Saturday, March 15, 2014

Blues Pound the Predators 4-1

The Nashville Predators have not beaten the St. Louis Blues this season.

Given the breathtaking talent gap between the two teams, the Predators may not neat the Blues for a long time.

The Blues came into Bridgestone Arena and owned the Predators in a 4-1 victory.

Patrick Bergland scored twice; Vladamir Tarasenko scored off a flukey play; and Alexander Steen finished the Blues scoring. Eric Nystrom scored for the Predators.

Pekka Rinne started the second game of a back to back, having won in Chicago last night, and was under siege all night long. Ryan Miller got the start for the Blues and the was rarely challenged by the Predators.

Not much to say about this game except the Predators were dominated all night and had very little push back against the talented Blues.

Some observations:

  • Several years ago, when the Predators were regularly beating the Blues, only a handful of their fans would show up at the Bridge for a game against the Predators. Tonight, the crowd may have been about 40% Blues fans. I have heard some say that they have a bunch of bandwagon fans. I say good on them. That is what winning does. It attracts new fans. Yes, there are some asshats among the Blues fans, but every team has those. The fact is that the Blues are winning and they have energized their fans, both long time fans and newcomers. The Predators need to take note, because playing boring, dump and chase .500 hockey is not going to energize any of your fans.

  • Speaking of dump and chase, the Predators seem to have that as their only option offensively. While that can be an effective strategy, it cannot be the only strategy. Especially when the team is losing the majority of those puck battles while employing that strategy.

  • Of course, if you do not have the talent to do anything other than dump and chase, the odds that you are going to win a majority of your games are not good.

  • It should tell Predator fans where this team is going when Rich Clune and Eric Nystrom are your best forwards on the ice. The disappearance of Colin Wilson, Gabriel Bourque, Nick Spaling and others does not portend good times for the Predators.

  • I still don't understand the Viktor Stalberg on the 4th line logic. He did move up in the third period, but from my view that is a gross waste of talent.
Not much else to say about this game.


Yes there is.

The Blues have done an excellent job of drafting and developing talented players that have elevated their game to the upper echelons of the League.

The Predators have not.

And until they do, they will continue to struggle mightily in the highly competitive Western Conference.

My three stars:

1. Patrick Bergland

2. Ryan Miller

3. Vladamir Tarasenko

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