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GDT: Sharks @ Predators 12-29-07

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Old
12-29-2007, 04:32 PM
  #1
RollingPredFan
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GDT: Sharks @ Predators 12-29-07

@

Someone had to make one! Nothing fancy, just get 'er done.

We couldn't beat them with an a much better roster how we can beat them now edition

I read on the other board Suter and Weber are out and Mason is in net but thats not official.

Feel free to add anything I omitted

Go Preds!!

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Old
12-29-2007, 04:48 PM
  #2
PredDave
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RollingPredFan View Post
I read on the other board Suter and Weber are out and Mason is in net but thats not official.
http://www.tennessean.com/apps/pbcs....03/1002/SPORTS

It's official now!

Go Preds!

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12-29-2007, 04:53 PM
  #3
Seth Lake
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From last night's game in St. Louis the Sharks rolled the following lineup:

Michalek - Thornton - Cheechoo
Goc - Marleau - Bernier
Grier - Mitchell - Rissmiller
Davison - Pavelski - Roenick

McLaren - Vlasic
Ozolinsh - Ehrhoff
Carle - Rivet

Nabakov
Patzold

Midway through the third period Wilson shifted Roenick to the top line in Cheechoo's spot and moved Cheechoo back to the fourth line, but that interchanged throughout the rest of the game.

As has been mentioned, San Jose is a much more defensive oriented team than in previous years. They have plenty of players with offensive potential, but much of that potential has been unrealized this season and they have depended on Nabakov to win them many games and he has not disappointed. There is a rumor of Patzold getting a start on this road trip, but unless Nabakov asks out for tonight, I highly doubt it'll happen tonight. Just like last game, we need to get traffic to the front of the San Jose net and take away Nabakov's eyes. He doesn't give up many rebounds, but when we get those second chance opportunites, we need to pounce on them.

Expect to see Legwand's line matched up with Marleau and Bonk to go against Thornton with some Arnott interchanged. This is where our offseason acquistion of Bonk could pay major dividends. With Bonk in the lineup, we have two big centers to go against Thornton and unlike last season when we had to match Arnott against Thornton exclusively, this season we can take advantage of the last change as much as possible and split defensive duties amongst Arnott and Bonk.

Despite San Jose's lack of success on the PP, we cannot give them the opportunity to grind down our team and generate easy scoring opportunities on the PP. Conversely, we did a great job of getting opportunities on our PP last game against the second ranked PK unit in the league. Despite the fanbase's call for less passing and more shooting, quick puck-movement on the PP is what gets the box moving and opens up the seams in the defense to get those passes through to set up Arnott for his one-timer from the faceoff circle or Koistinen his shot from the point. San Jose plays a tight box around Nabakov both at even-strength and especially on the PK so look for more passes than normal to get that open shooting lane to get the puck through.

One of the main issues we've had with San Jose the past two seasons is that they stand up at the blueline both at even-strength and on the penalty-kill. We're going to need to use our speed to chip the puck in behind the Sharks defense and keep it away from Nabakov, who is very adept at moving the puck, to generate chances on regroups and in transition on set plays and when the play has stalled in the neutral zone. You're going to see a lot of dump-and-chase from both teams tonight. This is why many of our scoring chances at even-strength tonight will come in transition off of turnovers and why our PP will have a hard time setting up because our main method of gaining the zone is by either Legwand or Erat skating it in across the blueline.

Keys to the game:

1) Play from ahead.

San Jose is a team that loves to play defense first and is extremely confident in their netminder. If they get ahead early, we'll be fighting a very uphill battle all game long.

2) Aggressive forechecking.

As I said above, I believe many of our scoring chances at even-strength tonight will come off of turnovers. St. Louis had a lot of success last night with moderate pressure on the San Jose defense forcing multiple passes, many turnovers, and a lot of dump-ins.

3) Match the battle level of the Sharks.

Yes, this is a key to every game, but is most important at home where a couple of early hits or an early fight will really energize the crowd and provide that 7th man advantage. San Jose is a big team, but they are not overly physical. We have little size, but a lot of speed and guys that hit hard, our role players must play their roles and have an impact on this game.

4) Traffic to the front of Nabakov.

