Predators push past Jets 2-1

Source: Kristen Jerkins Photography

After a long road trip, making a pit stop in Nashville for a game against Edmonton, and hoping back on a plane to St. Louis, the Predators have made their way home to welcome in the Winnipeg Jets, a team the Predators are 1-1 with so far. After handing the top spot of the Central Division back to St. Louis, Nashville is in no position to be losing any games (if they want to take that position back).

First Period:
– The first period produced no goals, with both Winnipeg and Nashville shooting eight pucks on net.

Second Period:
– Nashville’s weakness caught up to them on a powerplay, as Winnipeg’s Blake Wheeler notched his eighth goal of the season with a short-hander past Pekka.
– Mike Ribeiro scored on the rebound but was ultimately called a no-goal due to a high-stick by Neal (see .gif below):
y51e0D– However, on the following face-off, James Neal sends a slap shot past Ondřej Pavelec for his ninth goal of the season. Mike Ribeiro (10) picks up the assist on Neal’s retaliation.

Third Period:
– It would take a little over seventeen minutes before someone would untie the game and, lucky for us, it was Craig Smith for his sixth goal of the season. Calle Jarnkrok picked up his first assist of the season on Smith’s GWG.

A rather slow, sloppy game, but a win in regulation nonetheless; we’ll take it. Nashville is jet-setting once again and this time they are at least making two stops: one in Toronto on Tuesday and one in Ottawa on Thursday night. Saturday, the Predators return to welcome in the Florida Panthers, a team they haven’t seen since preseason.

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Preds give Jets Third straight Win

Source: Sports.Yahoo.com

We’ll keep this short: Lots of penalties by both sides, yet it was Nashville’s special teams that ultimately failed in the long run.

First Period:
– The Jets wasted no time taking the lead at 2:53 with a PPG from Andrew Ladd (5).
– Not even three minutes later, Winnipeg would capitalize on yet another power play, taking the lead 2-0. – Number of penalties: two (both on Nashville – Matt Cullen (interference) and Colin Wilson (hooking)).
– Head Coach Peter Laviolette took a puck to the head late in the first period after Jacob Trouba slung one into the Preds bench. Laviolette stayed glued to the bench until the end of the period, but returned in the second with a fresh set of stitches.
Screen shot 2014-11-10 at 6.47.49 PMSecond Period:
– Leave it to Prince Filip to put Nashville on the board at 16:17 for his fourth goal of the season. Shea Weber (2) and Mike Ribeiro (7) picked up the assists.
KrRRMx– Number of penalties: four (three Winnipeg, one Preds – Roman Josi (roughing)).

Third Period:
– Blake Wheeler would seal the deal for Winnipeg with an empty-netter at 18:20.
– Number of penalties: five (three Winnipeg, two Nashville – Mattias Ekholm (holding) and Taylor Beck (spearing)).

Again, needless to say, the special teams has some work to do – it always has, but after tonight’s performance, it cannot be ignored any longer. Teams are quickly figuring out that, if they can get Nashville on the penalty kill, they just about have goal in the bag. Pekka Rinne and Carter Hutton can only do so much on their own.

2014 Winter Olympics Team USA Roster

Ryan Suter – 2010 Winter Olympics – Getty Images

The official roster for Team USA was announced this afternoon following the 2014 Winter Classic, in which the Toronto Maple Leafs defeated the Detroit Red Wings in a SO 3 to 2. 105,491 was the official attendance in today’s Winter Classic, by the way… and the average temperature was 13°, with a wind chill of -1°

Any who – back to Team USA – So, who got the call to represent the United States in the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia? Here’s the list:

David Backes – St. Louis Blues
Dustin Brown – Los Angeles Kings
Ryan Callahan – New York Rangers
John Carlson – Washington Capitals
Justin Faulk – Carolina Hurricanes
Cam Fowler – Anaheim Ducks
Patrick Kane – Chicago Blackhawks
Ryan Kesler – Vancouver Canucks
Paul Martin – Pittsburgh Penguins
Ryan McDonagh – New York Rangers
Ryan Miller – Buffalo Sabres
James van Riemsdyk – Toronto Maple Leafs
Brooks Orpik – Pittsburgh Penguins
TJ Oshie – St. Louis Blues
Max Pacioretty – Montreal Canadiens
Zach Parise – Minnesota Wild
Joe Pavelski – San Jose Sharks
Jonathan Quick – Los Angeles Kings
Kevin Shattenkirk – St. Louis Blues
Paul Stastny – Colorado Avalanche
Derek Stepan – New York Ranger
Ryan Suter – Minnesota Wild
Blake Wheeler – Winnipeg Jets
Jimmy Howard – Detroit Red Wings
Phil Kessel – Toronto Maple Leafs

As you may have heard (especially if you’re a Predators fan), the Nashville Predators General Manager, David Poile, was named the Team USA GM over the summer. So, are you surprised no Predators made the roster? Seth Jones & Craig Smith were the only players that popped up on the radar and were expected to make the list, but as we now know, neither one apparently quite made the cut. Since Jones is still a young NHL-er, his roster-miss is not as surprising as Craig Smith’s, especially after his outstanding performance in the IIHF World Championships this past Spring.

