Predators bounce past Maple Leafs 4-3

carter

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.

FIRST PERIOD:

  • 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.

SECOND PERIOD:

  • 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.

THIRD PERIOD:

  • 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?

NOTEWORTHY:

  • 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.

KRc2irc

Where you at, Hutton Haters?!

Preds fall to Ducks 3-2 in 3rd Shootout of Season

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Gill putting the Ducks in their place.

Shootout. The third in just five games. The Predators are 0-3 on the shootout thus far.
After the Ducks’ embarrassing 5-0 shutout against the Canucks the night before, it is not surprising the Ducks weren’t forgetting what time the game started tonight. However, unlike Thursday in St. Louis, Nashville came out strong, though both sides stayed evenly matched when it came to shots on goal throughout the game. The Predators played much better and much more level-headed compared to Thursday, but the Ducks just weren’t going to suffer two nasty losses in a row. Both teams were licking the wounds of a shutout, but only one could savor sweet victory. Here are the highlights from tonight’s game in the Golden State:

KEY POINTS:

  • Paul Gaustad returned to the lineup after missing the last two games. Jonathon Blum and Brian McGrattan remained on the scratched list, along with Matt Halischuk.
  • Brandon Yip struck gold first with a backhanded goal past Viktor Fasth, who made his NHL debut during tonight’s game. Yip’s first goal of the season was unassisted.
  • The Predators would hold down the fort throughout the remainder of the first and for all of the second, except for Bobby Ryan notching his first goal of the season with just over 30 seconds left in the second to tie the game.
  • David Legwand would seal his second goal of the season at 10:09 in the third with a backhander, assisted by Kevin Klein (second assist) and Gabriel Bourque (first assist).
  • Daniel Winnik would respond moments later with his fifth goal of the season, a tip-in past Pekka to tie the game once again.

Overtime proved to be a heated match, but neither side could find the sweet spot to end the game, thus throwing the game into a shootout, the Predators’ apparent mortal enemy.

SHOOTOUT SUMMARY:

NASHVILLE – Martin Erat – SAVE
ANAHEIM – Ryan Getzlaf – SAVE
NASHVILLE – Mike Fisher – SAVE
ANAHEIM – Corey Perry – GOAL
NASHVILLE – David Legwand – SAVE

Penalties, yet again, plagued the Predators tonight. With Nashville’s four and Anaheim’s two, the Predators gave the Ducks more chances to advance. Luckily, the Ducks just couldn’t nail that powerplay goal. Here are the four guys who like the box a little too much:

1. Nick Spaling – 6:28 1st Period – Slashing
2. Craig Smith – 16:56 1st Period – Throwing Stick*
3. Brandon Yip – 9:16 2nd Period – Boarding
4. Hal Gill – 5:17 3rd Period – Tripping

*Rule 10.3 – “A player will be penalized if he throws, tosses, slides or shoots a stick to a teammate on the ice.” Yea, it’s real.

  • Patric Hörnqvist suffered a lower-body injury tonight during the third period, first from taking a Shea Weber slapshot to the leg and another hit against the boards from Ryan Getzlaf. Per Coach Trotz, Patric will be out indefinitely and most likely will be on a plane back to Nashville to be examined by the team doctors. Although a tremendous loss for a struggling team, Patric’s healing time may lead to more opportunities for players such as Colin Wilson.
  • Craig Smith looks like he has made his way into Trotz’s infamous “dog house”, with a very noticeable lack of ice time with one shift in the second period. There will be no sending him to Milwaukee, however, as that would expose him to waivers. After his senseless penalty, Smith may not see the ice for a while. Colin Wilson’s heart may be smiling, as he is most notable for being Trotz’s go-to player to punish.

Rough beginning to the season for the Preds, but don’t jump ship just yet, fellow Preds fans. Though Nashville does not have the luxury of an entire season to gain momentum, they still have time, if they push themselves to victory. It can be done, but they cannot take their time. Do not turn on Peks, either. Though he hasn’t quite reached his typical Finnish phenom status, he isn’t the problem. Yes, shootouts are not his strong suite, but he is not the only factor that leads to a shootout scenario.

The Predators wander out to Phoenix to take on the Coyotes on their turf, another game that could prove rough for the Predators. Then again, they may pull some confidence from midair and nab a much-needed win. Preds and Coyotes match up Monday, January 28 at 8 PM.

Keep Calm and Go Preds.