NSH takes Victory over CBJ 2-1

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Source: Kristen Jerkins Photography

Don’t you remember the good ole days when the Columbus Blue Jackets were a member of the Central Division and all was right in the world? Okay, the Blue Jackets in the Central Division certainly didn’t establish world peace, but it’s fun to reflect on times of old. Well anyway, Columbus and Detroit moved on to the Eastern Conference and have been trying to figure out their place in the world over there. Apparently, it hasn’t been exactly a warm welcome this season, as the Blue Jackets are sitting pretty at the bottom of the Metropolitan Division and (to just add icing to the cake) the entire League. Ouchies. However, just because they haven’t had the ideal season thus far, doesn’t mean that the Predators should just wave them off as an automatic win. Those tend to be the games that Nashville (and honestly, any team) seems to fall flat against.

First Period:

  • Nashville came out on fire, taking 20 shots on goal compared to Columbus’s seven. Unfortunately, Curtis McElhinney just wasn’t going to let Nashville by that easily.

Second Period:

  • Mike Ribeiro would get the ball rolling at 12:47 with a wrap-around goal, his sixth of the season. Roman Josi (9) and Shea Weber (9) would collect the assists.
  • Nashville again would throw a number of shots on goal, this time thirteen to eight.

Third Period:

  • Columbus would enter the game at 3:48 on the powerplay, a trick that seems to be in their favor (including this goal, Columbus has nabbed 20 PPG this season). Ryan Johanssen would tally his ninth goal of the season.
  • Colin Wilson would seal the GWG at 17:48 for his fourth goal of the season. Craig Smith (7) and Calle Jarnkrok (4) would pick up the assists.

Now, this win not only puts Nashville’s record at 16-5-2, it also does the following:
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What’s that? Nashville is now second in the entire league AND first in the Western Conference and Central Division! Some more optimistic folks may say we are tied for first in the league, but there’s a reason there’s not “two number ones”… that’s because Pittsburgh beat us head-to-head, therefore that gives them the No. 1. Darn you, Patric Hornqvist. However, if you want to look at it as a tie, you just go right ahead, you precious soul.

Nashville takes off East to North Carolina to take on the Hurricanes on Tuesday, then return to battle our buddy, St. Louis on Thursday night. Oh yea, and the Blackhawks drop by on Saturday. Joy.

The Age of Swede (in Nashville)

Getty Images/Zimbio.com

Getty Images/Zimbio.com – Left: Calle Jarnkrok, Right: Filip Forsberg

With the regular season coming to a close, most Preds fans have given up on the hopes of clinching a playoff spot. Though mathematically, the Preds still have an itty bitty, miniscule chance, but unless you are a betting man or an overly optimistic person, you’ve pretty much come to terms that, for the fifteenth year, the Predators will be Cup-less. It has also been excruciatingly difficult to handle (as a fan) the onslaught of opposing fans over-running the Bridgestone Arena, bashing the home team and drowning out the voices of the remaining faithful. But alas, that is a story for a different time. Right now, I am here to relay some optimism; optimism in the form of 20-something Swedes.

It wouldn’t be a far stretch to say ice hockey is pretty popular in Sweden. Tre Kronor (Team Sweden) is a dominant force when it comes to IIHF World Championships (9 gold medals/19 silver/16 bronze since 1920) and the Olympics (2 gold medals/3 silver/4 bronze since 1920) and those figures do not include the junior or women’s teams over the years. Surprisingly though, there aren’t as many Swedes in the NHL as you would think. There are (as of 9:44am on 3/27/14 & not including farm teams) 51 Swede holding roster spots amongst the 30 teams in the NHL, which averages out to about 2 Swedes per team (that has a Swede). Detroit should be renamed Stockholm as it employees the most Swedes at nine. Everyone but the Islanders, Blue Jackets, Penguins, Stars, Oilers, Panthers, Kings, and Sharks have Swedes. Nashville has had its fair share of Swedes in the past fifteen years, with Viktor Stalberg, Patric Hornqvist, Mattias Ekholm, and Calle Jarnkrok holding roster spots at the given moment; Filip Forsberg and Patrick Cehlin currently round out the Milwaukee Admirals roster.

