Preds find Success in Shootout against Kings

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After coming up short the last few games, the Predators took the risk of switching up the lines in order to compete with the dog-eat-dog season at hand.

Colin Wilson was placed on the first line, knocking Sergei Kostitsyn down to the third line. Maybe this was the change both Colin and Sergei needed. With his creativity with puck handling, Colin could create some much needed offense. Being set back, Sergei may push himself to regain his position alongside Erat and Fisher, possibly taking a few shots rather than pass.

A game you should be a little nervous about would be against the defending Stanley Cup champs, but the Preds came out on cue, a surprise to most of us who were wincing at this late night game (heck, we’re writing this now because we fell asleep). Here are the highlights from last night’s win:

KEY POINTS:

– Jonathon Blum and Brian McGrattan continue to warm the scratched list, with Patric Hörnqvist still on the mend.
– The Predators were definitely awake for the first period, with Brandon Yip sending a snap shot past Johnathan Quick with just 58 seconds on the clock, his second goal of the season. Gabriel Bourque picked up his second assist and Legwand picked up his first assist.
– The Predators would hold the lead until 13:08 with a wrister off the glass from Dustin Brown on a powerplay, his first goal of the season.
– The second and third periods would produce no goals, with the first period holding all of the excitement (this is when we fell asleep). Overtime would be just as quiet, thus sending the game into a shootout, Nashville’s worst nightmare.

SHOOTOUT SUMMARY:
1. LOS ANGELES – Jeff Carter – SAVE
2. NASHVILLE – David Legwand – GOAL
3. LOS ANGELES – Mike Richards – GOAL
4. NASHVILLE – Craig Smith – GOAL
5. LOS ANGELES – Dustin Brown – GOAL
6. NASHVILLE – Martin Erat – SAVE
7. LOS ANGELES – Drew Doughty – SAVE
8. NASHVILLE – Colin Wilson – SAVE
9. LOS ANGELES – Jarret Stoll – SAVE
10. NASHVILLE – Brandon Yip – SAVE
11. LOS ANGELES – Anze Kopitar – GOAL
12. NASHVILLE – Gabriel Bourque – GOAL
13. LOS ANGELES – Justin Williams – SAVE
14. NASHVILLE – Roman Josi – SAVE
15. LOS ANGELES – Simon Gagne – SAVE
16. NASHVILLE – Sergei Kostitsyn – GOAL

If that isn’t a a clue that if and when Sergei shoots, he’s awfully accurate, we don’t know what is. The Predators definitely put forth more of an effort last night, though they ended up being outshot 24 to 14 overall. Pekka Rinne had a much better game, taking ten more shots on goal than Quick. Though he allowed more than we wanted in the shootout, the rest of the team came through and picked up the two points.

The Predators stay in the Golden State, taking on the Sharks on Saturday. Wait, where are the penalties, you ask? We’ll add those later – only have an hour for lunch…

Until then,
GO PREDS

The Lineup Shuffle: Who’s getting Switched Around?

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Is this Colin Wilson’s time to shine?

Looks like Trotzy is trying out some new lineups in hopes of a boost some offensive action i.e. goals and maybe – going out on a limb here – a win or two.

Here are the new lines:
Colin Wilson – Mike Fisher – Martin Erat
Brandon Yip – David Legwand – Gabriel Bourque
Nick Spaling – Craig Smith – Sergei Kostitsyn
Matt Halischuk – Paul Gaustad – Rich Clune

Huge step forward for Colin Wilson who, not even a year ago was trying to claw his way out of Trotz’s doghouse. Huge step backwards for Sergei Kostitsyn who, as we all know, just isn’t quite getting the whole “shoot the puck because you can score” concept. Colin is creative on the ice, which may just be exactly what the Preds need to get a move on in this season.

Trotz has also thrown around the idea of bringing up a few prospects from Milwaukee, but no confirmation as of yet.

The Predators take on the defending Stanley Cup champs, the L.A. Kings, tomorrow night at 9:30 CT.

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.

***

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.

 

SK74 voted Starter in KHL All-Star Game

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Welp, the results are in for who will be in the starting lineup in the KHL All-Star Game and it looks like Sergei Kostitsyn has made the cut.

Sergei Kostitsyn is just one of three forwards starting for Team East, paired alongside Evgeni Malkin of Metallurg and Evgeny Kuznetsov of Traktor. Defense on Team East includes Ilya Nikulin of AK Bars and Sergei Gonchar of Metallurg MG. The starting goal is Michael Garnett of Traktor.

The starting line up for Team West is a bit more starstruck, with Alexander Ovechkin of Dynamo Moscow, Pavel Datsyuk of CSKA, and Ilya Kovalchuk of SKA rounding out the forwards. Zdeno Chara of Lev Praha and Alexander Ryazantsev of Severstal make up the defense of Team West, with Semyon Varlamov of Lokomotiv in goal.

One name that was not named in the lineup (who held a lead up until the end of the voting period) that is a bit surprising is Predators goalie, Pekka Rinne. However, with his recent groin injury, it explains why he did not make the starting lineup. It also brings up the speculation of if his injury is more severe than we know. Hopefully not.

The KHL All-Star Game will take place on January 13th, 2013 at the Traktor Sport Palace in Chelyabinsk, Russia.

12/12/12 proves Newsworthy for the Predators

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Day 88 of the NHL Lockout produced little insight on the CBA talks, but there was plenty of news on the home front for the Nashville Predators. Okay, so it was both good news and bad news…

Let’s begin with the bad news, shall we?

– Word out of Minsk, Belarus today was a bit disheartening. Though details haven’t made their way to us yet, it looks like Pekka Rinne suffered a groin injury, which has him sidelined for a while. Rinne, as you know, is currently goaltending it up for Dinamo Minsk in the KHL whilst the lockout continues to ruin the NHL as an organization. As we stated, not much more has been released, but if the lockout were to end relatively soon, it looks like Chris Mason would be taking the reins.

While you lick your wounds from that punch in the gut, we will go ahead and let you know that’s the only bad news from today. So let’s bring on the good news:

– Continuing with Pekka Rinne, although he is injured, he is still leading the goaltenders in the KHL’s ballot for their All-Star Game. Although Peks hasn’t exactly had the best luck in the KHL, he is obviously doing something right to get the fans of Dinamo Minsk to vote for him.

– Like Rinne, Sergei Kostitsyn is leading the ballots in the forward category. Yes, we said Sergei Kostitsyn. He’s been on fire since joining up with Avangard Omsk, putting up points in just about all of his games. It’s no wonder he’s been vocal about hoping the lockout continues; he’s the star he’s always wanted to be without ever leaving home (err… sort of). When you’re beating out more notable forwards such as Alexander Ovechkin, Pavel Datsyuk, and Evgeni Malkin, it’s completely understandable why you’d want to stay in the KHL.

– Patric Hörnqvist is leading a ballot of his own; one that consists of frequent flier miles. Horny has joined up with the Swiss club Fribourg-Gotteron during the Spengler Cup. This is Hörnqvist’s third club since the lockout began (if you do not include his minor stint with Tre Kronor) and his second Swiss team. Horny first joined Switzerland’s Martigny Red Ice before changing over to a familiar Swedish team, Djurgardens. Can’t quite get his bearings or does he just miss Nashville and the NHL that much?

So, although not much progress was made during today’s CBA talks (surprise, surprise), it was an eventful news day regarding the Predators. If you are interested in following the KHL All-Star standings – seeing as how our dreams are dashed – check out the site here.

Here’s to hoping Peks heals quickly and holds his lead in the ballots, to Sergei remembering the NHL is better, and to the airline points Horny has accumulated during the lockout.

Kevin Klein joins Herlev Eagles

Kevin Klein joins a few other Preds in Europe during the Lockout

We missed this news last week, but it looks like Kevin Klein has made the move to Europe as the lockout continues to chip away at the 2012-13 season.

Nashville’s defenseman will be teaming up with the Herlev Eagles, a team in Demark, part of the AL-Bank Ligaen (the highest league in Denmark). Klein will now be the sixth Predators to head overseas, with Craig Smith returning to the U.S. not too long ago.

Klein recently signed a contract extension with the Preds worth $14.5 million for five years. With a career high of 21 points last season, the Predators were more than happy to re-sign the 27-year-old defenseman.

As a reminder, here are the current Predators skating it up in Europe:

Pekka Rinne is with Dinamo Minsk
Sergei Kostitsyn is with Avangard Omsk
Patric Hörnqvist is with HC Red Ice
Roman Josi is with SC Bern
Craig Smith was with SM-Liiga

This picture makes us sad.

