Saturday, April 11, 2015

More Of the Same. Preds Drop Final Regular Season Game to the Stars 4-1

The Predators wrapped up their regular season against the Dallas Stars in a meaningless game at Dallas. The Predators are heading to the playoffs and the Stars are heading to the golf course.

The Predators rested several players while the Stars were looking to get as many points for jamie Benn as possible. Benn came into the game tied for the scoring lead in the NHL.

The Stars got the 4-1 win and Benn got his points as he had a hat trick and Cody Eakin added a goal.

Filip Forsberg had the Predators only goal.

Some observations:

  • The Predators rested some players in this game. Both Shea Weber and Roman Josi were scratched. Victor Bartley drew back into the line up, as did Anton Volchenkov. Joe Piscopo Piskula was called up from Milwaukee to man a spot on the blue line. Mike Fisher was out of the line up for the second game in a row.
  • Craig Smith moved to the top line with Mike Ribeiro and Filip Forsberg. The second line was Matt Cullen centering Colin Wilson and Viktor Stalberg.
  • Carter Hutton got the start in net. Given the workload of Rinne, this was a good move to get him rested and ready for the playoffs.
  • D pairings were Volvhenkov and Seth Jones; Piskula and Mattias Ekholm; and Ryan Ellis and Bartley.
  • Filip Forsberg has without a doubt been the Predators most impressive forward this season. His moves and puck handling skill are top flight, and his ability to snipe the puck is the best on this team. However, his 25th goal of the season came from getting into the hard area in front of the net. One of the most underrated aspects of Forsberg's game is his strength. The change from his brief time with the team last season to this season is remarkable.
  • Speaking of Forsberg, he is also very durable, playing in all 82 games this season.
  • I like the hustle and play of Craig Smith. He is a streaky scorer, and I hope he starts a new scoring streak in the playoffs. He is always hustling and his effort creates some good scoring chances.
  • Paging Colin Wilson, paging Colin Wilson...
  • The Predators fail to convert on a 2 on 0 as Viktor Stalberg and Mike Ribeiro cannot score on Jonas Enroth. That about sums up the last 20 games for the Predators.
The Predators first round playoff opponent has been decided, and the Predators will play the Chicago Blackhawks.

The second season starts next week.

It feels good to be back in the dance.

But the way this team is playing, I feel like we could be the ugly wallflower.

My three stars:

1. Jamie Benn

2. Filip Forsberg 

3. Jonas Enroth

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