Preds silence Ducks 3-2


Image Source: Frederick Breedon/Getty Images

After knocking off the Winnipeg Jets Saturday night 7-0, the Predators were looking to extend that momentum against the Ducks last night in their last meeting of the 2015-16 season (weird). Nashville picked off the Ducks earlier this season on October 22nd at home with a 5-2 victory, but Anaheim got their revenge at home shortly thereafter on November 1st with a 4-2 win. After a 4-1 victory in Carolina the night before, you’d think Anaheim would be a little worn out; oh no. As usual, the boys in gold and… orange came out scrapping. Here are some highlights from last night’s Western Conference match up:

First Period
• Around 6:56 in the first period (unsurprisingly) things started to get a little heated on the ice and a fist fight finally broke out. Between who? Mike Fisher and former Vancouver Canuck, Kevin Bieksa. Even if you don’t know what last night’s finally score was, there’s a good chance you’ve still come across the video/gif of Fisher vs. Bieksa at some point today. You haven’t? Here ya go:

I swear, it gets worse the more times you watch it. Bieksa ended up heading to the locker room afterwards, but came back. Apparently, per an interview after the game was over, it was not one of his real teeth, but a fake one. I don’t know… I’m not very familiar with fake teeth, but the thing looks like it’s hanging in there by a… root.

• After the tooth incident, the Ducks took a few penalties to give Nashville several chances on the powerplay. Shea Weber sent one of his infamous slapshots past Frederik Andersen for his sixth goal of the season. Roman Josi picked up the lone assist, which just so happened to be his 100th NHL assist.

• Just over a minute later at 10:47, Rickard Rakell would tie the game at 1 with his third goal of the season.

• James Neal would notch his ninth goal of the season with a softie between Andersen’s five-hole, giving Nashville the 2-1 lead.

Second Period:
• The second period would be a little less eventful for the most part, unless you are Miikka Salomaki. The rookie notched his first goal of the season at 6:13 into the second and chased Andersen from the net. Mattias Ekholm picked up his fifth assist on Salomaki’s goal.

• Oh yea, it wasn’t uneventful either if you are Pekka Rinne. Anaheim began to wake up during the second period and it was up to Rinne to keep them out. made several of these moves throughout the night, stopping all but two goals (38 total).

Third Period:
• Sleepy time sort of hit Nashville during the third, which usually happens in the second period. As mentioned before, Pekka saved some serious butt (as usual). Former Predator, Mike Santorelli netted his third goal of the season for Anaheim at 5:33, leaving the Ducks just down by one point. Lucky for Nashville, their boys held it together and sealed the victory 3-2.

• But not before Kevin Bieksa left another souvenir for the Predators.

I’ll admit, I’ve never seen a broken stick launched into the netting above the glass before. It looked like a slow moving boomerang when it snapped. I’m thinking it should be left there as a reminder to always keep an eye out for flying objects.

So the real MVP of this win against the Ducks is – no doubt – Pekka Rinne.

You know, he isn’t called “The Eraser” for nothing. He has been known in the past to erase a lot of mistakes. Last night was certainly no exception. The sloppy passes are a yellow flag, in my opinion. I missed Saturday night’s game (of course) so I did not see how well their stick-handling skills were, but the previous games (Toronto, Senators, Blues) it looked pretty rough. Some teams latch onto that weakness pretty quickly, others don’t quite grasp it quick enough and Nashville slipped by with the win. Rinne looked like good ole Pekka last night and it was a very good thing. Anaheim netted 40 SOG compared to Nashville 21; as mentioned above, Peks stopped 38 of those. The Ducks, despite playing the night before, sure didn’t look like a back-to-back game team; they were out for blood and the two points.

Alas, the home stance is over and Nashville is off to another road trip. The Predators’ next game is this Friday against the Columbus Blue Jackets at 6PM.



Preds fall to Leafs in SO 2-1

Image Source: Frederick Breedon/Getty Images

Despite notching seven goals against the Ottawa Senators and sealing the victory on Tuesday, Nashville just couldn’t seem to find the powers at be to win last night against the now 4-8-4 Toronto Maple Leafs. Goals for either team weren’t scored until the third period, thus leading to overtime, then five rounds of shootout action. Filip Forsberg, Ryan Ellis, Roman Josi, James Neal, and Craig Smith would all have their one-on-one chance with James Reimer, but it would be Pekka Rinne who would fall first and allow Peter Holland to notch the game-winner.

If you can recall from last season – November 18th, 2014 to be exact – the Predators completely derailed the Maple Leafs 9-2 in Toronto, only adding fuel to fire that is the Maple Leafs organization as of late. Last night shows how differently a season can change things. Although the Maple Leafs are still trying to piece themselves back together, they still came out and gave the Predators a run for their money.

Apparently, per Lupul and even some of the Nashville players, the ice was pretty rough last night, a comment not usually made about Bridgestone’s rink. Could that have been the cause for Nashville’s horrendous passes, constant puck whiffs, and overall inability to skate? Perhaps that, combined with just “one of those nights”, is the answer to our questions. Both teams were pretty even on SOG during all third periods and OT, ending the night with 23 SOG for Toronto and 22 for Nashville.

Looking on the bright side, the Predators did gain a point and can move onward to tomorrow’s game against the Winnipeg Jets with a little positivity. However, if it really was an ice issue, let’s get that fixed asap.

Other Notes:

In Milwaukee:

Mazanec Recalled, Nystrom on Injured Reserve

Image Source: kocmankrystof

Just moments ago, the Predators released a statement that announced goaltender Marek Mazanec has been recalled to Nashville under emergency conditions. Of course, our first inclination is to panic and think it involves starting goaltender, Pekka Rinne. As more information has surfaced, however, it looks like Mazanec will be coming up to replaced an injured Carter Hutton. Here’s a bit from the official presser:

Nashville, Tenn. (November 9, 2015) – Nashville Predators President of Hockey Operations/General Manager David Poile announced Monday that the club has recalled goaltender Marek Mazanec from Milwaukee (AHL) on emergency conditions and placed forward Eric Nystrom on Injured Reserve.

Mazanec, 24 (7/18/91), has played in five games for the Admirals this season, posting a 2-2-1 record with a 3.09 goals-against average and a .900 save percentage. In his most recent start on Saturday at Rockford, he stopped 33-of-35 shots as Milwaukee won its third straight game, 3-2 in overtime. The Pisek, Czech Republic native has played in 27 career NHL games – all with Nashville – since his first North American professional season in 2013-14, posting an 8-11-4 record, two shutouts, a 2.76 goals-against average and a .902 save percentage. The 6-foot-4, 202-pound netminder played the fifth-most minutes of any rookie NHL netminder (1,369:32) during the 2013-14 campaign and was named the NHL’s Rookie of the Month for November 2013 after going 5-4-1 with two shutouts, a 2.00 goals-against average and a .933 save percentage.

Nashville’s ninth choice, 179th overall (sixth round), in the 2012 Entry Draft, Mazanec is a right-handed catching goaltender; only three right-handed catching goalies have appeared in the NHL this season (Philadelphia’s Steve Mason, Calgary’s Jonas Hiller and Winnipeg’s Michael Hutchinson).

Going beyond Hutton’s injury, Eric Nystrom has officially been placed on the Injured Reserve after being absent from the last three games.

And, for what it’s worth, I know everyone’s relieved that it isn’t Pekka that is hurt, but please don’t celebrate Hutton’s injury. That’s just wrong, y’all.




Preds Thump Sharks 2-1

Image Source: Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Did you make it through the entire game last night? I’ll be honest, I conked out at the end of the second period. A lot of you fought the strong hand of the Sandman and are now hooked up to your trusty caffeine IVs while you struggle through the workday. But alas, you have a smile on your face and deem it completely worth the lack of sleep because the Predators extended their record to 7-1-1 after defeating the 5-3-0 San Jose Sharks last night. Want some highlights? We’ve got your highlights:

First Period:

  • Eric Nystrom was on point from the very beginning, sending a gorgeous one-timer on net passed Martin Jones at 3:22 for an early 1-0 lead. Roman Josi (4) and Paul Gaustad (2) nabbed the assists on Nystrom’s third goal of the young season.

  • Barret Jackman picked up a roughing penalty against Tommy Wingels, but the Predators penalty kill did its job and ended the first period 1-0.

Second Period:

  • No goals were had by either team in the second, but Joe Thornton and Shea Weber did get called for Unsportsmanlike conduct when Weber cross-checked Thornton after he checked Roman Josi.

Third Period:

  • Just 1:28 into the third, San Jose finally slipped one passed Rinne with Joe Pavelski collecting his fourth goal of the season.
  • Calle Jarn-CROAK, on the other hand, wasn’t having a tied game for long, picking up his first goal of the season at 8:52. Gabriel Bourque (1) and Seth Jones (5) assisted on Jarnkrok’s wicked wrister.

  • The boys in gold white would hold off the Sharks until the end though, with Nashville out-shooting San Jose 24 to 21.

Random Musings:

  • For those Wilson lovers out there, Colin took a puck to the head during the first period. No need to panic, he is okay. I just really wanted to post this gif:

  • Wondering why I said “Jarn-CROAK” earlier? The announcers had a bit of a difficult time pronouncing it during the first period. Glad they got it corrected before he scored the game winning goal.

