Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Morning After: Game One - Predators 4 Ducks 1

Looking back at last night's match, the Predators could not have asked for much more out of a game one road contest than to come away with a win and to have the Ducks clearly frustrated to the point of losing discipline at the end of the contest.

Make the jump for more observations, game highlights, and a complete roundup of what else is out there about the game.

I feel sure that Barry Trotz has the Preds thinking that this is one of sixteen wins needed for the team's ultimate goal, the Stanley Cup. This is a predators squad that doesn't ever get too high or two low and by this morning they are clearly focused on tomorrows game and trying to win it and come home with a 2-0 series lead.

In almost prophetic fashion, I  waxed poetic yesterday that Shane O'Brien and Mike Fisher being the keys to the Predators postseason success. It may have been blind luck on my part or my belief that David Poile knew what he was doing when he added the two key cogs to the Preds at strategic times during the past season but they were the difference makers in game one.

Fisher score two goals and was in on a third and O'Brien was the sandpaper needed to keep the thuggish Ducks from completely decimating the young Predator team and their Vezina caliber goalie.

Rinne was clearly ready for this game and seemed to enjoy being questioned about an early stop on Teemu Selanne during his post game TV interview. It was classic Pekka after a big win.

While Rinne is as competitive as anyone on the ice, he is as friendly as a kitten to folks away from the arena. He is the consummate good guy and his teammates did a good job protecting the Preds' most valuable player during all the rough stuff last night.

Hopefully the league will review the last few minutes of last night's game and give Anaheim a warning to clean up their act. There is really no reason to injure an opponent's top players at this point in the playoffs but that was clearly the Duck's intent.

Game one is over and now the focus shifts to tomorrow night's game and the Preds will practice today to try to smooth out some of the rough edges and prepare to face a new goalie in Ray Emery as it appear that they have seen the last of ex-pred Dan Ellis after a dismal performance.

On Sunday, Barry Trotz said of the Preds familiarity of Ellis, ""You'd have to ask him (Ellis) that. For some of the guys it will be for us and for some it will be for him. There's some guys that know him pretty well and may have had success against him and there's some guys that he knows well and has had success against. It's probably a mutual question where it works out 50-50."

It seems like that Ellis got the short end of the 50-50 deal. Granted, Ellis did not have a history with Mike Fisher but he did know Steve Sullivan and Shea Weber very well.

One final thought, it's great to see two writers from the local newspapers and a TV crew for an important Preds road series. Nashville is growing into a hockey town.

Preds-Ducks Game 1 Round-Up...

Here is our game story from last night.

Josh Cooper had his game story, notes column, and postgame ponderings.He has another post about Shane O'Brien not fighting.

David Boclair discusses the prompt payoff from the Mike Fisher deal. He also discusses the effectiveness of Steve Sullivan's return.

John Manasso has his game story at FS TN.

From the blog world reports come from Amanda DiPaolo, Mark Willoughby, Dirk Hoag (with his advances stats), Jeremy Gover, Predatorial, Fang Finger Fever, and Hockey Night in Nashville.

The other side of the story comes from The OC Register, Long Beach Press Telegram, L A Times, Ducks Blog, Quackalakin', Anaheim Calling, Battle of California, Ducks and Cover, Ducks Daily Blog, and Ducks and Pucks.

Mike Fisher got first star of the night accolades from Puck Daddy for his two goal and an assist effort.

Here are the highlights from last night's game.

More Later...

Buddy Oakes for PredsOntheGlass

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