Monday, April 25, 2011
The Morning After: Predators Enter New Territory
The handshake picture says it all. The Nashville Predators have been through that line five times before and each time it led to the golf course, bit not this year. This time the line leads to round two of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
It was interesting in the locker room after the game that there was excitement but at the same time there was an underlying current of anticipation in looking forward to round two. I think the fans and media were more focused on winning the first round but the players realize that there are 12 more wins to get to where they want to be.
In September, on the first day of camp, the motivation of the veterans was the game five loss to Chicago in overtime last season where they squandered the chance to take a 3-2 lead and come home to win on home ice. A year later, the lesson learned paid off with the team winning game five in Anaheim and coming home to reward the fans with the clinching win.
That has been the theme of this entire season. The key was to use last years loss as motivation to not go there again. It has come up repeatedly. When the Predators had an almost collapse against the Ducks in March at home, Barry Trotz said, "How many times will it take to learn the same lesson?" and pointed to game five against Chicago.
Four games have been won and now there are twelve more to go for the Predators to be satisfied with what the have accomplished this season. It is time to think big Smashville. The players are looking to the Cup as the end result and the fans need to embrace it too.
There is no reason to consider yourself "non-traditional" in a negative way, but embrace the fact that the Predators could win the Cup in a very "non-traditional" way, AKA as "The Predator Way".
It is completely up in the air as to who the round two opponent could be at this point.The only certainty of the top three teams is that it cannot be the San Jose Sharks. If Vancouver and San Jose win their series, the Preds would play Vancouver.
If the Sharks win and the Canucks lose, then the Preds would play Detroit. If Vancouver wins and San Jose loses, they would also play the Wings. If the unthinkable happens and both Vancouver and San Jose lose, then the Predators would have home ice advantage against the L.A. Kings. So over the next couple of nights you get to pick your poison. I personally, would like to face the Red Wings and exorcise the Central Division demon while the team is on a roll.
Predators-Ducks Game 6 Round-Up...
Here is our game story from last night with Barry Trotz's complete postgame video. If you are a Preds fan or a Trotz admirer, it is a must view.
Josh Cooper had his game story, notes column, and postgame ponderings.He also has a post about Shane O'Brien staying out of the penalty box.
Bryan Mullen focuses on Nick Spaling.
Jim Diamond salutes the third line heroes.
David Boclair has his story at The City Paper about the longest tenured Predator driving the nail in the coffin.. He has a second story about advancing in the playoffs.
John Manasso has his post at FS Tennessee.
Joe Biddle has a perspective piece at the Tennessean that even discusses Davis Poile's tombstone inscription. David Climer also has a Preds piece. It is really good to see the old guard press in Nashville taking notice.
From the blog world reports come from Ryan Porth, Amanda DiPaolo, Mark Willoughby, Dirk Hoag (with his advances stats), Jeremy Gover, Predatorial, Fang Finger Fever, Hands of Cement, Fang Faction, and Hockey Night in Nashville.
Nick Spaling got the number one star of the night from NHL.com and also at Puck Daddy. Adrian Dater gave David Legwand the third star of the night at SI.
We also read what these folks said, the CBC, Puck Daddy, Faceoff, and Pro Hockey Talk.
The Edmonton Journal points out that the Sens won too with a conditional pick upgrade with more possibly to come.
The other side of the story comes from The OC Register, Long Beach Press Telegram, L A Times, Ducks Blog, Quackalakin', Anaheim Calling, Battle of California, Ducks and Cover, Ducks Daily Blog, and Ducks and Pucks.
Audio from the Predators comes from Shane O'Brien, Patric Hornqvist, Ryan Suter, Pekka Rinne, Nick Spaling, and Jordin Tootoo. From the Ducks, we hear from Coach Randy Carlyle, Ryan Getzlaf, Teemu Selanne, and Brandon McMillon.
Here are the video highlights from NHL.com.
Buddy Oakes for PredsOntheGlass