Where you at, Hutton Haters? Oh ye, of little faith! Carter Hutton is a mess of a goaltender (in a good way). One minute, he’s making these insane, slap-yo-mama saves, then he’s watching one skip right by him like he was frozen. Luckily, in recent bouts, Hutton’s accuracy has improved by leaps and bounds, which is nice because those naysayers start getting drowned out by the cheers for the backup goaltender. Look, the bottom line is, Hutton is no Pekka Rinne – and that’s something he should never strive to be. He is an excellent goaltender and would not be in the NHL if he wasn’t. As I recall, it wasn’t too far in the past that echoes of Pekka Rinne being a terrible replacement to Dan Ellis *shutters* were being spit by the congregation. Naysayers, be gone! Carter Hutton is the real deal & a great stand-in while Rinne’s away. Now on to the meat and potatoes of last night’s game:
SCRATCHES: Pekka Rinne, Ryan Ellis
NOTEWORTHY: If you follow our Facebook or Twitter, you probably saw where I kept obnoxiously reminding you – if you were attending last night’s game – to sing “O Canada” to show some Southern Hospitality towards Toronto. In a nutshell, when the Predators were in Toronto last (yes, the game where we beat them 9-2 on November 18th), the mic went out on the performer during the U.S. National Anthem, to which the Maple Leafs fans then picked up and sang. As a token of thanks, word was spread via the local media, Predators bloggers, and then some to show some love. Here’s the result:
I’d say it turned out pretty well, eh? Hockey is truly a classy pastime.
- Seth Jones got the party started at 11:52 with a shorthanded goal, his fourth goal of the season. The young defenseman had no assistance on his shorty.
- At 15:31, fellow defenseman Shea Weber picked up a powerplay goal, giving Nashville an early 2-0 lead over the Maple Leafs. Filip Forsberg (28) and Mike Fisher (11) would notch the assists on Weber’s 11th goal of the season.
- The second period was a little sluggish for the Predators, as Toronto managed the only goal during said period at 7:49 from Daniel Winnik (4).
- Toronto would notch one goal out of their thirteen shots-on-goal, whereas Nashville would only take nine.
- It appeared that Toronto planned on winning last night’s bout as, at 2:19 into the third, Nazem Kadri managed to tie the game at two. Then, not forty seconds later, Mike Santorelli would give the Maple Leafs the lead 3-2.
- Mike Fisher would take a strike at 6:55, bringing the game back to a tie. Colin Wilson (19) and Roman Josi (25) would tallying the assists on Fisher’s 13th goal of the season.
- Then, at 11:18, Colin Wilson sunk the GWG to give Nashville the regulation win and Toronto’s 10th consecutive loss. Wilson’s 16th goal of the season was assisted by Mike Fisher (12) and James Neal (13).
- Ahh, but let us not forget, though Wilson scored the game-winning-goal at 11:18, there was still a good nine minutes left to go in regulation before that title was given. So, who’s to thank for that? The guy plastered at the top of the post, of course. Check out this incredible save that would’ve certainly tied up the game, had it gone in:
Terrible goalie, eh Craig Button?
- I couldn’t not mention Carter Hutton being plastered all over SportsCenter, could I? The rarity of SportsCenter or ESPN at all mentioning hockey, let alone allowing for a goaltender to be their Top 10 no.1 is amazing all in its own; awesome that it’s a Nashville Predator.
- Tonight was the first time in Predators history that defensemen have scored both a shorthanded goal (Jones) and a powerplay goal (Weber) in one night.
- Another note for the history books is that the Predators have set a new franchise record with nine consecutive home game wins. Neato.
- Mike Fisher is on a roll, notching 24 points in his last 26 games.
- Mike Ribeiro is still one point away from his 700th; he’s certainly due.
- Ryan Ellis continues to skate alone at practice — not ready to pop back in with the team just yet.
- Pekka Rinne continues practicing with the team — should be ready to go as early as tomorrow’s game against the Ducks.
- Filip Forsberg, with one assist tonight, continues his reign as points leaders amongst the Predators and rookies across the league with 45 points.
The Predators stay put, welcoming in the Anaheim Ducks on Thursday night. Anaheim, who won 5-4 over the Carolina Hurricanes last night, are tied with Nashville in points (72). Whoever wins tomorrow night will either remain the leader of the league (Nashville) or take over that position (Anaheim). Let’s hope for the first option.
Where you at, Hutton Haters?!