Ducks-Predators Preview

Anaheim’s general manager accuses the Predators of diving to

draw penalties, and Ducks coach Randy Carlyle says check the

video.

Nashville coach Barry Trotz dismisses the accusations from a

team that racked up hundreds of penalty minutes, noting his

Predators are among the NHL’s least penalized.

The Western Conference series is getting as hot off the ice as

on.

General manager Bob Murray told the Orange County Register on

Monday his Ducks would have to start diving like the Predators to

draw penalties, which he called ”ridiculous.” Carlyle said

Tuesday the Ducks need more power plays with a 16-12 edge for

Nashville skewed by Anaheim getting three in the final minutes of

Game 1.

Asked if he agrees with his boss, Carlyle had a short

answer.

”I just say the video doesn’t lie. That’s the only statement

that I’ve got,” Carlyle said.

The Ducks have been upset both with the penalty calls and their

own play in a 4-3 loss Sunday night as Nashville went up 2-1 in

this series. Game 4 is Wednesday night in Nashville, delayed a day

by a Lady Gaga concert Tuesday night at the Bridgestone Arena.

Not that the Ducks have any love for opponents this time of

year.

”We hate everybody we play in the playoffs,” Carlyle said.

Some of the Predators said after practice Tuesday that they

hadn’t seen or heard of Murray’s comments. Trotz twice said he

really had no comment while taking his own stab at the Ducks.

”I think it’s more disrespectful to the players that are

playing in the league,” Trotz said.

He defended his Predators as a team that has been disciplined

all season, not just the last couple games. The Predators ranked

fourth in the NHL in taking the fewest penalties and third in

fewest penalty minutes while Anaheim racked up 1,178 penalty

minutes for 26th in the NHL.

”In the regular season, they had 500 more penalty minutes than

we did …,” Trotz said. ”So we’ve taken a few less than

them.”

The Ducks did have three different players with more than 100

penalty minutes in Corey Perry (104), Brad Winchester (114) and

George Parros (171). Jarkko Ruutu had 97 himself. Compare that to

Nashville, and defenseman Shane O’Brien had a team-high 83 penalty

minutes during the regular season.

This series has been very physical with the tone set in the

third period of Game 1 in Anaheim with a combined 50 penalty

minutes. Anaheim had 40 of those, just a minute shy of the most

ever by a team in a period. San Jose had 41 penalty minutes on

April 13, 2007.

Parros and Sheldon Brookbank each have 14 penalty minutes with

captain Ryan Getzlaf having 7 himself. O’Brien has 10 penalty

minutes.

Trotz noted O’Brien started his career with Anaheim and that the

defenseman is working hard to avoid penalties.

”He’s done a really good job,” Trotz said. ”He’s toed the

Predator line of playing disciplined hockey, staying out of the

box. He’ll still have a moment or two where he’ll take a penalty.

For the most part, he’s 100 times better than he was three or four

years ago.”

Several of the Predators claimed not to have heard Murray’s

comments. Nashville forward Jordin Tootoo, whose physical style

prompts fans to blow a train whistle whenever he’s on the ice, said

he’ll leave calls to the officials.

”I’m not going to get in a war of words. I have no time for

that. Actions speak louder than words,” he said.

O’Brien had heard the talk. He noted Murray has won a Stanley

Cup and is well respected in the NHL. He thinks Murray may have

been trying to get his Ducks going or try to draw attention away

from how Anaheim has played in a series where Nashville has outshot

the offensive team in each of the first three games.

The Predators are focusing on their chance to grab control of

this series by doing something this franchise has never done in

five previous playoff series and go up 3-1. They lost to Chicago a

year ago when leading 2-1. O’Brien, who joined Nashville through a

trade with Vancouver in October, said he thinks his teammates

learned from that experience.

”We think we can play even better. We think we can tighten up

our defensive coverage a little bit better and tighten up our

discipline,” O’Brien said. ”We’re excited, and we’re going to

take advantage of the home crowd tomorrow. We need to find a way to

get that game down. If it’s 2-2 going back to Anaheim, the momentum

swings back to them.”

Trotz is keeping the approach the same and simple.

”It’s a race to four. That’s how we have to approach it. Every

game we’ve approached probably the last two months as the most

important of the year,” Trotz said.

The Ducks expect the two-day break between games to refresh

them. They also take some confidence from having scored three goals

on a measly 16 shots Sunday.

”We know we can play better,” Getzlaf said. ”We got beat by a

team that outworked us and played hard. You can’t accept that by

any means in the playoffs, and we’ll be ready to go (Wednesday)

night.”

Notes: The Ducks sent goalie Jonas Hiller back to Anaheim as he

works to recover from vertigo. Anaheim brought Igor Bobkov to

Nashville.