Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Being this is really our first full season to get a crack at previewing teams, we decided to contact other bloggers to have them tell the stories of their respective team's season.
We will be running a team per day, possibly two teams, all through September.

Next up we go to Music City.
Paul McCann is an esteemed hockey journalist.
He is the host of Nashville's pre- and post-game shows, and a blogger on Hockey Buzz.com.
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Division: Central
2006-2007: ( 51 - 23 - 8 ) 110 points
Playoffs: 4th seed
Finish: Eliminated by Sharks in first round (4-1)

Leaders:

RW J.P. Dumont -- C David Legwand
( 21G - 45A - 66P ) -- ( 27G - 36A - 63P )


D Shea Weber -- G Chris Mason
( 17G - 23A - 40P ) -- ( 24W - 11L - 4OTL - 2.38GAA )


For Pred Nation, after spending the entire offseason fighting for their team (something Penguin fans can certainly understand), it’s a relief to finally talk about the on-ice product in Nashville. Let me be the first to say… don’t believe the hype… this is a good, young hockey team that made adjustments to be better come playoff time. Expect the ownership situation to be resolved come October, and this team can get down to business.


Key losses – Paul Kariya (St. Louis), Kimmo Timonen (Philadelphia), Scott Hartnell (Philadelphia)


Key pickups – Martin Gelinas (Florida), Radek Bonk (Montreal)



Key kids (Kids that could make an impact this season) - Rich Peverly (Milwaukee Admirals), Cody Franson (Vancouver Giants)



The Nashville Predators will not get 110 points this year.
There’s a couple of reasons for this… Tougher schedule, better division, less talent. OK, I hear you say, why is the mainstream hockey media wrong about this team?


The top line may consist of Jason Arnott centering Martin Erat and Martin Gelinas (Holding Steve Sullivan’s place until he returns in December), second line would be David Legwand centering JP Dumont and Alexander Radulov. Potential third line Scott Nichol, Vernon Fiddler, and Radek Bonk, grind line of Darcy Hordichuk, Jerred Smithson and Jed Ortmeyer. Rotate super-disturber Jordin Tootoo into the third or fourth line and you have a solid lineup. Add Steve Sullivan back in January and the team gets stronger… add a potential Peter Forsberg re-signing in December and the situation improves further.



Defensively, while young, the team also stacks up well. Kimmo Timonen’s leadership will be missed, however, the addition of Greg deVries will mitigate that very well. Expect Shea Weber to build on last year’s successful season and continue his growth into a blueline force. Ryan Suter will also continue his development. Greg Zanon was a pleasant surprise last year, coming out of nowhere to become a shot-blocking machine. Marek Zidlicky is coming off an awful season, I expect him to rebound well and get back to the form he showed in ’05-’06.



The team will not put up the kind of scoring they enjoyed last year… the early season blowouts will not happen as the Central Division looks like it has improved (at least on paper). St. Louis has added a lot of free agents, Chicago can’t have the bad luck it had last season (can it?), and Columbus appears to have added much needed leadership in signing Michael Peca. Detroit will continue to be the class of the division. The lack of blowouts will help this team come April. Getting used to the 3-2, 2-1 games will only make them better at playoff hockey. Adding role players such as Gelinas and Bonk also helps everyone understand the kind of team they need to be for success in May and June.

Expect the Predators to come in at around 98 points, good for a 6 or 7 seed come playoff time.

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Pensblog take:


Will Nashville be able to keep pace in a rejuvenated Central Division?
They've been able to beat up on the likes of Chicago, St. Louis, and Columbus for the last few seasons, resulting in high seeds...and early playoff exits.

Even given all that, it still seems improbable that they would go from the penthouse to the cellar and miss the playoffs altogether.
They are this season's Penguins, in terms of franchise uncertainty.

It would be a stunning blow to the organization if they can't get into the playoffs again somehow.

11 comments:

theNick said...

http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendid=43424077

obviously you guys didn't check myspace for tom barrasso.

and yes i know its not clickable but fucking deal with it.

Hooks Orpik said...

``Pensblog has praised Chicago alot, but St. Louis has a scary mix of young players. I think in like 2-3 years they're gonna be straight nasty.

``If the Penguins had Shea Weber life would come to a stop. He may be the best player that doesn't hardly get talked about that's already an NHL star.

``On ice it might be rough for Nashville, but as Pens fans we can sympathize with them like no other: atleast the team is staying in town (apparantely). And they still look a lot more competitive on paper than some of those dreadful post-Jagr Pittsburgh teams.

Staff said...

Hooks,

I totally agree.
I was looking him up last night.
He is sick

Lloyd said...

staff:

same question as last night:
position in the Central:
position in the West:
eliminated from the playoffs in what round:

John Tarbett said...

Hey, I haven't posted in a while, and so this is a little delayed but....it's about time you guys got rid of Kenny Melvin lol. It was months overdue. If you guys continue on with those Jobbers stories, they should all be written like South Park where Kenny dies at the end of every episode in a different way haha.

Staff said...

I am going to go 3rd in the central
8th in the west.
done in the first round

Jack Mahoffer said...

Oh My Gawd! You killed Kenny?

I Love you!

wilsmith said...

c'mon. What'd melvin finally do to get the boot?

Staff said...

he snapped and left like 600 comments of the same thing over and over.

And his general jobbing just got old.
We put it up with it this summer.
So it was a great combo of things.

Jonny V said...

Well now that he's gone, Ming is gone and I took back my name. Ming only wanted to witness the destruction of one Kenny Melvin, and is now off to other blogs, poisoned by anti-social comment posters. He's got his work cut out for him.

Tiffany said...

Wow...just finished reading the last few posts (including this one). So, to summarize:

~~Yay!! No more drama!

~~"Where Are They Now" is a breathtakingly classic, laugh-out-loud post.

~~Newcomer's site seems to be up & running again...what a man. (sorry)

~~And your predictions are gonna come back to bite you in the arse. ;-P

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