While a veteran like Patric Hornqvist remains at the top of his game (14 goals, 25 assists 2013/14 season), it’s young-guns like Calle Jarnkrok and Filip Forsberg who will continue the tradition of Swedish dominance. Both Filip Forsberg and Calle Järnkrok were acquired within trades – Forsberg was claimed from the Washington Capitals for Martin Erat and Michael Latta in April 2013 & Jarnkrok (along with Patrick Eaves) was picked up from the Detroit Red Wings for David Legwand – and, you can disagree with many of David Poile’s choices, but the man clearly got the better deal in both trades.

It tends to be frustrating to fans that Filip Forsberg spends more time on planes than on the ice, constantly being called up and sent back down to Milwaukee. His outstanding performance in the World Juniors tournament had fans threatening a mob if he wasn’t brought back to Nashville (4 goals, 8 assists/silver medal), but alas, he has still flipped back and forth. It is sometimes hard to remember that Forsberg is only 19-years-old and made his NHL debut with Nashville last season (Detroit won 3-0); he still has plenty of time to adjust to the system and I would almost put money on a bet that he’ll have a more permanent roster position with the Predators next season. With the Admirals this season, Filip Forsberg has 10 goals and 17 assists.

Calle Jarnkrok is the newest Swede to board the dingy that is the Predators organization, but he’s come out blazing with three assists in the three games he’s appeared with Nashville. He’s quick, but controlled; his puck-handling skills put Colin Wilson to shame. He also does not shy from pressure what-so-ever. Usually Craig Smith or Matt Cullen, Jarnkrok was given the task of first at bat for the shootout against the Colorado Avalanche last Tuesday. Though Nashville eventually lost to the Avs (thanks to another Swede – Gabriel Landeskog), Jarnkrok scored in his first NHL shootout. He may share the same love of hairstyle with Sergei Kostitsyn, but he is a far cry from that Belorussian blunder.  Hopefully, Jarnkrok can teach fellow Swede, Viktor Stalberg to slow his roll and control his speed and the puck. I also hope the ‘Way of Trotz’ does not seep into the youngster, killing his game altogether.

You know their names: Henrik Lundqvist, Niklas Kronwall, Daniel & Henrik Sedin, Niklas Backstrom, Gabriel Landeskog, Henrik Zetterberg, Peter Forsberg, Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Daniel Alfredsson, Niklas Lidstrom, Alexander Steen, Loui Eriksson, and so forth. The Swedes are here to stay in the NHL and Nashville needs to collect as many as they can get. Along with an IKEA; we need one of those, too.

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Med den ordinarie säsongen närmar sig sitt slut , har de flesta Preds fans gett upp hoppet om att fästa en slutspelsplats . Även matematiskt , de Preds har fortfarande en Itty Bitty , världsdelen chans , men om du inte är en vadslagning man eller en alltför optimistisk person , du har ganska mycket komma till rätta som för femtonde året kommer rovdjuren bli Cup – mindre . Det har också varit otroligt svårt att hantera ( som en fläkt ) angrepp av motsatta fans över kör Bridgestone Arena , bashing hemmalaget och drunkna ut röster återstående trogna . Men tyvärr , det är en historia för en annan tid . Just nu är jag här för att vidarebefordra viss optimism , optimism i form av 20 -någonting svenskar .

