The Predators welcomed the Calgary Flames back to Nashville last night, hoping to clinch another home game for the fans. Thankfully, the Predators came out swinging against the Flames, sending them with their tails tucked back to Canada, 2-1. If you know anything about Calgary, you’d know last night’s game was not going to result in a high scoring game; both Pekka Rinne and Miikka Kiprusoff are outstanding goal-tenders, two of the best in their profession. And what do you know? Both hail from Finland. However, 2-1, 1-0, whatever, with this win, the Predators are now 15-11-4 on the season, helping them gain points within the Western Conference. Here are the highlights of last night’s game:
- We mentioned this Monday, but we’ll reiterate it in case you missed it: Jonathon Blum (7) was assigned to Milwaukee after finding himself set on the bench as a healthy scratch for a few games. It’s clear his buddy, Roman Josi, took his roster spot due to the fact he has found his groove in the NHL, whereas Blum has been so-so. Blum will more than likely be back up soon, but it’s clear Josi has had no trouble adjusting to life in the NHL.
- Also sent to the Admirals was Brentwood native, Blake Geoffrion. Now, don’t panic; unlike Blum, Geoffrion’s a pretty popular player, so fans were a bit confused as to why Blake would be sent down to the minor league team. With his injury taking longer to heal than once thought, he was more than likely sent down to recuperate on the minor league level and opened his active roster spot for someone healthy. Blake will be back in Nashville when he returns to 100%.
- Unlike in the past few games, the Predators took the lead first with a backhand goal from Matt Halischuk at 11:43 in the first period. Both Brian McGrattan and Roman Josi assisted on the goal.
- Although the Predators played what could be considered their best period so far this season (out shooting the Flames 18-6 in the first), the Flames weren’t going to go home quietly and returned the fire during the second period. After continuously pressuring the goal, Calgary’s Curtis Glencross was able to finally wear Peks down and give the Flames there only goal for the night.
- The game would continued to be tied 1-1 until 3:31 in the third when Colin Wilson scored on a rebound from rookie Craig Smith. It is clear Colin Wilson has become a leader in the Predators organization compared to his attitude during last season, when he hardly saw any ice time (there are many different reasons as to why, so we won’t delve into those). Colin’s maturity on the ice has bumped him up on ice time and he continues to prove his worth on the team every game. We like this new Colin, definitely.
- Colin’s game-winning goal was scored on the power play, Nashville’s six game in a row where they’ve scored on the PP. It is clear the PP has improved for Nashville, which used to be a torn in Nashville’s side. Colin was assisted by Craig Smith and David Legwand.
- The Predators played one heck of a game, out scoring the Flames 45 to 36 overall. As stated before, that’s a ton of shots on goal, but due to Pekka and Miikka’s outstanding goalie performances, only three of eighty-one shots between both teams made it passed the goalie; that’s insanely good (for both goalies). There were only three power plays during the game also, with the Predators only getting one penalty, whereas the Flames faced three. Here’s the only Predator who visited the box last night:
- Roman Josi – 19:03 2nd Period – Holding
With the Predators improving on both their power plays and avoiding taking penalties, the team is starting to look like a whole new set of guys (let’s not jinx things, though). Also, with the leadership of players like Roman Josi, Craig Smith, and even Colin Wilson, the Predators might just fly right out of their rut and into the playoffs this post season. Let’s pray for that one.
The Predators take on the always popular Detroit Red Wings this Thursday at 7PM at home. You might see a catfish or a squid hit the ice, so you don’t want to miss this game!