After a devastating loss at home last night, the Predators hit the road in search of a win in Minnesota… only, the Wild weren’t exactly the team the Predators would have chosen to face right off the bat after losing two games in a row. Why not, you ask? Well, if you don’t keep up with the rest of the league, the Wild are leading the Western Conference (the Predators’ conference). Although after watching Edmonton demolish Chicago and belittle the Predators last night, you would think the Oilers would be in the lead, but alas, they are not and quiet little Minnesota slipped past the Predators 3-2, just enough to seal their 5th straight win. Here are the highlights of tonight’s game in Mee-naah-so-taah (yep):
- Blake Geoffrion was scratched for his third straight game and Teemu Laakso is still hanging out on the IR. This news was actually released yesterday, but Niclas Bergfors was placed on waivers and was cleared to be sent to Milwaukee. Sadly, Bergfors was supposed to be another “SK74″ in David Poile’s mind (Sergei was a risky move and it proved to be positive for the Preds last season). Unfortunately, the winger didn’t exactly perform as Poile had hope and it looked as if Poile’s lucky run didn’t strike gold with Bergfors.
- The Predators put the first numbers on the board with Jordin Tootoo’s second goal of the season. This goal kept the Predators in the lead 1-0 all the way into the third, but the Wild didn’t give up that easily. Toots was assisted by both Craig Smith and Nick Spaling.
- The 2nd period proved scoreless for both teams, but the Wild didn’t waste any time adding numbers to the board during the third, sending them into the lead 2-1.
- :: Commence: SOAPBOX MOMENT :: A freak accident by Pekka lead to the Wild’s third goal from Cal Clutterbuck. As Peks was heading to control the puck, Clutterbuck slipped past the defense, leaving the goal wide open. As Pekka reacted to this move, he lost his footing and fell backwards, leaving a clean and empty goal for the Wild. After the game, Josh Cooper (Predators Insider for the Tennessean) quoted Pekka Rinne as saying, “Terrible, I lost the game for us.” This completely broke our hearts because what happened to Peks was a freak mishap. Everyone falls in hockey, it’s a proven fact (example: Joel Ward). It just so happened he lost his footing at the worst time possible, which is usually when sometime like that happens. Fans that attack Peks for screwing up must hold him high on some pedestal that they don’t for any other player, which is a prime example of a sore loser. He is not pulling at Chris Johnson, he is not being lazy; it’s called being human and, as with all humans, mistakes and unplanned mishaps happen. Get over it. He’s still the best goalie in the National Hockey League. You want Ellis back? Didn’t think so. :: Pardon the soapbox moment ::
- Craig Smith faced a questionable ‘interference on goalkeeper’ call during the third period. Wild goalie Josh Harding was closer to the left boards than the actual goal and was plowed into by Craig Smith. Definitely not goalie interference by any means, but not much can be done about it now.
- Ryan Suter got the last goal of the night for the Preds, scoring with the help of Jordin Tootoo and Martin Erat. He managed to use a power play to his advantage.
- The Wild out-shot the Predators by five points, 30 to 25. The Predators, however, only saw six penalties to the Wild’s seven, but both were equal with penalty time at 14 minutes. Here are the box lovers for the Predators:
- Martin Erat – 1st 1:55 – Hooking
- Francis Bouillon – 2nd 4:38 – Interference
- Colin Wilson – 2nd 8:04 – Hi-Sticking (4 minutes for knocking out Gillies’ tooth)
- Craig Smith – 3rd 6:29 – Interference on Goalkeeper
- Ryan Suter – 3rd 8:12 – Slashing
- Patric Hornqvist – 3rd 13:36 – Roughing
- Similar to Craig Smith’s call, Colin Wilson’s hi-sticking call may have been a fluke. Colin was called for hi-sticking Colton Gillies in the face, causing him to lose a tooth. He was given a major penalty and sent to the box for four minutes. However, when the incident was replayed, it was clear that Gillies hit himself in the face with his own stick. A video of the incident as not surfaced yet, but we’ll be on the lookout for it.
- Speaking of said incident, it is almost probable that Brian McGrattan channeled that stick to smack Colton Gillies in the mouth. Why is that? Please view said photo below:
Now why was McGrattan caught making this face? If only someone could make a .gif with the video of this. McGrattan was boarded by Colton Gillies about six or so minutes before Colin Wilson “hi-sticked” his tooth out. McGrattan was rattled, but this was the look he glared at Gillies as he skated off the ice. McGrattan headed to the locker room, but basically turned right back around and hit the bench. It was almost certain once he returned to the ice, McGrattan was going to pound Gillies to a pulp, but Colin’s stick met his face before McGrattan’s fist could. Maybe he felt that was enough justice. We here at Lady Preds love Brian McGrattan.
The Predators take a few days off for some Thanksgiving goodness, then it’s off to Detroit to face the Red Wings, the first meeting this season. The Predators are licking their wounds from these last three games, but maybe a few days off will be the key for the Predators to get (and keep) their head in the game.
From all of us at Lady Preds, we’d like to wish you and yours a happy Thanksgiving and want to say we are thankful for fans like you who keep us writing! GO PREDS.