Nashville Dreams, Nightmare Head Checks

From the NY Times Slap Shot blog:

The Rodney Dangerfield of the N.H.L, the Nashville Predators, are the
only club unbeaten in regulation this season. They’ve earned 13 of a
possible 16 points with five wins and three overtime losses, good enough
to be first overall in the league.

They are never discussed as one of the better teams in hockey,
because they have no playoff success. But almost annually, Nashville
sneaks up on everyone and puts a scare in their post-season opponents.
In two of the last three seasons, the team that knocked them out in the
first round went on to win the Stanley Cup, but not without some
anxious moments

It is early and the Western Conference is strong, but imagining a
Predators playoff run this year is no wild dream.

The difference this season is their strong start. Last season, after
eight games, they had only won once in regulation and lost six straight.

This weekend, their two road wins came without their best all-around
defenseman, Ryan Suter, and against two of the league’s early surprise
teams. They shut out Dallas, 1-0, with goalie Pekka Rinne stopping all
30 shots he faced. Then, following a flight that didn’t land until 3
a.m., they polished off Tampa Bay, 4-3, behind rookie goalie Anders
Lindback, who turned aside 42 Lightning shots.

Lindback is 6-foot-6 and Rinne is listed as 6-foot-5. That’s
literally standing tall in goal. Play-by-play man Pete Weber remarked
during the post-game wrap from Tampa (video)
that the Predators have “almost 13 feet of goaltender” this season.
It’s no joke that these two have combined for a .939 save percentage,
second in the league to Boston’s .946 (which is all thanks to Tim
Thomas’s great start).

Continue reading “The Morning Skate: Nashville Dreams, Nightmare Head Checks.” >>


  1. Aerobiz says:

    Now these are important stats!

    I’m surprised to see Hackel beating out Hicky, but Boone is clearly dominating. Contract year? 😉

  2. punkster says:

    B-b-b-Bad to the Bone.

  3. fbkj says:

    hickey is slackin… no doubt

  4. pmaraw says:

    good thing he didnt add the “r” like you did lol

  5. SmartDog says:

    Two PAWS UP!

    Good to have something a little different on here than just our own home cooking.  No offense to our enjoyable and skilled hosts. 🙂

    Listen to the SmartDog. He knows his poop!

  6. HardHabits says:

    You dare compare Stu Hackel, a New York Times reporter and former director of communications for the NHL, to Bugs, an anonymous blogger that only reports the secret bunny’s own far fetched fantastical musings. Get real dude. This is the Internets. Bugs is Mozart to Stu’s Salieri. Yeah Stu’s a big shot today but in 100 years it’ll be Bugs’ blog that’ll be considered fact not fiction.

  7. punkster says:

    Milk Bone?

  8. pmaraw says:

    even smart dogs have 1 track minds eh

  9. punkster says:

    Ain’t nobody gonna beat the Booner.

  10. pmaraw says:

    yes, it was montreal 😀

  11. SmartDog says:

    And the winner is: Mike BONE!!!

    But I think it has a little to do with the topic, don’t you?


    Listen to the SmartDog. He knows his poop!

  12. fbkj says:

    nothing wrong with keeping an eye on the other teams

    if we wanted to visit a hacks website that only focuses on the habs, poorly, with a terrible and amateurish tone that has “a 3 year old designed this” feel to it, wed look to your sig bugs


  13. HardHabits says:

    HIO stats for Oct 26, 2010 at 10:13 P.M.

    Stu Hackel 86 comments
    Dave Stubbs 89 comments
    Pat Hickey 35 comments
    Mike Boone 288 comments

  14. punkster says:

    You’re too quick for me.

  15. Exit716 says:

    Let’s see. New York Times reporter, former director of communications for the NHL. Yeah, he’s just some hack with access to a computer. I’ve followed his blog for a few years before he was recruited to contribute to this site.

    I find his blog very insightful.

  16. Bugs says:

    All Kovy needs to do now is drop’em and it’s the Gordie Howe!

