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Category: Nashville-Predators

Last Year In The Past For The Anaheim Ducks

from Curtis Zupke of the LA Times,

Past is not prologue, as far as the Ducks are concerned, even if the ink on the recent pages of their history is somewhat fresh.

They have been in this position each of the past two seasons, having a 3-2 series lead, and both have ended in anguish. The Ducks lost the final two games to the Chicago Blackhawks in last year's Western Conference final and against the Kings in the 2014 semifinal.

Players expectedly closed the book on all that heading into Monday's Game 6 with a 3-2 first-round series lead on the Nashville Predators.

"I look at that as last year," Hampus Lindholm said. "That's history for me. This is a new year, a new group. It doesn't really bother me what happened that year … all that stuff that happened before. I don't think anyone has that on their mind right now."

Said Ducks Coach Bruce Boudreau about the past: "I'm not bringing it up."

Questions about learning from the past has practically become a rite of spring for Boudreau. He said Sunday that it's helped his approach in trying to find the right formula and cited "experience is the best teacher."


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

Pekka Rinne Has To Be Better

from Adam Vingan of The Tennessean,

Late in the second period of the Predators' 5-2 loss to the Ducks in Game 5 on Saturday, Anaheim forward Ryan Garbutt forechecked hard, winning a battle along the end boards and stuffing the puck past Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne.

Conversation on social media turned toward whether Garbutt's goal should have counted, with certain replays leading some to believe the puck slipped under the net and behind Rinne, getting by him illegally.

"It's hard to see at that point," Rinne said. "You're just trying to play the puck at a bad angle. It's pretty much behind the net. He just banks it off me. It was a terrible goal to give up in a big game like that. It was a 1-1 game at the moment. Wish I could take it back."

Regardless, Rinne has allowed at least four goals in each of the past two games and has a .889 save percentage through five playoff games, doing little to dispel thoughts that he is no longer one of the NHL's best goaltenders.


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

Ducks/Predators Tied At 2 Games Apiece

from Adam Vingan of The Tennessean,

Consider it an opportunity squandered.

The Predators had a two-game series advantage against the Ducks, the first in team history, and two home games to take a commanding lead in their first-round matchup or even win it.

A 4-1 loss in Game 4 on Thursday, however, has placed momentum firmly on the side of the Ducks, who reclaimed home-ice advantage in what has become a best-of-three series, starting with Game 5 on Saturday in Anaheim.

"Got to get the next one," Predators captain Shea Weber said. "Nothing we can do about the past two. We hadn't won anything after the first two, so it's a seven-game series for a reason. You've got to win four games, and the first team to do so wins."


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

The Anaheim Ducks Play Their Game To Defeat The Nashville Predators

from Eric Stephens of the OC Register,

No griping or whining at the officials. No retaliatory or antagonistic pokes or chops at their combatants. No baffling breakdowns in their own zone.

It was just about playing hockey for the Ducks and they turned in a masterful Game 3 on Tuesday night, fulfilling their intent to make it a tight and tough playoff series with the Nashville Predators.

Jamie McGinn, Rickard Rakell and Chris Stewart scored goals and Frederik Andersen stopped 27 shots for his second career playoff shutout in the Ducks’ convincing 3-0 victory at Bridgestone Arena.

Nashville still holds a 2-1 lead in the series, but the Ducks have an opportunity to tie it in a pivotal Game 4 on Thursday night.

“This is a resilient group and we never doubted our ability,” Stewart said. “We didn’t make it easy on us. At the end of the day, it’s a race to four. It’s 2-1 now and we got one more to play before we go home.”


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

The Anaheim Ducks Go 0-2 At Home

from Jeff Miller of the OC Register,

It’s called home ice, not home nice, a fact that never has been clearer than it is today.

On Sunday, the Ducks were left to defend the frozen turf of suddenly hospitable Southern California in a postseason that has begun, locally at least, as a sobering thaw.

Instead, they just melted down by being “stupid” – Coach Bruce Boudreau’s assessment – and lost Game 2 of their first-round series against Nashville, 3-2.

After spending the final stretch of the regular season taffy pulling for the top of the Pacific Division, the Ducks and Kings ended up Nos. 1 and 2 but both still earned the purported advantage of starting the playoffs at home.

At this stage, identifying that advantage requires equal amounts of wild creativity and blind denial.

With this defeat, the Ducks dropped both their home games, just like the Kings did to San Jose, each team quickly turning an opening series into something that feels more like a closing ceremony.

Now, the Ducks are faced with the reality of having to win 4 of 5 against an opponent that so far has worked harder and smarter and executed more frequently.


