Three Notable Names on Preds Roster Cut

Image Source: Google Images

What’s up, everybody? Yes, it is still preseason for me, too; I am working on getting back into the flow of posting after a long off-season hiatus. So what’s been going on: Well, the Predators are down to their final preseason game, which comes up this Saturday against the Columbus Blue Jackets. Then? Well, then the real fun begins. But before the season can officially kick-off, the Predators need to reduce the roster and, after Kevin Fiala was sent down to Milwaukee, it was interesting to see who else would be joining him.

Well, it looks like Colton Sissons, Steve Moses, and Juuse Saros will be joining Fiala for the time being. Moses comes as the biggest surprise from this latest cut, as 9 out of the 12 of us joining in on the On the Forecheck “Ask the Staff” post agreed that he’d be the one with the most ice time out of him, Gabriel Bourque, Eric Nystrom, Austin Watson, and Kevin Fiala.

Of course, as the organization explained in the reasoning behind Fiala being cut, I believe Moses will have more of an opportunity to develop while with the Admirals and will have more of a leadership role, which will make him prime pickings for filling in a roster spot in Nashville. Or, as Laviolette put it so sweetly:

The Predators roster is now set at 25 – fifteen forwards, eight defensemen, and two goaltenders. You can see the current roster here.

Preparing for Game 5

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Game 5 is upon us, ladies and gents and from here on out, it’s do or die for the Nashville Predators if they intend on hoisting that big silver Cup in the end.

I am not going to go into what the Predators need to do to win tonight (and those two other possible games); no, we know and the players, coaches, and whatnot know, too. It’s just a matter of getting the job done. Scott Darling is not invincible; he truly is all that has stood between the Predators and taking Round One. Chicago should be kissing his feet right about now because, without him, they’d be facing a quick exit out of the playoffs themselves.

Here’s what’s been happening since Tuesday/Wednesday’s Game 4:

  • Yesterday afternoon, the Predators recalled nine players from Milwaukee. No need to panic, everyone; this is not regular season so there is an unlimited amount of players you can have on a roster. Some may see some ice time, but really, they are just here for emergencies and/or experience. The players chosen? Joe Piskula, Rich Clune, Marek Mazanec, Magnus Hellberg, Anthony Bitetto, Johan Alm, Colton Sissons, Austin Watson, and Viktor Arvidsson.
  • No surprise, the Blackhawks have chosen to go with Scott Darling as their starter for tonight’s game.
  • No need to panic – Kris Martel quickly reported that Wilson did show up to the locker room looking fine.

  • Speaking of those participating in practice…

    Though Fisher was a game time decision Tuesday (and didn’t play), knowing that he’s back out there again is a good sign. Also, long time no see, Eric Nystrom! Though I am doubtful of his magical return for tonight’s game, his presence brings hope.

  • Anaheim becomes the first team to advance to the second round, sweeping the Winnipeg Jets. However, Jets fans stood tall with the sinking ship, giving their team an affable standing ovation for a tremendous season.

  • The Ottawa Senators live to see another day game, shutting down the Montreal Canadiens 1-0 last night.

I have been on edge all day so far and I hope you have been, too. The love for hockey is crazy like that, I guess. It’s going to be deafening in the Bridgestone Arena tonight; I hope you got your tickets. To say this game is huge for either team is an insane understatement.

Go Preds.

 

Game 2: Pregame Breakdown

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Six and a half hours until puck drop, my friends. Are you ready? More importantly, are the Predators ready? No one is unaware of the “you-know-what” the second period has been and Wednesday night’s game solidified the fact this issue needs to be addressed pronto – as in right now – if the Predators want to hold that big shiny Cup at the end of the season. Instead of going into rant-mode, I’ll keep this post on the informational side. Here’s the breakdown of what should be expected before tonight’s puck drop:

  • Did I say six and a half hours? Add about 12 minutes onto that time. Per Thomas Willis, the official puck drop is 8:42PM. Thank goodness tomorrow is Saturday or I’d really have to double-down on the coffee.
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  • No surprise, Mike Fisher was not at practice this morning. Nor was Eric Nystrom, but that’s really, really no surprise.
  • Someone who was there was Cody Franson… And he will be playing tonight.
  • So will Santorelli.

