Tag Archives: nashville predators

Ratings Records and Hawks off to 3-0 Start!

24 Jan

Ratings across the United States and Canada have shown record setting ratings for NHL games. So much for the fan backlash from the lockout.

CBC in Canada had record ratings for Saturday night. St Louis reported it’s higher ever ratings for a blues game which was a Tuesday night Shootout thriller against the Nashville Predators. Here in Chicago, the story is the same. From the Chicago Tribune:

CSN delivered its highest Hawks regular-season game rating for its coverage of Tuesday night’s home opener against the Blues. The 5.40 household rating means approximately 188,169 households tuned in for the entire game and eclipsed the previous mark of 4.35 set March 5, 2010 against the Canucks.

Also, NBC’s coverage of the NHL on Saturday produced the league’s most-watched regular-season broadcast in 14 years, excluding Winter Classics, according to The Nielsen Company.

Regional coverage of the Hawks taking on the Kings and also the Penguins facing the Flyers was watched by 2.77 million viewers (1.6 household rating).

Hawks off to a great start.

Hard to believe but the Blackhawks are off to their best start since 1972-1973 season. Can you believe that the Hawks have not had a 3-0-0 start in the last 40 years? Not even the 2010 cup winning team did that! Crazy eh?

The Hawks themselves have said their is a feel to this team that’s similar to the cup winning team. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves but i’m pretty happy with what I’ve seen. Not that there aren’t things that can improve. Plus I expect LA and Phoenix to have a better showing the next time we see them. Especially from their goaltenders who both gave up a couple of week ones. However beating the blues was impressive. The Blues smoked the Red Wings 6-0 the first game of the season and then won a shootout against tough divisional rival the Predators.

From the Hawks themselves:

“It’s a good start but you can’t think about it too much,” winger Patrick Kane said. “One of the things about this season is you’re playing so many games in a short amount of time so it’s almost like you win one, ‘all right, think about the next one.’ If you keep doing that you’re going to have a good recipe for success.”

“It was a lot of tough opponents right out of the gate, but I liked the focus of our team,” coach Joel Quenneville said. “We’re happy, but let’s keep trying to get better.”

Added defenseman Duncan Keith: “It’s definitely a good feeling but we know it’s three games and it’s all about what have you done for me lately.”

Tonight, the Hawks face the Dallas Stars who have been a bit of a surprise so far in the early season.

TV/radio: 7:30 p.m. Thursday; CSN, WGN-AM 720.

Series: First meeting.

Last meeting: Hawks won 4-1 March 16, 2012 in Dallas.

Probable goaltenders: Hawks, Corey Crawford, 2-0-0, 2.00 goals-against average; Stars, Kari Lehtonen, 2-0-0, 2.00.

Team comparison

Averages per game (NHL rank)
HAWKS (3-0-0) CATEGORY STARS(2-1-0) 4.67 (3) Goals for 2.00 (20) 2.67 (17) Goals against 1.67 (7) 23.1 (17) Power-play pct. 20.0 (19) 90.0 (3) Penalty-kill pct. 83.3 (11)

The Hawks will look to continue their strong play on the road after opening the season with victories in Los Angeles and Phoenix. Marian Hossa (four goals, one assist) and Patrick Kane (two goals, three assists) have come out of the gate strong to lead the Hawks’ high-powered offense. The Stars are led in scoring by 40-year-old Jaromir Jagr, who has two goals and two assists. Lehtonen has stopped 36 of 40 shots over his two starts.


Nashville Issues Response to Weber Offer Sheet

19 Jul


“We are in receipt of the offer sheet signed between the Philadelphia Flyers and Shea Weber. Under the rules pertaining to an offer sheet, the Predators have one week to decide whether to match or accept the compensation. We have stated previously that, should a team enter into an offer sheet with Shea, our intention would be to match and retain Shea. Our ownership has provided us with the necessary resources to build a Stanley Cup-winning team. Due to the complexity of the offer sheet, we will take the appropriate time to review and evaluate it and all of its ramifications in order to make the best decision for the Predators in both the short and long-term.

“We do not anticipate any further comments on this situation until we make our decision within the next seven days.”


Flyers Sign Weber to 14 Year Offer Sheet

19 Jul

Will the Predators match?