Det skulle inte vara en långt sträcka att säga ishockey är ganska populärt i Sverige . Tre Kronor ( Team Sweden ) är en dominerande kraft när det kommer till IIHF-VM ( 9 guld medals/19 silver/16 brons sedan 1920 ) och OS ( 2 ​​guldmedaljer / 3 silver / 4 brons sedan 1920 ) och dessa siffror gör inte inkludera junior eller damlag under åren. Förvånansvärt Men det finns inte så många svenskar i NHL som man kan tro . Det finns ( som av 09:44 på 3/27/14 & exklusive jordbruks lag ) 51 Swede håller rosterfläckar bland de 30 lag i NHL , som i genomsnitt ut till ca 2 svenskar per lag ( som har en svensk ) . Detroit bör döpas Stockholm eftersom den anställda flest svenskar vid nio . Alla men Islanders , Blue Jackets , Penguins, Stars , Oilers , Panthers, Kings och Sharks har svenskar . Nashville har haft sin beskärda del av svenskarna under de senaste femton åren , med Viktor Stålberg , Patric Hörnqvist , Mattias Ekholm och Calle Järnkrok håller rosterfläckar vid given tidpunkt , Filip Forsberg och Patrick Cehlin runda för närvarande ut i Milwaukee Admirals deltagarlistan .

Medan en veteran som Patric Hörnqvist är fortfarande på toppen av hans spel ( 14 mål , 25 assist 2013/14 säsongen ) , det är unga – gevär som Calle Järnkrok och Filip Forsberg som kommer att fortsätta traditionen av svenska dominans . Både Filip Forsberg och Calle Järnkrok förvärvats inom handel – Forsberg hävdades från Washington Capitals för Martin Erat och Michael Latta i April 2013 & Järnkrok ( tillsammans med Patrick Eaves ) plockades från Detroit Red Wings för David Legwand – och , du kan inte håller med många av David Poile s val , men mannen fick klart bättre affär i båda branscher .

Det tenderar att vara frustrerande för fans som Filip Forsberg tillbringar mer tid på plan än på isen , ständigt ringde upp och skickas tillbaka till Milwaukee . Hans enastående prestanda i World Juniors turneringen hade fans hotar en pöbel om han inte kom tillbaka till Nashville ( 4 mål , 8 assist / silver ) , men tyvärr , han har fortfarande bläddrade fram och tillbaka . Det är ibland svårt att komma ihåg att Forsberg är bara 19 år gammal och gjorde sin NHL-debut med Nashville förra säsongen ( Detroit vann med 3-0 ) , han har fortfarande gott om tid att anpassa sig till systemet och jag skulle nästan sätta pengar på en satsning som han kommer att ha en mer permanent roster läge med Predators nästa säsong . Med Admirals den här säsongen , har Filip Forsberg 10 mål och 17 assist .

Calle Järnkrok är den nyaste svensken att gå ombord på jolleseglare som är Predators organisation , men han har kommit ut flammande med tre assist i de tre matcher han dök med Nashville . Han är snabb , men kontrollerad , hans puckhanteringfärdigheter satte Colin Wilson på skam . Han gör dessutom inte blyg från tryck vad – så – någonsin. Vanligtvis Craig Smith och Matt Cullen , Järnkrok fick i uppdrag att först på slagträet för straffar mot Colorado Avalanche i tisdags . Även Nashville till slut förlorade med Avs ( tack vare en annan svensk – Gabriel Landeskog ) , Järnkrok gjorde mål i sin första NHL- straffar. Han kan dela samma kärlek till frisyr med Sergei Kostitsyn , men han är långt ifrån det vitryska blunder . Förhoppningsvis kan Järnkrok undervisa karl svensk, Viktor Stålberg att sakta sin rulle och kontrollera sin hastighet och pucken . Jag hoppas också att ” Way of Trotz ” inte tränger in i unge och dödade hans spel helt och hållet.

Du vet deras namn : Henrik Lundqvist , Niklas Kronwall , Daniel och Henrik Sedin , Niklas Bäckström , Gabriel Landeskog , Henrik Zetterberg , Peter Forsberg , Oliver Ekman – Larsson , Daniel Alfredsson , Niklas Lidström , Alexander Steen , Loui Eriksson , och så vidare . Svenskarna är här för att stanna i NHL och Nashville måste samla så många som de kan få . Tillsammans med en IKEA , vi behöver en av dem också.

