Friday, March 12, 2010

Game Recap: Preds, Pekka Win 1-0 Over Ducks

The Nashville Predators came back from Thursday's debacle in San Jose to defeat the slumping Anaheim Ducks 1-0 at the Honda Center which improved their all time record there to 5-14-3.

Shea Weber had the game's only goal late in the first period and it held up for the remainder of the contest.

Pekka Rinne was perfect in net, stopping all 31 Anaheim shots. He has aided by a Predator defense that allowed very few second chance shots.

Jonas Hiller was almost as good for the Ducks stopping 27 of 28 Predator shots.

The Predators finished the night with 79 points in the Western Conference which left Calgary and Detroit with a game in hand and needing a win on Saturday to keep pace with the Predators.

Scoring Recap...

The Ducks came out in the first period determined to improve on their 0-3-1 post Olympic record. They out-skated the Preds and put tremendous pressure on Pekka Rinne right from the opening puck drop. The Ducks had at least six legitimate scoring chances in the first ten minutes of the game.

In spite of the Duck's dominance, Shea Weber broke through with the game's first goal at 17:54 when he scored on a five on three power play. With Aaron Ward and Ryan Getzlaf in the box Jason Arnot fed the puck to Weber who let loose a seeing-eyed bomb that found the back of the Duck's net. Jason Arnott and Ryan Suter assisted on the goal.

For the first period, the Ducks out shot the Predators 14-9 and led in the Corsi numbers 22-12. The Preds were 14-9 in the faceoff circle including a perfect 5-0 to start the game.

The second period was played much closer to the vest by both teams. Both teams skated and played defense limiting their opponent's opportunities. The Predators outshot the Ducks 8-6 for the period and led the Corsi 16-11.

The third period looked like a continuation of the second with the same type of conservative play. Shots were tied with eleven apiece and the Corsi favored the Ducks 17-13 as they were throwing everything at the net down the stretch.


Storylines From the Game

Pekka Rinne Returned to Form...

Pekka Rinne celebrated his 100th NHL game with his eleventh career shutout that included 31 saves, many under pressure from a desperate Ducks offense. After last night's debacle with Ellis in goal, it would have been a long rest of the season had Pekka not clearly reestablished his presence in goal.

One Goal Is All That Was Needed...

Shea Weber's goal in the first period was the only one of the game and held up for the last two periods. This created a very uncomfortable situation for players and fans alike. Both teams played defensive hockey not wanting to give an inch in a game that close.

Pred's Defense Was Desperate...

The Predator defenders, as well as the forwards did an excellent job at clearing pucks from in front of the net and cut down on the second chances for the Ducks offense.

In the closing minutes the Predators did themselves proud, overcoming the demons that were exposed in San Jose. Being able to hold on in a close contest helped reestablish the confidence that was lost the night before.

Up Next...

The Predators will practice Saturday in preparation for Sunday's afternoon match with the Kings at the Staples Center. They will return home after the game and settle in for a three game home stand starting with Philadelphia on Tuesday night at the Bridgestone Center.

More Later...

Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass

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Dan Ellis' post game Tweet sums up last night's loss for the Predators. From Dan @dellis39: Nightmare !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (additional exclamation points deleted).

In the entire history of the Nashville Predators, I seriously doubt that many losses have been as devastating to the team and fans alike as last night's 8-5 thrashing at the hands of the Pred's long time nemesis, San Jose Sharks. The Preds surrendering a record six goals in the third period in a game that was pivotal in the Western Conference playoff race makes the sting from the loss insufferable.

The one saving grace is that it was approaching the midnight hour when the horror started, so many casual fans and children had gone to bed, secure in the 4-2 Predator two goal lead. I'm sure many Pred fans are awakening this morning and driving off the road in this rainy weather upon hearing the final score.

As well as the Preds played the first two periods, they were that much worse in the third. It is most unbelievable that Olympians Shea Weber and Ryan Suter could be a combined -11 in a game against eight other Olympians.

On the positive side, Colin Wilson was outstanding and offered hope for the future. Marcel Goc also played well against his old team. The first two periods also showed what the Preds were capable of when all cylinders are clicking. They need to figure out how to keep it up for 60 minutes.

I am assuming that Pekka Rinne will play tonight and probably most of the games down the stretch since the Preds only have one more back to back. John Glennon points out that Dan Ellis is 1-5 when getting consecutive starts this year so I doubt we'll see any more of those.

Hopefully, the Preds will rally and pull off an upset over the Ducks in an arena where they have rarely won over the years. If not, they may have tasted the top eight in the Western Conference for the final time this season.

Preds-Sharks Round-Up...

Here is our story from last night's debacle.

The Tennessean has the AP story and John Glennon's post-game ponderings.

The City Paper labels the game the worst loss of the season.

In the blog world comes sad stories from Forechecker, Mark Willoughby, Section 303, Fan Huddle, and See Puck City.

The other side of the story comes from the San Jose Mercury News. Oddly enough Todd McLellan was not pleased with he game says David Pollak.

In Pred Nation...

On The Forecheck has the game day preview for tonight's game and the Tennessean has the Game at a Glance.

Jim Diamaond discusses the Preds increased relationship with Swiftwick and the changes that you will see at the next home game.

Rachel at What The Puck has an episode of Hockey Homicide.

Preds prospect Ryan Ellis will be on the NHL Network Tonight as Windsor plays London. Game time is 6 p.m. Central so it will be a good warm up for the Preds-Ducks at 9 p.m.

