Friday, November 20, 2009
Final Thoughts on Preds-Devs Game and Friday Round-up
Predator fans are basking in the excitement of their current four game win streak that includes wins over the San Jose Sharks, the best team in the West, and the New Jersey Devils, one of the top two teams in the East.
As my friend Ryan at the Red Light District points out in a great piece there are reasons to be excited as he says...
"The most positive sign for the Preds is that they are playing the way they did last February when they made their push for a playoff spot. Remember when they were beating everyone in their way and saying ‘Only if they played this way in the first half of the season’?? Well, this stretch is just what the doctor ordered.
They are executing in all three zones, playing sound defensive hockey, and actually scoring on the man advantage. Although they came up short last year, they were one of the better teams since the All-Star Break. This has only been a 10-game stretch of an 82-game schedule, but since they are turning it on here in November, it’ll pay dividends down the road in their push to get a taste of the postseason again."
In the preseason, I expected to see a return to the level of play in the second half that Ryan discusses. With many new faces and several young players, especially on defense, it was not surprising that the Preds suffered through the six game losing streak at the beginning of the season.
Since that time, the Preds are 9-3 and things on both ends of the ice and in goal are clearly looking up.
Cody Franson seems to have resolved the revolving door on finding the sixth D-man that was on open audition in the first few weeks.
On offense, with everyone but Colin Wilson back from injuries, the current line combinations are
really starting to click and all four lines are contributing on both ends of the ice.
Pekka Rinne has returned to last year's form winning eight of his last nine games, being dominant at times.
We understand that things are never as good as they seem when things are going well or as bad as they are when they aren't. Barry Trotz and David Poile have a very unique perspective on this that few other teams recognize in the the sports world where many teams change coaches like underwear.
In the midst of the earlier slide, many fans were ready for a change while Trotz was pointing out the positives in the postgame interviews. Now, during the Pred's success, He is not resting on his laurels and still looking for ways to improve. This staff is focused on the end result and refuses to get caught up in the emotional roller-coaster that the fans endure.
Saturday's game against Columbus will probably be a bigger test than the prior two games. We are the Jackets most hated rival and they will be ready. The game is wedged between games with two great teams and the Preds biggest rival in Detroit.
Can this team stay focused on one game at a time? Tomorrow night, we will see.
Here is the link to our story and post game videos from last night.
John Glennon has the game story, the stars coming out and some interesting final thoughts on the game. Hat's off to the Tennessean for giving John more room to cover the Preds this year.
Mike Strasinger has the story at The City Paper.
Other stories come from Jim Diamond, Forechecker, Brandon Felder, What the Puck, Pull My (Fang) Finger, and See Puck City.
Tom Guilotti has the Devils side of the story at North Jersey.com
In Preds Nation...
Pred Prospects Gabriel Bourque and Charles Oliver Rousell each had three points in the first two games of the Subway Super Series versus Russia. Ryan Ellis and Taylor Beck get their shot tonight.
John Glennon has an interesting story about the Preds supporting Prostate Awareness Month by sporting mustaches. Pekka, Hammer, Hornqvist, Weber, and Sully are said to be participating so far. I asked Pekka about his interest and thanked him for his involvement since I lost my father to prostate cancer. He related that he is very much into this cause as he lost his grandfather to prostate cancer too. Hats off to Pekka and the others for their support.
Mark at The View From 111 has our Friday favorite, The View.
The Preds-Senators game is in the running for the NHL Network Viewers choice game for Thanksgiving Day. Go here to vote. So far the Preds have a big lead but it is no time to slow down. Vote early and often before the 10 p.m. EST deadline tonight. I have a real interest in this since I was at the Grand Canyon when this was played and could only follow the game via Twitter on the phone.
@toddstepp was our first two time winner of free POTG tickets yesterday. Since we used Twitter yesterday, we will go back to the blog today. The first comment below with a Twitter address or email address that says "I want the tickets" will win a pair of free tickets to the Preds-Panthers game on Saturday November 28 when the Preds will be wearing the new thirds.
It was good to meet Jennifer of Addicted last night at the game and to sit with our friend from New Jersey, via Indiana, Scott Mermelstein. For Jackson, the highlight was him getting to meet Doc Emrick and here is the proof.
Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass