November 29 2011 07:16PM
Im not sure what to make of the Preds organization this year. It's been a club I've respected from afar becaue Poile and Trotz have always managed to spin straw into gold.
Not to much recently however. The duo made some really curious moves the last 6-12 months or so. Poile's team lost a lot of talent in the summer and he added to those issues by dealing away Lombardi and Franson to the Leafs for pennies on the dollar. Their forward corps, as a result, is perhaps the very worst in the entire league from top-to-bottom, which is the reason they have a terrible shot differential.
On top of that, the typically frugal Poile re-signed Pekka Rinne to perhaps one of the worst contracts in recent memory, despite the fact his team has precious few dollars to spend, a couple of the best defenders in the league to re-sign coming up and an ugrent need to re-stock talent up front.
Finally, the Preds took a chance on Niclas Bergfors this off-season, only for Trotz to take an immediate dislike to the erstwhile Thrasher/Devil, causing the org to cast him aside via waivers. That's despite the fact that Bergfors has been a capable scorer and puck mover during his young career - which is precisely what the Preds need the most.
Nashville has always been a club clawing to stay in the NHL's middle class due to their limited budget. I fear with the way the decisions have been recently they will finally start to tumble into the abyss with other perpetual also-rans. Here's hoping I'm wrong.
Nation World HQ
November 29 2011 01:34PM
(Macarena kinda sounds like Pekka Rinne). After a solid 5-2 win over the Minnesota Wild on Sunday night, the Calgary Flames return home for a pair of games starting tonight against the Nashville Predators (7:30 pm, TSN and Sportsnet 960). It's the second of four meeting between the two teams as Calgary will try to avenge what was a frustrating 2-0 loss on home ice back on October 22nd. That was an afternoon affair where the Flames really were Rinne'd.
November 28 2011 01:21PM
If you've been following the weekly Black Box statistical summaries then you've also been following the OZQoC Charts, and you know how the Flames forwards are being used. Here's how it sits today at the season's one-quarter mark.
November 28 2011 08:41AM
The Flames changed management, traded a few key pieces and reshuffled some of their scouting staff over the last calender year or so. Even with all that, the Flames are in pretty much the same position they were last year at this time. The club's hopes for the playoffs are already extremely slim and it's unlikely we'll see them pull off another two month miracle run like they did post-Christmas last season.
November 28 2011 12:30AM
It was a close thing, but last week's leader held off a strong challenge to remain in first for a second consecutive week.