Thursday, April 30, 2009

Withdrawals already?

I miss the Predators.
I miss being at the rink with thousands of other crazy hockey fans.
I miss having that as my escape.
The extra money in my bank account is nice, but life without hockey is boring.
Not having been in my perch atop 305 with Sarah in almost a month is an odd feeling.
I'll miss my hockey buddy next season.
O'Doyle rules!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Let's talk playoffs

I didn't think it would be so weird to be watching playoff hockey from my couch and not my seat at the Sommet, but it totally is. I am jealous of the fans of the 16 teams in the playoffs. They get to, or got to in the cases of the Montreal, St. Louis, and Columbus fans, sit in the most exciting atmosphere for hockey. There's nothing like a playoff crowd, and I'm sad we didn't have that in Nashville this year. However, my number two team did make the playoffs, and I struggled with the urge to drive to St. Louis to catch a game. Sadly, the Blues were swept in the first round by Vancouver, whom I despise. I hate Luongo and his greasy hair, the Sedin twins and their creepy faces, and Burrows and his cheating ass. Yea, I'm bitter. Sue me. As far as sweeps go, the two others that happened in the first round made me happier. Columbus was swept by Detroit; yes I was a Red Wing fan. Suck it Mason. Seriously, who picks number 1? Go hang out with Luongo or soemthing. Barf. Montreal was also swept by Boston. Those were some exciting games, and once again it was shown just how overrated Carey Price is. All Star material he was not, but it's the Canadiens and their fans and their 100th season. Whatever. The Sharks are down to the Ducks, who may be the most dominant 8th seed ever. The Canes/Devils series has been pretty exciting with lots of last minute goals. And the Chicago/Calgary series has been physical. I just hope Calgary comes out on top. Iginla deserves a cup, and I really want that for him. He's a terribly nice guy, and a hell of a player. As for the rest of the East, I don't really care. I'm sick of both Crosby and Ovechkin, so I'm on the Philadelphia and New York wagons. Was pretty awesome to see AO not score a goal until last night. Way to go Rangers defense.
Regardless of who I want to win or who wins, it doesn't even come close to cheering for YOUR team in the playoffs. Hopefully next year the Preds are back in contention. With a full year of Pekka, and maybe a full year of healthy Sullivan, we can do it. There will be some changes for this team next year, with a lot of our borderline AHL/NHL players contracts being up, but hopefully it'll give young guys a chance or even allow us to chase some free agents.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Some praises

Since the last blog was more of a downer than anything, I figured I needed to point out some of the good things that came with this season.
Steve Sullivan returned to the ice after nearly two years of rehab with his back issues. I never thought I would see him on the ice again, but him proving me wrong was awesome. That guy has all kinds of heart, and I sincerely hope he's back next year. Shit eating midget or not, he made Arnott and Dumont better. Seeing that line together again took me back to my first season as a fan. If only we could get Leggy, Erat, and Kariya on a line again. *Drool*
Shea Weber is a beast. That's all there is to it. Yes, he is my favorite player, but that in no way influences my opinion of his season. He broke the franchise record for goals scored by a defenseman and also ended up breaking the record for shots. That is quite a year for a 23 year old kid, who just last year struggled through injuries and missed a ton of games. He also made his first all star appearance and was paired with Scott Neidermayer in the game. Talk about an honor. I am so proud of the season he had and hopes he comes back bigger, stronger, and ready to carry this team for years to come.
I will be the first to admit that I am one of Jason Arnott's biggest critics. I've called him and Dumont lazy bastards more than I can count, and the assessment still stands true for Dumont, leading scorer or not. However, after coming back from his concussion with only a few games left in the season, I saw what he means to this team. He picked us up and carried us. He was the reason it came down to the last game of the season. He went to the net, pushed people around, and gave it all. The only knock I have on him is that he takes shifts off. Why can't we have seen this Jason all season? I used to want to rip that C off his jersey, but he earned it in the last two weeks of the season. Congrats to him for tying his career high goals for a season and setting a new record for the Predators. Now, this isn't saying that I won't call him lazy next year, but I am commending him now.
Pekka Rinne became the workhorse for this team. He made saves that left us all in awe. We owe us even having a sniff at the playoffs to him. He was tired at the end of the season, and it showed, but he was what we needed him to be for most of the season. It sucks that Ellis had to have such a rough go, but Pekka stepped up when he did. If it wasn't for that douche Steve Mason up in Columbus, I think he'd have a real chance at the Calder. If he can be brilliant over the course of the whole season, and Ellis can come in and be a reliable back up to him, this team could do some damage next season.
Regardless, these guys are class acts and I'm proud to have them on our team.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

