The views and opinions expressed in this piece may not reflect those of the rest of the staff at OnTheForecheck.
Much of the stigma that doesn’t allow us to enjoy things as fans of this team has to do with the emotional baggage we lug around from previous teams. We saw the best season of hockey in Nashville ever this year, and most of us will look back on this year think that “we should have enjoyed it more”. That sinking feeling gets the best of many of us.
Case in point: last Saturday. The Preds had a chance to put the division out of reach by beating up on hapless Buffalo. A horrid ending to the second period doomed that game. The team let a single mistake disarm their wits, and an awful penalty kill spoiled their night. The next day was the trip to Tampa Bay, and preparing for the worst seemed like the thinking person’s natural reaction.
Instead, the Tampa Bay game was a pleasant one. Nashville looked much sharper in the early staged, and didn’t leave the Lightning room to come back in the third. That’s what we wanted to see; a team that finishes the job.
Being the optimist here: that’s the Predators I expect to see next week. That team had something to focus on, and the squared up with the team that’s set the pace for much of the year. If that’s the effort we see from Nashville, it’ll be enough to get to the next round. And it wasn’t perfect, which should make you feel even better.
So the team gets wronged as part of a goal review on Tuesday. We hear all the claims saying “they’re going to be an angry team on Thursday”. They put out an iffy 40 minutes in front of Saros, then allow a goal early in the third period. What happens next? They find their game. The passes start connecting. Josi and Subban seize control. Then there’s the moment where Filip Forsberg drives to the net. And that’s the moment where this team is a bit different. There are players you can count on for a goal when they have to have it.
And that’s the part we are all still getting used to.
Let’s take a moment to recognize someone plenty of us buried last year: Craig Smith.
Smith has flourished next to Kyle Turris, and has been a key part of the second line that’s lifted this team when the top line receives the utmost attention from the opposition. Last night in Washington was no different.
We’re going to talk about it.
I actually felt bad for Tim Peel here. This scenario doesn’t empower the officials, and it puts an omniscient party into a context of a game. It’s no secret that hockey officiating is inconsistent. Let’s get the video folks to the arena. In fact, let’s empower the video folks. I’m cool with keeping the players safe, and getting some of the rubbish out of the game. If they spot something, call it.
Still at 29. We’re waiting.
It’s not for lack of trying.
Greedy ol’ Johansen.
if the cup finals was the penguins vs the ducks, who would you want to win
Depends on if the Ducks beat Nashville on their way to the Final. If the Ducks avoided Nashville on their path, I’m okay with them winning it in the ugliest series imaginable. If not, the Penguins winning in the ugliest series imaginable. Either way, the old hockey media getting a taste of Ducks hockey might be good for the league.
I got one
At 34 years old, I have finally decided to go back to school. I have applied to take: Welding Engineering Technology, Mechanical Engineering Technology, and Power Engineering Technology. All three courses will require me to move after completion for work. Which one would be your final pick? My entire future depends on you Dan Bradley. I’m leaning towards the Welding Engineering Technology, with the intention of becoming a certified welding inspector.
(I only have so much funding left for school with my Veteran’s benefits, so I cant afford to go for a Bachelors, in case anyone was wondering why I would go for a technology degree. Also, I think it is the wiser choice after being out of school for so long.)
Welding inspector sounds like the best option. Less moving parts = less bad explanations for shoddy work. Plus, seeing the guts of a building under construction sounds like an important and lucrative job. There’s nothing wrong with the other options, but I’ll take the travel and adventure that accompanies construction.
With whom would you build a championship team around?
Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux, Sidney Crosby, Bobby Orr, Niklas Lidstrom, Martin Brodeur, Dominik Hasek or somebody else?
Paul Kariya, Ryan Johansen, Filip Forsberg, PK Subban, Roman Josi, Tomas Vokoun, Pekka Rinne or somebody else?
LeBron James, Tim Duncan, Shaquille O’Neal, Kareem Abdul-Jabaar, Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Stephon Curry or somebody else?
With hockey, you have to ask about when this team will be playing? In today’s NHL, I’ll take Connor McDavid. There is no single player you have to prepare for more, and his style works in any era. He’s only going to get better. McDavid’s peak is going to be special.
For the Preds, I’ll take Ryan Johansen. Nashville has tried to build around goaltenders and defensemen for too long with no banners or hardware to show for it. Give me a big #1 center who projects to be a great/elite passer, and I’ll have some fun.
The NBA question used to warrant me to say Shaq, but Steph Curry at his peak may be the most valuable thing I’ve seen. A point guard who can stretch the defense, and put up points behind the arc changes how you guard a team. The open three is tough to guard if the ball movement is crisp. Up until this era, it would’ve been easier to build a winner around Shaq.
