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Old
04-27-2010, 10:38 AM
  #26
RaiderDoug
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I'm pretty happy with the season. In mid-November-ish, when we were losing like 6 in a row, I posted in a thread on here about how this team was dead. I happily ate some crow.

I'd like to see Horacek gone - ST was awful all season long pretty much. No excuse when you've got shots like Weber from the point.


We need to wheel and deal and get some offense so that we can roll out a second scoring line. IMHO, that and a new special teams coach is all that we need.

Overall, I'm pretty happy with the way this season went compared to where I thought we'd end up. Erat's errant centering pass will haunt me until October though.

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Old
04-27-2010, 11:40 AM
  #27
worstfaceoffmanever
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I'll go an extra step and give player grades as well.

Team Grades

Regular Season - Pass. We made the playoffs and had a solid season, and ramped up our game when we needed to in the spring, even with our dysfunctional special teams units.


Playoffs - Fail. What a disaster. After a great first game, the team decided to do the complete opposite of what had made them successful in game one. The forecheck disappeared by and large, and we let Chicago's speed and skill run rampant on our defense. The power play's ineptitude was on display for the whole of North America to see. I really hope we can get not just new personnel to help us score, but also a coach specifically for the power play if we aren't going to fire Horachek.


Player Grades (Mid-Season/Full Season/Playoffs)

Forwards

David Legwand - A-/D/A - Had a great Decmeber/January, then just completely fell off the radar for two and a half months. Defensive play was fine, but he was awful offensively in the spring. Elevated his game for the playoffs like the rest of the team should have, and hopefully he can carry that with him into next season.

Steve Sullivan - C+/B+/B - His game really came together down the stretch. I'm not sure how much he has left in the tank, but it's good to see him crack 50 points again. Not sure why he was having to do all the dirty work along the boards. Maybe it's because...

Jason Arnott - B-/C+/D- - ... this guy wouldn't do it. Credit to him for getting up for game six, but he should have been up and buzzing LONG before that. His age really started to show in the second half; even when he was able to produce, he had a hard time keeping up with the speed and has lost most of his edge to concussions. He definitely should start considering retirement.

Martin Erat - B+/A-/A- - I was ready to be rid of Erat once and for all after his atrocious stat that had him on pace for seven points. Apparently he read that, because he was excellent the rest of the way. One of the few players we have who can play with skill and heart at the same time.

Joel Ward - B/A/C+ - Had a solid season and is a good defensive forward, but he made bad decision after bad decision with the puck in the playoffs.

Marcel Goc - B+/B+/C- - I liked what Goc brought to the team. He really found his feet in December and the offense started coming more consistently for him after that. All that said, Goc was invisible in the playoffs.

Patric Hornqvist - A+/A+/B - I envy Hornqvist. Not for the punishment he takes in front of the goalie every night, but for the courage it takes to do something like that knowing that you're going to get pounded. He may have a short career, but if he can be as productive every year as he was this year, then I want him in mustard and blue for every year of it.

Jean-Pierre Dumont - B-/D/C+ - Stop me if you've heard this one before: Dumont gets off to a great start, pushing a point-per-game clip for most of the season, and then for the last 60 games or so turns into Vern Fiddler without the defensive prowess. At least Dumont knows how to hit people and forecheck effectively, and his offense did come back around for the playoffs, but I expected more.

Jerred Smithson - C+/C+/D- - Hans O'Stone (intentional omission of the letter "d") was solid in the regular season, but didn't do anything new or impressive to set himself apart from our other grinders. He seemed like he had no clue where to be in the playoffs and just floated around whenever we had the puck. Hopefully he'll stay well down the depth chart next year instead of floundering on the second line.

Dustin Boyd - None/B/C - Boyd had a solid showing. About what I'd expected based on the scouting reports. He might have a little development left in him, and he'll be given every opportunity to bypass Goc on the depth chart.

