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Game Recaps

Sunday, December 30, 2007

12/29 - Preds v. Guppies

OBSERVATIONS FROM BOX 2
by pred303guy
(courtesy of the Nashville Predators message boards)

well... can't say any of that game was really enjoyable... a game that just never 'felt' right from the opening moments. possible it's the fact we only had 13k in the building on a saturday night against a team that is supposed to be a "hated" rival. a few thoughts, that some will obviously not like;

first... our goaltending...

...mason is the nicest, best, most likable guy on a team of good guys.. you simply ache to want the guy to succeed... but this is a business, a heartless business. now i know you could take any single shot from last night and say "well this or that happened, so it really wasn't mase's fault here". and you'd be correct. it's the cumulative effect of all five goals that get you, each where we have some excuse, but also each where mase didn't get it done. two horrible rebound goals, two soft shots where he is screened, and the one where he's beaten cleanly from a simple unscreened wrister after the toots turnover. 5 mistakes, 5 goals allowed. simple as that.

...9 seasons. this is the first one where we haven't gotten good goaltending. a new thing for us.

...the team cann't become more consistent until the goaltending becomes more consistent. right now, mason is simply not playing well enough for us to win many nights.

...right now, every time we make a mistake it seems it winds up in the back of our net. a team cann't play hockey like that. a team has to have confidence that they're allowed to make a mistake every now when trying to make something happen in the offensive end. if they don't have that confidence, it in effect slows down your offense to a crawl, and hurts you on the other end of the ice. right now, this is happening to us.

...since any mistake seems to cost us a goal, we cann't take offensive risks. it slows our breakouts, because we have to make sure all 5 skaters come back and get the puck out of the zone every single time. when's the last time you remember this team having an odd man rush? that's because we have 5 guys have to come back and get the puck every possession. because if we don't, we know it'll probably end up in our net.

...since we know any mistake we make winds up making the redlight go around, it means in our offensive end, we have try to always keep 3 men out high to eliminate odd man rushes back against us. so we basically have to think defense first when we're trying to play offense. we're forced to always play offense like we're protecting a two goal lead, even when we're tied or a goal behind. this of course penalizes our offense badly.

...since we're afraid any turnover is a goal against us, instead of carrying the puck out of our zone and maintaining puck possession, our constant goal in our end is to chip the puck out of the zone. we're constantly giving the puck back to other teams, because we don't trust our own goaltending.

it is frustrating for sure. he simply has to erase some of the mistakes we make. it's a visious cycle. we have to play defensive first hockey because we cann't score goals, but we cann't score goals because we have to play defensive hockey. mason is better than this -- how much better i simply don't know.

as was noted from his record last year, when he dominated the bottom 8 teams, but had a poor record against playoff teams. maybe he truly is good enough to beat the weak teams, but not good enough most nights to beat the better offensive teams night in and night out.

i don't know anymore. i do know this, when your goalie has a .892 save percentage and over a 3.00 gaa, you're not going to win many games. something has to happen here, he either has to turn it around -- and soon -- or you have to go get someone else.. or you have to write off the season.



Posted by Section 303 at 8:25 AM

Friday, December 28, 2007

12/27 - Preds v. Flap Jacks

OBSERVATIONS FROM BOX 2
by pred303guy
(courtesy of the Nashville Predators message boards)

an exciting game for sure... we might not always play well (and we certainly don't), but this team has no quit in them and they always play hard. hard not to like that about this little bunch. a lesser bunch might have folded the tent after falling behind with 5 minutes to go. i know i felt like doing it. a few random bullet observations;

...re-sign tootoo this week. love him or hate him, the guy is walking excitement on what otherwise is a fairly nondescript roster. what a huge goal that one was.

...the tootoo hit on foote early basically set the stage for us to lead this game for most of the night. he got lucky in the third on what might have been a late hit, but another fine game by tootoo.

