2017 NHL All-Star Roster Announced

c101sywweaeg_4m-jpg_large

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.

 

 

NHL All-Star Game Roster

Roman Josi, Shea Weber, Pekka Rinne

Source: AP Photo/Mark Humphrey

Shortly after revealing the All-Star Game jerseys, the NHL released the ASG roster. Without further ado, here you go:

Atlantic Division

F Patrice Bergeron (BOS)

Central Division

F Jamie Benn (DAL)

F Jaromir Jagr (FLA) F Matt Duchene (COL)
F Leo Komarov (TOR) F Patrick Kane (CHI)
F Dylan Larkin (DET) F Tyler Seguin (DAL)
F Ryan O’Reilly (BUF) F Vladimir Tarasenko (STL)
F Steven Stamkos (TBL) F Jonathan Toews (CHI)
D Aaron Ekblad (FLA) D Dustin Byfuglien (WPG)
D Erik Karlsson (OTT) D Roman Josi (NSH)
D P.K. Subban (MTL) D Shea Weber (NSH)
G Ben Bishop (TBL) G Devan Dubnyk (MIN)
G Roberto Luongo (FLA) G Pekka Rinne (NSH)
Metropolitan Division Pacific Division
F Nicklas Backstrom (WSH) F Johnny Gaudreau (CGY)
F Claude Giroux (PHI) F Taylor Hall (EDM)
F Evgeni Malkin (PIT) F Joe Pavelski (SJS)
F Alex Ovechkin (WSH) F Corey Perry (ANA)
F Brandon Saad (CBJ) F John Scott (ARI)
F John Tavares (NYI) F Daniel Sedin (VAN)
D Justin Faulk (CAR) D Brent Burns (SJS)
D Kris Letang (PIT) D Drew Doughty (LAK)
D Ryan McDonagh (NYR) D Mark Giordano (CGY)
G Braden Holtby (WSH) G John Gibson (ANA)
G Cory Schneider (NJD) G Jonathan Quick (LAK)

I’ll be completely honest here (and so will a bunch of other bloggers): I honestly did not believe Nashville would get three players to the roster. Of course, it ended up between the three everyone thought had a chance. Shea Weber had a shoe-in, simply because he’s the captain and they want him in the ‘hardest shot’ contest, but Roman Josi and Pekka Rinne were toss-ups. Though Josi definitely deserves it, Rinne is more well known and money talks.

Over all though, I am definitely happy Shea Weber, Pekka Rinne, and Roman Josi will get to represent Nashville (in Nashville) for the 2016 NHL All-Star Game and weekend.

Here’s what others are saying about the roster choices:

Okay, so I am officially excited; I am not going to lie. Nashville is well represented and that is satisfying enough. Congratulations to Weber, Rinne, and Josi!

Rinne named Vezina Finalist

74ce15774600d60de204a650701dbce6

Earlier this afternoon, the NHL announced its nominees for the Vezina Trophy, an award given to the league’s best goaltender. Here’s an excerpt from the official news release:

Nashville Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne has been named a finalist for the Vezina Trophy, as voted on by general managers of all NHL clubs. This is Rinne’s third career nomination for the award, given annually to the NHL goaltender judged to be the best at his position. Rinne was nominated in 2011 and 2012, but is yet to win the award.

After missing significant time due to a hip infection in 2013-14, Rinne returned to form in the 2014-15 campaign, finishing the season with 41 wins (tied for second in the NHL) and among the League leaders in goals-against average (2.18) and save percentage (.923).

Nashville’s nominee for the 2015 Masterton Trophy, awarded to the NHL player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey, Rinne recorded two, six-game winning streaks and posted four shutouts during the regular season.

On March 14 in Los Angeles, Rinne made 23 saves to record his 200th career NHL victory, and the 600th all-time for the franchise, in his 370th career appearance, all of which had come as a member of the Preds. Against the Rangers on Feb. 7, the Kempele, Finland, native became the fastest (in terms of games played) goaltender to record 30 wins (39 games played) since the NHL adopted the shootout in 2005-06 and just the third goalie in the NHL’s expansion era to tally 30 wins in 39 games or less.

Also nominated are Carey Price of the Montreal Canadiens and Devan Dubnyk of the Minnesota Wild. I totally understand Price, but Dubnyk? He has been exceptionally well when Minnesota has needed him, but so has a ton of other backup goaltenders. Strangely enough, I am not surprised he was nominated; too many writers discussing it these past few months. As much as I think Rinne deserves this award, I am afraid it will end up in Price’s hands. Not only is he heavily favored, he has been excruciatingly consistent.

