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Old
02-02-2006, 09:49 AM
  #1
jstreet
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GDT: Avs @ Preds 2-2-06

@

From NashvillePredators.com


Game Day: Predators host Colorado

After completing a five-game road trip last night, the Nashville Predators return to the Gaylord Entertainment Center tonight to face the Colorado Avalanche for the fourth and final time this season. The game, which faces off at 7 p.m., will not be televised locally but can be heard on WFGX-104.5 FM The Zone.

Tonight is the second of back-to-back games for the Predators after falling 2-1 to the Stars last night in Dallas. Colorado, coming off a 3-2 victory over Minnesota on Monday night, finished up the month of January with a 9-2-2 record.

The Avalanche snapped a five-game losing streak vs. the Predators with a 3-0 win on January 3. Nashville outshot Colorado 32-25 but Avs goaltender David Aebischer turned away all 32 shots he faced, including 14 in the third period.

On October 12, the Predators erased a 3-0 deficit and scored three goals in the third period to defeat the Avalanche 5-4 at the Pepsi Center. Paul Kariya tallied a goal and two assists vs. his former team and Marek Zidlicky notched two goals, including the game-winner. Scott Hartnell scored the game-winner at 10:41 of the third period as the Predators defeated the Avs with a 3-2 victory on December 20 at the Gaylord Entertainment Center.




*also, Happy Birthday to Tootoo!

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02-02-2006, 10:23 AM
  #2
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i can't even get excited for these games, anymore.

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02-02-2006, 10:50 AM
  #3
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I think we can pull it together tonight, it wont be pretty, but I think it can happen.

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02-02-2006, 10:58 AM
  #4
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Zidlicky is playing tonight ???????

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02-02-2006, 11:10 AM
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nomorekids
i can't even get excited for these games, anymore.

I'm so in your boat right now.

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02-02-2006, 11:54 AM
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nomorekids
i can't even get excited for these games, anymore.
being that this will be our first home game in almost 2 weeks, I'd normally be jazzed but tonight I am neither here nor there.

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02-02-2006, 12:07 PM
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GRETZKY_99
Zidlicky is playing tonight ???????
from the morning rag...

"On another injury front, defenseman Marek Zidlicky missed his second straight game with a strained wrist and is still day-to-day."

It'll probably be a game time decision until it he comes back.

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02-02-2006, 01:57 PM
  #8
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What frustrates me about this current funk is that it doesn't appear that we are playing with a ton of speed. It would seem to me that when things aren't clicking, you go back to the basics of what makes this team a good hockey team: speed, tenacious forechecking, and smart play in our own zone. But more and more, I am seeing us cater to the whims of other teams. If so and so wants a slower paced, puck possession game, we are more than happy to oblige. I can count on one hand the amount of games since Vokoun's injury that we have repeatedly burned a team with our speed. You'd think Trotz would find a way to accentuate our biggest advantage in this new era, but more and more, I'm finding the team doesn't play with a lot of speed and relies too much on pretty passing and fancing stickhandling.

Steve Sullivan has been a turnover machine lately. How many TO's did he get on the 5 minute man advantage. Our power play has been pathetic lately. Going back to the first Detroit game and excluding the game against CBJ and their weak PK, we have something like 1 PPG in 50 minutes of power play time. And it's not that we are unlucky and not getting the bounces, we aren't even generating the chances to get fortunate bounces. Our power play fails in every aspect. We can't get the puck in cleanly on a regular basis. We cannot consistently maintain possession of the puck long enough to generate sufficient chances. When we do maintain possession, we fail to stretch the PK unit and make them work. When we ultimately lose possession of the puck, we struggle to keep it in.

And our even strength offense has been terrible as well. This team goes as the power play goes. That's all well and good when you are a team like Detroit. But Detroit's power play is 10x more efficient and the point men are much more effective at their job than ours (even with Zids in their). They are great at maintaining possession and getting low, hard shots on net with traffic in front. We are lucky to get one shot on net with traffic in front. And it's usually 4 feet in the air and harmless to anyone but the players faces. I've noticed that Hartnell and Hall are getting good positioning in front of the net at times, but Timonen and Co. seems reluctant to put it in there. I remember my coach saying to our pointmen to try and break the ankles of the forward in front of the net. You put a shot 6-12 inches above the ice and your chances for success are much greater. That's the 'least' trafficked height save for above 6'. It's just above the clutter of skates and stick blades and just below the fat part of the shin guards. It's low enough to find the five hole and very difficult to control the rebound. It hits the meat of the pads on butterfly goalies and creates great second chance scoring opportunities. The problem is that I am not confident we have the pointmen to make that shot. It's very difficult and something that Zidlicky and Sullivan cannot do and that Timonen cannot do frequently. And none of them have any chance of pulling it off on a one-timer from the point (which we rarely ever attempt anymore). Hammer did this in several games I attended when he was in Milwaukee with Suter, but at the NHL level, his decision making at the point is still in question.

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Old
02-02-2006, 04:13 PM
  #9
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you guys act like you thought this was all going to be easy.. i expect more out of you guys, being intelligent hockey fans and all.. posts on this board are probably more negative than on the main site with all the youngsters and idiots posting...

jeezus all of us should have known we weren't an elite team about to march to the conference championship this year. we should all know that we were a team that got early breaks, and benefited from an easier early schedule. we should all know this middle third of the schedule was the toughest portion of the schedule and that we would comparitively struggle. we should know that the schedule stays tough until a week and a half after the olympic break, and then gets easier again the last 18 games where we stand an excellent chance of getting red hot again and giving them a finish.

yes we have many weaknesses, and i knew the kids on the other board thought we were far better than we are, but the majority here should know that a legitimate goal was for us to finish slightly better than we did last season and fight for the 4th-6th seed in the west.

this is a good team, making good strides this year. we still need growth and maturity and size and two centermen. we needed those in august. no reason to become panicy schoolgirls over our recent struggles, in games just like the times we were winning every night because we were getting the bounces and breaks that we aren't right now.

sure i'm dissappointed we haven't beaten many good teams lately, but we've had chances to beat them most every night out.

we need to keep our **** together and enjoy this. that's what i fully intend to do, to go to the game tonight and watch us beat Colorado, or give it a good shot at least, and enjoy the moment. the future of this franchise is bright. no we might not win the central division (though with enough good bounces and a few breaks down the stretch, the amazing thing is that we have put ourselves in position to do just that). but i full expect us to wind up with about 102 points, and doing that, fight for the 4th seed in the conference. hey, and if we don't, so what?.. this is minor stuff, not life and death. we all became hockey fans to enjoy the game of hockey, not to treat this like it's for something critical.

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02-02-2006, 04:46 PM
  #10
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If our only 'slump' of the season is playing .500 hockey, I'll be happy.

Our current team isn't playing up to it's potential right now, but name a team that has over the corse of an 82 game schedule.

That being said, I would like to see an added spark in some guys' current effort.

Many people on this board EXPECT that will be best team in the Western Conference. That's perfectly fine to have those expecations. For me, at no point during this season have I felt that we had the best team in the western conference. We've got a lot of good pieces, but we come up short of being GREAT.

Still, I think we can be competitive in the playoffs. With the right bounces, a hot Vokoun, and maximum effort from all players, good things may happen. Or they may not. We'll take it a round at a time.

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02-02-2006, 04:48 PM
  #11
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303, I think its more of, we are seeing the same thing every game. We aren't trying anything new, and even you at times, have been befuddled by the lack of creativity/not playing to our strengths. Yes yes, I know Dallas trapped, and aside from Turco...they really did not do a whole lot, but it doesn't excuse how wimpy and uncreative our offense is. I think we can be better there, without making a trade. I just wonder when Trotz is going to spice things up a bit....and no, putting Vernon Fiddler on the top line is NOT spicing things up and being creative

That being said, I expect us to finish in the 4-6 range, but I still would like us to get better even strength. All year long our offense even strength has been inconsistent and weak....we need to get it stabilized going into the playoffs or we will be toast.