...koistinen. easy to say a guy played well even if he didn't, when he scores the winning goal. but koistinen had a really good game all around. the 3 point, +3 shows that pretty well.

...would have been easy for him to have been the goat in this one though. it was his defensive gaff that allowed boll to break in all alone on mason in the third right after the tieing toots goal. shows how easy it is to be either the goat or hero every game.

...legwand deflected the radulov goal in. thought so in person, and then watched it on replay and still think so. second time this year i remember legwand should have been credited with a deflection and wasn't.

...legwand with a tremendous play to set up the game winner. great patience. great pass.

...mase with a strange game. lots of fine saves. two bad rebound goals allowed and the painful slow motion rolling puck one. but give him credit, he was good enough to win on a night where it would have been easy to not be.

...zidlicky with a great pass to arnott on the 5 on 3 and another fine feed to tootoo for the tieing goal. love him or hate him, he does have good ice vision out there on the point.

...notice erat limped off at about the 5 minute mark again. that was why bonk was out there with legwand and radulov on the game winner.

...we of course didn't really play that well. a decimated jacket team, that stinks offensively even with everybody playing. and they get 39 shots against us. of course 12 of those shots came on all those pp's we kept giving them in the second. but, we won, and that's what's important.

...really funny to see us own these guys so completely. man i hate this team.

...rimmer and gare. watched their replay when i got home. easily the two worse announcers in sports right now. have never heard such blatant whining and crying about everything as last night, even from them. the rimmer statement "they must be slow to get new technology down here" when talking about the refs being on the phone and not a headset, almost made me go back down to the arena to find him and beat the snot out of him.

...for all you transplanted northern people down here now, it's this type of subtle (or not so subtle) predjudice that drives southerners mad. the idea that somehow the south is less intelligent and backward compared to the north that is so prevelant that you see perpetuated in the media and among many in the north. can't do it to anyone else, but it's ok to "make fun" of southerners still in our otherwise politically correct society. southerners have had to put up with this crap for 150 years, and living here and having it insinuated about you, you can begin to see why we resent it so much i'm sure.

screw columbus. screw rimmer and gare. i hope we beat their frigging heads in for 10 more years.



Posted by Section 303 at 8:07 AM

Thursday, December 27, 2007

12/26 - Preds @ Black Holes

OBSERVATIONS FROM BOX 2
by pred303guy
(courtesy of the Nashville Predators message boards)

i want to believe in this team... but man, it's hard to do so most of the time.

the truth of the matter is, is we're simply not as good as we need to be in any aspect of the game except on the penalty kill. everything else... offense, defense, goaltending, strength, size, speed, the powerplay, puckhandling, passing, overall skill, top line players... and we are below average to average at best.

some will argue this team is "more talented" than the 03-04 team that snuck into the playoffs on the last day. i don't buy that, not one bit. not at this point. that 03-04 team had two players in their primes and healthy at the time, sullivan and walker, that were each better than any player we have right now.. that team also had more depth of scoring than this team as well, with guys like orszagh, hartnell, legwand, johnson and hall all rotating thru the third line at different times. sure overall scoring was a little lower than this team will be, but that was in an era where scoring was lower leaguewide.. the pp back then could carry us offensively, it cann't now... that team could win close low scoring games, this one cann't. that team had a defense built more effectively than this group in the way the game was played at the time. that 03-04 team also of course had a vokoun at his peak, a guy who singlehandedly could and did win games.. this team isn't as good a team as that team.



Posted by Section 303 at 8:33 AM

12/23 - Preds @ Flap Jacks

OBSERVATIONS FROM BOX 2
by pred303guy
(courtesy of the Nashville Predators message boards)

a couple of offensively challenged teams out there tonight, but a good road win for us nevertheless. all road wins are good wins come to think of it. a pretty shaky start for us tonight. you normally see a team on the second night of a back to back start off strong, and often fade. takes some mental toughness to turn it on like that later in the game.

a few random thoughts:

...one scoring chance in the first. only 4 shots. we almost took ourselves right out of the game with those 3 penalties in the first. and then we come back and take another early in the second. looked bleak when at about the 5 minute mark of the second we'd been outshot 17-6 didn't it?

