Category Archives: Predators

Can a lame duck be a Predator?, or, Apparently Leipold does change his spots, or, does Balsillie give you the willies?

The theme music for today’s post is from Jethro Tull. ‘Skating away..skating away…’

I read the news today, oh boy. A lucky* man apparently made the grade. The man behind the technology behind your Blackberry is about to buy what is soon going to be our ‘former’ Predators. The poor guy, Jim Balsillie, is apparently only the 186th richest person in the world.

Predator’s current owner Craig Leipold has long committed to keeping the team in Nashville, taking out full page ads to assure us hockey fans that the Preds would be skating in Nashville for years and years to come.

Sadly, he must have literally meant two years. Mr. Balsillie isn’t buying the team to keep the Preds in our city. He wants a team for Hamilton, Ontario. He may give us some lip (service) about keeping the team in Music City, but truthfully, he’ll be singing a different song to his peeps in Maple-land.

I’ve enjoyed the Preds and been a partial-season-ticket holder for several years. Unfortunately, the ratio of people like me, is way too high in comparison to corporate sponsorship. I’d love to be part of a fandom that could convince Mr. Balsillie that we’d stand on guard for the future of ice hockey in Nashville, but honestly…Balsillie to Nashville will soon have the ring of ‘Bud Adams’ to the follks down in Houston.

*lucky as defined by Thomas Edison. 90% perspiration, 10% inspiration.

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Filed under blows against Nashville, hockey tawk, Predators

A somewhat pithy account of last night’s Preds game..

Sharks preyed on Preds who were more prey-like than predator.  Felt a little too much like 2006 play-offs last night.

If Preds go one and out, is it curtains for Trotzie?  Here’s to the return of Radulov rejuvenating the team!

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Filed under hockey tawk, Predators

Occasionally a hockey game broke out, and boyeeee, it was a good one

There was a brawl last night at the Nashville Arena. And yeah, there was some damn fine hockey in between. To say that there was some bad blood between the Preds and the Sharks coming into the game is kind of like saying that the Sunni folk and the Shiite folk have their differences.

I have some advice for Predator Scottie Hartnell. Save us all time and skate directly from the bench to the penalty box. He’s borrowed the mantle of ‘i skate therefore I foul’ from the Inuit instigator, Jordin Tootoo. The very sight of Hartnell climbing over the wall from the bench engenders a Pavlovian response from the striped shirt brigade.

I guess the refs were trying to keep the game under control, but at least some of the freaking 87 minutes of penalties called against the Preds were not worthy of a foul in a geriatric league. Considering the game, sans overtimes, lasts 60 minutes, 87 minutes of penalties might have been appropriate for the 70s Philadelphia Flyers, but overkill for the much-smaller Predator squad.

I now have two 2007 happy place memories: Florida getting thumped by the Commodores in b’ball and J.P. Dumont’s short-handed goal against the Sharks after we held off a 5-3 man disadvantage. When the sharkish refs called the second penalty to give the giant Sharks a two-man advantage, I have to admit that it felt like the Preds were going to leave Nashville down two games to nil. The Predators stand may not have the historical weight of the Spartans in the movie 300, but I’m here to tell you that the Pred’s penalty killing squad are titans (sorry, Bud) and that Dumont’s goal was heroic.

Our budding superstar Radulov scored a big early goal and then preceded to being thrown out of the game for a little-too-rambunctious hip-check. Forsberg, who may be the greatest passer since the days of Larry Bird and Magic Johnson, scored two goals of his own. Duuuuumont bagged a pair.

Despite the game-ending fisticuffs, the game last night was as much fun as I’ve had in a crowd since the Music City Miracle. Strangers high-fiving folks they’d never seen before, crowds chanting and singing as they left the arena, and noise unparalleled since Husker Du played 328 Performance Hall.

Note: To the girl in section 331, Row N, Seat 7. Girl, you are an artist with those hand-clapper deals we were given in the previous game. The rest of us used them to substitute for actual hand-clapping or for percussive effect. You played lead. You were born to (wo)man the hand-clappers.

Note to hungry Predator fans: The food at the Arena absolutely sucks*. The moisture-ridden meat-stuff passed off as barbecue should be investigated by the U.S.D.A. or at least the Channel 2 Action Team.

On the other hand, the coffee kiosk by the Demombreun street entrance gives good java. Jack, the proprietor will give an extra shot or two if you are a regular.**

*I’ve given up on my campaign against the word ‘suck’. It’s much akin to arguing against the regularity of the tides. I’m sick of suck, but I have to admit, at times last night the refs were more than SUCKY.

**Another in a immature series of superstitions related to sports: The coffee kiosk has two lines. Jack always works the right side. A variety of females always work the left. My friend, Freddy and I always get coffee between periods 2 and 3. If we get coffee from Jack, the Predators win. If we get coffee from the ‘left’ side, the Preds lose. On Wednesday night there were 8 people in line on Jack’s side and only 1 on the left (apparently other people share my superstition). Of course, we got in line on the right side. You don’t throttle the gods of luck. Sadly, I made eye contact with the ‘left’ barista-person. She beckoned me over mouthing the words: no wait. Freddy and I trudged over and got coffee from the ‘lefty’. You know what happened. It was our fault. Last night, we were as staunch as the Rock of Gibraltar. The right line was longer, but, by God, we stood in that line. I made sure to not even glance leftward. We won, didn’t we???

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Filed under derring-do, hockey tawk, Predators

…..And a hocky team broke out, or, a few observations about hockey crowds

Folks, I don’t care if you don’t know icing in hockey from that sugary goop on top of a cake, we have an incredible hockey team in our town. If there WAS a good hockey poet (or even a poet who occasionally dabbled in puck-ery), they would be composing lines re the line of Kariya, Legwand and Erat. I have no doubt about THAT (Legwand and Kariya are more of a rhyming challenge). These guys rival Tinkers to Evers to Chance teammate connective-wise.

If you haven’t been to see the Preds, a few words of advice…

If you plan to bring kids, explain the words ‘suck*’ and its plural before the game. Spin the word anyway you wish, but after the game be prepared to hear the sing-song chant ‘MOM YOU SUCK, DAD YOU SUCK’, if you deign to chastize them in a manner not parallel with their particular line of thinking.

If you kept a ‘suck’ click count during the game, I’m pretty sure that the triple figure would be reached somewhere in the second period. I’ve said it before, I’m sick of the word. I’m not offended other than being disappointed in the mass of people who can’t come up with a better insult.

The announcement of each opposing player’s name is met with ‘SUCKS’. When a goal is scored on the opponent, a barrage of once-clever suck chants ring the arena. What was somewhat funny and artful back in 1999 and 2000 have become lamer than parents trying to remain relevant with their kids by using hip-hop terms of the late 90s.

Pretty much every sneer-cheer is peppered with ‘sucks’ except the still-funny-to-me jibe at the opposing goalie after the Predators score – ‘It’s ALL your FAULT, it’s ALL your FAULT’.

I’ve written about the ‘suckage’ factor more than once. I probably might as well protest the tide system in the ocean or decry the vapid brain-patterns of prime-time programmers. Is it all our fault for continuing to buy tickets and watch TV?

On another note, for the love of the great Gretzky:

Dear Predators management: LOSE THE FANG FINGERS bit when an opponent is penalized and has to sit out for a few minutes. This was a cutesy-wootsy element back in the pre-historic pred promo days when most of us didn’t understand things like ‘clearing the puck’, or as mentioned above, that’icing’ is more than just a cake adornment. It’s NOT cute anymore. It’s annoying, embarrassing and lends credence to fans from other towns thinking that we are newbie nimrods in search of a clue.

Finally, to the woman in line with us at the coffee kiosk with the Trinity Broadcasting hair..wow. It really looks strange to see that hair with a Preds sweater instead of purple garb, standing in line rather than poised to strike for dollars while reposed amidst the gilded roccoco. Maybe it’s just me…

Meanwhile, I’ll be thinking of new words or phrases to be exclaimed sing-songedly after each opponent’s name is announced…hmmm,
Shanahan – YOU’RE CRAPULOUS
Avery – BITES FERRETS
Pronger – Iced over with ENN-U-I
Toskala – At Best, med-i-oc-re, med-i-oc-re
Crosby – Stills and Nash are better off without YOU

Are you hearing me Section 303…are you listening Leipold?

*I realize this may be ironic considering my true blog motto is: attempting (and often failing) not to suck for over 1 solid year

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