Jarnkrok pushes Predators over Blues 3-1

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Image Source: Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

Show of hands as to how many of us thought the first winning streak would come in mid-November? Okay, so there’s no doubt we all thought Nashville would have at least more than one back-to-back set of wins by now, but that is just one of the fun things about the regular season. Perhaps it is due to the fact that there was so much hype coming into the season regarding this team that, without perceived perfection, fans can’t help but think the 2016-17 season is doomed. Well, good news; it isn’t. We are on game 13 of an 82 game season. Nashville is fine.

Granted, that doesn’t make the 5-5-3 record Nashville is totting around anything to be gloating about. But the team has been addressing its issues and last night’s win against the 7-5-3 St. Louis Blues could be chalked up as a testament to this improvement.

While the first and second periods looked a bit out of sync (which allowed Jaden Schwartz to tally his third goal of the season), it took a wrister from Calle Jarnkrok at the end of the second period to give the home team some confidence. Jarnkrok’s wrister, assisted by Colin Wilson & (surprise) Matt Irwin, was his first of the season.

When the Predators hit the ice for the third period, the group looked much more put-together and, dare I say, like a well-oiled machine. After a clean connecting pass from Mike Ribeiro, James Neal collected his fourth goal of the season with a secondary assist from Pontus Aberg (who notched his very first NHL point). Not even a minute later, Calle Jarnkrok picked up his goal of the night (and season) at 4:50, slipping it past former Predators goaltender, Carter Hutton. Nashville would hang onto the lead for the remainder of regulation, giving the Predators their first winning streak of the season.

Pekka Rinne continues to be “the eraser” that he is, but he needs the rest of his team to jump on that consistency train. Personally, I am not worried about this team just yet. As I stated, last night’s tilt was game 13 of 82; Nashville has time to figure out what the issues are and get them fixed. However, they can’t put that on the back-burner and coast to the playoffs by any means.

Nashville welcomes in the Anaheim Ducks on Saturday for a special Hockey Fights Cancer Night at 7PM. Anaheim’s current record is 7-5-3 and sits second in the Pacific Division, just two points behind Edmonton. While the win over St. Louis certainly boosted some much needed morale around Nashville, a continued streak over Anaheim could be what sets the Predators on a track of success.

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Preds fall to Blues 5-4 in SO – BONUS: Questionable Audio

Source: Harry How/Getty Images

The after effects of the All-Star break has been so-so for the Nashville Predators, with the team pulling out an overtime win against the Colorado Avalanche 4-3 at home on Tuesday, then losing last night to the St. Louis Blues in a shootout 5-4. Getting away with points is good and better than straight losing in regulation, but you can only plaster that “don’t freak out yet” smile across your face in so many games and continue to believe yourself. The thoughts of knowing you cannot get away with this within the playoffs keep pounding in the back of your mind, but you just… keep… smiling. Onward to the recap:

SCRATCHES: Taylor Beck, Pekka Rinne

FIRST PERIOD:

  • The Predators started out strong and on the right foot, with Mike Fisher notching his 10th goal of the season on the powerplay. Roman Josi (22) and Shea Weber (23) picked up the assists.
  • Carter Hutton screened twelve shots on goal by the Blues, keeping the Predators up 1-0 going into the second period.

SECOND PERIOD:

  • Nashville would continue dominance over St. Louis going into the second, as Filip Forsberg notched his 17th goal of the season at 5:36. Craig Smith (13) and Mike Ribeiro (33) pick up the assists.
  • But after Forsberg’s goal, the second period became St. Louis’ property, with Jaden Schwartz helping the Blues to a goal at 8:22.
  • Shortly thereafter, at 12:36, TJ Oshie helped himself to his 14th goal of the season, tying the game at two.
  • Not even thirty seconds later, Steve Ott would take the lead with his second goal of the season.
  • Mike Fisher would step up at 15:32 to tie the game once more, his 11th goal of the season with a short-handed goal. Roman Josi (23) and Calle Jarnkrok (8) would notch the assists.
  • Ryan Reaves, however, would give St. Louis the lead once again at 18:15, his fourth goal of the season.

THIRD PERIOD:

  • James Neal would be the only player to come through for either team during the third period, tying the game and pushing it into overtime. Mike Fisher (10) and Colin Wilson (18) would assist on Neal’s 16th goal of the season.

OVERTIME:

  • No goals – to the shootout we go.

