Preds fall to Leafs in SO 2-1

Image Source: Frederick Breedon/Getty Images

Despite notching seven goals against the Ottawa Senators and sealing the victory on Tuesday, Nashville just couldn’t seem to find the powers at be to win last night against the now 4-8-4 Toronto Maple Leafs. Goals for either team weren’t scored until the third period, thus leading to overtime, then five rounds of shootout action. Filip Forsberg, Ryan Ellis, Roman Josi, James Neal, and Craig Smith would all have their one-on-one chance with James Reimer, but it would be Pekka Rinne who would fall first and allow Peter Holland to notch the game-winner.

If you can recall from last season – November 18th, 2014 to be exact – the Predators completely derailed the Maple Leafs 9-2 in Toronto, only adding fuel to fire that is the Maple Leafs organization as of late. Last night shows how differently a season can change things. Although the Maple Leafs are still trying to piece themselves back together, they still came out and gave the Predators a run for their money.

Apparently, per Lupul and even some of the Nashville players, the ice was pretty rough last night, a comment not usually made about Bridgestone’s rink. Could that have been the cause for Nashville’s horrendous passes, constant puck whiffs, and overall inability to skate? Perhaps that, combined with just “one of those nights”, is the answer to our questions. Both teams were pretty even on SOG during all third periods and OT, ending the night with 23 SOG for Toronto and 22 for Nashville.

Looking on the bright side, the Predators did gain a point and can move onward to tomorrow’s game against the Winnipeg Jets with a little positivity. However, if it really was an ice issue, let’s get that fixed asap.

Other Notes:

In Milwaukee:

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Predators bounce past Maple Leafs 4-3

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Where you at, Hutton Haters? Oh ye, of little faith! Carter Hutton is a mess of a goaltender (in a good way). One minute, he’s making these insane, slap-yo-mama saves, then he’s watching one skip right by him like he was frozen. Luckily, in recent bouts, Hutton’s accuracy has improved by leaps and bounds, which is nice because those naysayers start getting drowned out by the cheers for the backup goaltender. Look, the bottom line is, Hutton is no Pekka Rinne – and that’s something he should never strive to be. He is an excellent goaltender and would not be in the NHL if he wasn’t. As I recall, it wasn’t too far in the past that echoes of Pekka Rinne being a terrible replacement to Dan Ellis *shutters* were being spit by the congregation. Naysayers, be gone! Carter Hutton is the real deal & a great stand-in while Rinne’s away. Now on to the meat and potatoes of last night’s game:

SCRATCHES: Pekka Rinne, Ryan Ellis

NOTEWORTHY: If you follow our Facebook or Twitter, you probably saw where I kept obnoxiously reminding you – if you were attending last night’s game – to sing “O Canada” to show some Southern Hospitality towards Toronto. In a nutshell, when the Predators were in Toronto last (yes, the game where we beat them 9-2 on November 18th), the mic went out on the performer during the U.S. National Anthem, to which the Maple Leafs fans then picked up and sang. As a token of thanks, word was spread via the local media, Predators bloggers, and then some to show some love. Here’s the result:

I’d say it turned out pretty well, eh? Hockey is truly a classy pastime.

FIRST PERIOD:

  • Seth Jones got the party started at 11:52 with a shorthanded goal, his fourth goal of the season. The young defenseman had no assistance on his shorty.
  • At 15:31, fellow defenseman Shea Weber picked up a powerplay goal, giving Nashville an early 2-0 lead over the Maple Leafs. Filip Forsberg (28) and Mike Fisher (11) would notch the assists on Weber’s 11th goal of the season.

SECOND PERIOD:

  • The second period was a little sluggish for the Predators, as Toronto managed the only goal during said period at 7:49 from Daniel Winnik (4).
  • Toronto would notch one goal out of their thirteen shots-on-goal, whereas Nashville would only take nine.

THIRD PERIOD:

  • It appeared that Toronto planned on winning last night’s bout as, at 2:19 into the third, Nazem Kadri managed to tie the game at two. Then, not forty seconds later, Mike Santorelli would give the Maple Leafs the lead 3-2.
  • Mike Fisher would take a strike at 6:55, bringing the game back to a tie. Colin Wilson (19) and Roman Josi (25) would tallying the assists on Fisher’s 13th goal of the season.
  • Then, at 11:18, Colin Wilson sunk the GWG to give Nashville the regulation win and Toronto’s 10th consecutive loss. Wilson’s 16th goal of the season was assisted by Mike Fisher (12) and James Neal (13).
  • Ahh, but let us not forget, though Wilson scored the game-winning-goal at 11:18, there was still a good nine minutes left to go in regulation before that title was given. So, who’s to thank for that? The guy plastered at the top of the post, of course. Check out this incredible save that would’ve certainly tied up the game, had it gone in:

    Terrible goalie, eh Craig Button?

NOTEWORTHY:

  • I couldn’t not mention Carter Hutton being plastered all over SportsCenter, could I? The rarity of SportsCenter or ESPN at all mentioning hockey, let alone allowing for a goaltender to be their Top 10 no.1 is amazing all in its own; awesome that it’s a Nashville Predator.
  • Tonight was the first time in Predators history that defensemen have scored both a shorthanded goal (Jones) and a powerplay goal (Weber) in one night.
  • Another note for the history books is that the Predators have set a new franchise record with nine consecutive home game wins. Neato.
  • Mike Fisher is on a roll, notching 24 points in his last 26 games.
  • Mike Ribeiro is still one point away from his 700th; he’s certainly due.
  • Ryan Ellis continues to skate alone at practice — not ready to pop back in with the team just yet.
  • Pekka Rinne continues practicing with the team — should be ready to go as early as tomorrow’s game against the Ducks.
  • Filip Forsberg, with one assist tonight, continues his reign as points leaders amongst the Predators and rookies across the league with 45 points.

The Predators stay put, welcoming in the Anaheim Ducks on Thursday night. Anaheim, who won 5-4 over the Carolina Hurricanes last night, are tied with Nashville in points (72). Whoever wins tomorrow night will either remain the leader of the league (Nashville) or take over that position (Anaheim). Let’s hope for the first option.

KRc2irc

Where you at, Hutton Haters?!

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.

Predators blank Red Wings 2-0

Courtesy: Getty Images — And yes, this is an older photo

After a less than successful road trip to their tremendous win over the Chicago Blackhawks Saturday night 7-2, Nashville hit the road again, making their first stop in the Motor City; the first time since Detroit hopped ship to the Eastern Conference. Unfortunately for the Wings, after years of questioning their position in the West, their debut in the East hasn’t exactly been the brightest. Though a better record than Nashville at 9-5-7 (NSH – 9-9-2), the Wings have been on a downslope the last six games. That’s right; six games. Luckily for Detroit, however, 5 out of 6 of those losses have resulted in either a SO or OT, so at least a point is gained.
So, after the outstanding performance against the Blackhawks Saturday night, would the Predators extend the momentum to the Joe and hand their old foes their seventh consecutive loss? Let’s jump to the highlights:

First Period:

  • Neither team was able to collect a goal during the first period, but it was far from uneventful.
  • Both sides were given Power Play opportunities, but neither goalie was willing to give the other side any leeway.
  • Nashville outshot Detroit 10 to 7 at the end of the first period.

Second Period:

  • Plenty of penalties were had in the second period, with the Red Wings notching three and the Predators picking up one from Mike Fisher’s holding call.
  • Nashville would finally connect on a Power Play opportunity at 19:55 (yes, just five seconds left in the period) with an infamous slapshot from Shea Weber (6th overall). David Legwand notched his 14th assist on Weber’s goal.
  • Detroit would take the lead in shots-on-goal in the second, 9 to 7.

Third Period:

  • Gabriel Bourque would put Nashville up 2-0 at 7:13 with a backhander around Jimmy Howard (3rd overall). Viktor Stalberg would pick up the assist (2nd overall).

In an interesting and bizarre call, Viktor Stalberg and Mikael Samuelsson both received holding penalties, though they clearly initiated a fight. Was it because no punches were thrown? Who knows, but both we given minors for the incident.
Detroit would attempt to take the helm by outshooting Nashville 11 to 8, but it just wasn’t enough to power past the rookie goaltender.
Speaking of rookie goaltender, kudos to Marek Mazanec for his first career NHL shutout. And in the Joe, nonetheless! Mazanec is just the second Czech-born goaltender to record a shutout for the Predators.
Final shot count: Detroit 27, Nashville 25.
Screen shot 2013-11-19 at 9.42.00 PM

I’d like to believe that Nashville has shaken their slump and that the sting of 5-0 shutouts have faded from recent memory, but I won’t be setting up my lawn chair for the Stanley Cup parade on Broadway just yet… but I like the path they are on currently. A win over Chicago and Detroit are always confidence builders.

The Predators head East to Toronto to take on the 13-7-1 Maple Leafs, who Nashville has already beaten on the road once this season. So, can they do it again? We’ll find out Thursday night at 6PM.