The NHL Awards are slated for June 24th, time TBA, in Las Vegas.

Ellis Goal leads to Victory in SO against Coyotes 3-2

Image Source: Kristen Jerkins

Image Source: Kristen Jerkins

Back home in Smashville are we for a few and the first guest on the list? The former never-were-in-Phoenix-to-begin-with Arizona Coyotes! The Coyotes, coming into Nashville with a 2-2-0 record, were pretty well prepared to leave with victory in their hands. Stop for a moment – I just noticed Pekka Rinne chatting it up with former Preds goalie, Devan Dubnyk in the background of the picture above. Not that that’s special or anything, I just wanted to point that A.D.D. moment out – carry on. However, in order for Nashville to remain at the top of the Central Division standings, they’d need to pull off a win against Martin Erat & his brood.

Notable Mentions: Keith Yandle debuted in his 500th NHL Career game last night in Nashville, which is a pretty big milestone, I guess. Congrats, Yandy.

First Period:
– Coming out sluggish and uncoordinated once again, it wasn’t long before the Coyotes and Rob Klinkhammer (2) would capitalize on this Nashville weakness and light the lamp in Arizona’s favor.
– Mike Ribeiro would retaliate against his former team at 12:05 for his third goal of the season. Ryan Ellis would be the lone assistant (2) on Ribeiro’s goal.
RIBEIRO
Second Period:

– After collecting an assist, Ryan Ellis nabbed his first goal of the season at 5:12 in the second, picking up assistance from Derek Roy (4) and Seth Jones (2).
– Arizona wouldn’t give Nashville too much to celebrate for at 11:48 as Keith Yandle sends one clean past Pekka’s barrier on the powerplay.

Third Period:
– Arizona would nabbed yet another power play goal thanks to former Pred, Martin Erat at 7:42 into the third; his second goal of the season.
– James Neal couldn’t wait 19 seconds later before answering Erat’s goal with one of his own, his second of the season. Mike Ribeiro (2) and Ryan Ellis (3) would both collect two more points on the night with their assists.

Overtime:
– With three shots from Nashville and just two from Arizona, this puppy was headed to a shootout.

Shootout Summary:
Nashville – Derek Roy – Goal
Arizona – Mikkel Boedker – Save
Nashville – Craig Smith – Save
Arizona – Sam Gagner – Save
Nashville – Filip Forsberg – Save
Arizona – Antoine Vermette – Goal
Nashville – Ryan Ellis – Goal
Arizona – Martin Erat – Save
Here’s a .gif of Ellis’s game winner against Dubby:
ELLISWINNER

With a win in the shootout, Nashville remains on top of the Central Division leader board… phew! It is important to note how well both Ryan Ellis and Mike Ribeiro looked tonight (among other players) and how Craig Smith needs to take some anxiety medicine; boy needs to take a deep breath and stop with all these silly mistakes. We know he’s better than that; we’ve seen it.

Next in line to come for a visit are the Chicago Blackhawks, who will be gracing us with their presence on Thursday. Chicago is sitting behind us both in the Central Division standings and in the league. I am sure they want to get past us tomorrow night if they can.

Trade Deadline: MTL nabs Dubnyk

Dubbie's off to Montreal

Dubbie’s off to Montreal

So this comes as no surprise that the Predators needed to pass Devan Dubnyk on to greener pastures, but in all honesty, I expected him to fall down to the Admirals. That, my friends, was not the case today. Around noon, TSN confirmed that the Predators had traded Devan Dubnyk to the Montreal Canadiens for “future considerations”. Carey Price has been suffering from an injury, but Montreal refuses to say that is the reason for picking up Dubnyk.

That being said, Dubnyk has had a rough, but interesting, season thus far; Montreal will be his third team and he is yet another backup for an injured goaltender. That doesn’t seem to phase Dubnyk much, though; he still believes he has the ability and talent to be a starting goaltender. It’s good to have ambitions. Unfortunately, we just got word that Dubnyk is, for now, being assigned to the Hamilton Bulldogs, which is Montreal’s farm team.

