Preds release 2017-18 Pre-Season Schedule

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Image Source: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Early this afternoon, the Nashville Predators released some vital information for all you suffering from hockey withdraws: the 2017-18 pre-season schedule. Per usual (perhaps tradition), Nashville will face the Florida Panthers, the Tampa Bay Lightning, and the Columbus Blue Jackets to get ready for another bout towards the Stanley Cup.

  • Tuesday, September 19th @ 3:30PM – Florida Panthers @ Nashville Predators
  • Tuesday, September 19th @ 7PM – Florida Panthers @ Nashville Predators
  • Friday, September 22nd @ 6:30PM – Nashville Predators @ Tampa Bay Lightning
  • Sunday, September 24th @ 6PM – Nashville Predators @ Columbus Blue Jackets
  • Thursday, September 28th @ 7PM – Columbus Blue Jackets @ Nashville Predators
  • Saturday, September 30th @ 7PM – Tampa Bay Lightning @ Nashville Predators

And be sure to keep those calendars at hand as the full 2017-18 schedule will be released this coming Thursday. Pre-season tickets go on sale at 10AM this Friday, followed by a Fan Appreciation Draft Party at Bridgestone Arena from 4PM-10PM. For more information, visit the Nashville Predators site.

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2017 NHL All-Star Roster Announced

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Image Source: NBC Sports

Moments ago, the NHL released the final roster of the 2017 NHL All-Star Weekend in Los Angeles January 28th-29th. Not surprisingly, Nashville has only one player on said roster: P.K. Subban, who was voted by the fans as the Central Division Captain. And, with his upper-body injury slated to be healed by the All-Star Weekend, Subban may have to relinquish his captain duties to someone else for safety’s sake.

– CENTRAL DIVISION

  • P.K. Subban – Nashville Predators
  • Corey Crawford – Chicago Blackhawks
  • Devan Dubnyk – Minnesota Wild
  • Ryan Suter – Minnesota Wild
  • Duncan Keith – Chicago Blackhawks
  • Patrick Kane – Chicago Blackhawks
  • Jonathan Toews – Chicago Blackhawks
  • Vladimir Tarasenko – St. Louis Blues
  • Patrik Laine – Winnipeg Jets
  • Nathan MacKinnon – Colorado Avalanche
  • Tyler Seguin – Dallas Stars

 

– ATLANTIC DIVISION:

  • Carey Price – Montreal Canadiens
  • Tuukka Rask – Boston Bruins
  • Victor Hedman – Tampa Bay Lightning
  • Shea Weber – Montreal Canadiens
  • Erik Karlsson – Ottawa Senators
  • Frans Nielsen – Detroit Red Wings
  • Nikita Kucherov – Tampa Bay Lightning
  • Vincent Trocheck – Florida Panthers
  • Auston Matthews – Toronto Maple Leafs
  • Kyle Okposo – Buffalo Sabres
  • Brad Marchand – Boston Bruins

– PACIFIC DIVISION:

  • Connor McDavid – Edmonton Oilers
  • Martin Jones – San Jose Sharks
  • Mike Smith – Arizona Coyotes
  • Cam Fowler – Anaheim Ducks
  • Brent Burns – San Jose Sharks
  • Drew Doughty – L.A. Kings
  • Ryan Kesler – Anaheim Ducks
  • Joe Pavelski – San Jose Sharks
  • Jeff Carter – L.A. Kings
  • Johnny Gaudreau – Calgary Flames
  • Bo Horvat – Vancouver Canucks

– METROPOLITAN DIVISION:

  • Sidney Crosby – Pittsburgh Penguins
  • Braden Holtby – Washington Capitals
  • Sergei Bobrovsky – Columbus Blue Jackets
  • Evgeni Malkin – Pittsburgh Penguins
  • Wayne Simmonds – Philadelphia Flyers
  • John Tavares – New York Islanders
  • Alexander Ovechkin – Washington Capitals
  • Ryan McDonagh – New York Rangers
  • Justin Faulk – Carolina Hurricanes
  • Taylor Hall – New Jersey Devils
  • Seth Jones – Columbus Blue Jackets

What do you think about the roster for this year’s All-Star Weekend? Nashville isn’t the only team with one representative, but if you want to include former Preds (Ryan Suter, Devan Dubnyk, Seth Jones, and Shea Weber), then Nashville’s actually pretty well represented.

