Number Changes for 2013-14

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Eric Nystrom will carry No. 24 from the Stars.

 

Whoa! Rip van Winkle here, right? This off-season has been relatively quiet compared to years past, but we are okay with that (still eying you, Toots & Suter).

But we figured we’d wake the 20-year sleep for an update on number changes for the 2013-14 season. Because, we all want to scream out the correct name-to-player, right? It is a tad embarrassing when you yell the wrong name and you can only blame blurry contacts so many times.

So here’s the changes:

  • Eric Nystrom will continue wearing No. 24, a sure sign Matt Halischuk is officially gone.
  • Taylor Beck will no longer rep the No. 56, but now drop to No. 41.
  • Patrick Cehlin tends to favor No. 29, but donned No. 10 with the Admirals. He will carry that number over to the Predators, replacing the iconic Martin Erat.
  • Kevin Henderson will ditch No. 46 for Brandon Yip’s former No. 18.
  • Matt Cullen preferred No. 7 while with the Wild, so it’s only natural he’d take former Pred (now Minnesota Wild) Jonathon Blum’s number.
  • Viktor Stalberg, fresh off his Stanley Cup win, will continue his streak with the No. 25 for the Preds, taking Jerred Smithson’s old number.
  • Matt Hendricks rolled with No. 26 while with the Capitals, so he picks up where he left off with Nashville. To us, it will always be Steve Sullivan’s number.

Not too many changes, but hopefully this will prepare you for preseason in case you question why Martin Erat was back on the ice.What do you think about the number changes and additions?

Predators Show no Mercy for Former Players, Defeat Panthers 3-1

Pekka prepares himself for the game against the Florida Panthers.

The Predators didn’t fair too well in Raleigh, North Carolina against the Hurricanes on Tuesday night, prompting the team to take their next game a wee bit more seriously. Although another Eastern Conference team, the Florida Panthers are currently 1st in the Southeast Division, meaning the Predators would need to be a little more focused and much more ready to hit the ice (the Hurricanes are 5th in the Southeast).

However, those three days of rest (and reflection time) gave the Predators some much needed motivation when they took to the ice in South Florida tonight. How did the three new Trade Picks do against their former conference rivals? Here are the highlights from tonight’s game:

KEY POINTS:

  • Brian McGrattan is still sitting pretty on the IR, but was overheard as saying he should be back possibly by Tuesday’s game against the Kings (We’ll hope for that one). Kevin Klein is also feeling the pain from a recent injury, taking a night off to rest. Rookie Ryan Ellis is still fighting off a cold of some sort, and Brandon Yip and Matt Halischuk were the healthy scratches.
  • The Predators got the ball rolling at 11:35 of the 1st with a snap shot from newcomer, Andrei Kostitsyn, his 13th goal of the season and his 100th overall. With this just being his second game in a Predators sweater, AK46 is making a good name for himself with the team and the fans; looks like Sergei might have some competition as favorite brother. Paul Gaustad and Hal Gill picked up the assists on AK46’s goal, making for a “Trade Pick” goal.
  • Mike Fisher wasted no time in the 2nd period, scoring his 19th goal in just 28 seconds with a snap shot past Scott Clemmensen. Martin Erat picked up his 33rd assist on Fisher’s goal.
  • Florida would outplay the Predators for their first and only goal of the night, clearing the ice and giving Wojtek Wolski what was basically an empty-netter (sorry Peks) at 7:49. The 2nd period would end with the Predators still on top 2-1.
  • David Legwand would seal his 15th goal of the season at 7:02 in the third with a backhander past Clemmensen. Andrei Kostitsyn and Ryan Suter picked up the assists on Leggy’s goal.

At some point during the 3rd period, Jack Hillen was hit by this lovely thing:

And they think our catfish are dumb...

Similar to Nashville’s catfish, the Florida Panther fans throw their own animal of choice. This is just a generic photo we found on Google, so we’re almost positive the rat did not say “Panthers Win!” on it, but just in case you missed Hillen being smacked with it.

  •  As Nashville goes, the Predators won and still were out-shot 40 to 23 overall, with Pekka blocking 39 of those on goal (isn’t he a Finnish dream boat?). It’s pretty clear as to why Pekka Rinne was the First Star of the Game tonight.
  • The Predators are lucky Pekka is as good as he is, due to the fact they took some unnecessary penalties tonight, three compared to Florida’s one. Luckily, the Panthers were unable to capitalize on any of the chances handed to them.
  1. Mike Fisher – 7:20 1st Period – Holding
  2. Sergei Kostitsyn – 12:24 2nd Period – Slashing
  3. Jordin Tootoo – 16:45 2nd Period – Tripping
The Predators redeem themselves after the loss on Tuesday against the Hurricanes, showing no mercy to former Preds Jerred Smithson and Marcel Goc. The Predators are finished with the Eastern Conference for a while, coming home to take on the L.A. Kings on Tuesday and then welcoming back Shane O’Brien and the Avalanche on Thursday night. 

