Not the goal.

Friendly reminder: Cap tip to The Footy Blog from whom I pinched this game recap format.

Game in a Sentence:

Well, for those of you who didn’t tune in, you didn’t miss a whole lot as a crazy bounce was enough for the Coyotes to grab a win against the Predators in game four to take a 3-1 series lead.

Observations:

- Well, I expected another spirited effort from the Predators in game four after a hard fought game three win and I didn’t exactly get that. In fact, I didn’t get a whole lot of anything. The Coyotes were happy to sit back with their lead and the Predators looked might tentative for a team trying to take it. Just a disappointing game which will have massive implications for the series outcome.

- I thought this before the result, I would have thought this had they won but the Predators should not have sat out Alex Radulov and Andrei Kostitsyn. For a more cohesive and cogent argument as to why it was a bad idea, read this.

- In terms of guys who I have really like for Nashville in a limited role… Colin Wilson has been great in my mind. I notice him putting in good minutes every time he’s on the ice and he is generating solid possession minutes for Nashville down low. An unsung hero because of his lack of points.

- Patric Hornqvist was the best player on the ice for the Predators. Great skating through the neutral zone, second most pucks on net of all Nashville forwards, best chances among Nashville players and a goal that was called back. Of all the Preds forwards he was most evident in his trying to will the team to a win. Unfortunately the guy in the pads for Phoenix was a little much for his efforts.

- Shane Doan has really come alive this postseason. He scored the game winner today, (granted it took a few twists and turns along the way but it counts the same), he has consistently been the driving force behind the Coyotes offence – regardless of how much there is – and has also been a huge physical presence. What else could you ask for from the guy with the ‘C’?

- I didn’t like the Rostislav Klesla hit on Matt Halischuk one bit. I know there’s an argument that because Halischuk was alright, it’s alright, but that undermines the rule as we’ve seen. I think Klesla deserves a game for it.

- Mr. Rob Pizzo wanted the Predators to lose 1-0. If you didn’t hear the May 4th Backhand Shelf podcast, it’s here. He demands it with one minutes remaining. Just listen everyday and you will avoid playing catch up.

- I didn’t get the Gaustad-Chipchura fight. Is there something I missed?

- Boyd Gordon played almost three and a half minutes of shorthanded hockey tonight. Guys like that are what separate teams who are bounced in the first round from teams that advance, and teams that are bounced in the second from teams that advance, etc. etc. By contrast, Jordin Tootoo is essentially the same cap hit for the Predators. Which guy would you rather have in crunch time? Gordon has been great, Tootoo has barely played. I choose Gordon.

- Taylor Pyatt has also been an unsung hero for the Coyotes since the beginning of the playoffs. Great depth guy.

- There aren’t many defensemen more underrated that Keith Yandle. If he played in a Canadian market they’d put him on the cover of a video game.

- Pekka Rinne was great once again for the Predators. A game after recording his first career playoff shutout he only allows a single goal. That being said, you’d be hard pressed to fault him for said goal. I’m surprised Phoenix was only credited with one point there because that would have been worth at least 450 in a regular pinball machine.

- Mike Smith is Mike Smith. I’d argue that at this point in the playoffs I should just be able to type ‘Mike Smith’ and that’s it and you’ll all know what I mean. If the Coyotes make the Cup finals, you can engrave that Conn Smythe nameplate now because Smith has been unconscious.

- I think Nashville puts up a spirited fight in game five, but I think this may have been there chance in this series. It will be very impressive if they find a way to battle back.

My Three Stars:

1) Mike Smith
2) Pekka Rinne
3) Boyd Gordon

Comments (2)

  1. Anybody got a running count on the number of denied goals for Nashville this playoff season?

    I’m counting 5 or 6 and still waiting on the refs to give the same explanation to 2 different people for the same occurrence….

    Agreed on the Klesla hit, but nothing will happen… same with the cross-checking to the back of Tootoo’s skull in game 4…

  2. Bett MANs folly…the phoenix coyotes…WTF…is the league thinking in allowing this politcal game playing in the effing playoffs??! WHY is bettman allowed to mention the team staying or going…while they play hockey still?? Anyone notice the breaks from officials the yotes get?? i think most of us know that bettman wants and needs the coyots to win. The futher the coyots go…the more bettman still holds the dfream of selling hokcey in the states… hey betty boy… you are not some fairy godfather… hockdey will never thrive in the deep south until the usa produces a mario or a wayne and gets 100 goals consistently…and you know it. So stop with the indirect pressure on officiating so your ‘yotes’ can “go farther than EVER before!!!!!!! BS”.

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