 

Western Conference Standings Update

I hope that photographer didn’t like that camera.

The standings are in from the last games of March, riding on the heels of the last month of regular season hockey. And, from the looks of it, Nashville is going to be fighting all the way through the month of April. Here is a snapshot from NHL.com of the current standings going into April:

Image Source: NHL.com

Image Source: NHL.com

The last post was written before all the games were over today, thus the standings are a tad bit different if you read it or have read it. With Columbus’s win over Anaheim, the Blue Jackets buzz past Nashville, Edmonton, and Dallas to take the elusive 8th spot, knocking St. Louis into 9th. Nashville is now in 12th of 15, just two points behind Columbus. But Dallas, Edmonton, and St. Louis stand in their way, all of who are fighting for that last playoff spot as well.

Check out the post below about what all Nashville faces going into the month of April. By the looks of tonight’s outcomes, it’s looking like it’s going to be an even rougher final month of hockey.

 

Let the Brutal ‘Final Thirteen’ Begin

Thirteen brutal games stand between Nashville and the playoffs.

Thirteen brutal games stand between Nashville and the playoffs.

Let’s start out on an honest foot: Brutal final thirteen? I’m pretty sure this entire season has been brutal for Nashville. But alas, these last thirteen games, which start tomorrow in Chicago, will test the Predators in more ways than one.

The lockout was not as nice to Nashville as it was to others teams, with Chicago, for instance, starting the season with one for the history books by eluding a loss in regulation in the first twenty-four games. It was Colorado who finally knocked them from Cloud 9, beating the Blackhawks 6-2, a team now sitting last in both the Western Conference and league (tied with the Panthers with 28 points).

The Penguins have also found their place in this shortened season, currently running on a fifteen-game winning streak. They also pulled the wool over everyone’s eyes by picking up Jarome Iginla from the Calgary Flames, a deal even the Boston Bruins were taken aback by (they probably had the jersey ready and waiting for him). Though the Penguins didn’t start out as cleanly as Chicago, they did get their engines running and haven’t really looked back since. Sidney Crosby, who leads the league in goal points, assists, and points in general, just had surgery today on his jaw, broken due to taking a puck to the face against the Islanders yesterday afternoon. His status is “out indefinitely”, but the Penguins do not rely on Crosby alone. Even if they struggle without Crosby at the helm, Pittsburgh is still leading the league with 56 points, though Chicago is biting at their heels with 55 points.

Though Nashville will not have to worry about facing Pittsburgh, they will have to visit with Chicago… Four more times, to be exact. The Predators first and only meeting thus far with the Blackhawks was a nasty won, with Chicago wiping the Bridgestone’s ice with the home team 3-0, Nashville’s third shutout in just twelve games. The Blackhawks continued to win, while Nashville would continue to win in OT, but lose in regulation.

Besides the conference-reigning Blackhawks, Nashville will also have to face two other tough divisional opponents: the Detroit Red Wings and the Columbus Blue Jackets. Detroit is currently sitting pretty in seventh, a safe playoff position. Nashville won its first meeting with Detroit, barely slipping by with a 4-3 victory in OT. But Nashville would venture to the Joe four days later and be laughed out of the arena with a shutout 4-0. The Predators will have two more chances in the regular season to sink the Red Wings.