...another stellar performance by the pk. no pp goals allowed in 7 of the past 8 games nor in 11 of the last 13. 35 of the last 36 kills now.

...another pp goal. four games in a row now. 6 for our last 20. light at the end of the tunnel maybe.

...horrible rebound by norrena to legwand. but caused by bonk being right there in front and a good low hard shot by koistinen.

...bad goal by mason of course, never got the stick all the way down to take away the wraparound. mase caught between going out to play the puck or letting us get back to take the icing and put the puck back deep in their zone. suter simply got outskated though.

...fine game by mase, kept us in the game the first 30 minutes. exactly what we needed to see from him honestly.

...tootoo with 15 even strength minutes, has to be a alltime high for him. pretty solid game from toots, remember he's the one that got dumont the puck.

...good job by us containing nash overall. got a nice try against us on the pk once, but that was his closest call.

...what a way to end a game. hard to imagine how heartbroken and confused the BJ's fans were at the game.. *snicker*

...what a beauty of a shot by dumont for sure

...devries with over 20 minutes of even strength time, and 24 overall. tried to get him out there aginst nash's line. did a fine job too. this s the idea behind having a big stay at home guy, against these really big forwards.

a winning streak, a honest to goodness winning streak. always good to win on the road. always good to beat the BJ's. a fine Christmas present from the team for me.



Posted by Section 303 at 8:28 AM

12/22 - Preds v. LA Queens

OBSERVATIONS FROM BOX 2
by pred303guy
(courtesy of the Nashville Predators message boards)

typical of why this can be such a maddening game, we play a worse game than we have in 6 of our last 7 losses. and we win. was nice to remember how a win felt honestly, i was sort of beginning to forget.

just a few bullet thoughts:

...arnott could have had about a 6 goal game very easily. that many great chances.

...tootoo was a force out there. have to be proud for the guy.

...our defensemen with a decent game helping to clear rebounds and out on the perimeter. one of the few games this year though where team's have been able to control the puck against us down low for so long. and why we gave up so many shots.

...legwand with a bad game. it was his man that snuck open (visnovsky) down the slot on their first goal, and then the osullivan steal off his stick on the pp. a nice pass to arnott for the hattrick goal though.

...the radulov-legwand-fiddler line was once again largely invisible. it's simply not working for these three.

...special teams, where we've lost so many games this year, won this one tonight.

...the powerplay, for the second game in a row, looked, well like a powerplay.

...we took entirely too many penalties. of course it was mcgeough out there, so you knew it was going to be a penalty filled contest before the puck was dropped. you can simply count on it when he's reffing.

....our penalty kill, flat out won us this game. this was when ellis was at his best as well.

...the pk, now up to 10th with a 84.4%. this is the type of pk play we knew we should have, and needed to have so badly.

...good thing special team play was good, because in general even strength, we're struggling so badly.

...score first, we're 12-2-1. don't score first, 3-14-1.

...score at least 3 goals and we're 15-3-0. score 2 or less and we're 0-13-2.

...so it's simple how to make this team really good (cough). we need to score first and score at least three every night. i think i'll call trotz and tell him.

easy to read too much into this win of course against a beat up team that is also probably the worst team in the league and horrible on the road on top of that. but that doesn't change the fact, this was a game we simply had to win, and we won. if you're going to turn this ship around, it has to start somewhere.

just a few more random observations before it all gets lost in this afternoon's game:

...tootoo could indead have had a goal and three assists last night easily. two really nice feeds to arnott in the slot and that slapper that went off the goal and just outside the post.

