After a crucial and much needed win Thursday night against Vancouver, the Predators headed home to welcome the Eastern Conference Buffalo Sabres. Maybe the high from shutting down the Canucks wore off, for the Predators, although quite dominate throughout the game, just couldn’t quite get enough pucks past goalie Ryan Miller in order to seal the game for at home. Although the Sabres are in the Eastern Conference, the Predators could not afford to see another loss so quickly, especially at home. Here are the highlights of Saturday’s game:
- Anders Lindback took top spot as starting goalie Saturday over Pekka Rinne, blocking 11 of 14 shots taken by the Sabres.
- Sergei Kostitsyn was on the injury list again, with Chris Mueller being called up from Milwaukee as a replacement. Coach Trotz was interviewed by The Tennessean’s Josh Cooper concerning SK74’s injury and he was quoted as saying, “Don’t know and don’t care right now. I just care about tonight.” Uh oh, Sergei… looks like Trotzy’s starting to get annoyed by your lack of performance lately. Again, we’re hoping SK74 takes this time to collect his thoughts. Brian McGrattan was the only scratch for the night.
- The Sabres took the lead first at 10:00 in the first with a goal from Luke Adam. About seven and a half minutes later at 17:27, Zack Kassian added another goal for the Sabres, putting the Predators down by two all the way into the third period.
- Although neither the Preds nor the Sabres scored during the second period, it wasn’t exactly the quietest period. In fact, it has caused quite an amount of controversy. Jordin Tootoo slammed into goalie Ryan Miller, causing a dog pile brawl on the ice, which included everyone except poor Lindback. The issue with this is the fact this was Miller’s first game back from a concussion and it was clear he thought Toots crashed into him on purpose. On review of the video, it looks as if he is pushed into the goal, but there’s no telling. However, it is clear Tootoo did not mean to do it on purpose. From the video, you can tell it is Buffalo’s announcers since they are quite angry by the scene. For Buffalo fans reading this, Tootoo is not the same vicious player as he used to be. After taking time away from the league to seek rehab, he has taken into consideration his actions from his past and he is looking to better himself. To us, he was never a bad person to begin with, but we are proud of the person he is and who he is becoming. He is a huge community leader, buying $3,000 worth of toys for the Salvation Army. He’s not a bad guy, people and he did not take Ryan Miller out purposefully because he is vindictive. Heck, we don’t even play Buffalo enough to get a vendetta on them! Say what you will, but we back Toots; not because he’s a player on our team, but because he is just not the terrible, asshole everyone makes him out to be. Here’s the video and a photo of the incident:
- Furthermore, Jordin Tootoo is facing a disciplinary hearing today (Monday afternoon) via phone and is expected to be suspended for the incident, which is, in all seriousness, ridiculous. Tootoo’s collision was completely unintentional and even Miller has admitted that he did not think Tootoo meant to do it on purpose. However, a possible suspension is due to one reason and one reason only: It’s Jordin Tootoo. Had this same thing occurred between say, Martin Erat and Ryan Miller, suspension would not have even been brought up. But because Tootoo has a history of playing rough, the NHL thinks, although he has clearly changed from his past ways, that Tootoo probably did it on purpose, with or without proven evidence that he did not. Take the Mike Fisher/Francois Beauchemin hit: Like Miller, this was Fisher’s first game back from the IR (not for concussion, but for shoulder surgery) and Beauchemin sent Fisher flying, hitting him directly in the shoulder. Was Beauchemin suspended? No. Did Beauchemin even face a disciplinary hearing? Nope. It truly is a matter of the fact it’s Jordin Tootoo. Call us conspiracy theorists and whatnot, but we all know it’s true. Here’s the video of Anaheim’s Beauchemin’s hit on Mike Fisher:
- Craig Smith got the first goal of the night for the Predators at 4:54 in the third with assistance by David Legwand and Colin Wilson. However, the Sabres slipped another passed Lindback, sending the score 3-1.
- David Legwand gave the crowd some hope by scoring the Predators last goal of the night at 18:25. He was assisted by Roman Josi and Jon Blum, but unfortunately, time ran out before the Predators could tie it up.
- The Predators out shot the Sabres 34 to 14, but Ryan Miller was on his game and the Predators just couldn’t quite get enough passed him. The Sabres also spent more time in the penalty box, giving the Predators plenty of PP time, but they just couldn’t get the scoring groove in time. Here are your Preds that spent some time in the penalty box:
- Mike Fisher – 12:51 1st Period – Tripping
- Jerred Smithson – 5:34 2nd Period – Hooking
- Jordin Tootoo – 15:54 2nd Period – Charging (5 minutes)
- Jordin Tootoo – 15:54 2nd Period – Game Misconduct (10 minutes)
- Patric Hornqvist – 11:19 3rd Period – Slashing
The Predators continue at home Tuesday night against the Phoenix Coyotes at 7PM. We will update you on any news of the Jordin Tootoo possibly suspension hearing.