It’s hard to believe the Columbus Blue Jackets would be considered a “tough” opponent, as they are usually Nashville (and the rest of the Central Division)’s punching bag. But the lockout gave Columbus a boost, even after trading their beloved Rick Nash to the New York Rangers during the off season. With the loss of their captain and rumors of a possible loss of franchise, Columbus wasn’t expected to make the impact they have this season. Although they haven’t made history like Chicago, they have played better than anyone expected, giving every team they come in contact with a run for their money. Columbus and Nashville started the season out against one another, with the Blue Jackets knocking out the Predators 3-2 in a shootout. Columbus would win e next meeting as well, 4-3 in regulation. Nashville would finally pull one over the Blue Jackets on March 23rd, winning in regulation 5-2. Like Detroit, Nashville will have two more chances to derail the Blue Jackets, who are tied with 35 points.

The challenge among the teams above is not all Nashville has to face. A round with St. Louis, Dallas, Vancouver, and Calgary is also in the cards, which will all give the Predators more than just a difficult time.

If the Predators intend to reach the post season and excel in the playoffs, dramatic changes will need to be established as soon as possible. With the recent return of Hal Gill, Patric Hörnqvist, and Paul Gaustad from the IR, Nashville can breathe a sigh of relief in veteran terms. However, the young blood has began to rise, with players such as Victor Bartley and Taylor Beck proving their worth on the NHL level and their importance to a post season for Nashville.

However, a team should not be based on an individual player, but as an organization as a whole. The players will have to learn to focus and work together in order to find success. Blown passes, careless plays, and missed goals will not produce a successful post season. It may not even produce a post season at all.

These next thirteen games will be the most brutal the Predators will face all season. The rest of the season is behind us. Now is the time to step from beyond the shadows and push for the playoffs.

Preds prove Victorious at Home; Silence Jackets 5-2

Source: Joel Auerbach/Getty Images

Hey! Long time, no see! We’ve been awfully quiet lately (on the blog-front, that is) and we apologize for leaving you in the dark on here, at least. We are still staying busy on Facebook and Twitter, but it’s time to give the actual blog some loving, too!

So what’s been going on since we last posted? Well, nothing to brag about, honestly. From the horrendous road trip to Sergei Kostitsyn’s lapse in judgement, there hasn’t been much to be proud of with Nashville. But the Predators dragged themselves back home, taking on Brian McGrattan and the Calgary Flames on Thursday night. Nashville has always had better luck at home and proved that fact by knocking out the same team (5-3) that pummeled them 6-3 not even a week before.

With just two points away from holding down a playoff spot, Nashville would need to come out strong against the hot-streaking Columbus – wait, what? Blue Jackets? No, that is no typo. The Blue Jackets, who is normally the weakest team of the Central Division, has found some miracle only devised by a Disney movie. Well, with whatever Peter Pan magic the Blue Jackets have come across, Nashville would need a regulation win to power back towards the playoffs. Here are the highlights from last night’s game:

KEY POINTS:

  • Scott Hannan, Ryan Ellis, and Craig Smith (who is sitting pretty in Milwaukee) landed on the Scratched List last night.
  • Taylor Beck got the ball rolling at 7:11 in the first with a straightaway wrister past Sergei Bobrovsky to collect his first career NHL goal. Beck was assisted two former teammates on the Admirals Gabriel Bourque (3rd assist) and Jonathon Blum (5th assist).
  • Less than a minute later, Shea Weber sent a snap shot into the net on the powerplay for his sixth goal of the season. Bobby Butler picked up his forth assist along with Martin Erat picking up his 13th assist.
  • Columbus would finally notch at controversial goal at 9:29 when R.J. Umberger slipped a wrister past Rinne.
  • Columbus fans weren’t given a chance to celebrate, as David Legwand put the Preds up 3-1 at 9:46 for his seventh goal of the season. Gabriel Bourque notched his fourth assist (second of the night) and Taylor Beck nabbed his first career NHL assist.
  • A goal at 10:15 by Matt Halischuk gave Nashville it’s fastest Frotsie in franchise history, his second goal of the season. Bobby Butler picked up his second assist of the night (fifth overall) and Chris Mueller (first overall).
  • Rich Clune would receive a five-minute interference major along with a game misconduct, tossing him from the game. Though not seen a t first, Clune apparently elbowed Artem Anisimov in the face when he did not have the puck. However, even with a five minute penalty and a relatively strange interference on goalkeeper call on Mike Fisher, Nashville was able to hold Columbus at bay.
  • Nashville would end the first period with a history-maker, the fastest number of goals in one period in franchise history.
  • The second period would be less intense, but one goal would be scored in favor of Columbus thanks to Artem Anisimov, his eighth goal of the season.
  • Brandon Yip and Derek MacKenzie would drop the gloves at 17:06 in the second, with no explanation of what caused the tiff. You can see the video of Yip’s domination here:
  • Similar to the second period, the third stood no contest to the first period, with the only goal scored at 19:36 by Roman Josi on an empty-netter, his fifth goal of the season. Mike Fisher picked up his eighth assist along with Martin Erat collecting his 14th overall assist.

