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  1. 5 of 20 David Legwand 1998-2014 GP: 956 G: 210 A: 356 Pts: 566 %: .592 PIM: 474 David Legwand, the first draft pick in franchise history. The expectations were heavy on a kid who was drafted to be a franchise center. It's no secret that he didn't live up to that hype, but don't let the missed expectations distract you from the awesome career that he did turn out. A modest guy who never sought the spotlight, Legwand would do anything that the coaching staff asked of him. Which after retiring he would admit, along with David Poile and Barry Trotz, that upon being drafted he was asked to sacrifice some of his offensive talent in order to become a more defensively responsible center. And he was a very underrated defensive forward throughout his career. An efficient and speedy skater who suffered from Mario Lemieux complex, in which fans think his effortless stride meant that he wasn't trying hard enough. In many ways, especially in his early seasons, Legwand was misunderstood of Predators players by the young fanbase who assumed he should be putting up 100 point each season. A favorite critique of mine to hear from fans was "Poile should have drafted Lecavalier", which of course wasn't possible. It wasn't until later in his career, well past his prime that he majority of Nashville fans really appreciated Legwand and his contributions. He left the team in 2014, traded to his hometown Detroit Red Wings for Call Jarnkrok who is still with the team. At the time of the trade, and still to this day, Legwand is the franchise leader in Games Played, Goals, Assists and Points. He also earned the distinction in 2000 of becoming the first player in NHL history to score on a penalty shot in overtime. Legwand's story arc follows the same path of the team as a whole, being the first draft pick, as Legwand went so did the team. After honing his defensive game for the first few years, he started to add to his offensive output. In the 2002-2003 season, Legwand was finally enjoying what could be considered a true breakout. This season was significant because when the team was founded in 1997, owner Craig Leipold in an effort to sell the required number of season tickets, laid out the "5 Year Pledge", which said that the team would make the playoffs in their 5th season or he would freeze any increases in ticket prices. That year the Predators were approaching the 8th seed late, Legwand had 48 points in 64 games. In a key matchup with the Chicago Blackhawks, the Predators won in overtime, extending a great run of 9-2-0 over 11 games to move into that final playoff spot. However in that game Legwand injured his shoulder and would miss the remainder of the season. There has never been a more obvious sign of his impact on the team as the club went just 1-13-4 in his absence and failed to qualify for the playoffs. Known as "the Legwand Effect" indeed the team saw similar W/L results throughout his tenure regardless of the players around him. Following the lockout, the team acquired center Jason Arnott to be the #1 and later brought in Paul Kariya. With the SAD (Sullivan-Arnott-Dumont) line leading the way, the team was finally able to slot Legwand into a more appropriate #2 role and give him skilled wingers, known as the 9-10-11 line (Kariya - Legwand - Erat). Legwand enjoyed the best statistical seasons of his career managing 89 points in 122 games under that configuration, including a career high 63 in 78 during the 06-07 season. For comparison, the most offensively dynamic line that most people consider when they think of the Predators is the current Forsberg - Johansen - Arvidsson unit (JoFA) where Johansen and Arvidsson led the team with 61 points each last year. But as memorable as his statistical contributions were, it was the things that most fans wouldn't notice which made him a favorite of the coaching staff. Legwand of course was molded directly by Trotz to be a two-way player and never complained once about it. He was offered the captain's C and several times an A and declined multiple times until near the end of his tenure because he didn't seek the spotlight. He led the team onto the ice for warm-ups each night and directed the warm-up routine for much of his career. Legwand was a real professional who was always tasked with a mentorship role for rookies coming in, rooming with them and teaching them the NHL life and he always retrieved the puck for teammates on firsts and milestone goals and points. Even if it took 15 years for most fans in Nashville to appreciate him, it's impossible to imagine those first 15 years of Predators hockey without David Legwand. He didn't have a hall-of-fame career, he won't have his number retired by the team, and his franchise records will surely be passed in just a few years, but what he meant to the team while he was here is something that will never be surpassed or forgotten.
  2. I really don't want to talk about this one. But i'll say that Juuse Saros is bad right now, the Predators are very undisciplined and the offense can't cover for these things.
  3. Nashville Predators (5-3-2) The Predators narrowly beat the Blackhawks 2-1 last night on the strength of 43 saves by Pekka Rinne. Tonight Rinne will rest as Juuse Saros gets the start. The Predators have earned a point in seven of their last eight games. Scoring Leaders Filip Forsberg - 7 Goals P.K. Subban - 8 Assists Filip Forsberg - 12 Points New York Islanders (5-4-1) The Islanders last outing was a 5-0 beatdown in Minnesota, but the team had been on a roll prior to that one winning three straight and four out of five. Scoring Leaders John Tavares - 6 Goals Anders Lee - 6 Goals Joshua Bailey - 7 Assists John Tavares - 10 Points Joshua Bailey - 7 Assists Nashville Predators Projected Lines Filip Forsberg - Ryan Johansen - Viktor Arvidsson Scott Hartnell - Calle Jarnkrok - Kevin Fiala Pontus Aberg - Frederick Gaudreau - Craig Smith Miikka Salomaki - Colton Sissons - Austin Watson Roman Josi - Samuel Girard Mattias Ekholm - P.K. Subban Alexei Emelin - Yannick Weber Juuse Saros New York Islanders Projected Lines Anders Lee - John Tavares - Josh Bailey Brock Nelson - Mathew Barzal - Jordan Eberle Andrew Ladd - Casey Cizikas - Jason Chimera Nikolay Kulemin - Anthony Beauvillier - Cal Clutterbuck Nick Leddy - Johnny Boychuk Calvin de Haan - Dennis Seidenberg Adam Pelech - Ryan Pulock Jaroslav Halak
  4. almost forgot to add, Pekka Rinne last 6 starts 4-0-2 1.14 GAA .963 SV% Team MVP so far this season.
  5. Good Guys Win!!! Predators - 2 Blackhawks - 1 Some positives: Depth scoring: Craig Smith and Calle Jarnkrok come through with the two Predators goals. Defense: Ekholm-Subban reunite, Girard looked good again, Matt "dumpster fire" Irwin scratched really helped the unit as a whole Goaltending: Pekka Rinne makes 43 saves on 44 shots Three Stars: * Pekka Rinne ** Craig Smith *** Calle Jarnkrok The negative takeaways would be: Lack of top-end scoring, usually when the JoFA (Johansen, Forsberg, Arvidsson) line isn't scoring then the Predators have problems. Luckily some guys who are slumping came through tonight, particularly Jarnkrok who has been absolutely awful this season and totally kills any offensive chance his line has. Undisciplined play. The Predators took six penalties and gave the Hawks six powerplays. While the Blackhawks also took six penalties and gave the Predators six powerplays, they also scored a bad shorthanded goal in which Rinne made two point-blank saves with a Predator defender on either side of the net and neither of them cleared the puck before Anisimov banged in the third attempt.
