Last night's Preds-Hawks game was frustrating on many levels. The Preds had a chance to take a 3-1 lead and maintain home ice advantage but the Hawks had been shamed into playing one of their best games of the year and did a good job of keeping the Preds in check.
After the game I asked Barry Trotz about nothing coming easy for this team and got a chuckle out of him on an otherwise bland post-game presser.
He agreed and said that basically that has been the history of the franchise and that that "for the last 12 years so we are well versed in the hardness of the game and finding ways to win and getting the job done so I think we've got a good foundation for that."
There's little reason not to think that if the Preds do win the series that it will be in triple overtime on the road in game seven.
A couple of other things that have really frustrated me in this series is all the talk about Patric Hornqvist being ready to play and all the discussion about selling tickets.
In regards to Hornqvist, it was obvious to anyone who has watched him play that he was not capable of playing his style of hockey in game one of the series. His value to the team is playing rough and tumble hockey in the dirty areas in front of the net. If he can't do that, the Preds are better off with a healthy body in the lineup.
The team would love to have him at full strength and in the lineup but when he doesn't play, none of the twenty who do dress are thinking about Horny. They are focused on their own game and winning with who is available. I would suggest that the fans do the same. If he makes it back at some point it will be great, but only if he is is capable of doing what he does best.
The other frustration is all the local chatter on Twitter and elsewhere in the media about the unsold tickets for game three. While fans need to encourage others to attend so that there will be a full house for every game, we don't need to add fuel to the fire for all the "traditional" market media types to keep heaping gas on the firestorm about how Nashville doesn't "deserve" a team.
My suggestion for fans is to stay positive and have faith in the team that David built and give Barry a chance to pull another rabbit out of his hat on Saturday on the national NBC stage.
As a side note, be prepared for Monday when Steve Lapore reports that NBC's numbers for the game are a low for this year's playoffs. It's the nature of the beast so don't worry about it.
Finally, I will reiterate my pre-series prediction. Circle Monday, April 26 on the calendar, when the Preds will beat Chicago in six games at the Bridgestone Arena and move on to the second round for the first time in franchise history. I still believe.
Preds-Hawks Game 4 Round-Up...
Here is our game story from last night with postgame interviews.
John Glennon has the game story, notes column and postgame ponderings at the Tennessean. Bryan Mullen hit the Hawks dressing room for their side of the story.
Jim Diamond reports for the Examiner.
Mark Wheeler checks in with his game story at The City Paper.
In the blog world posts come from Brandon Felder, The View From 111, Chris Burton, See Puck City, Paul McCann, AJ at PMFF, and What the Puck.
The Chicago view of the game can be found at the Chicago Sun Times, Daily Herald, and the Chicago Tribune.
The thriller of Thursday night was the Senators 3 OT victory over the Pens. Matt Carkner's goal 7:06 into the third overtime was the difference maker. The Pens lead the series 3-2 as it now returns to Ottawa for game six on Saturday night.
The first series came to an end in a way that no one predicted with the Devils losing 3-0 in game five to the Flyers in a series that ended 4-1. Brian Boucher has been the difference maker in net and is profiled in this NHL.com piece.
The late game was a real yawner with San Jose shutting out Colorado 5-0. With a 3-2 lead the Sharks can clinch on Saturday in Colorado.
Two other teams can clinch tonight with Boston and Washington each holding 3-1 leads in their series while the other two are tied 2-2.
Boston at Buffalo 6:00 CDT Center Ice
Montreal at Washington 6:00 CDT Versus
Detroit at Phoenix 9:00 CDT Versus
Los Angeles at Vancouver 9:00 CDT Center Ice
In Preds Nation...
Wade Belak is profiled in an NHL.com article about the role of the enforcer.
Jim Diamond has news of Blake Geoffrion joining a prominent list as winner of the Spike Carlson Award.
Milwaukee has forced a game six against Chicago that will be tonight at the Bradley Center.
Mark Willoughby's call to action yesterday was a classic.
Was last night's game the biggest in Pred's history. Jeremy at Section 303 had the pre-game evaluation.
AJ starts a new mini series with Part one of a Tale of Two Cities.
Preds101 has a good explanation of penalty shots and what causes one to be awarded.
Around the NHL...
The finalists for the Calder Trophy were released on Thursday with the race being between Tyler Meyers, Matt Duchene and Jimmy Howard.
View from my seats has a primer on NHL conspiracy theories.
Intent to Blow caught up with Pittsburgh "expert" reporter Ray Fittipaldo for his thoughts on his incident with Andy Sutton. They also have the story on the Devil's defensive turnaround.
Odds and Ends...
The web page is up for SocialMediaCamp Long Island. For those in the NYC area, you don't want to miss this.
The Air Force was scheduled to launch a "mini space shuttle" last night on its first test flight. It is a small unmanned craft that they hope to use for future projects. Without people on board they expect to have quicker turnarounds and I would imagine far less safty features.
Here is an interesting video that encourages seat belt use.
Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass