Hands up who saw this coming? Really? You should live in Vegas, bet the games, and sleep on a pile of money with many beautiful ladies.
As the goaltending came back to Earth, and Lindback suddenly solidified the Nashville crease in the second half of this one, it was a bizzaro but entertaining game. Goals that made you scratch your head, and others that you just had to give it to the shooter. With a young Lindback keeping his team close until they could capitalize on a mistake or two, and Roberto Luongo having the kind of game that will get the bashers callng TEAM well into the night... Hell, he made some big saves too. It was a wide open game, and entertaining in a "slow down passing a car crash" or Snooki after a bender kind of way.
In that vein, you may find more of this after the break, or not. We need to shake our heads and just laugh when these games come around, and they are fun to watch in any event. Sometimes they just happen this way, like the Flyers and Jets...what was that...9-8? 8-7? We got off easy.
Hockey stuff and maybe some more fun after the break. No promises.
Its not easy being cheesy indeed. Not to worry tonight folks, as there is no way in hell I am doing a descriptive on this bad boy. Too much happened. I'll try to give you the gist here, but holy. You had a period where the hotter than a fircracker goalie turns into the guy that lets in 3 on 5 shots ( and no, its not fair, and yes, two of those were not really goals he could do much about ) His replacement looked like he was going to be the answer early, and then let in a bunch of goals that will certainly give the TEAM folks something to talk about until Sunday. The highlights I will post at the bottom, but I think we can say that some were goaltending tonight, with three of the four goalies all sucking to varying degrees, and the least talked about fellow being the shut out guy.
Schneider, Luongo,Rinne all had some suck in their games tonight, with Pekka winning the booby prize with his 5 goal performance. Schneider's 1st period, and Luongo's second and third are in a close tie for the next spot on that podium.
- Cory Schneider had 3 GA on 5 SOG ( 4 misses for the Preds in the first period, and the Canucks had 4 blocks. His replacement Roberto Luongo ( or "1-B" tonight ) had 3 goals on 15 shots, and was helped out by 8 blocks, and in the end, the Preds only missed one more the rest of the way. They were very "opportunistic" as Shorty said. He also called this game "wild and whoolly"
- Pekker Rinne, on the other hand, after being beaten by Cody Hodgson a sniper's goal, was assisted by 10 blocks,, and the Canucks had one more missed shot than the 7 they had on net in the first. In the second though, he had far less help, as the Canucks looked very very good on offense. Four goals on a further 11 shots ( Canucks missed 6 in the second, and had a further 7 blocked. He was pulled after letting in Hansen's goal with 9:31 left in the second.
- Luongo's game was tough to quantify, as he did make some saves. But while it can be said that the Tootoo and Wison goals ( the first a nice play getting into the soft spot, and taking a nice pass, with Ballard and others not playing it well, the latter was a great move that got the goalie to commit and a solid roof daddy ) Funny Bob though buddy, sometimes you need to make that big save. Those, and the last one were not your fault at all in totality, but it can ( and probably will be, ad nauseum ) argued that you should and could have had one of the three at least. I know you did not start, but still....
Enough with the goaltenders though, apart from Lindback, who was awesome. He had some help for sure, as both Hamhuis and Higgins got some iron in their diet, as well as luck under a constant barrage of shots and pressure. Still, 10 shots after two, and 19 with none behind is light years ahead of the guys making the big bucks tonight huh?
In fact, an interlude...
Now, the forwards and defense. Let me just throw some final stats out there for fun and profit.
Defense - While it seemed that the breakout of the home team ( at least in the first and second, they locked it down better in the third ) was shredding the trap, the defenders had periods of blissful ignorance that helped the final score. I thought Hamhuis and Bieksa both struggled in the third, yet Bieksa finishes an even and has 2 assists. Part of that is the Predator's PP suddenly making our awesome penalty kill look like shite and going 3 for 3. Plenty of blame to go around there, but you have to give it to the team as well. The Legwand goal was smelly, but no one is stopping that Weber howitzer, as well as the Wilson goal. Nice hands on the kid, and he was maybe one of their best all night.
It does seem that the team gets a calming influence from Sami Salo, and hopefully he is in on Sunday. But ona night where the defending sucked, the blue liners all somehow finished an even. Let's give the booby prize to Ballard, just because he could have won the game twice on pretty Sedinery set ups, and finished with no points while his partner got an assist. The only defender to not get credited a hit as well.
Forwards - Well, hell. Its hard to get too tough on them with the chances and goals in the comeback that fell short, but Jannik Hansen, while having a solid game at one end, was a -1 on a night where he had a goal and only played 10:53. I think it was him that was supposed to have Fisher on the winner as well. He gets the cheap ass doll from the toothless carny tonight.
Both Henrik and Daniek Sedin were a -1 as well, but this sure was a fun game to watch them do their thing. Alexandre Burrows was plugged right into the cycle tonight, and when they were away from the Suter/Weber combo, they mainly dominated, and even when the #6 and #20 were out they were pretty dominant too! A G and an A foir Daniel, while Hank had 2 A's as he set up a perfect Burrows goal. Burr tied Kesler with 5 shots, and Daniel had 4. Its funny, Henrik had only one, but it was a block on a puck that rolled as it came to him on a one timer that was his best chance.
What was also fun to watch was how the Kesler line did out on the Weber pairing. They were not always out there on them, but the Kesler line generated 16 shots ( 3 misses by Higgins, and a post ) while Kes missed 3 and had 5. david Booth was once again good, dangerous most the night with 4 shots. But only a PP point for Higgy on a nice give and go with Silent G.
Speaking of which, the third and fourth lines had some great moments too. Hodgson was getting better and better at the plays that set up good scoring chances, while Aaron Volpatti had a goal that was very nice. The 4th line was solid again, and a lot of guys numbers look good tonight in the loss. But you know that this is just what AV needs to get the message home as well. There is plenty of film study to see that is positive, but not all, not in this kind of game. But I liked a lot of things from a lot of guys tonight, and saw plays and offensive chemistry from not just the top two lines tonight. The five man cycles tonight, with defenders jumping up with all lines was glorious to see.
The hell with it though, the Flambes` can't even beat the Jackets, nd if they play like this with a better emphasis on defense in the next one, I see this as far more a bump in the road than a roadblock. Here's the goals in one handy dandy package.