Tweets from TSN’s Darren Dreger broke at around midnight that the Philadelphia Flyers have signed Nashville Predators captain Shea Weber to a 14 year, $110 million offer sheet. The clock is now ticking, the Predators have until July 25th to decide what to do.  So do they match or let him walk?

Allegedly the deal breaks down like this:

Year 1 through 4 – $1 million salary, $13 million signing bonus
Year 5 through 6 – $4 million salary, $8 million signing bonus
Year 7 through 10 – $6 million salary
Year 11 – $3 million salary
Year 12 through 14 – $1 million salary

That’s a lot of money for anybody.  It’s a lot easier for Philadelphia to pay that out than Nashville.  Nashville has made great strides the last few years but they did just lose Suter.  That’s a big loss.  They need to keep Weber.  They need him on the ice and for the fans.  All those new fans that just jumped on board the bandwagon can’t lose both Suter (for nothing) and Weber for 4 first round draft picks. Per the current CBA if a team signs one of your players to an offer sheet then that team forfeits 4 first round draft picks to the team that was poached.

The Flyers are always a competitive team so those first round picks will be late.

How easy is it to draft a guy like Weber?  Not easy, that’s why Philly is throwing this offer sheet at him.  On the other hand Nashville has shown time and time again that they have an outstanding scouting system.  How many goalies have come and gone through this system?  Each time we think, well that’s it for Nashville losing their stud goalie but year after year they produce another guy to step into the role.  They do a great job developing players over there.

Maybe they can afford to let him go?  They image of the team would take a big hit but they do seem to know what they are doing.

Nashville has already come out and stated that they would match any offer.

Also keep in mind that Preds GM David Poile has indicated previously that the biggest mistake of his career was letting Scott Stevens go via an offer sheet while he was GM of the Capitals.

It’s not likely he forgot about that.

Weber, 26, made $7.5 million last season with the Predators.

Weber is a game-changer if his deal goes through; an elite defenseman, a strong leader and an offensive force.  Things got a lot more interesting in the Eastern Conference.  How much do the Rangers, Penguins, Devils, etc. like this deal?  Not too much I would imagine.

This also lends more credence to the whispers that Pronger is done.  Weber would be a nice replacement for that guy.


Triple OT in Washington and Preds Get Back In It

3 May

What a great game.  That was the best playoff game I’ve seen this year.  The definition of playoff hockey.  It almost took two full games.  The game didn’t finish until about a quarter after midnight.  The game in Nashville started an hour and a half after this game but finished an hour earlier.

Brad Richards is clutch.  He pretty much made that whole winning play happen.  Took the puck from Gaborik in the neutral zone, brought it in the offensive zone and created the play.  He saw Girardi and made a bank pass off the boards behind the net.  Girardi then sent it back to Richards behind the net who got it out quick to Gaborik parked in front of the net.  Bang, one timer through the five hole.  Sweet stuff.

Don’t let the 2-1 final score fool you.  This game had tons of action.  45 saves for King Henrik and 47 for Holtby.  There was tons of hitting too, it was almost like a football game.  46 hits for the Rangers and 59 for the Capitals.

Both teams played outstanding.  It was a real battle.  In the end, it seemed like the Rangers wanted it more.  They controlled the boards more and created better scoring opportunities.

It was the third-longest game in Capitals history and the fifth-longest for the Rangers.

The Rangers had lost 6 consecutive postseason over time games before this.  All of those games had King Henrik in net.

Visiting teams are 13-6 in overtime this postseason.

I really wanted to watch the Nashville – Phoenix game but couldn’t tear myself away from the game in D.C.  But…there was a game.  a 2-0 SHUTOUT!  That’s more like it.  The Preds are back in this with a much better effort.  They got out to a two goal lead and played Predators hockey the rest of the way.

Now what do they do?  The Predators suspended Radulov and Kostitsyn for violating team curfew.  Nashville won the game without the dancing bears.

Since they won the game without them, do you fix what isn’t broke?  Personally I sit them for game 4.  Leave them hungry on the bench for when you really need them.


Radulov, Kostitsyn, Preds, Suter and Bergevin

2 May

How about New Jersey last night?  Down 1-0 most of the game but came out with a 4-1 victory.  This could turn out to be a real interesting series.