    Decadently yours, I recline as

    L.Bugs Potter, esq. Minority Owner of the Habbalicious Bubble-Gum Emporium, Proprietor of the Flanneltop Pop Shop, and Beaming Tenant in Mama’s Basement, i.e., Habsbros Central:

  17. habaddict_andy says:

    How many vacation days does this guy have?

    Scott Gomez to Montreal Media “You’re a pain in the neck, but you’re our pain in the neck.”

  18. Bugs says:

    Maybe Stu can pass a petition around to get this site’s name changed to insteada subjectin us to data we never asked for.

    If I wanna hear about Nasherville, I reckon THEIR reporters would know more about the subject than Stu does and THAT’S where I’d go to get it. Not even a word on Frankie B or K Junior, I mean…what the hell?

    Stu, honestly, what good are you? What do you bring us that a copy/pasted google search won’t? And remember: “not mentioning the leafs anymore” ain’t much of a positive; that ship has sailed. You gotta spin your stories in a manner that affect the Habs, Stu, otherwise… I mean, how the heck did you GET this job? Someone actually went up to you and said “Hey, you would be great on HIO; they really like hearing about the leafs and Predators over there.”???

    Decadently yours, I recline as

    L.Bugs Potter, esq. Minority Owner of the Habbalicious Bubble-Gum Emporium, Proprietor of the Flanneltop Pop Shop, and Beaming Tenant in Mama’s Basement, i.e., Habsbros Central:

  19. showey47 says:

    I agree,i don’t know how putting pyatt or darche is going to produce offense with gomez and gionta. Putting a guy with no offensive skill with those 2 just allows the other team to focus more on gionta since everybody knows gomez rarely shoots.

  20. TomNickle says:

    I honestly don’t know the answer to that one.  I’m going to assume it was us.

  21. SeriousFan09 says:

    Wow, over his quota no less. Now he can take 14 more games off before having to play again.


    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu.

  22. joeybarrie says:

    Kovalev scores two goals in his first game of the season back from vacation.

    There may be other teams, but only ONE Club De Hockey…

  23. habaddict_andy says:

    Break up the only line that’s working. The only reason I see us doing that for is to tone down a notch because were doing too well.

    Scott Gomez to Montreal Media “You’re a pain in the neck, but you’re our pain in the neck.”

  24. Bugs says:

    Don’t look now but the Artiste has double our captain’s goals.

    What?! What’d I say? Don’t be glarin at me like that, y’all.

    Just sayin…

    Decadently yours, I recline as

    L.Bugs Potter, esq. Minority Owner of the Habbalicious Bubble-Gum Emporium, Proprietor of the Flanneltop Pop Shop, and Beaming Tenant in Mama’s Basement, i.e., Habsbros Central:

  25. JD_ says:

    Loaf fans. Sigh.

    Get yer “Woulda. Coulda. Shoulda.” t-shirts here, that’s right, “Woulda. Coulda. Shoulda.”!!

  26. SmartDog says:

    I wouldn’t take Kos away from Pleks.  Maybe they could double shift him though.  🙂


    Listen to the SmartDog. He knows his poop!

  27. SmartDog says:

    You are my favorite new genius.

    But seriously, that’s a better idea than putting Pyatt up there.  The Martin revolving door of 3rd and 4th line guys is foolishness.  Gee… these two guys are under-performing…. hmmm… maybe if I pull a guy out of the press box it will kick-start some REAL ACTION!!!! Yeah!!! 

    F-n dumb. Just dumb.


    Listen to the SmartDog. He knows his poop!

  28. joeybarrie says:

    Also a bad bad call. Still pisses me off.

    BUT, the ref was standing right there staring at the play where Orr had 2 skate in the Blue and just fell and tackled the goalie. How you don’t call that I don’t know. How you can be allowed to ref a game after that I have no clue.

    Smart move by Burke. KNOWS his team sucks so bad he has to pay the Refs to make sure they win… I mean I actually saw Phaneuf playing forward as well a defense.

    There may be other teams, but only ONE Club De Hockey…

  29. habaddict_andy says:

    Kovalev now has 2 goals for the season, both goals for tonights game. He decided to show up tonight.

    Scott Gomez to Montreal Media “You’re a pain in the neck, but you’re our pain in the neck.”

  30. pmaraw says:

    another good one is “what team ended the leafs 10 game win steak to start the season that year”

  31. SmartDog says:

    Heaven forbid if Burke ever decides to wear a sweater instead of a tie or change his barber.  TSN will go CRAZY.

    Listen to the SmartDog. He knows his poop!

  32. FormalWare says:

    Yes–saw it live, and was appalled! Orr was draped all over Clemmensen – no doubt, whatsoever.

    At least Kessel broke away to score another for the Leafs, such that we can at least Pretend that the ridiculous non-call did not affect the outcome of the game.

  33. TomNickle says:

    Same guy who haunted those Leafs as a Flyer.

  34. pmaraw says:

    ya i agree completely 😀  but im not a leafs fan.  but every leafs fan I know remembers 93 as the year they were screwed and would’ve won the cup.  I simply remind them who did win the cup, followed by a trivia question, what defenceman got a hat trick in a comeback win in the stanley cup finals

  35. SeriousFan09 says:

    2006 Carolina-Montreal Game 2, Justin ‘The Miserable ****’ Williams tries to take out our Captain’s eye.

    Worst. Call. Ever. Until I Die.


    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu.

  36. Bill says:

    If anything, put Kostitsyn with G-G. He’ll give them size. Give Pouliot to Pleks.

    Full Breezer 4 Life

  37. fbkj says:

    worth a shot at this point

  38. TomNickle says:

    That was the best call they ever could’ve gotten.  They were done in four straight if they got by the Kings that year.

    Imagine that humiliation.

  39. pmaraw says:

    leaf fans will tell you there was a worse non call, it involve the great one, a bad hair cut and a now former hab

  40. SeriousFan09 says:

    I thought about buying ice cream today when I was shopping, I didn’t but I could have.

    Sounds irrelevant doesn’t it? But if I was the GM Of Toronto I’d be credited with wanting to maintain my health.


    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu.

  41. pmaraw says:

    what is the maple leaf hockey league?

  42. benhab says:

    Just wondering if this might work…put Cammalleri with Gomez and Gionta to get them going and stick Pouliot with Plekanec and Kostitsyn. Plekanec has shown last year that he can make whoever he plays with look good. Once the confidence is instilled in Pouliot, switch him and Cammalleri … and viola two top, scoring lines. (of course it’s only a hypothesis could not work at all)

  43. pmaraw says:

    left his feet even lol, his 1 foot was 12 inches in the air when the puck hit it.  I noticed a distinct kicking motion as well (hehe just kidding)

  44. joeybarrie says:

    Has there ever been a worse call? Or non call???

    There may be other teams, but only ONE Club De Hockey…

  45. TomNickle says:

    Not only was that GWG for the Leafs blatant goaltender interference.

    But the official watching it go down was none other than Stephen Walkolm, your former head official for the NHL.


  46. 21BIGGionta says:

    Damn! stupid leafs.

  47. joeybarrie says:

    Kessel is fast. God I hate him.

    There may be other teams, but only ONE Club De Hockey…

  48. Captain aHab says:

    He didn’t just knock him down, he actually let himself fall on him.

  49. showey47 says:

    i saw it also,i can’t believe he could just skate out from the corner and knock over the goalie while the other player shoots the puck in the net and the ref standing 5 feet away allows it. Then sportsnet makes a zillion excuses about breaks and how they even out in the end. Yes sportsnet,that is exactly what you would also say if the panthers scored the same way to give the opposition a lead with 5 minutes left.

  50. Captain aHab says:

    Actually, their supervisors will be providing them with bonuses from the Maple Leaf Hockey League….that was ridiculous.