...arnott you have to credit him with great offensive awareness, he finds an opening in the slot or just off the weakside low and gets a high percentage shot it seems like three-four times every single game. this is simple offensive awareness, you cann't coach that.

...it's very conceivable that arnott should be shooting 20% plus, because not only does he get shots in close, time after time he gets very high percentage chances. personally i think he could have 25 goals right now very easily. and probably should have.

...tootoo with an absolutely perfect pass to feed arnott for that re-direct first goal. that one worked exactly right for us, with tootoo being a righty and not overly agile with the puck, if arnott is more even with him instead of out front, tootoo cann't make that pass.

..speaking of handedness. the 4th goal by arnott, was a perfect example of why when you run a pp off the right halfboard, that a right handed player playing the slot works better than another lefty right there. allowed arnott to drift low and get that shot, when a lefty wouldn't have been able to.

...ellis played just well enough to win. sometimes we all get too caught up in goalie stats. save % and gaa are nice to look at and all but overrated honestly. the best goalies simply never allow that big goal to put you behind. guys like roy and grant fuhr were great goalies, who always allowed quite a few goals... they would give up goals when they were leading 3-2, or 4-2, but they would hardly ever allow that really big goal to allow you to fall behind when it really counted. big saves at big times = good goalies, much more so than gaa and save %. of course, you have to have enough offense to support that type goalie as well.

...ellis gives up rebounds. last night he gave up two bad ones on shots from an angle that went straight to the weak side. what i do like though is he pounces on lose pucks in ir near the crease well.

...on the 3rd LA goal, the 'rebound' straight to o'sullivan on the weak side. at first i simply thought it was a horrible rebound off the point shot from modry. and that blake and suter were simply battling in front slightly off to the side. when the official score came, it credited blake with "tipping the puck wide" though. after watching the replay, still unsure of exactly what caused the puck to rebound so sharply back to the open o'sullivan (not a very clear angle). there's a chance that it actually deflected off suter's skate and back out hard. of course it is possible it defelcted off blake, or that ellis simply kicked out a horrible rebound still. personally i think it hit suter's skate, which takes the blame totally off ellis if it did.

...31 for our last 32 on the pk these last 7 games. 4 for 11 on the pp these last two (and got robbed out of another). a good thing, since we've been outscored 16-4 these last 6 games 5 on 5.



Posted by Section 303 at 8:24 AM

Thursday, December 20, 2007

12/19 - Preds @ Black Holes

OBSERVATIONS FROM BOX 2
by pred303guy
(courtesy of the Nashville Predators message boards)

let me mention some positive things:

...if you throw out both the 6 game losing streak and the latest 5 game game losing streak, we're 14-5-2.
...we scored 2 powerplay goals for the first time in 6 weeks.
...we're getting work for both goalies. so neither is getting rusty from lack of work.
...we're leading the league in goals disallowed, probably by a wide margin.
...oldhickory hasn't posted in about a week.
...in a game where we were a team -20. hamhuis, hordichuk, fiddler weren't on ice for any goals allowed. good for them.
...arnott got 5 more good shots on net.
...we're only 9 poionts out of a playoff spot.
...the kings lost, so they didn't gain ground on us.



Posted by Section 303 at 6:51 AM

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

12/18 - Preds v. Mild

OBSERVATIONS FROM BOX 2
by pred303guy
(courtesy of the Nashville Predators message boards)

...in highly technical hockey terminology, this was what is known as a "truly horrific loss."

too bitter a pill to talk about this one tonight. maybe tomorrow.

-- *next morning* --

a few general observations;

...the zanon pinch attempt to hold in the puck with us protecting a one goal lead in the third was simply bad hockey and a risk that cann't be taken in that situation and can't be intelligently defended, because there is no defense.

...but while you cann't defend the attempt in that situation last night, the primary reason we get caught like that so often, is that we are having sooo much trouble generating any even strength offense with our forwards night after night. about the only way we can hope to score these last 10 odd games is for a defenseman to take a risk and jump into the play in some fashion. this means our defensemen get burned too often trying to help out offensively. it's interrelated most times with the struggles we've having scoring goals.

