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GDT: Nashville Predators @ New York Islanders 10-16-06 6:30pm

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Old
10-17-2006, 12:40 PM
  #51
Basher
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On the flip side, Fiddler also had a good game, and I almost hate to make the following comments. Still, for a team with so much firepower......essentially turning our third line into a line of spare parts seems slightly ridiculous. Vasicek - Fiddler - Hartnell....its not a checking line, but its not a scoring line. It seems just like a collection of bodies that Trotz doesn't know what to do with. To be honest, I'm not completely surprised. Trotz has never known what to do with Hartnell, and he still doesn't. Vasicek who is just as snake-bitten as Hartnell at this point gets thrown on the line as well to complete the ingeniuous line. Fiddler is there to suck up minutes and provide decent forechecking....I'm not sure what to think. I just think its a pitiful excuse of linemaking. Maybe that is just me. Carrying this thought on further - Wouldn't the fourth line typically be made up of spare parts in situations where the top 9 forwards are considered scoring lines that are in need of some specialty line players? Honestly, what is the point of skating Upshall and Tootoo out there for 5-7 minutes max., when we could simply make up a defensively sound, but specialty line in Fiddler, Smithson, etc. At least this way we would keep our top 3 lines as offensive forces, without turning the third line into some type of forward wasteland.
I knew it. My mind wandered around and played with idea, but it went away as fast as it came in. I wasn't able to put my finger on it. BUT - You did it for me with this post. Very good analysis of the situation.

The only thing, and I mean ONLY thing that I can come up with that makes any sense as to why Trotz would do this is the fact that we aren't giving up 6+ goals a game anymore. But like you mentioned, if there was a line purely made for defensive purposes then why not just have Smithson, Fiddler, etc. out there? For Upshall to never play, and Fiddler to get 15+ a night is ... insane. Maybe he'll figure out a balance to this nonsense, and we'll all see the evolution of perfect lines this season, or so we can hope.

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Old
10-17-2006, 12:47 PM
  #52
crossxcheck
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Originally Posted by Basher View Post
I knew it. My mind wandered around and played with idea, but it went away as fast as it came in. I wasn't able to put my finger on it. BUT - You did it for me with this post. Very good analysis of the situation.

The only thing, and I mean ONLY thing that I can come up with that makes any sense as to why Trotz would do this is the fact that we aren't giving up 6+ goals a game anymore. But like you mentioned, if there was a line purely made for defensive purposes then why not just have Smithson, Fiddler, etc. out there? For Upshall to never play, and Fiddler to get 15+ a night is ... insane. Maybe he'll figure out a balance to this nonsense, and we'll all see the evolution of perfect lines this season, or so we can hope.

I still think somehow Trotz thinks he owes something to Fiddler and this is why he gives him so much ice time (and he's not a defensive liability). I'm not saying I agree with it, though. Now why he treats Upshall like a redheaded stpechild is anyone's guess.

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10-17-2006, 03:18 PM
  #53
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Originally Posted by crossxcheck View Post
I still think somehow Trotz thinks he owes something to Fiddler and this is why he gives him so much ice time (and he's not a defensive liability). I'm not saying I agree with it, though. Now why he treats Upshall like a redheaded stpechild is anyone's guess.
I think the answer to this question can be gleaned from the quote below in today's City Paper:

“You are always looking for a guy who can bring you some energy,” Predators coach Barry Trotz said. “We have a few guys who sort of play a similar role. But Fids Is one of those guys who wants to be in the line-up. He doesn’t let up in practice if you tell him he is not going to be in the line-up. He keeps pushing and working hard. He is going to make us notice him and make us put him in sooner or later. He has an extremely high work ethic. That’s one of the qualities I value the most.”

http://www.nashvillecitypaper.com/in...&news_id=52757

With all the positive things that Trotz said about Upshall when they sent him to Milwaukee last year for the playoffs, and in training camp.....followed by the dead silence that Trotz has held on Upshall since then, coupled with his being scratched or being placed on the 4th line with almost no PK time [the job that requires the greatest work ethic]......I think that it is not too far a jump to think that Upshall's practice work ethic [or lack thereof] may have something to do with his minimal appearances thus far this year.....I may be completely off here, but that is how I am reading the Trotzy tea leaves on this one......

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10-17-2006, 03:38 PM
  #54
triggrman
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I wanted Upshall in the line-up, but really has anyone noticed him when he's been in? Even in preseason he hasn't stood out.

Right now, I'd take Fiddler over Upshall, and I'm not a big Fiddler fan.

I'd take Radulov over both though.

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Old
10-17-2006, 03:40 PM
  #55
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late again, but here goes...

i wish i didn't care as much... my daughter called me as soon as the game was over and said "whew, i knew you would be in a good mode for the next couple of days when we won"... (grin)

a difficult game to watch in many aspects to be truthful.. bouncing pucks, poor stickhandling and puck control because of it, some bad turnovers, some lucky breaks, some quick whistles.. but it's two points, and it'll look pretty looking back two days from now..

a few thoughts;

...hartnell was really the only thing we had going in the first period, especially the first half of that first period. he took just a half second too long to settle the puck down and get off that shot that dunham stole with the glove. fine pass from fiddler to sit it up, but this play showed the ice difficulty as much as anything else last night.

...funny how when the score winds up one to one, that every mistake is magnified. every giveaway stands out in everyone's mind. because of this, we tend to focus on the negatives, and say things like "we have to play better defensively". score 4 goals, and we would have been saying "man did we play a great defensive game". we played a good defensive game last night in general. we have been doing a much better job of cutting down on the odd man rushes. we have been doing a great job of staying out of the box,especially the dmen (no penalties on any d-man last night, cann't remember the last time that happened). the worst thing that can be said about the dmen was they had trouble on the first pass breaking out of the zone all night against that modified 1-2-2 forecheck system (that would sometimes trap). that forechecking scheme presented us with real problems all night in the neutral zone, and in doing so neutralized some of our speed. but generally the defense played good solid man to man coverage for us, even though we can all name 4 or 5 times where we got beaten and gave up scoring chances because of it.

...vokoun played a good game. to critisize and say things like he "was just a little off" is ridiculous. he made difficult stops on two or three defelections. he played the angles nicely. he generally controlled rebounds well. he was brilliant on the stop of satan in the shootout, and then stoned a guy who is a great shootout guy in kozlov. he gave up a strange, fluky, weak goal to sillinger from a bad angle, between his skates without his stick in the proper position (my guess is he had slightly relaxed thinking whew we killed that pk, and not thinking sillinger would possibly shoot a backhander from there) yet it didn't shake him.

...we shoulda/coulda put this game away in the second period. many more chances, we gained control of the game, yet couldn't really capitalize. a great cross-ice pass from legwand to sullivan to give us the goal. sullivan absolutely flubbed that shot but because it was a 'changeup' dunham missed it.

...special team play.. well the pk looked solid again. much better forechecking last night again made it difficult for them to set up. smithson, legwand, fiddler, sullivan seem to have settled in as the top 4 forwards, and they did a good job. hamhuis, suter, lehtonen, timonen have settled in on the backline and they did as well. notice there was zero pk time for hartnell, upshall, weber, vasicek. of course we only had 5:56 of pk time, but it seems we have narrowed personnel down. the pp is extremely frustrating right now, admittedly i don't remember the last time we only had 2 pp chances either. we tried to simplify last night by telling zidlicky to take the point shots, and we got close a couple of times (sully on a rebound off one of them). but got nothing out of it still. zids shoots to score from the point, which means his shots tend to come in high trying to nail a corner, and which also means his shots tend to sail and miss the net high, shots which are generally ineffective. you need that point shot to come in about a foot off the ice, where it can clear skates, yet be on net to cause rebounds or be deflected. impossible to judge the pp of course because of the almost no time we had on the pp.

...we certainly got lucky on two of those driving to the net scrambles against vokoun. i really thought hartnell knocked vokoun into the net with the puck under him that one time. and then when asham bowls vokoun over and drives into the net, we were extremely fortunate the ref lost sight of the puck and blew the whistle too soon, because it was right there for the taking.

more later, but for now, i'm more than happy to take the two points and go on. 2 down, 48 wins to go....

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Old
10-17-2006, 03:42 PM
  #56
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and then later...

a few other random observations as i find the time;

...the crowd last night was horrible...the 'official' attendance was 9431... which is of course total crap, there couldn't have been 6k in the building.. on top of that, it was "bring a friend and they get in free night" for all season ticket holders.. and they still only have 6k or so in the building?!?.. and it sounded like about 500 fans for most all the game, was like playing an inter-squad game at the sportsplex..

it really irks me, that many teams use the "it's only the predators, and therefore you shouldn't expect many people should want to see them" excuse... shows to me, that fans of teams that are 'established' aren't near as sophisticated hockey fans as most of the old time hockey pundits like to think they are when they're making fun of small market southern teams fans..

