Theoretical Playoff Predictions (Round 1)
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02-20-2012, 01:02 PM
Only a 2 year window
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Crested Butte, CO
Originally Posted by
I said simply put because they lost. nevermind how they lost, stripping away who outshot who, who was injured, the end result was a loss. Ultimately, thats what matters.
Also, their management is working to make the team better, but ours is standing pat with the roster we have and hoping for people to return from injury. (granted, with the ownership situation as it is, its understandable.)
I just don't get a good feeling coming into the playoffs playing a Nashville team that has had our number all year. However, if we win the next two meetings, then that changes quite a bit. Thats why I said that Thursday will be a good test for us.
There is simply no way around the shootout issue being irrelevant. A shootout loss is essentially a tie. So I will grant you two losses and two ties.
Nashville added Hal Gill. With the deadline still a week away, the Blues haven't made any move. If they don't then the consequences are on Checketts, particularly for this year. But adding a depth defenseman with playoff experience is not the issue with Blues-Predators games. The issue is the Blues have created plenty of scoring chances but haven't put pucks in open nets, lifted pucks an extra two inches over pads, etc. That strikes me with two reactions. One, frustration on an emotional level. Two, on an intellectual level the fix is very simple. They either figure out HOW to lift pucks an extra two inches or bury their earned golden chances better or they won't win.
Nashville and the Blues are very closely competitive teams. Even home ice isn't super relevant with how intense the games are played in both buildings. Either could win a playoff series. What I'm pushing back on is what seems like your frustration being funneled into an insupportable conclusion, that the Blues "can't" beat the Predators. Go back through their GDTs if you want evidence that their fans know the Blues can play extremely strong hockey against them. Only a foolish Predator fan would just assume the Blues could hold disticnt scoring chances edge and a 152-95 shots advantage (discounting the 2-for-2 on empty nets) and feel comfortable that their team would automatically win the series.
And it IS a big deal in a long series that the Blues have two scoring lines instead of one. Weber and Suter can play about half the game and most of it will be against the Blues' best scoring line, but the two top Blues lines combined are out there for not quite 40 minutes. Not to suggest those are the only good defensemen the Preds have but they're far better with those two on the ice. A second scoring line that can finish makes a major difference over a series.
It may be safer and be better defensive emotonal strategy to prepare oneself in advance for a possible loss (see, I said before they couldn't beat this team so at least I was girded in advance) but the truth is neither one of us knows what the outcome of a series with Nashville would be because it's so close. And losing in the playoffs is always painful and there's no way around it. There were 25 years of painful losses which highlighted the importance of having guys who can perform in the clutch when the games changed in overall intensity. One of Nashville's clutch guys last year was Joel Ward, who they don't have any more. Blues added guys like Arnott and Langenbrunner for exactly this purpose, and they've been keeping them fresh with lower minutes all season. Will it pay off? We don't know and that's what makes sports so compelling.
I don't care what happens in the remaining two regular season games. Win or lose those two regular season games, it makes no difference to what's upcoming this spring. The Blues and Nashville will have a brutal, closely fought, classic playoff matchup that will cement the long-building rivalry for years. I hope we win but I don't know and neither does anyone else. Embrace the unknown and root for the best.
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