Dubnyk isn’t the only goalie who has been traded thus far, though; he joins the ranks of six other goalies who are making the move, which consists of Roberto Luongo (VAN-FLA), Ilya Bryzgalov (EDM-MIN), Viktor Fasth (ANA-EDM), Ryan Miller (BUF-STL), Jaroslav Halak (STL-BUF) & Jacob Markstrom (FLA-VAN). It truly is the Goalie’s Deadline this year.

We wish Dubnyk well on his ventures with the Canadiens and we hope than not too many fans ran out and grabbed up a Preds Dubnyk jersey. We must say, though, Dubnyk lit a fire under Carter Hutton’s bottom when it came to who would hang onto that backup position. For that, we thank you.

We’ll keep you updated if Nashville decides to do something productive or absolutely asinine.

https://twitter.com/smashville/status/441269676882919424

Rinne Returns; Dubnyk on Waivers

peks

Guess who’s back…

He’s Back! …And apparently, so are we (blog wise). The return of Pekka Rinne has been much anticipated and, for everyone who was patient, your Finnish prayers have been answered.

Mid last week, the Predators announced that Rinne would be making a trip to Milwaukee to get in some ice time conditioning with the Admirals. After knocking off the Iowa Wild 9-1 and pushing past the Rochester Americans 2-1 in OT, Pekka was given the green light to return to Nashville and return to his beloved goal posts.

Rinne has missed a total of 51 games since being placed on the IR due to an E.Coli infection in his surgically-repaired hip, but that hasn’t stopped him from doing whatever it took to get back on the ice. Rinne has officially been given the all clear to start in the net tomorrow against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

With that green light for Peks, that also means someone has to be booted and, unfortunately, that goaltender is Devan Dubnyk. The Predators have placed Dubnyk, who was picked up from a trade between the Edmonton Oilers on January 15th for Matt Hendricks. Sadly, Dubnyk was given only two chances in net, all of which were not exactly NHL backup worthy. With Carter Hutton clawing for the position, it was easy to push Dubnyk aside and thus his current condition.

But, for Pekka Rinne, tomorrow is the true test; is he ready to be back full time? We certainly hope so and we certainly hope he does not hide any issues he may still have with his hip.

If you don’t have tickets for tomorrow, go ahead and get them now.

Hutton makes Save of the Season

On Thursday night, the Predators took to Philadelphia to face the 24-19-4 Flyers & managed to, against all odds, win their very first shootout this season, snagging the all-important two-pointer.

But there was another key moment during this game that helped propel Nashville to the two-pointer & it was all do to Carter Hutton’s cat-like reflexes. Yes, I said Carter Hutton.

Just a day after the Predators announced that they had made a deal with the Edmonton Oilers to trade Matt Hendricks for goaltender Devan Dubnyk, it was kind of assumed that either Hutton or Mazanec would have to take a step back to the farm team, the Milwaukee Admirals. And, after Trotz’s “throw him under the bus” comments about Hutton after the 2-1 loss against the Carolina Hurricanes, it was easy to believe that Hutton was the one needing to pack his bags.

…And then he does something like this:

Like Pete Weber says in the video, this may be the highlight of his career… or something similar to that. Though Hutton’s miraculous save may have only played a small part, it was announced yesterday that Marek Mazanec would be the goalie hitting the road to Milwaukee. It makes sense, though; he is a less-mature goaltender in the NHL and will thrive well in the AHL for now, similar to how well Filip Forsberg is doing.

Tonight, however, Carter Hutton will be taking the night off as the newly acquired Devan Dubnyk has been given the “ok” to start in net tonight against the Colorado Avalanche. Despite me posting that nightmare-inducing video in the previous post, Dubnyk has grown as an individual in his game since that incident. He is currently 11-17-2 and, although we’d rather see more wins than losses, you have to think logically here: Would Edmonton give up a Pekka Rinne for a Matt Hendricks? You know that answer.

Preds Trade Hendricks for Dubnyk

Image Courtesy: Getty Images

Image Courtesy: Getty Images

Early this afternoon, the Predators made an announcement that took everyone by surprise. General Manager David Poile struck a deal with the Edmonton Oilers to swap Center Matt Hendricks with Goaltender Devan Dubnyk. Here’s the official press release from the Preds:

Nashville, Tenn. – Nashville Predators President of Hockey Operations/General Manager David Poile announced today that the club has acquired goaltender Devan Dubnyk from the Edmonton Oilers in exchange for Matt Hendricks.

Dubnyk, 27 (5/4/86), has posted an 11-17-2 record, a 3.36 goals-against average, a .894 save percentage and a pair of shutouts while appearing in 32 of the Oilers’ 49 games this season. The 6-6, 210-pound Regina, Sask., native has appeared in 171 career NHL contests – all with Edmonton since 2009-10 – including 38 of 48 games in 2012-13, 47 games in 2011-12 and 35 games in 2010-11. He has a .910 save percentage, 2.88 goals-against average and eight shutouts to go along with a 61-76-21 record.

Edmonton’s first choice, 14th overall (first round), in the 2004 Entry Draft, Dubnyk has represented Canada at the past four World Championships (2010-13), and won a gold medal with his homeland at the 2006 World Junior Championships. A Kamloops Blazer (WHL) from 2001-06, Dubnyk was a 2004 recipient of Daryl K. Seaman Trophy as WHL Scholastic Player of the Year, and was the 2004 CHL Scholastic Player of the Year.

With both Marek Mazanec and Carter Hutton having more off days than on, it was only a matter of time before Poile nabbed a reputable goalie… but is it too little too late? Also, is this a sign that Poile has come to terms with the fact that Rinne may not be back to 100% before season’s end? Though Poile says the trade has nothing to do with Pekka’s return, we beg the differ.

Well, wether or not that’s the case, Devan Dubnyk also had a press conference himself, thanking the city of Edmonton for the opportunities that the organization gave him and how excited he is to join the Predators.

And as for Hendricks? He thanked the Preds organization for his short time here, but not before mentioning on an Edmonton radio station that he hadn’t fit in since “day one”. Ouch.

Well, let’s be honest; Who really fits well under the Trotz system? Oh, oops.
Anyway, Nashville slipped in like a smooth criminal and managed to convince Edmonton to retain half of Dubnyk’s salary.

David Poile, you sly dog, you…!

Well, this does mean two things for certain: Some lucky soul in Milwaukee will get the call to fill Hendy’s position & someone (looking at you, Hutton & Mazanec) will have to step back to the Admirals. Though Poile claims they have not decided as to which goalie will step down, he did say he has a good idea as to who it will be…

Well, wether you felt like you fit here or not, we wish you well in Oil Country, Hendy. Here are tweets from Victor Bartley & Mike Fisher wishing Hendricks luck in Canada:

Rich Clune wished him well, but apparently he deleted it.

So, who all remembers this gem from last year?

Err… about that. You know, he may have learned a very valuable lesson from that incident.
Forget that video above & check out this video entitled Dubnyk 101:

Good news, he likes giraffes. We have those at the Nashville Zoo, bud.

A Shutout leads to a Shootout in Nashville: Oilers & Wild Recap

Rich Clune takes on Mike Brown, while SK74 tries to derail Ryan Suter.

Rich Clune takes on Mike Brown, while SK74 tries to derail Ryan Suter.

After being completely manhandled by the L.A. Kings on Monday, the Predators took a much needed four-day rest, hoping to regenerate some sort of game plan to make it through the rest of the season. The Predators have proven they do slightly better at home this season, but back-to-back games? Let’s highlight the recaps of both games against the Edmonton Oilers and the Minnesota Wild:

FRIDAY – EDMONTON OILERS

  • Patric Hornqvist picked up his first goal since returning from the IR, sending a wrist shot past Devan Dubnyk at 6:07. Colin Wilson picked up his 11th assist and Mike Fisher picked up his 5th assist.

  • Rich Clune and Mike Brown dropped gloves shortly after Hornqvist’s goal. Here is the video of the punch fest:

  • David Legwand would end the 1st period 2-0 with a strange wrist shot from the centerline that Dubnyk just didn’t seem to know what to do with. Legwand was first noted as unassisted on his fourth goal, but Colin Wilson was awarded his 12th assist on the goal. Here’s the video of this head shaking goal:

  • At 51 seconds into the second period, Rich Clune picked up his second NHL career goal, assisted by Paul Gaustad (3rd assist) and Sergei Kostitsyn (8th assist). Made up for that five for fighting, right?

  • One of the new B’s (all three actually were in the lineup as expected), Zach Boychuk made his presence known at 18:22 with his first goal of the season and first as part of the Nashville organization. His tip-in goal was assisted by Shea Weber (7th assist) and Martin Erat (10th assist).

  • Colin Wilson would lead the Predators up 5-0 at 4:43 into the 3rd with a backhander for his sixth goal of the season. Mike Fisher picked up his sixth assist along with Shea Weber picking up his 8th assist.
  • Colin would then again nab his second goal of the night at 16:39 on the powerplay, his seventh overall. Shea Weber would collect his ninth assist, along with Craig Smith obtaining his third assist. This was Wilson’s first career 4-point game.

  • Although Nashville put a pounding on  their first meeting with Edmonton, the Oilers ultimately sent Patric Hornqvist back out of the lineup. Suffering from an upper body injury, Hornqvist missed ice time against the Minnesota Wild and will be out against Dallas for tomorrow’s game.

SATURDAY – MINNESOTA WILD

  • Ouch. Although they were shown for the likes of Steve Sullivan and Jordin Tootoo, Ryan Suter did not receive a tribute video for his contributions while with the Predators. As you heard from the video above, Nashville hadn’t forgotten Suter’s “sneaky” ways around signing with the Minnesota Wild. A video was indeed made, but after the reaction the fans would give every time Suter hit the ice, the video was canned.
  • Minnesota would strike first at 9:01 in the second with a powerplay goal by Zach Parise for his ninth goal of the season. Ryan Suter would pick up his 15th assist along with Mikko Koivu (15th assist).
  • David Legwand would tie the game at 6:28 in the third period, his fifth of the season. Sergei Kostitsyn would collect his ninth assist and Shea Weber would collect his 10th assist.

SHOOTOUT:

MINNESOTA – Zach Parise – MISS
NASHVILLE – Gabriel Bourque – MISS
MINNESOTA – Mikko Koivu – GOAL
NASHVILLE – Craig Smith – GOAL
MINNESOTA – Matt Cullen – GOAL
NASHVILLE – David Legwand – MISS

  • Though not exactly the 6-0 shutout from the night before, Nashville still managed to grab a point instead being demolished by Parise and Suter. However, Colin Wilson did leave the game with an upper body injury, similar to Hornqvist’s the night before.

Nashville is currently sitting in fourth in the Central Division, with Columbus just two points behind (26, 24). However, the are sitting in an ugly 11th in the Western Conference, tied with Dallas at 10th and just two points behind St. Louis who sits in 8th. While we are at it, let’s just go ahead and tell you were Nashville sits league-wise: 20th. With less than a month left in the regular season, Nashville will have to make some major adjustments, which (in a way) they have with the Three B’s, if they want to see an extended season. Or, maybe they are just ready for an early golf season?

UPDATES:

  • Patric Hornqvist and Colin Wilson have now been placed on the IR, which means they will both at least be out for a week. Brandon Yip, on the other hand, has made his way off the IR, practicing with the team this morning. Hal Gill is on the mend, but is still day-to-day.
  • Matt Halischuk has returned to Nashville early, due in part to both Colin and Patric’s injuries. Though we don’t believe he was on the same track initially as Brian McGrattan, Colin and Patric’s injuries may have bought Halischuk some time. Who knows. We could be completely wrong. There is still much to be seen with the Nashville Predators.

Out-Shot but not Out-Played: Oilers Top the Predators 6-3

Even though it was Sergei Kostitsyn's birthday, the Oilers made no attempt to play nice.

The Predators returned home after a treacherous trip out West. Although the Predators were able to sneak away with two wins (first in Phoenix with a SO win and then against the Ducks in regulation), none of the games they played showed any confidence in the team and each game was played with a bit of a lackluster effort. But home games are always a confidence boost, right? Especially sweeping out the Ducks on Sunday.

Easy wins should never be assumed by a team like the Predators. Although the Edmonton Oilers are currently sitting in 14th in the league (yes, that means they are the second to last) and are dead last in the Northwest Division, the Oilers aren’t a team to just cast aside. In fact, in the last three games the Predators played against the Oilers, they only won one on November 28th in Edmonton 2-1. Otherwise, Edmonton, although clearly the weaker of the two teams, has embarrassed the Predators on both home and away ice.

