Friday, April 13, 2007

Hatred Fuels Series as Preds Tie It Up

The Preds crushed the Sharks 5-2 tonight. That feels better.

You get the feeling we're going to have some old Avalanche/Red Wings fire in this playoff series, one where we've witnessed now 8 game misconduct penalties, 2 to Scott Hartnell alone. Many of these players faced off last year in a series that was all frustration for the Preds, and it has become quite clear now after I've watched one game and listened to another, that part of the Preds game plan was not to take any crap and not get pushed around. A sort of cliche description, but it's cliche for a reason and that's because it's apt.

But certainly there's some worry in all this. The Preds can't afford to have guys getting sent to the showers and I have a feeling Alexander Radulov, who has been on fire along with J.P. Dumont, is going to see a suspension for his hit on Steve Bernier. While losing Radulov wouldn't mean everything, it would be a blow. And I'm also wondering if Hartnell is going to receive discipline after two game misconducts in a row. Still, I think this is a hell of a lot better than getting pushed around and allowing easy goals the whole series. The Preds, luckily, still have a lot of talent even if they happen to lose some people. And Peter Forsberg is the man. I've never gotten a chance to see him much, and I got my first real look Wednesday night. This guy has vision that is beyond normal humans.

This series is just going to be rough and tough. I don't think any amount of warnings from the refs is going to stop guys from hitting hard and abusing the other team. They have played 8 games of playoff hockey against each other in the last two years. It's boiling. And how in the world can you not got into hockey when the level of play is on such a ramped-up level? I mean, it's more noticeable than in any other sport.

It might be a good thing there's two more days before they play again. It's going to be intense in San Jose and I can't wait to see how the Preds respond.


At 4/14/2007 08:23:00 PM, Blogger Kennelworthy said...

I'm sure you know most of this by now, but...

Hartnell had his game misconducts from last night's game rescinded. The league watched the tapes and saw that his jersey was tied down and had been ripped by the other player. They also saw he hadn't been among the first to fight. Had they not rescinded are correct in that he would have been suspended for one game as a matter of rule.

Radulov is gone for Game 3, suspended. He left his feet to make that hit, and injured him pretty seriously. That's a fair suspension in my mind. But we'll miss him. He's been on fire! I love that Forsberg's mentoring him.

Forsberg is the man. He still has the same hands and vision and creativity. He's older, but no less awesome.

And I watched much of the Senators/Penguins game today--talk about awesome players...Sidney Crosby. Man, he is just a kid, but he makes plays that no one else does--and between periods the analysts said the league had a sit down with both teams today and laid down the law and said they were now going to scrutinize every play of this series and punish accordingly. So while I think it will continue to be a bitter and physical series, I do think we'll see less of the all-out brawling and such.

That game was amazing. I think we're going to win this series. That's two games we've outplayed them overall...we just happened to have lost the first one. I almost worry about the team being exhausted should they go on into the second round. This series is going to take a lot out of them.

Vokoun scared me in the first game...a bit. Game Two, he was really outstanding. I hope it stays that way.

Go Preds!!


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