Blog Entry

Patience pays against Preds

Posted on: April 12, 2008 6:08 pm

There's a logical reason the Detroit Red Wings finished 24 points ahead of the Nashville Predators this season -- they're a better team.

Not good enough to take the Grand 'Ole Opry boys from granted mind you, but smart enough to know they'll get to the second round fairly easily if they just do the things they're supposed to. Like stick to the plan.

The Red Wings caught some breaks to win the series opener the other night, so the hockey gods decided to even things out a little in the second period Saturday when a couple of lucky bounces led Nashville to score twice in 11 seconds to tie the game. But Detroit coach Mike Babcock negated the momentum shift by calling a time out that allowed his veteran team to regroup and to remember who they were and how they're supposed to play the game.

See Detroit doesn't panic. And it waits for opportunities it knows will eventually present themselves. Most important, the Red Wings don't give up the puck very often, which can be frustrating to teams that are in desperation mode. And that's the state the Predators were in after Kris Draper's shot went in off Nashville d-man Greg Zanon's skate a few minutes later to give the home team the lead that sent it to a 4-2 win.

Obviously the Predators didn't quit at that point. They came on strong and tried to force the play,  but they couldn't penetrate the Wings zone with any authority and ended up taking ill-advised penalties as a result, essentially taking themselves out of the game.

And for all intents and purposes, out of this series.

Category: NHL

Since: Feb 15, 2007
Posted on: April 13, 2008 9:54 pm

Patience pays against Preds

No comment on the disallowed goal? No review? The whistle blew?! In what universe does a ref blow a whistle on a live play with the puck still in motion? This is the playoffs! The Predators were owed a review. This would have shown the puck crossing the line before the net came off its moorings.  They could have listened for the whistle.  And the Preds player didn't do a header into the net for no reason - he was tripped. So that's no goal, no review, no penalty.

And how about the game-winning goal given to the Red Wings in Game 1? A clearing attempt hits the linesman in the neutral zone and bounces back into the Preds zone. The linesman has the gall to claim that it didn't hit him - and it didn't matter anyway because he was straddling the line. Except that the review shows that neither is true.

A Red Wing leaves his feet to deliver an elbow to the head of a Predator in Game 1 - 2 minute minor. Last year, Radulov lost a playoff game to a suspension for a similar play (although in Radulov's case, he wasn't head hunting, the Shark player just fell in such a way that the contact was to his head instead of his upper body). Unlike Rad's play, there was intent to injure by the Red Wing (Kronwall) on that play, but no major, no double minor, just a 2 minute penalty.

Look, the Red Wings are the better team. But you don't win the Stanley Cup the way the NCAA picks its football champion. You have to win playoff games. Two games have been decided by the striped shirts. The lame excuses offered don't withstand a moment's scrutiny. But it's as if the rubes here in Nashville should just suck it up and realize we are playing the hockey equivalent of the Dallas Cowboys, and they get all the calls, so shut up and be happy you're allowed in the same rink. Well, I am not playing that game.

C'mon, Wes, show some stones and address this! After last year's fiasco with the Sharks (Tootoo couldn't take the ice that he didn't get whistled, and the Predators must have set some sort of record for major penalties without one being for fighting), this year's Detroit series is more of the same. The NHL should be embarrassed. The game is better than the league and its "leadership". I guess Bettmann thinks that if he could get away with the transfer of the Wild to former Preds owner Craig Leipold, immediately after Leipold stripped the Preds' roster, without so much as a peep from the local (or major) media, that we here in Nashville are too stupid or too complacent to notice or care. Wrong, Gary. You are ruling over the ruination of a once great league.  And the people covering the sport don't seem much to care.  After all, Nashville's not a "real" hockey town.

Since: Dec 22, 2007
Posted on: April 13, 2008 7:05 pm

Patience pays against Preds

Detroit's superior play should continue as the series shifts to the Music City.  It sounds like Babcock will be splitting up the stars to make Trotz work a bit on his line matchups.  I believe this will work in the Red Wings favor.  They just have too much depth. 

That being said, I look forward to the matchups that the Predators will really want.

...gotta love the playoffs !

Since: Dec 13, 2007
Posted on: April 12, 2008 8:24 pm

Patience pays against Preds

The Predators may come closest to being the proverbial "whipping boys" in the Western Division Playoffs but that is no knock, a hometeam especially like the Redwings are expected to win handsdown at home and in fact, at hockeytown with 20 thou plus at the Joe but if this were an NBA playoff, one would be saying okay, the hometeam won theirs, now it is up to Nashville to do the same. They just might have a chance and hey! Detroits game winner in game one came after tripping a Pred but all the same, the Redwings outgunned them big.


Since: Jan 15, 2008
Posted on: April 12, 2008 7:00 pm

Patience pays against Preds

Wow, that's pretty quick to write the Predators off.  2-0 has not, historically, been an insurmountable lead, especially when the road team has kept the games relatively close.  I'm not saying the Preds are going to win the series, but I certainly wouldn't count them out either.

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