All joking aside, the big question is will Subban be healthy enough to participate? As mentioned, his 2-3 week recovery time ends at about the time of the All-Star festivities, but should not participate if it risks re-injury (thus keeping him out of the lineup even longer). Of course, that will be something the organization and Subban discuss as time gets closer.

 

 

Preds Re-Sign Forward Cody Bass

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Image Source: The Tennessean

Earlier this afternoon the Predators organization and Cody Bass came to a contract agreement to re-sign the 29-year-old forward to a two-year, two-way deal. Here’s the official word from the Predators:

Nashville Predators President of Hockey Operations/General Manager David Poile announced Wednesday that the club has signed forward Cody Bass to a two-year, two-way contract worth $575,000 at the NHL level and $150,000 at the AHL level in 2016-17, and $650,000 at the NHL level and $150,000 at the AHL level in 2017-18.

Bass, 29 (1/7/87), split his first season in the Nashville organization between the American Hockey League’s Milwaukee Admirals (39gp, 4g-5a-9pts, 84 PIMs) and the Predators (17gp, 0pts, 17 PIMs), while also suiting up for six of the team’s seven games during their Round One series victory over the Anaheim Ducks. The 6-foot, 205-pound forward has appeared in 66 career NHL contests with Nashville, Ottawa and Columbus since 2007-08, posting five points (2g-3a) and 88 penalty minutes, and 370 career AHL games with Milwaukee, Binghamton, Springfield and Rockford, posting 98 points (41g-57a) and 794 penalty minutes. The Owen Sound, Ontario, native has served as an alternate captain at the AHL level in five of the past six seasons, and won the 2011 Yanick Dupre Memorial Award as presented annually to the AHL’s man of the year for service to his local community. He also helped Binghamton win the 2011 Calder Cup.

Bass’s return to the Nashville hockey club comes as no surprise; at least to some of us.

With the departure of veterans Paul Gaustad and Eric Nystrom, Bass will play a pivotal role as younger wingers make their move up to the big league meaning I do not believe he is the solution, but rather an answer for the time being. However, Bass does provide a positive feel amongst his teammates, which is always a good thing for sure. Of course, while he is a friendly little fellow in the locker room, we are mostly familiar with his enforcer-like attitude on the ice:

How could we forget when former Nashville Predator Rich Clune poked the bear because we was irked Bass took his old number?

Johansen Trade: The Day After

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Now that the dust has settled (for the most part), both Columbus and Nashville can rest easy – at least when it comes to the smoothness of said trade negotiation. In an interview today, General Manager David Poile noted that, “if Roman Josi wasn’t doing as good as he is, we wouldn’t have made this trade”. There no doubt this was a very difficult decision for GMDP; as a team possibly best known for its development of elite defensemen, it certainly wouldn’t be easy choosing which guy would be on the trade block.

Of course, Shea Weber is not up for debate (despite many throwing his name out there – it’s not going to happen) and, with the Norris-caliber performance Roman Josi has been displaying recently certainly meant he wasn’t going anywhere. Yes, trading off the budding 21-year-old who has plenty of potential and time to grow that is Seth Jones (and the fact Poile loved the kid) would be a difficult move to make. However, the success of this trade – a simple him-for-him – shows the urgent need of both teams. As stated in my previous post, Columbus is in desperate need of defense; Nashville is in serious need of some offense. The trade between both teams was a no-brainer. Now, decided who to let go (who could potentially boost an opposing team and cause an issue later on down the road) is the tricky part.

If you have done any digging on Mr. Johansen, or you’ve just been following current events relating to the subject, you’ve probably heard he and the Columbus organization – namely head coach John Tortorella – had some disagreements, so to say. Nothing major or involving off-ice behavior, just normal coach-to-player disconnect. Tortorella, who was hired in October, believed Johansen’s performance decline was due to being out of shape and essentially marked him as a healthy scratch a few times. It was later determined that the center had an “undisclosed illness” that was attributing to his negative performance.