That's all she wrote

The Predators season came to an end last night. No 5th consecutive year of playoffs for this team. We were destroyed 8-4 by a Wild team that was clearly playing for everything, even though they too were eliminated last night with the Ducks win. Our normally consistent penalty kill gave up 3 power play goals. That's simply embarrassing. Throw in the shorthanded goal, the two empty netters, and several breakaways and you get a devastating loss for a team that pushed so hard to get where they were.
It's hard to take any positives out of last night's game seeing as how it was just plain hard to watch. Pekka was human, and not on his game. He's better than that and most of the Preds fans you ask would know that. Honestly, I'm shocked he wasn't pulled after the 4th goal, and then again after the 5th. We needed something to shake things up, and I don't see how putting Ellis in would have hurt anymore. But it doesn't matter this morning. This morning Preds fans everywhere are either packing it in and enjoying another off season, making plans for money previously set aside for playoff tickets or finding another team to root for in the playoffs. I'm not done watching hockey. I plan on watching all the games that get broadcast on NBC or Versus. And I am a Blues fan. Yes, it sucks that they're in and we're not. Yes, it sucks that every Central division team made it except us. But that team fought back, much like the Predators. They had a crazy amount of injuries to the core parts of their team, and they had rookies that came in and made an impression. TJ Oshie came out of nowhere to become a pretty big piece of the St. Louis puzzle. Throw in Andy McDonald's late season return, and talk about a Cinderella story. Would be nice for them to get their hard work rewarded. Of course, with Paul Kariya nearing a comeback for their first playoff appearance in years, that just makes it sweeter for me. Yes I'm upset that the Preds are setting tee times, but my second favorite team is in, and I hope they make a heck of a run.
As for the Preds, we had an amazing season. It was an entertaining one, that's for sure. And we'll be back come September, hopefully stronger and ready for another run. I'll be there for the next 2 years. Did a half season renewal for the next two years, and I can't wait to be back atop 305.

Friday, April 10, 2009

An unlikely scenario

The Predators lost to the Blackhawks at home on Tuesday. Talk about demoralizing. But just last night, this dog showed us it has a whole lot more fight in it. After being down to Detroit 3-1 in the 3rd period, the Predators came back to win in 4-3 in a shootout. That made the season series 4-2 with the Wings. We took the series with the Wings, but struggled against the Blues? How odd is that? Nashville plays its last regular season game tonight against the Minnesota Wild. With a win by the Preds and a loss by the Blues, the Predators clinch a playoff spot for the 5th straight year. Talk about stressful; it's never good to have to rely on other teams to do things for you, but with the way the Predators struggled before the All-Star break, I'm ecstatic that they're even in playoff contention. The problem with the game tonight is that Minnesota is a desperate team. If they win tonight, they still have the slimmest of chances at a playoff appearance. They'll be throwing everything they've got at us, and we'll be coming off a very tough game last night. The boys can't come out slow or tired, because once the Wild get a lead, they will trap the neutral zone all night. We need to put this one away early and get a couple goals. The Preds have to take care of their business and worry about the Blues game later. We need a favor from Columbus tonight. The pukc drops in thirty minutes; Let's go boys.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Lose one, win one

Since I last posted, the Preds lost the Blackhawks at the United Center and beat the Blue Jackets at home. We're still in 8th at the moment. Win out, against Chicago, Detroit, and Minnesota, and we're in. Lose any of those three games and we have to rely on other teams to win or lose for us to make it in. The Hawks come into the Sommet Center tomorrow for our regular season home finale. It will likely be a playoff atmosphere, and we'll need the team to bring it all. The we end on the road with a back to back. Will be tough, but we can do it.
Good news came for the team Saturday; Jason Arnott was back in the lineup for the Preds. And he made quite an impact, scoring twice and racking up an assist in his first game back. Him coming back may have been the boost this team needed to finish out this season. We've gotta play at a high level for the rest of this week, but it can be done. And it will prove to be an exciting finish, with the Preds and St. Louis fighting for the 8th spot.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Every streak has to end

After getting points in eight straight games, the Predators lost to the Blue Jackets in regulation last night. Thankfully, I had to work. So I only saw the 3rd period, but that was enough. We looked slow and confused. I haven't seen Weber play that bad in a long time, but it pissed me off. And apparently is pissed of Pekka too. My Dad told me Pekka was ticked after the BJ's first goal and that he was jawing at Shea. I can only imagine he deserved it. With him being our best defensman, we cannot afford for him to start sucking. We are still in the playoff race, but things look a little less shiny after a loss. The boys came home last night and had a day off today (not that I think they deserved it).
We had another casualty in the game last night. Pihlstrom is now day to day with an upper body injury. With none of our other injured forwards ready to return, we'll either see Koistenen dressed as a forward or another call up in Chicago on Friday. Both options make me cringe. I hate VK, and I can't think of anyone left in Milwaukee. This leaves me wishing even more that we had made a move at the deadline, but hindsight is 20/20.
Let's hope the boys bring the fire in the United Center come Friday.