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Category: Nashville-Predators

Afternoon Line- John Glennon On The Nashville Predators

Dare to dream big, Preds fans. This could be quite a ride.

-John Glennon at NashvillePredators.com where you can read more on the Predators advancing to Round 2.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Nashville Predators, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Sweet Sweep In Nashville

from Joe Rexrode of The Tennessean,

“SWEEP! SWEEP! SWEEP!” the Predators fans chanted in the final stages of a 4-1 win in Game 4 Thursday at Bridgestone Arena. And that’s what they got, thanks to that Sissons goal, two from Roman Josi, an Arvidsson empty netter for emphasis and yet another masterpiece from goaltender Pekka Rinne – and despite an appropriately desperate performance from the Stanley Cup favorite Blackhawks.

“It’s a great feeling, 2010 and 2015 we lost to these guys in the first round; we had a chance to kind of redeem ourselves, a little payback,” Rinne said of the Blackhawks. “But it’s a great feeling, and I think organization-wise too, it goes pretty high up there.”

Now it’s on the Predators to capitalize on this achievement, their No. 1 to date, and knock it down the list before the spring ends. It’s on these players to shake more hands of people who are gritting their teeth in disappointment while the Predators say nice things and temporarily contain their exuberance.

“We’ve been in this situation, and in my career too I’ve been in this situation (three times) now,” Rinne said of first-round wins in 2011, 2012 and 2016. “It really is nothing. It’s a great feeling and it’s really hard to get to the second round, but at the same time, you’ve got to keep your foot on the gas. Stay focused, stay hungry. We haven’t done anything yet.”

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, Nashville Predators, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

The Chicago Blackhawks Were Swept Out Of The Playoffs

from Mark Potash of the Chicago Sun-Times,

Welcome to the new reality, Blackhawks.

After years in a different realm as the gold standard of NHL excellence in the salary-cap era, the Hawks’ stunning demise against the eighth-seeded Predators — a four-game sweep after a 4-1 loss Thursday at Bridgestone Arena — likely signaled the end of an era as Stanley Cup favorites.

The Hawks still will be contenders in future postseasons — though the demise of the once-mighty Kings remains a cautionary tale — but the days of “flipping the switch,” forcing good teams to play poorly and willing their way to victory appear to be over. Against the Predators, the Hawks were just another playoff team at the mercy of NHL parity and the hockey gods. Neither was kind to the Hawks this postseason.

“It was a major disappointment across the board,” coach Joel Quenneville said. “They raised their level of play in the playoffs, and I don’t think we got to where we had to be.”

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Game highlights and handshakes are below...

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, Nashville Predators, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

One More Win For Nashville Or Just A Win For Chicago

from Joe Rexrode of The Tennessean,

Nashville’s 3-0 lead is a shocker in the hockey world, at the expense of a Chicago team favored by Las Vegas oddsmakers to win the Stanley Cup and picked by just about everyone else to win this first-round series. If the Predators can get one more win, it will be the most significant achievement in their 19-year history – beating an elite team that has won three of the past seven Stanley Cups, and setting themselves up to make a serious run at one of their own.

That’s why Lower Broadway is wilder than normal these days, and why this team’s TV ratings are surging, and why Monday night in Bridgestone was one of the best scenes at a sporting event you’re going to find anywhere. From Carrie Underwood’s surprise, soaring national anthem to the euphoric celebration after Predators forward Kevin Fiala scored the winning goal in overtime, it was epic.

“Awesome,” Laviolette said. “The rink was unbelievable, the fans were absolutely incredible. … From an organizational standpoint it’s huge, to watch the growth of it. It’s hard not to mention or acknowledge the impact they had on the game (Monday).”

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from Mark Potash of the Chicago Sun-Times,

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Rocking In Nashville

from Joe Rexrode of The Tennessean,

Nashville has never held a 3-0 lead in a playoff series. And Nashville has never looked more like a Stanley Cup contender than it does now. If the Blackhawks can’t win four straight games to become the fifth team in NHL history to overcome a 3-0 deficit, the Western Conference is an attainable prize for the Predators.

“It’s a good position to be up right now, up 3-0, but I think we still have to treat this next game like we treated Game 3,” Rinne said. “Nothing should change.”

For much of Monday, it looked like the Blackhawks were going to change things up and make this a series. After it looked like the Predators would squander that stirring start.

The club has been criticized for ticket policies designed to keep out opposing fans, but it worked out OK for them in Game 3. There might have been 100 red jerseys in the crowd.

This is still a small fan base compared to most, in a place where kids playing hockey on a frozen pond is not a thing, and these people follow a 19-year-old franchise that has never been past the second round of the playoffs. But the place was sold out and legitimately rocking for all 41 regular-season games. Monday was another level entirely.

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The Chicago Blackhawks Are Now Facing Elimination

from Tracey Myers of CSN Chicago,

The Blackhawks had finally broken through Pekka Rinne. Twice. They had their first goals of the series. They had their first lead of the series.

But after taking the initiative in the second period the Blackhawks went more into a defensive mode again. Against the Nashville Predators, who have shown they’ll take advantage of any chance, hop or bounce they get, it was an opportunity.

Now the Blackhawks are on the brink of elimination.

Patrick Kane scored his 50th career postseason goal but the Predators came back, with Kevin Fiala getting the overtime winner to beat the Blackhawks 3-2 on Monday night. The Predators take a commanding 3-0 series lead; they’ll have their first chance to eliminate the Blackhawks in Game 4 on Thursday night.

The Blackhawks were subdued after this one. Save a period or so, the Predators have outplayed the Blackhawks in these three games. Now the desperation is at an all-time high.

“Yeah, it’s not easy. It’s not easy. It’s a good team and they want it. They’re pushing themselves to the limit. But we have no choice. We’ve got to find a way to put pressure on them,” Jonathan Toews said. “We’ve got to make them realize that winning that fourth game is the toughest for any team in any series. We can be that team to try and frustrate them and put pressure on them, especially in their own building in the next game. You never know what can happen, so we’ll just focus on winning the next one.”

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Watch the game highlights below...

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, Nashville Predators, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Videos- You Want OT Goals?

All four OT goals from Monday's Stanley Cup Playoff games...

 

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Anaheim Ducks, Nashville Predators, Ottawa Senators, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

The Chicago Blackhawks Are In A 0-2 Hole

from Tracey Myers of CSN Chicago,

Zip. Zilch. Nada. Nothing.

The Blackhawks didn't get anything in Game 1 against Nashville, but that game was at least palatable. They didn't do a lot, but they didn't give up a lot, either. But in Game 2, with the Predators upping their game, the Blackhawks didn't match. They didn't even come close. And now they're facing one hell of a first-round series hole.

Ryan Ellis scored what would be the game-winning goal in the first period and Pekka Rinne got his second shutout in as many games with 30 stops as the Predators beat the Blackhawks 5-0 on Saturday night. The Predators, who looked as strong as the Blackhawks looked frustrated, take a 2-0 lead back to Nashville for Games 3 and 4 on Monday and Thursday, respectively.

The Blackhawks could take positives out of Game 1. This one? Not so much. It's the second time in franchise history the Blackhawks were shut out in their first two postseason games. The last time it happened was back in 1935.

"That was frustration to a different level. That wasn't fun to watch. Across the board, not too many positives came out of tonight's game," coach Joel Quenneville said. "Everybody was responsible, from the coaches down to every single player. We need to get out of this mess and hole. We can play much better than that in all areas, in all aspects. We're a better hockey team than we showed tonight."

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Game highlights are below along with a frustrating reaction from Ryan Hartman of the Blackhawks...

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, Nashville Predators, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

The Nashville Predators Play Their Game To Beat The Chicago Blackhawks

from Mark Lazerus of the Chicago Sun-Times,

These weren’t the new-look Nashville Predators, the aggressive, offensively minded group that tries to score goals, not simply prevent them. These were the old-school Predators — diving in front of shots, sliding in front of shots, stepping in front of shots. Clogging the neutral zone. Steering oncoming forwards out wide and then sagging in the middle.

For much of the final two periods Thursday night, the Predators looked like they were on an extended penalty-kill, holding on for dear life as the Blackhawks woke up from a sleepy first period.

It’s not pretty. And it might not be sustainable. But it worked in Game 1 of the first-round Stanley Cup playoff series at the United Center, mostly because Pekka Rinne went old-school, too, looking like his former All-Star self in a 1-0 shutout of the Hawks.

It was an emphatic reminder that, against the Predators, the first goal is even more important than usual.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, Nashville Predators, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Advantage Nashville?

from Joe Rexrode of The Tennessean,

Thankfully, the Game 1 countdown has been reduced to hours, and soon enough these teams will be off and skating, setting the tone for a compelling series. This has been building like a college football rivalry game. There’s been enough time to prepare for a football game as well.

Equal opportunity for both sides, of course, and they already know each other well. But that doesn’t mean an enterprising student of the game can’t use the available technology to find a helpful little nugget or two.

And perhaps this is where the Predators will have an edge. Though coaches and players use it, I think the “underdog” card usually is overrated in terms of intensity of play in situations like this – both of these teams are going to spill it from the start, no matter who’s favored and what has been said.

But I think preparation can be impacted by mindset. Has the Blackhawks’ confidence strayed at all into overconfidence? Have the Predators done more than the Blackhawks this week to find wrinkles and individual tendencies that aren’t dug up in a regular-season setting? If so, can that tilt things Nashville’s way a bit?

Peter Laviolette and his players certainly made use of the time.

“We’ve actually been able to take it up and break it into days,” he said of the video prep coordinated by video coach Lawrence Feloney. “Work on certain things, whether it’s power play or penalty kill or systems or personnel or lines that they have, and combinations and tendencies. 

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About Kukla's Korner Hockey

Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com

 

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