Weber with the bomb from the blueline with Vasicek in front providing the screen makes it 7-1 Preds! Hordichuk started the play by getting his stick on a breakout pass whereby it trickled over to Weber at the right point for the shot.
Apparently Vasicek tipped the shot in front so it will be scored Vasicek from Weber and Hordichuk...still it's 7-1 and Weber has a cannon!
funny thing is that even with that huge PP, we're being outshot.
Come on...you've gotta know by now that if the opposition sits back and gives us the perimeter then we aren't going to get dirty and force anything to work. We'd rather pass it around the outside waiting for that lane to open up for the clean one-timer or pretty passing play. We don't just shoot the puck on the PP.
BTW, anyone else notice that Kariya and Legwand are trying real hard to get Hartnell his third goal of the night?
nice move by trotz letting the fourth line get some PP time.
Agreed. Nice pass by Tootoo to set up Weber for the wrister from in close too. A little scary when they got pinned down behind the net, but overall a nice gesture for that line who has been one of our best recently.
Great hand-eye coordination by Timonen at the end of that PP to tip the long home-run pass out to Salmelinen coming out of the box. Just got enough of it to change it's direction and throw the play offsides.
8-2 at the end of the second period. Let's hope we don't fold in the third period, but rather play good, clean, simple hockey and get out of there without any issues. Make sure that we take care of things in our own end and not take too many chances in transition.
Pretty uneventful third period. Salmelinen nets his second of the night to make it an 8-3 final, but really neither team looked too into it.
Chicago had the better chances in the third period mainly coming off of sustained offensive zone pressure, but they obviously had more to play for and were going to take chances and throw the body around on the Predators to try and save face.
Hartnell with two goals tonight, Kariya with a goal and three assists, and Legwand picked up a goal and two assists to get nine points tonight from our top line. Good night all around as the second line of Sullivan - Arnott - Dumont contributed seven points (2 goals, 5 assists) of their own tonight and we also got some good shifts from our third and fourth lines too. Mason with 35 saves on 38 shots made some really nice saves and got some good breaks tonight too. Trotz goes to the All-Star Game as an assistant coach and all is good tonight.
Let's hope for a similar effort tomorrow night vs. the trapping and extremely conservative St. Louis Blues come to play at 501 Broadway.
well that was fun... a few thoughts the morning after;
..that's what we're constantly talking about when we say get ahead and open up the game against these teams that trap when ahead or against teams that simply try to slow the game down. most teams cann't play end-to-end hockey against us for 60 minutes.
First the good things;
..so many good things, hard to know where to start. so i'll start with kariya. the guy is playing the best hockey these last dozen or so games that he's ever played with us. he's the one that got this lead and forced the game into a skating game. what a great move on aucoin to set up hartnell and then what a great shot to regain the lead 2-1. right now, he's carrying the team many nights, a stretch like many of us have been waiting for. 7 goals and 17 points now in his last 11 games.
..we tend to have stretches where kariya will get hot, then we have stretches when sullivan will carry the team. when the two of them both get hot at the same time, well then we'd totally dominate for that stretch.
..of course the first two goals were huge, but the goal that broke this thing wide open was the arnott one in the last minute of the first (caused directly by a great forecheck). arnott and sully with great pressure, dumont with great stickhandling to get to the slot and cause the goal.
..all night long, our forecheck caused them massive problems. the arnott goal, the sullivan goal, the vasicek goal all caused directly by the forecheck causing turnovers.
..the first line of kariya-legwand-hartnell was brilliant almost every shift. this is the line some of us have been screaming for since camp (at least me, handtrick and trig have been). a balanced line that has speed, playmaking, and grit. lord i hope trotz sticks with this line, i think it would be much more balanced, and much more dangerous than having erat there and simply three super speed guys with no size. keep this line together the second half and they would lite up the scorebaord i truly believe. 9 points between the three is a pretty good first game.
..when erat returns, put him on a line with vasicek and radulov to give that line speed and breakout potential. would balance all three of our lines much better. would give each line size, some speed, a playmaker and a finisher or two. cann't imagine why we won't do exactly that. if we don't, well i'm going to be mighty disappointed.
..3rd in the league at the halfway point in scoring, winning percentage, points. first int he league in road wins. wow, i've died and gone to hockey heaven. hard to believe how quickly this team has come this far, this fast.
..trotz has to begin to consider using legwand as the 3rd shooter in the shootout. the guy is burying chance after chance on breakaways (penalty shot). his speed carrying the puck in means the goalie has to stay back in net and not come out to play angles or get set in net. and then that speed forces quick adjustments when he fakes that oftentimes leaves the 5 hole there. looks like he would be the guy we shoot after kariya and sully to me.
..this one could have been even worse very easily. hartnell and dumont with clean breakaways. kariya with three that just missed the corner. would have loved to have seen us put up a 10 spot, just to say that i saw it. would also have loved to have seen hartnell with the hattrick. kariya and legwand both worked hard to get for him i thought.
There are always bad things in any game, and to keep things all in perspective you need to note mistakes;
..mason with a weak goal allowed on the first little wrister. otherwise a good game with many tough point shot saves thru traffic.
..zanon with a dangerous crossice pass that was turned over on their first goal. partly bad luck here, in that he was trying to hit an open radulov on the far wing, but vasicek knocked it down thinking it was to him and this set up the 3 on 2 the other way. (terry nor peterson noted this when they criticized the pass)
..tootoo, smithson, hordichuk simply have no real offensive skills. what you hope is when they get the puck in deep they kick it back out to the d-men for a point shot and just let them try to rebound and crash the net instead of watching them painfully trying to stickhandle and work the puck for a shot themselves.
..we once again allowed a team to poke the puck out from under mason for a cheap goal on the second one. happening too many times.
..on the last goal, there was a textbook example of how you don't want your d-men to play a 3 on 2. what the d-men are supposed to do when they're facing a three on two rush is both of them stay inside the faceoff dots. try to take one of the guys along the boards, and you run the risk of the guy being pressured getting the puck to the middle guy and it becoming a 2 on 1 in effect. happened to weber last night when he tried to take out vandermeer. he did, but vandermeer got the pass over to sharp who then in essence was in a two on one situation with salmelainen. cost us a goal, hopefully the kind of lesson young d-men learn on a meaningless goal allowed. you new fans, watch how d-men play a 3 on 2 to see how they should do this.
..our 5 on 3 again was weak. they simply backed off and allowed us to pass the puck around the perimeter. and we did. we again didn't attack the net here, but looked for the cute play and shot.
but what a fun game. amazing after two periods scoring chances were only 18-17 us, and we led 8-2. wasn't long ago, we all used to cry how we didn't have any finishers on the team. now we have them in spades. 5 points from leading the league in points, with 2 games in hand over anaheim. all things are possible when this team clicks offensively.