A Debbie-Downer question
With the Canadiens taking a dive into a big pit Bergevin-poop this season and Shea Weber being injured a good portion of the year, what would happen to our cap if he were to retire in next 1-2 years? You know, smack dab in our “Window”?
I’m not worried about that happening. Why would Shea Weber retire a year early? Would you say no to a free million dollars for no extra work? Shea Weber is set for life, but very few athletes say no to extra money, especially when both sides have already agreed to pay him that.
Would you have like to see Nashville protest the call last night by refusing to put players on the ice for the final puck drop? Further protest: the players and coaches go to the dressing room instead of waiting for the puck drop.
At first this was my thought, but after seeing the outrage over the goal from the media and fans alike... the poor call spoke for itself. It’s not the first time a call like this ruined the outcome of a game, nor will it be the last. Professionals handle it better than most of us.
If we are keeping goaltender interference reviews
Should there be a timelimit on how long a review can take? For example: if it takes more than 45 seconds to determine if there was interference than it isn’t clear cut enough to overturn the call on the ice
In the regular season, yes. Playoffs warrant more time due to the impact.
What’s the definition of goalie interference according to Dan Bradley?
On another note:
Cats, dogs, or neither?
If the goaltender is prevented from making an initial save based on the opposing player’s actions, that’s interference. If the goaltender makes a clean save but the puck is loose, both players have the right to try for it. The goalie needs to feel safe in his crease, and players should not initiate contact when when the puck is not in the crease. When an attacking player’s actions are influenced by contact of a defending player, interference may be nullified if contact with the goaltender cannot be avoided.
Dogs, but within reason. I’ve never cared for the idea that someone needs to own a dog that can’t be trusted around kids at a park. Some breeds don’t like strangers, even children. I had an epiphany while walking Jon’s dog while he was out of town. His dog is the absolute best animal I’ve been around, so I naturally let the children at the park pet him and such. It didn’t dawn on me later that I let a dog I barely knew, a boxer/lab/??? mix, get that close to someone else’s children. I can’t imagine owning a dog that doesn’t do well in those situations.
My parents own beagles, and have for decades now. Beagles are pack animals that HAVE TO SNIFF EVERYTHING AROUND THEM, and enjoy people almost as much as the idea of hunting bunnies. The idea of owning a dog that isn’t friendly to everyone is foreign to me. I have the problem.
Which of the new Titans jersey combos do you think would look best in hockey/on the Preds?
I’m rather partial to the all navy and navy top/white bottom myself.
The all-navy look would be too much like the Jets, so I’d go with the light blue top w/ navy bottom, navy helmets.
The Titans new uniforms looked okay on stage, but the shoulder sword panels make them look cheap. Imagine if the Scottish Claymores team from NFL Europe was still around, they would be wearing these. I’m mildly surprised the Titans opted to keep the flaming thumbtack logo, and not go deeper with the cartoon sword logo.
The rule I have with uniforms is the “Texas school” rule. If they look like something a high school in Texas with an overzealous quarterback club would wear, I don’t like them. This also applies to the Vanderbilt chain and anchor on the helmet, which is dragging down an otherwise clean set of uniforms.
That said, I’m cringing over what the next Jaguars uniform will look like. I know Tom Coughlin has a heavy influence and the two-tone helmet is gone, but I don’t trust Nike these days with the NFL uniforms.
- I really miss the angry coach’s timeout that Laviolette used during his first season. Those are now kept in the holster for fear of a challenge. As a fan it was satisfying to see the coach vent some frustration out on the team when the group wasn’t playing wisely. The TV timeout during the second period of the Caps game came at a good time, and kept Nashville in the game.
- The Johansen line was pretty wretched for much of the game in Washington. But that was some true alpha sh** by the JoFA line to grab the lead in Washington.
- That said, a Preds/Caps series would be some great hockey.
- You folks know I pull for the Bolts, but the Panthers may have the superior broadcast crew.
- I was higher on the Wild than most, but they’re now entering the playoffs without Suter. There is a real possibility the Winnipeg Jets might win a playoff game this year.
- CapitalOne Arena’s sound system nearly made me mute the broadcast. The music was so distorted I expected to be served coffee and hashbrowns.
- Buffalo fans are ticked off Hartnell didn’t get suspended. I can see both sides on that one, mostly because that’s a hit that the game could stand to lose.
- It will be either Colorado or St. Louis for Nashville’s first round opponent. No excuses.
On to the next one.