Colin Wilson - C/A-/D - He showed us what he's capable of doing when he was recalled just before the break and the games just after the Olympics. Like most rookies do, he struggled to adjust to the intensity of the playoffs, but that should come with time, and a taste this early in his career can only be positive for his development.

Jordin Tootoo - B-/C+/D+ - Tootoo ran off into the sunset with his big payday around mid-March and never came back. What looked like it might be a career year for Tootoo turned into another average season offensively, and he didn't really do much in the way of agitating. Getting hit in the face with the puck didn't help, but he was just kind of out there in the playoffs.

Nick Spaling - C+/C+/F - I, unlike most people, it seems, haven't really been all that impressed by Spaling. I thought he was wholly average during the season and looked completely lost during the playoffs. Not every 21 year old can make an impact, granted, but Spaling didn't really do anything to make himself stand out.

Wade Belak - Incomplete - He still plays for us?

Defensemen

Ryan Suter - A+/A+/A - Our most consistent player all year. Didn't make a lot of mistakes, but he seemed to wear down as we got into April, probably because he was double-shifted in the Olympics quite a bit.

Shea Weber - C+/B+/C+ - I thought Weber was wholly average for most of the first half after a pretty strong first couple of weeks. He seemed to really find his form after the Olympic break, but was invisible for much of the Chicago series.

Dan Hamhuis - C+/B/B+ - Hammer got significantly better as the year went along. He always seemed to be in position and ramped up the physical play late in the year. Still plagued by the occasional turnover right in front of goal, but he looked more like the Hamhuis I've been wanting to see in April. Hopefully we can work something out with him on a contract.

Kevin Klein - D/D+/D+ - Watching Klein gives me that same feeling that I got when I got hit in the nose with a dodge ball in fourth grade, although the desire to cry is scrapped in favor of Olbermann-style seething rage. He never looked comfortable out there, with or without the puck, and it led to mistake after mistake after mistake. He'd play a good game and then reel off three or four real stinkers. Seemed to benefit from playing with Bouillon, but that didn't happen enough.

Cody Franson - B-/B+/D - I still have reservations about his speed, but his size compensates, and his production has been outstanding for a rookie blue liner. If he can keep it up, he'll at least get big minutes on the power play.

Francis Bouillon - B+/B/B - Occasionally got caught watching the puck, but played well on the whole. We need a player like him on our defense every year, with the ability to absolutely pummel people along the boards. Still not sure why Bouillon was on the power play nearly as much as he was (1:25 PPTOI/G during the season).

Denis Grebehskov - Incomplete - Grebeshkov played six games. SIX. We gave up a second round pick for him, he played six games, and we may lose him in the off-season if he opts to return to Russia. No one could have predicted that he would have to have surgery to save a testicle, but it's disappointing to say the least, especially considering the life he brought to our power play. If we can keep him, and keep him healthy, he'll be a huge part of our offense next year.

Goaltenders
Pekka Rinne - C+/A/A+ - Rinne completely took over the starting job after the Olympic break. He gave us a chance to win every night. He's the only player I really feel sorry for in the first round exit, because he deserved better with the way he played.

Dan Ellis - C+/C+/None - Ellis was a solid backup. He had his chance to grab the starting job and didn't take it. Best of luck to him in the off-season.

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Old
04-27-2010, 11:44 AM
  #28
101st_fan
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Regular season - pass ... and then some

Postseason - The upper end of what should have been expected, not what anyone hoped.

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Old
04-27-2010, 11:51 AM
  #29
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Failboat

Given this playoff run..uh sprint, I dont know how you can classify it as anything other than an Epic Fail.

It doesnt matter where Hockey News said we were gonna finish.

We could have moved on to the second round yet let it slip right through our fingers, and were eliminated on home ice in the first round for the 5th time straight.

1-32 I think on the PP. That is a fail for sure but we have beaten that horse.




The regular season was nice, but you play that so you can make a run for the cup. And our run was a huge fail simply because our next round chance was just at the tips of our fingers.

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Old
04-27-2010, 11:58 AM
  #30
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Nice grades and synopsis. I enjoyed reading it Worst, and very much agree with most of it.

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Old
04-27-2010, 12:25 PM
  #31
101st_fan
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We just went up against the #3 scoring team the league. #4 PK. Tied 5th in goals against. On paper, the Hawks blow us out of the rink no problem ... but that's why they play the games. They had problems ... we took two from them and blew one with mistakes and blown coverages late.

Reading the reactions around here you would think we were the #1 seed and just got swept rather than the #7.

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Old
04-27-2010, 12:43 PM
  #32
Joe T Choker
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Originally Posted by 101st_fan View Post
We just went up against the #3 scoring team the league. #4 PK. Tied 5th in goals against. On paper, the Hawks blow us out of the rink no problem ... but that's why they play the games. They had problems ... we took two from them and blew one with mistakes and blown coverages late.

Reading the reactions around here you would think we were the #1 seed and just got swept rather than the #7.
Zero for 5 in game 5's & zero for 3 in Game 6's ... something has got to change

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Old
04-27-2010, 01:13 PM
  #33
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Originally Posted by 101st_fan View Post
We just went up against the #3 scoring team the league. #4 PK. Tied 5th in goals against. On paper, the Hawks blow us out of the rink no problem ... but that's why they play the games. They had problems ... we took two from them and blew one with mistakes and blown coverages late.

Reading the reactions around here you would think we were the #1 seed and just got swept rather than the #7.
That's fine if you want to use expectations prior to the beginning of the series, but you're not taking into account what actually happened. We were 14 seconds away from taking a 3-2 lead going back to Nashville to try to win the series. Frankly, we should have won this series when you look at it that way.

People say that we shouldn't listen to the pundits when it comes to where we will finish in the regular season because we clearly had more talent than a bottom-rung team in this league. If that's the case then why should we listen to what they have to say about the postseason?

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Old
04-27-2010, 03:13 PM
  #34
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Most improved player - Patric Hornqvist

Most under rated player - Rinne

Best defenseman - Shea Weber

Biggest disapointment - JP Dumont

Biggest Surprise - Franson/Hornqvist

MVP - Rinne/Hornqvist

Sleeper - Goc




Thoughts??

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Old
04-27-2010, 08:32 PM
  #35
golfmade
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Season: Pass.

Postseason: Fail but just barely. We won our first road game, we nearly took the series to seven and when we played our game we gave the Hawks a lot of trouble.

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Old
04-27-2010, 08:40 PM
  #36
101st_fan
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Originally Posted by predeuce777 View Post
That's fine if you want to use expectations prior to the beginning of the series, but you're not taking into account what actually happened. We were 14 seconds away from taking a 3-2 lead going back to Nashville to try to win the series. Frankly, we should have won this series when you look at it that way.

People say that we shouldn't listen to the pundits when it comes to where we will finish in the regular season because we clearly had more talent than a bottom-rung team in this league. If that's the case then why should we listen to what they have to say about the postseason?
Sorry if I don't have my expectations set in jell-o like you. Maybe my expectations should have been one thing pre-series, something else at puck drop, then changed them again after every shift ...... nah, I'll just figure out what I expect and then hope that my expectations are exceeded, or at least met.

I didn't listen to the pundits ... I did my own analysis. The ability to do an honest self look is lacking here and on np.com .... it's either we're the greatest thing since the invention of the orgasm or make ebola look good, rarely in the middle ground where reality is.

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04-27-2010, 09:07 PM
  #37
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Originally Posted by 101st_fan View Post
Sorry if I don't have my expectations set in jell-o like you. Maybe my expectations should have been one thing pre-series, something else at puck drop, then changed them again after every shift ...... nah, I'll just figure out what I expect and then hope that my expectations are exceeded, or at least met.

I didn't listen to the pundits ... I did my own analysis. The ability to do an honest self look is lacking here and on np.com .... it's either we're the greatest thing since the invention of the orgasm or make ebola look good, rarely in the middle ground where reality is.
At the beginning of the series I didn't think we'd win but I thought we'd have a damn good shot at the upset. To come within 14 seconds of taking a 3-2 lead constitutes a failure in my book.

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04-27-2010, 09:20 PM
  #38
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Originally Posted by predeuce777 View Post
At the beginning of the series I didn't think we'd win but I thought we'd have a damn good shot at the upset. To come within 14 seconds of taking a 3-2 lead constitutes a failure in my book.
What about at 30 minutes to go in game 5?

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04-27-2010, 09:28 PM
  #39
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Failure!!! Anything short of at least winning a Playoff series is a failure from this team from here on out. WOW we made the Playoffs (been there done that). Big deal over half the league accomplished that feat. When you settle for mediocrity then you become mediocre.

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04-27-2010, 09:54 PM
  #40
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Before the season started, I thought it was a longshot to make the playoffs. So sticking to my original expectations, the season is a pass.

I just don't understand how people can call losing a 7th/2nd seed series a failure, especially when you look at the 2 teams involved.

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04-27-2010, 09:56 PM
  #41
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Failure!!! Anything short of at least winning a Playoff series is a failure from this team from here on out. WOW we made the Playoffs (been there done that). Big deal over half the league accomplished that feat. When you settle for mediocrity then you become mediocre.
For us to be favored means not being the #7 seed .. or the #8 seed. Hell, one of our appearances as the #4 seed was against a team that tied us for the conference lead in wins that season. One of our two appearances as a #4 seed we could have been favorites.

When we're a top three seed, we'll have the expectation to win. As a #7, we're the underdog and to advance requires players going far above and beyond what we saw from our team. We got some damn good play, we needed near miraculous.

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04-27-2010, 10:28 PM
  #42
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What about at 30 minutes to go in game 5?
I trust you understand that there is a huge difference between 30 mins and 14 seconds.

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04-27-2010, 10:39 PM
  #43
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I trust you understand that there is a huge difference between 30 mins and 14 seconds.
I trust that you understand that you have no actual expectations .. just constantly fluctuating reactions and gut feelings.

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04-27-2010, 10:54 PM
  #44
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Whether we were the underdog or the favorite shouldn't matter. If the favorite is always supposed to win, why not just let the Caps and Sharks play for the Cup right now? As Herm Edwards said once, that's why you play the game. Were we the underdog, yup. Should we have won this series, probably not based on records and the rosters. Did we give Chicago a run for their money, sure did. Is game 5 a bitter pill to swallow, yup. Was winning on the road in the playoffs a thing to build on, yup. Was losing another series detrimental to this teams success in future years, too hard to tell at this point.

I had thought this team would make the playoffs before the season started. I think on NP I predicted a 5th place finish. I wasn't too far off since it went to the last day of the season to figure this out.

I have seen growth in this team. That is a good thing. Is the growth of the team coming too slowly or is it at the right pace? I think that's a fair question to ask. Making the playoffs is something we've done before but having never won on the road was a step forward. Facing another elimination game we failed so maybe a step back. That doesn't mean we should've won the series but to watch the team eliminated on home ice for the 5th time in a row is hard to take.

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Old
04-27-2010, 11:11 PM
  #45
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Whether we were the underdog or the favorite shouldn't matter. If the favorite is always supposed to win, why not just let the Caps and Sharks play for the Cup right now? As Herm Edwards said once, that's why you play the game. Were we the underdog, yup. Should we have won this series, probably not based on records and the rosters. Did we give Chicago a run for their money, sure did. Is game 5 a bitter pill to swallow, yup. Was winning on the road in the playoffs a thing to build on, yup. Was losing another series detrimental to this teams success in future years, too hard to tell at this point.