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02-02-2006, 09:36 PM
  #12
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Big win. We looked more like the rested team late.

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02-02-2006, 09:39 PM
  #13
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I liked the physical play tonight. Its not a surprise that we were able to play effectively even strength with a rougher mindset. Sillinger had a good game, and he seemed to fire the Walker Sully line up tonight.

We weathered the storm early, and we were able to finish the game with style. Perfect game to kick off a very hard stretch.

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Old
02-02-2006, 09:53 PM
  #14
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i assume nomo is watchin' this on delay - ill be ready to hear him get giddy.

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02-02-2006, 10:07 PM
  #15
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Good to see Sillinger score a goal in his first home game in Nashville. As soon as that puck was turned over you knew Sullivan was going to bury it.

I watched on Center Ice and the Avs announcers were spoke very highly of the Preds and especially Tomas Vokoun. Said if he's not already he should be an MVP candidate.

Good win for Nashville; hopefully it shoots some life into the club.

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02-02-2006, 10:37 PM
  #16
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That was fun! The beer sales in the 1st intermission were huge- people needed somewhere to cry. To come back and keep plugging all night was great to see. The team had more energy and did a great job of applying pressure to get back into each time. Sillinger makes a noticeable difference out there and Walker looked sharper-- that line has some major heart and desire and looks like it could be a great combo.

In addition to the obvious, I thought Suter showed flashes of brilliance and had a strong game and Kimmo looked strong. Hartnell dominated at times in the 3rd looking like a beast-- when he gets it all together he might yet be truely great.

All in all it was a very strange game with wierd calls, injuries, shots, goals, and plays. Hard to watch at times, hard to not walk out with a big grin afterwards.

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Old
02-02-2006, 10:51 PM
  #17
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Doh, forgot to TiVo this

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Old
02-03-2006, 12:36 AM
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by braindead
That was fun! The beer sales in the 1st intermission were huge- people needed somewhere to cry. To come back and keep plugging all night was great to see. The team had more energy and did a great job of applying pressure to get back into each time. Sillinger makes a noticeable difference out there and Walker looked sharper-- that line has some major heart and desire and looks like it could be a great combo.

In addition to the obvious, I thought Suter showed flashes of brilliance and had a strong game and Kimmo looked strong. Hartnell dominated at times in the 3rd looking like a beast-- when he gets it all together he might yet be truely great.

All in all it was a very strange game with wierd calls, injuries, shots, goals, and plays. Hard to watch at times, hard to not walk out with a big grin afterwards.

Agree on all counts...except for one...

I thought Suter had a pretty bad game...the culmination coming just prior to Sakic's goal. Suter got the puck...no one around him...and COMPLETELY LOST IT on to the boards. Laaksonen swooped in at the opportunity, kept the play alive, havoc was created in front of the net, Vokoun couldn't corral the puck, and Sakic made a brilliant heads-up play to score the goal. All things that shouldn't have happened if Suter had made the easy clear.

On the whole..a much better effort, even if we did make Vokoun work. To be honest though, I will say that the quality of the shots the Avs were getting weren't great. We were clearing the lanes and letting Tomas see everything, so the shots against were misleading. Another thing...and I'm not normally one to complain about this, and I even chew some of you out when you do it...but this game was SO IMBALANCED in terms of officiating. YES we took some dumb penalties, but some of those calls in the first were VERY weak, meanwhile, the Avs were getting away with murder in their defensive zone. Fortunately, the PK was HUGE against a very good PP team...though losing Hejduk probably had a good deal with that. Sillinger is...so refreshing, after seeing Fiddler for so long. it's nice to see someone with some hockey sense, someone that can pass and shoot and handle the puck out there. He's no Jokinen or Richards, but he gives us a bonafide second line for the first time in a long while. Agree with the points above about our pointshots being HORRIBLE...and I think using Sullivan at the point is, as many have mentioned in the past, a dreadful waste. He is by far our best forward down low, and it's a waste of a resource to have him up top. Timonen should start aiming four feet to the left of the net, so maybe he might hit it every now and then.