With the way the team has played the last two games, it stands to wander “where did this team come from?” Going from one extreme to the other, Nashville definitely keeps its fans on their toes and their hearts in their throats.

Though two wins in a row relieves a little bit of stress, the Predators are still in hot water and, though a little bit closer, just aren’t as close to the shore as they need to be.

Nashville remains at home tomorrow night, welcoming in the Edmonton Oilers, who have also won their last two games. Though Edmonton is sitting in 13th, whereas Nashville is in 10th (tied with 32 points with San Jose and Columbus), the Oilers are chopping at Nashville’s tail at 29 points.

With only sixteen games left in the regular season, the room for error is getting slimmer by the minute for Nashville.

Showing some Rust, Preds fall to Blue Jackets 3-2 in SO

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Don’t let the score dishearten you, folks.

Well, let’s first start off with WELCOME BACK TO SMASHVILLE!

For fans all over the NHL world, today – January 19th – might as well had been renamed Christmas Day. NHL hockey official returned and every hockey fan rejoiced, eager to don their favorite jerseys and return to their game day rituals.

In Smashville, tonight was electric. Hungry fans clawing to see their beloved team back on the ice; the past week open practice teasing them to push onward to Saturday. A Plaza Party to kick the festivities off, along with a “Gold Carpet” event with the players revving the fans into utter hockey ecstasy.

On the schedule for the shortened season opener? The Columbus Blue Jackets. Not exactly a formidable opponent in the past, but with the extended offseason, this season could bring forth a team not even on the radar to hoist Lord Stanley’s Cup. Tonight, Columbus wasn’t going to let a little offseason rust slow them down.

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It’s been a while since the last post game write-up (too long, NHL & NHLPA), so we’ll give you a quick rundown of how our post game synopsis work. We basically cover the highlights (who scored, who got the assists, who was scratched, who got penalties, etc.). In a sense, we keep it short and simple. New this season, we are adding scores from around the league. You know, just in case you need to keep up with your fantasy team.
Okay, enough chitchat – You’ll see below how we cover the games, so there you go:

KEY POINTS:

  • Though not announced, the scratches for the Predators tonight included Jonathon Blum, Victor Bartley, and Rich Clune.
  • Also not announced was tonight’s starting lineup that included Shea Weber, Sergei Kostitsyn, Mike Fisher, Martin Erat, Roman Josi, and Pekka Rinne.
  • Martin Erat started the game out on fire, sending a wrister past goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky within 39 seconds of puck being dropped. Sergei Kostitsyn and Pekka Rinne picked up the assists on the new Alternate’s first goal of the season. Here’s the video of Erat’s goal:

  • The Predators would continue to hold the Blue Jackets at bay until Columbus snuck in a tying goal on a powerplay from Nick Foligno at 16:08 in the first.
  • Ryan Ellis would put the Predators back on top at 17:55 on a powerplay of his own, with Sergei Kostitsyn picking up his second assist and Patric Hörnqvist picking up his first.
  • Columbus wouldn’t stay behind for long, answering to the Preds at 12:05 in the second period, the tying goal scored by center Artem Anisimov.
  • The third period would produce no goals, sending the game into overtime, giving both teams a point overall. Like the third period, overtime saw no goals, leading the season opener into a shootout.