How about the Nashville Predators suspending Alex Radulov and Andrei Kostitsyn for violating team rules?  Apparently it was about them violating team curfew rules.  I think it was a good move.  Pretty selfish of them at this time of year.  Character is important.  The team doesn’t need this kind of distraction at this time of year, especially when they are down 2-0 in the series.  Nashville GM, David Poile, said:

“We have to do the right thing. Their actions spoke volumes in terms of their lack of commitment and focus to give our club a chance to win.”

Good call, Radulov in particular looked terrible in game 2.  This could turn out to be a great thing for the Preds.  They can use this and come out focused and determined.  They will have their home crowd, a crowd that gets very loud, to help pump them up.  What happens if they win?  They lost the first two games with the two Russians in the line up so i think if you win you keep letting them sit.  Winning cures all.

The Preds took a big gamble with these players.  Radulov showed he is selfish when he ditched the team while still under contract to go play in Russia.  He needs to learn a little respect.  Kostitsyn on the other hand was run out of Montreal for this type of behavior.  Neither of these two players fit the typical Nashville mode.  Poile took a risk and it doesn’t look like it’s paying off.  Bet big win big…or lose big.  We will see.

The rumor mill is saying that the Blackhawks will be big players in the Ryan Suter sweepstakes.  That is assuming that he becomes a free agent but you have to think that Nashville will resign him.  The source indicated that the reason for the Hawks being “in it” are the fact that Suter is from Madison, Wisconsin.  The closest NHL rink to Madison is the United Center.  He and his family would welcome him playing closer to home.  The Hawks need a guy like Suter and they could not resign Oduya (who might have played himself off the team in the first round) and trade Niklas Hjalmarsson.  Their two salaries equal what you would have to pay Suter.  The other factor is that his Uncle, Gary Suter played for the Hawks and maintained close ties to the Wirtz family.  I remember those days, Suter and Chelios formed one hell of a defensive unit.

It appears that for the 2nd year in a row the Hawks will lose their assistant GM to another NHL team.  Last year Kevin Cheveledayoff left for the Winnipeg Jets.  This year, Marc Bergevin has been hired to become the General Manager of the Montreal Canadiens.

Tonight we have 2 game 3’s.  Rangers Capitals and Coyotes Predators.


Yotes win in OT again

28 Apr

They had 1 shot in the third period.  1 shot!  Just trying to induce a coma like state in the building.  Didn’t work, Nashville was able to tie it up.  Just like the Hawks would.  But, in OT the Coyotes jumped on a puck off a face off and put it in.  Just like against the Hawks.  Very frustrating.

What do the Coyotes call their system?  Ambien?

There allegedly was some action in the first two periods but I was playing hockey and didn’t watch.  I got in front of a tv for the third period and OT.  Nashville was dominant and carried most of the play.  Just like the Hawks.

No one, other then the 10 fans in Phoenix, want to see this team win.  Yeah the building is full right now but that’s nothing more then bandwagon fans.  Where are they during the regular season?  No where near the Coyotes!

It’s sad and pathetic.

The more concerning issue is that the NHL is a copycat league.  If this team succeeds then other teams will copy this formula.  Just like before the lockout when the New Jersey Devils almost killed off hockey.  Now we have the Coyotes.  That’s the NHL owned Coyotes since NO ONE wants to buy this stupid team.

Since we are headed for another lockout, maybe the league can bring forth a slew of new rules preventing teams from playing like this.  At least for a few years until coaches figure out how to kill off any entertainment from watching hockey.

At least the Rangers, Capitals and Flyers still play hockey.


….and now it’s all over

24 Apr

I can’t help but think of the end of the movie Goodfellas, when Ray Liotta utters those words.  “and now it’s all over”  He wants spaghetti and marinara sauce but now all he can get is ramen noodles and ketchup.

It is over.  Not just the season but this team.  Last year they had an excuse, the gutting of a championship roster due to the salary cap.  But not this year.  This year they don’t have that excuse.

A friend of mine called me this morning and said “ok, who do you blame?”  I said…..Stan Bowman.