If Jonathan Quick's wife isn't quick about having their baby, he may miss Sunday's game versus the Preds.

Around the NHL...

Justin Bourne has legitimate arguments where head shots can occur in legal hits.

Hockey54 has another perspective with an interview from Former Quebec Nordique and Chicago Blackhawk, Michel Goulet, who's career was cut short due to concussions.

Another view from @dellis39: NHL needs to bring respect back to the game. These are family men not just opponents. Who cares about drug meetings. This is more important

From @puckreport: Rule 21.1: A match penalty shall be imposed on a player who deliberately attempts to injure or injures an opponent in any manner. This should be enough of a rule without making a bunch of changes. Consistent enforcement seems to be a bigger issue.

Gross Misconduct addresses the consistency issue in a fine article.

From the Battle of Alberta comes the dossier on Matt Cooke's priors. The doctors appear to be the big winners.

Pierre LeBrun discusses the rule change in the tie-breaker involving shoot outs. Hopefully, this will be a first step in moving to a 3-2-1 system for points so that all games are worth three points.

Vancouver's 14 game road trip is over and they actually improved their season's road record by going 8-5-1 on the trip. They were 10-11-1 on the road before the monster trip.

Matt Reitz discusses how much is too much of a good time for the price of a ticket.

The Hockey Zen has a great historical video of the Blackhawks. Here is another one that I can relate to since I grew up with transistor radios (thanks to Sheri Magrini for locating it for me).



Here is the complete list of Clear Day Rosters for the AHL.

Ryan Dixon at The Hockey News discusses why this year's playoffs will be ripe for upsets.

With a hat tip to @stevegiglio we found out that Tom Glavine has signed an honorary contract with the Gwinnett Gladiators. Glavine is one of my all time favorite Braves players and is an all round good guy.

HBO is set to show a new documentary on the Broad Street Bullies starting May 4.

Odds and Ends...

Rob Zombie is selling a bunch of props and stuff on Ebay.

From @stackiii: Cops ticket you for texting while driving, ambulances transport you when you crash, but both use dashboard gadgets Check out the NYT story here.

The president of CNN is worried that you trust news from your Twitter and FB friends more than CNN. Imagine that!

More Later...

Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass

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Thursday, March 11, 2010

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The Nashville Predators went on the road with seventh place in the West on the line and came away with a 2-1 victory over Atlanta in Phillips Arena on Tuesday night.

Colin Wilson scored the eventual game winning goal late in the first period and Dan Ellis was outstanding in net to help the Predators break their two game losing streak. Ryan Suter scored the Preds first goal early in the game.

The victory gave the Predators 77 points and a two point lead over Calgary, who moved into eighth, after upsetting Detroit 4-2 at Joe Louis Arena,







Scoring Recap...

The Predators got on the board early at 4:48 in the first period when Ryan Suter wristed a shot from behind the right face off circle into the net for a power play goal as the Preds continued their recent success with the man advantage. Colby Armstrong had been called for interference at 4:18 to set up the power play opportunity.

Colin Wilson gave the Predators a 2-0 lead with an unassisted goal at 18:38 when Mark Popovic fumbled the puck on the break out in the slot directly in front of the Thrasher net. Wilson was there to pick it up and put it past a startled Johan Hedberg.

The Preds played well in the first period, outshooting the Thrashers 12-7, while they were up 19-11 in the Corsi numbers. The Preds were one for two on the power play and were not charged with any penalties in the opening period.

The second period started with a swift about face when Nik Antropov redirected a wide shot by Johnny Oduya into the net past Dan Ellis for the score 29 seconds into the period to close the margin to 2-1.

The Predators got a scare late in the second period when a Thrasher goal was waived off because Chris Thorburn man-handled Dan Ellis in the crease as he knocked the puck through Ellis' five hole.

The Preds started slow in the second period but finished with a much stronger effort. They were out shot by the Thrashers 9-8 and were edged 19-18 in the Corsi.

The Predators were playing with fire in the third period as they committed multiple penalties by Bouillon and Klein to give the Thrashers several scoring chances. At one point during the Klein Penalty, Antropov lured Dan Ellis out of the crease to defend the back of the goal.

Atlanta threw everything they could at the net down the stretch and Dan Ellis held firm stopping all 15 Thrasher third period shots. The Predators out shot Atlanta 32-31 on the evening but trailed in the Corsi 56-55.

Storylines From The Game

Predator's New Top Line Got It Done..

Barry Trotz completely revamped his lines at practice on Monday and he pulled the right combination out of his hat with the line of Jason Arnott, Marty Erat and Colin Wilson. That group, along with Ryan Suter, were responsible for all of the Predator scoring during the game.

Ellis Stands Out In Goal...

Dan Ellis had an outstanding game after sitting out for over three weeks, dating back to before the Olympic break. Ellis stopped 30 of 31 Thrasher shots including a constant barrage in the closing minutes. Ellis was clearly the game's first star and made David Poile look like a genuis for holding on to Dan for the playoff run.

Trotz Finally Gets 400th Win...

After very frustrating games in Detroit on Friday and at home against the Canucks on Sunday, Barry Trotz finally corralled his 400th career win as the Predators coach. Barry becomes just the seventh coach in NHL history to win 400 games with one team and is second only to Buffalo's Lindy Ruff in the longest tenure among coaches.

Up Next...

The Preds left after the game and headed west to San Jose where they will play the Sharks on Thursday night. From there, they will head to the Southland to play the Ducks on Friday and then finish the road trip on Sunday against the Kings.

More Later...

Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass