Skip to main content

Close But No Cigar in Anaheim

Last night's 3-1 loss in Anaheim stretched the Predators' losing streak to four games, but there was certainly a night-and-day difference to how the team performed despite dropping the decision.  Chris Mason was mediocre in net (a big step up from last week), and at least during the first half of the game, the forwards did a good job cycling the puck and generally carrying the play into the Anaheim end.
One episode in the third period raised an interesting question, however.  At the end of a play near the Nashville net, Chris Kunitz dropped the gloves and started throwing punches at Predators defensemen Marek Zidlicky, who instead of engaging, covered up with his gloves over his face and waited things out until the linesmen intervened.
What stunned me was that Zidlicky got five minutes for fighting just as Kunitz did, even though he never dropped his gloves or threw a punch (Terry Crisp called it "five minutes for receiving").  Was it just a case of referees giving a major to each player simply out of habit?  Certainly at the beer league level, I've seen this a zillion times, where one Bob Probert-wannabe starts throwing punches at someone who actually has a job to go to the next day.  Even if one player covers up and doesn't retaliate, they both usually get the major penalty.  Against a hyper-aggressive team like Anaheim, goading them into penalties and capitalizing on the power play is a good plan of attack, and a major power play would have represented a big opportunity for Nashville, which was down 2-1 at the time. 
So I went back through all the penalty calls from the 2006-7 NHL Regular Season to see if fighting majors are always coincidental.  In total, there were 985 Fighting majors handed out, of which 7 were not coincidental.  So it's not unprecedented for the refs to make that call.

While some fans will be upset that Zidlicky didn't fight back, or that Coach Trotz didn't send the goons out immediately to send a message, I thought the team did the right thing; keep playing their game and try to win.  Travis Moen also seemed to bristle for a fight whenever he got checked, but that's hockey.  You lay the body on guys and either intimidate them or try and draw a retaliation penalty.  Unfortunately for Nashville, they didn't cash in on the two power plays they did get, and they'll try to get a better result in San Jose Saturday night.
Alexander Radulov got 18:45 of ice time last night, and made a nice play to set up Ryan Suter on Nashville's only goal.
Ville Koistenen looked reasonably effective, while Greg de Vries was a team-low -2 and logged the least ice time among the defensemen at 13:05. 

Popular posts from this blog

How I'm Trying To Make Money Sports Blogging

To kick off this series of articles general sports-blogging articles here at OTF Classic, I think it's best to start with a comment that Brad left here last week, after I shared my goals for 2012, which include specific revenue targets:
I considered diving into the world of internet marketing myself, but I felt that my friends would hate me for bugging them about stuff. I mean, it's pretty low-risk high-reward, so it's tempting. I wouldn't mind reading about tips on how to maximize impact of blogging in general to make it a legitimate income source. Trying to make money at sports blogging can be a very touchy subject - for the vast majority of us, this is an activity we pursue to both exercise our creativity and share our love of the game, whether it's hockey, football, badminton, whatever, with fellow fans. Mixing that personal conversation with a commercial message can turn people off, especially if it becomes too intrusive for the reader.

It's not unreasonabl…

Canadian Baloney, starring James Mirtle

A tireless refrain from the Canadian media is that Nashville is an absolute failure as a hockey market, and failing to move the team north of the border is an exercise in folly by the NHL.

Our latest exhibit comes from James Mirtle, usually one of the more thoughtful hockey bloggers extant:
But Nashville, quite simply, has proven it cannot sustain an NHL hockey team. Even with the lowest ticket prices in the entire league (I know: I've looked into flying there for a game or two) and a ridiculously forgiving arena lease, the team has had attendance issues despite having one of the best records in the league.

It's not a matter of Canadians not wanting teams in the southern U.S.; I've argued time and again in favour of teams like Dallas and Tampa Bay that have supported their teams and really brought something to the table in terms of bringing news fans and new energy to the game. That's a good thing.

The Predators, however, are not that, not in the beginning and certainly no…

Get Your NHL Super Schedule 2008-9 Right Here!

Click here for the 2009-10 NHL Super Schedule, at my new site,!

The NHL announced the 2008-9 Regular Season schedule today, so of course, it's time right here to publish my very own NHL Super Schedule 2008-9 as well.

For those unfamiliar with what I did last year, the NHL Super Schedule is a spreadsheet that I put together and make publicly available via Google Documents*. It includes an entry for each game in each team's 82-game regular season schedule, with additional information such as how far that team has had to travel since its last game, how many days have passed since that previous game, and various statistics relative to the opponent that evening, such as 2007-8 Winning Percentage, Goals Per Game, Goals Against Per Game, etc. For example, you can total the distance that each team will travel during the upcoming season, or find who plays the most back-to-back games. Check out which team faces the toughest opposing offenses, or which power plays…