Either the Predators were suffering from jet lag (which was still hanging around since heading to the West) or they were suffering from Rads-is-on-his-way syndrome. Either way, the Oilers brought their A-Game and the Predators did not. Here are the highlights from last night’s game in Music City:

KEY POINTS:

  • Brian McGrattan, Roman Josi, and Jack Hillen sat out on the scratched list last night against the Oilers. Along with those three, Colin Wilson and Paul Gaustad rounded out the scratched bunch. Wilson is currently still on the fence with a “groin” injury, whereas Gaustad is quickly healing and could possibly be back for Thursday’s game in Pittsburgh.
  • Former Predator, Darcy Hordichuk got the ball rolling at 12:50 for the Oilers, scoring his first goal of the season past Pekka Rinne.
  • The Oilers quickly put themselves up 2-0 over the home team at 16:22 with a wrist shot from Ales Hemsky, his 7th goal of the season.
  • David Legwand would relieve Preds fans at 19:53 in the 1st with his 17th goal of the season past Devan Dubnyk. Leggy was assisted by Shea Weber (29th assist) and rookie Gabriel Bourque (10th assist).
  • Ales Hemsky would seal his 2nd goal of the night (8th of the season) 28 seconds into the 2nd, sending Pekka to the bench and bringing out Anders Lindback.
  • Edmonton would continue to attack, putting the Oilers up 4-1 at 5:51 with a power play goal from Ryan Jones (15th goal of the season).
  • Between this point and Nashville’s goal at 12:35, something happened. Something that sent both the team (the Predators) and the fans into an uproar. An apparent goal by Patric Hornqvist was waved off by the officials, even though it was clearly and quite obviously a goal. The fans clearly shared their feelings with the refs, and even the Oilers announcers were said to have said it was a terrible call.
  • The refs tried to make up the slip in judgement by giving the Predators a 5-on-3. Patric Hornqvist sealed a goal at 12:35 for his 24th goal of the season. Mike Fisher (23rd assist) and Martin Erat (39th assist) assisted on the power play goal.
  • The Oilers would end the 2nd Period with another goal from Ales Hemsky at 14:03, giving the Czech his first ever Hat Trick in the NHL.
  • David Legwand would seal his second goal of the night at 4:18 in the 3rd, his 18th goal of the season. Patric Hornqvist (13th assist) and Gabriel Bourque (11th assist) were back in the lineup with Leggy, assisting him on the goal.
  • Sam Gagner would seal any chance of the Predators returning to the game with an empty-netter at 18:19 for his 16th goal of the season.
  • Pekka Rinne has been looking a bit sluggish lately, and last night showed through his padding. Pekka was pulled early in the 2nd Period, right after Ales Hemsky sealed his second goal of the night. Anders played well, blocking 10 of 12 shots on net. Edmonton resembled the Predators in that they managed to still win, dispite only having 20 shots on goal. The Predators took an outstanding 41, but the accuracy of the shots failed against goalie, Devan Dubnyk.
  • The Predators only had two penalties compared to Edmonton’s five, but the Predators just couldn’t find a way to capitalize on them, minus one. Here are the two penalty boxers:
  1. Shea Weber – 4:09 2nd Period – Hi-Sticking
  2. Francis Bouillon – 14:28 3rd Period – Roughing

Sloppy plays equal a short time in the playoffs. The Predators have been struggling as of late and, with the playoffs inching ever so closer, now is not the time to slack-off. Lackluster plays and puck-handling mistakes lead to quick “couch” time, as we’d like to call it.

RADULOV UPDATE:
As expected, Alexander Radulov made it into Nashville late last night, stopping by the Bridgestone Arena to meet with General Manager David Poile, Head Coach Barry Trotz, and other members of the staff and team. Radulov practiced with the team this morning (Wednesday, March 21st) and is expected to make the trip to Pittsburgh with the team on Thursday. Whether or not he will hit the ice tomorrow is still in question, but he was placed on a line with Legwand and Hornqvist and is expected to play Saturday in Nashville against the Winnipeg Jets.

Alexander Radulov stated that he was happy to be back in Nashville and was ready to play tomorrow against Pittsburgh, but all decisions will be decided upon tomorrow. Here a picture from the press conference this morning:

Radulov shakes hands with Predators GM David Poile.

Again, one player (Radulov…cough) is not going to save the Predators from their sloppy mistakes. Yes, Radulov will help tremendously, but it may take a game or two before he gets into the swing of things back here in the NHL (Yes, there is a huge difference between the KHL and the NHL). The Predators are off to Pittsburgh for the night tomorrow to take on Steve Sullivan, Sidney Crosby, and the Penguins at 6PM. The Predators return to Nashville on Saturday to welcome the Winnipeg Jets at a special 6PM start time.

Until then,
GO PREDS.

(Photo credit: Kristen Jerkins Photography)