For the game day paper today our headline was "Ho, Ho, Hum." Unfortunately for those of us in the crowd, that about nailed it. The real problem here is that these teams are pretty evenly matched:
- The Predators play a very solid and responsible game. Some would call it boring. I prefer to call it defensively responsible. So there.
- The Blues are such an unflashy team right now without creative offensive players like Andy McDonald, T.J. Oshie and David Perron. As such, many of the attacks turn into drive wide, pass to the middle or drive up the middle, blast a shot on. Not that I have some great solution, I'm just saying we shouldn't expect much more than that for a while.
- The goaltending on both sides was fantastic. The Blues finally have the franchise goalie they've needed for years (depending on your personal preferences, you could argue since Curtis Joseph, since Mike Liut or since Jacques Plante and Glenn Hall). The Predators have, yet again, seemingly two franchise goalies on their roster. Tonight Pekka Rinne was great, but Anders Lindback has been great this year too.
The Predators and their Goalie factory is baffling to me. They made Mike Dunham an NHL star in net. They have begot Tomas Vokoun and Chris Mason and Dan Ellis, all of whom have had good careers in Nashville and parlyed them into nice contracts and starting jobs in other NHL cities. Now they have both Rinne and Lindback who will undoubtedly do the same. The one time the Preds drafted a goalie early, it blew up in their face. Brian Finley, taken sixth overall in 1999, battled bizarre injuries and ended up playing only four NHL games, only two in Music City. His career save percentage was just 85.1 and he allowed seven goals in the only complete game he ever played for Nashville.
Like I said, bizarre.
Meanwhile, David Legwand is still with the team after a decade as their highest-ever draft pick, and that guy is warm garbage. Go figure.
I'll leave you tonight with a couple videos, first, some hustle by
the Captain David Backes to secure the win. This is what we call "wanting the puck."
Second, more magic from Halak. Goalies make me crazy most of the time. This guy, not so much. I dig him the most.
Blackhwaks in town on Tuesday. I assume you're ready?