  6. These two teams met two weeks ago in Chicago for a game in which the Blackhawks came out with a controversial 2-1 overtime win. The Predators will be looking for revenge, but the Blackhawks are still hungry to pay back the division rival for embarrassing them in last spring's playoff series. For the Predators Filip Forsberg is the hot hand, he already has 7 goals this season. Last season at this time he had only 2. On the other side Patrick Kane has points in 6 straight games. The Blackhawks are trying to settle their ever-jumbled defense pairings and the Predators are still searching for secondary scoring. Nashville Predators Projected Lines Filip Forsberg - Ryan Johansen - Viktor Arvidsson Scott Hartnell - Calle Jarnkrok - Kevin Fiala Pontus Aberg - Frederick Gaudreau - Craig Smith Miikka Salomaki - Colton Sissons - Austin Watson Roman Josi - Samuel Girard Mattias Ekholm - P.K. Subban Alexei Emelin - Yannick Weber Pekka Rinne Chicago Blackhawks Projected Lines Brandon Saad - Jonathan Toews - Alex DeBrincat Richard Panik - Nick Schmaltz - Patrick Kane Patrick Sharp - Artem Anisimov - John Hayden Lance Bouma - Tommy Wingels - Ryan Hartman Duncan Keith - Jan Rutta Gustav Forsling - Brent Seabrook Michal Kempny - Connor Murphy Corey Crawford
  7. 4 of 20 Kimmo Timonen 1998-2007 GP: 573 G: 79 A: 222 Pts: 301 %: .525 PIM: 348 Timonen joined the Predators in a blunder of a trade by the LA Kings at the 1998 expansion draft. In exchange for not selecting Garry Galley, the Kings traded Jan Vopat and Kimmo Timonen to the Predators. At the time Timonen was considered an undersized defenseman who would have difficulty developing into an NHL player. Despite his international success, the NHL was too big and rugged at the time for a player like Timonen. At least, that's what everyone said, Timonen had other ideas. His strength was in his skating ability and power, massive legs were the engine that propelled him to success. Timonen quickly worked his way up the depth chart and was a fixture on the first pairing as soon as 1999 (Galley was out of the league in 2001). It's hard to find a single flaw in his game, he had the skating of course, but also hockey smarts, positioning, superb passing ability and an effective shot. Five times he finished over 40 points and twice over 50 during his time with the Predators and another season with 33 points in 51 games (a 53 points pace). A leader of the blueline during his Predators tenure, Timonen was named team captain in 2006, though it would be his final season with the team before Craig Leipold sold off talent ahead of an attempt to sell the team. Timonen left the team as the franchise's leading scorer and games played leader. He still ranks 4th today and is second among Predators defenders in games, goals, assists and points.
  8. 3 of 20 Tomas Vokoun 1998-2007 GP: 383 W: 161 L: 159 T: 35 OTL: 11 SO: 21 SV%: .913 Tomas Vokoun was an overweight, unmotivated goalie on the verge of becoming completely irrelevant as far as an NHL career goes when he was taken by the Predators in the expansion draft. Expected to be a project as the Predators had Mike Dunham and Eric Fichaud ahead of him, Vokoun actually ended up playing 37 games for the Predators in their inaugural season. Thanks to the work of goaltending coach Mitch Korn, Vokoun found his motivation with the Predators. He slimmed down and made improvements each season, and was a fan favorite to replace Mike Dunham well before he actually did. Vokoun brought a fiery unpredictability to the crease, not quite the unorthodox style of Dominic Hasek but certainly not any kind of traditional goaltending. In the days before the trapezoid rule, Vokoun would wander all around the defensive zone chasing down pucks, often in a footrace with opposing players that resulted in collisions. He assumed the starting role after the trade deadline in the 2002 season, and in 2003 carried the load solo for the first time and nearly led the team to their first playoff birth (it was derailed by an injury to leading scorer David Legwand). In the 2003-2004 season, Vokoun was spectacular in finally getting the club into the postseason and put up a great showing against the #1 Detroit Red Wings. Unfortunately, while he would maintain a high level of play in the seasons following the lockout, injuries would prevent him from being effective in the playoffs with the Predators. A freak blood clot incident, spurred from a childhood boiling water accident caused him to miss the playoffs all together in 2006 and a thumb injury kept him out of action for portions of 2007 and lowered his overall ability in the playoffs. Still, Vokoun left as the most popular player after the first 10 years and until very recently (Pekka Rinne) he led the franchise in every goaltending statistic. He also had a great off-ice personality that endeared him to the fans and community, appearing at the childrean's hospital often, starring in local commercials and attending many team signing events. One of the best memories is when Vokoun made a big save at what is now known as Bridgestone Arena, the song "Song 2" by Blur would play and fans would replace the Woo-Hoo lyric with Vo-koun.
  9. 2 of 20 Scott Walker 1998-2006 GP: 410 G: 96 A: 151 Pts: 247 %: .602 PIM: 465 Scott Walker can only be described as the heart and soul of the Predators from 1998-2006. Walker epitomized the "Predators Way". Not only was he usually one of the primary scoring threats on the roster, but he hit, fought, forechecked with intensity, killed penalties, blocked shots and brought a general feisty approach to his play every night. His body suffered for his rough and tumble style, but Walker led the Predators in goal scoring and points multiple times. He wore an alternate's "A" and would wear a "C" whenever the captain was unable to dress. When we he was traded to Carolina in 2006, Walker was the franchise leader in Goals, Points and Penalty Minutes. He still ranks #7 in points on the franchise's all-time list despite the team's best years being in the 11 season's since he was traded.
  10. Very tough to swallow the shootout loss tonight. The Predators absolutely dominated this game for 50 minutes. Pekka Rinne was godlike in net, but of course the Predators offense failed them. Forsberg and Josi scored two early powerplay goals, just over a minute apart. Again, all of the scoring coming from the top line. From there Rinne and Smith traded big save after big save. Midway through the third period, Arvidsson goes off with injury and the Flames score twice in two minutes (Tkachuka and Ferland) before Arvy returns. The Predators did miraculously take the game to a shootout. I say this because they are abysmal in 3-on-3 overtime. They play a very passive game that gets torched continuously. In the shootout, Fiala came in with his slow super deke move and had Smith beat but lost control of the puck. Monahan scored on the easiest little wrister, no move or anything just skated in and flicked it over the blocker side. Forsberg tied it up, Versteeg missed. I didn't see the Preds third shooter, I think it was Arvidsson, but it was stopped and then Tkachuk wins it for Calgary. It's just difficult to wrap my head around it because the Preds seemingly had this game on lockdown all night. They deserved two points, Rinne deserved the win. A bad goal that deflected in off of Josi's stick, they lose focus and let in another and all of a sudden they're in OT, harsh.
  11. 1 of 20 Cliff Ronning 1998-2002 GP: 301 G: 81 A: 145 Pts: 226 %: .751 PIM: 126 Ronning was acquired via trade early in the first season and instantly became the biggest scoring threat on those first teams. In fact, he led the team in scoring in each of the four seasons that he was with the Predators. He brought something rare to the first roster... experience. Ronning already had 11 seasons in the NHL and more than just his scoring prowess, he became a leader and a mentor. He showed many young players how to be a professional. As a smaller player, he was also instrumental in instilling the "Predators Way" of hustle and fighting for every inch of ice. Ronning left the team as the franchise leader in Goals, Assists and Points.
  12. This one looks dangerous for the Predators as their offense has been non-existent lately and coming off a bad loss to the Rangers. The good news is that it's back on home-ice where they've been very good in this early season. Once again, the forwards have to get some puck into the net, guys like Jarnkrok, Smith, Sissons, Salomaki and especially Fiala need to start contributing something. Subban needs to get things going on the blueline and somehow the third pair needs to figure out how to not be a constant Keystone Cops routine. Expect Rinne back in net, he should have started the Rangers game IMO. It's too soon to give up on Saros, but he's another Predator who really has to figure out what he's doing and show a lot more than he currently is.
  13. Well that game was frustrating for the Preds. I'm glad I missed it as I was hiking with the family and it was a dang 11:30am start time here.
  14. Bridgestone Arena also won Arena of the Year... again, lol If there's one thing that Craig Liarpold did right, it was getting things started with a culture of "Ridiculous Customer Service". From day 1 the arena experience has been fantastic.
  15. Housley has been a successful head coach at other levels, and has been mentored now by Barry Trotz and Peter Laviolette. In my opinion as an outsider, the Sabres just don't have the right players. Murray was horrible and his rebuild was bad, now Botterill has to start the rebuild again. It's difficult for Sabres fans to sit through all of that and come out on the other end with basically no progress, but that's the reality and it's going to take another 2-3 years before JB can fix the issues that he inherited and get Housley the players that he can win with. I'm not saying it's a guarantee that Housley will be a success, but I don't think the current woes of the Sabres can be pinned on him just yet.

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