Players Speak Out against Lockout as Games continue to Cancel

Don Fehr back in September.

 

As you all know by now, the NHL has announced that it has canceled all games of the 2012-13 season through December 14th, along with the much anticipated All-Star weekend in Columbus.

That brings us up to 423 regular season games canceled thus far, including the Winter Classic between the Detroit Red Wings and the Toronto Maple Leafs. How much money has been lost thus far, too? Here are the status up to

Salary lost: $416,998,959.25
Days Lost in Regular Season: 45
Days since the Lockout: 71

By the time you read this, those numbers will probably have changed, which is absolutely unbelievable. However, with each day that passes, more and more players are becoming vocal about their opinions on the lockout at hand. The NHL and NHLPA will tell you that these players’ outbursts have nothing to do with the “progress” that the two sides have made, but it’s very clear that the players are getting just a frustrated as the fans at this point.

“(Bettman’s) the only guy in pro sports that likes lockouts. It’s ridiculous. The only people who have record revenue and try to cut everything from us are the owners. There needs to be a give-and-take. We’re willing to take less revenue. We’ll do a 50-50 split if they honor our contracts. That seems fair. When you sign a contract, you look the GM in the eye and you expect them to honor your contract.” – Jason Chimera, Washington Capitals

“I personally think (Gary Bettman’s) an idiot. Since he’s come in, he’s done nothing but damaged the game.” – Ian White, Detroit Red Wings

“It’s disappointing that the approach for Gary [Bettman] and the ownership group has been to make these hard dates and final offers and not budging and on and on. There’s no real answer to why except ‘We think we can lock you out and your careers are short and we can shake you down’. Not a good feeling.” – Mike Cammalleri, Calgary Flames

“The two sides are close enough to a deal that missing the bulk of a season is wrong and missing an entire season is not only insane, it is a blatant disregard for the sport, the fans and the culture we have grown over decades — just to satisfy egos, not the needs of either side.” – Ryan Miller, Buffalo Sabres

“But not to be able to play, and for the fans, too – they pay our salaries, anyway. It’s not fair for fans not to have hockey right now.” – Teemu Selanne, Anaheim Ducks

And, let’s not forget our very own Sergei Kostitsyn: “Let’s put it this way – it would be better [for the players] if the lockout continues. Players want a definite answer. If the NHL season is lost – let it be that way. I would then play in Russia for the whole season.”

We could continue to add and add all of the players that have spoken publicly about the lockout, but it would make for one long, drawn-out blog post. It’s clear the players aren’t ready for another lockout, with the last one (in 04-05) still fresh on everyone’s minds.

The real losers here are both the franchise and city of Columbus. With an already struggling hockey market, the All-Star weekend was going to boost both the city’s economy and possibly push some life into the Blue Jackets’ sinking organization. And, to top it off, with Columbus losing their hosting duties at an All-Star game, the chance of Nashville hosting one in the near future will be pushed back as well.

Fans have also expressed their opinions on the lockout, with even a Flyers fan jumping at Commissioner Gary Bettman while leaving a meeting on Wednesday. To be honest, we are surprised it hasn’t happened earlier. So, the question is, how long will fans continue to let both the NHL and NHLPA drag the knife wound through their backs? The optimism is slowly but surely dying off, leaving just a heap of diehards clinging to the dagger. Even we are having a hard time keeping interest, as you can see our posts have been few to none.

How long will the NHL and NHLPA continue to drag the “supposed” season until they finally call it off for good? What good is a season that will start mid-December? We’d be happy for any hockey, championship-worthy or not, but even if the lockout ends tomorrow, the NHL is still the worst-run professional organization in the world. Bettman will still be the commissioner; Fehr will still be the executive director of the NHLPA. Will they just disagree once again and throw the league into another lockout?

Again, the optimism is fading fast and we’re pulling the dagger out at an alarming rate. Time to take notice, NHL.

Sergei Kostitsyn’s True Feelings about the NHL

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Welp, he’s done it again.
Is it because fellow European players are speaking out, or is it because he doesn’t realize his comments to a Russian-based media outlet will still make its way to America and the NHL?

Unfortunately for Sergei Kostitsyn, the young Predators forward isn’t a huge bread-winner like Alexander Ovechkin and Ilya Bryzgalov and well, his outbursts only make him look like a jerk.

