Skip to main content

Preds Torched in Buffalo

Into every NHL season a lame effort or two will happen to any team, but with Wednesday's 8-4 debacle in Buffalo, the Predators have now given up 6 or more goals three times in the last two-and-a-half weeks (previously to Chicago and Dallas at home). Perhaps most disturbing, there seems to be no single cause for these repeated train wrecks; they encompass a combination of marshmallow-soft goaltending, shoddy defensive zone coverage, and a total lack of composure. A few horrid examples:

Dan Hamhuis stepping up and totally whiffing on an attempted hit on Derek Roy as the Sabres crossed into the Predators zone; instead of staying in position, his miss allows Roy to head to the net uncontested for an easy goal that made it 6-3.

Scott Nichol lost it again, sucker-punching one of the Sabres who was tied up with Vern Fiddler. Nichol dropped his glove and came at the guy from the side and cold-cocked him. I wouldn't be surprised to see a suspension come out of that. For a decent PK'er and faceoff guy, Nichol shows little to no maturity when the pressure's on, and Trotz needs to make it clear that something's got to change. This is exactly the sort of thing that ended Nashville's hopes against San Jose in the playoffs last spring, and it can't be tolerated.

After Andrew Peters was left all alone in the slot for an easy goal at 4:13 of the 2nd (as if that wasn't bad enough), Ryan Suter could have been whistled for throwing a shot at one of the Sabres celebrating the goal, but the refs (who lost control of things in the 3rd) let it go. The same applies here as to Nichol's nonsense above. Act like a pro out there, already!

A couple of those early goals should have been stopped by Mason, whose only weak spots were to his left, right, or through the 5-hole.

On the positive side, Jan Hlavac looked impressive. He was strong on the puck along the boards, and picked up a goal while the game was still competitive. Jason Arnott scored twice and David Legwand popped in a rebound goal as well, but things simply caved in beginning late in the 2nd period.

So what happens next? Some form of dramatic statement needs to be made by the coaching staff at this point; either lineup changes (play Klein and Koistinen!) or a shift in tactics to emphasize a return to shut-down hockey. As of this morning the Predators are on the outside of the playoffs looking in, and that's pretty much entirely due to these continuing defensive lapses over the last few weeks.

Not all is lost, by any means, but this ship needs to be righted quickly.

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…