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The Weekender: Rebounds and Goals

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NFL: Oakland Raiders at Tennessee Titans The Tennessean-USA TODAY Sports

Be honest... did you watch the Winter Classic?

I didn’t. I was more captivated by the Outback Bowl and SBNation’s own Ryan Nanni playing the role of the blooming onion coupled with Will Muschamp outcoaching Jim Harbaugh. Both were impossible dreams coming true.

NBC has shown that they do not have a plan B when the big/proven market clubs aren’t as good as advertised. The NHL has blame to own in this as well.

The 2017 MLB Playoffs saw three of the four largest TV markets in the United States represented in the League Championship Series (NYC, LA, Houston, Chicago), with Phoenix, Denver, Washington D.C., Boston, Cleveland, and the Twin Cities all in the playoffs. According to Nielsen data, 10 of the largest 19 markets were represented in the postseason. Baseball’s financial structure is set up to benefit the big markets, while the on field product will always favor the wise.

Applying this to the NHL: the division leaders are currently the 7th, 11th, 29th, and 40th sized markets. The 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs would currently feature plenty of new faces for the new and casual fans. NBC would be wise to show the smaller market teams more (other than Buffalo, the 53rd ranked market) rather than lie to us about the Chicago/Washington & Chicago/New York rivalries on Wednesday nights.

Let’s get weird: If the NBC and NHL were to hire a consultant, I’d highly recommend someone with the skill set of Joe Silva. Joe Silva is known for being the matchmaker/booker of the UFC during their rise to popularity. He knew how to build up the right fighters, and how to structure the weight divisions. By the time a fighter got his/her shot at the champion, you as a consumer knew who that fighter was, what his/her strengths were, and how he/she was expected to perform against their opposition. The NHL would benefit from some real character development from it’s franchises, rather than having scores of fans lose interest in the regular season because NBC’s appointed teams are having a rough regular season.

Ryan Ellis has returned.

That.... that’s about it.

WHERE TO BEGIN?!? The Preds have scored 9 goals in their past 5 games. The team is 2-4-2 over their last 8 games. Their form is like a college basketball team that started reading their own press clippings. The schedule gets better in January with no back-to-backs, but they will have to regain their home form.

Pekka Rinne hasn’t been the problem, but we can all agree that the first Minnesota game was not his best. Juuse Saros has looked good, but could stand to control his rebounds. Nashville is not fully equipped to play like the 2014-15 Wild.

Let’s see Ryan Johansen shoot more, please.

Oh, Filip Forsberg got hurt last week.

Does the loss of Forsberg expose the need to grab another good middle 6 or top 6 Forward?

If so, anyone in particular that you would want? Maybe, a Wayne Simmonds type that nobody has thought about.

ppeterson614

We learned he’ll be out for 4-6 weeks, and that’s enough to cause some panic if the team were in a worse place. But given the forward depth, they could outlast this injury. However, a move wouldn’t be the worst idea. And stupid Vegas keeps winning to further dash our hopes of a glorious reappearance of James Neal in gold & blue this season. A rental forward that’s got a cheap acquisition cost could do Nashville some good, unless you’re convinced Pontus Aberg can figure out bigger defensemen.

Simmonds would fit, but he won’t be cheap. If there’s a rental out there that I would keep in mind, it would be a player like Thomas Vanek. You won’t be finding a perfect player as a rental piece at the deadline, but a heavy winger who can shoot and play by the net is always useful. Watching the Preds offense during Vegas game felt like watching a hyperactive child trying to work a Rubik’s Cube, and getting frustrated in the process. Plus, St. Louis and Winnipeg have their share of heavy defensemen. I’ve owned cars smaller than Tyler Myers. Some size on the wing would give Laviolette some options in a playoff series.

Chihuahuas… why do they exist?

bfarrish05

Hernando Cortes claimed the Aztecs were raising them and selling them as food. I detest them.

I lived in Murfreesboro off of Leaf Ave near the MTSU campus, and would frequently run from my house to campus along Greenland Drive. One day while I was running, a red minivan on Greenland opened up and unleashed several of these creatures. Apparently I wasn’t running fast enough and got bit on my left calf. “I should have ran in the street”. I called the Rutherford County animal control and tried to make sure they had their shots.

That event changed my opinion on dogs. I remember a dog playfully following me on a run for 2 miles when I was younger, so I know it’s not all dogs. I can’t justify owning a dog that will ever be out of a fenced in area that can’t act right around other humans and people strange to them. Jon Garcia’s dog may be my favorite being on this planet.

what is the best "american food"?

and a follow up question

is it better than poutine?

Cascapedia

Barbecue, and yes.

Should "players from Russia" be allowed to have a hockey team at the Olympics?

Or should they have gotten the boot and their spot be given to the next team up?

musamonster

Their spot should be given to the next team up. This may be one of the lesser Winter Olympics in history, but the Russian hockey team putting on a different sweater and finding a back way into the tournament makes it even dirtier.

In the realm of Olympic sport

Is there a discipline with more indecipherable, hard-to-follow, and ridiculous jargon than half pipe?

Andyaxel

No, largely because the sport is being defined on the fly. “Does this name sound cool” rules the day. There’s nothing wrong with it, but the color commentator sounds like Cotton from Dodgeball every time.

ET Come Home?

The way David Poile worded his statements about Eeli Tolvanen it seemed as though he would have to persuade him to come over to play for us. What do you think the odds are that Eeli would break contract with KHL and come to Nashville before time expires on his KHL deal. A reverse Radulov if you will? Also what do you think the odds are that he plays a game as a Predator this year at all and how impactful do you think he could be for the Predators this season.

Dennis.K.Morgan

He won’t ask him to break his KHL contract, nor do I expect Tolvanen to do so. Jokerit is a proud club with history in Finland and burning that bridge would be foolish. His impact would be swell. How the 2010 & 2013 Blackhawks overwhelmed teams is largely due to the attention those players demanded on the ice from their opposition. When you have a line with three forwards that all command the respect of the defense, it opens forces a cat-and-mouse game with shooting lanes. That’s what wears teams down over a series in an irreparable fashion. Tolvanen is a shooter. Pair his abilities with Nashville’s active defensemen and unselfish forwards, and it could be fun to have a player that commands that type of attention on the ice to add with the others.

With the trade deadline looming

should we utilize the capspace from LTIR and bring in a ringer and then maybe even add E.T. to boot or should we stand pat since we still have no clue how this team will perform as is when everyone is healthy?

Can/Will Vegas continue its strong play

*need some hot takes on that.

herzausstein1

It all depends on the cost, and forecasting the Ellis, Fiala, Sissons, Saros, and Rinne contracts in 2019. The core is locked up, but the depth is worth keeping an eye on. It wouldn’t surprise me if Nashville is quiet at the deadline, aside from a depth move. There’s a very small risk bringing Tolvanen in during this season in stunting his growth. He’s playing against grown men now, so I doubt it will scar him too terribly.

And yes, Vegas can continue like this. They have some reliable scorers, and goaltending that’s good when healthy. Gerrard Gallant is a scary dude. If he and Lavy were sitting at a dimly lit table, I’d assume I’m watching Casino again.

Is the NHL's refusal to participate in the 2018 Winter Olympics a good or bad move?

Also which event is better: Curling or Bobsleigh?

Who are the teams biggest under achievers for the year

Posted by herzausstein1

A bad move. NBC is the league’s biggest cheerleader, and their product won’t be on their network’s biggest event.

Curling, but not by much. Bobsleigh is fun to watch, but it’s 2-4 people pushing a sled followed by one driver and one brakeman/brakewoman negotiating turns. Curling is chess involving rocks, ice, and a target.

Nashville’s biggest underachiever? It’s tough to say Ryan Johansen, but he does need to shoot more. And with Forsberg out for a while, he needs to find his game on a more consistent level.

Seattle has been confirmed as the 32nd team

Their expansion draft is coming up after the 2023 season (because it won’t happen right around the expiration of the current CBA). Do you think the NHL gives them the same generous rules as Vegas received compared to previous expansion drafts, or do they find some middle ground between the Vegas draft and the expansion drafts for the Preds, Thrashers, Wild, and Jackets?

CptnMayhem

If we’re waiting until 2023? Probably the same or at least very close. If we’re talking 2020 or so... it would likely be dialed back. Normally, owners love expansions teams. They get a cut of the fee, and there’s a new team to beat up on. Instead, Vegas has came in and knocked teams like the Oilers down in their own division. How they handle this roster full of expiring contracts remains to be seen, but the early returns are good.

Best coach in the NHL right now?

Unlike other sports I feel like the coaching and strategy gets left out of hockey analysis sometimes.

ppeterson614

You’re right, it does. Hockey head coaches are more like managers, managing personalities and finding good chemistry and balance.

I’m naturally going to point to Lavy. He tends to overachieve with his roster, and wins playoff series by making adjustments and finding a beneficial matchup to exploit. Joel Quenneville has had a great run in Chicago, and finds ways to get his best players out there when they can do the most damage.

If I had to pick a third, Todd McLellan... but I wouldn’t feel as good about it.

  • The Kings may be the team with the most name value, but I trust Vegas more than the Sharks, Ducks, Flames, and Oilers to make the most noise this spring. The Golden Knights have a formula that works, and have the speed to cause problems against anyone. William Karlsson is superb, and congrats to Jonathan Marchessault for earning a new contract. George McPhee has a tough job over the next two years, but Vegas has a roster that can compete this year. Let’s worry about them this year.
  • Darren Dreger said Nashville might be interested in Max Pacioretty. Unless the Preds want to move Nick Bonino, and I don’t believe they do, that doesn’t make sense for Nashville. Heck, that doesn’t make sense for Montreal either unless they want a total rebuild, and a rebuild doesn’t make sense with Carey Price on their roster.
  • It might be a good idea to play Juuse Saros more.
  • In case you’re curious, Seattle would give the NHL a team in the 14th largest US market.
  • HQ Trivia is way too buggy for me to care about it.
  • Other than the Lightning, who look to be winning games by out-talenting their opposition, is there another team in the East that you trust? I’m having trouble with that.
  • A full congrats to the Titans to making it into the postseason. A few of the better moments of last year involving Nashville sports were the Titans & Preds appearing at each other’s games. This was helped by the Titans visual and vocal support of the Preds during the 2016 playoffs, and hasn’t stopped. Plenty of us remember the contentious years between folks who supported (and covered) the Titans exclusively, so it’s good to see those sentiments lessening. The Preds are off on Sunday and Monday, so maybe we see our guys pay the Titans back for their epic suite support they showed in Pittsburgh.

On to the next one.

-Dan