That last tweet by Mr. Bradford needs to be further addressed. The Sharks won 80% of the face-offs in the first period alone. There were 53 face-offs total last night, with San Jose winning 37 and Nashville only winning 16. Eek. Time to panic? No, because as great as they are to win, they don’t necessarily define how the outcome of the game. Nashville is not chasing the puck when they lose (for the most part), which keeps them on the plus side of possessions. Though it is certainly something to work on, it is not a dire situation like other aspect could be (penalty kill, power play, etc.). So, in a nutshell, don’t freak out over win/loss numbers within the faceoff just yet.

Nashville continues down the West Coast with a stop in Los Angeles on Saturday for a special Halloween puck drop of 3PM.

Ekholm signs 6-Year Extension

Image Source: Google Images

Ekholm must really, really like us because he just signed a six-year, $22.5M contract extension with the Nashville Predators organization. That’s huge, people. Mattias Ekholm is one of those players that shies away from the limelight, yet makes a significant impact that, without him, the Predators would be essentially up the creek without a paddle. At just 25-years-old, Ekholm has more than enough “hitch in his giddy-up” to extend the life of best defense in the league.

From the official presser released by the Predators:

Nashville, Tenn. (October 26, 2014) – Nashville Predators President of Hockey Operations/General Manager David Poile announced Monday that restricted free agent defenseman Mattias Ekholm has signed a six-year, $22.5 million contract that carries an average annual value of $3.75 million.

Ekholm, 25 (5/24/90), has a goal and two assists in seven games in 2015-16, giving him 30 points (9g-21a) and 66 penalty minutes in 152 career games since the 2011-12 season. In his second full NHL campaign in 2014-15, the Borlange, Sweden, native doubled his rookie point total (7g-11a-18pts from 1g-8a-9pts), improved plus/minus rating by 20 points (+12 from -8) and increased his average ice time by more than two minutes (19:00 from 16:49). The 6-4, 215-pound blueliner also made his postseason debut last spring, suiting up for all six of Nashville’s Stanley Cup Playoff contests (+4), tying for the team lead in plus/minus rating and averaging 26:24 of ice time.

Nashville’s seventh choice, 102nd overall (fourth round), in the 2009 Entry Draft, Ekholm has represented Sweden in the past two World Championships, helping the Tre Kronor to a bronze medal in 2014, being named one of the nation’s three best players after tying for second (with Predators teammate Roman Josi) among tournament defensemen in points (2g-5a-7pts), while leading all Swedish skaters in average ice time (21:56). He also earned a bronze medal at the 2010 World Junior Championship, tying for the tournament lead with a +10 rating, and helped the Tre Kronor win the 2008 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament.

Predators Top Devils 3-1

Source: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Three games into the young 2015-16 and the Predators are off to a great lead… but all three games thus far have been more or less sleepers. Should it be something to worry over or ignore since the W’s keep coming? There are a ton of arguments to be made here: for one, it’s just three games into the season; two, not all games are going to be nail-biters (and anxiety inducers); and three, the Predators are getting the job done nonetheless.

However, what happens when they do enter those nail-biters? The all-too familiar lethargic second and third periods are going to catch up to them sooner rather than later and hopefully, Nashville will be able to adapt and quickly. It may be one of those instances that we’ll just have to “cross that bridge” when we get there.

Looking at the positives, however, Roman Josi is proving why he is the most underrated defenseman in the NHL by notching two of Nashville’s goals tonight:

May we also mention that Pekka Rinne picked up an assist on Josi’s second goal.
Eric Nystrom collected the third goal of the night on an empty-netter, shortly after Kyle Palmieri put New Jersey on the board.

The power play and penalty kill continue to impress, which is fantastic. But we don’t have to tell you that, because you already know.

Let us also not fail to mention that this was Mike Ribeiro’s 950th NHL career game. That, my friends, is a lot of games.

A brief post? Yes, sir. The Predators move on to New York to take on the Islanders Thursday night at 6pm. More goals in that game, perhaps? The fan in me says, “Hey, I don’t care how many goals they score as long as they come out with the two points.” The blogger in me says, “Yeah, but when is that going to bite them in the butt?”

Preds take Home Opener 2-1 over Canes

Source: Sanford Myers/Getty Images

Ah, it’s good to be back, isn’t it? The Predators opened the 2015-16 at home last night against the Carolina Hurricanes and picked up the first of many (knock on wood) wins of this young season. Despite the win, the Predators looked a little less “on fire” during the second and third periods, which allowed the Hurricanes to make a comeback in shots-on-goal and in score. Here are some highlights from last night’s opener:

First Period:

  • Just fifty-seven seconds into the match, Ryan Ellis took a hi-stick to the face from Jordan Staal, resulting in a powerplay opportunity for Nashville.

  • In a déjà vu moment from last season, Craig Smith opened the season with a powerplay goal to put Nashville up 2-0 at 2:23.

  • About twelve minutes later, rookie Viktor Arvidsson notched his first NHL-career goal at 17:05 to put Nashville up 2-0. The fact that Arvidsson could not contain his excitement afterwards makes me happy.

  • Nashville would dominate the first period with 14 SOG compared to Carolina’s five.

Second Period:

  • No goals, but the pace was more like molasses for Nashville as the air was let out of the tires a bit. Carolina put on the pressure, but the Predators were able to maintain the 2-0 lead.

Third Period:

  • Again, the Hurricanes picked up the pace where the Predators left off and added even more pressure.
  • Eric Staal was able to inch one past Pekka Rinne at 18:20 with the extra man on the attack.
  • The last minute and a half was intense, but Nashville managed to keep Carolina from tying the game.

Overall, the Predators looked good during their season opener, but the “cooling of the jets” during the second and third periods could be worrisome. The defense stood tall against the Hurricanes and held them back, but I don’t know if Nashville could hold back a stronger team. The Oilers will take advantage of this easily on Saturday if the Predators don’t address it. The penalty kill looked fabulous last night and the powerplay is good as well. Improvements could be had here and there, but overall, I was pleased.

The Predators are back at it tomorrow at 6PM as they welcome in the Edmonton Oilers. The first 10,000 fans wearing gold will get a golden foam helmet! Whoop!

Preds Release Opening Night Roster

opening night

Yesterday afternoon, the Predators released the finalized 23-man roster for the 2015-16 NHL season. Without further ado, here are your Nashville Predators:




























So, are you surprised by who made  the roster? We certainly are happy to see that Austin Watson made the cut, as that kid has been working something hard in the AHL. The same can be said for Viktor Arvidsson, who is definitely ready for his light to shine this season.

The 2015-16 NHL season opens tonight with the Maple Leafs vs. the Canadiens, the Blackhawks vs. Rangers, the Flames vs. the Canucks, and the Kings vs. the Sharks. However, Nashville opens the season tomorrow at home against the Carolina Hurricanes.

Preds reveal ASW Winter Park Logo, Set to Open Dec. 12th

Image Source: Brooks Bratten, Nashville Predators

With just two days to go before they open the 2015-16 season at home against the Carolina Hurricane, the Nashville Predators revealed some much anticipated information regarding the NHL All-Star Weekend.

Unveiled late this morning outside of Bridgestone Arena, the Nashville Predators released the All-Star Weekend Winter Park logo, which will sponsored by Bridgestone (makes sense). Along with the sweet logo, the organization also released some details regarding the fun:

At the Walk of Fame Park, the site where the Winter Park will be held in conjunction with the 2016 NHL® All-Star Weekend, the Nashville Predators, Nashville Sports Council and Bridgestone Americas debuted the logo of the event that is now two months away.

The Winter Park will feature an ice rink, concert stage and family-focused activities, which will help to bring the excitement of the NHL’s showcase event outdoors for the community at large to enjoy. Predators CEO Jeff Cogen said the Park will also help to kick off the festivities weeks before the All-Star Weekend on Jan. 30-31, with the Park scheduled to open on Dec. 12.

Click here to read the entire press release from the Preds.

Festivities begin December 12th, which means the All-Star Weekend is almost here!

Preds reveal Gold Helmets; Reactions are Expected

Image Source:

The Predators main color is gold – everyone knows this. But where does one draw the line on the amount of gold needed? The franchise had mentioned several times in the recent past that gold helmets were in the realm of possibilities for this upcoming season and the first pictures of them came out in early August. Questions were raised then, but we all figured, “Let’s wait until we see it on a player”.


The tweet above was the first (that I saw) go out to announce the new, festive color change. Personally, I am not sure how I feel. Do I like them? Not particularly. Do I hate them? No, not really. As most can recall, the fan base didn’t jump on board with the gold jerseys right away, either. It took some growing time. Shortly after posting this first picture, the Predators posted a clearer, better lit photo of Colin Wilson sporting the new helmet:

…But fans and bloggers alike weren’t sold and took to Twitter to voice their opinions:

Nothing too terrible (and trust me, I searched “preds” & “helmets” on Twitter and when you search for anything on Twitter, you are asking for trouble), but for the most part the consensus is dislike. However, it was mentioned that these may look good on the white away jerseys, which I agree.

But don’t freak out if you are a fan of the navy helmets. These golden beauties are only going to be out and about during Saturday home games this season. So take a deep breath.