Here’s a little excerpt from Sergei’s interview with Russian Daily Sport-Express and his thoughts on the current lockout:

“Let’s put it this way – it would be better (for the players) if the lockout continues. Players want a definite answer. If the NHL season is lost – let it be that way. I would then play in Russia for the whole season.”

He is also on record saying how much he disliked living in North America and that he just couldnt understand the American way of life during his time in the NHL.

Dang, dude! Are we unaware of SK74’s god-like idolization in Belarus? Well, he has been doing pretty well while with the KHL, but for such a quiet, barely audible Predator, he sure his confident across the pond in the Motherland.

Does he still have his undies in a wad due to his brother getting dismissed from the NHL altogether or does he honestly feel this way? As we know, not all can be translated correctly and believed by the Russian media, but with his rocky history with defiance, it’s sort of believable. What happens when the lockout ends? Sergei still has to honor his 2-year contract with the Predators, yea? How awkward will that be…

Bryzgalov and Ovechkin have always been outspoken, but Sergei sounds like the nerd trying desperately to fit in the the jocks and just spitting out whatever word vomit the other two say.

Again, when the lockout finally does come to an end, how will Sergei (and the other outspoken Europeans) respond to returning to North America and the NHL?

Sergei Kostitsyn joins Avangard Omsk

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After much debate as to where he would sign, Sergei Kostitsyn as chosen to join up with Avangard Omsk of the KHL. SK74 has been vocal about signing with the KHL, but he seemed to take his time selecting which team he’d settle with. As we mentioned in a previous post, the Predators forward has been pretty open about sticking with the KHL, even if the lockout comes to an end before the NHL season can be completely wiped.

Of course, contract-wise, SK74 cannot technically do that, but with big names like Ovechkin and Semin claiming to do the same, it’s no surprise the younger Kostitsyn would jump on board with the bandwagon. Plus, with a league that jumps to a lockout with a drop of the hat, we’d probably do the same.

As you remember, older brother Andrei Kostitsyn signed with Traktor Chelyabinsk in September after being dismissed from the Nashville Predators due to a late night stint during the 2012 playoffs with Russian rebel, Alexander Radoluv. Though most would think SK74 would join up with AK46 again, he chose to go at it alone, with Chelyabinsk a good 12 hours West of Omsk.

Sergei is now the fifth Nashville Predator to ship off to Europe, with Pekka Rinne teaming up with Dinamo Minsk, Roman Josi joining his former team SC Bern, Patric Hörnqvist signing with HC Red Ice, and Craig Smith joining Finland’s SM-Liiga.

ESPN3 Picks up KHL, Hörnqvist Signs with HC Red Ice, & SK74 starts Rumors

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Although ESPN is notorious for ignoring all things hockey related (including acknowledging this current lockout), they turned some heads today by coming to an agreement with the Russian-based hockey league to air games on the sports giant’s online channel, ESPN3.

While it isn’t much, at least ESPN is taking the the initiative to draw NHL fans to their site, giving fans at least some chance of seeing their beloved players take to the ice – even if it’s half way around the world. And, believe it or not, this isn’t the first time KHL games have been aired on ESPN3. For the past two seasons, ESPN3 has aired a few games on their station, though thanks to the lockout, it has gained more attention now.

The first game to be shown on ESPN3 will be between Dynamo Moscow and AK Bars on Wednesday, with four more games to follow up until the 9th of this month. More games are set to be scheduled as the lockout continues.

Though almost the entire team is eligible to play in Europe, only a few have fully committed to a team during the lockout including:

– Pekka Rinne – Dinamo Minsk
– Roman Josi – SC Bern
– Patric Hörnqvist was set to return to his former team Djurgarden, but due to high taxes and insurance, Hörnqvist is seeking another route. Where to now? HC Red Ice, yet another Swiss league team.

Rumors are still swarming around as to what Martin Erat is up to, along with rumors that Sergei Kostitsyn wants to stay with the KHL, even after the lockout is settled. However, we have yet to come across anything that has stated he has even signed with a team. Maybe we missed it in the Russian-to-English translation.

Also, be prepared for the NHL to start announcing the cancelation of regular season games some time this week. Good news, however, if the NHL and NHLPA can come to an agreement before November, all 82 games will still be scheduled. Let’s hope for that.