    Florida should get an official apology from the league.

  51. JD_ says:

    Man, did that ever come out so asskissingly sappy.

    Edit: Wait, I see you caught it already.

  52. SmartDog says:

    In TSN “NEWS” Brian Burke had a conversation with some other GM or two about some offer about someone or something, but nothing came of it.  Wow.  Just wow.

    TSN.  For CUTTING EDGE sports news.

    Listen to the SmartDog. He knows his poop!

  53. otter649 says:

    Boy did Florida get hosed by The Refs in their game with The Leafs – Colton Orr runs the goalie over in the blue paint & a goal is scored as a result. Totally unacceptable those refs will have some explaining to do to their supervisors later tonight………

  54. pmaraw says:

    wow, you’ve got to see the goal that colton orr scored tonight

  55. SmartDog says:

    Good post. 

    I don’t have a lot of time to follow other teams but I like to hear some of the interesting things going on now and then.  

    Listen to the SmartDog. He knows his poop!


  56. TomNickle says:

    I was having a good night until I saw that the Phoenix Coyotes cap payroll is over $50 million.

    That makes me sick to my stomach.

    If I were an employee of an NHL team, I would be furious.

  57. HabFanSince72 says:

    Hear hear.


  58. TomNickle says:

    Nick Kypreos on Sportsnet saying that Tyler Bozak makes up for his lack of physical play with smarts.

    I find it funny that somebody stupid enough to say that Pleks would get $7.5 million on the open market and that there was no chance he would re-sign with the Habs can even refer to somebody else’s smarts or lack of smarts with a straight face.

    When Bill Watters is the most intelligent man on the panel, it’s a brain power challenged panel.


  59. Puck Bard says:

    So who’s getting bent out of shape?

  60. adam76 says:

    Unless someone talks about Halak – then its on like donkey kong.

  61. SeriousFan09 says:

    Exactly, no idea why people are getting so bent out of shape about this.

    It’s not like we’re having less Habs content because of it, Stubbs and Boone brought in some new talent for more widespread hockey news. Hell, people seem to look forward to latest article telling us why TBL are going to be a Dynasty in a Cap Era (Chuckle) but if it’s a topic about lost personnel that doesn’t let them do the “I told you dance” they don’t want to see it.


    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu.

  62. Bill says:

    If he weren’t completely right maybe more people would jump on it.

    Full Breezer 4 Life

  63. Xtrahabsfan says:

    Kerry Frazier WAS THE BIGGEST  HAB HATING REF I ever seen….heck in day’s of old I’d swear he be financed by the Oilers , Calgary and Detroit.

    Yes he soften his stance later on,but all I see is a Cris Lee mentor and everything that’s wrong with reffing in the N.H.L. AND A big GOODBYE to Frazier….see ya wouldn’t want to be ya!

  64. lefreak says:




  65. TomNickle says:

    My opinion on Stu’s contribution is that it’s great.

    Nice to get some perspective about non-Hab things around the league and definitely nice to give a team who deserves a better fanbase, city and television deal some pub.

    As for fans who don’t want to join in on a thread that isn’t Habs related, look around you.  There’s plenty of Hab related articles on HIO that you don’t need to pay much mind to the rare non-Hab articles.

    Boone and Stubbs posted non-stop St. Louis, Kovalchuk and Lightning news throughout the summer and nobody got their knickers in a twist.  Well, not nobody, but see my point?


    Hang on.  Did he really say that Ryan Suter is the Preds best all around defenseman?  I’ll give him a mulligan.

    Maybe he’s just trying to be different.

  66. CrashTheNetCrashTheNet says:

    Wow. First I’ve heard of that. Can’t say I disagree with Poo but gotta wonder how speaking out to the media will play out for him.

    “When I was a baby I wish my first word had been “QUOTE”, then right before I die I could say “UNQUOTE” – Stephen Wright

  67. Bill says:

    I love all of the articles about other teams … except the Leafs. I get all I can handle from TSN.

