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Is it just me, or does this year feel different?

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08-16-2010, 11:36 AM
  #1
MrJoshua
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Is it just me, or does this year feel different?

A year ago, looking forward to the 2009-2010 season, I didn't feel all that great about the team. Chicago was stacked, the Red Wings were coming off their second straight appearance in the Cup Finals, the other teams in the conference looked good and I just didn't feel a whole lot of excitement about Nashville's chances to make the postseason, much less actually do anything IF they got there. All of that started to change around midseason when we started to see the team pull together, yes, but before the season started there wasn't much buzz.

It had really been that way since the sale of the team. Yeah, there were some decent teams, playoff appearances, but they lacked the feeling of "maybe this year..." that had been present during the Kariya years.

This year feels different to me. I'm excited about this roster. I see Chicago taking a step back in terms of depth (although they're still pretty loaded). The Red Wings may actually be human. Nashville is coming off a good year and looks to have improved their roster in the off-season. There are plenty of unknowns but the overall depth certainly looks better than having Smithson on the second line.

So, is it just me, or is the buzz back? Because I look at this lineup and I look at the rest of the division, and I think that if Trotz can get the guys to buy in again the way he did last year, this is a team that can really do something.

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08-16-2010, 11:43 AM
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glenngineer
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You are correct sir. I thought it would take about 2 years to get the ship going in the right direction again and with last years pleasant surprise, I think we're a little ahead of where I thought the team would from the top down and since Cigarran has taken over I really see an improvement on all front.

I am very excited about this team and what this season holds. I hope they build upon what they did last year and I think with the additions and subtractions, we'll see that growth.

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08-16-2010, 12:18 PM
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Adz
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I'm excited, too. To be honest, this is the first time since May of 2007 that I've really felt confident that the team is dedicated to moving forward in talent as opposed to preparing for an eventual move away from Nashville.



And of course writing that and seeing it posted just scares the stuffing out of me.


Last edited by Adz: 08-16-2010 at 12:19 PM. Reason: FEAR OF JINXING TEAM
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08-16-2010, 12:21 PM
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There's been an attitude adjustment with this team. You can see it in little details. When I was at the arena spending my emergency money on a new 3rd, they had a photo in the ticket waiting area that warmed my heart. A photo of the governor and his wife holding up the 'Get your damn hands off my team' sign. A nice way to remind the fans of what they had to fight off to keep their team. A nice way to remind you that it's time for war. You can see the attitude in Nashville, we are here to win.

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08-16-2010, 01:41 PM
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PredsV82
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I have herad it said that the players really felt like they have unfinished business. They know, better than anyone, that they very well could and should have beaten the Hawks.

Hopefully that turns into positive motivation, not stick squeezing or overconfidence...

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08-16-2010, 02:40 PM
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MrJoshua
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PredsV82 View Post
I have herad it said that the players really felt like they have unfinished business. They know, better than anyone, that they very well could and should have beaten the Hawks.

Hopefully that turns into positive motivation, not stick squeezing or overconfidence...
See, that's exactly what I mean. This doesn't feel like an "oh, I hope they can make it to the playoffs and that's enough for me" kind of year. It felt like the team took a big step forward last season, putting up 100 points and coming within a couple of heartbeats of coming home up 3-2 against the eventual champs. This feels like a season where the team SHOULD make the playoffs, and where they shouldn't be happy unless they make some noise once they get there...

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08-16-2010, 03:07 PM
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braindead
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Agree. It seems like all the stench associated with this team has been washed away. I just posted in the business section that Sommet Group had a trustee appointed today- they don't exist any longer and we have a solid naming partner in Bridgestone.

Everything associated with Liepold has faded away, the ownership group has evolved away from Freeman issues to Cigarran model, Boots and his tainted funds have been replaced.

A homegrown captain has been named. Our rotating goalie show is over for now.

It feels like a fresh start.

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08-16-2010, 04:03 PM
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I think a lot of it stems from ownership. There hasn't been any major negative press surrounding the team this year, and Cigarran has given the fans every reason to be optimistic about his term as chairman.

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08-16-2010, 04:08 PM
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I just got done looking through the "Least Favorite Team" thread. Even when some of those jackasses posted comments about hating Southern market teams because they "don't deserve the team", Nashville wasn't mentioned. I didn't look through the entire thing considering it was the same bickering between a couple of fans, but I remember not too long ago when Nashville would be atop the list of so-called undeserving markets. It looks like we're finally getting some respect even from elitist fans.

While I have a good feeling about this team, I think it's also the team with the widest margin on either side. If all things click we could be a force in the West. If the moves Poile made don't work like he had envisioned all of the sudden that THN prediction looks a lot smarter. It's a good thing I'm incredibly confident in Poile.


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08-16-2010, 04:23 PM
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the big thing for me is the exit of "the captain." I have a lot more confidence in the new regime.

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08-16-2010, 04:46 PM
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I like to be confident as well,

- Weber being captain will be great.

- Lombardi addition is good, but his highest point total ever is barely over 50 and I do not think he will replace Arnott's points.

- Kostitsyn could go either way (high risk/ low cost project)

- Wilson will be great, I can feel it!

- We need another 30+ out of Horny (no sophomore jinx!)

- Rinne will be solid as usual

- defense will be weaker this year with Hamhuis/Grebs gone (not that grebs was here for much of season)









All in all summed up,

I personally think that,

the offense is inferior to last seasons. (Arnott>Lombardi)

the defense is also inferior (who replaces Hamhuis?)

and the goaltending is also inferior.


I do not get why you guys are all sooo stocked about this team, maybe I am missing something.


I mean we needed to add some real bigtime scoring threats as we saw from our terrible PP. So what did we do to rectify this? Let Arnott go and brought in Lombardi who has only ever hit the 50 point plateau once in his career.

Who cares about Kostitsyn really, this guy has the odds not in his favor.

Then on the blueline with hamhuis gone, how can we possibly recover from that without bringing in anyone??


Then Ellis gone as backup and now we have an inexperienced backup.


The team looks worse on paper big time i think.


What we need is Colin Wilson to tear it up! same with Hornqvist...

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08-16-2010, 04:56 PM
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I'm with Adzy. I'm excited about the team, yet relieved that people have us picked "low" this year also. Like that kind of mojo, you know what I mean.

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08-16-2010, 09:54 PM
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braindead
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lightning_legwand View Post


All in all summed up,

I personally think that,

the offense is inferior to last seasons. (Arnott>Lombardi)

the defense is also inferior (who replaces Hamhuis?)

and the goaltending is also inferior.


I do not get why you guys are all sooo stocked about this team, maybe I am missing something.


I mean we needed to add some real bigtime scoring threats as we saw from our terrible PP. So what did we do to rectify this? Let Arnott go and brought in Lombardi who has only ever hit the 50 point plateau once in his career.

Who cares about Kostitsyn really, this guy has the odds not in his favor.

Then on the blueline with hamhuis gone, how can we possibly recover from that without bringing in anyone??


Then Ellis gone as backup and now we have an inexperienced backup.


The team looks worse on paper big time i think.


What we need is Colin Wilson to tear it up! same with Hornqvist...
This isn't an unreasonable view, really, but some points to consider:

Offense:

This team is much, much deeper than last year. When we stumbled out of the blocks our call-up was....Dave Scatchard. And then Mike Santorelli. I don't know which of the new options will produce but our odds are much better IMO of finding one that will out of the deep mix now available.

Our PP can be much better and Lombardi, SK, a full year of Franson should help.

Wilson should be MUCH better this year.

I expect Legwand to improve on his dismal year. I think Hornqvist goes down by 10 goals so it may offset. I think Sully and Dumont could be better as well.

Our defense should have a bit more scoring potential with Hammer gone.


Defense:
I agree that the defensemen as a group are weaker and I'm not excited about relying on big Cube minutes or a group that includes Franson, Klien and Parent. Having said that, I think our team defense gets a substantial upgrade with Lombardi over Arnott. Our PK should be much improved. I also expect Josi to log substantial time and both he and Blum could prove to be rapid replacements for Hamhuis, who I think was not the loss you think he was.

Goaltending:
Pekka. We live and die by that. I think a full year of him far outstrips the combo of he and Ellis last year, regardless of the backup. If he is bad or hurt, who knows.


The thread is "Does this year feel different?" and it does b/c I think we have more upside and LESS questions. Remember, last year we had Sully perhaps unable to play, Horny who had proved nothing, two goalies that had yet to prove themselves as a starter, a defense that included a hurt CUBE, unproven KK, and a fight between three rookies.

In the prior year(s) we had upheaval, unproven players, player dumps, Rad's leaving, and a bare feeling cupboard.... plus we had to face Vern Fiddler as a potential top 6 forward and pretend we liked Greg Zannon's style of defense.

In short, you could be right and there are lots of question marks. I'm more optimistic because I see more overall potential going into this season than in the past several seasons. And LESS question marks (or more good answers).

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08-17-2010, 07:03 AM
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A full year of a healthy Wilson (hopefully) plus Lombardi should replace the points Arnott put up last year, and maybe even add a bit to it. In addition, Lombardi should be much better in the defensive zone leading to an overall improvement in the team's goal differential from last year.

SK or Andersson ... one of those guys HAS to be better on the Legwand line than Smithson was last year. They certainly can't be worse offensively. If they can combine with Legwand to increase the productivity of that line while staying defensively responsible, that could be a huge boost to the team. Or, heck, maybe Linus Klassen (whose name I've probably just misspelled) will force his way onto the team in camp and bring more offense. The depth of the team feels a lot better this year, to me. Not a lot of sixty-point guys, but a lot of guys who could put up forty or fifty. Not a lot of thirty-goal scorers, but a lot of guys who could put up fifteen or twenty.

As for losing Hamhuis ... I don't know. On the one hand I agree that he was a big part of the defense. On the other hand, if there's one thing this team has been able to do traditionally, it's bring up young defensive prospects and turn them into good defensemen. With guys like Blum and Josi chomping at the bit, Ellis turning heads in juniors, and Sulzer and Franson fighting for a spot on the roster I have to think that the defense is going to be OK. I just hope we don't ride Weber and Suter into the ground on the top pairing so that they have nothing left or get injured before the playoffs come around.

There are a lot of questions about the roster, yes, but they feel like better questions than in the past.

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08-17-2010, 10:15 AM
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BigFatCat999
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In reply to Lightning:

Hamhuis did not mesh with any of the defensemen on the roster. Any pairing he was on was a bad pairing. Klein, sucked. Boullion, nope. Franson, meh. Hamhuis wanted top line minutes and did not earn it.

Legwand is the crux of the team. If SK can get him scoring then the chemistry is the thing.

When you want the sum of your parts to be better than the individual pieces, you need chemistry.

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08-17-2010, 10:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by braindead View Post
This isn't an unreasonable view, really, but some points to consider:

Offense:

This team is much, much deeper than last year. When we stumbled out of the blocks our call-up was....Dave Scatchard. And then Mike Santorelli. I don't know which of the new options will produce but our odds are much better IMO of finding one that will out of the deep mix now available.

Our PP can be much better and Lombardi, SK, a full year of Franson should help.

Wilson should be MUCH better this year.

I expect Legwand to improve on his dismal year. I think Hornqvist goes down by 10 goals so it may offset. I think Sully and Dumont could be better as well.

Our defense should have a bit more scoring potential with Hammer gone.


Defense:
I agree that the defensemen as a group are weaker and I'm not excited about relying on big Cube minutes or a group that includes Franson, Klien and Parent. Having said that, I think our team defense gets a substantial upgrade with Lombardi over Arnott. Our PK should be much improved. I also expect Josi to log substantial time and both he and Blum could prove to be rapid replacements for Hamhuis, who I think was not the loss you think he was.
Goaltending:
Pekka. We live and die by that. I think a full year of him far outstrips the combo of he and Ellis last year, regardless of the backup. If he is bad or hurt, who knows.


The thread is "Does this year feel different?" and it does b/c I think we have more upside and LESS questions. Remember, last year we had Sully perhaps unable to play, Horny who had proved nothing, two goalies that had yet to prove themselves as a starter, a defense that included a hurt CUBE, unproven KK, and a fight between three rookies.

In the prior year(s) we had upheaval, unproven players, player dumps, Rad's leaving, and a bare feeling cupboard.... plus we had to face Vern Fiddler as a potential top 6 forward and pretend we liked Greg Zannon's style of defense.

In short, you could be right and there are lots of question marks. I'm more optimistic because I see more overall potential going into this season than in the past several seasons. And LESS question marks (or more good answers).



I think Hamhuis will be very missed. I doubt Sk comes through the way we are all hoping, although it would be nice.

I just mean offense was a huge problem, so what did the offseason do? lose of Arnott and brought in a few guys who have never done more in the NHL than Santorelli or Scatchard for that matter (SK, Andersson) and Lombardi (who is far inferior offensively than Arnott).


I just dont get it. Why doesnt Poile upgrade offense rather than degrade??

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08-17-2010, 10:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lightning_legwand View Post
I think Hamhuis will be very missed. I doubt Sk comes through the way we are all hoping, although it would be nice.

I just mean offense was a huge problem, so what did the offseason do? lose of Arnott and brought in a few guys who have never done more in the NHL than Santorelli or Scatchard for that matter (SK, Andersson) and Lombardi (who is far inferior offensively than Arnott).


I just dont get it. Why doesnt Poile upgrade offense rather than degrade??
Arnott is 35, had his worst year since his early career last season, makes 1 million more than Lombardi, was reportedly disinterested in being captain and not all that popular among his teammates. He typically missed games due to at least one concussion a year, and was a complete defensive liability.

Lombardi outperformed him last year, is 7 years younger, a million dollars cheaper, already has a good rapport with Trotz and Weber, CHOSE us over teams offering more money, and can play in all situations.

How is that a hard one to figure out?

As for Hamhuis, answer me this: is he worth 4.5 million a year for the next 5 years? Really think about that, and remember that we went a span last season where he was on the ice for EVERY GOAL over a 3 game span. Will we see a difference on the back end? Maybe, but I'm confident enough in the committee of Parent, Franson, Klein, Bouillon, and then Blum, Josi, Laakso and Sulzer to get it done.

You rip SK and JA in any thread you can, particularly SK. Do you have any basis for this? According to MTL fans, he looked like a top six forward when given the chance to be one. He'll get that chance with us, unlike whatever dysfunctional system he was playing under in with the Habs.

You've made asinine comments in the past about how you wish the Predators could move to Canada so that your favorite team could spend more money on "star" players...why don't you just skip a step, change your user name to kloudy_kessel or balmy_bozak or something of that nature, and be a Leafs fan? You don't think their team wouldn't love to swap their system for ours, even if it meant that they didn't go out and blow money on the Jeff Fingers or Jason Blakes of the world?

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08-17-2010, 12:32 PM
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Keep in mind that we don't need SK or JA to be a point-per-game player. Heck, one of them could play on Legwand's line and put up 35-40 points and be an improvement over Smithson offensively.

I feel like the offensive depth of the team is really improved over last year. Even the fourth line will have the potential to chip in a little offensively. Not much, but every bit helps.

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08-17-2010, 12:33 PM
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Excluding the PP offense wasn't the problem last year. Special teams killed us along with inconsistent goaltending, a pretty bad second d pairing, and weaker team defense than in years past. Replacing Arnott with Lombardi won't be the problem. Rinne will have a chance to find his confidence and keep it. Our blueline is still up in the air to me, but it will have to be pretty bad in order to sink below the crap Hamhuis brought (mainly while paired with Klein.)

What I'm most excited about is seeing Smithers back on a grinder line where he belongs.

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08-17-2010, 02:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barrytrotzsneck View Post
Arnott is 35, had his worst year since his early career last season, makes 1 million more than Lombardi, was reportedly disinterested in being captain and not all that popular among his teammates. He typically missed games due to at least one concussion a year, and was a complete defensive liability.

Lombardi outperformed him last year, is 7 years younger, a million dollars cheaper, already has a good rapport with Trotz and Weber, CHOSE us over teams offering more money, and can play in all situations.

How is that a hard one to figure out?

As for Hamhuis, answer me this: is he worth 4.5 million a year for the next 5 years? Really think about that, and remember that we went a span last season where he was on the ice for EVERY GOAL over a 3 game span. Will we see a difference on the back end? Maybe, but I'm confident enough in the committee of Parent, Franson, Klein, Bouillon, and then Blum, Josi, Laakso and Sulzer to get it done.

You rip SK and JA in any thread you can, particularly SK. Do you have any basis for this? According to MTL fans, he looked like a top six forward when given the chance to be one. He'll get that chance with us, unlike whatever dysfunctional system he was playing under in with the Habs.

You've made asinine comments in the past about how you wish the Predators could move to Canada so that your favorite team could spend more money on "star" players...why don't you just skip a step, change your user name to kloudy_kessel or balmy_bozak or something of that nature, and be a Leafs fan? You don't think their team wouldn't love to swap their system for ours, even if it meant that they didn't go out and blow money on the Jeff Fingers or Jason Blakes of the world?
(bolded)


I will put money down that Arnott gets more points than Lombardi. We were one of the teams in the NHL witht he fewest goals for, and we will get even less this upcoming season. Poile has to recognize that every year just bringing in a above average guys wont do *****! Leave Lombardi, leave Arnott, leave Hamhuis, leave SK, leave JA, leave D. Ellis, and leave another guy if need be! Get us a star player! Plain and frikkin simple! We have all the young defense for future, so get some forwards. just imagine we left Lombardi, SK, Arnott, JA, and whoever the heck else and we just went out and got a guy like Bobby Ryan or Jason Spezza? not only would he be our game breaker for same cost, but he would fill seats more! Preds fans (not you guys, borderline fans in Nashville) do not even know who the star forward should be and who should be the game breaker, because we just have a bunch of above average guys! We need a go to guy to win games in key situations. I guarantee we do not hit 100 points again this season! and if we make playoffs somehow, out first round once again!

and I mean what was all that hype Poile said at the end of june about, "the preds will sign a forward on july 1st", and then he signs a guy that has never even played in the NHL in JA. Are you kidding me? He got us excited for that crap?


and we all loved Hamhuis when he was here, so please do not bash him and say he was terrible with everyone on the team, because it is not true. We are just to cheap to afford a 3rd premier defenseman. Do you think the Canucks gave him that much moeny cuz he was terrible for us?? lol Hamhuis is solid and was one of the most talked about FA's. Do not get me wrong, Poile does a good job with the funds he has, but we need to address problems and he just keeps bringing in above average guys, that will not hack it, as we have seen from the past.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MrJoshua View Post
Keep in mind that we don't need SK or JA to be a point-per-game player. Heck, one of them could play on Legwand's line and put up 35-40 points and be an improvement over Smithson offensively.

I feel like the offensive depth of the team is really improved over last year. Even the fourth line will have the potential to chip in a little offensively. Not much, but every bit helps.
Well that is definitely not happening. if SK was a top 6 guy, why didnt the habs work it out? instead they ended up getting Dustin "crap" Boyd for a top 6 forward?? unlikely.

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08-17-2010, 02:10 PM
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Basically what it boils down to is that we lost a top 3 forward, replaced him with a barely top 6 guy that is good defensively.

We lost a highly coveted defenseman and replaced him with nobody, not even grebs.

we signed SK who has never had even a 10 goal season, and JA who has never even played an NHL game.

Don't you guys get sick of this every year?? Do you guys not remember how much we were all complaining that we absolutely had to bring in a top notch power forward?? Now all of a sudden we are all ok with Lombardi? especially after the loss of Arnott! that is a downgrade on the offense side of things big time!

It is just frustrating that we always pick up these slightly above average guys and never just spend the cash on a top forward.

And do not say we cannot afford a top notch forward because with Hamhuis, Arnott, and Ellis gone from last season and no Lombardi, we could have easily done it.

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08-17-2010, 02:25 PM
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Arnott had 46 points in 63 games last season. The season before that, 57 points in 65 games.

You don't think that Lombardi plus a full season of Wilson will make up for 19 goals and 46 points from Arnott?

Smithson had 13 points (THIRTEEN!!!) while playing the wing on Legwand's line. You don't think SK or JA is capable of putting up more than 13 points this year in that position, bumping Smithson back down to the fourth line? If SK can come in and score thirty points, he's more than DOUBLING the offense of the guy who filled that position last season.

(Stats from hockeydb.com)

In addition, if SK or JA can get some chemistry working with Legwand, it could get him going again. An improvement on last season's 38 points (with only 11 goals) from Legwand will also go a long way toward improving the team's offense.

Yeah, they don't have any offensive superstars. Fine. One ninety-point guy or two 45-point guys, they both get you the same number of points. The forwards should have better defensive awareness this year with the addition of SK and Lombardi, which will help the defense. There is a LOT more speed with those two added as well. I'm looking forward to seeing how these guys do on the ice.

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08-17-2010, 02:49 PM
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lightning_legwand View Post
Basically what it boils down to is that we lost a top 3 forward, replaced him with a barely top 6 guy that is good defensively.

We lost a highly coveted defenseman and replaced him with nobody, not even grebs.

we signed SK who has never had even a 10 goal season, and JA who has never even played an NHL game.

Don't you guys get sick of this every year?? Do you guys not remember how much we were all complaining that we absolutely had to bring in a top notch power forward?? Now all of a sudden we are all ok with Lombardi? especially after the loss of Arnott! that is a downgrade on the offense side of things big time!

It is just frustrating that we always pick up these slightly above average guys and never just spend the cash on a top forward.

And do not say we cannot afford a top notch forward because with Hamhuis, Arnott, and Ellis gone from last season and no Lombardi, we could have easily done it.

Maybe you should go propose some trade ideas to Poile..from what I see on the Trade proposal board, you are awesome at it!!!

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08-17-2010, 02:51 PM
  #24
BigFatCat999
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*Sigh*

1) I want to know what happens if Legwand or Wilson get shoved to Wing. We have Marcel friggin Goc playing 4th line center with this depth chart. I put the projections up for the lines and I still firmly believe the stats.

Hornqvist-Lombardi-Sully 65 goals Last year scored 66

Dumont-Wilson-Erat 55-60 goals Last year 46

Kostitsyn-Legwand-Ward 45-60 goals Last year 31

Smithson-Goc-Andersson/Tootoo 30 goals last year 21/27

Belak-callups 5 goals

Lightning you are not understanding the Predators concept and stratagy. Look at the lines above, if you are the opposing coach, which one get's your top defensive line and pairing minutes? If this team had a star, I could target the hell out of that SOB.

Now, do I not like the lack of a vet in the defense? Yes. Do I not like the lack of a vet back-up goalie? Yes. BUT there is still time to sign one of the guys out there.

If Nashville had a star player it would take away money from the other parts of the team. Give me depth and opposing coach's headaches over a 'star' who can get hurt, underperform, and can be stopped with a good defensive strategy.

Now back to the topic. This year seems so weird but in a good way. I can see the leadership group changing their attitudes.

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Old
08-17-2010, 03:01 PM
  #25
Oilbleeder
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I kind of see alot of 2005-2006 Edmonton Oilers in this years Preds.

Two-way gritty play with (hopefully!) timely scoring.

Just an outside opinion.

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