I’ve come across a few comments from fans regarding Johansen’s performance once the trade was announced, including “good luck. Johansen is a lazy player” to “well, Columbus clearly got the better end of the deal”. Now, I must take the comments with a grain of salt (and so should you) as these are fans with some serious bias. Nashville is no different, with fans bashing Jones’ performance as well. To see an in-depth, detailed look at Jonansen’s numbers, check out OnTheForecheck’s assessment here. But, from what I gather, Ryan Johansen and John Tortorella simply did not mesh well and, let’s be honest, it is Tortorella we are talking about. The man is a bit on the nutty side, to put it nicely.

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Again, I shall take those comments from Blue Jackets fans with a grain of salt and you should, too.

However, we shall be the judge of Ryan Johansen’s “laziness” starting tomorrow when the Predators take on the 20-18-3 Colorado Avalanche in Denver. Of course, Johansen is not going to come flying onto the ice with a golden halo with angels tooting horns behind him; he’ll need time to get used to a new system. This kid has spent his entire professional career under the Blue Jackets organization so it’ll take a bit to see which line he pairs best with. According to Adam Vingan of The Tennessean, Peter Laviolette stated that Johansen will start with Colin Wilson and James Neal.

Ryan Johansen practiced with the team today and is expected to suit up for tomorrow night’s bout in Denver. Debate as to what number Johansen would choose was floating around yesterday as his current number 19 belongs to Calle Jarnkrok. It was announced earlier this morning that Johansen would go with #92 in recognition of his birth year, 1992. The 23-year-old center is confident in his abilities and, to quote GMDP, “We accomplished something we haven’t been able to do in 18 years. We got a first line center.” That tells you right there that GMDP is confident with this trade. Of course, offering up Seth Jones, who will likely become a defensive star within a few years, was enough of an example of Poile’s confidence as any.

Again, the most that you need to take away from this post is that don’t expect him to come out guns a blazing tomorrow night, though that would be awesome. However, Johansen has proven himself in more ways than one that projects a confidence that will result in great success for Nashville. As long as I didn’t just jinx it.

Also, for those wondering who are too afraid to ask, Ryan Johansen is from Vancouver, Canada. Needless to say, his name is pronounced JOE-Hansen, not YO-Hansen. I’ll be the first to admit I immediately thought it was YO-Hansen, but I blame Jarnkrok, Josi, and Juuse Saros for that. I just want more Scandinavian players, okay. You’ll hear various versions of how to pronounce Johansen as he settles in with the club (even David Poile has been calling him Yo-hansen), so just note that it is JOE, not YO.

 

Preds silence Ducks 3-2

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Image Source: Frederick Breedon/Getty Images

After knocking off the Winnipeg Jets Saturday night 7-0, the Predators were looking to extend that momentum against the Ducks last night in their last meeting of the 2015-16 season (weird). Nashville picked off the Ducks earlier this season on October 22nd at home with a 5-2 victory, but Anaheim got their revenge at home shortly thereafter on November 1st with a 4-2 win. After a 4-1 victory in Carolina the night before, you’d think Anaheim would be a little worn out; oh no. As usual, the boys in gold and… orange came out scrapping. Here are some highlights from last night’s Western Conference match up:

First Period
• Around 6:56 in the first period (unsurprisingly) things started to get a little heated on the ice and a fist fight finally broke out. Between who? Mike Fisher and former Vancouver Canuck, Kevin Bieksa. Even if you don’t know what last night’s finally score was, there’s a good chance you’ve still come across the video/gif of Fisher vs. Bieksa at some point today. You haven’t? Here ya go:

I swear, it gets worse the more times you watch it. Bieksa ended up heading to the locker room afterwards, but came back. Apparently, per an interview after the game was over, it was not one of his real teeth, but a fake one. I don’t know… I’m not very familiar with fake teeth, but the thing looks like it’s hanging in there by a… root.
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• After the tooth incident, the Ducks took a few penalties to give Nashville several chances on the powerplay. Shea Weber sent one of his infamous slapshots past Frederik Andersen for his sixth goal of the season. Roman Josi picked up the lone assist, which just so happened to be his 100th NHL assist.

• Just over a minute later at 10:47, Rickard Rakell would tie the game at 1 with his third goal of the season.

• James Neal would notch his ninth goal of the season with a softie between Andersen’s five-hole, giving Nashville the 2-1 lead.

Second Period:
• The second period would be a little less eventful for the most part, unless you are Miikka Salomaki. The rookie notched his first goal of the season at 6:13 into the second and chased Andersen from the net. Mattias Ekholm picked up his fifth assist on Salomaki’s goal.

• Oh yea, it wasn’t uneventful either if you are Pekka Rinne. Anaheim began to wake up during the second period and it was up to Rinne to keep them out.
https://twitter.com/MCHisTweeting/status/666804533629186048Pekka made several of these moves throughout the night, stopping all but two goals (38 total).

Third Period:
• Sleepy time sort of hit Nashville during the third, which usually happens in the second period. As mentioned before, Pekka saved some serious butt (as usual). Former Predator, Mike Santorelli netted his third goal of the season for Anaheim at 5:33, leaving the Ducks just down by one point. Lucky for Nashville, their boys held it together and sealed the victory 3-2.

• But not before Kevin Bieksa left another souvenir for the Predators.

I’ll admit, I’ve never seen a broken stick launched into the netting above the glass before. It looked like a slow moving boomerang when it snapped. I’m thinking it should be left there as a reminder to always keep an eye out for flying objects.

So the real MVP of this win against the Ducks is – no doubt – Pekka Rinne.

You know, he isn’t called “The Eraser” for nothing. He has been known in the past to erase a lot of mistakes. Last night was certainly no exception. The sloppy passes are a yellow flag, in my opinion. I missed Saturday night’s game (of course) so I did not see how well their stick-handling skills were, but the previous games (Toronto, Senators, Blues) it looked pretty rough. Some teams latch onto that weakness pretty quickly, others don’t quite grasp it quick enough and Nashville slipped by with the win. Rinne looked like good ole Pekka last night and it was a very good thing. Anaheim netted 40 SOG compared to Nashville 21; as mentioned above, Peks stopped 38 of those. The Ducks, despite playing the night before, sure didn’t look like a back-to-back game team; they were out for blood and the two points.

Alas, the home stance is over and Nashville is off to another road trip. The Predators’ next game is this Friday against the Columbus Blue Jackets at 6PM.

 

 

2015 NHL All-Star Weekend in Review

Source: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Columbus, Ohio was the place to be this weekend has the city hosted the 2015 NHL All-Star Weekend. As you know, Nashville was chosen as the host city for the 2016 ASG Weekend, which will be an event on its own. But until then, let’s recap the fun that happened this weekend in Columbus… Oh, and for the sake of keeping this post from being ninety pages long, we’ll stick to Nashville’s accomplishments:

Team Foligno:

  • Nick Foligno – Columbus Blue Jackets
  • Brian Elliot – St. Louis Blues
  • Marc-Andre Fleury – Pittsburgh Penguins
  • Carey Price – Montreal Canadiens
  • Drew Doughty – L.A. Kings
  • Duncan Keith – Chicago Blackhawks
  • Kevin Shattenkirk – St. Louis Blues
  • Dustin Byfuglien – Winnipeg Jets
  • Oliver Ekman-Larsson – Arizona Coyotes
  • Brent Burns – San Jose Sharks
  • Ryan Nugent-Hopkins – Edmonton Oilers
  • Bobby Ryan – Ottawa Senators
  • Alexander Ovechkin – Washington Capitals
  • Anze Kopitar – L.A. Kings
  • Radim Vrabata – Vancouver Canucks
  • Ryan Johansen – Columbus Blue Jackets
  • Zemgus Girgensons – Buffalo Sabres
  • Claude Giroux – Philadelphia Flyers
  • Phil Kessel – Toronto Maple Leafs
  • Patrick Kane – Chicago Blackhawks
  • Steven Stamkos – Tampa Bay Lightning
  • Coaching Staff: Darryl Sutter – L.A. Kings

Team Toews:

