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Arlington, TX • United States • 35 Years Old • Male
Though I am a believer in only the one, true, God...thank-you hockey gods (and San Jose Sharks)!!! How fitting that Thugville's third major (non-fighting) penalty and countless game misconduct cost them the game and series! It could not have been more perfect. If you can blame the lack of hockey enthusiasm on any players, it would certainly include the thugs of the game...and somehow the Predators ended up with several on their team. If I was the owner, I would place the blame for this series loss squarely on Barry Trotz. He has overseen, allowed, and likely encouraged his team's "style" of play. They are more interested in hurting players than taking advantage of the pure skill of guys like Kariya, Arnott, and Forsberg. It is a real shame that those guys have to be lumped in with losers like Tootoo, Nichol, and Hartnell. Even worse is the fact that those classless punks are rubbing off on young, could-be superstars like Radulov. On top of all this, the ever-so-bright fans in Thugville egg it on with clever phrases like "ref you suck," goalie you suck." Again, if I were the owner, I would be making changes from the top to the bottom, including the fans! But I digress...

The Predators had just taken complete momentum scoring two goals in forty seconds, giving themselves a 2-1 lead. The first, a top-shelf rebound from Jason Arnott, and the second off a beautiful feed from Peter the Great, from behind the net! And then, out of nowhere, it's a bird...it's a plane...no, it's...ANOTHER THUGVILLE PREDATOR! Yet another crime that leads not to the penalty box, but to the dressing room instead...followed by another suspension! PURE BRILLIANCE! And let us not forget Vokoun costing them with a slash to Bernier that caused enough damage to send him to the locker room. Here is a breakdown of their penalties and suspensions in the brief, 5-game 1st round...

Hartnell - 4 minors, 2 majors (kneeing, fighting), 1 game misconduct
Tootoo - 3 minors (1 boarding), 1 fighting major, 1 game misconduct
Nichol - 1 minor, 1 major (spearing), 1 game misconduct, definite suspension
Radulov - 2 minors, 1 major (check from behind), 1 game misconduct, 1-game susp

They take 4 of the top 12 in penalty minutes including Hartnell at #1, 4 of the top 5 in majors, and 4 of the top 6 in game misconducts.

All that being said, Thugville simply gives the NHL another black eye! I am thankful they were ousted early...most of them deserved it. I chose the word "purge" in the headline because it speaks volumes on the situation. Purge means to rid, flush out, cleanse...they needed to be flushed out of the playoffs, in essence, cleansing the NHL. Sorry Peter, Jason, Paul, and the likes...lobby for some classier teammates...and please Mr. Leipold, revamp your entire organization!
Filed Under:   Predators   NHL   Eklund   playoffs   Sharks   fans  
April 21, 2007 3:36 PM ET | Delete
Great blog, but one thing: Forsberg may be a lot more skilled than the other thugs, but he is no saint. Fun to watch? Yes. Classy? No.
April 23, 2007 5:36 AM ET | Delete
This would never be an issue in Dallas if Tootoo wouldn't have knocked out Robidas and everyone knows it. Its fine that you don't like us and all, and you have clearly spent too much time on this matter but its too bad we've gotten a bad rep as a thug team. The Hartnell thing was an accident and everyone knows it. You can throw out any overly-biased crap you want, being realistic trumps any argument here. I've heard people in the league say that play wasn't even a penalty. Whatever the case, Hartnell has a temper problem and I don't care if he signs somewhere else. The Radulov hit from behind was a valid call/suspension and I knew it right away, but to say he's a dirty thug is so wrong that your entire blog loses validity. The Tootoo boarding call was hilariously bad, and yeah he got into a fight but last time I checked, that stuff happens in this sport, and he only got into a fight because Ryane Clowe (I think) admittedly went after Hartnell after the "classy" Sharks decided they wanted to pick some fights with a minute left in a 5-2 game. As far as Nichol, I haven't seen it other than live, I refuse to watch that game in any way again, but I thought it was funny that Terry Crisp gave Ehrhoff a 9.7 for diving on that play and bet 100 dollars on the air that he woudn't miss a shift. I mean I'm sure thats "not classy", but hey, the guy's won 3 cups and he was right, Ehrhoff missed zero time. If you wanna attack someone who "speared" someone....lets go after Jamie McLennan. We don't really care if you dont like us saying "you suck" in a chant, but thats a pretty minor complaint. One more thing, there's nothing classier than a team's President publicly attacking an organization through the media, and not only the media, but every single time a Nashville media outlet wanted to talk to him, he wouldn't. Thata boy Jim Lites.
April 23, 2007 5:57 AM ET | Delete
The majority of people who actually cover hockey for a living will tell you that if there's any team in the NHL that should be branded as borderline "dirty", it's Anaheim. Give it a rest. Geez.
April 23, 2007 12:41 PM ET | Delete
Am I biased because of the Robidas incident...ABSOLUTELY, WITHOUT QUESTION, 100%!!! That doesn't mean I can't see with my own eyes. With the NHL package, I watch countless games each year and every playoff game. I have seen many Predator games and even rooted for them from time to time. When they took over the game from that sweet Forseberg pass the other night, it was exciting. I love great hockey no matter who is playing. But that's the problem, playing the way they do is not real hockey...it simply thugs on ice...there is no denying it...any human with two eyes and a little mental stability can see it. You can excuse it all day long...it doesn't change the facts. Also, you should read more carefully...I did not call Radulov a thug...I said those guys were rubbing off on him. I even said that one day he will be a superstar in the league...he is fun to watch. But when you play with trash you usually become trash...and it's unfortunante that he stepped over the line. I absolutely agree with you about McLennan and I will take it further and tell you I think Iginla should have been suspended...there is no room for that idiocy in this great game. Lastly, maybe Jim Lites was mistaken in the way he handled the situation...I was under the impression that he sent a letter to your organization, not the media. Regardless, for you guys to boo and then not recognize the amazing accomplishment of Mike Modano is flat out ludicrous! Again, you can't deny it. The accomplishment was not just about the Dallas Stars, it was also about history, and more importantly, American history! Shameful! When Mark Recchi scored his 500th goal on our home ice, just two months earlier, it was not only announced in the building, but the people were on their feet and he got an incredible ovation...so much so, and much to his surprise, he acknowledged the crowd. That is what hockey is all about...something your organization and fans do not seem to grasp!
April 23, 2007 5:29 PM ET | Delete
I can understand what you're saying but my eyes are blinded because I'm just so used to wanting whatever it takes for us to win. If it makes you feel any better, Hartnell and Nichol are probably gone. I like Nichol a lot, I think he's actually a tough and gritty player and can help our team because he's at center, but his action in Game 5 killed our season and he may be gone now. Tootoo won't go anywhere because our organization is unde thefalse impression that he's getting better. (he is, but barely enough to notice). About the Modano thing, I see the point but we didn't like the fact that he had just slashed Jordin across the back and of course got no call from it, and shouldn't have been on the ice to score it. The Preds did have an announcement ready for him (this has been acknowledged) but chose to pull it after the incident. Personally, I'm glad we didn't announce it because the boos wouldve been so loud that we would've been deemed worse fans than we already do. Also we weren't really impressed with Jim Lites not even coming to Nashville to see this milestone event, and lastly, Preds fans have always sort of had a grudge against Modano because during the lockout he said he would rather see teams like Nashville contracted before he would accept the Owners' offers. We feel like we owe him nothing. I think it's kind of weird that Nashville is known for being all rednecks and flag-waving patriots, but in the 06 Olympics, all the Preds fans were going for the Czech Republic because of Vokoun, Erat, and Zidlicky and didn't care at all about Team USA. However, after your reply I'm glad to see that you're at least intelligent and rational, and for Preds fans, it's tough to find Dallas fans like that.
April 23, 2007 5:40 PM ET | Delete
Oh yeah one more thing, if you like "true hockey" don't be praising the Sharks just because they beat us. They turned this series into a soccer match. They flopped around like little kids and every single game misconduct we had was just a 5 minute major until they laid on the ground waiting for the trainer to come out, which everytime led the the ejections, then came off under their own power without missing a full game afterward. In the case of Ehrhoff in Game 5, he didn't miss a shift. At the end of the first period, Scott Hartnell got called for a roughing penalty after he hit Guerin (I think) about a half second after the whistle blew. Knowing this, at the end of the second period, Joe Thornton was playing the puck facing the boards and as time expired he was bumped from behind and he, being the poster boy of power and strength in the NHL, goes flailing to the ice in a failed attempt to draw a penalty. San Jose is known for their skill and being the biggest team in the league, yet they fell over everytime it was convienient. Ron Wilson is like Coach Bombay in Mighty Ducks 1, telling his team to fake injuries to get calls. They beat us cause they were the better team, but I can hang my head slightly high knowing that they were the beneficiaries of some awful calls and we were without key players the whole series and they only outscored us by 2 over the course of 5 games. All I'm saying is, don't start the lovefest with San Jose too quick, especially if you have a love for the game like you say you do. What they do (only when we have all the momentm and a 2-1 lead each time, none of that never happened when they were in control) has no place in our game either.
April 23, 2007 7:00 PM ET | Delete
Agreed...thanks...agreed! The one and only reason the Sharks got any praise was because they knocked out the Preds. I think Wilson is a cry-baby and a joke...and I'm quite certain they faked injuries. The only reason I'm hoping they advance is because I hate the Ducks even more...and we own the Sharks! As far as Mike's slash...you and I both know there was no force behind it...he barely had one hand on his stick. We also know he was reacting to what Tootoo did to Robidas and not the hit. Mike is obviously not a fighter so he made his point with a harmless slash. Don't misunderstand...I know I am making excuses...should it have been a penalty--of course--but the refs aren't going to call that weak of a slash on any super star in the league. The sad thing on this whole deal is that Robidas would have been more than willing to drop the gloves with Tootoo. One last thing...I did not realize Jim Lites did not make the trip...that is just as ridiculous as everything else we've talked about! FROM ONE TRUE FAN TO ANOTHER...I'M SORRY YOUR SEASON IS OVER!
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