The offside review has reared its’ ugly head again and for Pred Nation, there is more than a little irony in an offside call going against the Colorado Avalanche.
Halfway through the second period in last night’s deciding game seven between the Av’s and Sharks, Playoff Colin Wilson made his annual appearance, looking like he tied the game at 2. Then the delay… then the review called for by Sharks video coach Dan Darrow. Confusion reigned for a minute or two until the offending play was identified. Av’s captain Gabriel Landeskog, away from the play, going off for a change… was offside.
Sharks fans were thrilled, Av’s fans were pissed… and of course, the old story played out. Colorado sagged, San Jose took advantage (sound familiar?) and scored about five minutes later, putting the Sharks up by two and effectively sealing the game… and now flapping jaws of the hockey media are cranking up saying that it’s time to get rid of the offside review. Ignore them… if a play is offside, it is offside… it doesn’t matter if it wasn’t impactful to the play or is subject to the judgement of “intent.”
Full credit to Landeskog, in his post-game presser he took the blame for what happened calling it a “clumsy mistake.” Good on ya captain… instead of whining, Landeskog was the leader of that team and set a tone of accountability.
You have to wonder when the hockey gods are going to turn on San Jose. That is two game sevens in a row where a call has gone their way that they have taken full advantage. So… let’s talk predictions for who makes it through to play for the Cup.
Boston vs. Carolina – On paper, this is a blowout waiting to happen, but when you look deeper… Boston may need to take the Cinderella Hurricanes very seriously. Sebastian Aho has scorched this Bruins team over the last few seasons and frankly… the Hurricanes sport a better blueline. I see the special teams match up is even, Carolina has a stout penalty kill that Boston will struggle to score against. The difference maker in this series could be the goaltending. Tuukka Rask has been amazing in these playoffs for the Bruins and Carolina’s situation in net is up in the air. Petr Mrazek has done yeoman’s work and after he went down, journeyman Curtis McElhinney has been downright fantastic in his relief role. This is a series where my heart and my head are in conflict… but I am going with my heart… the Bunch of Front-Running Jerks in six.
San Jose vs. St. Louis – A rematch of the 2016 Western Conference Final, this one will be a grinding, physical war of a series as both teams play a similar style of hockey. Both teams went deep in their playoff series this season so far, St. Louis has played 13 playoff games, San Jose has played 14. The much maligned Martin Jones has been excellent overall for San Jose and the Sharks have supported their netminder well. The Blues’ rookie sensation Jordan Binnington has been simply amazing and is the reason St. Louis even made the playoffs after being in last place at the start of 2019. The turnaround story is one legends are made of. The Blues have gotten contributions across the board, seemingly coming up with a new hero every game. This series will go seven and I believe that San Jose’s good fortune hasn’t run out yet. Sharks in seven.
I will be getting to the forward on my Preds review in my next blog.
The Playoff Status
The Eastern Conference
(2) Boston vs. (WC2) Columbus – BOS wins 4-2 – Next up – Eastern Conference Final
(2) NY Islanders vs. (WC1) Carolina – CAR wins 4-0 – Next up – Eastern Conference Final
The Western Conference
(2) San Jose vs. (WC2) Colorado – SJS wins 4-3 – Next up – Western Conference Final
(3) St. Louis vs. (WC1) Dallas – STL wins 4-3 – Next up – Western Conference Final
The Eastern Conference Final
(2) Boston vs (WC1) Carolina – Game 1 – Tonight – 7pm - NBCSN
The Western Conference Final
(2) San Jose vs. (3) St. Louis – Game 1 – Saturday – 7pm – NBC
ICYMI – Here is last night’s SlapShot Radio.
- Meetings – The annual scouting meetings are taking place at 501 Broadway, Preds AGM Jeff Kealty and Chief Amateur Scout Tom Nolan addressed the media yesterday… recordings of the availability are on nashvillepredators.com
- Restocking – The Predators have seven picks in the upcoming draft… a chance to get the prospect pool restocked.
- Willis Reed Moment? – The return of Joe Pavelski last night really sparked the Sharks, helping them jump out to a two goal lead in the first 12 minutes of last night’s game 7. The Sharks captain had a goal and an assist.
- Changes – Ken Holland is getting right to work in Edmonton, Ken Hitchcock is out as Oiler’s head coach.
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