  • Jonathan Toews – Chicago Blackhawks
  • Corey Crawford – Chicago Blackhawks
  • Roberto Luongo – Florida Panthers
  • Jaroslav Halak – New York Islanders
  • Aaron Ekblad – Florida Panthers
  • Mark Giordano – Calgary Flames
  • Shea Weber – Nashville Predators
  • Johnny Gaudreau – Calgary Flames
  • Brent Seabrook – Chicago Blackhawks
  • Ryan Suter – Minnesota Wild
  • Justin Faulk – Carolina Hurricanes
  • Filip Forsberg – Nashville Predators
  • Ryan Getzlaf – Anaheim Ducks
  • Patrik Elias – New Jersey Devils
  • Patrice Bergeron – Boston Bruins
  • Rick Nash – New York Rangers
  • Tyler Seguin – Dallas Stars
  • Vladimir Tarasenko – St. Louis Blues
  • Jakub Vorachek – Philadelphia Flyers
  • John Tavares – New York Islanders
  • Coaching Staff – Peter Laviolette – Nashville Predators

As you recall, Pekka Rinne was not included in the All-Star “draft” due to sustaining a knee sprain. Because Filip Forsberg was chosen last for Team Toews, he was the lucky winner of a brand new Honda Accord. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins also won a new Honda, as he was chosen last for Team Foligno.

Source: @NHL

Source: @NHL

Saturday – Skills Competition – Winner: Team Foligno

Despite a good show by Team Toews, it was Team Foligno who reigned in the Skills Competition held on Saturday evening. Both Weber and Forsberg participated in the relay and shootout, but it was Weber who shined – not surprisingly – during the Hardest Shot round.

Shea originally missed his first shot, but more than nailed his second attempt, clocking his shot at 108.5 MPH. Weber certainly won the competition, but missed notching the hardest shot ever recorded, which is held by Zdeno Chara at 108.8 MPH. Forsberg shined in the relay portion, showing off his crazy insane puck-handling skills.

Sunday – All-Star Game – Winner: Team Toews

Though the fell short in the Skills Competition, Team Toews out-powered Team Foligno by a long shot during the actual All-Star Game, winning 17-12. And, believe it or not, though the All-Star Game tends to always have a ton of goals, this was the highest scoring game in its history. Filip Forsberg’s two goals helped get Team Toews to the win, the first goals scored by a Nashville Predator in an All-Star Game. Shea Weber also notched an assist off of Tyler Seguin’s goal.

From the World Wide World of Twitter:

So that’s a wrap on the 2015 NHL All-Star Weekend. Next Stop: Nashville! But before then, the Predators must press forward with the remainder of this season and push into the playoffs. Pekka Rinne should also be re-evaluated soon, along with Ryan Ellis. The Predators return to the regular season this Tuesday as they welcome in the Colorado Avalanche at 7PM.

NSH seeks Victory in SO over BOS

Source: Frederick Breedon/Getty Images North America

Source: Frederick Breedon/Getty Images North America

After a lackluster performance (by everyone but Pekka Rinne) in San Jose Saturday, the Predators returned home for a brief moment to welcome in the 15-13-2 Boston Bruins. So, how did the Predators fair against the “B”s from the East?

First Period:

  • Though both teams would send nine shots on goal during the first, none could get beyond the beasts from Finland in the nets.
  • Both sides were given powerplay opportunities, but could not capitalize.

Second Period:

  • Milan Lucic would get the ball rolling at 4:04, giving Boston the lead for the majority of the second period.
  • Mike Fisher would then tie it with just thirty seconds left in the period for his second goal of the season. May we also say this was on the powerplay? Yes, it was! Nashville is now a resounding 2-47 on the powerplay at home this season. Shea Weber (12) and Filip Forsberg (18) would do the assisting.

Third Period:

  • Mike Ribeiro would give Nashville the lead at 1:31 into the third for his ninth goal of the season. James Neal (8) and Ryan Ellis (9) would pick up the assist points.
  • The Preds wouldn’t lead long as Reilly Smith sent a wrister flying past Pekka at 3:28 to tie the game.

Overtime:

  • Despite a few shots on goal, the five minute overtime would prove uneventful.