...so many times you see teams give up goals after a flurry in their own offensive end where they just miss scoring.. in the excitement of wild chances and almost goals, teams and players tend to lose focus of the overall game situation, and in the heat of a wild offensive flurry too often 'forget' the situation and take risks they shouldn't. exactly what happened on the bad 2nd goal we allowed. forwards all caught in deep, despite us knowing we need that third man high, because we are oh so close to scoring. defenseman gets caught up in the heat of the moment.

...nothing more dangerous than when you're protecting a one goal lead than to get a frantic scoring attempt yourself.

...smithson with a very stupid penalty. a frustration penalty that could have itself cost us the game.

...dumont with either a lazy play or simply being very slow not getting out to a puck to tip it out of the defensive end right before the last goal. zids, arnott, zanon with horrible coverage down deep. lots to blame here (and right now i prefer to not think about it).

...bonk with a bad penalty to even put them on the powerplay to begin with. a lazy penalty. you cann't take lazy penalties trying to protect 2 goal leads to a team like minny. you simply knew the way they could get back into that game was on their pp. and while it wasn't technically a pp goal (1 second after the penalty expired). well it really was of course.

...this ability to score pp goals against us has always been why we couldn't protect leads against the wild. (three times in the last two years now)

...nothing more dangerous than the few seconds right after a pk expires. teams get caught either relaxing for a split second because they killed it. or they get caught tired because they couldn't change. or they get caught trying to adjust to whose man is whose as the guy joins the team out of the box. this is what happened to us out front last night on the first goal. bonk/smithson/ortmeyer confused as to who's doing what.

...a Z-pattern play, is virtually unstoppable if the people are open and the passes are made crisply. anytime a pointman can make a pass straight to a guy down low on the far side of the crease, you know things have broken down horribly. you also know that your pk forwards have been the ones that failed you not blocking that passing lane (which cann't be open). once the pass gets thru, the chaos it creates trying to dive back across to cover always opens the backdoor.

...ellis played a good game, with some great saves. he left some dangerous rebounds, but those weren't the ones that hurt him. he got caught totally out of net once, and hamhuis saved him somehow. not being overly critical when you say that on the 2 on 1 he didn't play it perfectly. got caught slightly off the left post cheating back just a few inches because of the two on one when he has to play the shooter all the way and let zidlicky worry about the pass across. cann't blame him at all on either of the other two.

...one of the things you hate to see when a goalie 'controversy' springs up among the fanbase, is that most fans tend to choose "sides" favoring one goalie or the other. as arguments progress between fans about who you had prefer to see starting, harsh things are said by both sides. then what you tend to see more and more of is one side and then the other saying "see i told you so, this is why i was right and you were an idiot" every flipping game from then on. it tends to break apart a fanbase.

we're unfortunately seeing this right now, where it almost appears each side wants to see the other side fail, simply so they can be shown to be "right" - which is, of course, sheer stupidity - when it really should only be about team success.

normally you look forward to playing immediately after a disappointing loss, so you can simply move on and forget what happened.

not sure if i look forward to tonight.

which is simply a sign that last night's loss had to be one of the top 5 most disappointing losses in the regular season in this team's history.



