Preds Quick Hits From The Crease 3-29-16
Despite being without the services of Matt Duchene and Nathan MacKinnon, the Avalanche came into Music City and managed to escape with a 4-3 win, keeping their playoff hopes alive. Nashville came out with no energy as Colorado took advantage of miscues to build a 3-0 lead, chasing Pekka Rinne in the process. A valiant comeback by the Preds fell just short when they potted two goals in less than 30 seconds to pull within one late in the third. Aside from the Columbus game, Nashville has had the tendency to come out flat lately vs inferior teams. Last night was a virtual repeat of Thursday’s match-up with Vancouver, sans the victory.
The good news is that when the playoffs begin, there’s no chance of them taking their opponents lightly. The fact Nashville can turn it on almost at will shows some swagger, something we’ve rarely been able to say about any team at Bridgestone Arena. They also get to play in Dallas tonight to possibly build on what they accomplished in the last 6 minutes of the game. Expect Rinne to get the nod tonight vs a Stars team battling with St Louis for the Central Division crown.
I will refrain from an expletive-laden reaction to the news that Jimmy Vesey and his ‘representatives’ have informed David Poile that they plan on allowing Vesey to be a free agent on August 15. The scenario in which a club can draft a player that is choosing to go to college, and then lose his rights with no compensation is asinine. It’s a loophole in the collective bargaining agreement that is sure to be addressed as this has happened before with other players. Loopholes are nothing new with the CBA, but they are usually solved before long. Remember (probably not) the Preds trading for the rights to Ed Belfour back in 2002? Poile had no intentions of signing him knowing he would get a compensatory draft pick should he sign elsewhere. That’s right, the Preds got a second round pick as compensation for a player that never suited up for the team. That second round draft pick in 2003….. Shea Weber. Needless to say, that loophole only lasted two years before it was addressed.
What to Watch For: After barely surviving the furious rally by Nashville, the Avs head to St Louis to play a stingy Blues team. How stingy?… After surrendering 13 goals in two games vs Calgary and Edmonton, they’ve recorded FOUR consecutive shutouts. Chicago travels to Minnesota in another critical divisional tilt. Minnesota is three points up on Colorado for the final playoff spot.