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

The Anaheim Ducks Drop Game 1 To The Nashville Predators

from Eric Stephens of the OC Register,

Five years have passed since the Ducks and Nashville met in the Stanley Cup playoffs and the personnel has dramatically changed.

What hasn’t changed is the Predators coming into Honda Center and taking Game 1.

Filip Forsberg’s goal with 9:35 remaining was the difference this time as Nashville got the early jump in the best-of-7 first-round series with a 3-2 triumph Friday night. It is the first Game 1 loss for the Ducks since the 2014 Western Conference semifinals and just their second under Coach Bruce Boudreau.

“They’re a good hockey club,” Boudreau said. “They outplayed us tonight. I don’t know if we didn’t think they’re as good as they are because we haven’t played them in such a long time. We know they’re a good hockey club.”


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

Jimmy Vesey Says No To The Nashville Predators

from Frank Seravalli of TSN,

In the end, the Nashville Predators couldn’t get close to prized prospect Jimmy Vesey. Literally.

A guaranteed spot on the top two lines, a chance to skate into the Stanley Cup playoffs three weeks after stepping off the ice as a Harvard student and the benefit of burning a year off his restrictive rookie contract were not enough to lure Vesey to the Music City.

It wasn’t even enough to secure a face-to-face meeting with the team that drafted him four years ago, Predators GM David Poile alleged.

“It’s a bizarre situation,” Poile told the Nashville Tennessean. “For whatever reason, and after all the time and resources that we invested in Jimmy Vesey’s development, we could not get a meeting with Jimmy, his family and his representatives all together. That’s the only thing I asked for after [last week] and they would not accommodate us on that.”...

Vesey will not gain any financial leverage elsewhere. The maximum salary on NHL entry-level contracts is $925,000, and he would have received the same maximum rookie attainable performance bonus structure ($2.85 million) with likely any team.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Nashville Predators, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jimmy+vesey

Want A Dark Horse In The Stanley Cup Playoffs? The Nashville Predators Fit The Bill

from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,

Just around the time the first period in Nashville concluded Saturday night with the Predators launching a franchise-record 27 shots at the Columbus Blue Jackets, one had to ask himself: How many teams are playing better hockey than the Nashville Predators right now?

Shhhhh, the Preds don't want anyone to know, but they're 19-5-5 since Jan. 21 and 12-2-2 since Feb. 22, absolutely sizzling in their team game as the playoffs approach.

"We tried to keep it a secret as long as we could, but I guess it's got to come out at some point," chuckled Predators captain Shea Weber on Monday morning when I suggested they were flying under the radar.

Seriously though, after an opening half to the season that was marred by inconsistency and left many wondering if the Preds would even make the playoffs, they've steadied the ship and then some.


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

All Ryan Johansen

from Scott Burnside of ESPN,

Burnside: Was there a sense of sadness of leaving the team that drafted you?

Johansen: Definitely. The city of Columbus, the Columbus Blue Jackets will always have a special place in my heart. I have so many great memories. Friends that'll last over a lifetime that I developed over the years from playing there. I truly did love being a Blue Jacket. It was a fantastic five years of my life. Speaking for me and my family, it was just such a first-class organization and place to play. It's really unfortunate things didn't work out there because I really did believe we had a good team and we were capable of being a great team for a long time. But, you know, it's professional sports and things don't always go as planned.

Burnside: What was the adjustment like coming to a new team, especially as a skill player where the expectations were really high for you?

Johansen: There are a few people on the Predators that are from the area that I live in, and things like that, and you run into people, whether through appearances or the All-Star Game or things like that. It was great to see a few familiar faces when you walk into the arena. That for sure helped when I first arrived. At the end of the day, the puck is dropped and you just want to go out there and work your hardest and not worry about all the little X's and O's right away. That was my approach when I first arrived. I was just trying to go out there and play my game and do my best. Obviously, they didn't just flip a coin and say, "Let's trade for Johansen." They did some research into the way play I played the game and thought I could help the hockey club. And that was the main message that the coach and the GM were telling me when I arrived.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Nashville Predators, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ryan+johansen

Peaking For The Playoffs In Nashville

from John Glennon of The Tennessean,

Since losing to Tampa Bay in overtime on Feb. 12, however, the Predators have rattled off a record of 10-1-4, capturing 24 of a possible 30 points while moving comfortably into the conference’s sixth playoff spot.

Twelve games remain in the regular season, but the Predators hope their best hockey of the year continues straight into the postseason.

“When you look back at last year, we definitely struggled later in the season right around this point,” Predators captain Shea Weber said. “I still think we found a way to really challenge Chicago (in the playoffs).

“But hopefully the way we’re going right now and the confidence we’re building will give us an even bigger boost. Given the choice ... you’d rather choose to be playing your best hockey going into the playoffs.”

read on

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

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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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