SHOOTOUT:

  • STL – TJ Oshie – GOAL
  • NSH – Matt Cullen – MISS
  • STL – Vladimir Tarasenko – MISS
  • NSH – Craig Smith – MISS
  • STL – Alexander Steen – MISS
  • NSH – Roman Josi – GOAL
  • STL – Kevin Shattenkirk – GOAL
  • NSH – James Neal – MISS

With St. Louis closing the gap for the lead of the Central Division, Nashville really could’ve used two points – especially in regulation. However, to be positive, they still left with a point and still lead the division by four points. Here are some other important notes to take away from this game:

NOTEWORTHY:

  • The St. Louis Blues hold the best powerplay percentage record in the league. Not only did they muster six powerplays last night, Carter Hutton and the Predators’ special teams held the Blues to all six. Oh, and not to mention, Mike Fisher scored on one of their said powerplay opportunities.
  • Mike Fisher collected his 500th and 501st career point during last night’s bout in St. Louis. Congrats, Fish.
  • Speaking of Mikes, Mike Ribeiro continues to prove why he was the best free agent signing for the Preds this past off-season. Collecting an assist, he continues to lead the Predators in points at 47 this season; he currently has 699 career points… I am willing to bet he’ll have 700 by tonight.
  • Filip Forsberg continues to lead rookies in all categories that he can, with 42 points, 17 goals, 25 assists, and 25 plus/minus points.
  • Rinne traveled with the team to St. Louis and participated in practice. His return is eminent. Soon.
  • Carter Hutton picks up yet another loss, but blocked 31-35 shots. Some blocks were outrageous; others, well… his inconsistency with rebounds needs some serious, urgent care.

Now… to discuss what everyone is wondering… What the heck did we hear during the broadcast last night?!
Here’s a little background, in case you missed it: During the first period, sometime around Mike Fisher’s first goal of the night, the sound of a woman… uh… in action (?) could be heard whilst Pete Weber and Stu Grimson were commentating. Take a listen (warning: could be considered offensive or you may be unable to control your laughter):

Yes, you heard exactly what you thought you heard, my friends.

Yes, I deemed it as “barking” at first because I did not want to automatically assume some lady was uh… yea.

Fox Sports Tennessee was quick to apologize, but not before we also got to hear Stu Grimson belching on air:

Needless to say, it was quite an eventful first period for those of us watching from home. I’d also like to say this is the first – and hopefully last – time I have ever had to mention the word ‘porn’ on my blog. Never again, y’all.

The Predators are back at it tonight in Denver to take on the Avalanche, a team the barely defeated on Tuesday. Tonight’s game is Nashville’s last Central Division away game until April 7th and their last Western Conference away game until March 9th.

Blues Crush Predators 6-1

Image Courtesy: Getty Images

Well, what can I say about last night’s game? Glad I was celebrating my college’s Homecoming, perhaps? Nah, I would’ve gone down with this ship if I had been there, but ouch; what a terrible way to start a long, seven-game road trip. The St. Louis Blues have always picked on little brother Nashville, but last night’s performance made even the strongest stomachs do a few flips, even all the way in Cookeville.

So, were there any highlights from last night’s game? Eh, one or two, but if I was a Blues blogger, I’d be up all night with this one. But there are still somethings we can discuss:

First Period:

  • Alexander Steen collected his ninth goal of the season on a powerplay brought about from a tripping call from Colin Wilson at 5:27. It only took Steen seven seconds to score, with the penalty beginning at 5:20.
  • St. Louis would pound Carter Hutton in the net with shots-on-goal at 17. Nashville was only able to send eight towards Jaroslav Halak.

Second Period:

  • T.J. Oshie would nab his second goal of the season with a tip-in at 7:35.
  • Jaden Schwartz would collect his second goal as well at 11:36.
  • Nashville took more shots in the second period, eight to St. Louis’ four.

Third Period:

  • Fifty-two seconds into the third, Nick Spaling would attempt to turn the tables, capitalizing with a short-handed goal, his first goal of the season. Mattias Ekholm would grab his first assist of the season.
  • Alexander Steen was well on his way to a Hat Trick with his second goal of the night at 4:37, his tenth goal of the season.
  • Predators would fall 5-1 with a goal from Derek Roy at 7:48.
  • Carter Hutton would be pulled after Roy’s goal, with Magnus Hellberg getting his first shot on NHL ice.
  • Alex Pietrangelo would score his first goal of the season on the powerplay to end the game in St. Louis’ favor, 6-1.

Welp, not too much to say after that game except Pekka’s injury has a lot of people freaking out. However, you cannot blame Carter Hutton for the awful game, though he isn’t out of the hot water just yet.

Also, the fact that Viktor Stalberg continues to be healthy scratched is not a good sign between he and Barry Trotz. He has expressed his distain and, you sort of side with the guy. Fourth line with Hendricks and Gaustad? Yea, not exactly an area to produce much from. It’s easy to understand his frustration but… that is the way of the Trotz. Someone has to take up residency in his dog house, and it looks like Mr. Stalberg has found his way.

Nashville has a few days off before heading out to Arizona to take on Phoenix on Halloween at 8PM.