Tag: Nashville Predators

When Your Team Loses

sad-sports-fan-609x419I am sitting here at my computer on another Friday night.  Tonight there are no high school football games for me to stream.  The season is over.  It came to a bitter end on Tuesday night when my team lost the state championship game in overtime 47-41 after rallying from a 35-7 deficit in the third quarter.

I hate to admit it but I take these losses hard.  I know I shouldn’t take it so personally but that’s just how I am.  It’s never fun when your team loses.  Believe me, I have endured many painful losses from the teams I have supported over the years.  Winning is fun.  Losing is not.

After my team lost Tuesday night, I was physically and emotionally spent.  I was in a fog for a couple of days.  It’s silly, I know, but a person feels what they feel.  Since Tuesday, I have reflected on some of the most bitter loses from my sports teams.

  1. (Football) Super Bowl LI:  New England Patriots 34, Atlanta Falcons 28 – Up to this game I had been a Falcons’ fan most of my life.  The Falcons blew a 28-3 lead in this game.  I have not really recovered from this game and have not followed the Falcons much since then.   I can’t remember taking a loss as bad as this one.  This one hurt BAD.
  2. (Baseball) 1991 World Series:  Minnesota Twins defeated Atlanta Braves 4 games to 3 – Georgia had some serious Braves’ fever and we all endured the late nights and close games during Atlanta’s incredible run.  Game 7 of the 1991 World Series when Gene Larkin’s single in the 10th inning still remains etched into my pain.
  3. (Football) 2018 College Football National Championship Game:  Alabama Crimson Tide 26, Georgia Bulldogs 23 – This one is still difficult to talk about.  Georgia finally made it the championship game and led the game at halftime 13-0 but I think we all knew that it wasn’t over.  Alabama came back and won it in overtime.
  4. (Hockey) 2017 Stanley Cup Final:  Pittsburgh Penguins defeated Nashville Predators 4 games to 2 – The city of Nashville was rocking as the Predators’ treated us to an incredible run as the eighth seed in the Western Conference playoffs and took us on a ride to the Stanley Cup final.  Game six was a scoreless tie until Patric Hornqvist scored with 1:35 left in the game. Nashville challenged for goaltender interference, but the on-ice ruling was upheld. Carl Hagelin added an empty net goal with 15 seconds remaining.
  5. (Hockey) 2018 Western Conference Second Round:  Winnipeg Jets defeated Nashville Predators 4 games to 3 – The Predators had the best regular season in the NHL and was poised to bring the Cup to the Music City but were dispatched by the Winnipeg Jets.  My wife and I watched every game of the season.  I didn’t want to hear about winning the “President’s Trophy” or division championship.  It didn’t mean much without winning the Cup.  I have just now been able to get back into the Predators.
  6. (Football) 1999 Georgia High School Association State Football Semifinal:  Lowndes Vikings 31, Northside Warner Robins Eagles 28 – Although Northside was the rival of my team, we were all supporting them in their hopes to win their first state championship.  In the state semifinals which were played at the Georgia Dome, the Eagles jumped out and dominated Lowndes 28-3 in the first half.  The Vikings rallied and handed Northside a bitter defeat.  I think we were all in shock.
  7. (Football) November 10, 1989:  Northside Warner Robins 7, Warner Robins 6 – Warner Robins was ranked #1 in the nation when they played their cross-town rivals in the regular season finale.  Warner Robins scored late but missed the extra point which could have tied the game.  I was at this game and remember rolling around on the ground in disbelief when the extra point went awry.

I could give you three more but it’s too painful.  Let’s just leave it at these.  These are the ones which stick out in my mind and still stir up that bile in my stomach when I recall those memories.  These were truly the agonies of defeat for a sports fan.  Yes, these did hurt and it took me a few days to recover but life goes on and I always seem to find myself back to following them again (except for the Falcons, sorry but that just pushed me over the edge).

Of course none of these bitter losses really affected my life much.  Even when they have won championships the thrill and excitement doesn’t last either.  It usually isn’t long before it’s time for another season to begin and you’re right back where you were before.  I know people who are the fair-weathered fans who support their teams when they are winning.  I’m always amazed at how many Dallas Cowboys fans are around when they are winning and seemingly hard to find when they are having losing seasons.  No, I’m not going to be one to only jump on the bandwagons of winning teams.  That’s no fun either.

Tuesday night is added to my list of being disappointed by my teams but last night I was in Bridgestone Arena watching the Nashville Predators once again and was back into feeling it again.  The energy and excitement is addictive.  It’s hard to give up.  My wife reminded me that sports is a distraction that we need sometimes.  A break from work and daily routines of our lives.

Which fans have suffered the most seasons without a championship?

  1. Arizona Cardinals (70 seasons)
  2. Cleveland Indians (70 seasons)
  3. Sacramento Kings (67 seasons)
  4. Detroit Lions (60 seasons)
  5. Atlanta Hawks (60 seasons)
  6. Texas Rangers (57 seasons)
  7. Minnesota Vikings (56 seasons)
  8. Tennessee Titans (56 seasons)
  9. Los Angeles Chargers (54 seasons)
  10. Cleveland Browns (53 seasons)
  11. Buffalo Bills (52 seasons)
  12. Atlanta Falcons (52 seasons)
  13. Toronto Maple Leafs (51 seasons)
  14. St. Louis Blues (51 seasons)
  15. Phoenix Suns (50 seasons)
  16. Cincinnati Bengals (50 seasons)

There’s always next season…..

 

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Predators Seek Elusive Cup in 2018-2019

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Predators Are Stanley Cup Favorites Again

It has been 147 days since Nashville experienced an unexpected end to the 2017-2018 season.  I’m still not over.  I’m still mad about it.

Yes, the Predators were President’s Trophy winners which is awarded to the team with the best record in the regular season.  Which would be okay if the season ended in April.

Central Division champions.  Nice.

Expectations were high last season but failed at the hands of the Winnipeg Jets in the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs.

For the first time, my wife and I watched all or portions of every game the Predators’ games last season so it was painful to see them fail to win the Stanley Cup.   Home ice turned out to be a disadvantage in the playoffs at the Predators were 3-4.  Then to watch former Preds coach Barry Trotz take the Washington Capitals to the promised land was just another salt in the wound.  My fellow Preds fans loved it and cheered him on.  Not me.

The Nashville Predators once again begin another NHL season with high expectations.  Two hockey “experts” pick the Predators to fulfill the expectations and win the cup.   I’d like to believe it but I’m not quite ready to embrace it.

Let me begin with my apprehension about the new season.  First, let’s talk about Pekka Rinne.  Most Predators’ fans are in denial about Rinne.  Shockingly Rinne was named the Vezina Trophy winner which is awarded to the season’s best goaltender.   I will say that in the REGULAR season he was pretty good as he posted a record of 42-13-4 with a Goals Against Average (GAA) of 2.31 but he fell apart in the playoffs with a dismal 7-6 record and a horrific 3.07 GAA.  Don’t get me wrong, I want Rinne to do well but my feeling is that he will be a liability this season and will be a glaring weakness to hopes for a Cup.  His partner, Juuse Saros, played well last year and should be ready to take over if he is called upon.  I hate to say this but Rinne chokes when it counts the most.  This season is the time for him to come through for the franchise.

P.K. Subban.   Here’s another concern.  Everybody in Smashville adores Subban.  While he is known for his defense, he has too many lapses at times which makes life difficult for Nashville netminders.  He’s another that tends to fail when you need him the most.  Is he really the defenseman people think he is?

One thing that the Predators lost in the playoffs was scoring from their top line.  Viktor Arvidsson, Filip Forsberg and Ryan Johansen did their part but Kevin Fiala, Kyle Turris and Mike Fisher combined for only four goals in the postseason.  When facing teams like the Winnipeg Jets, the Predators needed offense.  Fisher, who came out of retirement last season, decided to retire for good in the offseason.

The Predators will open the season without two key players in the lineup as forward Ryan Hartman has been placed on injured reserve and forward Austin Watson will be serving a 37-game suspension due to a domestic abuse incident in the offseason.

The Predators have a chance to do something special.   It’s a long season ahead.  There is no question that the team has the talent and depth to bring home Nashville’s first professional sports trophy in June it’s just a matter if they can come through in the clutch moments in the postseason.  Notching the best record in the regular season means nothing.  It’s nice but without a Cup residing in Bridgestone with it, nothing else will matter.

The Predators open the season tonight in New York against the Rangers.

Royal Wedding, Air Conditioning and (some) Predators Win A Cup

Picture1I got up early before I normally do on a Saturday morning and watched the Royal Wedding with my wife. Like millions of other people around the world I watched as his royalness Harry marry Meghan Markle. To say there was a lot of hype is an understatement. It is still nice to see something like this happen in this day we live. I do think the “Most Holy Reverend” Michael Curry went somewhat overboard in using the wedding as a platform for himself and his agenda. It was a wedding – not a revival meeting. He totally lost sight about the reason he was there. And what’s up with that title? Most Holy Reverend?

I LOVE air conditioning. I often say it was the greatest invention ever. After doing a few errands this weekend, I was happy to go back inside into the cold air.  I like that “aaaaahhh” feeling when you come inside to air conditioning.  I am also puzzled who thought it was a good idea to change our shopping to outdoor malls. Whose idea was that?

It made my day to see the Vegas Golden Knights defeat the Winnipeg Jets to eliminate the Jets from the National Hockey League (NHL) Stanley Cup playoffs. I am thrilled that the Jets now taste the bitterness of defeat since they did the same thing to the Nashville Predators in the last round.

Speaking of the Predators, I read that three of the players – Filip Forsberg, Viktor Arviddsson and Mattias Ekholm led Sweden to the World Hockey championship. I’m sorry but this just sticks in my crawl a bit. They couldn’t win the Stanley Cup for the Predators with their million dollar contracts but they could win this? Yeah, I’m still bitter. I could really care less if they won Nintendo hockey. I don’t dare share this opinion on the Nashville Predators Facebook page. Those folks like to live in fantasyland and anyone that’s critical is labeled a bandwagon fan. Heck no I’m not congratulating these guys for winning a cup, plate or whatever for Sweden.

I just took a swig of V8’s Eengery Sparkling White Grape Raspberry drink.  Somehow it fell into my cart while I was grocery shopping last night.  It says it contains one canned serving of veggies & fruit.  I don’t know about that but I do know that I was launched into earth’s orbit drinking it.  Could it be because of the 80 grams of caffeine?

Speaking of grocery shopping…..I think it should be classified as a contact sport.  I nearly got taken out in the frozen food aisle.  Silly me for thinking people would drive their carts on the right side of the aisle like they do with their cars on the roads.  Wait….they don’t do that either!

It amazes me how people are okay for you to have an opinion about a subject until it is opposed to their opinion?  Think I’m kidding?  Go on Facebook and post your views about guns, politics, sports and see how much crap you will stir up.

Oh, speaking of crap….when I was at Home Depot yesterday, there is one of those non-denominational churches next door and they have the preacher’s sermon blaring through speakers so people outside shopping for top soil and gardenias can hear his propoganda.  I had tuned it out until I heard him say:  “Have you heard about those prosperity ministries?  They are a bunch of crap Amen?  Yep, you heard me say it.  Crap.  If you’re taking notes it’s spelled c-r-a-p.”   Hmmm, he’s the kettle calling the pot crap?  His speakers are sitting on top of his ministries’ complex and he’s calling what he’s doing crap?  By the way, that stuff is on aisle 7 next to the garden soil.

Ever notice that drivers are doing everything except driving their cars?  I know right.  I had to quit texting to brake for someone talking on their phone.

Do you have that guy in your office that always asks you on Monday what you did over the weekend?  How are you supposed to answer this guy?  What does he want from you?  I’m sure he’s not wanting to hear I went to Home Depot and got some plants and dirt.  It’s too much pressure I’m telling you!  I have no answer for him.  He’s looking for something big and I have no response for that!

I’m ready to move to a city that isn’t a tourist attraction.  I have had my fill of “yeeeeee-his” and cowboy boots.

Today we are celebrating Carol’s 11th birthday.  Carol is our pudu at the zoo.

Smashed-ville

After 95 games the season is over. Nashville’s Game 7 loss to the Winnipeg Jets ended a season of high expectations for the Predators who came within two games last year of winning the National Hockey League’s ultimate prize.

Yes, I know they won the President’s Trophy for having the best regular season in the NHL this season but you aren’t going to see anyone skating around with that one in the air or chanting that “We’re Regular Season Champs”. Do we at least get a plate or a saucer since we didn’t win the Cup?

Bottom line. This really stinks. I won’t lie about it.

Anyone that knows me knows I am not a bandwagon fan. Heck, I have been an Atlanta Falcons’ fan forever. That alone should tell you something about my allegiance to my teams and my familiarity with being disappointed.