Andrei Kostitsyn celebrates his 100th career goal.

Until then,
Go Preds.
(Photo credit: First Image – Grant Halverson/Getty Images, Second Image – Eliot J. Schechter/NHLI via Getty Images)

San Jose no Match for Predators, Nashville Wins 6-2

The Predators come out looking like a new team against the San Jose Sharks on Saturday.

After a tough loss on Thursday, the Predators needed a good game against Conference rivals, the San Jose Sharks last night to get the momentum going again. Last night’s game was more than just good, it was played by a Predators team that needs to come out more often. A ton of changes came about this week with the Predators, but the chemistry amongst the players last night was incredible. Here are the highlights from last night’s win in the Music City:

BUSY TWO DAYS FOR NASHVILLE:

  • Before getting to last night’s game, there was an interesting and surprising trade on Friday between the Predators and the Florida Panthers. Veteran Predator Jerred Smithson was traded to the Panthers for a 6th Round Pick in this year’s NHL Draft. It was pretty clear no Predators fan saw this one coming. Although we are sad to lose such a key player, we are happy that Smithson will have more playing time and opportunity with Florida. We wish him the best with the Panthers!
  • Also on Friday, though not as surprising, rookie sensation Ryan Ellis was sent back to Milwaukee to play a few games with the Admirals. Trotz had said it had nothing to do with his performance, just needed the space for the newly acquired Hal Gill and to get Jack Hillen some ice time. Ryan Ellis will more than likely be back with the Predators soon.
  • Yet another surprising move by the Predators, Nashville presented a trade to the Columbus Blue Jackets for a certain key player, Rick Nash. The Predators offered up Colin Wilson, Ryan Ellis, Teemu Laakso and a first round pick for the Blue Jackets’ captain, but CJB has stated that they did not want to trade Nash to a rival Central Division team. As such, CBJ and Nash have not agreed nor denied Nashville’s trade offer, so we will keep you up-to-date with this information as it comes.

ON TO THE GAME:

  • Patric Hornqvist returned to the lineup last night after spending a few games on the IR. Brian McGrattan was still missing from the ice, along with Jack Hillen.
  • The Predators wasted no time getting the ball rolling, with Colin Wilson scoring his 14th goal of the season with a wrist shot past Thomas Greiss. Assisted only by Jordin Tootoo, was this Wilson’s way of saying he doesn’t want to leave Nashville? Or was this proving to CBJ how good he is?
  • Shea Weber capitalized on Wilson’s goal by scoring one of his own at 3:23, his 13th goal of the season. Martin Erat and Sergei Kostitsyn picked up the assists on Weber’s goal.
  • San Jose would finally make an appearance at 10:58 with a wrist shot by Patrick Marleau, his 26th goal of the season.
  • Kevin Klein would silence Marleau’s goal at five minutes later at 15:58 with a snap shot of his own for his 4th goal of the season. It was thought to be Patric Hornqvist’s goal, but inevitably given to Klein. Roman Josi and Mike Fisher picked up the assists.
  • Brandon Yip dropped the gloves with Tommy Wingels for his first fight in a Predators sweater. Yip got a few good punches in, but Wingels was able to throw Brandon to the ground. Here’s the video from the elbow throws:
  • San Jose surprised Nashville by scoring 23 seconds into the 2nd with a goal from Joe Pavelski for his 23rd goal of the season.
  • Shea Weber picked up his second goal of the night at 12:04 on the powerplay with his signature slap shot, picking up his 14th goal of the season. David Legwand and Ryan Suter both picked up the assists from Weber’s goal.
  • The third period belong to Nashville, with an empty-netter at 18:00 by Martin Erat for his 14th goal of the season. We need to send out a congratulations to both Erat and his wife with the birth of a baby boy! Gabriel Bourque and Roman Josi picked up the assists on Erat’s empty-netter.
  • Nick Spaling added salt to San Jose’s wound at 19:18 with a snap shot to seal the game, his tenth goal of the season. Jordin Tootoo and Colin Wilson picked up the assists.
  • The Predators prove why they are 1st in the league with this particular stat: The Predators were out-shot 34 to 21, yet still managed to beat the Sharks 6-2 in regulation.
  • The Predators not only won the game, but also won their 17th sellout of this season. The Predators are expected to surpass 20 sellouts, a record that was set back in the 1999-2000 season.
  • The Predators faced quite a few penalties last night, but were able to capitalize on one of San Jose’s misfortunes. The Sharks, although given four chances on the power play, were not able to sneak a goal passed Pekka to score. Here are the four Preds who took some time in the penalty box:
  1. Brandon Yip – 17:22 1st Period – Fighting
  2. Hal Gill – 13:22 2nd Period – Tripping
  3. Roman Josi – 3:28 3rd Period – Tripping
  4. Francis Bouillon – 9:39 3rd Period – Tripping