...legwand with another solid game in most areas. still struggling in the faceoff dot (only 4 for 16), but that was a huge, huge faceoff win with 6 seconds to go after they had called a timeout to sit up a play... what many that don't realize about legwand is his skating ability.. because he takes such long strides, he is very deceptive to fans watching the guy... i see many kind of scratching their heads, wondering why defensivemen give legwand so much room once he gets the puck.. it's because with his long reach and ability to simply skate right by them that they have to back off and give him room to operate.. we don't win that game without legwand last night, he simply created the only goal we scored

...timonen with that blast off dunhams face. amazingly they let timonen skate full speed head on into a slapshot. it surprised everyone, the dmen, dunham..

...zidlicky had a strange game last night. normally all the guy can think about is shooting the puck, and here twice he breaks in and tries to make passes on plays he always shoots on. and then out at the point on the pp, he simply cranks shot after shot fromt he point instead of trying to make a move as he normally does (i have no doubt he was told to do this, and to be extra careful trying to overstick stickhandle out on the point).. if we're going to have a guy shooting from the point however, i'd personally rather have timonen or weber or hamhuis being the guy given that job.. they all tend to keep the puck down and more playable... i will give zids this, he tends to make things happen, sometimes they're not good things, sometimes they are, but things happen when he's on the ice

...it appears we're moving closer and closer to having a checking line with hartnell, fiddler, vasicek.... vasicek is a different type of player. long long reach. slow. good little wrist shot. average faceoff guy. doesn't really use his size much. he reminds me more and more of arkhipov every game. not saying this is bad, as long as he gives the effort night after night. i don't see him as anything as other than a third line player right now.

...dumont had several chances that he was simply a little late getting off last night, which allowed a dman to get a stick in there and disrupt the shot.

...the top line was simply a little out of sinc all night. erat with one shot, kariya with no shots until overtime. arnott with a couple of whacks even strength but that was it. they simply didn't seem able to get the puck to settle down on them all night. was a great pass from kariya to arnott, that arnott kind of fumbling allowing dunham to pokecheck it away. but overall a quiet game from this line.

...the 4th line played about a million miles per hour, but had nothing to really show for it. they had the one scoring chance flurry there in the third when toots got three whacks, but they also gave up a couple of chances the other way. upshall was hustling, but i saw nothing really clicking. toots, unfortunately looks just about as offensively talented handling and shooting the puck as he did two years ago right now.. we need some contribution from this line

another minor little thing... three stars last night (picked by the islander's radio network);
1)kariya
2)dunham
3)sullivan
sullivan should have been the first star (game tieing goal, only regulation goal, the shootout goal).. dunham the second star, and vokoun the third in my mind

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Old
10-17-2006, 03:50 PM
  #57
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Dunham has always struggled picking up the shots from the blueline through traffic, which is probably why Trotz had our defensemen firing the puck so much last night. Weber and Lehtenon had a few blast too.

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10-17-2006, 10:08 PM
  #58
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Ok, I aint no pred303, but here is what I think came out from my 1st live game of the preds last night.

1st - that D corps is able of the best transition game or the worst. Some times, that 1st pass is elite and sometimes there is soooo many mistakes by the D corps to get that puck out of the zone.

2nd - Ok, I've read about it from you guys.. but Sullivan on the point. HAS TO STOP! Sully has to be 24/7 on the circle waiting from a pass or juicy rebounds. Put Kimo/Zids/Weber on the point, and take the shot.

3rd - Trying to be too cute, SO TRUE again! Too many blind sided pass to the middle near the blue line for entering the zone or in the zone where a shot could have created something! That cross-ice pass from Kariya/Dumont to Sulli in the circle is wayyyyyy too predictable.. I knew they were going to try it on the 2nd PP I saw ever, imagine the staff of the opposing team. Still sometimes it works and create beautiful goal aka Nashville's only goal.

4th - too many plays "a la Hemsky" as I say. Hemsky waste soo many chances to take the shot instead of shooting the god damn puck. As the Sillinger's goal showed us, it can go in from anywhere on the ice, with a little bit of luck and good timing

4th - I think we are really critic of this hockey team, yes there will be mistake, but overall we played ( I think ) a good game.

Here's my 2 cents, I've repeated alot of the points that you guys talk alot about but I was really happy to see the preds even tho it wasnt the most exciting game of the year

Testi


Last edited by Testify: 10-17-2006 at 10:10 PM. Reason: typos
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Old
10-18-2006, 02:25 AM
  #59
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Seems to have been a good game. I'll be watching this soon, a bit late yes but at least I'm seeing it. Just got it downloading...

And huge thanks for those observations, a wonderful read for those of us who don't get to see the games on a regular basis!

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