Posted by Section 303 at 10:20 AM

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

12/15 - Preds @ Colorado CandyPants

OBSERVATIONS FROM BOX 2
by pred303guy
(courtesy of the Nashville Predators message boards)

...it's painful to watch isn't it?. another game, where we dominate virtually every aspect of the entire game. except for where it counts.

not much can be said to critisize honestly, any criticism is more frustration than actual fact. we played hard for 60 minutes, outshot and outchanced them badly every period. we outhit them, we had fewer giveaways. we didn't give up. we won the faceoff battle.. we pushed to the last second. we didn't get bad goaltending. we didn't play badly in the defensive zone.. had at least 5 times the amount of scoring chances they did. we played disciplined, especially after the first. we held them to only 16 shots and severely limited chances. the penalty kill was absolutely fantastic. even the powerplay generated a couple of scoring chances. thought we left everything on the ice.

and yet we lose another one.

frustrating.

maddening in fact.

comes down to simply not enough offensive skills to finish chances to be candid. we simply don't have the scoring depth and we're getting zilch from the people that we do have that can score (dumont, arnott, bonk, legwand, radulov). this inability to score, grossly magnifies every single mistake both in the defensive zone and in net, which in turn makes us overanalyze every single little failing on that end.. when the problem is not really there, but on the other end of the ice..

you simply want to throw up your hands. but the games simply keep on coming, so you have to keep playing and hoping for the same effort but different results until we either get more help (sully or a trade).

even if arnott, legwand, rads now somehow magically all get hot and we win 5 of 6, this type of streak demonstrates that we simply don't really have enough talent up front over an 82 game stretch.. new fans say things like "we beat detroit and ottawa, this means we have enough talent". but honestly, that's just hockey. the best teams lose 25-30 times, while the worst win 30 every year, so don't think that way..

but, believe it or not, it's not as bad as it looks right now (well ok, it's pretty bad, but). doing a simple schedule analysis a couple of weeks ago, you knew this was a mighty tough stretch of games we had here right up until christmas. the schedule will get better, the puck will start finding the back of the net more often.

just have to hope we aren't too buried by the time christmas gets here.

and, by the way, here's a little explaination for what's happening to us and why we're really not winning more:

our record when we score:
6 goals.. 1-0
5 goals.. 3-0
4 goals.. 6-1
3 goals.. 4-2
2 goals.. 0-1-2
1 goal... 0-8
0 goals.. 0-2

so we're 14-3 when we manage to score 3 goals or more. and 0-11-2 when we don't. obviously to have scored 2 goals or less 13 times in 30 games is far too many. 3 becomes our magic number. find a way to score 3 goals, and we almost always win.



Posted by Section 303 at 8:47 AM

12/13 - Preds v. Colorado CandyPants

OBSERVATIONS FROM BOX 2
by pred303guy
(courtesy of the Nashville Predators message boards)

...after some games you walk away when the horn sounds and simply shake your head in frustration.

a grinding, ugly game. a game where it looked like we had 11 3rd and 4th line forwards out there. well of course that isn't far from the truth actually. a few thoughts while things are still bitter on the tongue.

...the waived off goal was the type of inexplicable thing that helps hockey not make many new fans. intent to blow the whistle?!? are you kidding me? i watched it live, i watched the replay twice, i listened to crisp and to trotz try to explain what they thought, i taped and watched the play again when i got home. and i still don't know why it didn't count. if i had been the captain or trotz, i'd had to been physically carried off the ice demanding a better explaination before i allowed the puck to be dropped again.

...dumont and arnott are pretty much totally ineffective right now without someone on their line like erat to make things happen. there's a chance dumont was drunk tonight. must have had 5 pucks just roll off his stick trying to stickhandle. arnott simply cann't generate a shot for himself. for him to be effective he has to sit in the slot and let a playmaker make a play and put the puck square on his stick. of course, when they do, right now he couldn't bury it into a soccer net. it's almost hurts to watch fiddler working so hard and being so out of his element having to try to be a playmaker on a scoring line.

...legwand with a bad giveaway in the neutral zone. make no mistake about it. however, he hustled and forced smyth wide and made him take an easy shot from way out beyond the dot. mason totally unscreened, with plenty of time to prepare for the shot, doesn't close the 5 hole and lets in a prayer. even smyth was shocked, and looked to the heavens when it went in. you simply cann't allow this type of goal in a tie game in the third and expect to win. i'm shocked the entire team didn't fold immediately and give up about 5 more quickly. this is the type of totally demoralizing goal that breaks a team and loses a game.

