Kukla's Korner

Preds lose in Washington, at least that’s what I heard

Thanks to Versus enjoying exclusivity rights that kept tonight’s Predators-Capitals game off the airwaves, I thought I’d take the chance to follow the game using the NHL’s new GameCenter technology.  Basically, it’s a full-blown screen with boxes for in-game player stats, video (if purchased), audio feeds, real-time play-by-play updates, and of course, the odd advertisement tossed in.

But first, of course, the game.  Or, like many Predators games so far, three games rolled into one.

In the 1st period, Washington totally outskated Nashville, outshooting them 19-2, but only mustering a 2-1 lead on the scoreboard.  They took the initial 1-0 lead on a Viktor Kozlov wrister, then exchanged special teams goals.  Ville Koistinen scored his first goal of the season on a Nashville power play, but shortly thereafter David Steckel scored shorthanded for Washington to give them the 2-1 margin heading into the first intermission.

The 2nd period saw more even play, with each team firing 7 shots, but the only score came off the stick of Jason Arnott to tie the score at 2.  Apparently it was a weak backhander that slipped through Theodore, but SINCE I COULDN’T SEE THE GAME, I have no idea.  For all I know, Arnott tried an “Ovechkin during All-Star weekend” move, flipping the puck high in the air and doing a 360 before batting it into the net.  Yeah, that sounds better…

The 3rd period saw the Predators tilt the ice towards the Washington end, outshooting the Caps 15-3 and sending the game to overtime tied at 3.  Alex Semin put Washington up 3-2 early in the 3rd with a power play goal, and Arnott tied it with his second goal of the game at 13:24.  Without visual evidence to prove me wrong, I’ll say he carried the puck around on the blade of his stick and bowled over all five Caps before stuffing the goal through Theodore’s midsection; actually through his midsection, understand…

The OT?  A few shots, but no scores.  The Caps prevailed in the shootout in 4 rounds, with Koistinen keeping Nashville hopes alive in the third, but Martin Erat getting stopped by Theodore to end it. 

For recaps from people who actually saw the game, check out the Peerless Prognosticator, CapsChick, and Puckhead’s Thoughts.

Since I had to follow the action via audio, GameCenter made for a nice addition.  Player stats are updated instantly, and a shot chart showing the location of each team’s scoring chances provides context behind simple shot clock totals.

A few quibbles, however; first of all, if you mouse-over the shot icons on the shot chart, they pop up a bit like you can do something by clicking on them, only nothing happens.  A better choice would be to have a little box open up with information as to who shot the puck, when it occured, on-ice situation (EV, PP, PK) and shot type (wrist, slap, etc.).  They’ve got the data right there in the play-by-play file, so it shouldn’t be too hard.

The shot chart also allows users to filter for specific players, but there’s no option to simply blank out one team’s shots.  If I want to see only the Nashville shots, for example, I’d have to figure out a player on Washington who had no shots tonight, and filter the Washington side based on him.  Again, that should be a simple fix, but it would make the shot chart more useful.

Overall, it’s a nice tool, and the next time I settle in to watch a TV game, I might well keep it open on the side for reference purposes.  Of course, one of the major features that I wasn’t able to sample tonight was the video feed embedded within the page.  BECAUSE THERE WASN’T ANY… ugh, I still can’t believe that.

Filed in: Nashville Predators, | On the Forecheck | Permalink


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