I had thought this team would make the playoffs before the season started. I think on NP I predicted a 5th place finish. I wasn't too far off since it went to the last day of the season to figure this out.

I have seen growth in this team. That is a good thing. Is the growth of the team coming too slowly or is it at the right pace? I think that's a fair question to ask. Making the playoffs is something we've done before but having never won on the road was a step forward. Facing another elimination game we failed so maybe a step back. That doesn't mean we should've won the series but to watch the team eliminated on home ice for the 5th time in a row is hard to take.
Look at the teams that pulled the upsets this playoffs then compare what they did to we did. We had guys who played well, they had guys going 2 or 3 gears up. Compare Rinne, Halak so far, and Rask. Look at what Montreal's PK has managed to do to the Caps. There's the difference .... their players stepped up big, ours merely performed well as a group (balanced with a few key disappearing acts).

There is a reason why they play the games, but it takes the underdog doing some special things to surpass expectations. Our guys put up the hard fight, but didn't bring the necessary extra something needed to upset the #2.

If we want to have a better chance at post season success, we need to first improve our regular season and take the division. Those top 3 slots are earned ... the 4 seed can be a hit or miss as the meeting of two 51 game winners demonstrated .... 6-8 isn't where you want to be for a good chance of moving forward.

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04-27-2010, 11:31 PM
  #46
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I trust that you understand that you have no actual expectations .. just constantly fluctuating reactions and gut feelings.
I don't understand why I'm not allowed to change my expectations as I see the series unfold...

What I saw was a Chicago team not playing up to its abilities and/or our system thwarting their system. Regardless I felt that with the way they were playing we should have beat them.

When we were up 4-3 with 1 min to go in Game 5, I thought, "Okay, we should win this. We'll be going back home up 3-2 with a chance to close them out on home ice." In my opinion, I think that not only should we have won game 5, despite sucking hard for 40 minutes, but if we won game 5, we should win game 6 and win the series.

I don't see the issue with this. And by looking at these expectations based on how the series was playing out, I feel we should have won the series.

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04-28-2010, 02:07 PM
  #47
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I don't understand why I'm not allowed to change my expectations as I see the series unfold...

What I saw was a Chicago team not playing up to its abilities and/or our system thwarting their system. Regardless I felt that with the way they were playing we should have beat them.

When we were up 4-3 with 1 min to go in Game 5, I thought, "Okay, we should win this. We'll be going back home up 3-2 with a chance to close them out on home ice." In my opinion, I think that not only should we have won game 5, despite sucking hard for 40 minutes, but if we won game 5, we should win game 6 and win the series.

I don't see the issue with this. And by looking at these expectations based on how the series was playing out, I feel we should have won the series.
+1

It doesn't matter what seed we were, we should have won this series.

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Old
04-28-2010, 11:15 PM
  #48
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I am not a hockey expert. I have coached some inline and watched a ton if ice hockey at the high school, college, and pro levels over the past 5-6 years, so that still makes me a babe in the woods to many of you. There is my full disclosure. Take anything I say hereafter however you want. In no particular order...

For the regular season, I think I am satisfied, except with the power play. Let me start with that. Its horrendous. And I believe someone should be sacrificed from the staff as a result of that awful performance, especially in the post-season when NBC ripped it to shreds on national TV. That someone is Horachek. Yes, I have read the comments, its done by committee, etc. But I don't buy it. And anybody that wants to blame the FANS for that egg laid in game 3 needs to be canned- they can use the powerless play as the reason if they want, because I think he is really supposed to be in charge of it. IF it was being run by 'committee' it is only to cover his FAILURE to make it work. We all know Trotz is loyal to a fault, so likely he did not want to fire him so this was their solution-- take it away from him since he can't do it. Now FIRE HIM and get some hew blood on the staff that can make it work.

The rest of my comments (unless noted) are for post season.

I think this organization is VERY close. Razor's edge close, maybe 2 players, a couple of bounces away from being where most of us reasonably expect.

