Saturday, January 30, 2010

Preds Stop 5 Game Losing Streak Against Atlanta

Preds 4, Thrashers 3
* Hello captain Jason Arnott. He drops in the game winning goal, his first goal since January 2nd. I blogged that the big guns would be the ones to stop the losing streak and Arnott delivers.
* Jerrod Smithson, one I criticized for bad play lately, added a goal by sitting in front of the net. That is a place he has not made home before, let's hope he visits in front of the net again with good results.
* Pekka Rinne was huge with 2 gigantic saves in the 3rd period to preserve the win. Leave him in net coach.

Red Wings 4, Preds 2
* Arnott, Sullivan and Dumont all miss great scoring opportunities that you have to bury in order to win
* Bad, bad, bad penalties to put the hottest team in the NHL on the power play. Detroit has been scoring on a 33% clip with power play opportunities as of late, so the Preds give them 2 goals via their own penalty. Not so smart.

Preds currently in 7th place after the win tonight. Three more games on the homestand before a 4 game road trip against the eastern conference, then the olympic break. A strong 2 weeks before the break could set the Preds in good position for the playoffs.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Another Terrible Loss and Smithson Must Sit

The Preds have now recently lost to Columbus and Toronto(along with Colorado & Phoenix), two teams that are both currently in 14th place out of 15 teams in their respective conference. Good teams put away bad teams. That is a wasted 4 points.

I touched on it with my last post but tonight's game reinforced the point even more that Jared Smithson is a liability at this point. I think coach Trotz showed he is thinking the same thing in a way because Smithson did not play a good chunk of the 3rd period. I watched him during the telecast and he is no threat on the offensive end. He was 0-2 on power play faceoffs. On the Columbus power play in the 3rd period where they scored their 2nd goal, he had the puck but couldn't clear the zone and Columbus scored 10 seconds later. He in essence neutralized Martin Erat for most of the game. Defenseman can let him roam and concentrate on watching Erat. Until coach Trotz changed lines in the 3rd by sitting Smithson, Erat was pretty quiet.

That is my tirade for now. At Detroit Friday night against the team right below them in the standings. Preds need a victory BAD!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Certain Preds Need to Step Up

A 3-game losing streak has the Preds in 6th place in the west and in dire need of a win. The Preds have a solid season going, but those behind in the standings (Red Wings, Ducks) are making their moves and getting players healthy. It is time for some veterans to step up the game and get the team going again.

* Jason Arnott- I am sorry to say I don't remember his last goal but it has been a while. Of course injuries come into play but the Preds need his offensive game to pick up.

* Steve Sullivan- He has some assists recently but they have been secondary. Not making the offensive impression on your mind you are used to seeing. Throw in the hooking call against Colorado that led to a 5 on 3 advantage goal in a 2-1 loss and you don't have a good feeling about his play lately.

* Pekka Rinne- He has played well but not the elite goalie status he showed last year. He has the ability to carry the Preds on long point streaks. Let's hope we see it soon.

* Jared Smithson- I will probably get grilled for this but I think the Preds have developed other penalty killers to the point where his lack of offense needs to be replaced if it doesn't pick up dramatically. His penalty killing doesn't offset the lack of scoring for a team that struggles to do so.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Western Canada Trip Great So Far

Can the Preds pull off the trifecta and win all 3 games in western Canada? So far 2 games, 2 wins and 4 much needed points after the Preds had dropped into 7th place in the playoff standings. They now currently sit in a solid 4th place, 5 points ahead of 8th place L.A. Kings. The Preds go for the western Canada sweep on Friday at Calgary. The Preds have more points than the 3rd place Flames, but Calgary is seeded higher because they are a division leader.

Other Notes:

* Good teams take care of business and put away bad teams early in the game. The Preds jumped on Edmonton with the first 4 goals to take control of the game tonight. Good sign.
* Good effort by Pekka Rinne as well, keeping Edmonton off the scoreboard until the 3rd period. I still feel we haven't seen his best goalkeeping yet this year and there is a prolonged winning streak in his near future.
* Patrick Hornqvist and Ryan Jones continue to do the dirty work in front of the net and get rewarded with both scoring goals against the Oilers tonight.
* Congrats to Ryan Suter who was not only named to team USA for the upcoming Olympics in 3 weeks but he was also named alternate captain.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Mid-Season Awards

Just pass the halfway point but here are my mid-year awards. I noticed a similar type article on the Preds official website but I post the truth as you regular followers of the blog know ; )

* MVP- Patrick Hornqvist. The most consistent forward who has been the leader of a scoring effort by committee. His development into a goal scorer and a true go the the net guy has been the big reason Preds would be in playoffs if they started today. Leads team in goals scored, shots on goal, game winners, power play goals and +/- rating. Don't forget he spent 2 weeks of season on 4th line despite the complaint/blogging of yours truly.
* Harry Houdini Award- Barry Trotz. Coach continues to work magic and get the most from a team comprised of home grown talent and no high priced free agents. So far his plan of using both goalies because of the olympic year compacted schedule is working.
* Best surprise- Marcel Goc. Barely edges out Frances Bullion. His solid play and forechecking have been a big surprise along with the 8 goals(tied for 6th on team).
* Two Way Player- David Legward has pitched in 10 goals and 26 assists along with going against the opposition's #1 line each night. He also is on the first penalty kill unit. His best year of career so far
* Biggest Disappointment- which is a positive because the Preds are in good shape and these 2 guys should turn around, but the lack of goals from Steve Sullivan and Joel Ward. Both were rewarded with new contracts in off-season but only have a total of 17 goals so far.

All for now and please post any comments if you have them. Go PREDS!!!!!!!!!!!!