Tag: Barry Trotz

Blake Geoffrion in Nashville Update

Blake Geoffrion was a healthy scratch for the first time in his brief NHL career last night against the San Jose Sharks.

I am not sure what exactly that means for Geoffrion’s time in the Music City, but in this case I believe it had to do more with Nashville’s opponent San Jose (one of the NHL’s fastest teams) than coach Barry Trotz tweaking with his lineup.

In five games of action so far in Nashville, Geoffrion has two goals, while playing an average of 7:58 of icetime.  Geoffrion’s first goal came off of a feed from fellow ex-Badger Ryan Suter.  Two nights later Geoffrion scored his team’s game winner in a 3-0 victory over the Western Conference’s top team, Vancouver.

“Its been a dream come true playing in the National Hockey League,” Geoffrion said. “Now that I’m here my new goal is to try to stay here as long as I can, whether that’s 10 games or 10 years.”

For more on Geoffrion’s time in Nashville, check out my feature on Madison.com, which includes the stories of other former and current UW players that were moved around the trade deadline.

Later this week I will also have a feature on Milwaukeeadmirals.com on the stories of former Admirals who are now enjoying successful careers in the National Hockey League, including Suter, Shea Weber, Colin Wilson and Sheldon Brookbank of the Anaheim Ducks.

Klasen Reassigned…Again

Looks like more tough love from the Nashville Predators for Linus Klasen.

Just an hour after I ranted about how Klasen should have played in southern California instead of Wade Belak, the Admirals goal scoring spark plug got a return trip to Wisconsin.

When I interviewed Klasen after the Predators morning skate on Wednesday, he seemed to know this move was inevitable.  More seasoning in the AHL is what Barry Trotz and Nashville are calling for as the Predators top scorers slowly return to the line up.

Klasen did get an average of nearly 13 minutes of ice time in the three games he appeared in for the Predators, though he registered no points.

On the bright side, this is a nice perk for those of us making the trek to the Bradley Center this weekend, getting to see Klasen again lace up for the Admirals.  If he dresses Saturday night, there will be an awesome match up of highly skilled, developing players, with Nazem Kadri playing for the Toronto Marlies and Klasen skating for Milwaukee.

So Roundtable, Are you excited or disappointed to see Linus Klasen back in Milwaukee?

Big League Observations from the Press Box

A short vacation/work trip to southern California to take in the Rose Bowl afforded me the chance to spectate the Milwaukee Admirals’ parent club, the Nashville Predators, as they competed in Anaheim one night prior to my return voyage back to frosty Wisconsin.

Here are four of my observations from the Predators 4-1 victory over the Ducks.

1) Chris Mueller fits right in with Nashville.

Though Chris Mueller finished the night with just 8:28 of playing time (the second fewest minutes of any Predators forward) he played a strong two-way game, registering two shots on goal and contributing to several sustained Nashville shifts in the offensive zone.  Though Mueller is slightly undersized by NHL standards, the work ethic he showed all year in Milwaukee was evident at the Honda Center.  In three games of NHL action through Thursday, Mueller has yet to score, but I have a feeling that will change in the near future.

2) Wade Belak over Linus Klasen?  Seriously, Why?

I have seen enough of Wade Belak’s career to really wonder why he has an NHL job in the first place.  Against Anaheim, Belak played a whole 1:55, picking up an entertaining scrap with veteran NHL goon George Parros.  Belak was in the lineup against the Ducks simply to match up against Anaheim’s size, but everyone else seemed to be doing just fine, including the 5’10” Mueller.  Instead of Belak, I wanted to watch Linus Klasen skate alongside Mueller to give Nashville another potential scoring option.

With a back-to-back game in Los Angeles on Thursday, I certainly would have plugged Klasen into the lineup against the more up-tempo Kings.  Belak was a complete non-factor, getting less than four minutes of ice time in this game.  I have to think that Klasen would have made a more positive impression than Belak, especially as a player hungry to get into the line up.  Still, Nashville dominated for a 5-2 come from behind win.

3) Jerred Smithson and Nick Spaling made big impressions.

Jerred Smithson might not be the most exciting player on the Predators, but the former Admiral plays with a ton of heart.  Smithson worked his tail off the whole game, and got rewarded with fluky goal that only he knew was in.  Playing on the same line as Smithson, Nick Spaling played what I thought was his best game so far with Nashville.  He logged over 17 minutes of ice time, assisted on Smithson’s goal and was all over the place on the Predators relentless forecheck.

4) Sheldon Brookbank is stuck as the odd man out in Anaheim.

The remembrance of Brian Burke’s general manager days in Anaheim remains obvious in the team’s defensive corps.  Despite losing Chris Pronger and Scott Niedermayer over the past two years, there are few precious open slots on the Ducks blueline.  With all eight rostered defensemen currently healthy, former Admiral Sheldon Brookbank is finding a hard time getting into the line up, much like fellow veteran Paul Mara.  From watching him during the pregame skate, Brookbank looked like he was itching to get back to competing rather than spectating.