SHOOTOUT SUMMARY:

– COLUMBUS – Cam Atkinson – SAVE
– NASHVILLE – Martin Erat – SAVE
– COLUMBUS – Artem Anisimov – SAVE
– NASHVILLE – Mike Fisher – SAVE
– COLUMBUS – Jack Johnson – GOAL
– NASHVILLE – David Legwand – GOAL
– COLUMBUS – James Wisniewski – SAVE
– NASHVILLE – Ryan Ellis – SAVE
– COLUMBUS – Ryan Johansen – SAVE
– NASHVILLE – Colin Wilson – SAVE
COLUMBUS – Derick Brassard – GOAL
– NASHVILLE – Craig Smith – SAVE

PENALTY SUMMARY:

Brandon Yip – 6:49, 1st Period – Roughing
Scott Hannan – 13:31, 1st Period – Fighting
Martin Erat – 15:14, 1st Period – Slashing
Shea Weber – 9:53, 2nd Period – Fighting
Shea Weber – 9:53, 2nd Period – Roughing
David Legwand – 5:00, OT – Holding

Rusty is a good word to describe both teams (and from what we hear, all the teams in the league, as well) tonight, but Columbus was able to shake those rusted bolts loose just enough to squeak past the Predators to nab the win. Though the Predators don’t leave tonight completely empty handed, we’re sure they aren’t leaving without a nice talking to by Mr. Trotzy, either.

Without a preseason to ease the players back into their routines (and the fact some players are adjusting to new lineups and positions), it was truly anyone’s game tonight, with both teams trying to feel out their new adjustments. Sadly, this is the real deal, not just an exhibition. The Predators will have to recuperate swiftly and adjust accordingly by Monday, as their next opponent swept the Red Wings 6-0 tonight. The Blues are wound up from hibernation and, after tonight’s performance, may want to lay a wallop on the repairing Preds, too.

Attendance: 17,113 (sellout)

Until Monday,
GO PREDS

Check the chalkboard, folks.

Check the chalkboard, folks.

 

CBA Talks Halt; 2012-13 Season Hangs in the Balance

Whatever he’s thinking about, it isn’t the fans.

You are probably wondering why we haven’t covered the current Collective Bargaining Agreement that haunts the future of the 2012-13 NHL season. Welp, we figured you were hearing enough from everyone else, but also because we just didn’t want to discuss it. Bad juju, really.

Well, after trying to ignore the potential lockout like a five-year-old (if you close your eyes and cover your ears, it’s not real, right?), we finally hiked up our big girl undies and weighed the pending situation at hand.

As of Friday, the NHLPA and the NHL have come to no conclusion, with no intentions of meeting again before the CBA expires on the 15th. The meeting lasted a whopping 90 minutes. That gives these two knot-heads twelve days to agree to disagree or say bye-bye to the 2012-13 season (that, or it’ll be delayed).

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman doesn’t seem worried about a potential lockout, claiming that, because the league survived the last lockout (2004-05 season), it will be just fine if another one occurs. Fans and the media, however, beg the differ.

The strength of hockey will not be effected in certain places such as Los Angeles, Boston, Detroit, and all of Canada, but for non-traditional markets, the event of a lockout could be disastrous. The Columbus Blue Jackets are walking a very, very thin wire and, after losing Rick Nash to the New York Rangers, a lockout could be the scissors that cut their lifeline. Hosting the All-Star Game won’t help much if there isn’t one, and it sure won’t bring an already waning fan base back on board, either.

The Phoenix Coyotes, still floating on Cloud 9 after making it to the third round of the playoffs, will soon find their cloud bursting into flames if the lockout does indeed occur. What fan base they generated during the playoffs will enviably die off due to lack of a season, sending the Coyotes back into the limbo that is “What Canadian city will be getting an NHL team”. Now, not to bash the Coyotes, as they do have a committed, loyal fan base, but I am talking about those who jumped on the bandwagon and/or those Arizonians who were introduced to hockey during that time.

Though we do not want to discuss it, Nashville will be effected as well. The Predators have nestled themselves into Music City just fine, and the team managed to survive the 2004-05 season without fail. However, although the fan base is strong and loyal fans have began to emerge, Nashville is still a non-traditional market and, enviably, will be damaged by a potential lockout. The Predators bring fans from across the South, from Alabama to Arkansas (most notable Preds fans from Arkansas? The Duggar Family from 19 Kids and Counting) and, without a season, but in a lockout situation, those fans will revert back into college football drones.

No matter if the team is settled in a non-tradition market or in a thriving, hockey-centered community, every city with an NHL team will be affected negatively. Wether it be monetarily, numerically, physically, whatever- Bettman can easily shrug off the fact he will lose no more than chump-change and a few “bandwagoners” if a lockout occurs. The fans, however, lose out in every aspect of the situation. Cities that don’t even have teams will be affected.

“Once we get past Sept. 15, I think the dynamic changes,” Commissioner Bettman stated. “The damage to the business changes the dynamic of the negotiation. So, from our standpoint, we’re hoping to make a deal by Sept. 15. That’s how we’ve positioned the offers we’ve made. And I’m hopeful that it can still be done. There is enough time if there is a willingness to negotiate.”

As stated above, the NHL and NHLPA have not set another meeting to discuss the CBA any further, leaving the 15th of September looming over every fans’ head.


Check out this video by Janne Makkonen – If this doesn’t make you want to punch Gary Bettman, I’m not sure what will. It gives an example and statistics of people will be affected if a lockout occurs and how fans can make a difference.

Here’s to hoping the NHL and the NHLPA get their butts in gear and finish these CBA talks before the 15th. Even if the season is pushed back, we’d rather see that than an entire lockout. Though it looks like neither side is going to back down, something’s got to give soon. For the fans sake.

 

Preds Sign S. Kostitsyn & Maclellan amidst Weber Watch

Sergei has no problem committing during the Weber ordeal.

Though the fans and media have basically been left in the dark during this Weber Watch (Poile Watch, whichever you prefer), the Predators haven’t been sitting blindly on their stumps, fully concentrated on to match or not to match Philly’s Weber offer.

News was released late this morning of the Predators signing youngster Jack Maclellan to a one-year, two-way $600,000 deal. The 24-year-old signed as a free agent after finishing up his collegiate career at Brown University this past Spring. You may recognize the name, he was listed on the roster during the playoffs this past season. Maclellan will join the Milwaukee Admirals in the mean time.

And, following shortly in the early afternoon, news broke that the Predators and Sergei Kostitsyn reached a two-year, $6 million contract. As we reported earlier in the year, SK74 was seeking a long-term contract with Nashville and, although two years isn’t exactly career-length, it is a step in the right direction for Sergei, one that he and his agent obviously felt comfortable with. Maybe this will kick Sergei into shooting more, eh?

The rest of the hockey world was on its toes as well this afternoon, with the announcement of Rick Nash, Columbus’s last link to a successful franchise, was traded to the New York Rangers for two centers (Brandon Dubinsky and Artem Anisimov), defenseman Tim Erixon, and first round draft pick. Although Nashville is far, far from being in Columbus’s shoes, the Predators should take note of what is happening with the Blue Jackets and heed the warning.

We are hoping maybe, just maybe, David Poile was waiting out for what would happen with Rick Nash (it was obvious he was out of there) and now that the Rangers have him, he’ll go ahead a M A T C H – T H E – O F F E R.

Here’s to hoping.