Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Nashville Comes To Town

Three more games until the Olympic break. I hope we can build on our fragile one game winning streak and get a little momentum going here. Otherwise – I’m worried that after the Olympics some of the guys may not feel like coming back to camp.

There’s no further word on the Gaborik Injury. It’s his right knee. He cut it on Lundqvist’s skate in practice on Tuesday. They stitched him up at the Ranger’s facility. There’s no news of any further tests or doctors or hospitals. But until today’s skate we’ll have no idea what shape he’s in or if he’ll lay tonight. The Rangers don’t discuss injuries.

One other move – they have recalled defenseman Corey Potter from Hartford. What does this mean? It could just be that the Rangers finally realized what a lot of us were already thinking: that we could use a 7th defenseman. Or it could be the precursor (editor – he means “the thing before”) to another one of Sather’s deals. That makes me a little uncomfortable. Sather has made two good trades in a row – the Gomez exit and the Jokinen acquisition. What are the odds he can do three trades in a row without one of them being a complete fiasco?

I’m also wondering why we didn’t bring Heikkinen or Sanguinetti up instead of Potter. Maybe it’s Potter we’re showcasing for a move.

Anyway, Who the Hell are we playing?

There are a lot of teams that, when you hear their names, a huge bundle of strong feelings and powerful memories come flooding into your head. The Flyers. The Islanders. The Devils.

Now try: The Nashville Predators.

Nothing, right? Almost like it’s a made up name – a fake team name from a movie or something. I mean, why is Nashville a hockey town?

In the Western Conference, Nashville is the 7th Playoff seed right now with 67 points and a 31-22-5 record. They are 15-11-3 on the road and come into MSG with a 2 game losing streak and just 2-6-2 in their last 10.

Primary Skaters: Right winger Patrick Hornqvist leads the team with 23 goals and a plus-minus of +13. J. P. Dumont has the Predators most assists with 25.

In Net: Pekka Rinne has a 2.77 GAA and a .903 save percentage in 39 games. Dan Ellis, in 25 appearances has a 2.66 GAA and a save percentage of .910

Scoring & Defense: Nashville is just about dead even with 162 goals for and 164 against. In comparison, we’ve scored only 152, and let up 163.

Special Effects: Nashville is only 16.6% on the PP and 75.6% on the PK. Our PP is at 18.7% at and our PK is still very good at 85.2%

Scheduling Conflicts: We’ve had one of our longer rests of the season – off since Saturday night. The predators played and won in a Shoot out last night. So they may be sleepier.

Our Lines: Not sure of anything now – because of Gabs injury. We had been going with Gabs-Vinnie-Christensen on line one and Ollie-Cally-Dubi on line two. And it seemed to help both lines.

Fronting the Twine: We continue to want Chad Johnson here. But Torts will likely ride Hank until we have to turn him over to Team Sweden in a few days.

Dave Puck Predicts: A win. 4-2. I hope.

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