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Monday Thoughts

April 23, 2012, 12:21 PM ET [36 Comments]
Paul McCann
Nashville Predators Blogger •Predators Radio Network • RSSArchiveCONTACT
As Monday dawns, the Nashville Predators know a few things. They know that they will play either the Chicago Blackhawks or the Phoenix Coyotes. They know they can game plan now. They also know they will not play for at least a few more days.

The concern now is the age old playoff question, when does rest turn to rust? In a recurring theme of this year’s playoffs, the team is once again applying lessons learned from their experiences. All three members of the on-ice coaching staff have experience with long playoff layoffs and they are trying to appropriately mix rest days and high energy practices to avoid the letdown the Predators showed last season at the start of the second round. A letdown that could reasonably be argued, cost them the series against Vancouver.

An up-tempo practice on Sunday, another today before the team takes Tuesday off. I am sure that all of the boys will be tuned in at 8pm tonight to see if their playoff opponent will be determined as the elimination of the Vancouver Canucks last night determined that the Predators will be playing the winner of the Phoenix / Chicago series.

Practice is at Centennial Sportsplex at 11am and is open to the public.


From yesterday’s blog…

As the PA Announcer for the Nashville Predators, not only do I have a dream job, I also get to work with a great bunch of entertainment professionals that produce one of the best game experiences in the NHL. The ring leader of this bunch of crazies is a guy named Ron Zolkower. Ron has been the game producer in Nashville for the past five seasons and does an outstanding job herding this particular bunch of cats. I am also very lucky to consider him a friend.

Ron was diagnosed with diabetes at the age of 2 and has been successfully managing the disease for all of his life. We’re pretty used to seeing him adjust his insulin pump on a regular basis and calculating to balance the effects of the media meal every game night.

One of the impacts of this disease is that as you age, you lose the ability to sense when your blood sugar is losing its balance. Ron is starting to show these signs, and living alone can be a real challenge when this starts.

There is a solution to this issue, a Diabetic Alert Dog from a great organization in North Carolina called Eyes, Ears, Nose and Paws, Inc. A Diabetic Assistance Dog does the following (from the EENP Website)
Diabetic Assistance Dogs use their noses to assist individuals with diabetes by detecting fluctuating blood sugar levels and alerting their handlers to these changes, preventing hypoglycemic comas and helping diabetic individuals to better regulate blood sugar levels. Diabetic Assistance Dogs can rouse a sleeping handler or, if needed, alert another person to the medical emergency.

You can see how this could be so helpful. A dog like this is expensive… and very necessary.

Ron, reluctantly, has set up a fundraising page to help defray these costs. He set a goal that won’t even come close to handling all the costs. Those that know Ron realize that he absolutely hates asking for help here.

I’d love to blow the goal Ron set away, and get as close as we can to the real cost of this.
Click on the link… anything you can do would be a help…

Hockey fans are the best and we take care of our own. Join us, won’t you?

UPDATE - Join us? WOW! You guys truly are the best!

As I write this, the pledges are at $2,150 and rising… this is awesome. Let’s keep this going as the real cost of this is much more than the goal… or what we have raised so far.


Playoff Look

NYR vs. OTT – Senators lead 3-2 – Next game is tonight
BOS vs. WSH – Series tied 3-3 – Next game is Wednesday
FLA vs. NJD – Panthers lead 3-2 – Next game is Tuesday
PIT vs. PHI – Flyers win 4-2 – Series complete

VAN vs. LAK – Kings win 4-1 – Series complete
STL vs. SJS – Blues win 4-1 – Series Complete
PHX vs. CHI – Coyotes lead 3-2 – Next game is tonight
NSH vs. DET – Predators win 4-1 – Series complete

Closeout Opportunities Today
Every game is a potential elimination game for the rest of this round, two on tap tonight.

The Rangers and Senators drop the puck in Canada’s capital tonight at 6pm Central. One number 1 seed has already been eliminated? Does the other go down tonight? Coverage is on NBC Sports Network.

In the other matchup… the Coyotes are in Chicago trying to close out the Blackhawks and avoid a game seven back in the desert. Faceoff is at 9pm on CNBC.


Random Notes…

- Hal Gill is sounding more confident about a return to the Predators lineup. That’s good news for a penalty kill that wasn’t quite up to snuff in the Detroit series.



- Looks like the checkbook is already out in Detroit following their first round ouster at the hands of Nashville. The Red Wings have $22 million in cap space. Of course the first names to come up include Zach Parise and Ryan Suter, but remember, Suter says he wants to go to a team contending for a cup, to paraphrase Mike Babcock, a team that loses in the second round twice and the first round is not going in the right direction… just some food for thought Pred fans…

- I am wondering if Alain Vigneault will be getting the axe in Vancouver. Frankly, the coach has done an excellent job in the regular season, but his playoff record features a series of home losses along with making the Stanley Cup finals last season. It’s a tough call… I believe Vigneault to be a very good coach.

- Gee… maybe the goaltender wasn’t the problem in Vancouver… maybe the fact that they couldn’t score was a bigger contributing factor in the Canucks 4-1 series loss to LA. I bet that doesn’t stop all of the calling for Roberto Luongo’s head though…

- Now the exact opposite may be true in Pittsburgh. Marc-Andre Fleury had a terrible series against Philly.

- When Pittsburgh played like their own brand of hockey they won… I just don’t understand how they didn’t see that clearly in this series.

- Speaking of the Flyers / Penguins series, an absolutely silly Twitter war has been going on about several writers declaring Claude Giroux the best player in hockey. You have to admit… he was the better player and leader in these past six games.


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 guest list for Wednesday’s show is coming together… The Puck Daddy himself, Greg Wyshynski will join us to give his twisted take on the playoffs along with Camden Courier-Post sportswriter Kevin Callahan to preview the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals... 6pm on 102.5 the Game.

Click here to download or listen to our current or previous podcasts.


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