Skip to main content

Endorsements

Got any good books to recommend?

Greatest Hits from Working the Net:

Harlow Salon - one of the very best hair salons in Nashville TN.

Swedish Twins Stink It Up, But Luongo Saves The Day

The Predators simply ran into the best goaltender in the world last night, firing 51 shots on Vancouver's net yet still coming up short in a 3-2 shootout loss.  It took a 3rd period goal by Marek Zidlicky to tie things up at 2-2 and send the game to overtime, earning Nashville at least one point for their efforts, but Roberto Luongo simply put on a show, and demonstrated why nobody will want to face the Canucks in the playoffs this spring.  Predictably, he stuffed all three Predators in the shootout to earn the victory.  Frankly, I think the NHL needs to take another look at his equipment; not about the size, but I suspect that he's using some sticky, marshmallow-like material in his leg pads, as the pucks never seems to pop back out once Luongo makes a save.   
 
Roberto Luongo, Vancouver Canucks
Yes, he is indeed #1
 
Things very nearly took an entirely different course early in the game when Dan Hamhuis fired a shot on Nashville's first power play that Luongo snagged with his glove.  The ref ruled it a clean save, but it went to video review as to whether the puck had crossed the line before Luongo pulled it back out; the video was inconclusive (although I'd say it was probably in, that just ain't good enough), so the game remained scoreless until a final-minute goal by Mason Raymond sent the Canucks into the locker room with a 1-0 lead.  Terry Crisp correctly pointed out that Matt Cooke interfered with Greg Zanon, which allowed Raymond to cut in front of the net for the score, but hey, if you can get away with it, it's a great play.
 
Jason Arnott tied things up in the second with a textbook power play goal, taking a crossing pass from J.P. Dumont and firing home a one-timer from his favorite spot, off to the goalie's right near the faceoff dot.  Seven minutes later, however, the Canucks pulled ahead again on a long shot from Alexander Edler that had plenty of traffic in front of Chris Mason, who seemed inspired by his opposite number and played an outstanding game himself.
 
Overall, the Preds put in a solid effort; the defense really stepped and contributed offensively (Shea Weber had 10 shots, Ryan Suter 5 and Marek Zidlicky 4), and the overall squad outshot Vancouver in every period.  As Zanstrom points out over at Waiting For Stanley, the Sedin twins weren't effective at all, and Henrik in particular looked out of sorts, retaliating at every percieved slight and taking bad penalties.  The worst was a high stick that Henrik got whistled for in the 3rd, which gave the Predators the power play on which Zidlicky scored to tie the game.

The OT loss leaves Nashville, for the moment, tied for 5th in the West alongside San Jose, with Vancouver and Calgary two points behind.  The kicker is that all three of those teams hold two games in hand in the Preds, so effectively it's a four-way logjam.  If they keep playing like they did last night, Nashville will be in fine shape, but the key is to put frustration out of the way ASAP, and prepare to face a red-hot Dallas Stars team Saturday night at the Sommet Center.  They'll do so without veteran winger Martin Gelinas, who suffered a knee injury in the 2nd period and is being evaluated today.

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…

Hooray for PythagenPuck

Back in November, around the quarter-mark of the NHL regular season, I wrote a piece looking at Expected Winning Percentages for each team, based on their Goals For/Goals Against ratio, using the PythagenPuck method as outlined in Alan Ryder's "Win Probabilities" article over at Hockey Analytics. Since we're approaching the end of the campaign, I thought it worth revisiting the two assertions I made back in November - that the Ottawa Senators were capable of getting back into the playoff race, and that the Boston Bruins were in danger of a freefall to the bottom of the standings.

Just to review, the basic idea behind win probability models like PythagenPuck is that over the course of a season, the Goals For and Goals Against numbers can be used to derive a team's winning percentage, within a a surprisingly narrow margin of error. For instance, if you only had GF/GA information, you could make a very good stab at projecting what the standings would look like. The w…