...have no answer on zidlicky's turnover and who he was covering behind the net with laperriere standing all alone in front.

...we play very hard as a team. not always well, but always hard, i'll give us that. the problem is actually pretty simply, we're just not quite talented enough to be consistently good every night. we have five or six true 20 something type goal scoring type forwards. and then we have about six or seven grinders who will score a few goals. a player that is a 20 odd goalscorer is a player that will go several games without scoring and be really streaky. that's why he's a 20 odd goalscorer to begin with. when you depend on only five or six people to carry you and they're all this level of player, well you're going to have stretches of 3 and 4 and 5 games where none of them are clicking. and when that happens you're going to tend to lose 4 of 5 or so.

...this is what is happening to us as a team. we'll get a couple of these guys going at the same time and win more than we lose. we'll have stretches where three of them are all going at the same time and go on short winning streaks. we'll even have stretches where 4 or 5 of them are playing well at the same time and we look unbeatable. when this happens, most fans begin to think we have "plenty" of offense and expectations rise above where they should be. unfortunately, the downside, is these guys are all 20-25 goal type guys. and there will be equally long stretches where none or only one of them is putting the puck in the net. and when that happens we'll lose.

enough for now. 14-13-2 with three straight back-to-backs coming. losing at home to a team that was 4-10 on the road hurts pretty badly tonight. maybe it'll look better in the morning. probably not, because i'm sure i'll glance at the standings.

oh well, now you need to go out and steal this loss back on the road saturday. get erat back and maybe we get enough to achieve critical mass offensively.



Posted by Section 303 at 8:43 AM

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

12/10 - Preds v. Dead Things

OBSERVATIONS FROM BOX 2
by pred303guy
(courtesy of the Nashville Predators message boards)

...easy to lose sight of this because of disappointment of the loss, and all the negative emotions that go along with losing to a team you hate... but this was a heck of a hockey game. all the drama, entertainment and handwringing excitiement a hockey fan could ask for.

...while mistakes were made, and the powerplay was pathetic, the team played as hard as they are capable of playing. while things didn't go our way, we simply cann't give a better effort. and we have to recognize and remember that even if the end result was a disappointment.

...in the ebb and flow of a season, this team will get hot when radulov and arnott, our two finishers, finish. and when they don't we will struggle to score enough goals to win.

...last night, in fact in each of our last three losses, we did what we have to try to do. get those two the puck consistently in a position to score.

...arnott with two golden chances open on the backdoor. radulov with that fan on the centering pass from legwand and the puck in his skates on the two on one from erat. these are the guys who have to carry us most nights scoring goals. and when they slump, we slump. when either gets hot, we play well. when both get hot we look great.



Posted by Section 303 at 8:41 AM

Sunday, December 09, 2007

12/8 - Preds v. the Quacks

OBERSERVATIONS FROM BOX 2
by pred303guy
(courtesy of the Nashville Predators message boards)


a few random notes;

...tootoo with a fine game. that good forechecking hit simply caused the third goal. good wrist shot off the faceoff, good fight. all in 3:45 of ice time.

...the disallowed goal. after watching the replay several times, the puck is deflected by rads when it is slightly above the waist which makes it extremely close, a call that could have gone either way itself. the refs call it high, you have to simply live with that.

...but i still think the refs missed the call. the rule says you cann't play the puck teammate to teammate with a highstick. so once rads tips the puck with the highstick, if he or a teammate touches it next the ref blows the play dead.

...but that isn't what happened, rads deflects the puck. the puck doesn't go straight to legwand, instead it hits their goalie hiller on the left pad and then kicks off to legwand right outside the right post. so in other words, an anaheim player has touched the puck after the highstick and the puck is then allowed to be touched and played by a pred player.

