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It Was A Bad Matchup For Nashville

from David Climer of The Tennessean,

For the Nashville Predators, the Stanley Cup vision turned out to be nothing more than a mirage in the Arizona desert.

What went wrong? Let me count the ways:

• Bad matchup: Phoenix was the wrong opponent at the wrong time. The Coyotes played tough, relentless hockey and got superior goaltending. In short, they out-Predatored the Predators.

• Bad chemistry: All those roster moves before and at the trade deadline, plus the late addition of Alexander Radulov, were supposed to fortify the Predators for a deep playoff run. They didn’t. Something was amiss.

• Bad karma: Twice in the second period of Game 5 here on Monday, the Predators had shots glance off the post. When things are going right, those find the net. When things are going wrong, they ricochet away. These ricocheted away.

continued

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

Comments

Chris in Hockey Hell's avatar

For the Nashville Predators, the Stanley Cup vision turned out to be nothing more than a mirage in the Arizona desert.

The Predators won their Stanley Cup in the first round when they beat Detroit.

Posted by Chris in Hockey Hell from Ann Arbor, MI but LIVING in Columbia, TN on 05/08/12 at 12:45 PM ET

Vladimir16's avatar

There was a picture of the Predators locker room or the hall to their locker room that showed a banner saying “Home of your 2012 Stanley Cup Champion Nashville Predators”. I’ve got that somewhere on my hard drive. I’m going to have to locate that.

Posted by Vladimir16 from Grand River Valley on 05/08/12 at 12:49 PM ET

Wings_in_NYC's avatar

Alright, Suter, start looking for homes in MI. This was Nashville’s best shot and they blew it.

Posted by Wings_in_NYC on 05/08/12 at 12:50 PM ET

mrfluffy's avatar

It was a bad matchup? So why is it different for Nashville this round compared to Detroit last round?

Posted by mrfluffy from A wide spot on I-90 in Montana on 05/08/12 at 12:56 PM ET

Paul's avatar

The Predators won their Stanley Cup in the first round when they beat Detroit.

Posted by Chris in Hockey Hell from COLUMBIA, TENNESSEE on 05/08/12 at 10:45 AM ET

I agree Chris.  All season long it was beat Detroit, beat Detroit, no other team mentioned.  When they did beat the Wings they lost their mental edge and probably felt it was all downhill from there.

Perhaps if they would have faced a team with a more offensive style to their game, they may have won the 2nd round, but Phoenix plays a different type of game and before the Preds realized that they were in a big hole.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 05/08/12 at 12:56 PM ET

Chris in Hockey Hell's avatar

Paul, it has been all about Detroit ever since 1998. I’ve said it here many times that this franchise has such an inferiority complex when it comes to the Wings because deep down they know that were it not for the influx of transplants to the mid-state, that the Predators wouldn’t exist. No one in the Nashville organization would ever admit as much, but you can see it all over the place.

Posted by Chris in Hockey Hell from Ann Arbor, MI but LIVING in Columbia, TN on 05/08/12 at 01:01 PM ET

Chris in Hockey Hell's avatar

So why is it different for Nashville this round compared to Detroit last round?

This round, they lost.

Posted by Chris in Hockey Hell from Ann Arbor, MI but LIVING in Columbia, TN on 05/08/12 at 01:02 PM ET

Avatar

Common theme I’ve seen this playoffs is teams that drive the net win. Nashville took it to Detroit and forced Detroit wide when the wings were on offense.

Posted by Jason on 05/08/12 at 01:15 PM ET

RWBill's avatar


The Predators won their Stanley Cup in the first round when they beat Detroit.

Posted by Chris in Hockey Hell from COLUMBIA, TENNESSEE on 05/08/12 at 10:45 AM ET

I agree Chris.  All season long it was beat Detroit, beat Detroit, no other team mentioned.  When they did beat the Wings they lost their mental edge and probably felt it was all downhill from there.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 05/08/12 at 10:56 AM ET

To some extent the same goes for StL, for both finishing ahead of Detroit was their Stanley Cup.  Maybe for some fans the resignation this off season will be “At least we finished ahead of Detroit.”  For the players, and for those fans that have actually lived through long playoff runs, that rationale does not exist once they’ve tasted a sampling of playoff success.

Posted by RWBill from the open bar on The Hasek. on 05/08/12 at 01:43 PM ET

Chris in Hockey Hell's avatar

To some extent the same goes for StL, for both finishing ahead of Detroit was their Stanley Cup.

Now, maybe St. Louis and Nashville can both go fetal together.

Posted by Chris in Hockey Hell from Ann Arbor, MI but LIVING in Columbia, TN on 05/08/12 at 01:48 PM ET

Avatar

I think it was telling that in all 9 of Nashville’s playoff games, the team scoring first won.  They are a much better team with a lead.  Preds got the breaks against Det., but weren’t able to get much going early against Phx (except game 3).

I also agree that they were overly focused on beating Det.  The Radulov/Kostitsyn distraction certainly didn’t help in this series, but they didn’t really have a ton of offense in either series.

I would also give Phx a ton of credit, they played very solidly (especially Smith!), and got excellent defense out of everyone!

BTW:  I don’t think it was Climer, but where’s the Nashville writer who said the Wings should model their franchise on the Preds after one series loss?  Still feel the same way, dude?

Posted by webman from washington, d.c. on 05/08/12 at 02:56 PM ET

Chris in Hockey Hell's avatar

but where’s the Nashville writer who said the Wings should model their franchise on the Preds after one series loss?  Still feel the same way, dude?

HA! This.

Posted by Chris in Hockey Hell from Ann Arbor, MI but LIVING in Columbia, TN on 05/08/12 at 03:24 PM ET

Primis's avatar

Paul, it has been all about Detroit ever since 1998. I’ve said it here many times that this franchise has such an inferiority complex when it comes to the Wings because deep down they know that were it not for the influx of transplants to the mid-state, that the Predators wouldn’t exist. No one in the Nashville organization would ever admit as much, but you can see it all over the place.

Posted by Chris in Hockey Hell from COLUMBIA, TENNESSEE on 05/08/12 at 11:01 AM ET

I don’t generally buy into this sort of stuff, but in this particular instance I think it’s really true.  Right on down to the fact that Nashville existed for years off money earned by teams like Detroit and then given to them, very few strings attatched.

Heck, the Preds’ foremost blogger is a transplant from Michigan even.  They wouldn’t even have *him* without Michigan or Detroit.

Posted by Primis on 05/08/12 at 04:24 PM ET

Avatar

Detroit is not as good a defensive team as Phoenix. They beat Detroit because the Preds were a better team defensively and offensively. They lost to Phoenix because they could not break through the Coyotes defense and goaltender while Phoenix could score on them. As hard as it is for Detroit and Nashville fans to realize, Phoenix is better than Detroit and Nashville. They have a good mix of young and experienced players both upfront and on the back-end. Congrats to Phoenix and Mr. Doan. Well deserved win!

Posted by Puckbubba from FL. on 05/08/12 at 07:24 PM ET

mrfluffy's avatar

Yes, because utilizing the trap means you’re great defensively.

Posted by mrfluffy from A wide spot on I-90 in Montana on 05/08/12 at 07:34 PM ET

Avatar

Wow, love all the hate from the Wings fans. The fact their fans are even talking about the Preds is all I need to know. Also, your crowds in the playoffs were very disappointing. Saw empty seats on the glass and couldn’t believe it.

Also, Phoenix is better than Detroit. I don’t think I ever saw a more poor team play when, in game 4, 3 Red Wings players plus the goalie chased Erat into the corner, only to leave Klein wide open in the middle. That’s all you need to know about the Wings this year.

I don’t even care about Detroit. I’m glad there is a rivalry. Just think it is funny that their fans are starting to hate Nashville now just because they lost one series to us.

Posted by Hah on 05/10/12 at 12:43 PM ET

Vladimir16's avatar

I don’t even care about Detroit. I’m glad there is a rivalry. Just think it is funny that their fans are starting to hate Nashville now just because they lost one series to us.

Not quite understanding this “rivalry” you speak of. Sorry to break it to ya, pal but the Wings are too busy hatin’ on Chicago (you know, old original six rivalry that goes way back), San Jose (because there’s 19 yrs of playoff history there), Pittsburgh (Stanley Cup history there) and St. Louis (lots of playoff history there). It is cute that Nashville thinks this is a rivalry. Probably as much as Phoenix fans think we have a rivalry going. Silly kids….

Posted by Vladimir16 from Grand River Valley on 05/10/12 at 12:52 PM ET

Avatar

Hah: When Nashville wins anything come back to me.Detroit fans have never like Nashville even prior to the playoff loss. mostly because Nashville fans run their mouths about how great the preds are when year in and year out they win nothing!!!

Posted by Jason on 05/10/12 at 12:55 PM ET

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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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