Posts Tagged ‘Nashville Predators’

Local media calls it the Freeway Series. How exciting. What’s at stake is SoCal Raz Rights. It happens at award shows, at pre-camp skates and at Golds Gym. Given the passion fans invest in the series it’s a rivalry deserving of its own trophy.
Last season Kings were the clear Raz Rights winner going 5-1 against our Ducks.

Stats and previous records mean nothing. Though how the Kings have managed to eke out a 2-2-2 record while scoring less than two goals (1.83) per game is noteworthy. Kings virtually must play perfect hockey to win these days. The fact their doing it even half the time is remarkable. Kings have scored more than two goals just once in their first six games, beating Phoenix 4-2 last Saturday.

Ducks are winning while in a state of flux. Getzlaf and Perry are on their third left winger in just six games. Nick Bonino was moved off the second line for the game last night against the Wild. Sheldon Souray is anchoring a PK unit. The Bobby Ryan to center experiment was revived absent any fanfare. Coach just did it. The fourth line is drawn from rotating call-ups, an enforcer and a rookie who can only play one more game. On the back line Fowler and Allen are the only ES pairing that has survived intact through the early going.

Last season the Kings won the Cup while seemingly hardly breaking a sweat. They were that dominant. Kings pushed our Ducks around like our guys were boy toys. This is the game in which Ducks fans should truly see the impact Dan Winnick, Bryan Allen and Sheldon Souray bring to our team. Nashville Predators aren’t exactly pushovers but these LA Kings may still be hockey’s most physically dominant team.

Ducks new compete level was on full display last night when Bryan Allen battled Zenon Konopka in front of Fasth.

Earlier in the week many eyes were fixed on the Sharks game as a measuring stick for our team. This game is an equally important measuring stick because these Kings will test our mettle and character. Prior to this short 3 game points streak the Vancouver Canucks got under the skin and exposed our Ducks for the bunch of whiners and crybabies they became on that night.

Our guys have done a great job of cleaning that up for 3 consecutive games. This game will show us if their newly found character is real. In other words, avoid the extra-curricular trash hockey, goof-ball retaliating and match the Kings physicality within the game itself; our Ducks are showing they can play with anybody, even Stanley Cup champions.

Viktor Fasth earned the first star in his first NHL game. Out dueling Pekka Rinne in his first start will raise eyebrows around the NHL. Fasth will definitely push Jonas Hiller if not challenge for the #1 job. He’s that good.

Dan Winnick first Duck ever to score 5 goals in first 4 games of a season. Considering the all time great Ducks that’s quite a feat.

Props to Coach for shuffling the lines late in the second period.

Ducks held their composure tonight. Coach said, “The guys showed confidence and character against one of the league’s hardest working teams.”

Ducks play remains very uneven. They just aren’t executing. The rust is evident. PK is challenged and probably should be given the new additions.

Brad Staubitz played tonight. He was game but couldn’t  find a dance partner among the Predators.

Bobby Ryan broke the schnied and got his first goal of the season. His tip-in of Cam Fowler’s wrister was also our Ducks first goal at home this season.

Ducks continue to show dominance even strength. Our guys earned a distinct territorial advantage in play, especially in the last half of the third.

Next up, the red hot 4-0 San Jose Sharks Tuesday night.

Brian McGratton has been claimed off waivers by the Nashville Predators. Do we owe them one or what? After picking us clean in the playoffs now they’re picking off our depth guys. Jeez.

OCR’s Jeff Miller reported this gem from Coach Carlyle, “I see nothing wrong with two guys at the same level if they chose to drop the gloves,” Carlyle said. “When there’s a mismatch as far as the level of player…Dubinsky’s a pretty good player, and so is Corey Perry. If it’s a different level of player fighting a more skilled player then I look at it differently.”

Coach gets an Elmer for elevating Brandon Dubinsky to the level of Corey Perry. (more…)

Okay, who put the stupid pills in the team meal? Ahlers, Hayward, Koivu and I’m certain Randy Carlyle will echo them and talk about turnovers. it’s true, we did turn it over often. What amazed me was how we turned it over.

How many times do you have to skate into a trap before you make the East/West or drop pass sooner? Where’s the coaching, when that happens consistently? Where’s the chatter about connecting to the outlet guy sooner?

In the past few games I’ve noticed that as the period wears on our guys having difficulty head manning the puck out of our zone. That’s the ice folks. When you can make those 15-25 foot passes early in each period but don’t later, it’s because snow has built up on the ice. The puck slows down. (more…)

Look no further than the injury report to know why Nashville has lost 4 straight after opening the season 5-0-3. Predators are missing #1 center Matthew Lombardi, slick winger Martin Erat and #2 D-man Ryan Suter.

That’s a whole lot of speed, playmaking, puck moving and sniping ability on the IR. Lombardi is Predators best two-way forward. Too bad, so sad Preds.

If ever there was a time for one of the Preds great goaltenders, Pekka Rinne or  Anders Lindback to steal one, this would be a good time. Goal coach Mitch Korn has earned quite an impressive reputation having also coached, Tomas Vokoun, Chris Mason and Dan Ellis.