The organizers of this tournament had to be unhappy after the first night
of action. A bench clearing brawl initiated by Ty Jones gave the tournament
a black eye and had to hope for better results during Tuesday night’s games.
Unfortuantly, it went from fight night to blowouts. The Detroit Red Wings
and Chicago Blackhawks were blown right out of the Grand Traverse Bay area
and ended up somewhere across Lake Michigan. Or at least it seemed that
way. If you liked watching teams self-destruct, this was your night.
GAME 3 – Detroit VS. Nashville
On paper, this game looks even. Both teams have a marquee prospect in
Brian Finley and Jiri Fischer. Each lack much depth at forward. But on the
ice it was a much a different story. While the Wings didnt play awful, the
defense rested in stretches. The Predators took the lead 10 seconds into
the game and never looked back, beating the Red Wings 6-3.
The Predators scored three goals in the first and again in the second
period and that was more than enough. The Predators had no real star on
this night but they did have a solid defensive game. Ed Hill, Brett Angel,
and Kent Sauer all had strong defensive efforts. Sauer also added two
assists. Martin Bartek added a goal and an assist leading the offense.
Konstantin Panov also had a strong night, scoring a goal and having several Read more»
GAME 1 – Detroit VS. Chicago
The rivalry between these two teams was renewed on Monday night. The game
ended up with 32 penalties and numerous brawls. Even with all the penalties,
the game still ended up deadlocked at a 3-3 tie. Jack McCracken steered away
33 shots while Jonathan Pelletier stopped 30. Chicago held a 3-1 lead in the
third only to see the lead go away when Brent Hobday scored and just over a
minute later, Anton Borodkin tied it. Detroit prospect Ryan Barnes got
plenty of shots in the form of physical play but also added an assist on the
scoresheet. Yuri Butsayev and Borodkin had a goal and an assist playing on
a line together for Detroit. Highly touted prospect Jiri Fischer played a
decent game and ended up a +1 for the night. Ryan Gaucher also played solid
for the Wings.
Chicago’s Mark Bell lived up to his billing by notching a goal in the
first. Rob Mara, coming back from injuries, had a strong game, with good
overall play and adding two assists. Kyle Calder also had an impressive
night as he notched a goal and an assist. As expected, Ty Jones also played
a physical game joining Barnes. Next up for Detroit will be Nashville,
while Chicago will take on St. Louis.
Det - Butsayev, 1 (Borodkin,Barnes) 9:00
Chi - Bell, 1 (Couture,Mara) 15:00
Chi - Griffin, 1 (Calder,Mara) 10:27
3rd Period- Read more»
After winning its arbitration case with Denny Lambert earlier this month, Nashville opted to avoid any morale problems with the veteran forward by trading him to the Atlanta Thrashers for 23 year-old prospect Randy Robitaille. Lambert sought a one-year deal worth $700,000, but was awarded only $465,000 by an arbitrator. The disparity between Lambert’s asking price and the final value of the contract was a definite factor in general manager Dave Poile’s decision to make the trade. But the deal was also an effort to address Nashville’s need for scoring.
Robitaille has proven that he can score at the professional level, compiling 43 goals and 103 assists during the past two seasons with Providence of the American Hockey League. He was originally signed as a free agent by the Boston Bruins in the spring of 1997, after completing his sophomore year at Miami University in Ohio. Robitaille earned CCHA All-Rookie honors during his freshman year, when he posted 14 goals, 31 assists and 45 points in 36 games. As a sophomore, he increased his output to 27 goals, 34 assists and 61 points in 39 games. His performance earned him CCHA All-Star first team honors and selection to the NCAA All-American West first team.
The Nashville Predators have a nice dilemma as training camp approaches — oo many defensemen battling for too few roster spots.
The Preds were unsuccessful in their efforts to bring Lance Pitlick to Nashville but it will hardly have a major effect on them. While they are still considering going after another free agent defenseman, the Predators have the luxury of having a system of defensemen waiting in the wings. Smart trades by General Manager David Poile and good drafts allowed Nashville to immediately become deep at defense. The Preds think enough of their young defensemen to allow veterans John Slaney, Jamie Heward and Rob Zettler to all move on.
The Preds should have one space open or perhaps two for the baby Preds. Six players are expected to challenge for the spot. Here’s a snapshot at each player and their odds of making the team:
Craig Millar- He’s technically not a prospect but he might as well be. He had problems staying up with Edmonton and the deep Nashville system wont make it any easier for him this time around. The Preds like his solid style of play and love his size. Still young and developing and has the best chance to join Kimmo Timonen as the young guns of the Preds defense corps. The seventh defenseman spot is his to lose.
When Nashville Predators conditioning camp opens this week, all eyes will be on one particular player. David Legwand. Legwand is expected to make a splash in training camp and make the big jump to the next level from the OHL.
Legwand’s numbers signifcantly dropped in 98-99 after an MVP rookie season with the Plymouth Whalers. Some nights he was totally invisible on the ice. He looked more Sergei Fedorov or Alexander Mogilny skating the ice and not knowing what to do with the great skills he possesses unlike the Mike Modano he is usually compared to. Many point to his work on two way play to improve defensively as a reason his numbers dropped. His numbers were still solid, but for Legwand, a major disappointment. Others point to a case of mono he contracted during Predators training camp as a reason for the drop off and he was struggling to recover from the illness. His performance at the World Championship competitions also caused the critics to stand up and rise. He did not stir anything up for Team USA causing some to believe if he is the real deal.
When Legwand’s Whalers got bounced from the OHL playoffs, the Preds immediately signed him, in order to get Legwand into an NHL game. Legwand’s dream had come true. In the final game of the season against New Jersey, he made his first appearance at the Nashville Arena. The Preds were happy with his performance. He didnt make any serious mistakes and took it easy but General Manager David Poile and Head Coach Barry Trotz knew immediately something was missing from Legwand’s game. Size.