Kukla's Korner Hockey
from John Glennon of The Tennessean,
Here are five key questions facing the Predators as they prepare for Game 5:
1. Can they slow down the Toews line?
Chicago's line of Marian Hossa, Jonathan Toews and Brandon Saad has been dominant in the series, accounting for 12 points (four goals, eight assists) — one third of the team's points total.
Hossa has been the ringleader, seemingly all over the ice while posting five assists, including four primary assists. The absence of Mike Fisher, the Predators' best two-way center, and Shea Weber, one of the league's top defensemen, has really hurt Nashville in trying to match up with the talented trio.
"The challenge is they're a good hockey line," Laviolette said. "They present a lot of challenges with regard to talent and speed of the attack they bring to the game. I thought (Tuesday) for at least the first three periods we did a pretty good job, keeping them in check and not giving them too many quality chances."
2. Can the veterans bounce back?
When it comes to the very important center position, the Predators are an old team. First-line center Mike Ribeiro is 35, current second-line center Matt Cullen is 38 and fourth-line center Paul Gaustad is 33.
from Rick Morrissey of the Chicago Sun-Times,
Legs heavy, energy stores on empty, they raced up and down the ice, neither side wanting to give in to the other or to tiredness.
Three periods of playoff hockey had come and gone, with all the sweat and exertion and adrenaline that accompany it. Then one overtime, then a second, then into a third. Tuesday night became Wednesday morning at the United Center. Playoff beards filled in. Marian Hossa turned 45.
The Blackhawks and the Predators were carrying on as if everything was at stake, and maybe it was. Game 4 of their first-round series felt like a line in the sand. Whoever crossed it would win the series. Is that how it would be? Who knew? But with every frenetic rush into the other side’s zone, the desperation seemed to increase.
Neither wanted to cede anything to the other. Not any ground. Not any momentum. Certainly not a goal. Scott Darling was superb in the net for the Hawks. Pekka Rinne was crazy good for the Predators.
Something had to give. Theoretically. But doesn’t pi go on forever? So why couldn’t a hockey game?
Finally, at 1:16 a.m., with a heavy slap shot from inside the blue line and Bryan Bickell shielding Rinne, Brent Seabrook tucked this game in for a 3-2 Hawks victory. Good night to all.
Watch the game highlights below...
from Scott Powers of ESPN,
The Nashville Predators’ Colin Wilson thinks a lot about thinking.
Wilson, a 25-year-old forward, worked with a sports psychologist early in his pro career, found he liked it and has focused more on the mental part of his game in recent years. For him, it’s a way of comprehending why he has certain thoughts and trying to use that to make him a better player.
“I really like it,” said Wilson, who uses a sports psychologist outside of the Predators’ organization. “I think in the beginning when you start realizing how your thoughts can create this reality, I think it kind of is a little bit of a shock to you at the beginning. I think it’s an important part of life.
“I’m getting more into it now. It’s more just understanding your thought. I think there’s times where you know you can make a situation out to be too much pressure on yourself; you can make it however you want it to. It’s just something I’ve been focusing on. It seems to be working right now.”
Video of how the injury happened is below...
Nashville, Tenn. (April 9, 2015) – Nashville Predators President of Hockey Operations/General Manager David Poile announced Thursday that the club has signed free-agent forward Steve Moses to a one-year, $1 million contract for the 2015-16 season.
Moses, 25 (8/9/89), set the Kontinental Hockey League goal-scoring record in 2014-15, netting 36 goals in 60 games for Jokerit (Helsinki, Finland) during the club’s inaugural season in the Russia-based league. The 2015 KHL All-Star also tied for seventh in KHL points this season (36g-21a-57pts, 60gp), helping Jokerit to a 40-win campaign. The Leominster, Mass., native spent his first two professional seasons with Jokerit, then in the Finnish Elite League, in 2012-13 and 2013-14, amassing 61 points (34g-27a) in 97 games. In 2012-13, Moses led the league in game-winning goals (7), and paced all rookies in goals (22).
The 5-9, 172-pound winger played four seasons at the University of New Hampshire from 2008-12, recording 98 points (47g-51a) in 148 collegiate games, including 22 goals in 37 games as a senior in 2011-12, which ranked him among the Top 15 in the NCAA. Moses played his junior hockey with the Boston Junior Bruins of the EJHL from 2005-08.
added 11:42pm, video is below...
from Allan Muir of Sports Illustrated,
Remember when it looked as though the Predators had secured their spot atop the Central Division with a bold pre-deadline trade that repatriated Cody Franson and Mike Santorelli from the Maple Leafs?
“He’s a top-four defenseman on pretty well any team right now,” Nashville GM David Poile gushed about Franson, who was the key to the deal. “He was always big and great on the power play. Now he’s much more of a well-rounded guy.”
Franson, a regular on Toronto’s top pair, was slated to play on the second unit with the Preds, adding the element of veteran depth that every contender craves. Instead, he’s become a spare part, or worse, on a team that’s stumbling to the finish line. In two of his past five games he’s been nailed to the bench for most of the third period after his failure to make simple plays led to opposition goals. In Saturday night’s 5-4 loss to Dallas it was his inability to clear a puck from the crease that allowed fourth liner Colton Sceviour to pick up the loose change and put the Preds in a 3–1 hole.
continued plus more hockey topics...
Watch as Vancouver Canucks defenceman Kevin Bieksa delivers a blow to the head of winger Viktor Stalberg from the Nashville Predators.
“I’ve been rooting for a Nashville-Washington [Stanley Cup] Final since the first day of the season,” “Things worked out really good for all of us. We’re happy with where we are in Nashville and Barry has done a great job with the Capitals. We both have teams that are capable of doing some damage in the playoffs.”
-David Poile, GM of the Nashville Predators, via Chuck Gormley of CSNWashington.
from Mike Strobel of the Toronto Sun,
Nashville Predators are selling out home games faster ’n a scalded hound.
They’re at 26 already this season, a record. Those Tennessee hicks are making the storied Leafs look sick.
Likely, you remember guffawing in 1998 when the NHL expanded to a small city best known for Hee Haw.
Well, he who laughs last ...
The Predators were expected to draw 17,113, a full house, for their game against Montreal Tuesday night — not all of them there just to see forward Mike Fisher’s wife, country star Carrie Underwood, and their new baby.
It’s a raucous crowd, too, known for being in their seats when the puck drops and for frequent standing ovations.
The Leafs, on the other hand, suffered their worst attendance ever at the Air Canada Centre against Minnesota on Monday night.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org