Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Victory Over Red Wings Wasted?

Hope everyone is having a blessed holiday season like I am. The Preds gave us a great Christmas present with a victory over the Red Wings on 12/26, but the 2 games since have left a fruit-cake-like bad taste in your mouth. If only we had receipts, maybe we could return the last 2 game results. Oh well, here are my 3 stars of thoughts since my last post.

1. Preds Offense is Offensive- please Mr. Poile, get us some offensive help! Did you know that 2 of the top 5 scorers on the team are defensemen? Take away the Red Wings victory and Preds have been outscored 13-3 in their last 3 losses.

2. Erat Has an Itch- ..... and he needs to be scratched. How about some time on the bench to motivate Erat into doing something to fire up the team and be a leader? Giving up the puck to create on 2-on-none break for Colorado was bad, skating back at half speed to pretend trying to help was even worse. I first thought we can't afford to leave his offense out of the lineup, but if it is non-existent....

3. Back, back, back- how about a little prayer tonight before bed for Steve Sullivan's improving back. It is becoming more apparent that the team's playoff hopes, besides Steve's body weight, are not the only thing weighing on it. Unless Alexander Radulov comes walking back in the locker room( and I don't advise holding your breath or betting that in Vegas) or a major trade happens(don't forget my Dan Ellis suggested trade), Steve seems to be the only slim hope we have.

All for now, Happy New Year everyone. Please feel free to post a comment and sign up for my blog.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Time to Make a Trade with Ellis

Stat #1 2.48 goals per game, 26th out of 30 NHL teams

Stat #2 13.1% power play, 29th out of 30 NHL teams

Stat #3 Pekka Rinne, 11 starts, 7 wins, 3 shutouts, .919 save %

Stat #4 Dan Ellis 2007-08, 1st in NHL in save percentage(.924%)

Stat #5 Only 2 players in top 100 of NHL for points, and 1 is a defenseman(Dumont #47,

Weber #65)

What would I do if I was GM for a day? With all due respect to David Poile, one of the top in the business who works magic every year on a restricted budget , I would trade Dan Ellis. Ellis has value to one of the top teams who think they are another solid goalie(or potential #1) from a cup contender. The NHL leader in save percentage last year, he is rebounding nicely from a slow start. In his last 4 games, Ellis has a 1.23 goals against average and .957 save percentage with 1 shutout. And finally, for a large market team or whomever, he is not a big hit on the salary cap.

Why is Ellis expendable? Pecca Rinne. He is the future, but the future is now. He has size, great fundamentals and he is a competitor. He is in net to keep everything out and has an attitude about it. He is showing characteristics of an elite goalie. Other franchise scouts and front office people are singing his praises behind the scenes, just ask Pete Weber who said so on the local morning talk shows this past week. Add 3 shutouts in December and you see he is ready to go now as the #1 goalie. Had it not been for a untimely snowstorm last year he would be the #1 now in all probability.

Scoring is obviously the weak point for this team struggling to stay in the top 8 for a playoff spot.
Ellis can be dealt for some offense. Pitch in Greg Devries or a young defensive prospect(the Preds are loaded with some of the best minor league talent at defense) and 2 solid offensive players can come to the Preds in return. Keep Tootoo on the 4th line to draw penalties where he is most effective. If those 2 things happen, the Preds go from just outside the playoffs to a solid team that could host a first round playoff series(only 6 points from 4th place at this time).

To get a little you have to give a little, and with Dan Ellis the Preds have more than a little to give.