  • Laviolette finally addressed that second period issue (or at least, the first time I’ve seen him address it):

  • Corey Crawford will start in net tonight for Chicago, despite being chased out in the first period in Game 1 AND being overshadowed by Darling’s performance. We have not seen the last of Scott Darling, mind you.
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  • Pregame meal? Eat at the Bridgestone. Or, at least, not downtown. Not only will there be tons of Chicago fans on top of the already insane amount of tourists (and that it’s Friday), some restaurants and bars are marketing to the enemy:
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    Courtesy: Robby Stanley — Boycott this shameful establishment.

    How embarrassing is this? No, seriously. As someone who controls a major part of the Marketing for her company, there would be no way in H-E-double-hockey-sticks I’d make this big of a risk. First off, I have a team that would’ve gone, “Uh Beks, you’ve lost your mind.” I get it; money is the name of the game, especially if you are on tourist row (A.K.A. Broadway), but you are essentially ostracizing your city for a quick buck. Yes, revenue will definitely soar and you’ll make a hefty profit, but you are banking on this to get swept under the rug and forgotten about after the hockey season is over. Here’s the thing about hockey fans, Tequila Cowboy; once you’ve crossed them, it’s done. Why do you think we hate Chicago, Detroit, Anaheim, Vancouver so much? They pissed us off. Be loyal to your audience, my friend; yes, you get more tourists than residents, but those residents have a power called “reference” and nobody is going to speak highly of your business to visiting friends after you’ve done this. Will it affect you that much? Probably not, but you’ve crossed the line and shunned your hometown. Also, how many times are the Blackhawks in town during any given season? Not nearly close to the 41 home games the Predators have. How truly embarrassing and downright shameful. There is no way any bar or restaurant in Chicago will throw “pep rallies” for visiting Nashville fans. How absolutely asinine and an awful marketing “strategy” to begin with.

Though Wednesday featured more mustard than ketchup, I have a feeling – being it a Friday – there will be twice the number of Blackhawks fans tonight than Wednesday. So, if you are attending tonight’s game, meditate or do whatever calms your nerves and be prepared. Good vibes and decent officiating are welcomed.

Only a Day Away…

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As the image above suggests, tomorrow begins the pursuit of Lord Stanley’s Cup and on the agenda? Ottawa at Montreal, Islanders at Washington, Calgary at Vancouver, and Chicago at Nashville.

It’s been two years since the Predators and Nashville have seen playoff hockey and there are a ton of new faces (both player and fan-wise) that will see an entirely new side of the game they’ve come to love. Here’s a few things that have been happening around the rink & then some:

  • The World is a Stage –
    Despite many claiming that the Predators will be “twisting” the National Anthem to thwart Blackhawks fans, they actually have been doing this for quite a few games now; nothing new, guys. What will they be doing, you ask? Simply having the crowd sing the National Anthem instead of a performer; that’s it. No “God Bless America” or what have you, just some good ole mono a mono American harmonizing… or lack thereof. So, if you are coming to Game 1 tomorrow, gargle some salt water and practice your “Do, Re, Mi”, because there’s good chance you’ll have to drown out some obnoxious hollering.
  • Return of the Kane –
    After suffering a broken clavicle back on February 24th, Patrick Kane has announced he will be suiting up for Game 1 tomorrow night. Chicago didn’t suffer as badly as many fans would’ve thought during Kane’s absence as they finished 10-4-1 without him. However, though Kane’s return really doesn’t scathe the Nashville bench, it will pose a bit of a threat.
  • Bring ‘Em On [Up] –
    With injuries starting to increase, Nashville has had to make a few recalls from the Milwaukee Admirals to adjust. Two players to make the recall list just in time for the playoffs are defenseman Joe Piskula and forward-favorite, Kevin Fiala. Piskula, who was signed on a one-year contract over the summer, has one game under his belt this season for Nashville, and likewise for Fiala (who was drafted this season). This could be a turning point for both men, as strength and tenacity shown during key battles (like the playoffs) always strike a [good] cord. Update – Piskula will not have a chance at the NHL playoffs, as he has just been reassigned to Milwaukee. What a bummer, man. So, here’s to you, Kevin Fiala!
  • Not quite IR Level –
    Let’s see… Mike Fisher (lower-body), Cody Franson (upper-body), and Eric Nystrom (lower-body). So the count isn’t as high as it has been in the recent past, but we’re beginning to wonder at least about Nystrom and his injury. Of course, Ellis’s recovery was never discussed when he was out for that extended period of time, so nothing to see here; just still day-to-day. Both Fisher and Franson were at practice today, though Franson donned a “no contact” white jersey. There’s a good chance Fisher may be back for tomorrow’s game, or at the least Friday.
  • Peks (and so forth) on Point –
    It’s hard to argue against Pekka Rinne’s excellence in goaltending, but all things must come to an end eventually. No, I am not saying Rinne is in the downside of his career by any means, but it is no secret the rest of the team (and fans) rely on the Finnish Phenom a little too heavily at times & Lord knows he isn’t perfect. With the defense on the slide as of late (and Pekka still recovering from the effects of – you know – e. coli in his reconstructed hip),  Rinne has let a few escape by him that he’d otherwise put a stop to before it could even leave the stick. In order to push the Blackhawks aside and move forward in the playoffs, both the defense and Rinne are going to need to be on point. With Patrick Kane’s return, there’s even smaller room for error as that kid is known for pinpointing weaknesses – be it on the goaltender or some other blunder – and he will eat well beyond his fill.