Shootout:

  • NSH – Derek Roy – GOAL
  • BOS – Brad Merchand – MISS
  • NSH – James Neal – MISS
  • BOS – Reilly Smith – MISS
  • NSH – Filip Forsberg – MISS
  • BOS – Patrice Bergeron – MISS

With Pekka’s save on Bergeron’s shot, Nashville slipped away with the two points in the shootout. It wasn’t that Nashville didn’t come out strong last night, it was simply the fact that Boston is notoriously a bigger, more physical team than most others. They were there in the right places at the right time to put the extra pressure on Nashville, ultimately keeping the score as low as it turned out to be. You also have to factor in the fact that Tuukka Rask is simply on point when it comes to goaltending; very similar to Nashville’s Finnish phenom who occupies a net.

It is good to note that Filip Forsberg continues to master the leader board when it comes to rookies. Not only does he lead in total points within the rookie class (30), he also leads in plus/minus (23), goals (12), and assists (18). Wowza.

Another fun fact to point out is that, with this win over Boston, David Poile is now the second all-time winningest General Manager with victory 1,171. He trails New York Rangers GM, Glen Sather who hold 1,278 wins.

The Predators take a few days off before heading northward to Minnesota to take on the Wild, a division rival they have yet to face thus far this season. Then it’s a stop in Columbus and a visit to Boston before coming back to welcome in the Flyers on December 27th (Shea Weber bobblehead night).

Preds fall to Hawks 3-1; Time to Rest Rinne?

Source: Kristen Jerkins Photography

Source: Kristen Jerkins Photography

Nashville hasn’t lost a home game since being pummeled 3-0 by the Penguins on October 25th, but another one was bound to happen sooner than later. Unfortunately for Preds fans, it came at the hands of the Chicago Blackhawks tonight. What could add insult to injury is the fact that Chicago played the Montreal Canadiens last night at home, which usually puts said team at a disadvantage compared to a team [Nashville] who has a day to rest. Leave it to Chicago to bypass that hindrance and jump the Predators in the Central Division standings. You read that correctly:
Screen shot 2014-12-06 at 8.49.31 PMLooking at the glass-half-full, this loss wasn’t as devastating (stats wise) as it might feel; especially if you have to listen to belligerent Hawks “fans” as you leave the arena tonight. Though Nashville was only given two powerplay chances and managed to detour Chicago’s four chances, those were still two advantages the Predators failed to capitalize on that could’ve changed the game. However, the Blackhawks do currently hold the best penalty kill in the league, but that’s no excuse. The Predators are now 1-for-45 on powerplay goals at home this season; 28th in league just above the Wild and the Sabres. It is a weakness in advantage that is slowly catching up to the Predators as they push forward into the season.

Another factor to look at is impact on Pekka Rinne. Though there is no way you’d rest him while playing divisional opponents, when is the man going to get a break? Rinne has appeared in the 23 games thus far, whereas Carter Hutton has only seen three games worth of ice time. Yes, Pekka has been the much needed asset for securing many of Nashville’s 17 wins, but it may be time to give the Finnish Phenom a rest or two. Perhaps that will be the case for Tuesday’s game against Colorado; though a Central Division opponent, they sit four rankings below the Predators in sixth. However, ranking position means nothing if you’re goaltender isn’t on point, but Hutton has had enough rest and might want to stretch his legs. Truly, the only other time Pekka might legitimately get a break is on the 22nd when Nashville goes into Columbus. Yes, Pekka Rinne has saved many a butt and missing him from the net is definitely a risk (See last season), but starting him every single game is also a risk. You may play your best golf with your 9-iron, but eventually you’ll need your putter.

Kudos to Colin Wilson tonight for not allowing the Blackhawks to celebrate a goose egg tonight. His wrister past former Mississippi RiverKings (and Milwaukee Admirals, yea) goaltender, Scott Darling was his sixth for the season; assisted by Victor Bartley (1) and Mike Fisher (2). If you are stuck on the Mississippi RiverKings mention, that’s because it’s a Southern Professional Hockey League (SPHL) team and he is the first of said league to make it to the NHL. Jumping around that stat, Colin Wilson is certainly on his way to having one of the best seasons of his career. I mean, this kid went from constantly being tossed into Trotzy’s Doghouse to actually getting ice time to find his comfort zone. He has put up great numbers in the past, but I am foreseeing a much better performance from the 25-year-old under Laviolette’s system for sure.

