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12-23-2005, 10:35 PM
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Location: Murfreesboro, Tn.
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at the end of the night they don't ask how, just how many...and the how many is now 23-7-3 for 49 frigging points..

for those that didn't get to see this one, well consider yourself both unlucky and lucky at the same time. it was ugly pond type hockey. any resemblance to the past 5 games we've played are purely coincidental. both sides were loose in the offensive zone, loose coverage in the defensive zone, loose passing and puck control on the power play, and loose coverage in the neutral zone(those idiot announcers of columbus actually talked about how tough the preds were being standing people up in the neutral zone and making it hard for them to gain entry!). even our pk, which has looked great most all year, just wasn't there tonight... the only thing i can say is that columbus was worse than we were..

just a few observations(mainly for the benefit of those that didn't see it);

first let me recap the goals..
1-0 preds.. hartnell with great hands on the PP rebound, off a great low point shot from timonen that caused the rebound
1-1 BJ's..balastik gets a crossice pass and catches vokoun having to slide back to his left post, looked like one of our sully thru the zone passes
2-1 preds.. upshall with a beaut, looked exactly like fiddler's goal the other night, same spot, same over the shoulder goal
2-2 BJ's.. westcott, allison and shelley had vokoun screened, he never saw the puck
3-2 preds..fiddler with a great rebound scoop past leclair who played that one terribly. great job by fiddler, kariya and upshall all
4-2 preds.. perreault with a beautiful pass and easy tip from kariya.. easy,pretty goal
5-2 preds.. hall stumbling in, with a bullet over denis shoulder.. after what had been an ugly pp up until the shot
5-3 BJ's.. no matter what pete and terry said, the goal should have counted as the guys hand was still on his stick when he hit it in
5-4 BJ's.. chimera shorthanded, awful power play turnover, they actually had a 2 on 0 after zidlicky dove at the puck and missed. no chance vokoun

..all in all an almost unbeielievably sloppy game on both ends... the difference was vokoun of course...he made at least 5 tough, tough stops and had little chance on any of their 4 goals..
..our defensive effort was horrible to be honest, both from the defensivemen and the forwards.. columbus spent at least 70% of the game in our zone with the puck
..we got killed on draws in our own zone...winning just 6 of 22 of them.. in our own end johnson was 0 for 4, smithson 1 for 7 and fiddler 1 for 5..this could have killed us and should have.
..perreault was 11 for 12 on draws on a night we had trouble winning key ones..we did wind up 33 of 66 overall for the game, but in our end we stunk.
..kariya with 3 first assists tonight, second straight 3 point game
..upshall with a great game. a pretty goal and a key assist, despite only playing a little over 7 minutes... the way this guy is going he needs to be getting more minutes than this.. he did take a bad penalty late that they scored a pp goal on
..don't let the 3 powerplay goals fool you. we looked awful on the pp for most of the night. we would look awful for 1 and a half minutes and boom CLB would screw up and hand us one right on the doorstep. we must have given up 8 good scoring chances shorthanded tonight too, in fact they probably had more shorthanded shots than we did powerplay shots.
.. smithson with probably his weakest game as a pred so far, took 3 penalties, two of them weak ones. erat was reaching and grabbing all night too, took two bad penalties. zidlicky got overpowered twice int he defensive zone and took two himself. bad discipline by the preds after several good games in a row. over 17 minutes in the box, unacceptable
..the 4th line was playing well early, both tootoo and hordichuk drew early penalties, tootoo in fact drew two, but smithson spent so much time in the box later that it kept them off ice after the first period. thought this really hurt us.'s hard to believe that Columbus actually scored 4 goals on us, when we shut down the nash-federov-zherdev line. their only real offensive threat line. no points from this trio, none.
...but, it all comes down to whether you win or lose, and we probably played our best hockey the last 5 minutes of the game defending that one goal lead.

and all i know right now, is that here we sit as of this minute, tied with Detroit for the western conference lead with Detroit (now trailing the blackhawks 2-0 late). and it's christmas. un-frigging-believable

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