One of the benefits of blogging is the ability to go off topic every now and again, I feel the need for this after I heard the news of Dick Clark’s passing at the age of 82.
In some respects, Dick Clark was the driver of the soundtrack of my early years. I was born a few short years after the premier of American Bandstand, a show that was a tradition in my house, growing up in the Delaware Valley. Philadelphia being such a hotbed for music was a natural choice for a show like this and there was a sense of pride in the area, knowing the show originated in our home town, even after the show moved to Hollywood.
American Bandstand was destination viewing. I don’t remember the daily show (the show moved to Saturday’s only when I was just 3 years old) but I do remember making sure I was parked in front of the TV on Saturday afternoons, much to the chagrin of my mother. I just had to find out… Who was hot? What would the Rate-A-Record be? What were the new dances?
In those days, American Bandstand played everything… literally, it was MTV before MTV stopped playing music. I can remember seeing David Bowie, Pink Floyd, The Jackson Five, Ike and Tina Turner, Stevie Wonder, the Chi-Lites, Jim Croce, The Beach Boys, The Bay City Rollers, KC and the Sunshine Band… just a few of the memories that are flooding back at a time like this.
My favorite AB segment had to be Rate A Record… the genesis of the great phrase “it’s got a good beat and you can dance to it… I’ll give it an 85!”
Then Dick Clark went and changed New Year's Eve to New Year's Rockin' Eve... finally, as I became a teenager... I didn't have to watch Guy Lombardo with my parents. Sure the performances were taped way in advance… who cared? It was a way to ring in the New Year for us!!!
Dick Clark’s creations are all over the American music and pop culture landscape. The game show Pyramid, Bloopers and Practical Jokes, American Dreams, all part of the contributions of Dick Clark.
The stroke he suffered made it a bit painful to watch him over the last few New Year’s Rockin’ Eves… but in retrospect, I’m glad he kept pushing on… while we didn’t know that the countdown to 2012 would be his last, I am certainly glad that I rang in the new year with Dick Clark one last time and I know that December 31st 2012 in Times Square will much different this year without him doing the countdown.
Rest in Peace Dick… thanks for all you did to bring rock and roll to the masses. Thoughts and prayers to his wife of 35 years Kari and his three children… truly the end of an era.
Yesterday was an off day for the Predators and Red Wings, a chance to rest a bit, sooth some bumps and bruises before hitting the ice this morning for practice. In the media availability the players and the head coach all talked about opportunity and improvement.
It is obvious that the Predators understand the job ahead of them. It is often said that winning the fourth game of a best of seven is harder than the first three combined. Considering that the point could be made that Nashville’s best played game was game two, their only loss in the series, improvements are most definitely needed if the Predators hope to close this series out tomorrow night.
What improvements? Let’s take a look…
Defensively the Predators don’t necessarily have to limit Detroit’s shots, they were very successful in the first three games in keeping the Red Wings on the perimeter for the majority of their shots, quality scoring chances really increased for Detroit in game four, when Pekka Rinne really made his presence felt. Keeping the Wings to the perimeter needs to happen.
Offensively it is a familiar story, shoot more and finish better. The Predators offense is an opportunistic beast, as clearly shown in the second half of game four. Two big defensive mis-queues led to two huge Predator goals and the win with the team finally showing some finish. This will need to happen in game five if the Preds don’t want to go back to Detroit for the weekend.
Even though no one will admit it, this is clearly a frustrated Detroit team and you don’t have to look any further than last night in Philadelphia to see what happens when a frustrated team decides to make things better. The Red Wings will be a very dangerous opponent and will not just roll over at Bridgestone Arena tomorrow night. It should be an electric atmosphere on Broadway…
NYR vs. OTT – Series tied 2-2 – Next game is Saturday
BOS vs. WSH – Bruins lead 2-1 – Next game is tonight
FLA vs. NJD – Panthers lead 2-1 – Next game is tonight
PIT vs. PHI – Flyers lead 3-1 – Next Game is Friday
VAN vs. LAK – Kings lead 3-1 – Next game is Sunday
STL vs. SJS – Blues lead 2-1 – Next game is tonight
PHX vs. CHI – Coyotes lead 2-1 – Next game is tonight
NSH vs. DET – Predators lead 3-1 – Next game is Friday
Closeout Opportunities Tonight
- Stat to give Pred Nation more heart – The Red Wings are 7-12 in Game Fives when trailing a series 3-1... and they are 1-9 on the road in these games.
-Stat to give Pred Nation heartburn – Detroit has rallied from 3-1 deficits twice, in 1991 and 1987, two years ago they rallied to force a game seven before ultimately losing to San Jose.
- Very funny inconsistency in today’s “Malik Report” on Kukla’s Korner. Mr. Malik rails on the results of a Polldaddy.com poll that was survey which team has the best fans… Detroit won by a 52% - 48% count which he derides by asking “Are you kidding me?” Scroll down a little and you see Mr Malik plead with Red Wing fans to “match Predators fans’ dedication by meeting Red Bird III at Metro Airport” should the Red Wings lose the series… no further comment required…
- I’ll be curious to see if Hal Gill participates in the entire practice this morning… could be an indicator for tomorrow night.
- Two elimination chances last night… neither happened as the Pittsburgh Penguins finally showed up in their series, laying a 10-3 beatdown on the Flyers in front of their home crowd. Series goes back to Pittsburgh for Friday’s game five.
- The Vancouver Canucks were welcomed to the party as well last night, delivering a 3-1 victory and pushing their series back to Vancouver for Sunday’s game five as well. The Sedin twins were reunited, and obviously it felt so good.
- Wow… Kyle Turris beat Henrik Lundqvist like a rented goalie last night, scoring the game winner on a nasty wrister that beat the Rangers goalie high glove… and in Ottawa there was much rejoicing. The series is tied at 2 and heading back to New York.
- Brian Burke is causing more controversy in his support of Brendan Shanahan’s decisions during the playoffs. The agenda driven media is feeding on him like jackals… I appreciate his unabashed way of sharing his opinion, like it or not.
You are invited to follow me on Twitter. Search for @PredPAPaul… Not only will I be updating when I get news or updates, but we are having a bit of fun by getting your input on Gnash introductions, weigh in on Twitter and who knows, we may use your introduction for the best mascot in the NHL at the next Preds game!
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On the next SlapShot Radio
The podcast for last night’s show is posted. Our guests included Jeff Marek from Sportsnet, Dr. Art Caplin, Professor of Medical Ethics at the University of Pennsylvania and an in depth preview of Game Five of the Predators / Red Wings series with Red Wings radio analyst Paul Woods.
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