To me, the season means nothing without the championship. It really sticks me that the Predators got the home ice advantage and blew it. It was nothing special playing at home. That just boggles my mind. I don’t care what celebrity you ushered in their to sing the National Anthem or how many of those stupid catfish fans throw on the ice to redneck things up.

There is a lot of blame to go around for this colossal collapse to the expectations for this team.

Pekka Rinne said that he let the whole team down. I’m not going to sugar coat it – he’s right. But he’s not the only one. The defense had breakdowns at the most crucial times throughout the season. P.K. Subban was another source of frustration. Mike Fisher came out of retirement for what? Kyle Turris never turned into the offensive giant he had been in Ottawa. A total bust for getting pucks in the net. And what happened with Kevin Fiala? Sure, he got the overtime game winner in the only home win in the series but we needed him to be a goal scorer which he really didn’t become.

Yes, I have stewed on this for the past two days.

Something needs to be done about the goalkeeping. I know everyone loves Rinne and I want him to do well too but it’s time to change. Mike Fisher should go back to retirement. Kyle Turris and Kevin Fiala should be traded. Eelin Tolvanen needs to be in the lineup. I really don’t know what to do with P.K. Subban.

The Predators won’t win the Cup with this team. I watched every game and I’m telling you that they never made it easy. It is bad when your team has a 3-0 lead and you know it won’t be enough.

Maybe at some point I will appreciate this past season. It is going to take me a while. I can tell you that I’m nowhere close yet.

Yes I’m mad and pissed off about it.

I know those fans who like to live in La-La Land and refuse to listen to anything negative about their team. I’m sorry to to bring them back into reality but there is a lot of negative here to deal with but that doesn’t mean I won’t “Stand with Us” or any of that other rah rah stuff.

I don’t care who wins the Cup now. I’m not one of those fans who roots for the team that eliminated us because of some twisted allegiance in thinking that because the Winnipeg Jets beat us that if they win the Cup it will mean they had to beat us to do it. That’s stupid. I want Winnipeg to get blown away. I want them to feel the pain of getting so close and not win it.

My wife made some very sharp observations about the Predators in this years’ playoffs. She didn’t think they were trying and that something was just off with them. I think she was right. The Predators weren’t having fun like they were last year when no one expected them to do what they did. They were not able to handle the weight of the expectations.

This one hurt. It’s going to take me a while to recover. Yeah, I know it’s just sports but I can’t convince the bitter feeling in the pit of my stomach right now.

I am all too familiar with my teams losing. I’m used to it. Remember I said I have been a Falcons fan? The pain of disappointment is nothing new but you never get good at dealing with it.

I am smashed.

Game 7

It will be the end of the road for someone tonight. It is the most anticipated game of a playoff series when teams reach the seventh and deciding game of a series. For fans, we are nervous. We feel it in our stomachs. We know it could end in one final game.

The Nashville Predators and Winnipeg Jets have battled to the seventh game of their Western Conference Semifinal series. It won’t go down as a classic. For the most part it has seemed like an uphill struggle for the Predators. They sure haven’t made it easy. Even with a four-goal lead with four minutes left in Game 6 I still could not relax. That’s just how explosive the Jets can be. They proved that in Game 3 when they scored three goals in two minutes to erase a 3-0 Predators’ lead.

The expectations are that the Predators have the depth and experience to win it. Most are giving the edge to Nashville in this game and many are already talking about Vegas.  If the local morning news show was telling us when Game 1 of the Western Conference finals would start against Vegas.

Not so fast my friend. Winnipeg isn’t going to go away quietly. In the Stanley Cup playoffs you assume nothing.

The Predators can be beaten at home and have been beaten twice in this series – badly. So much for the home ice advantage right? Well, these Game 7s are why teams want to have home ice advantage. Unfortunately it seems out so-called “7th man” has not given us the advantage as they did during last season’s run.

As we have seen in this series, no game has been alike. Each game has been a different story. Will Pekka Rinne be the brick wall he was in Game 6 or will he lose his focus as he has in other games in the series? Will the Predators clamp down on defense like they did in Games 4 and 6 or will they have breakdowns that we have seen too many times this season?

I can’t shake the image of Winnipeg’s Patrik Laine. No, not the image that has been circulated which compares him to a goat but the one of the goal scorer with a score to settle. Could it come down to him and a shot from the point?

I’m not ready for this season to end but Winnipeg’s explosive offense scares me. Even with NBC’s Jeremy Roenick (gagging here) dressing up like a Jets’ they weren’t able to close the deal at home on Monday Night. I think the Jets will take it away from us in Game 7.

Previous Game 7s:

  • Nashville Predators
    • April 27, 2016 – Nashville 2, Anaheim 1
    • May 12, 2016 – San Jose 5, Nashville 0
  • Winnipeg Jets
    • None as the current franchise

Winnipeg has outscored Nashville 22-18 in the series.

I saw on the news this morning that Mike Fisher did not practice with the team and probably will not play in the game.  No one is saying what happened and why he left Game 6.  Hopefully someone else will step up and get the job done.

Game 7s are tough.  In the years I have watched the Stanley Cup playoffs and watched the seventh game of a series, most have been pretty close and several have even gone to overtime.  Yes, load up on the Xanax if that happens tonight.

My pick?  I don’t think overtime will be needed.  I think Winnipeg will be strong and win 4-2.

 

Predators’ Win, $100-Million Dollar Man, and more…

No Friday Flashback post today.  Instead I have a few sports-related rants and observations to share with you.  Yes,  I have a blog and I intend to use it.

The Nashville Predators beat the Winnipeg Jets last night to even their Western Conference Semifinal series at 2-2.  Yes, Pekka Rinne was in goal and played better than he has in recent games.  I still would have started Juuse Saros and I’m not so sure I can be very confident about Rinne even with last night’s win.  I also applaud the move to put Scott Hartnell in the game.  He’s a veteran player and definitely added the physicality to counter Winnipeg’s Dustin Byfuglien.  I really was tired of hearing the endless comments from NBC’s AJ about how big and strong Byfuglien is.  I’m also glad that Patrik Laine FINALLY scored a goal so now the NBC commentators will shut up about it.  Enough already about how many games he had gone without scoring.  The young, goat-bearded wonder has scored now, let’s move on.

The Atlanta Falcons have agreed to terms with quarterback Matt Ryan on a five-year, $150 million contract with $100 million guaranteed.  Are you kidding me?  Why?  Yeah, I know they call him “Matty Ice” (which is detest) but has he won any Super Bowls?  I won’t deny that Ryan is good but I wouldn’t necessary say his consistent.  Speaking of highest paid quarterbacks in the NFL, when I asked Siri about it you won’t believe the top five:  Kirk Cousins (seriously??), Jimmy Garoppolo, Matthew Stafford, Derek Carr and Drew Brees.  What are owners and general managers paying all this money for?

Nashville’s Metro Council is set to vote on proposal to move our Major League Soccer (MLS) stadium which was originally supposed to be built on the Fairgrounds near downtown.   There is some consternation about the location.  A Nashville MLS spokesman fears that failure to support the site will cost Nashville its proposed MLS expansion which was awarded in December.  It’s a bit crazy to me that they can do this much work for a soccer stadium but they can’t come up with a plan to fix the traffic mess.  They will eventually approve and build a soccer stadium but it will be a mess trying to get there.

President Trump is going to appoint Bill Belichick to his sports council.  Yet another reason to dislike both.  Was deflate-gate not enough?

Georgia football coach Kirby Smart got a new 7-year , $49 million dollar deal from Georgia.  I’m a bit on the fence about this one.  At least Smart got the Bulldogs to the National Championship game right?  The Southeastern Conference is brutal.  It will be very difficult to repeat the success from last season.  Smart becomes the fifth highest paid coach in the big-time college football division.

Someone recently told me they would like the Kentucky Derby more if not for the horses.  They prefer all the hoopla (i.e. fancy hats, mint juleps) to the actual horse race.  You would hope they treat those awesome animals well and don’t abuse them.  Sorry, I’m not a fan.  It’s a horse race.

Who is Josh Rosen and why is he stirring up junk?  His feelings are hurt that he fell to 10th in the recent NFL draft before the Arizona Cardinals traded up to select him.  Really?  What exactly did he do in college football?  Well, he’s with the Cardinals.  It won’t matter much anyway.

I’m still disappointed that Georgia Running Back Nick Chubb got snagged by the Cleveland Browns.  I was hoping the Tennessee Titans would get him.  Poor Chubb.

In case you’re following the NBA playoffs, the Cleveland Cavaliers defeated the Toronto Raptors 128-110 last night to take a 2-0 lead in their series.  Toronto is the #1 seed in the East but looks like they are fading fast.  To be honest, I haven’t been interested in the NBA playoffs since Michael Jordan, Larry Bird and Magic Johnson retired.

I really wish the Washington Redskins would change their stupid name.

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Is It Finally Time to “Turn off the lights” on Monday Night Football?

 

The best reason that John Gruden has returned to coaching again is that he won’t be on Monday Night Football anymore.  Have you heard that the new announcers will be Joe Tessitore and former Dallas Cowboys’ Tight End Jason Witten?  I know who Jason Witten is but I have to admit that I had to click on Joe Tessitore’s name link to refresh my memory on who he is.  We have come a LONG way from the days of Howard Cosell, Frank Gifford and Don Meredith.  Frankly (no pun intended), I think they should finally put an end to Monday Night Football.  Turn out the lights and let the party be over.

Yesterday my wife gave me a Savannah Bananas shirt from the Coastal Plains League team.  It will go along with the Macon Bacon shirt I ordered a few weeks ago.  I think the Portland (Oregon) Pickles and Montgomery (Alabama) Biscuits will be next on my list.

Have The Predators Lost Their Mojo?

Predators_JetsIt did not surprise me when the Winnipeg Jets rallied from an early 3-0 deficit to the Nashville Predators last night in Game #3 of the Western Conference Semifinals.  I sat there without any reaction when the Jets had a 3-goal barrage in a short span in the second period.  It was the most goals the Predators have ever allowed so quickly in a postseason game.

The Predators have lost their mojo.

The scary thing is that if they don’t do something to fix it, they could be done by the end of the week.  The team that has that mojo seems to be Winnipeg.  Even their fans seem louder and a lot like the city of Nashville was a year ago when the Predators stunned everyone in the hockey world by making it to the Stanley Cup final.

Defensive breakdowns in their own zone seem to be a common theme to the meltdowns that the Predators have during the course of the game.  I also hate to say this but I think two of the biggest problems are P.K. Subban and Pekka Rinne.  How they are both in the running for league awards are not very evident in the playoffs.  Subban is notoriously for giving up the puck in his own end and trying to do things flashy instead of smart.  He will continuously flick the  puck behind him without knowing if anyone is there or not.  It is very scary when he is handling the puck.  As for Rinne, he is simply not on his game.  When he isn’t, he is very shaky.  I like the guy and I WANT him to do well but at this stage of the playoffs he isn’t very solid.  He is not a brick wall that the Predators desperately need.

Last night was an embarrassment and it should make the team mad and come out with some fire in the next game.  The Predators also have a problem dealing with the size of Winnipeg.  They are getting knocked around.  They need to push back.  One player that could put some physical play in the Predators’ game is Scott Hartnell.  He has surprisingly been left out of the mix.  Hartnell is a veteran who can create opportunities with his physical play.  He needs to be in there.

The Predators need to make some drastic moves to change things up.  I would start Juuse Saros in goal.  How much worse could he make than having Rinne in there already?  Saros has been outstanding and I think these are moments when someone can step up and regain the mojo.  Saros could be part of the answer.

Another change I would make would be to insert Eeli Tolvanen into the lineup.  Yes, I know he hasn’t played much and he’s a young guy but he has played in the Olympics and might surprise us if given an opportunity.  I know it would be a huge gamble but at this point I think you need to see if the magic can be there.  It isn’t as far-fetched as you might think.

The Predators desperately need a win on Thursday night to avoid going down 3-1 in the series coming back home.  At this point, the Predators do not look like the best team in the National Hockey League (NHL).  They aren’t even playing like the Predators’ team from last season’s incredible run in the playoffs.  The Jets are way too explosive and the Predators need to take charge and quick.

I have watched many Stanley Cup playoffs over the years and based on what I see now, the Predators won’t win another game in the series and will play their last game on Saturday.  After winning in double-overtime in Game 2 on Sunday I had predicted the series would go seven games.  After last night, I think it’s over.  I don’t see the same Predators’ team I have watched in the regular season.  It is very frustrating to watch the Predators.  They never make it easy – even when they have a 3-0 lead.

Anything can happen and the Predators’ have bounced back from these meltdown losses in the past but I think this time will be different.  This loss may be a fatal blow to their hopes to win the cup.