    Full Breezer 4 Life

  68. joeybarrie says:

    Still there are people making comments about Disco Stu’s articles and how they are not directly tied to the current news in Habs hockey.

    There is a world beyond Montreal. Kansas City is nice. There is a cool island in Belize where you drive golf carts and not cars. There is a spot in a city in Spain called Tarifa where you can see Africa about 5 kilometers away. And there are more bars per capita in Savannah than any other city in the world (where you can get your beer to go by the way)

    Honestly how is it that if you have no interest in the post you can’t simply igonre it? I buy a newspaper and I don’t call in to the publisher and complain about the article I am not interested in…

    This is a HOCKEY website, and our hockey fans here in Montreal are said to be the most intelligent, interested and informed in the league. Yet for some crazy reason you aren’t thanking Stu for bringing us interesting information from around the league, keeping us informed.

    By the way, if your wondering what this article has to do with the Montreal Canadiens, it’s pretty obvious. Both the Predators and the Habs play in the same league and compete with each other. It’s not like Stu is writting about the hig price of wool due to the shortage of food to feed sheep in Scotland.

    Personally I welcome the addition of someone who will broaden the horizons of those who wish it, and those who don’t…………..  Well don’t click on the article then. Not hard to do…

    Thank you Stu, and to the poster who came up with Disco Stu… I LIKE IT.

    There may be other teams, but only ONE Club De Hockey…

  69. krob1000 says:


    “Maybe a little more patience would be nice,” the 24-year-old said. “We’re only eight games in, so maybe give a chance to a guy to stick with someone for at least 10 (games) in a row or something.

    “Someone’s going to click with someone, so you just got to maybe be a little more patient and let the guy have a chance. Our first line has been intact all year and after that no one knows who they’re going to play with, so it’s not easy. Any night, you could get jumped up to the second or dropped down to the fourth line, so you just have to be ready for the situation.”

    Has nobody commented on Pouliot’s comments… some guys made these comments they would get roasted on here…..he basically says that Martin needs to leave the lines together ofr ten games and give guys a chance to click…..not sayin I disagree but I just found it odd that nobody on here has gone nuts with it yet…..apologies if they have and regrets that I missed it lol

  70. nightmare_49 says:



    6. Disappointing to see the relationship between Kerry Fraser and the NHL deteriorating so badly. It went sideways in 2006, when Fraser’s refereeing son-in-law, Harry Dumas, was fired. Hopefully, time will heal the wounds, because Fraser and the league did a lot of good for each other over 30 years.

    from Elliotte Friedman’s 30 thoughts.  (WARNING: for 24Cups – This article may not contain any Habs info).


    BTW  Mr.Hackel (Nightmare Head Checks)  I have you know that i have had my head checked recently and they found nothing.

  71. lefreak says:

    if you guys don’t follow the nhl in general and teams other than the habs, it explains why so many on this site have a bad grasp of the game as a whole.

    i welcome this post, the people complaining might actually learn something new and interesting other than what kind of juice box max lapierre had beside him in the weight room today.

  72. Natrous says:

    Since Stu’s stellar post (which seems to be the trend among all of his entries) is not about the habs…

    I hear that Brian Burke has received two “solid” offers from other GMs around the league..  (

    Translation: I’ve had one satisfactory offer and want to stir up some interest league-wide to see if I can do better.

    Any bets that someone not named ‘Kaberle’ is about to be traded?

  73. Puck Bard says:

    Yes, it’s the Leafs, but that was a sweet goal by Bozak.

  74. punkster says:

    The discussion below regarding Stu’s articles appearing on HI/O is likely to draw supporters from both sides. I think it would be good to remember that this site is owned by the Gazette and run by Gazette employees and not by those of us who comment here. I sincerely doubt they arbitrarily tossed Stu onto HI/O on a whim. I find myself warming to this new direction and I look forward to HI/O trying out even more changes in the future.

    (Jeez, I didn’t mean for that to come out so asskissingly sappy…but so be it)

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