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!