And our first PK like this...
Hartnell - Johnson
Schultz - Hamhuis
Legwand didn't play a whole lot. He played four shifts and then disappeared.
As the game went on Shiskanov started to get more and more PT.
Lasak and Vokoun were great. Neither goal was stoppable IMO.
Both Johnson and Johansson took some stupid penalties. Neither played all that great. Johnson was awful (as bad as any Predator has ever been) on faceoffs. Rem Murray was almost as bad.
Kloucek is built like a bigger Hulse. He is faster and will actually hit though there was a time or two he was outmuscled. Went into the boards with a nasty spill after Nichol ran him from behind but was OK...thank God.
Tootoo is a blast to watch. Drew a couple of penalties as well as committed a few as well.
Scott Nichol of Chicago played about as dirty a game as you will see from an NHLer. Slashing, diving, charging, boarding, elbowing, roughing, unsportsmanlike, he did it all. Sadly, he wasn't called for much as the officials seemed more intent on protecting him from the likes of Kloucek and Tootoo than punishing him.
The game was poorly officiated at times. Chicago played very dirty and the Preds were in control for alot of the game (if they would only put the damn puck on net...). But, the refs, especially towards the end of the game, swallowed their whistles. This hurts the Preds as they were the faster team (by a decent margin).
Upshall didn't particularly impress me. He didn't create a whole lot and fell down very easily. He had some good physical play and worked well at times on the boards though.
The first goal by Hartnell was a beauty. Got the break, deked left, then to his backhand and roofed it. Passmore stood no chance.
Passmore is a bad goalie. He left countless rebounds.
Shiskanov's goal was opportunistic at best, lucky at worst. He just tossed the puck off the skates of the Dman through Passmore's 5 hole.
During alot of the scoring chances, the puck ended up on the stick of Fiddler or Smith and nothing became of it. If it had been Walker or Legwand with the puck, things would likely have been different.
Timonen looked really, really good out there. Smooth and fluid, he's poised for a great year offensively.
Play really got chippy out there at times. Chicago played with their elbows up all night long (seems they watched old tapes of Chris Chelios before the game) and was quite dirty. Tootoo and Kloucek weren't squeaky clean but Chicago got away with a lot of stuff that won't pass against the Wings in the regular season.
Agree with most of Smokey's observations. It is worth noting that Shish deserves credit for that goal because it wouldn't have happened had he not flown down the ice to pressure Passmore as he tried to play it to the corner. I had observed Shish floating near the blue line during scrimmages and was concerned, but he didn't seem to do it nearly as much.
I would also hold up Zidlicky's play as being really smart. Great stick work to break up several rushes. Hamhuis also looked super out there.
I am less and less concerned about defense and more concerned about goal scoring now. Hopefully Legwand is not seriously hurt. And thinking about goal scoring, it makes me feel less and less the Preds should keep up two gritty forwards in the open forward spots. There should be one gritty player and one playmaker/offensive threat IMHO. Whether that turns out to be Shishkanov, Erat, or maybe even Haydar could surprise us...
I didn't mean to discredit Shiskanov's effort to create the situation. Just the actually act of throwing the puck in front of the net. Didn't want people to see the box score and think it was a beauty.
Yeah, I don't really want McKenzie on the team. I think we still can't afford to waste a roster spot on a goon. We have enough fighters who would hold their own if Trotz would let them.
The game was a blast for me. At the end of the first period, my dad and I saw some open seats right on the glass. Wow!!! sitting on the glass was an experience. Not the best game I've ever seen, but being right there was amazing.
Anyways I pretty much agree with my old roommate Smokey.
Most impressed by:
Kloucek: Played some solid D. He's down right nasty along the boards.
Zidlicky: Played smart. He had some passes that were absolute lasers to the blue line.
Timonen: Telling Poile the money was worth it.
Tootoo: I hope this guy makes the team. May be the most entertaining player the Preds have.
Hartnell: For a guy who is chaos on skates, he sure made that goal look sleak and easy.
Upshall: I agree with Smokey. He didn't do whole lot. I'll go so far as to say he looked outclassed by a mediocre Blackhawks team. Oh well, its just one game.
Hamhuis: A lot of people say they were impressed by his play, I wasn't today. Maybe I missed something.
Doc, You gotta come by and see me when you go to the game. I'm up in 306. Almost got in a fight with a drunk UT fan. Brought back memories. I mocked UT fans when they showed up on the jumbotron and he started talking trash about how fine an educational institution it was (of all the angles to take when defending UT, this is the least successful) and then he laughed when I said I went to Belmont. Then the usher looked at me, we both nodded and the usher told him to shut up. I was rolling; he wasn't too happy. He tried to seek me out after the game to no avail. He got swept down the escalator by his feet.
On Hamhuis, I think he played very solid. Made some smart plays, got lucky a time or two with his stick when he was out of position. From what I saw today, he is going to make the team.
I thought Hammy looked good. He made some good plays and didn't take any gruff from a rough bunch from Chicago.
Shishkanov really showed his wheels a couple of times. While Shish's goal wasn't pretty, it counts just the same. As Crispy says "they don't ask how you got 'em, just how many" (or something to that effect).
Zidlicky looked solid, made some nifty passes. This bunch of Dmen can really move the puck.
Tootoo's a human wrecking ball and had a monster slapshot in the closing minutes.
Yeah it's hockey time in Smashville!!!! I love leaving when it's still warm out!
What the hell is with the prices?! Water went up to $3.25 (and still no cap). And 24oz beer is up to $7.75!!! I hate to see what mixed drinks will be! :mad:
I agree with what's aleady been said....
-Hamhuis I thought looked good out there (i think he will make the team). I will feel comfortable with him out there in regular games.
-Upshall did not impress as he seemed to fall down easily.
-Kloucek was good but sometimes got outworked. Not afraid to take a guy out with his body as he knows it won't result in a penalty.
-Shishkanov at first seemed a bit lost or uncomfortable out there, but as the game went on he improved greatly. He's fast. Nice goal.
-Hartnell looked good. Beauty goal...skating school must have paid off. 2 goals in 2 games, so far he's looking like the bull he was before.
-Tootoo was good. He was shown on a news clip after a scrum winking at Nichol, it was great. He definitely needs to control himself a little bit more. After a play he was skating to the bench and him and a CHI player were jawing back and forth and Tootoo reached up and whacked the guy in the mouth with his stick. If Tootoo wasn't a Predator everyone would have been all over him. No penalty there but he did get one for punching a guy on their bench from the ice. But his hits were timely, he didn't go out of his way to hit people. And man, does he have a cannon...too bad it couldn't go on net.
-Johnson was different than usual. I don't know what crawled up his butt but he was pissed out there. Giving elbows, yelling at people, he just wasn't himself.
-Vokoun/Lasak I thought looked good. As Smokey said, they really had no chance on either goal. They were both lucky as the hawks were firing but not putting them on net or hitting posts. I know Harts was out there for one goal, he went to one knee to block a shot but the shooter pulled up and passed to a wide open player for a tip-in to an almost empty net.
-Power Play: ok, so 3 goals last night was great, but none tonight. Still it looked very good. With so many PP opportunities we need to score at least one, but definite improvement from the end of last year.
-Chicago players are dirty. Tootoo/Kloucek/Shultz aren't clean but damn that was dirty. Oh and I liked Shultz out there too, very strong.
Overall I would agree, I'm not so much worried anymore about our defense (i know it's only preseason) anymore as I am about scoring...although we didn't have all of our regulars so maybe then it will be different. But I do think we could really have a decent team this year.