The Predators dominated the San Jose Sharks with a kind of momentum they should have brought against St. Louis on Thursday night. With this win, the Predators are now 36-19-7 on the season and expect to be 37-19-7 on Monday with a hopeful win over the L.A. Kings.

With the NHL Trade Deadline looming overhead, will CBJ accept the potential trade offer from the Predators? Personally, it makes us nervous. Although Nash is a big contender in the NHL and would be a great gain for the Predators, the loss of three players (and a 1st round pick) for just one could be a risk, costly move for the Predators (resulting in the loss of Ryan Suter and/or Shea Weber in the end). However, as stated before, CBJ is not looking to trade within the division, but if no other good offers are made, Columbus may just take the bait.

The Predators welcome the L.A. Kings tomorrow for a rare Monday night game, then Nashville is off to take on the Carolina Hurricanes.

Until then,
GO PREDS.

Predators overthrow Blackhawks 3-1, Preds now Third in Central Division

Mike Fisher continues his dominance against the Central Division.

The Predators may have just destroyed the Columbus Blue Jackets last night, but that didn’t seem to effect them much when game time rolled around tonight in Chicago as the Predators smashed the Blackhawks 3-1 in regulation. With this win, the Predators are  now third in the Central Division, knocking Chicago down to fourth. Here are the highlights from tonight’s extraordinary win in the Windy City:

KEY POINTS:

  • Brian McGrattan was scratched yet again tonight, along with Francis Bouillon, who did make the trip to Chicago. His travel to Chicago with the team gave hope as to if he would play tonight, but it was nothing but false. A surprise scratch was Jerred Smithson, who is still feeling the effects of his recent upper-body injury. Hopefully, it’s just a precautionary scratch.
  • Craig Smith took Chicago by storm at 11:49 in the first, sending the wrist-shot passed goalie Corey Crawford. Smith’s 11th goal of the season was assisted by Matt Halischuk.
  • Mike Fisher wasted no time after Craig’s goal to seal his own against the Blackhawks at 17:34 with a wrist-shot. Patric Hornqvist was Fisher’s only assistant on his 12th goal of the season.
  • The second period was relatively quiet compared to the first, with neither team scoring, despite five power play opportunities between both teams. However, new kid Brandon Yip has proven himself physically as he took on Steve Montador during this period. At first, it looks as if the two are just hugging, but Yip throws some damaging punches, clearly the victor in this fight. Here’s the video:
  • Chicago would finally get the ball rolling at 7:20 of the 3rd period, Dave Bolland with a slap shot that narrowly slipped passed Pekka Rinne on the power play.
  • Colin Wilson would capitalize on the empty net at 19:47, his 10th goal of the season. He was assisted by David Legwand and Ryan Suter.
  • Not many shots were taken throughout this game, with only 26 from the Predators and 25 from the Blackhawks. Despite this, Pekka Rinne had his share of action tonight, with most of the play in the Predators zone. Pekka was remarkable as ever, enough for him to take the lead in this NHL 2012 Vezina Trophy poll:

Yes, it's in Finnish, but that doesn't mean anything!

  •  The Predators started showing some fatigue after the first period, a sure sign that they played the night before. However, although Chicago did put pressure on the Predators, it just wasn’t enough to sidetrack them from wanting the third position in the Central Division. The Predators gave up several penalty kills to Chicago, 5 to be exact, and the Blackhawks were able to use one to their advantage. Luckily for the Predators, Pekka and the defense avoided more than just one power play goal. Here are the four penalty offenders:
  1. Mike Fisher – 1:17 2nd Period – Tripping
  2. Brandon Yip – 13:12 2nd Period – Fighting
  3. Mike Fisher – 6:53 3rd Period – Delaying Game – Puck over Glass
  4. Martin Erat – 8:41 3rd Period – Hi-Sticking
  5. Shea Weber – 15:17 3rd Period – Too many men/ice
The Predators will take on the Minnesota Wild next Tuesday in Minnesota, but before then, Shea, Craig, and Ryan will participate in the All-Star Game this weekend, with events starting this Thursday night.
Until then,
GO PREDS.

(Photo Credit: Christian Petersen/Getty Images North America)