Even this morning, I am amazed at how good I feel about the Predators effort last night. Granted they screwed up in the first six minutes of the game but they never quit for the remainder of the contest. They were out shot 10-1 through the second goal and dominated from that point forward out shooting the Ducks 33-18.
If you had the choice of having the Preds return to the Bridgestone Arena for game three tied 1-1, few people would not have taken that result. I stated yesterday that things are never as good or bad as they seem at the time and I stand by that at this point.
While it would have been great for the Preds to come home ahead 2-0 it was not realistic. The Ducks are a good team and it was do or die and they did what they had to do. Now the Preds are in great position to take advantage of home ice and win the next two games to put the Ducks in a hole that they may not crawl out of.
Ray Emery was well protected last night and got away with the win in spite of limited mobility. After the Preds watch film, I think they should be able to take advantage of Emery's limitations on Sunday in game three.
The physicality of the series is in Anaheim's favor but you did see the Preds holding their own a little better in game two. One thing that I'm really wondering about is whether Pekka Rinne would really go with Emery when the eventual six on six brawl occurs in this series. I can't imagine Pekka getting in a fight. If it happens, Emery may find that he bit off more than he could chew.
One of the things that the Predators did not do last night was keep traffic away from Rinne and clear pucks on the few rebounds that Pekka allowed. When the Predators are dominant, there are few or no second chances and that was the Ducks bread and butter in game two.
A turning point in last night's game was the Shea Weber goal that was blown off due to an interference penalty on David Legwand. Dirk Hoag has a great screen shot series showing the infraction. With what he has, I think Leggy was guilty although it was not intentional. Eric Stephens devoted an entire post to it.
Marty Erat also showed resiliency that many folks were not aware that he had. After he lost four front teeth, he came back with a key assist on the Predators' third goal moments after losing his grill.
Later in the game with about three and a half minutes remaining rookies Jon Blum and Blake Geoffrion were battling veterans Saku Koivu and Bobby Ryan behind the Ducks net and won the battle. In the process Ryan stomped Blum's foot and according to Terry Crisp, the league will take a look at the move. Sam Page has the video.
The Bob McKenzie even got into the act with several tweets. @TSNBobMcKenzie: There is expected to be a disciplinary hearing for ANA's Bobby Ryan for his using his skate to stomp on NSH's Jonathan Blum foot. There is world of difference between what Ryan did and what Pronger (on Kesler for 8 games) and Simon (on Ruutu for 30 games) did. On Pronger/Simon, no puck involved. Ryan looked to be trying to dislodge puck from under Blum's foot.But using skateblade in that fashion is strictly forbidden. Not a hockey play. Have to believe fine or suspension is coming.
The Predators and Ducks will arrive in Nashville later today and will square off at 5 p.m. on Sunday at the Bridgestone Arena. A sellout crows will be on hand and we should see a different result than in game two.
Game Two: Preds-Ducks Round-Up...
Here is our game story from last night.
Josh Cooper had his game story, notes column, and postgame ponderings.
David Boclair has his story at The City Paper and focuses on the defining moment in the game when the Ducks called a time out 4:55 into the game. David has a second post with notes and more.
From the blog world reports come from Amanda DiPaolo, Mark Willoughby, Dirk Hoag (with his advances stats), Hands of Cement, and Fang Faction.
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.
Here are the highlights from NHL.com.
Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass