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Home Opener!! Nashville Predators v Phoenix Coyotes: 7pm CDT

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Old
10-14-2011, 07:40 AM
  #151
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How has Laakso been doing so far?
Once again that third pairing was given only about 11 minutes, so it is really not fair to judge them too harshly, but these two looked confused and were scrambling. Ekholm disappointed me in that he threw the puck wherever he could, wherever he thought there was a fellow Pred. The result being that it rarely got out of the D-zone or there was a neutral zone turnover. This did not help create a good working pairing with Laakso.

Laakso looked the same as the first 2 games, a bit shaky and not very comfortable with the puck. As soon as he gets the puck, it seems like he is looking to get rid of it. He needs more time to settle in. And whether it is Hillen/Laakso or Ekholm/Laakso, it is apparent Trotz refuses to trust this third pairing, especially late in the game. This lack of trust and low minutes IMO contributes to the poor performance of the other two pairings, especially Klein and Blum.

Klein looked awful last night. I was flabberghasted to see him turn away from Whitney's slap shot on the second goal, as if he was afraid to block the shot. And Blum is logging more minutes than he was accustomed to last season, so perhaps there is some fatigue out there.

Trotz is going to have to bite the bullet and let this third pairing, no matter who comprises it (Laakso/Hillen/Ekholm), to prove themselves in tough situations and D zone face-offs. Otherwise, I fear we are going to see more defensive performances like last night from the other two pairings.

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Old
10-14-2011, 07:48 AM
  #152
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Hopefully they pull it together for Saturday. I, for one, am thinking its a good thing that they are going out on the road after the next game. I saw a team that needs to figure out who they're going to be this year and that time away should certainly help that.

I hate Erat on most nights with a firey passion but we need him. Hornqvist, Fisher, and the Cube too.

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Old
10-14-2011, 08:09 AM
  #153
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I doubt we see much of Begfors, he was -2 and had 2 great chances to score and didn't. He was on the 4th line by the end of the night.
Correct me if I'm wrong but I believe on the first phoenix goal the reason schlemko was wide open was because Bergfors, who had just come out of the box, got lost and followed another pred to the center rather than turning and covering schlemko

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10-14-2011, 08:14 AM
  #154
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I plan on re-watching the game after my job interview this morning, but here is what I caught while paying as much attention as possible (which was a decent amount, but not enough to truly analyse)

Rinne looked... well... human. The first goal was not his fault, nor was the fourth (I believe). The other two should have been stopped. Hell, I thought he stopped the first one with a brilliant save, but it just squeaked by him. In fact, I actually cheered for a second until I realized that Phoenix scored. It led the girl I was watching with to say "I thought you were for the guys in yellow".

I saw issues with Weber, too, though I don't necessarily think those issues have existed in all three games. On the third goal (?) he was standing there watching. That is not very Weber-esque. I will be worried if this continues. For now, it's a bad game. He had a few last season, too. Everyone does.

I have been on the stump preaching about how Suter needs to shoot more for a couple of seasons now, especially last season. These two goals show why. They might be the only two goals he scores all season, but I guarantee it will not be because he simply cannot shoot the puck. I know he likes to set his boy up for the booming slapper, but Ryan needs to keep shooting when he has an open lane. His shot is deceptive.

LaBarbera looked pretty damn good. I was impressed. He made some saves that would have surely been goals, but we also gave him a lot of easy shots. Can't give a guy confidence and then expect to beat him. It doesn't work that way.

I like some of the ideas Bergfors had, but I didn't like the lack of detail to his game. His puck awareness (offensively) is pretty great. His awareness of where teammates are is not so much. Defensively... well... he is what we thought he would be. No surprises there.

Power play looked good to an extent. The puck was moving. The forwards were moving. Keep that up and we might find ourselves with a halfway decent power play. If the team keeps playing like it has for the first three games we will need to score a lot with the man advantage. These guys absolutely have to tighten it up.

It's hard to take anything positive away from last night's game. All I can say is this... Nashville is notorious for coming out, winning a couple of games, and then stinking it up for a bit. I hope this isn't the start of a losing streak, of course, but I do think that the ship will be righted as it usually is.

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Old
10-14-2011, 08:14 AM
  #155
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Originally Posted by PredsV82 View Post
Correct me if I'm wrong but I believe on the first phoenix goal the reason schlemko was wide open was because Bergfors, who had just come out of the box, got lost and followed another pred to the center rather than turning and covering schlemko
He had the coverage at first but then peeled off and left him alone down low. That's not even a rookie mistake, you expect that from bantam's.....

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Old
10-14-2011, 08:18 AM
  #156
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He had the coverage at first but then peeled off and left him alone down low. That's not even a rookie mistake, you expect that from bantam's.....
That play was terrible. I remember making fun of Schlemko because his name sounds like a deli that also sells shoes or something...

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Old
10-14-2011, 09:07 AM
  #157
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Not the start you want for your home opener. ac ouple of quick thoughts:

1. the talk about pregame. Part of me wants to say they knew the Belak tribute was coming. I am sure none of them were looking forward to it. It is still a heavy thing to deal with for them I am sure.

2. I don't know who to contact, but the opening video needs to be set to Run this Town. It gets the crowd into it, it is catchy. that crap last night was depressing. Run this town, horn, thunderstruck. this isn't rocket science.

3. Bergfors was terrible. Goal one was on him for not covering point. And had two wide open chances that I coulda buried. Terrible night for him. I assume he will get another look at some point, but yuck.

4. the whitney goal was a good shot. anyone who gets a shot off clean at a goalie means there was a breakdown somewhere, but he just beat Rinne. not to mad about that one. however letting boedeker come in and scoop up a rebound unmolested was terrible. Klein and blum did not have that strong a game. Teh backhand that beat rinne was crap. no excuse for that.

5. I never want the team to give out gold t-shirts again.

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Old
10-14-2011, 09:16 AM
  #158
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5. I never want the team to give out gold t-shirts again.
ding! ding! ding!

Gold out = suckage on ice. We are now 0-3 with those damn things. (and I wanted it so bad the first time!)

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Old
10-14-2011, 09:22 AM
  #159
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Originally Posted by token grinder View Post
Not the start you want for your home opener. ac ouple of quick thoughts:

4. the whitney goal was a good shot. anyone who gets a shot off clean at a goalie means there was a breakdown somewhere, but he just beat Rinne. not to mad about that one. however letting boedeker come in and scoop up a rebound unmolested was terrible. Klein and blum did not have that strong a game. Teh backhand that beat rinne was crap. no excuse for that.
It was a good shot, but look at the video, Klein turned to the side to get out of the way of the shot, when he was very close to Whitney and could have easily blocked it. Wow? Aren't defensemen supposed to get in the way of the puck whenever possible and not to run from it? Maybe he just got confused and thought it was a practice and not a real game.

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Old
10-14-2011, 09:34 AM
  #160
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Klein/Blum sucked.

Defense was bad, and we made up for it by staying away from the puck on offense like it was a live grenade with the pin and spoon popped.


Overall, a crappy night. Everyone's going to have these every once in a while.

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Old
10-14-2011, 09:45 AM
  #161
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Originally Posted by token grinder View Post
Not the start you want for your home opener. ac ouple of quick thoughts:

1. the talk about pregame. Part of me wants to say they knew the Belak tribute was coming. I am sure none of them were looking forward to it. It is still a heavy thing to deal with for them I am sure.

2. I don't know who to contact, but the opening video needs to be set to Run this Town. It gets the crowd into it, it is catchy. that crap last night was depressing. Run this town, horn, thunderstruck. this isn't rocket science.

3. Bergfors was terrible. Goal one was on him for not covering point. And had two wide open chances that I coulda buried. Terrible night for him. I assume he will get another look at some point, but yuck.

4. the whitney goal was a good shot. anyone who gets a shot off clean at a goalie means there was a breakdown somewhere, but he just beat Rinne. not to mad about that one. however letting boedeker come in and scoop up a rebound unmolested was terrible. Klein and blum did not have that strong a game. Teh backhand that beat rinne was crap. no excuse for that.

5. I never want the team to give out gold t-shirts again.
interestingly enough, the post game survey on the preds website isn't working this morning. never seen that in many years. so I thought i'd take the opportunity to contact someone else, since he is trying to fill the seats. try jcogen@nashvillepredators.com
I wrote him a very nice polite email about the pros and cons of last nights game experience, since he is trying to build the fanbase. nothing about the team play, just different areas of arena experience...
as you say , it isn't rocket science....but a lot of somebodys over there simply aren't paying attention to logical details........
I'll be curious to see if i get a response

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Old
10-14-2011, 09:58 AM
  #162
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I do wonder how much an effect on the players the Belak situation had. It's hard to say "no excuses" when that is the case.

Job interview went pretty well I think. I'm going to re-watch the game in a little while.

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Old
10-14-2011, 10:27 AM
  #163
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Where to start… Sloppy sloppy sloppy play. Terrible passing and skating. Some good but mostly bad. My thoughts after the game.

Phoenix Goal 1 – Bergfors just plain screwed up. He covered Schlemko for the initial shot but for some reason went to the slot instead of continuing to cover his zone on his side of the net. Rinne had absolutely no chance to move quick enough laterally.

Goal 2 – Just a straight up blast from Whitney that was wide open. How he got that open I have no idea but can’t really fault Peks for that.

Goal 3 – I’m not sure who was responsible, but the puck went right under Wilson to Korpikoski who was a step ahead of Mr. Smith. Leggy and Klein had pretty decent coverage on their man, but Wilson didn’t see Korpikoski until it was too late. You could see the frustration from Wilson as he smacked the ice with his stick after the goal.

Goal 4 – This was bad luck. Peks made the initial save but it went right to Boedker. Suter was caught flat footed and Boedker kicked the puck from his skate to his backhand with no problem right past a sprawling Peks.

Like many have mentioned the Belak tribute was well done and brought a tear to my eye, but it seemed to suck the life out of the boys. They looked shell shocked until about halfway through the game.

Bergfors was horrendous I thought. He completely wiffed on a 2 on 1 pass from SK with a wide open net. LaBarbera was down and out and he just missed the puck. I don's know if he was shocked that SK got the puck to him or what but how you miss that is beyond me. Plus all the defensive lapses that have been mentioned, shows why he was scratched for the first 2 games.

Wilson I thought had a strong game. He was flying out there, one of the few who were actually skating. I counted at least twice that his strong back checking kept the puck out of the net. Nice goal that went 5 hole on LaBarbera. He is definitely showing the attention to details that Trotz wants.

Laasko looked like a rookie. In the second period, after yet another defensive zone turnover, Whitney and another Coyote had a mini 2-on-1 with Laasko in the middle. Laasko just stood there and watched as Whitney took a slapper on Rinne from about 10 feet away. There were a few more mishaps but this one stands out in my mind. I think this 3rd pairing has potential but there will be some growing pains as well.

The power play needs to skate more. On both power plays, the puck holder set up on the half board and looked for someone to pass to. The Coyotes just sat back in their box covering the passing lanes and the puck holder had no where to go. Suter needs to shoot more. Oh and I hate when everyone is the arena yells shoot. There is no place to shoot when the goalie is squared up to the shooter and no one is skating to open up the passing lanes. The key is to get the goalie moving, not let him get set.

All in all, pretty piss poor performance from the team. Let’s hope they work on defensive zone break outs and come out Saturday ready to whip some ass.

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Old
10-14-2011, 10:59 AM
  #164
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Well, got up this morning and I wasn't sure but, yep, the sky is still there and the sun came up in Nashville.

I'd like to write this off as a stinker - we always have a couple that are awful. But the home opener? No emotion, no jump, even from Toots and Smithers. You know, maybe it was the "wade" thing, but half that team was never a team mate.

Lotta' good observations about play already said, so I'll just add a point about leadership. It's already been noted that Shea didn't show any. But more than that, I think we missed Fisher (or Sully and JP). A vet that could calm the nervous kids, the new vets, and shake up the disinterested/unfocused. It's a young team - a veteran presence is important, I think.

OK - I will make one player comment - Orly. We get the last change, we're missing 3 of our top 6 - you have to play him, not spaling, with SK and Bergfors. Yes, I know, defensive suckage - but we get last change, so you minimize. Or you skate BamBam there, cause I don't think 4th line minutes with Smithers and McGrattan is doing a ton for developing his game.

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10-14-2011, 11:14 AM
  #165
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Originally Posted by braindead View Post
That was a heaping helping of suckage.

It looked like our forwards had no legs at all. Hate those long layoffs.


In honor of the lad behind me who got to see his first NHL game, here is my take on his 2nd grade book report on the game:

I saw an NHL team play. They are called the Coyotes. My team played them. My team gave me a free yellow dress. My team couldn't forecheck so they couldn't slow the rush, so the D backed off, so bad stuff happened. Then our forwards didn't move their legs to give the D outlet opportunities so turnovers resulted and more bad stuff happened. Then we did that a lot more. Then I got to go home.

P.S. We got some power plays so people could yell "Shoot" a bunch even when the puck hadn't been dropped. That was fun.
HA a free yellow dress. +1 on the ridiculous people yelling "Shoot!" on the PP. I know they're always there, but last night it was much more absurd than usual. I dunno if people were just desperate to see something, ANYTHING last night, but seriously...if people around me continue to yell at players to shoot when there's obviously no shooting lane available I'm gonna go crazy!

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throwing gold t shirt in the trash......it was horrid........gladly left at the beginning of the thrid period......most of the team never showed up.......belak tribute sucked the life out of the building also...
I agree on the Belak tribute. Obviously we had to do it and it was really nice, but I felt weird crying right before the puck dropped when I should've been getting in the zone for a game. Maybe the players felt the same way?

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Originally Posted by barrytrotzsneck View Post
Some will say I'm overstating this, but that was one of the five worst games I've seen us play in the post-lockout era. Callahan and Grimson were trying to take positives away, talking about how they liked their "jump" in the third, but at no point in the game was there "jump." they lost every puck battle, applied zero pressure on the puck in any zone, and repeatedly made brutal pass/turnover after brutal turnover.

The downside to how well the WLS line has played is that Smith and Wilson are both so defensively bankrupt that we lose a lot of Legwand's value as a defensive forward. The silver lining in that is that Legwand is leading the league in points in only three games played, so I guess there's that.

I fought the temptation to leave after the second period. That's kind of a crummy way to feel at a home opener.

Finally...I'll be shocked if we see Bergfors again.
+1. My dad was saying this is probably the least talented team we've ever put on the ice for a game....it's hard to win when you barely have a Top 6, and three of them are injured. But what really bothered me was the lack of effort and heart. We've lacked talent plenty of times before, but have still been able to put together an entertaining game for the fans. Last night was NOT entertaining. At all. I was bored. I was planning what I was gonna have for a snack when I got home through most of the 2nd and 3rd period. I'm used to lack of talent, but I'm not used to seeing us be out-worked like we were last night. Gross.


Also, I was surprised to see that a few aspects of the game experience that weren't related to the on-ice product sucked too. Going into the game, the entrance we usually use...which nobody usually uses and you can walk right in...had a long line because there was no ticket-taker at another entrance up the street. No ticket-taker at an entrance on opening night?! Really?! Then, at the concession stand outside 318 during the first intermission, the lines were moving SO slow and by the time you got up to the register they were out of tons of food...a hot dog was gonna be 15 minutes! WTF? Maybe it's because of the new hang-out area outside of those sections (which is super-cool, BTW), but hiccups like this are not what I expect from a Cogen-run organization, especially with all his talk of getting butts in the seats. You'd assume he'd be ready to take care of a full building.


Nonetheless, I'll be back on Saturday and expect to see a much better game. And eat a hot dog.

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Old
10-14-2011, 11:17 AM
  #166
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Well, got up this morning and I wasn't sure but, yep, the sky is still there and the sun came up in Nashville.

I'd like to write this off as a stinker - we always have a couple that are awful. But the home opener? No emotion, no jump, even from Toots and Smithers.
Well Toots did try to fight Bissonette, but ended up getting that ridiculously weak sauce slashing penalty instead. But at least he tried to give us something interesting to watch!

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10-14-2011, 11:30 AM
  #167
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It was a good shot, but look at the video, Klein turned to the side to get out of the way of the shot, when he was very close to Whitney and could have easily blocked it. Wow? Aren't defensemen supposed to get in the way of the puck whenever possible and not to run from it? Maybe he just got confused and thought it was a practice and not a real game.

From where Whitney took that shot? No, it certainly wasn't Klein's fault for not blocking it. Nobody was even close to Rinne and he had a clear view of it. Most goaltenders would rather you just get out of the way from a shot that far out with no traffic in front of him so you won't change the pucks direction when you try to block it. That was a hell of a shot by Whitney but I think it caught Rinne by surprise.

Overall it was obviously a very MEH game. No forwards had a good game except Wilson,Legwand and SK74 who I thought was skating well.

Laasko looked better this game but Ekholm looked really bad. Couldn't connect passes, made bad turnovers in his own zone. Needs to be more assertive when he is making decisions with the puck.

That game was the exact opposite of what Predator hockey is. Didn't work hard enough and at times I thought a lot of the young guys looked unsure on themselves. With such a young team that is just gonna happen sometimes this year.

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10-14-2011, 11:35 AM
  #168
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I got over this until I remember how much that intro sucked.

I want pump up music.

The Nickelback video was more engaging than the one last night.

There...rage over.

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10-14-2011, 11:38 AM
  #169
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317 baby! Getting my lucky Five Guys burgers and fries before the game. Probably 30,000 calories in that brown bag of heaven.
I remember when 5 guys used to be our little secret (arlington VA)....

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10-14-2011, 11:40 AM
  #170
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I got over this until I remember how much that intro sucked.

I want pump up music.

The Nickelback video was more engaging than the one last night.

There...rage over.
Like someone suggested, I e-mailed Cogen about it (jcogen@nashvillepredators.com)...and about the weird concession stand situation and lack of ticket-taker at a 6th Avenue entrance, and he answered me within 10 minutes saying he'd forward the concerns to the appropriate people. Pretty cool.

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10-14-2011, 12:04 PM
  #171
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My thoughts.
I agree that the intro sucked. Need something with some energy.

The Belak tribute, while well done, absolutely sucked out whatever energy there was in the building.

The yotes played "Predator Hockey," the Predators played uninspired and sloppy.

The first goal: As others have said, berfors messed up.

The second: I will agree, Klein made no real attempt to block the shot. Also, Pekka looked like he lost track of the puck for a second because it didn't look like he was squared to the shooter. He was kind of between the shooters. Plus, that was a pretty awesome shot by whitney.

Third goal: They got the pass through Blum and korpikoski was a step ahead of smith.
Fourth goal: As Trotz's doghouse said bad luck. rebound goes right to Boedker, Suter caught flat footed and Boedker tucks it in past pekkas right skate.

Bad coverage on all the goals IMO.

Didn't think any of our guys had a good 60 mins.

Hope they get some things worked out by Saturday night.

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10-14-2011, 12:26 PM
  #172
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Originally Posted by Prederator View Post
It was a good shot, but look at the video, Klein turned to the side to get out of the way of the shot, when he was very close to Whitney and could have easily blocked it. Wow? Aren't defensemen supposed to get in the way of the puck whenever possible and not to run from it? Maybe he just got confused and thought it was a practice and not a real game.
I thought I remember seeing that, I just didn't remember which goal. He may have been trying to let pekka see the puck and make a save rather than get hit with a puck. Remember too, he has been skating dinged up a bit too.

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10-14-2011, 12:29 PM
  #173
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Here's one vote against the new home uni's what was wrong with our old uni's I liked them. Gold is the Steelers colors and I'm not a Steelers fan. Well if Rinne doesn't stand on his head we look like a one line team. The Yotes skated around like this was there home ice. We didn't hit nobody or check anybody and the horrible line combos finally caught up with Trotz. We didn't show up for 2 and half periods. Our D was dull and didn't check and just watched the Yotes skates. Berfors had his chance early and should have buried his chance and look horrible defensively. Wilson and Legwand and Tootoo is the only ones who looked like they wanted to win. I thought Wilson played his best total game for the Preds. Where is SK beside his passing he won't shoot. O'Reilly looks lost why is he in this lineup. The Spaling on the top line hasn't in 3 games not only has no goals with that line but no scoring chances at all. Trotz has tried to prove what Poile says that Spaling and O'Reilly are our hidden gems and they are still hidden. Our best line down the stretch and during the playoffs was our checking line. Tooto and Spaling and Smithson and now Trotz has broke them up and they have no chemistry with other lines. This is one game and the one thing about this team throughout it's history is that when the spotlight is on we play scared. I don't why I have some ideas but not sure but they don't show up when the lights are there brightest.

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Old
10-14-2011, 12:50 PM
  #174
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Originally Posted by JohniusMaximus View Post
I got over this until I remember how much that intro sucked.

I want pump up music.

The Nickelback video was more engaging than the one last night.

There...rage over.

Agreed.


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10-14-2011, 01:16 PM
  #175
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A few thoughts:

Fisher has become a large piece to this lockerroom already. His reappearance to this lineup will help stabilize this team.

Spaling does not belong above the third line right now except in a pinch. He is also far better than a fourth liner. Give him 15 minutes as our very own home-grown Mike Fisher.

Can we stop with the Tootoo on scoring line attempts. Tootoo is likely still a fourth liner. I think it is worthwhile to play him on the third line with Spaling considering the chemistry and success they had down the stretch.

Smithson is a fourth liner. He should stay on the fourth line. He should also eat up a ton of the dirty minutes on the PK. Keep him in that role!

Is Hornqvist a third liner on this team, better paired with Spaling/Tootoo/Halischuk or should Wilson be the one demoted down to the third with Hornqvist on the top pairing?

I look forward to the return of the SK - Fisher - Erat trio.

If I had a choice:

Smith - Legwand - Wilson : two scorers with our 2nd best and most defensively responsible forward

SK - Fisher - Erat : This is probably are top line in terms of talent and minutes. Was unstoppable at times. Was also very anemic in the 2nd round when all three were hurt.

Halischuk - Spaling - Hornqvist : Bottomline, I think Halischuk is a good forward. He plays hard, skates hard, plays a smart game, and is defensively responsible. If we leave him in this lineup, he is going to continue to develop. This would be a hard working and still effective defensive line.

Tootoo - Smithson - Geoffrion : Kind of a mush line. Smithson is going to destroy the offensive capabilities of this line, but Geoffrion and Tootoo can drive to the net, play smart, etc.

O'Reilly/Bergfors are too redundant and weak defensively. I think the Predators could easily ice 4 make shift defensive/scoring lines, especially if they called up Taylor Beck. However, I like the lineup as listed above.

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