I screamed at the TV when PK flubbed on that shot with a wide open net and Aebischer watching helplessly. At the time it was 3-2. Speaking of, when we went down again...3-2...after Sillinger's huge goal to tie it....I thought, "sigh, not again. That's it." Very, very glad to be wrong. The Avs announcers made a good point...Nashville takes the season series...and if the teams end up 4\5 with the same amount of points...Nashville would take the 4 seed and thus homeice advantage.

Hordichuk, thank god SOMEONE is willing to take the body...sucks to see Vaananen's season end that way, but it was a clean hit, and one of many big ones he made during the game.

The biggest thing...I hope that this turns the tide and gets the team back to business. We've got a tough schedule going forward, and every point is important.

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02-03-2006, 12:45 AM
  #19
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i noticed sillinger got a goal to tie it at 2.. how did he look?

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02-03-2006, 12:58 AM
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nomorekids
Agree on all counts...except for one...

I thought Suter had a pretty bad game...the culmination coming just prior to Sakic's goal. Suter got the puck...no one around him...and COMPLETELY LOST IT on to the boards. Laaksonen swooped in at the opportunity, kept the play alive, havoc was created in front of the net, Vokoun couldn't corral the puck, and Sakic made a brilliant heads-up play to score the goal. All things that shouldn't have happened if Suter had made the easy clear.
On that particular play I thought that Allison was more at fault for the puck not getting cleared than Suter. I haven't watched my tape of the game yet, only saw it live, but during that play all three of the forwards were at the bench changing and Allison had the opportunity to stop the puck behind the net, but instead whipped a pass to Suter on the far wing, which Suter immediately sent back to Allison behind the net. At this point the Avs had a forechecker coming at Allison so again he immediately whipped the puck to Suter who wasn't expecting the pass and never got control of the puck.

I thought Suter made some good plays at both ends of the ice tonight and IMO wasn't totally at fault for the turnover leading to Sakic's goal.

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02-03-2006, 08:49 AM
  #21
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I thought it was Allison's fault as well. Even after the hurried pass, he did a horrible job of trying to tie up Sakic in the crease. There is no way Sakic should have been able to get to that puck if Allison does his JOB!!! It was good to see Sillinger come in and show Allison how to put a guy on his A_ _. And he wonders why he is the 7th dman.....should be more like 9th.

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Old
02-03-2006, 08:56 AM
  #22
jstreet
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BleedBlue44
i noticed sillinger got a goal to tie it at 2.. how did he look?

He deftly swept into the slot for a wide open one timer at a crucial moment in the game, it was excellent. Him and Walker will do some great things when the chemistry starts gelling.



This from the Av Board:

Faceoffs

Nashville - 43
Colorado - 24

That's what Sillinger and Perreault will do for you against a weak faceoff team. We need a good right handed draw man bad.




-Also, Suter is a good player, but man for every good play he makes, he makes two horrible plays. At least it seems that way to me.

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Old
02-03-2006, 09:02 AM
  #23
jstreet
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Also, this was my first successful GDT. Im now 1/3!

Id try for two in a row, but Im gone to Nashville this weekend, so Ill actually be at the game Saturday!

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02-03-2006, 09:13 AM
  #24
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If they actually learn to look for Sillinger on the power play he should be even better. The guy shifts around nicely in front of the net to free himself up-- unfortunately it seemed to be used primarily by us last night only to distract the defenders so we could keep passing the puck around the perimeter. I was watching live so I could be wrong but he really seemed to add more interior movement to our pp.

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02-03-2006, 02:37 PM
  #25
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I have to say that I hated watching Kariya try to set up the PP on the half boards. The Avs were outmuscling him off of the puck and it led to a number of successful clears for the Avs' PK. I would think the Preds would do much better having Sullivan take that role on the opposite boards. Sullivan has a lot more grit than Kariya and Sullivan strikes me as a perfect for the role, given that grit plus his vision and puckhandling. Kariya should be the weak side shooter if you ask me. I think I lost some hair watching Kariya and Timonen last night. Ugh.

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