Postgame: Controversy/Goaltending/Changes

So here I am, the morning after the final matchup between the Preds and Blackhawks for the 2015-2016 season. I'm up early working on a discussion about Copyrights for one of my classes. Finally, I work up the courage to open up my phone a sift through the text messages, only to see the obnoxious text messages from Blackhawks fans. I'm contemplating responses, mainly trying to find ways to bash the Blackhawks, or trying to come up with some clever excuses as to why the Predators got their rear ends handed to them. Unfortunately, nothing comes to mind. There's nothing new I can say. It would be repetition and the same excuses I've been making all year to opposing fans and to Predators fans wondering why the Preds aren't performing. I hate to be a pessimist and I'm going to try my best to stay positive through my rambling, but I'm coming to the conclusion that this might be our reality for the remainder of this season. That's not to say that our boys won't bounce back, but at this point it seems unrealistic. So I'm going to express my opinions, and remember these are just my opinions. I'm no expert and I don't claim to be. I'm expressing my thoughts and my opinions to what myself and majority of Preds fans are seeing. 

1: Goaltending. More specifically Pekka Rinne.

We all love Pekks, he's such an amazing human being and has been one of the faces of this franchise for quite a while. I'm not here to bash him, I'm just trying to find the answers and face the possible reality. I keep hearing all these excuses made as to why these goals are getting past him. Sure there are certain instances where there's nothing Pekks can do. That's all fine and dandy except for some reason, last year and the year before that, we wouldn't even have to make these excuses for him. He was stopping damn near everything that came his way, performing with super human capabilities. He would single handedly steal games for us when the rest of the team wasn't performing. In my opinion I think it's time to come to our senses and realize Pekka might be past his prime. Ok, so you say well it's our defense that's turning the puck over too much, and your right, sorta, but as a starting goalie you are expected to find ways to stop the puck. Guaranteed almost every time an opposing shooter goes one on one with Pekka, he will be scored against. Like I said, last year and the year before that wasn't an issue. We would just sit back and start to giggle at the opposing shooter, knowing that Pekka would shut them down. That's not the case anymore. Pekka Rinne is literally at the bottom of the barrel in the NHL for goaltending. Goals against average, and save percentage is the lowest of virtually every goalie in the league. 

It's time to start looking at the future. Start playing Carter Hutton more, in my opinion he's been an absolute game changer. Maybe it's because teams are just so used to shooting against Pekka Rinne and know how to work him and teams aren't familiar with Hutton's goaltending. I've been saying it all year on our podcast and when we do put Hutts between the pipes, he finds ways to stop pucks. Sure he's lost games as well but at least he's taking us into overtime and changing the momentum to at least get us a point in the standings. 1 point is better than no points, especially at this point right? Also what else do we have to lose by putting Hutton in net? Absolutely nothing. We are already out of the playoff running (Not to say we can't get it back). 

Start working in Juuse Saros. Saros was a top goalie prospect and is absolutely killing it in the AHL for the Admirals. We've already seen a glimpse of him at the beginning of the season and he played pretty great despite the loss. The only way he can better himself is by getting ice time in the NHL against the professionals. All I'm saying is, we need to start looking into the future of goaltending for this franchise. Pekka just hasn't been cutting it and I just want to see the Preds succeed. 

Fans, remember don't give up on our team just because they are losing. Don't forget we almost lost this team years ago because fans weren't showing up. Wear your gold and blue proud, win or lose. Let's show the other teams that no matter what, this is our town, our hockey club and we are damn proud of them no matter what! 

Episode 7 of the Podcast is available now on iTunes and TuneIn. You can subscribe below. Please share your thoughts, tell your friends, and please hit subscribe so we can keep this podcast going. Please send us questions to our email at predsnews@gmail.com Thank you all for the support and everybody cross your fingers as we get ready to head into the All-Star break and let's pray that our boys find a way to get themselves back into the playoff running. 

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-MD-

 

Pregame Opinion: Preds Vs. Blackhawks

Typically I would be more than thrilled to talk about this matchup and all match ups against the Blackhawks. I'm going to have to be honest with you Nashville, I'm quite worried. Well maybe worried is the wrong word, maybe more disappointed? I'm really not sure how I feel. 

Preds have put themselves in a tough spot despite the Johansen trade with the 3-5 loss against Colorado and a shutout against Nashville in Arizona (0-4). The Blackhawks are currently on a 7 game win streak and hopefully our boys can end that tonight. 

Although we haven't seen a win with Johansen in the lineup, we have to remember that in less than 24 hours after the trade transaction, Johansen was thrown into the lineup. The team has had some off time and a practice on Monday, so I think that should make a positive difference in communication between the newly acquired Predator and his line. He's already showed us a ray of light and his skill set, I think it's just a matter of time before the cylinders begin to all click together again. I just hope its not too late when they do. 

Shea Weber is two points behind the franchise record holder, Timonen, for points against the Blackhawks. Weber is second in the NHL of all time for goals against Chicago by a defenseman. Josi still leads the team in points, and Mike Fisher is on a five game point streak against the Hawks. Pekka Rinne has been a spot for a little worry with a 16-13-6 record for his 35 game starts. Should we be concerned? Will the REAL Pekka Rinne show up soon? I know a good portion of that record lays in the defense and forward stepping up, but last season we could rely on Pekks to steal us wins when the rest of team would be lacking. 

Colin Wilson is the only Predator who did not partake in Monday's practice, and I would expect a new winger to slide into his slot for the game tonight. 

Keys for tonights game: Puck control on the Power Play and find ways to move the goalie's vision. Prevent going on the Penalty Kill, but if we do have to Kill, we need to focus on the man, not the puck. Prevent opposing breakouts. Better communication between forwards and puck control. No more dump and chase unless there is a plan. 

The Preds are more than capable to gain two points in tonights matchup. Not sure anybody is equipped to predict a guess on the outcome. The Preds come out looking like the best team in the NHL on some days and others look like a bad example of what not to do. Consistency is the answer, and I hope Johansen can eventually bring that to our club. Despite the lack of wins, I believe the Preds will walk away tonight with a 3-2 win agains the Hawks.

Go Preds and Happy Game-Day Smashville! 

-MD-

Pregame Opinion: Preds Vs. Avs

Preds roll into Colorado today for the second matchup of five. The first one not in the Preds favor but this could ignite a flame that Nashville has been seeking for 18 years. Poile dropped the hammer, pulled the trigger (whatever you want to call it) on a trade that could hopefully make history for the Preds. Ryan Johansen looks to be skating in the top line with Neal and Wilson (Wilson-Johansen-Neal). 

Look out for #92 in the white, gold and blue away uniform, standing at 6'3" 218 pounds. 23 year old Ryan Johansen will look to add consistency in Nashville's scoring slump. Johansen has 6 goals and 26 points so far for the season while he was with the Blue Jackets. 

For myself and as a Preds fan I think we have to remember that results could take some time, but for Nashville's sake I hope I'm wrong. We have to allow time for Johansen to find his place with our hockey club and allow time for the chemistry to brew. I don't believe we will see a drastic overnight change in results but over the course of the month and as Johansen gets more and more ice time with the Preds, I do believe he will start to shine and fill the gaps Nashville has been lacking. 

Bitetto shall see plenty of ice time as well since Oct. 20th (78 Days) and will be expected to fill the shoes of former Preds Defenseman Seth Jones. Bitetto was a 6th round pick in the 2010 draft and Preds fans know him well. 

I think you will see a motivated Nashville hockey club tonight, looking to make up for lost time in the recent slumps and inconsistencies. There will be a fire under them tonight and I expect all lines to shine bright tonight. 

My prediction is a 4-2 win tonight against the Avalanche. 

Happy Game Day Smashville and GO PREDS!

-MD-

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Preds Daily/Pregame Opinion- Preds Vs. Stars

Well Nashville, here we are. Last game in 2015 for the boys in Gold as we face-off against the "Big D" in a New Years Eve matchup. Personally I've been looking forward to this game for quite some time, not quite as much as the Blackhawks games, but it's up their on my list. Especially now that Dallas has really turned heads in the hockey community this year. Dallas currently stands at 2nd in the NHL, one point behind the Caps and 1st in the Central with 57 points to the season. Nashville is 13th in the NHL and sits in the 2nd Wild Card slot for the Central. 

Everybody keeps talking about how Dallas will eventually come down from the mountain they are sitting high up on but frankly I'm not sure if I see that happening. They have arguably the best 1st offensive line in the NHL and their defense and goaltending seems to be filling in all the missing pieces they were lacking last season. Jamie Benn leads the league in goals (23 goals) and Tyler Seguin (21 goals) is 4th in the league for goals and that's just their first line. Dallas is 3rd in the league in Power Play production which could be a game changer if our boys aren't careful. 

Nashville will heavily rely on it's defense but will also need the forwards to step up into more defensive roles as well. During the last game against the Blues, we seemed to have a lack of communication and looked like our players kept running into each other. We need to focus on puck control especially with passes making sure we prevent as many turnovers as possible and not give Dallas' first line the puck. Also when we enter the Dallas zone we need to be patient with the puck and not just dump it in and pray. The game against the Canadiens was a perfect example. Entering the zone, we held on to the puck and waited for an opportunity to pass. As a result we were able to snap as many shots as possible onto the net and keep the other team from breaking out. If Nashville goes on the Penalty Kill, we will need to focus on the man and not the puck we are defending. Don't commit to the hit and stay with your man. The skater controls the puck, so if Dallas dumps it in, don't go for the puck right away. Stay with the opposing skater and prevent him from retrieving the puck. 

Nashville is more than capable to show Dallas they aren't the only big dogs in the Central. We've proven time and time again that it doesn't matter how skilled the opposing skaters are, we can dominate when we are clicking on all cylinders. We'd all love to bring in the New Year with two points added to our name and a BIG Smashville win against another Powerful Western Conference team. 

I don't want to brag and boast about our amazing Predators hockey team but tonight I am predicting either a 4-2 Win or a 4-3 Win against Dallas. If Dallas isn't coming down from that mountain, then lets just join them up there. 

Side note: We will be recording Episode 6 of the Preds News Podcast Saturday and will be released on Sunday. We have some fun topics to talk about as well as game recaps for the past week and a half. If you haven't already, please subscribe to the Podcast and tell us what you think! Also please send us your questions via email or tweets (@nshpredsnews) and we will answer them on the Podcast. Below I will have the iTunes link and the TuneIn link for the Podcast as well as a form to send us your emails. 

For all of you playing our Pick 6 competition, we will release this weeks upcoming match-ups so keep an eye out for those to win a pair of Preds tickets to the last home game to the person with the most Pick 6 points at the end of the season.  Happy New Year's and GO PREDS!

-MD-

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Pregame Opinion- Preds Vs. Blues Matchup #3/Rangers Recap

Preds rebuttal last night against the Rangers with a 5-3 Win in a high intensity offensive boat-race. In my opinion that was one of the best eye candy games Nashville has offered us since the 5-1 Win against the Blackhawks. It seemed all cylinders were clicking from Goaltending to defense to offense. James Neal scored two goals last night. Craig Smith scored a goal and Filip Forsberg is reclaiming the title "Scoresberg" extending his point streak to five games. Ryan Ellis had an amazing slap-shot that in my opinion was one of the top goals of the night. Nashville's 3-Stars of the night were James Neal, Mike Ribeiro, and Roman Josi. 

Tonight the Preds will face the St. Louis Blues for the 3rd time this season. The first two games Nashville lost but the Preds will be looking to change the series 1-2 against St. Louis. The Preds will be looking to take names tonight, adding Fisher back into their lineup for his second game since his return. Forsberg will be looking to extend his point streak to 6 games and Mike Ribeiro will be looking to add to his four game point streak. 

As I'm writing this, the Preds have yet to release the line-ups for tonight but I am split whether or not they should play Carter Hutton or not in between the pipes or keep King Pekka guarding the gates. Pekka is on fire in my opinion and the team seems to have reclaimed some of their momentum so it might be best to keep everything the same. On the other hand Carter Hutton could bring uncertainty to the Blues forwards since he has not played between the pipes yet against the Blues. Either way I will trust Coach Laviolette and his coaching staff on whatever decision they make. 

I believe tonight is an uber important game for the Preds to make a big statement in St. Louis to prove that we are true contenders for the rest of the season. We've already proven that of late we are unstoppable when facing top teams. Examples: Preds beating The Blackhawks, Wild, Canadiens, and Rangers. If we could add the Blues now to that list, we can go into Dallas Thursday with confidence facing the #1 team in the league right now. 

Expect Mike Fisher to come out swinging as he always does. Forsberg looking to prove he's a top forward in the league. Ribeiro will want to extend his point streak. Jackman will be crucial against his former teammates and I believe Colin Wilson is due for another goal tonight. 

Happy Game day Smashville and GO PREDS!

-MD-

Pregame Opinion- Preds vs Rangers

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It's Monday December 28th and the Predators are facing the Rangers for the second time this season. Hoping to bounce back from the 2-3 loss Saturday against the Redwings and gain some positive momentum back.  

The four day Christmas break Nashville had didn't seem to play out in their favor as the tempo seemed slow paced and a little bit lacking but the Preds will be warmed up and hungry for a win.  

The Rangers haven't played since the break has ended and will look to put a tally on the board early.  

Mike Fisher is hopeful to return to tonight's matchup and if he does, you know he will come out swinging hard and fast. We all know how important Fish has been to this program, and he could almost be considered our insurance policy when he's on the ice. Always crowding the opposing net and swatting furiously to sink pucks behind the net especially when the team needs them most. Fisher has put us back in the fight on many occasions when the team has been lacking in offense. Expect Fish to be right in the face of Lundqvist fighting for the puck. 

Nashville needs to focus on controlled passes and better puck control tonight. The forwards will need to get Lundqvist moving and his head turning if we look to get one between the pipes. Also I would expect to see Josi and Weber making a big ruckus in the Rangers zone and adding that extra weapon to our offense as they typically do.  

Lets hope for our boys to come out strong tonight and eager for a win. Nashville is more than capable as they've proven but obviously we can't take the Rangers lightly.

Happy Gameday Smashville and Go Preds

-MD- 

Pregame Opinion: Preds Vs. Mtl. Canadiens 12/21/15

3....  That's the number of periods Nashville will have to play hockey. Not 1. Not 2. THREE! 

Sure, we beat the Minnesota Wild but it became a teeth grinder halfway through the second period. Tonight we play a team who's home city eats, sleeps and breathes hockey. 

The Montreal Canadiens (20-11-3) vs. Nashville (16-11-6) will be the ultimate test for the Predators. We've proven time and time again that if we want it bad enough, nothing and I mean NOTHING can stand in the way of the Preds. The only problem is consistency. As you watch these games, you see Nashville come out strong, organized, skilled and angry. Then it's like after that first intermission buzzer, they come back out lacking something. Yes yes I know that the opposing team is going to come out gun's blazing, but with the skill that we've proven time and time again to have... Why can't we commit through 3 periods? 

The Preds are hoping for their 5th win this month against the Canadiens (Yes I said 5th) then holiday break only returning to play the Redwings and Rangers.  Tonights win is crucial for our boys to make a statement, prove to the hockey world that we are better than the recent slumps, that we are angry from Chicago taking that playoff run aways from us. 

Carey Price still sitting out for several more weeks, I believe tonight we just play the game Nashville knows best. Defense but with a side of 45 shots on goal. Crowd the net and make Mike Condon lose sight of the puck. Keep the puck away from the Mtl. power forwards and send the puck to the net as many times as possible.  Plekanec leads Mtl. in points with 27 and Pacioretty leads in goals. Predators haven't lost a home game to the Canadiens since 2003 so let's keep our fingers crossed and hope our boys come out strong and angry for all three periods.

Also, if you haven't checked out our Podcast please take a moment to listen and tell us what you think. We are on iTunes, TuneIn, Soundcloud and all Podcasting platforms.

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Go Preds and Let's Bring the Cup Home!

MD

PS: We have ordered bumper stickers to sell, as well as give away to listeners. Let us know what you think of the design.




Pregame Opinion: Preds Vs. Blues

Well Nashville here we go again, Round 2 against the Blues in St. Louis. For the most part I am going to keep this short and sweet as I would be rambling about the same problems as we have been for way too long now. 

Last time we met the Blues, they shut us out in our own home and sadly I had to listen to the Blues fans overtake Bridgestone Arena as I left the game. Jake Allen's performance was either unrivaled in the first matchup or we were a victim of the same problem we've been facing as of late. Unfortunately I would have to choose the latter. 

Before I've said, it's not a matter of having the talent, because I honestly believe we do. We've proven time and time again that when we want it bad enough, we can't be touched. For example: beating the Hawks 5-1, shutting out the Jets 7-0. Those are just two examples and sadly we haven't been generating. I'm not going to go into detail what we already know. 

Tonight is an important game, and we need to find a way to come away with 2 points and not just 1 in an overtime win/lose. We are in the 2nd Wildcard slot for the Western Conference, 5 points ahead of all the teams below us, and that great early start to the season has kept us safe. But as time goes on and we still aren't finding ways to win, it's only a matter of time, and it could be a matter of 3-4 games before we get knocked out of the playoffs for the time being. At that point even the teams ahead of us could keep winning and keep us out of the playoffs and them locked in. 

Tonight we have to focus on puck control, crash the net, create traffic, be patient, wait for holes, and forwards need to assist our defense. Put on those jersey's you don't wash, do all your superstitious pregame rituals because we need this win tonight.

One more note that saddens me: I've noticed as we haven't played our best hockey recently I've watched our home attendance slowly dwindle down. Keep your heads up, support our boys NO MATTER WHAT. Win or Lose our Preds need us and if you were to ask them, they would tell you every chant and every yell matters. Scream loud, fight for the puck just as they do, and stand by our beloved Nashville Predators. Remember how lucky we are to have them here in Nashville and how important they are to the city of Nashville. Besides it could be worse, they could be the Tennessee Titans.

Everybody have a wonderful Smashville day and GO PREDS! 

-MD-

Pregame Opinion: Preds Vs. Detroit Red Wings

     So we are finally here, December 5th 2015, Nashville Predators vs. The Detroit Redwings. Despite Detroit beating the Predators twice in the 2014-2015 schedule, 2-5 and 3-4, typically this matchup is one of my favorites and tends to bring out the best in the Predators. I'm not going to lie though, this year and in this moment, I have to say I'm just a little bit worried. As I always say, I truly believe Nashville is more than capable of coming away with a win, but this game is more than just important now. I believe this game is crucial. The Preds are currently in the Wildcard slot for the West but if we do not come away with the Win tonight we will surely be out. Not to say that we can't get back in it, but we need to build up that confidence and that momentum, especially with some really big upcoming game, notably the team here in Nashville we don't like to pronounce. It starts with a B and ends in Hawks.... 

     Detroit's current standing is fairly similar to Nashville with 13-8-4 and Detroit at 14-8-4. Detroit's Mrazek is confirmed to guard the pipes tonight against Nashville and Rinne is expected to be placed into the net for Nashville. Although in my opinion I believe that Hutton might be best fit to stand guard. 

     Nashville really needs to contain Tatar who scored 3 goals in the previous season against the Preds. Also preventing Zetterberg, Datsyuk and Kronwall from keeping control of the puck. 

     Nashville is more than capable but with the injuries and scratches starting to pile up on the Preds roster, I think it's time the rest of the squad really steps up and fills those roles. With Fisher out we will be missing some of that aggressive edge as well as the workhorse banging those greasy goals in when it counts. Goose (Gaustad) out means that we really need our centers to step up and find ways to win the draws to gain possession of the puck early and frequently. 

     Three players from the Nashville squad that I think we will be relying on in this game and the upcoming games would include Calle Jarnkrok, Forsberg, and of course Roman Josi. Calle has been an essential asset winning the draws and taking the shots on net. As for Forsberg, let's get him the puck and be patient. Forsberg is a set-up guy so as long as we can play the puck in Detroit's zone and wait for Forsberg to be in the right place at the right time, I believe that is crucial and we can use that to our advantage. Also, I believe tonight will be the night that Colin Wilson breaks his drought. He's a super talented player and it's only a matter of time. Once that drought has ended I think Wilson will be unstoppable and become a top point scorer for the Preds.

     Although it is not the end of the world if we don't get those two point tonight, it is imperative that we find a way to win this game. I think our boys are gonna hit the ice angry and hungry. One thing we know for certain, this game is going to be a teeth grinder and I am excited to watch it. 

Win or lose, we are blessed to have the Predators here in Nashville to call our own and to rally behind. Hockey has changed Nashville for the good and sooner than later we will be bringing THE CUP to 501 Broadway. 

Go Preds, We Love You!!!

-MD-

Pregame Opinion: Preds Vs. Phoenix Coyotes 12/1/15

     Well Nashville, we are back at it tonight against Phoenix Coyotes after a two day rest. A much needed rest after a 1-4 loss to the Buffalo Sabres making the series with the Sabres 1-1.  Phoenix typically wasn't a team on the radar but a slowly creeping their way up the standings sitting at 15th in the league only 3 spots behind Nashville. Nashville hoping to end the 3 game Coyote win streak and put some more points on the board. 

     Arizona is coming off of a Saturday night win against the Ottawa Senators with a 4-3 battle. They are coming into Smashville on a 3 game winning streak hoping to make it 4 straight. Arizona finds ways to win even when the opposing team is doubling their shots on net. Can Pekka Rinne stay sharp and keep the puck out of the net?

Phoenix players Nashville needs to contain: Mikkel Boedker (Scoring all three goals against Ottawa Saturday) Michael Stone (Always there to assist and setup the puck) Antoine Vermette

     Nashville has been struggling to score lately but that's doesn't mean we are out of the race for the cup. Pekke Rinne will be in the pipes Tuesday for the first time in a several games and will be hoping to help the boys come away with a WIN. 

Nashville Key Points:

Control the puck. Lately it's looked like our passes have been overshot when passed up into the neutral zone. 

Win the Draws. We have struggled to win the faceoffs and as a result the opposing team is getting more puck time and more shots on goal. This is crucial, we need to find ways to bring the puck back to our boys and control the puck up into the opposing zone.

Setting up our shots on net: Everybody knows Forsberg is a magician with the puck but lately we haven't seen the results from him as we know he's capable of. I believe if we can control the puck, win the draws, and wait for the opportunities Forsberg will be successful. Centering passes, behind the net or any open opportunities. Our boys need to stay sharp and look for those passing opportunities. 

Forward Stepping up to play more Defense: Our defense combined with our goaltending is obviously one of the best in the world. But that doesn't matter if the opposing team is gaining breakaways and out controlling the puck. Our forwards need to step up and help keep the pressure off of Pekks and our defensive core. That means when we are in Phoenix territory and we take a shot at the goal, we need to be there for the rebound or fight up on the boards to get the puck. If we don't get the puck that means sprinting back to our zone and applying as much pressure as possible to keep the Coyote's shots on goal as low as possible. 

     I believe Nashville will come into this game angry and will fight to the death to take the win. It won't be easy, but if we play the basics of hockey and wait for the opportunities, they will come. It's been rough watching our boys lose but they want it just as bad as we do, and I still believe this is our year. It's just a matter of finding a way to win in every aspect of the game. 

Ticket Price Watch: Keep checking Stubhub for tickets for tonights game. When I checked this morning upper bowl tickets were going for as little as $14.50. Click Here To Check Stubhub Tickets

- MD-

League Standings:

  1. Canadiens
  2. Dallas
  3. Rangers
  4. Capitals
  5. Blues
  6. Islanders
  7. L.A. Kings
  8. Senators
  9. Blackhawks
  10. San Jose Sharks
  11. Penguins
  12. Nashville Predators
  13. Redwings
  14. Bruins
  15. Phoenix Coyotes

Pregame: Preds Vs. Sabres Round 2 11/28/15

     Preds come off this road trip with only one win... Out of 5 games. As we all know, three of those games were shut-outs against the Preds. Not as successful of a road trip as the team would like to have had. 

     Notching the first and only win from the most recent road series, the Preds really seemed to struggle in most areas of the game. Granted, we had spots of hope and sunshine where they really looked great, and looked like the team we know they are but.... then they go back to over passing, losing sight of the puck and basic chest shots on the goalie.

     Watching the Flyers game on Friday night, I was torn. I was really upset with our team for the most part, until Mike Fisher swatted that puck in the net with 20 seconds left in the game to send it to overtime. In those 20 seconds, the Predators proved that they can do just about anything. The Predators proved that if they want it bad enough... They can have it... So my question is.. Do they want it bad enough?!?

    Anyways, lets get into Pregame for tonights game back in Smashville against the Sabres. 

     So on the same night we lost to the flyers, the Sabres boat raced the Carolina Hurricanes 4-1.  I know they will be coming into OUR house, but I think the Sabres are underrated and angry. They want these wins, and as I've talked about before.. Do we want it bad enough. I was really hoping the Preds would play Hutton against the Flyers and put Rinne in the pipes Saturday to keep him from playing two games in a row, as well as a back to back. Hutton played great against the Sabres on Wednesday and I think we need to play him more often to show him that he has our trust. I mean really.. How can you shine if your Pekka Rinne's back up? Well. He did, so why not play Hutton more, get him the ice time he needs to improve his game? 

     Obviously, we can win this but it's not going to be easy. Unless our boys find that mojo they've seem to have lost somewhere in Columbus. I'm sorry this was more of a ramble then Pregame, but... I hope you all root on our boys and lets pray for another "W"

     Please check out the Podcast on Soundcloud. Here soon the Podcast should be up on iTunes. If you guys have a moment, please tell your friends and family, tell me what I can improve or what I can change or add. 

Love ya Nashville,

MD

 

Pregame: Preds Vs. Flyers 11/27/15

      Preds roll into Philadelphia today to take on the Flyers for the first time this season. Preds are coming off of a recent scoring drought as the Flyers are currently in their own scoring drought. Preds ended the scoreless streak and stole the Win from Buffalo with a score of 3-2. There are not many games where you see the shot clock in favor of the opposing team and still coming away with the win, but the Preds were able to create some good shots and were able to generate. 

     Preds recall Colton Sissons from the Admirals due to another injury from Goose (Gaustad). Sissons could take on Goose's role with the 4th line, pairing up with Nystrom and Watson. Sissons has 1 goal in 5 games earlier this year. 

     My opinion, the 3 keys for the Preds this afternoon would be... 

1: Keep applying pressure along all the 4 lines, not just relying on the Great Wall of Pekka and our Defense. Our forwards have to step up and keep the puck out of our zone and away from Pekks. 

2: Create as much traffic as possible in front of the Flyers goaltender. Block his line of sight. We don't need "sexy" goals we just need to knock them in as we've seen Mike Fisher do several times swatting at the puck 5 or six times until it sinks into the net. 

3: I would like to see the Preds set up Forsberg and Wilson in the Flyers zone. Forsberg is a set-up kind of guy. As amazing as he is running with the puck, he can't do it alone. Create some behind the net passes or some tic-tac-toe passes moving the Flyers goaltender back and forth and wait for the shot. The more the goalie moves, the more opportunities they have. 

     As far as Preds goaltending goes, I'd like to see the Preds play Carter Hutton and then put Pekka in the pipes on Saturday against the Buffalo Sabres at home since they already know how Hutton plays. Hutts played a good game against Buffalo the other night and I think it's vital to keep that positivity going in his mind. 

     I believe the Preds could come away with the Win again tonight, it's just a matter of slowing down our game and creating the opportunities. I think we need to shoot the puck as much as possible to wear out the Flyers defensive core and waiting for the rebounds to come, and they WILL come as long as there is traffic in front of the net. 

     Let's come back to #smashville with 2 wins and end this roadtrip on a positive note.