Wednesday’s Dump & Chase: Point Break

The All-Star break is upon us, which means it’s finally that point in the season where the Preds will either turn it around or hope for better luck next year.

Hockey News & Rants

Playoff chances are not looking good for the Nashville Predators | AtoZ Sports
Realistically things are looking grim for the Predators, but it’s that time in the season where the fanbase splits into two very different groups: the hopefuls and the cynics.

I tend to be somewhere in the middle. The last time I spoke the words “This team ain’t going to the playoffs” into existence they went to the Stanley Cup Final just to spite me. I will never forget it, because I have yet to live it down.

I won’t allow myself to be too hopeful either. What the St. Louis Blues did last year was exactly like what that scrappy Preds team did in 2017. People live for that underdog story but realistically it doesn’t (and probably shouldn’t) happen very often.

Don’t get me wrong, I love an underdog story, but when it comes to sports does it set a bad precedent for younger guys on the team? Does it set the example that they can come out and give it 50% half the season but still expect to rally just in time to make it to the playoffs? Maybe it does, maybe it doesn’t, but it’s not a standard I’d like to see teams start following. Peaking at just the right time is one thing, but coasting into the wild card spot season after season loses its luster for fans after a while.

In summary...

Predators to honor Murfreesboro nonprofit at Feb. 16 home game | Murfreesboro Voice
Regardless of how the season goes, we can always count on the Preds organization to do what they can for the community.

2021 NHL All-Star Game to be hosted by Florida Panthers | South Florida Sun-Sentinel
Me: “Hey Google, how far away is the BB&T Center from Disney World?”
Google: “No.”

Evgeny Kuznetsov takes on Capitals’ new esports pro, gets smacked in NHL 20 | The Washington Post
One of my first orders of business when I’m finally hired as the new NHL commish will be to replace the All-Star Weekend with a four-day weekend video game tournament. Every player participates. First two days are to see who makes the team and then the second two days the team faces off against a team of fans to see who’s the ultimate video-game-playing, hockey-loving champion.

I still don’t understand why no one will let me quit my day job.

NHL: San Jose Sharks' options for Joe Thornton, Aaron Dell trades | The Mercury News
I can’t imagine Joe Thornton would appreciate being traded this close to the end of the season. He’s forty years old and he’s been with the Sharks since 2005. He’s been signing one-year deals for a reason. Retirement is definitely on his mind. Let the man retire where he’s spent the bulk of his career, instead of shopping him to a team that clearly knows he will be a rental. It makes no sense.

Would the NHL standings change with a different points system? | ESPN
“The NHL’s standards are, frankly, the most needlessly overcomplicated thing in sports — yes, even worse than goalie interference penalties.”

I have to agree with this. Hockey is complicated enough for most people just because it involves ice skates. When you start digging into the fundamentals of the game, the points system, and the rules it becomes overwhelming. There are reasons people don’t give hockey a chance and this is one of them.

NHL Power Rankings: Lightning’s surge lifts them to top spot, Islanders continue to slide | CBS Sports
“Those Winter Classic uniforms. Very few things have gone right for the Predators this year but there are a few positives. Roman Josi looks good and they own the Devils’ second-round pick this season, so that’s something. However, the biggest win of the season for Nashville was their Winter Classic branding. The uniform was miles better than what they normally wear and the throwback WC logos should definitely move into regular rotation ASAP.”

If this is the best anyone has to say about your season it’s time to get your stuff together.

It’s time for the Preds to get their stuff together.

Those Winter Classic sweaters are pretty sweet, though!

Brad Marchand, unsurprisingly, voted dirtiest in NHL by fellow players | Yahoo Sports

I ANYONE surprised?

I’d like to see a poll of who still likes Marchand despite his antics. I think we’d be surprised by the results.

Who will be NHL Seattle’s first coach? Here’s one recently fired coach you should watch | Seattle Times
Is it too much to ask that Seattle hires a coach that hasn’t been fired months prior? I get wanting a coach with experience to lead a new team into their inaugural season, but how much longer can the NHL keep up with this coach swapping?

It’s tired. The league needs new coaches, just like it will always need new players.

Jonathan Toews, Duncan Keith Reportedly Involved in Skirmish at Practice | 5 Chicago
I’m not sure what’s going on in Chicago but this is hilarious. Don’t mess with Toews.

You can watch the tail end of the scuffle here.

“Play better old timer!” - Jonathan Toews to Duncan Keith...probably.

Watch: Blackhawks honor Joel Quenneville with tribute video | Second City Hockey
While Chicago is busy fighting each other, Joel Quenneville is living his best life. He’s basically retired to Florida and coaches the Panthers on the side.

Hate Chicago all you want, but Coach Q is one of the greatest of all time. A GOAT, if you will.

Speculation on NHL Seattle’s Final Five Names: Cougars, Emeralds, Rainiers, Sea Lions, Sockeyes? | Detroit Hockey Net
And now what you scrolled through all my rambling to really hot takes on the Seattle expansion team name!

I’m only here to speculate wildly, but these are all terrible and let me tell you why one by one.

Cougars: Nope, we’ve already got enough big cat mascots in this league we don’t need any more. Try again!

Emeralds: It’s not my favorite choice but it’s also not my least favorite choice. Overall it’s boring—what’s their mascot going to be, a giant green rock? We also already have enough terrible green hockey sweaters in the league, do we really need to be subjected to another one?

Rainiers: Why? Does Seattle just want their mascot to be a giant rock? This is terrible. Don’t name the team the Seattle Rainiers. It might make sense to Seattle natives but most people are going to have to google Rainiers. That’s not what you want. Also, when you do google Rainiers, it turns out it’s already the name of a Minor League Baseball team in Tacoma, Washington. Nope. Next!

Sea Lions: I’m actually a bit torn on this one for two reasons. One, the mascot would be goofy. I mean they’re all goofy, but this one would be a stretch. Not goofy enough to be self aware like Gritty but goofy enough that people would probably just feel sorry for it. Two, a sea lion is the natural predator of...the penguin. I’m here for all the jokes on that alone. Although it would probably backfire on the franchise given that sea lions are eaten by sharks and killer wales (what up Fin in Vancouver!). This one is a toss-up, it could be fine (just fine, not good or great even) or it could be really bad.

Sockeyes: They’re going to name this team the Sockeyes—it’s probably a done deal. Sockeyes are really ugly fish. They’re part red, part green, and you’ve probably seen them mounted on a wall somewhere ironically. Their mascot will undoubtably look nothing like a sockeye (because they’re terrifying) and look more like the fish from the Spongebob Squarepants intro (you know the one). And their sweaters will definitely be some sort of unflattering green. Somehow The Seattle Sockeyes manages to be the worst choice, and yet the only one that makes any sense. If someone doesn’t put a real sockeye in the Cup when they inevitably win it in 2021 then they shouldn’t even bother.