chance to gain the fortitude to get the job done.

As for tonight's game, let's just hope the WHOLE team shows up. The fire that they have exhibited in the last few meetings (except for the recent Blackhawks game) would be greatly appreciated by the fans in Smashville and outside the city limits. As a fan stuck in the most un-hockey city probably in the state of Tennessee, I will be watching and waiting to see the young talent and veterans gel on the ice.
I will not jump on the anti-Trotz movement because I remember what he has done with the team in the past. Have we as fans forgotten about the hands that Trotz has been dealt in the past? Remember the fire-sale? I was at the season finale against the Blues when we got the news about the Preds going to the Play-offs, it is still one of my favorite memories. Not to mention, the Preds shut-out the Detroit Red Wings 8 to nothing on a cold and snowy day last February amongst a slew of injuries, and the Wings went on to be the Western Conference Champions.... every team can have some bad luck.
As a Memphis Tigers fan, I have learned not to get too riled up when my favorite team loses, instead to be ecstatic when they win. Sure, consistency would be incredible, and we all love wins, but I guess I have to be optimistic... Otherwise, what fun is it to watch sports?

Let's go Preds!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

So..... Predators VS Blue Jackets.

Fan Fest= DUD.... I don't know about the local fans, but for those of us driving in to Nashville from the far reaches I felt like the marketing team really oversold the activities for this three day celebration. Rain the whole time, but come on. I am not sure what I was expecting, but 3 boxes of donuts, small blood drive, and tables set up for the pre-game "tailgate" which looked like an Invite-only event were not it.

Open Practices? AWESOME!!!!!!
- I love the fact that I can go to the Sommet Center and sit in section 116 ( right behind the Preds bench) and hear the guys talking, watch the warm ups, and see the interaction between the players and fans.

Toots: You giving that kid one of your sticks made his day. Seriously I don't think you guys realize how much your time means to us, the fans, who are willing to drive 3 hours just to watch you practice and of course get autos, pics, and one-on-one interaction with our favorite team.

Thank you to all the players for the extra minute or 2 that you spend with us!!!

To Fans:
PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE do NOT cause a traffic jam as the players come off the ice at Centennial. Seriously, you don't need to have all the players HOLD your kid so that you can take pictures..... you know who you are...... Keep it up and they are gonna run past you, and me, and I am gonna be MAD, because I am willing to bet that on any given day that I make it to a practice I drove much further than you did.

As far as the game goes,
Glad the Preds won!
Jones scoring the first goal made my night. The wait during the off-season for him to get re-signed was excrutiating...... well worth it though.

Glad to hear that Toot's opponent is ok..... feel terrible that we were all cheering him on the whole time, but Sestito is huge!!!!!!!!!!!! My stomach dropped when he hit the ice, but seeing him move his legs provided a lot of relief.

Pekka- what was going on???????? Just an off night? Too much fishing this summer? Come on, you can do better than that.
Ellis- great job stepping in. Glad to see you in such great form during camp too. Sunday, Thursday, and Saturday when I saw you in practice, I could tell that you wanted that starting position, and you deserve it. Keep it up!

Blum- glad to see you on the ice for the game and really glad to see you feeling comfortable towards the end of the game...... couple of nice take- aways and your puck handling was exceptional....

Can't see the Boys again for a while..... but on OCTOBER 8th......... I will be at the Sommet Center sporting my new Rinne shirt....

Friday, September 18, 2009

Pre-season Preds

Recovering from a long day in Nashville yesterday and late night driving home to Memphis. I have found that I love Twitter and the updates that I get during the games especially since I was in Nashville last night for the Mike Birbiglia show and was unable to watch the game. Thank you to all of those people who were tweeting last night for us!