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.

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2015 NHL All-Star Weekend in Review

Source: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Columbus, Ohio was the place to be this weekend has the city hosted the 2015 NHL All-Star Weekend. As you know, Nashville was chosen as the host city for the 2016 ASG Weekend, which will be an event on its own. But until then, let’s recap the fun that happened this weekend in Columbus… Oh, and for the sake of keeping this post from being ninety pages long, we’ll stick to Nashville’s accomplishments:

Team Foligno:

  • Nick Foligno – Columbus Blue Jackets
  • Brian Elliot – St. Louis Blues
  • Marc-Andre Fleury – Pittsburgh Penguins
  • Carey Price – Montreal Canadiens
  • Drew Doughty – L.A. Kings
  • Duncan Keith – Chicago Blackhawks
  • Kevin Shattenkirk – St. Louis Blues
  • Dustin Byfuglien – Winnipeg Jets
  • Oliver Ekman-Larsson – Arizona Coyotes
  • Brent Burns – San Jose Sharks
  • Ryan Nugent-Hopkins – Edmonton Oilers
  • Bobby Ryan – Ottawa Senators
  • Alexander Ovechkin – Washington Capitals
  • Anze Kopitar – L.A. Kings
  • Radim Vrabata – Vancouver Canucks
  • Ryan Johansen – Columbus Blue Jackets
  • Zemgus Girgensons – Buffalo Sabres
  • Claude Giroux – Philadelphia Flyers
  • Phil Kessel – Toronto Maple Leafs
  • Patrick Kane – Chicago Blackhawks
  • Steven Stamkos – Tampa Bay Lightning
  • Coaching Staff: Darryl Sutter – L.A. Kings

Team Toews:

  • Jonathan Toews – Chicago Blackhawks
  • Corey Crawford – Chicago Blackhawks
  • Roberto Luongo – Florida Panthers
  • Jaroslav Halak – New York Islanders
  • Aaron Ekblad – Florida Panthers
  • Mark Giordano – Calgary Flames
  • Shea Weber – Nashville Predators
  • Johnny Gaudreau – Calgary Flames
  • Brent Seabrook – Chicago Blackhawks
  • Ryan Suter – Minnesota Wild
  • Justin Faulk – Carolina Hurricanes
  • Filip Forsberg – Nashville Predators
  • Ryan Getzlaf – Anaheim Ducks
  • Patrik Elias – New Jersey Devils
  • Patrice Bergeron – Boston Bruins
  • Rick Nash – New York Rangers
  • Tyler Seguin – Dallas Stars
  • Vladimir Tarasenko – St. Louis Blues
  • Jakub Vorachek – Philadelphia Flyers
  • John Tavares – New York Islanders
  • Coaching Staff – Peter Laviolette – Nashville Predators

As you recall, Pekka Rinne was not included in the All-Star “draft” due to sustaining a knee sprain. Because Filip Forsberg was chosen last for Team Toews, he was the lucky winner of a brand new Honda Accord. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins also won a new Honda, as he was chosen last for Team Foligno.

Source: @NHL

Source: @NHL

Saturday – Skills Competition – Winner: Team Foligno

Despite a good show by Team Toews, it was Team Foligno who reigned in the Skills Competition held on Saturday evening. Both Weber and Forsberg participated in the relay and shootout, but it was Weber who shined – not surprisingly – during the Hardest Shot round.

Shea originally missed his first shot, but more than nailed his second attempt, clocking his shot at 108.5 MPH. Weber certainly won the competition, but missed notching the hardest shot ever recorded, which is held by Zdeno Chara at 108.8 MPH. Forsberg shined in the relay portion, showing off his crazy insane puck-handling skills.

Sunday – All-Star Game – Winner: Team Toews

Though the fell short in the Skills Competition, Team Toews out-powered Team Foligno by a long shot during the actual All-Star Game, winning 17-12. And, believe it or not, though the All-Star Game tends to always have a ton of goals, this was the highest scoring game in its history. Filip Forsberg’s two goals helped get Team Toews to the win, the first goals scored by a Nashville Predator in an All-Star Game. Shea Weber also notched an assist off of Tyler Seguin’s goal.

From the World Wide World of Twitter:

So that’s a wrap on the 2015 NHL All-Star Weekend. Next Stop: Nashville! But before then, the Predators must press forward with the remainder of this season and push into the playoffs. Pekka Rinne should also be re-evaluated soon, along with Ryan Ellis. The Predators return to the regular season this Tuesday as they welcome in the Colorado Avalanche at 7PM.

2014 Winter Olympics Team USA Roster

Ryan Suter – 2010 Winter Olympics – Getty Images

The official roster for Team USA was announced this afternoon following the 2014 Winter Classic, in which the Toronto Maple Leafs defeated the Detroit Red Wings in a SO 3 to 2. 105,491 was the official attendance in today’s Winter Classic, by the way… and the average temperature was 13°, with a wind chill of -1°

Any who – back to Team USA – So, who got the call to represent the United States in the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia? Here’s the list:

David Backes – St. Louis Blues
Dustin Brown – Los Angeles Kings
Ryan Callahan – New York Rangers
John Carlson – Washington Capitals
Justin Faulk – Carolina Hurricanes
Cam Fowler – Anaheim Ducks
Patrick Kane – Chicago Blackhawks
Ryan Kesler – Vancouver Canucks
Paul Martin – Pittsburgh Penguins
Ryan McDonagh – New York Rangers
Ryan Miller – Buffalo Sabres
James van Riemsdyk – Toronto Maple Leafs
Brooks Orpik – Pittsburgh Penguins
TJ Oshie – St. Louis Blues
Max Pacioretty – Montreal Canadiens
Zach Parise – Minnesota Wild
Joe Pavelski – San Jose Sharks
Jonathan Quick – Los Angeles Kings
Kevin Shattenkirk – St. Louis Blues
Paul Stastny – Colorado Avalanche
Derek Stepan – New York Ranger
Ryan Suter – Minnesota Wild
Blake Wheeler – Winnipeg Jets
Jimmy Howard – Detroit Red Wings
Phil Kessel – Toronto Maple Leafs

As you may have heard (especially if you’re a Predators fan), the Nashville Predators General Manager, David Poile, was named the Team USA GM over the summer. So, are you surprised no Predators made the roster? Seth Jones & Craig Smith were the only players that popped up on the radar and were expected to make the list, but as we now know, neither one apparently quite made the cut. Since Jones is still a young NHL-er, his roster-miss is not as surprising as Craig Smith’s, especially after his outstanding performance in the IIHF World Championships this past Spring.

Notable other players absent from the roster list include Ottawa’s Bobby Ryan, Phoenix’s Keith Yandle, Columbus’ Jack Johnson, and Islanders’ Kyle Okposo among many others that you could make a solid argument for.

So, there you have it. Will you put your differences aside and cheer for the likes of Ryan Kesler, Ryan Suter, and Patrick Kane to push Team USA to gold? We will… but just for this time.