I can't say if Arnott is injured (concussed) or just can't play the bruising style we've come to expect at this stage of his career, but his game was just not there. Captain Invisible. JP stepped up, as did Sully. Legwand was as good as he gets.

Erat was about as good as he gets -- yeah, he made a crucial mistake, everybody makes mistakes, and he along with several players had been pressing so hard for so long, maybe he just could not gear down; maybe it was a mental lapse and I will wager he has tortured himself more than we ever could.

Rinne was overall above average and at times great. Had a couple of rough patches, but some spectacular ones as well. Kept the team in the series. Not much more you can ask of a goalie against an offensive juggernaut like the Blackhawks.

Weber and Suter were both pretty good overall. No major quibbles with them, although I wish they had been a little more physical at times. Klein did way too much stick work and not enough body work. I thought Hamhuis resorted to stick checks more than I would have liked, and whenever we gave up a PK goal and I noticed somebody standing next to an undefended Hawk it always seemed to be Hammer or Klein. Maybe that is just perception, sure seemed that way.

Tootoo was mostly ineffective. I usually noticed him when he missed a check. He improved in game 6, though.

Goc was ok, he was great at cycling the puck, but not especially dangerous in the series. However, regular season I thought he was a very good pickup and I really like what he brings to the team. Spaling was very effective on the PK but not so much at even strength. Still, I do think this kid has a future as a utility player-- he is not going to hurt you no matter what the situation, and I think as he adjusts to the speed of the game his scoring touch/timing could return.

Smithson was good at his role, but I keep remembering the hook that led to the game winner in game 6. What an ill-timed penalty, right when the Preds had the momentum just a little time left in the 1st...

Joel Ward, what a proto-typical Predator. If the guy ever comes up short it is where they ask too much of him. He really gives it all every shift, what a great find, I don't think he has been healthy since January but he suited up every time he could go and did what he could. And the Cube, Poile needs to sign him. I hope he likes Nashville as much as we like him, because he was a great fit for this team.

The other player our GM needs to get signed ASAP is Patric Hornquist. His absence was certainly felt and I think this would have been a different series had he been healthy and played every game.

Finally, Grebeshkov-- I know the budget will be tight, but my thinking is as much as Hamhuis would prefer to stay our short playoffs means he will be moving on. Grebs is not the same kind of player that Hammer is, but I think he adds a dimension this team desparately needs. So I would like to see Grebeshkov signed. I presume then a player would be brought up from the Ads to try to fill that roster spot, unless another veteran can be found to at a bargain price. Probably makes more sense to use your depth and prospect pool at this point as Nash has such a deep blue line pool.

Sorry for the long post, this is just my assessment as of now.

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04-29-2010, 12:06 AM
  #49
PredsV82
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Originally Posted by 101st_fan View Post
We just went up against the #3 scoring team the league. #4 PK. Tied 5th in goals against. On paper, the Hawks blow us out of the rink no problem ... but that's why they play the games. They had problems ... we took two from them and blew one with mistakes and blown coverages late.

Reading the reactions around here you would think we were the #1 seed and just got swept rather than the #7.
sorry, but the logic of "we cant expect to outperform our seed", carried to its logical conclusion, would mean that unless we secure a top 4 seed we might as well not show up.

This team, this year, unlike all the others, could have and should have won this series. Anyone who watched the games knows that is true, stats be damned. We let Chicago up off the mat, not once, but twice.

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04-29-2010, 11:30 AM
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Originally Posted by PredsV82 View Post
sorry, but the logic of "we cant expect to outperform our seed", carried to its logical conclusion, would mean that unless we secure a top 4 seed we might as well not show up.

This team, this year, unlike all the others, could have and should have won this series. Anyone who watched the games knows that is true, stats be damned. We let Chicago up off the mat, not once, but twice.
We gift wrapped this series for the Hawks and handed it to them.

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