....admittedly the actual rule is vague in the rulebook. and might mean that the intervening opposing player has to control the puck and not simply touch it to negate the teammate to teammate... watching many games, sometimes refs will let play continue if the puck is touched even the slightest by a guy on the other team, other times they won't unless the other guy actually controls the puck... i've seen it called both ways over the years and don't know which is really correct.

...hamhuis with a good strong game. nice diving backcheck to prevent a semi breakaway with us on the pp in the first. zidlicky and suter with solid games as well.

...in fact except for the one ANA even strength goal, when devries and zanon both got caught reaching for the puck with their sticks instead of playing the body on getzlaf, which in turn allowed him to walk in and cause the chaos that led to the hnidy goal, the defensemen all played a mighty strong game.

...nice to see us win a game, when neither of our regular two scoring lines scores a goal even strength.

...amazing how completely and quickly we seemed to have turned around shots for and against as a team. 10 of 11 games now we have outshot opponents, and most of these games it hasn't even been close. over these 11 games we've actually averaged outshooting the opposition by an almost unbelievable 9 shots per game. not sure anyone has exactly figured out why this has happened. but note, it begin to happen once the erat-arnott-dumont line figured out they needed to run this behind the net offense down low. this is the line racking up shots game after game for us. 9 again last night for these three guys.

...of course, last night's shot counter was a little deceptive... even strength we outshot them 17-16.. however we had 15 shots on net in those almost 16 minutes of pp time.

...the pp. sigh. to be honest, we looked better than 1 for 10, especially early. puck possession was great on many of the pp's we had.. we did everything right, well except put the puck in the net.

...if weber will re-find his shot from the point and begin to make teams pay for sagging back on our forwards, i think we will magically be ok on the pp.

...give credit to smithson and ortmeyer. a big goal to ice this game.

a good win. a win we really needed.



Posted by Section 303 at 7:56 AM

Saturday, December 08, 2007

12/6 - Preds v. Van-HOOVER

OBERSERVATIONS FROM BOX 2
by pred303guy
(courtesy of the Nashville Predators message boards)


it's not as much fun some nights as it is others... wasn't that much fun tonight..

...have to keep constantly reminding myself, we are really a low 90's point type team. whenever we win a couple i sometimes tend to dream we're better than we are. but games like this one and toronto help bring me back to reality. right now we're on pace for only 88 points.

...whenever we have two or three of our top 5-6 forwards hot at the same time, we look better than we probably are. when only one or none of those top 5-6 are hot, we simply don't have the true scoring depth to win many games.

...have to keep our heads as fans, and remember we're not chasing detroit this year.. we're chasing STL, CHI and MIN to make the playoffs... sometimes it's tough mentally to re-adjust to those type of hopes.

...a strange crowd tonight. two minutes before the opening puck drop there was about 10k in the arena. looked for sure like our worst crowd of the year. but for some reason, it was a late arriving crowd, and filled up quite nicely.

...unfortunately the 70's thing was a total flop. might as well have played elevator music. don't know what was more noticable, the lack of energy on ice or in the crowd as the game wore on.

...we won't make the playoffs if our special team play doesn't improve dramatically. we have to be a team that makes fewer mistakes than our opponents and wins lots of close games on special team play. we simply don't have the raw talent to win enough games even strength on talent alone.

...the powerplay is 27th in the league. the penalty kill has now fallen to 20th best in the league. uynless both these numbers improve dramatically we're in bad trouble.

...we all know the powerplay has been miserable. and it was truly miserable last night.

... but to me, the poor performance of the penalty kill as a unit is even less understandable and probably more damaging. they crushed us with their power play not only going 2-for-3, but how easily they scored on both pp's was disheartening. 8 seconds on one. on the pyatt one they totally broke down our pk coverage and assignments.

oh well, have to simply move on and worry over the next ones. and plenty to worry about with these next 6 or 7 games.



Posted by Section 303 at 9:01 AM

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