Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Ken Campbell of the Hockey News,
...And like another CBA poster child – the Buffalo Sabres – the Predators have rewarded their fans by essentially stiffing them. Former owner Craig Leipold sold the team before getting a sweetheart deal to own the far more lucrative Minnesota Wild, but before doing that, forced Poile to strip the organization of some of its top veteran players in a desperate cost-cutting move.
This is where it must end. And it must end with the Predators doing everything they possibly can to sign goaltender Dan Ellis to a long-term contract extension. If they do, it will require a complete about face by team management, which, before the playoffs, seemed intent on allowing Ellis to depart as an unrestricted free agent and next season go with the tandem of Chris Mason and prospect Pekka Rinne.
But the way Ellis, who turns 28 in June, played down the stretch and in the playoffs should change everything. He recorded the best save percentage in the league during the regular season and was spectacular in defeat for the Predators, even though he was victimized by a one-bouncer that got past him in Game 6.
from Adam Proteau of the Hockey News,
Now, there was more to Detroit’s role in the victory than just luck. They unloaded a barrage of rubber (43 shots, to be exact) at Ellis – out-shooting Nashville 21-4 in the second frame – and Chris Osgood was up to the task in net for them when he had to be, stopping 20 Preds shots for his 11th career playoff shutout.
But this is also not to say the Red Wings come out of the series closely resembling a can’t-miss Cup contender. Their streakiness was again exposed and may a higher power help them if Osgood falters in the same way Dominik Hasek did in Games 3 and 4.
from the Tennessean,
“This moment is kind of lousy,’’ Freeman said. “Ultimately you just want to win. In the bigger picture I think everybody, and I mean everybody, has done a nice thing for the city. I think the city has found a hockey team they genuinely like.’’
Freeman recalled a moment last summer when NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman asked him why he thought he could make the NHL work in Nashville when Leipold could not.
“I told him this city, given a second chance, would realize how important this franchise was and how lucky we were to have the NHL. I felt this particular team was perfect for this season and this city,” Freeman said. “The city seems to have really wrapped their arms around them and seems to love these guys. They are a great group of guys to love and it hurts to see them lose.’’
Nick Lidstrom’s goal seemed to take a little steam out of the Predators.
added 7:00pm, Watch the game highlights from the NBC broadcast…
from Jessica Hopp of the Tennessean,
Today, in front of a national NBC audience, the Predators host the Red Wings in Game 6 with a chance to again tie the series. But to parlay recent playoff success into a larger fan base and greater national recognition, observers say the Predators need to do one major thing: defeat Detroit.
“The big step for them is they have to win this playoff series,” said Pierre McGuire, a national hockey television analyst who won two Stanley Cups as a member of the Pittsburgh Penguins organization in 1991 and 1992. “This gives them huge collateral going forward.”
For now, in Nashville, at least, hockey fever has taken hold.
from the 2008 Stanley Cup Playoffs Blog at CBC,
There’s still some mystery surrounding Arnott’s ailment, which the Predators have at times described as flu-like symptoms and possible food poisoning. But Trotz on Saturday didn’t rule out the possibility that Arnott is suffering from post-concussion syndrome, dating back to the end of Game 3 when he collided with Alexander Radulov while celebrating the game-winning goal.
Arnott didn’t play in the 3:48 of that game, after which Trotz said the captain suffered some “whiplash.’” Arnott did play in Game 4.
“Before I become a doctor I am going to let the doctors make that decision. ... I am not going to speculate on that,’’ Trotz said.
more on the Wings and Predators…
from the CP via TSN,
Goalie Dan Ellis, who almost single-handedly stole Game 5 with 52 saves in a 2-1 overtime loss in Detroit, says the Predators are used to the pressure.
“We’re a desperate hockey team right now. We’ve been desperate the entire season. We just put ourselves right back in that same situation,” he said. “It’s a comfortable situation for us.
“We’re back home where we have the advantage of our home crowd behind us to lift us up through those tired moments. We’re going to give it every push that we can.”
The Nashville Predators are 0-10 in playoff road games throughout their team history.
Sure they battle, and keep on battling, but 0-10 is not going to cut it for them.
A win on Sunday by the Predators will force a game 7 back in Detroit on Tuesday.
That would be another first for the Preds, they have yet to play a game 7 and would be looking for their first series win in their playoff history too.
Are the odds with the Predators?
from John Glennon of the Tennessean,
Ellis was the sole reason the Predators even reached overtime, as the inexperienced netminder turned away 52 of 53 shots in regulation before surrendering a breakaway goal to Johan Franzen.
“The way Ellie played tonight, there really aren’t words to describe it,’’ Predators forward J.P. Dumont said. “It would have been great if we had found a way to win for him. He deserved to win.’‘
Any thoughts that Ellis might suffer from jitters while playing in his first postseason had probably been eliminated after the first four games of this series. But in case there were still doubters, Ellis nearly single-handedly beat one of the most skilled teams in the league on Friday.
“The biggest disappointment,’’ Predators Coach Barry Trotz said, “was that we wasted that good goaltending effort.’‘
Johan Franzen scored 1:48 into overtime, beating Nashville Predators goalie Dan Ellis who stopped 52 shots.
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.
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