The guy is on fire this season and his team does everything they can to support him in turn. If he sees the shot, he will make the save and not give up any rebounds. Our chances are going to come from ugly goals with men in front of the net, deflections, and off of scrambles in the crease where we put the biscuit in the basket, much as Radulov and Koistinen did Thursday night.

5) Never underestimate the importance of faceoffs.

Faceoffs are a commonly overlooked scoring chance that occurs throughout the game. San Jose is one of the few teams in the league that spends a significant portion of time on faceoff plays in practice and it shows in games. They have several set plays they run each game and look to Thornton for all their big draws and usually are not disappointed. Remember key goals like Ville Niemenen scoring off a set play two years ago in the playoffs, Thornton taking advantage of an open wing to set up not one, but two, goals last year in the playoffs and a couple others I can remember off clean faceoff wins in the offensive zone. With Legwand very weak in the circle and Arnott pretty inconsistent, look for a lot of Nichol, Smithson, and possibly Fiddler coming in to take the defensive zone draws tonight.

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Old
12-29-2007, 06:43 PM
  #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SLake View Post

Despite San Jose's lack of success on the PP, we cannot give them the opportunity to grind down our team and generate easy scoring opportunities on the PP. Conversely, we did a great job of getting opportunities on our PP last game against the second ranked PK unit in the league. Despite the fanbase's call for less passing and more shooting, quick puck-movement on the PP is what gets the box moving and opens up the seams in the defense to get those passes through to set up Arnott for his one-timer from the faceoff circle or Koistinen his shot from the point. San Jose plays a tight box around Nabakov both at even-strength and especially on the PK so look for more passes than normal to get that open shooting lane to get the puck through.
SO true. We can't take stupid penalties against a team with playmakers like Thornton and Roenick, and finishers like Cheechoo (even though he's not having a great year this year). And the fans have GOT to stop yelling 'shoot'!!!! You have to pass to score, 9 times out of 10 you won't just take a slap shot from the circle and score, you have to pass to set up those good shots.

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Old
12-29-2007, 11:30 PM
  #5
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Legwand out 4-6 weeks with a broken wrist / arm.

Ouch! Who gets the call? Peverly or O'Reilly? or neither, and just give more time to Smithson, Nichol, etc?

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Old
12-30-2007, 12:06 AM
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Seth Lake
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PredDave View Post
Legwand out 4-6 weeks with a broken wrist / arm.

Ouch! Who gets the call? Peverly or O'Reilly? or neither, and just give more time to Smithson, Nichol, etc?
PredDave, I don't know where you got your info and I'm not doubting it at this point since that was my initial diagnosis from watching it live...however, my sources post-game were saying that Legwand had an ice pack on the left side of his torso and that's what Trotz confirmed in the press conference. I'm holding out hope that this is only bruised/cracked ribs.

That being said, I think it is a fair bet that we'll see Cal O'Reilly recalled as he is more of a playmaking center and would only be effective in a scoring line role, which is exactly the role we are looking to fill with the injury to Legwand.

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Old
12-30-2007, 01:05 AM
  #7
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How's Erat looked since his return?

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Old
12-30-2007, 01:05 AM
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Seth Lake
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Just spoke with a second source that says not a wrist injury, but a torso injury.

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Old
12-30-2007, 09:28 AM
  #9
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Mason was bad last night. You can't win with that type of goaltending performance.

I didn't think we played particularly well, but we earned our two goals, and probably a third on the Dumont one-timer from behind the net....

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Jed Ortmeyer's spin-o-rama was a thing of beauty. He didn't score, but that is a move you rarely see in a game...especially live!

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Old
12-30-2007, 09:37 AM
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I don't know what happened to Mason he was much better last year...

At the time I had no problems trading Vokoun but in hindsight, that looks pretty stupid now Maybe we can pick a goalie with that first pick from Florida

I think Ellis should get more time, although Im not sure hes the answer either. Maybe Rinne can come up and show what hes got lol

Oh well I hate to be negative but this team is just not very good, and more than likely we will be selling at the trade deadline

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12-30-2007, 09:52 AM
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RollingPredFan View Post
I don't know what happened to Mason he was much better last year...

At the time I had no problems trading Vokoun but in hindsight, that looks pretty stupid now Maybe we can pick a goalie with that first pick from Florida

I think Ellis should get more time, although Im not sure hes the answer either. Maybe Rinne can come up and show what hes got lol

Oh well I hate to be negative but this team is just not very good, and more than likely we will be selling at the trade deadline
Why would we select another goalie? We selected Jeremy Smith last season and have Pekka Rinne and Mark Dekanich in the system among others. A short-term solution is what's needed and hopefully we can figure out a way to turn it around with our current tandem this season.

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Old
12-30-2007, 11:34 AM
  #12
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How's Erat looked since his return?
rusty and out-of-sync... no points in three games, a -2, and led the team with 4 giveaways last night against the sharks.. hasn't got his legs or timing back yet

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Old
12-30-2007, 11:36 AM
  #13
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well... cann't say any of that game was really enjoyable... a game that just never 'felt' right from the opening moments.. possible it's the fact we only had 13k in the building on a saturday night against a team that is supposed to be a "hated" rival. a few thoughts, that some will obviously not like;

first... our goaltending...

...mason is the nicest, best, most likable guy on a team of good guys.. you simply ache to want the guy to succeed... but this is a business, a heartless business....now i know you could take any single shot from last night and say "well this or that happened, so it really wasn't mase's fault here".. and you'd be correct.. it's the cumulative effect of all five goals that get you, each where we have some excuse, but also each where mase didn't get it done.. two horrible rebound goals, two soft shots where he is screened, and the one where he's beaten cleanly from a simple unscreened wrister after the toots turnover.. beaten twice on shots above the left pad and below the glove, shots that need to be stopped.. 5 mistakes, 5 goals allowed. simple as that

...9 seasons. this is the first one where we haven't gotten good goaltending. a new thing for us.
...the team cann't become more consistent until the goaltending becomes more consistent. right now, mason is simply not playing well enough for us to win many nights.
...right now, every time we make a mistake it seems it winds up in the back of our net. a team cann't play hockey like that. a team has to have confidence that they're allowed to make a mistake every now when trying to make something happen in the offensive end. if they don't have that confidence, it in effect slows down your offense to a crawl, and hurts you on the other end of the ice. right now, this is happening to us..
...since any mistake seems to cost us a goal, we cann't take offensive risks. it slows our breakouts, because we have to make sure all 5 skaters come back and get the puck out of the zone every single time.. when's the last time you remember this team having an odd man rush??.. that's because we have 5 guys have to come back and get the puck every possession.. because if we don't, we know it'll probably end up in our net..
...since we know any mistake we make winds up making the redlight go around, it means in our offensive end, we have try to always keep 3 men out high to eliminate odd man rushes back against us.. so we basically have to think defense first when we're trying to play offense... we're forced to always play offense like we're protecting a two goal lead, even when we're tied or a goal behind.. this of course penalizes our offense badly.
...since we're afraid any turnover is a goal against us, instead of carrying the puck out of our zone and maintaining puck possession, our constant goal in our end is to chip the puck out of the zone... we're constantly giving the puck back to other teams, because we don't trust our own goaltending..

it is frustrating for sure. he simply has to erase some of the mistakes we make.. it's a visious cycle.. we have to play defensive first hockey because we cann't score goals, but we cann't score goals because we have to play defensive hockey. mason is better than this. how much better i simply don't know.
as was noted from his record last year, when he dominated the bottom 8 teams, but had a poor record against playoff teams.. maybe he truly is good enough to beat the weak teams, but not good enough most nights to beat the better offensive teams night in and night out...
i don't know anymore.. i do know this, when your goalie has a .892 save percentage and over a 3.00 gaa, you're not going to win many games.. something has to happen here, he either has to turn it around... and soon.. or you have to go get someone else.. or you have to write off the season

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Old
12-30-2007, 02:59 PM
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Just saw Legwand leaving practice. Definitely not an arm or shoulder injury. Signed autographs and was in good spirits. Moved around freely and never winced even when reaching over the fence to sign autographs and twisting to reach things.

Definitely a torso injury (ie: ribs), but honestly I'd list him as day-to-day.

On that note, Suter looked in good spirits too and was moving around freely. Weber on the other hand looked very stiff and looked honestly like someone recovering from whiplash.

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Old
12-30-2007, 06:28 PM
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I'll echo pred303...this game felt "off" from the second the puck was dropped. I've been at games with a loud 13.5 where you felt like the place was sold out...this place was a tomb, even when Klein(at the time) made the game 2-1. The players looked just as lifeless as the fans in attendance. I saw a lot more jersey-less fans than usual, I kind of wondered if it were more "casuals" than usual...in which case, seeing us put out such a sleepy effort is not the kind of impression you would hope they would make. No one seemed to be that "into it."

Also echoing pred303...it's hard to watch a game in which Evgeni Nabokov absolutely ROBS us three times in the second..at a point when we were leading the game...and then see those shots...not necessarily easy shots...but stoppable nonetheless...end up in the back of our net. Mason is making huge saves, and on the next shift, it all goes down the toilet. It's not totally his fault, we're blowing clears, leaving guys open in the slot, screening our own goalie...but the old saying about the last line of defense rings true.

Hope Leggy is alright. Not many we could afford to lose less, right now.

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Old
12-30-2007, 07:10 PM
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I had a friend ask me the other day what is going on with the Preds. I simply told him in a sentence or two essentially the contents of 303's rant. We have well below average goaltending for the first time in 4-5 years. A team without solid goaltending will not go anywhere. That is where the Preds are right now. If we managed somehow to squeak into the post season, it is another first round exit. I look at a team like the BJs and at see better goaltending and a solid defensive system. Right now they have better hope for post season success. The Blues and Blackhawks are also better than Nashville right now. Something has gotta give here. You know that old saying-- 'It is easier to fire a coach than 20 players'-- rightly or wrongly, there needs to be a shakeup or trade here.

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12-30-2007, 08:53 PM
  #17
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Originally Posted by gds_wizard View Post
Something has gotta give here. You know that old saying-- 'It is easier to fire a coach than 20 players'-- rightly or wrongly, there needs to be a shakeup or trade here.
Take Atlanta for example,fire their coach earlier in the season,picked up Mark Recchi off waivers and look where there @ now as opposed to a month or two ago.

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12-30-2007, 09:14 PM
  #18
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the inability to take any offensive risks and not have them kill us was never shown better than the first goal we allowed... dumont with a little touch pass to a streaking legwand straight up the middle.. where we are going to either have a legwand breakaway, or at worst case a two on one with legwand and erat, with dumont trailing the play... would have been about the only real odd man rush we generated all night (well ok we had the gelinas breakaway on the bad change by them), and one of only about 10 in the last 10 games honestly..

goc with a diving desperation stick swinging play to touch and deaden the puck in legwand's skates... we have two defensemen back in decent position, and legwand hustles to get back into the play.. so it's a simple 4 on 3... nothing near as bad as crisp keeps making it out to be about a "4 on 2, directly because of the turnover".. a good pass from bernier to a driving marleau, who deflects the puck on net.. mason doesn't have to make a great save on the deflection, because it coming from that near side angle, from that far out, it was simply a puck sent scooting on the ice... all is ok so far... but instead of controlling that rebound, and funneling it harmlessly toward the corner.. which he has to be able to do.. he lets the puck hit his pad squarely, which means it trickles right back to the most dangerous spot on the ice.. 10 feet in front, square in the slot, with him down in the butterfly, and lets goc skate straight into it and pick a shot.. some seem to think mase got beat 5-hole a bunch last night, but really the only one was the last one.. this shot was just above the left pad, just below the glove.. has caught mase raising his glove ever so slightly, (it's an old hockey rule of thumb, that a goalie can raise his glove faster than he can lower it, so if you see daylight below his glove, you shoot there)..

but back on the main point i was trying to make... you have to be able to take the good offensive risk legwand and dumont were taking in the neutral zone if you are going to score many goals.. that was a very high percentage break in risk.. if you have to tell your forwards they cann't do this, well you'll never score enough goals to make a true difference.. you have to know, that you can try this, and that if you fail, your goalie is going to help you out here..

might well be the main reason we have seen our odd man rush attempts have gone to virtually zero, knowing we cann't take the risk to try to get them... erat, legwand, and radulov are all buried back in our defensive zone, making sure we don't give up goals, instead of being able to worry about getting down ice and getting the good odd-man rush attempts we need to be getting

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Old
12-31-2007, 12:54 PM
  #19
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There have been times this season when Ive wanted to yell, "Pull Mason and stick Greg Zanon in there!"

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