Welp, don’t get too down, Preds fans; it’s Saturday night and, just remember: the Predators are doing 100x better than the Titans and shhh! Hockey’s not supposed to do better than football!

NSH takes Victory over CBJ 2-1

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Source: Kristen Jerkins Photography

Don’t you remember the good ole days when the Columbus Blue Jackets were a member of the Central Division and all was right in the world? Okay, the Blue Jackets in the Central Division certainly didn’t establish world peace, but it’s fun to reflect on times of old. Well anyway, Columbus and Detroit moved on to the Eastern Conference and have been trying to figure out their place in the world over there. Apparently, it hasn’t been exactly a warm welcome this season, as the Blue Jackets are sitting pretty at the bottom of the Metropolitan Division and (to just add icing to the cake) the entire League. Ouchies. However, just because they haven’t had the ideal season thus far, doesn’t mean that the Predators should just wave them off as an automatic win. Those tend to be the games that Nashville (and honestly, any team) seems to fall flat against.

First Period:

  • Nashville came out on fire, taking 20 shots on goal compared to Columbus’s seven. Unfortunately, Curtis McElhinney just wasn’t going to let Nashville by that easily.

Second Period:

  • Mike Ribeiro would get the ball rolling at 12:47 with a wrap-around goal, his sixth of the season. Roman Josi (9) and Shea Weber (9) would collect the assists.
  • Nashville again would throw a number of shots on goal, this time thirteen to eight.

Third Period:

  • Columbus would enter the game at 3:48 on the powerplay, a trick that seems to be in their favor (including this goal, Columbus has nabbed 20 PPG this season). Ryan Johanssen would tally his ninth goal of the season.
  • Colin Wilson would seal the GWG at 17:48 for his fourth goal of the season. Craig Smith (7) and Calle Jarnkrok (4) would pick up the assists.

Now, this win not only puts Nashville’s record at 16-5-2, it also does the following:
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What’s that? Nashville is now second in the entire league AND first in the Western Conference and Central Division! Some more optimistic folks may say we are tied for first in the league, but there’s a reason there’s not “two number ones”… that’s because Pittsburgh beat us head-to-head, therefore that gives them the No. 1. Darn you, Patric Hornqvist. However, if you want to look at it as a tie, you just go right ahead, you precious soul.

Nashville takes off East to North Carolina to take on the Hurricanes on Tuesday, then return to battle our buddy, St. Louis on Thursday night. Oh yea, and the Blackhawks drop by on Saturday. Joy.

Forsberg gives Preds the Edge over Oilers 1-0 in OT

Source: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images-

How about that “Scoresberg”, y’all? For Predators fans, he could essentially be considered a Saint; as for the Capitals faithful? Well, they are still peeved over that Martin Erat/Mike Latta trade, and you can’t blame them. Though he was just a draft pick at the time (where as Erat/Latta had were exposed to the NHL), Forsberg was certainly a risky pickup. Did David Poile successfully predict his potential? Apparently, but we doubt he’d be the Rookie Offensive leader if he were still under the guidance of Barry Trotz.

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I won’t go into the highlights of last night’s game other than Filip Forsberg’s goal at 3:55 in overtime for his tenth goal of the season. Roman Josi (8) and Shea Weber (8) nabbed the assists on the rookie phenom’s goal, giving Nashville the victory on Thanksgiving. The Oilers have now lost eight in a row, losing by one point in each of those games (minus the 7-1 loss against Chicago). Edmonton is floating in a boat all too familiar to the Predators; you have great talent (such as Taylor Hall and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins), but something just isn’t connecting. Whether that missing piece be within the coaching staff or the players, they have good pieces, but they just haven’t found the rhythm. Good news, though! The Columbus Blue Jackets, who Nashville faces on Saturday night, are last in the league (Edmonton is above them with 16 points). Oh, and let us not forget to mention that it was also Mike Fisher’s season debut. No big deal.