Surprise! The whole world is against the Predators… again. Of course, after a lovely six-game losing streak to end the season & completely letting the Central Division slip through their hands, it’s easy to see why the hype over the team we’ve held dear to has come crashing down. That’s fine – let those who follow the bandwagon push on elsewhere. As the national treasure Tracy Lawrence once (probably continues to) sang:

“Everybody wants to slap your back,
Wants to shake your hand
When you’re up on top of that mountain.
But let one of those rocks give way,
Then you slide back down,
Look up and see who’s around then”

Yea, that’s how it usually goes with the Predators and Nashville needs to feed off of that and put some momentum behind their skates. They are the perpetual underdogs who had an outstanding season and kind of sort of blew it in the latter half. All teams go through ruts, right? Ah, but Nashville’s ruts always seem to be a little more heavier than say, Pittsburgh or Chicago. It’s a stigma they’ll probably carry for the rest of their existence as an organization – a non-traditional team on the march to contend with the big boys. And, for those who are not native to Tennessee reading this post, uh… just as a head’s up: Pretty sure Calgary says “yee-haw” about 100% more times than we ever would. In fact, no one says it here so… stop. Ask Dallas about that saying; it’s more of a Texas thing anyway.

So, cheers to the first round of the playoffs and may the best team move onward to Lord Stanley’s silver Cup. And by best team, I mean the Predators.

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Preds Recall Kevin Fiala

Source: Google Images

Source: Google Images

After recalling defenseman Joe Piskula on Friday, the Predators announced that fellow Admiral, Kevin Fiala would be making the trip to Nashville. Fiala joined the team for today’s practice, along with recently injured Mike Fisher. All players were accounted for during practice except for both Cody Franson and Eric Nystrom.

The Predators and Blackhawks begin the battle for the Stanley Cup this Wednesday at Bridgestone Arena. Though Nashville has taken as many steps as possible to avoid an overflow of “red” in the arena, methinks it’ll still be pretty… ugly in there.

Preds shutout Sabres 3-0

Source: John Russell/NHLI

Source: John Russell/NHLI

Call this just as much a morale victory as it was a shutout because the Predators needed a win like this desperately. Nashville, who has been in a deep, inescapable rut, last won a home game back on February 24th against the Colorado Avalanche. Actually, that was the last game the Predators played well before completely dismantling. Although the Sabres are 20-44-7 (before the game), that did give many fans much encouragement as the Predators continue digging out (or deeper) of their rut.

PRE-GAME NOTES:

  • Viktor Arvidsson was recalled by the Predators under emergency conditions to replace Colin Wilson, who is now day-to-day with a lower-body injury. This would be Arvidsson’s NHL debut.

SCRATCHES:

  • Anton Volchenkov, Colin Wilson, James Neal, Eric Nystrom, Victor Bartley

FIRST PERIOD:

  • The Predators gave Matt Hackett, the Sabres goaltender, a run for his money with seventeen shots-on-goal. However, for a net-minder who has only played in a handful of NHL games, he played rather well. The Sabres were only able to notch six shots-on-goal during this period.

SECOND PERIOD:

  • The lamp would finally be lit at 14:52, just four seconds into Nashville’s powerplay, by Taylor Beck, his 7th goal of the season. Shea Weber (30) and Matt Cullen (16) would tally an assist.