Notable other players absent from the roster list include Ottawa’s Bobby Ryan, Phoenix’s Keith Yandle, Columbus’ Jack Johnson, and Islanders’ Kyle Okposo among many others that you could make a solid argument for.

So, there you have it. Will you put your differences aside and cheer for the likes of Ryan Kesler, Ryan Suter, and Patrick Kane to push Team USA to gold? We will… but just for this time.

Smith with Wild GWG in OT; Preds edge Jet 3-2

Image Courtesy: Getty Images

Didn’t the Predators just play the Jets?
Oh yes, they did; and they won in Winnipeg 3-1. So, would the boys be able to capitalize over the former Atlanta Thrashers once again? Especially after the punishing loss in Minnesota on Tuesday? The home crowd always builds some much needed confidence, so here are the highlights from last night’s overtime game:

BEFORE THE GAME:

  • Late Wednesday afternoon, word started floating around that Magnus Hellberg, the 38th overall draftee (first goalie) in the 2011 NHL Draft and the current goalie for the Milwaukee Admirals, would be called up for the Thursday night game.
  • Carter Hutton took to practice on Tuesday, but Pekka Rinne was nowhere in sight, which got the ball rolling on speculations as to what was wrong with the Finnish Phenom.
  • Word was made official yesterday during a press conference with the media regarding Pekka’s condition. Feeling weak and with a high temperature, Rinne bowed out of practice and it was revealed that he has a spontaneous bacterial infection in his surgically repaired hip.

Yikes. For any of us that have experience with hip surgeries (no, not me personally), you know that those kind of infections can be serious. Luckily for Peks, it was caught quickly and the medically staff he has access to will not allow the infection to spread by any means. So, in a nutshell, Pekka is out for a minimum of four weeks and it is up to the level-headed Carter Hutton to step up to the starting goalie plate.

  • Mike Fisher skated in practice yesterday, along with concussed Roman Josi. Though Roman is still not 100%, Fisher didn’t hesitate to jump back into the game last night. After his wife, Carrie Underwood accidentally revealed that his lower-body injury was indeed a foot fracture, we assume Mike decided it was time to shake it off and hit the ice. You can’t hate on Carrie for the accidentally slip; it happens sometimes in passing and, unfortunately, this one happened on Twitter were scoop-hungry media ate it right up.

First Period:

  • Shea Weber would get the ball rolling in favor of Nashville at 15:53 with a powerplay slapshot that Ondrej Pavelec just couldn’t wrap his mitts around. David Legwand (5th assist) and Filip Forsberg (3rd assist) picked up the assists in Weber’s third goal of the season.
  • Nashville would end the first period outshooting the Jets just 10 to 9, but Carter Hutton was well-prepared to prove he could backup Pekka Rinne.

Second Period:

  • Winnipeg would finally slip one around Hutton with a wrap-around from Anthony Peluso for his first goal of the season. The second period would end with both teams tied at 1.
  • Winnipeg attacked the puck during this period, outshooting Nashville 14 to 9. It was not surprising that at least one shot would inch past Hutton, but it was actually a sneaky one that did it.

Third Period:

  • Patric Horqnvist would hit a snap shot to put Nashville up again, this time 2-1 at 6:04 for his fourth goal of the season. Mike Fisher (4th assist) and Seth Jones (3rd assist) would nab the assists.
  • Blake Wheeler wouldn’t give up so easily, sending a wrister past Hutton at 16:59 to tie the game again.

Despite extreme effort, both teams were unable to end the regulation period with a game-winner, sending the game into OT.

Overtime:

  • Only two shots between each team was taken during overtime, and it was Craig Smith would was able to capitalize on his shot.
  • With only 17 seconds left in overtime, Craig Smith, who has been stellar thus far this season, sent a slapshot past Pavelec with the help of David Legwand (6th assist) to win the game. Here’s the video:

As we mentioned, Craig Smith has been a quiet stud thus far this season, the kind of stud we have expected from him for a while. After his performance for Team USA during the IIHF series, we were starting to wonder when that grace would hit the NHL ice. So far, with 11 GPs, Smith is currently sitting in 14th amongst the league. We have this feeling his league rank will be getting closer to the Top 10 very soon.

The Predators have one last home game before going on a seven-game road trip. The Preds will not return to Nashville until Saturday, November 16th when they welcome in the 2013 Stanley Cup Champions, the Chicago Blackhawks.

Added Bonus:
Rich+Clune+Los+Angeles+Kings+v+Colorado+Avalanche+OfXJmj8sOf9lRich Clune vs. Matt Hendricks – September 23, 2009
Think they remember this now that they’re teammates?