Leafs blank Preds 4-0

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Ouch. Not much stings worse than a goose egg at home.
However, out of all the goalies Nashville is faced over its 15-year span, Jonathan Bernier has to be the most despised, yet respected.
Come on! What about Luongo? Howard? Kiprusoff? Yes, those goalies have engrained themselves into a special place in every Preds fans’ mind, but none have a record against Nashville like Bernier. After the win last night, he now stands at 8-1-0 against Nashville… even when he was a backup for the Kings.
And if you watched any of the game last night, whether you were there in the arena or sitting on your couch on TV, you couldn’t miss how in control Bernier was last night. He allowed maybe one or two to ricochet, but the majority of his stops were controlled. One would have thought he put a magnet in the puck and his glove. He just couldn’t be stopped.

And this is no dog on Nashville; oh no. Yes, there were a few hiccups, but all-in-all, the Predators played hard and came out of the game on top with shots on goal, 36-26. But Bernier was on his A-Game last night and, although they tried valiantly, it just wasn’t enough to sneak one past the seasoned goalie.

Due to an unfortunate collision with former Predator Cody Franson, who went face-first into the rounded glass and cut his nose on his visor, Mike Fisher was given a major, which left the Predators with the remainder of the game in the favor of Toronto. The Maple Leafs would capitalize twice before the final buzzer, with an unfortunate knock-in goal by rookie Seth Jones.

Back to the Franson/Fisher hit, it was clear – as most people didn’t even see the accident – that is was, as Mike Fisher quoted it, “just a hockey play” and was “surprised” to have received a penalty. Fisher did make the effort to reach out to Franson after the game to make sure the former Pred was alright. As we all know, Fisher is not a malicious player and does not go out to intentionally injure opposing players. Freak accidents happen and, from the outside looking in, that’s what it appears to be. The NHL has not ruled out a supplemental discipline for Fisher’s hit, but as of 9:30AM Friday morning, no word has been announced.

Goose eggs – no, not Gaustad eggs – are an instant morale drainer. Just as Nashville was gaining confidence from Tuesday’s winner over the Wild, it was taken down a peg by a 4-0 loss to the Maple Leafs. After last night’s loss, the Predators are now sitting pretty at the bottom of the newly reformed Central Division. However, don’t let that disheartening fact get you down; it’s only the fourth game of the very long season. Hey, you have to hit rock bottom to hit the top, right?

The Predators welcome in the New York Islanders Saturday night at 7PM. Tickets are still available, so get them now!

CBA Voting, GM Firing & Red Line Designs

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The wait is OVER!! … Umm.. Schedule, please?

What a good afternoon it was for the fans of the National Hockey League as the NHL Board of Governors approved the new CBA deal with a vote of 30 to 0, thus allowing the fact that the season really is set to start within the next week.

However, the players must also ratify the the new deal, which isn’t set to happen until Friday. The voting will be electronically over a two-day process, with the deal needing the majority of the vote in support of the CBA (there are give-or-take about 740 union members…). If all goes to plan (fingers crossed), training camps should begin on Saturday, with a 48-game season beginning January 19th.

Rumor has it that the Predators could possibly be opening the season at home against the Columbus Blue Jackets on the 19th. We’ve run across this snippet a few times, but we aren’t promising anything. We’ll know as soon as you know… When the schedule’s released.

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In bizarre news, Toronto Maple Leafs General Manager Brian Burke was fired today, but kept on as a corporate advisor, with no authority over Hockey Operations. The details over his step down is not fully known at this time, but due to the Leafs disappointing performance under his leadership could have played a deciding factor. Dave Norris will take on both GM and VP responsibilities from this point forward.

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New for 2013, a few leagues have found their creative, inner designer bug and have set forth to make a few tweaks on the ice. Enter, the new center ice red line designs, each unique for its prospective team. Here are a few teams that have dipped into their creative side:

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Calagary Flames

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Winnipeg Jets

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Dallas Stars

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St. Louis Blues

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Nashville Predators

Well how about that! Even the Predators have tried out the new center line. Now, you might be saying to yourself, “Wait a minute – I saw this last season!” Test run, folks; test run. The debut was set for the beginning of this season, but it looks like January was the right time (thanks, lockout). The other teams trying out the new look include the Tampa Bay Lightning, the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Anaheim Ducks, the Columbus Blue Jackets, the Carolina Hurricanes, the L.A. Kings, the Montreal Canadiens, the Phoenix Coyotes, and the Ottawa Senators.

We are so close to a season, we can almost taste it! We will keep you updated as news is released regarding CBA voting, scheduling, and everything in between. Follow us at @lady_preds on Twitter and our Facebook page.