THIRD PERIOD:

  • Craig Smith would put Nashville up 2-0 at 5:49 for his 23rd goal of the season. Ryan Ellis (16) and Matt Cullen (17) would notch the assists on Smith’s goal.
  • Mike Fisher would collect the game winner at 15:01, his 17th of the season. Viktor Stalberg (6) and Ryan Ellis (17) would tally the assists.

POST GAME NOTES:

  • Paul Gaustad did what he does best by winning all 13 face-offs in last night’s game.
  • Craig Smith was fined $5,000 by the league due to his high stick on Jerry D’Amigo; a penalty in which he served a double-minor.

  • The Predators are now just one point behind St. Louis from retaking the Central Division, whilst Chicago sits an uncomfortable four points behind Nashville.

Again, this could be chalked up as a morale victory more than anything for Nashville. I, for one, am hoping this win will boost the team out of their rut and onward into playoff contention. Ah, but the next opponents isn’t so easy… Montreal is on pass to be one of the first teams to surpass 100 points this season (the other team being Anaheim), a feat we once though Nashville would do. The Canadiens not only lead the Atlantic Division, they also dominate the Eastern Conference at 46-20-7. With Carey Price in net, who has now surpassed Pekka Rinne for wins at 40 (Rinne – 38), this will not be a walk in the park. But I bet you already knew that.

Ugly OT Win breaks Preds 6-Game Losing Streak

Source: Norm Hall/NHLI via Getty Images

Source: Norm Hall/NHLI via Getty Images

Call it what you will: ugly, gritty, rough, etc., but the Predators pulled out the two-points over the Arizona Coyotes to end their six-game losing streak last night.

SCRATCHED: Victor Bartley, Calle Jarnkrok, Eric Nystrom, Anton Volchenkov

FIRST PERIOD:

  • The Predators came out with a little more fire under their belts, but goaltender Louis Domingue interrupted all 13 SOG that Nashville mustered. For someone who has only tended NHL ice once previously to this match, Domingue brought his A-game; a testament to his solid abilities.
  • Pekka was on point, too, last night, blocking all nine shots-on-goal from the Coyotes in the first period.

SECOND PERIOD:

  • At 3:26 into the second period, Paul Gaustad collected his third goal of the season with assistance from Taylor Beck (7).
  • Both Arizona and Nashville were given two power play opportunities, but neither could capitalize on the advantage.
  • The Coyotes out-shot the Predators eleven to eight.

THIRD PERIOD:

  • At 7:27 into the third, the Coyotes set the game with a tip-in from Kyle Chipchura, his 4th goal of the season.
  • Nashville was awarded three power play chances in the third, including one that would follow up to the end of regulation, but they were unable to connect.
  • The Predators out-shot the Coyotes twelve to eight in the third period.

OVERTIME:

  • James Neal came to the rescue, scoring his 22nd goal of the season just 2:45 in overtime. Seth Jones (17) and Cody Franson (29) tallied the assists on Neal’s game-winning-goal.

POST GAME NOTES:

  • The Predators are now 8-0-1 when Paul Gaustad notches a point during the span of a game.
  • Nashville is also 9-1-2 when Viktor Stalberg is in the lineup.
  • Gaustad’s goal ends another poignant streak; the eleven-straight games without tallying the first goal. Reminder: six of those eleven resulted in losses.
  • Cody Franson tallied his first point with the Predators since being traded to the team back in February (and, if we want to get really technical, his first points with the Preds since the 2010-11 season).
  • With two points, the Predators jump the Anaheim Ducks to reclaim first in the Western Conference and league. That’s an amazing stat in its own, that Nashville was able to lose six-straight and still bounce back into the lead with one win.
  • Pekka Rinne now has 199 career wins and the Predators franchise now has their 599th win.

The Predators aren’t out of hot water just yet; oh no. Nashville heads further west, taking on all three teams in California before making it back home on Tuesday to face the Minnesota Wild. The Sharks, who Nashville plays Thursday night at 9:30PM, will be desperately looking for a win as they are sitting in fifth in the Pacific Division and just one point behind the Kings.

Viktor Stalberg Recalled to Predators

Source: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Oh, hey guys! Yes, I am still alive, even through this six-game losing streak. Not only does that have me down, midterms have me locked down for the time being as well. I mean, who honestly makes a midterm 6 ½ hours long? UofM professors, that’s who.

Anyways, let’s get back on subject, shall we? What’s the subject? Oh yes, Viktor Stalberg has popped back into the Predators roster again! Honestly, the man should just buy a personal jet and sleep in it as opposed to a condo/apartment/whatever. Stalberg received the recall after it was announced Eric Nystrom would miss the next few weeks due to a lower-body injury. Also, Anton Volchenkov has been released from the IR.

Stalberg has been quite the hero within the Admirals, scoring 17 points (11 goals, 6 assists) in 20 games with the Preds’ farm team. However, he just hasn’t had that same momentum on the NHL level, but we are hoping – due to this slump – he might just be what Nashville needs to power back.

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Nice little breakfast this am with @vicbartley64

A post shared by Viktor Stalberg (@viktorstalberg) on

Glad you had a good breakfast; now’s your time to shine, Viktor.

The Predators look to end their six-game losing streak tonight against the 21-38-7 Arizona Coyotes.

Preds tackle Avs 5-2

Source: John Russell/NHLI via Getty Images

Source: John Russell/NHLI via Getty Images

After a not-so stellar performance on the road, the Predators headed back home to welcome in the divisional rival Colorado Avalanche, who might be sitting at the bottom of the Central Division, but certainly not out. Last Friday night, the Avalanche whipped fellow Central Division mate, the Chicago Blackhawks, 4-1 and then went on to defeat the 7th team in the League (the Tampa Bay Lightning) 5-4. Again, Colorado might be down, but they aren’t out. However, Nashville is the Top Dog in the League for a reason and tonight was a night to shush the naysayers.

SCRATCHES: Taylor Beck

FIRST PERIOD:

  • Nathan MacKinnon (13) got the puck moving at 3:57, a lucky break as the puck deflected off of Roman Josi’s skate into the net. Ryan O’Reilly (25) and Brad Stuart (8) notched the assists.
  • Not fifteen seconds later, Mister “I was healthy scratched on Sunday” Calle Jarnkrok answered the call to action and netted one alone for his sixth of the season.
  • Around the 13-minute mark of the game, Avalanche Captain, Gabriel Landeskog took aim at Roman Josi along the boards.
  • As you can see, Landeskog absolutely levels Josi with the hit, prompting both Paul Gaustad and Shea Weber to come to the rescue. Though I wouldn’t want to go up against Gaustad or Weber, I think if I had to choose, I’d go with duking it out with Gaustad. Unfortunately for Landeskog, #AngryShea got to him before Gaustad did.
  • Both players would be given majors (5 minutes) for fighting, but somehow, Weber also received a 10-minute misconduct AND an instigator penalty, totaling his time in the box at 17 minutes.
  • Nashville would finish out the remainder of the first period without their Captain and notch nine SOG to Colorado’s three.

SECOND PERIOD:

  • Craig Smith would open the second period with his 19th goal of the season, giving Nashville the 2-1 lead at 4:32. Mike Fisher (17) collected the lone assist.
  • Roman Josi would punch his 11th goal of the season at 11:06 with assistance from Matt Cullen (10).
  • Colorado would only manage five SOG during the second compared to Nashville’s sixteen.

THIRD PERIOD:

  • To remind everyone he’s still here (like we’ve forgotten), Filip Forsberg gave the Predators a 4-1 lead just 52 seconds into the third period for his 21st goal of the season. Mike Ribeiro picked up the assist, his 39th of the season.
  • Patrick Roy, who is known for pulling his goaltenders early in the games, did just that, giving Colorado a two-man advantage (Craig Smith called for hi-sticking & Shea still in the box). Eric Nystrom (7) slapped a wrister down the length of the ice, nailing the empty net for a short-handed goal at 8:28. Roman Josi (33) grabbed the assist.
  • With under two minutes to go, Colorado slipped on passed Pekka Rinne for a powerplay goal by John Mitchell (7), but it was too late for the Avalanche to make a comeback run.

It is pretty evident why Shea Weber risked a lifetime in the penalty box to protect his fellow linesman. First off, he’s the leader and that’s what a great leader does; second, the memory of Steve Downie’s hit on Roman Josi, just two games into last year’s season. That hit was not investigated like it should have been and Josi was concussed for a few months. Though Downie no longer is a member of the Colorado Avalanche, that wound was reopened by Gabriel Landeskog last night.

Now 41-13-7, the Predators now sit six points ahead of the team second in the league, the Montreal Canadiens. The closest divisional rival, the St. Louis Blues, sit nine points back. Chicago? Twelve points back.

The Predators welcome in the Minnesota Wild for a special 7:30PM start time on Thursday night (airing on NBC Sports).

Preds take Lightning 3-2 with OT Winner

Source: John Russell/NHLI via Getty Images

Source: John Russell/NHLI via Getty Images

Has it decided that the Predators love the game so much they just have to beyond regulation? Or am I – and everyone else – just suffering from a case of déjà vu? Either way you slice it, the Predators are coming out with the two points — whilst doling a point to their given opponent. The Tampa Bay Lightning are just as their name perceives – lightning fast and that trait has helped boost them to the top of the Eastern Conference and fourth in the league (tied at 74 points with the Blues who have one less loss than the Bolts). The Predators have more of a “if I can setup the play, I’ll just dump it” mentality, which has gotten better this season than in the past, but with a in-your-face team like Tampa Bay, the Predators needed to be a little more risqué when it comes to shooting the puck… at the net.

SCRATCHES: Mattias Ekholm, Colin Wilson, Olli Jokinen

FIRST PERIOD:

  • For the third game in a row, neither team was able to get one in the net during the third period. Chalk this one up to both Pekka Rinne and Andrei Vasilevskiy just being on point. Rinne blocked ten shots-on-goal while Vasilevskiy blocked his eight shots. I mean, look what this kid did to rob Mike Ribeiro:

SECOND PERIOD:

  • In only his second NHL Career game, Anthony Bitetto – who was called up to fill in for the injured Mattias Ekholm – dropped the gloves against Brett Connolly. Bitetto did so to defend fellow player Craig Smith, which made a fairly good impression on his teammates – that, and Bitetto clearly won the bout.
  • Seth Jones would finally get the blood flowing at 8:31 with his 6th goal of the season. Viktor Stalberg (4) and Anton Volchenkov (5) nabbed the assists.
  • Just four minutes later, Taylor Beck would put Nashville up 2-0 at 12:47, his fifth goal of the season. Paul Gaustad (9) and Eric Nystrom (5) would tally the assists.
  • Nashville would own the second period, sending 11 shots-on-goal compared to Tampa Bay’s eight.

THIRD PERIOD:

  • Ah, but the Lightning weren’t going down without a fight. At just 1:20 into the third, Brett Connolly made up for losing his bout with Bitetto and sent a wrister whizzing past Rinne, his 10th of the season.
  • And, just seven minutes later, Nikita Kucherov would tie the game at 7:50 with a slapshot, his 21st of the season.
  • The Predators just couldn’t muster up another goal (nor could Tampa Bay) so thus the déjà vu of bonus hockey returns.

OVERTIME:

  • In what everyone deemed was going into a shootout, James Neal had other plans. Breaking the puck away with less than 30 seconds left in overtime, Neal connected on a wrister to win the game, his 18th goal of the season. Roman Josi (28) and Matt Cullen (7) assisted in the winner.

NOTEWORTHY:

  • Viktor Stalberg, who was called up to fill in for the ailing Colin Wilson, saw 11:43 of ice time walked away with one point (assist).
  • With the trade deadline fast approaching (March 2nd), will Nashville make a move? No doubt they will, but in order to get something good, you’ve got to trade something good in return (whether that be a player, draft pick, or a combination of both). With no word on Ryan Ellis’ return (and the fact his jersey has no appeared in the GnashVegas auction), my guess is Ellis will be up for trade bait. Yes, he did just recently sign a five-year, $12.5M contract, but remember, we traded Patric Hornqvist off during his five-year contract extension, too (just one year after he signed it).
  • Colin Wilson may be ready to return within the next game or two, as he was practicing with the team yesterday morning.
  • With just ten more wins, Nashville can secure a playoff spot. That, and they are just two points from being the first team to reach 80 points this season. Me gusta.

If you missed last night’s game, then you surely don’t want to miss tomorrow’s against the Winnipeg Jets, a division rival that’s clawing for a playoff spot. Winnipeg is twelve points behind Nashville, but has won their last two; they’ll be looking to knock of the league leader for sure tomorrow night.