None of the Hawks issues were ever addressed.  The Hawks have a roster that has too many small skilled players.  All the skilled puck possession teams in the Western Conference (Detroit, Vancouver and Chicago) are all reserving tee times and not travel plans for the 2nd round.

The Hawks need a 2nd line center.  We knew this before the season began, we knew this during the season and we certainly knew it at the trade deadline.

Then there is the goalie situation.

The Hawks have Crawford signed for 3 more years.  They also extended Ray Emery for 2 more years on the last day of the regular season.  Let’s also not forget Cristobal Huet.  That’s right folks.  He is on the books for next year as well at $ 5,625,000.  Yeah that’s right.  As bad of a need that there is, I’m guessing that the Hawks will not fix that problem.  Not until after Huet comes off the books.

But we are getting ahead of ourselves.  There won’t even be hockey next year.  Donald Fehr has hypnotized the players association into believing that the millions they make is not enough.  There will be a lockout.

Whenever the lockout ends the Hawks will need to put together a roster.  Bigger more physical players, a goalie that can win a game for you here and there (and not let in super soft weak goals in the playoffs) and a legitimate 2nd line center.

Last night during the telecast Pat Foley asked Eddie Olcyk how many top 6 forwards the Hawks have.  Both agreed that they have 4, 3 without Hossa.

During Quenneville’s post game a reporter asked him if he can give an update on Hossa now that the playoffs are over.  He said he’s not doing well and hopefully he starts recovering.  That’s not good is it?  I wonder how serious this is.  What if he can’t play next year?  What if his career is over?  I hear it’s a combination of whiplash and a severe concussion.  Possibly a broken jaw too.

Mike Smith stole that game last night.  The Hawks completely dominated the first 40 minutes.  Well except for that power play goal.  6 shots on goal and Crawford let’s one in.  I’m pretty sure Mike Smith wouldn’t have let that one in….nor the other 3 crow let in during the 3rd period.  Smith stood on his head and made 39 saves.  Crawford faced 20 shots and let in 4.  I can’t remember ever seeing a save percentage that low in a playoff game.  There probably has been but not since I’ve been watching hockey.

Yeah the Hayes penalty was bad and poorly timed but I don’t blame the kid.  I think our kids were some of our best players.  Bickell, Frolik, our boy Shaw and Leddy.  The Hayes line was probably the best line the Hawks had in that game.  Toews played pretty well but didn’t have an impact.  They only time I knew Patrick Sharp was playing was when he was giving out body checks.  He led the Hawks in hits.  That’s a pretty telling statement right there isn’t it?  Why is our leading scorer the only guy hitting people out there?  Goes back to not having enough physical players.  Hawks sure could use Andrew Ladd couldn’t they?

What did Kane do to get a 10 minute misconduct in the final minutes?  I haven’t seen anything about that yet.  If you know, let me know.

I heard from a friend in Canada that the TV announcers commended Kane for coming out for the team handshake after the game.  They said that it’s easy for a player who has been kicked out of a game where his team was eliminated to not come back out of the locker room.   Kane did and that was a class act.

So next year there won’t be any hockey and the year after that….the Hawks will probably look pretty similar to this one.  A good team, a sometimes dangerous team….but not an elite team.  Enjoy the next 49 years folks.  Go have a beer with a cubs fan. That guy has got it worse then you do.

Who to root for now?  Obviously it’s Let’s go Predators.  Take these a**holes out.  Quick too, like a sweep so Torres can sit for plenty of games next year.  Let him get hit in the wallet, since he doesn’t feel that pain in postseason suspensions.

I’m also going to root for the Blackhawks south…aka the Florida Panthers.

Gee you know that GM in Florida has put together a pretty good squad.  Lot’s of character guys who know how to win.  Why cant the Hawks have a GM like that?  Oh yeah, they did but John McDonough ran him out-of-town.  He got too much credit for putting together a championship squad.  Now we have son of Bowman.  A guy who has given us a team that is too soft and has gone out of the playoffs in the first round in consecutive years.  Good times.

I’m too depressed to write anymore.  I’ll write more later.

Per TTS policy when the Blackhawks play so poorly that they don’t deserve to get their pictures up on this site then hot chicks go up instead.  Losing 4-0 at home in an elimination game fits that description.  We’ve had blondes and brunettes but no red heads.  Not until now.  Enjoy.