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!!!!!!!!!

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