Preds Down With the Diving?
With a commanding 6-3 win over the Nashville Predators last night, the Anaheim Ducks tied up the series at two games a piece. Not only does Anaheim’s win secure two more games in the quarterfinal series, but it also gives every able bodied fan in attendance or watching from a distance the opportunity to see that the Preds are down with the diving.
Go ahead and call me a homer from SoCal. I dare you. No, I double dog dare anyone from the legion who goes by the call sign “Smashville” or anyone else who supports them to step forth and try to call me out.
But before you get all huffy and puffy, lets clear the air. I’m not the homer you’d love to try and make me out to be. Actually, I loathe the Dodgers and Lakers. I’m not down with AEG (majority owner of the Kings) and the megalopolis their turning downtown Los Angeles into. I love the Anaheim Angels, but I’m not sold on Arte Moreno and the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. As far as I’m concerned, the Clippers should free Blake Griffin and implode...and no thanks, I don’t want another NBA franchise jumping into the SoCal sports pool.
Now, do I dislike the Predators or favor the Ducks? No and no. Do I dislike this diving issue that has become a little more than mere coincidence? Absolutely.
Kudos to Anaheim GM Bob Murray for speaking up and sticking to his guns. And hats off to the rest of the team for standing together on the issue and calling a spade and spade. The last thing you want to do is call your opponent a cheater or accuse them of playing with any less decency. But the fact of the matter is, a trend has emerged in this series and its pretty obvious.
You know, I was only partially sold on the idea earlier this week after Jerred Smithson’s Oscar worthy dive trying to sell a high stick to the grill by Brad Winchester. But as these tactics have continued and especially after Smithson was up to his antics again last night, it only proved what the Ducks are claiming has some teeth.
It’s a pretty sad tactic the Predators are using. Its going to be a bigger embarrassment to their franchise and the league if it ensues the length of the series and proves to be the sole difference maker. However, I really believe all the flopping won’t make a difference in the long run.
So Mr. Murray, here’s some advice. If a small percentage of the Nashville players believe this sort of embellishment falls under the category of “by any means necessary,” let them embarrass themselves and the organization.
This is why:
-- Nashville is only 5 for 21 on the powerplay or 23.8% successful with the man advantage
-- Nashville has almost three times as many goals at even strength then they do on the poweplay
-- The Ducks have only been given the gate 55 percent of the time, not 70 or 80 percent of the time
-- Penalties levied against the Ducks have declined as the series has continued on
-- Be mad at the league and the refs; bad calls are the result of poor officiating not bad acting
-- Shane O’Brien alone should give your club enough chances to win games
That’s what I’m working with. Think otherwise?
Hit me up on twitter via @jeffdahlia or shoot me email at email@example.com
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