Tuesday, March 31, 2009

More Than Just Wins Over Detroit, San Jose and L.A.

Is it just me or did you get the feeling watching the last 3 games the Preds are no longer intimidated by "the big boys"? In previous games and years it seemed we sat back on our heels and played in a super-defensive mode versus attacking as we did with wins over Red Wings, San Jose and L.A. this week. I personally think Shea Weber is leading the charge but others are contributing a toughness as well we haven't seen before. If you can, go back and watch Weber against the Sharks when they were down 2-0 in the 2nd period. He was jumping in on the rush, throwing the body and most importantly I sensed he was willing the Preds back in that game. Shea Weber was not letting them go down without a fight. The young defensemen(Weber, Suter, Zanon & Klein) are raising their games to new levels and the opponents offense is suffering.

How many times can we say HUGE game this year? Columbus Blue Jackets tonight. A win tonight goes along way to climbing as high as #6 in the west. Let's go Preds!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Ducks Sneak Away with 2-1 OT Win

Good effort by the Preds considering still no Jason Arnott or Wade Belak. It was good to get a point for the 5th straight game when you consider 3 of the games were OT losses. When the Preds aren't playing great they are still getting points, so that keeps them right in the playoff mix. Other thoughts:

* Shea Weber scores a goal and had his way throwing around his weight on defense. I thought he deserved to be the #2 star for the game.
* The catastrophic Dan Hamhuis defensive breakdown almost reared its head again. He got beat badly midway through the 3rd period and had it not been for an errant shot by Anaheim, the Preds would have lost in regulation and not received any points for the contest.
* Thanks to the Red Wings for scoring 3 goals in the 3rd period to beat Edmonton 3-2. Big development for the Preds. With way Anaheim has it going now, it could come down to Preds/Oilers for that last playoff spot.

Watch those scores. Thurdsday night vs the Sharks. Let's go Preds.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Road Trip Ender at San Jose

So far 5 out of possible 6 points but the mighty San Jose Sharks are on the docket, the 2nd of back-to-back games on top of that. The Sharks are 4-5-1 over last 10 and no happy. With Arnott, Bonk & Belak(needed to keep Shelley in check tonight) out it will be a tough night to get points. How can the Preds get a win tonight?

Pecca Rinne must stand on the proverbial head. Let's go Preds.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Pecca Rinne Returns, Stops Slide

Predators 2, Coyotes 0
Okay, the weak opponent didn't hurt either because Phoenix was a seller at the trade deadline. The Preds got it done with a 2-0 victory while Rinne only had to turn back 18 shots from the Coyotes. With what seems like everyone else in the playoff race getting victories around us, it was a much needed 2 points to get the Preds back to 9th place in the western conference.

Look on left side of blog to see the tribute to Jordan Tootoo's best punishment given out. Click on the link to see the video of the battles.

Other Thoughts:
* Hurry back Jason Arnott- hope he returns soon because offense is confused and lines not clicking so far in his absence
* Scoreboard today- Sharks stop Ducks, Red Wings stop Blue Jackets, Blues top the Wild. All help the Preds. Vancouver beating Colorado only game that worked against us.
* Remaining 13 games against teams either in playoffs or very serious contention for a spot. Phoenix game was last "breather" or game you count on as a win.
* Get that nap in tomorrow afternoon so you are ready for the late start on TV Monday night vs. the LA Kings.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Scoreboard Watching Time.......

When you have won 6 games in a row, the law of averages has to catch up to you and lose a game. With the playoff standings so tight, you hope to lose in overtime vs. regulation. Not so in the 4-1 loss to Philadelphia Saturday night. Combine that with wins by Vancouver and Columbus and the Preds go from 6th to 9th in no time. As I write this Sunday evening, Montreal does us a favor and beats Dallas 3-1 today. Once standings are updated, the Preds will move back into the playoffs #8 spot now they have played same number of games as Dallas. Both teams have 70 points but Preds have more wins. Thank you Montreal.

Minnesota vs. Anaheim in progress. Both teams trail Preds in standings.
Root for L.A. to beat Vancouver tomorrow night.

Tip your hat to Biron in goal for Philly last night. He made some spectacular saves to keep Philly up all night. When the Preds did cut the lead to 2-1 in the 3rd, Philly answered with a goal and sealed the Preds fate.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Preds 4, Blue Jackets 2

Actually at the game on Thursday and must say a little disappointed in the crowd. Thought the turnout would be more based on the winning streak and the guys getting back in the playoff race. Nonetheless, the ones there were in to the game and keeping the team energized.

I called in the local sports talk Friday morning about David Legwand. Pecca Rinne or Shea Weber would win a vote for team MVP, but if you look at Legwand since the all star break he has been the catalyst for the offense. He is scoring but also creating so much for those around him as well. I think a lot of Preds fans owe him an apology because he has taken a ton of heat over the years. He has been a solid two-way player but now he has taken his game to a level you imagine when you think of #2 overall pick.

Rare game in Philly tonight. Can we make it 7 in a row?

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Trade Deadline Passes Quietly

Part of me is disappointed my trade involving Dan Ellis I had envisioned since December did not happen. I still think a trade for more offensive help was needed, but we don't have the luxury to know the asking price and if other teams were trying to make us sacrifice way too much. The way the team is playing since the all star break, you have to wonder if a trade can mess up a good thing. I think this squad can get us in the playoffs on its own if it continues playing like it is now, but their limit is probably 2nd round of playoffs if they even make it. More offensive help via trade would make the playoffs and a deep run a better chance of happening.

We have to, as fans, trust David Poile. He is one of the top front office guys in the NHL. We may not agree with everything he does, but his track record with a small market team and budget is pretty darn good all things considered. He has pulled the big move(Forsberg, Witt) and made the subtle moves to strengthen the team when he can. In David Poile I trust.

Check out the Preds prospect article in the news section of the blog, taken from the Preds official website. We are the only team with 4 prospects in the top 50. I think this will make Ellis, Koistenen and other veterans available and traded when their value is better. The trade deadline brings vultures out looking for steals and David Poile probably had to pass because the asking price was too high for what he wanted or value for our guys too low.

I know this for sure, I will be there tonight to root for a win against the Blue Jackets. Let's go Preds.