Kamenev, Girard dealt in 3-Way Trade; Turris to NSH

kyleturrispittsburghpenguinsvottawasenatorsnuub2w7y6xjl

Image Source: Getty Images

Well, we all thought it was going to be a quiet Sunday evening, but Ottawa, Nashville, and Colorado all had different plans. You could be living under a hockey rock and still know that the Avalanche have been trying to deal Matt Duchene for some time now, but – also known – Joe Sakic just couldn’t quite get one together that wasn’t laughed at by the other GMs of the league. While this deal has been floating around all weekend, it was finally confirmed just moments ago:

Though it doesn’t happen very often, Colorado is currently on the ice in New York against the Islanders, which means Duchene was nonchalantly pulled from the ice and sent on his way. While that doesn’t sound like the most ideal way to be traded, it keeps the traded player from possibly getting injured if he were to continue to play and the news was presented after the game. But you aren’t here to know more about the Duchene/Ottawa trade, are you? Of course not. The real question is: What did Nashville give up for Kyle Turris?

Well, if you read the headline, you know it was Nashville prospects Samuel Girard and Vladislav Kamenev. This did come as a bit of a surprise, as both these players were well on their way to finding a home amongst the Predators; heck, Girard had the potential to become a regular in the lineup. However, it’s important to note that Nashville did not give up any of its Top 4 defenseman in order to seal this trade, as that is what most of the rest of the league would prefer.

While most would have preferred Matt Duchene to Nashville, Kyle Turris is not someone to overlook. Let’s compare both Turris and Duchene’s stats for this season:

DUCHENE:

SEASON TEAM GP G A Pts
2017-18 Colorado Avalanche 13 4 6 10

TURRIS:

SEASON TEAM GP G A Pts
2017-18 Ottawa Senators 11 3 6 9

As you can see, Duchene and Turris are almost identical in stats this season and I would encourage you to compare the two in previous seasons. Nashville also signed the 28-year-old center to a 6-year, $36M deal, which means the Predators now have their needed Top 3 centers (Johansen, Turris, Bonino) locked for a combined 18 years, $116M.

Though we hate to see Kamenev and Girard part ways with Nashville (as their NHL potential has yet to be truly tapped), adding Turris to the lineup will bring a much needed positive impact on the Predators and its center depth.

To clarify this three-way trade between Ottawa, Nashville, and Colorado, the Avalanche now acquire Bowers, Hammond, Girard, Kamenev and draft picks from Nashville and Ottawa respectively. Ottawa now has Matt Duchene and Nashville has Kyle Turris.

Advertisements

2016 NHL All-Star Recap: Weekend of Hockey Heaven

DSC_0024

What a weekend for the city of Nashville and for hockey in general. It’s actually hard to believe, after fourteen months of planning, the festivities are over and all we have left are memories. But good memories they are! Thousands of hockey fans from across the world gathered in the Music City this weekend, packing the Music City Center, the Bridgestone Arena, Demonbreun Street, and everywhere within walking distance. Although we are fully aware of how great our city is, it was humbling to hear how much fun people from elsewhere were having and the great praise they had for Nashville.

NHL FAN FAIR:

NHL Fan Fair, which opened Thursday at 4PM, had more than enough activities to keep you occupied for hours on end. While my STH Rep said – without kids – you could knock everything out in one day, I ended up going Thursday and Saturday (and could’ve gone Sunday if I felt like spending another $40 to get in). Merchandise booths to spend money, hockey-related activities, autograph hours, Jell-O molds, and a leaning tower of Velveeta kept everyone on their toes. Oh yeah, and the music. Music outside and music inside; hope you like it!

I am actually glad I went Thursday night because Saturday was just as crowded as I figured it would be. Thursday was busy, but you averaged 5 minutes per line compared to 15 to 20 minutes per line on Saturday.

NHL WINTER PARK:

The NHL Winter Park, which was opened back in December, kept fans busy with an outdoor skating rink, plenty of vendor booths, giant light-up hockey pucks featuring the All-Stars, and music. If you did not have tickets to the All-Star events or wanted to buy tickets for Fan Fair, the Winter Park area still provided plenty of hockey entertainment without breaking the bank.

I wish I had taken more pictures of all the pucks. I got a little busy checking everything out.

NHL ALL-STAR SKILLS COMPETITION:

What is arguably the most entertaining event of the All-Star Weekend, the Skills Competition didn’t fail to impress the hockey masses. With appearances by Chewbacca, Jaromir Jagr’s “brother”, and Shea Weber’s epic slapshot, Saturday night’s festivities were ones to remember.

As no surprise, Shea Weber held onto his ‘Hardest Shot’ contest streak, notching a slapshot clocked at 108.1 MPH. A little less than last year, but 108 nonetheless. Detroit’s Dylan Larkin also made headlines, breaking the fast lap challenge record, one that has been in place since 1996.

 

NHL ALL-STAR GAME:

In what is normally considered the lesser of the two main events of the weekend, with the new 3-on-3 format, things got a little more interesting. The Atlantic Division knocked out the Metropolitan Division in the first round. Then, the Pacific Division surprisingly bumped out the Central Division in the second round. Even though the home team was knocked out, the final round between John Scott’s Pacific Division and Jaromir Jagr’s Atlantic Division was still pretty spectacular. But, while the Central was still in the game, all four Predators All-Stars ended up with at least one point (Rinne, assist; Josi, goal; Neal, two goals; Weber, assist). And the Man of the Hour John Scott? He notched two goals.

While the League didn’t start out with John Scott as an MVP choice for the All-Star Game, the fans made it very clear that if he didn’t win… Well, there’d be rioting equivalent to Vancouver’s epic Stanley Cup loss riot.

Well, the League listened and named John Scott MVP of the NHL All-Star Game. Smart move, NHL.

In what started out as a write-in vote turned into the highlight of the entire NHL All-Star Weekend. After the League tried to pressure him to drop out of the All-Star contention, John Scott not only won the hearts of Nashville but the hearts of the hockey world as a whole. As P.K. Subban said, “Everything he got at the end of it, he deserved”. You can’t even write stories as well as this played out. In fact, we hear he has already been approached about selling the movie rights. Okay, that’s a little crazy but hey, Hollywood’s struggling for some fresh material so you never know.

A successful weekend for the city of Nashville? You bet. Success at pointing out that Nashville is a hockey market? Amen. While we all soak in what’s left of our All-Star Weekend high, it’s time to focus on the second half of the 2015-16 season. Did this break help or hurt the Predators or anyone else? We’ll all find out soon enough. But I have to admit, it was refreshing to enjoy all things hockey with fellow hockey lovers from around the League and world. We were essentially one big happy hockey family. Now, it’s back to the real world.

2016 NHL All-Star Week: FYI

Image Courtesy: Nashville Predators

Image Courtesy: Nashville Predators

SEE ALL-STAR TAB FOR MORE RECENT UPDATES

It’s Monday and that means it is officially NHL All-Star Week in Nashville! The city has been preparing for this event for over a month now, but if you walk around SoBro before this weekend, you’ll see most of the changes happening right in front of you.

Winter Park Public Outdoor Rink:
Of course, you are fully aware of the outdoor ice rink that’s been up and running since December 12th, but do you know it’s schedule? As a STH, you are given two complimentary tickets to skate on the Winter Park ice rink, but I have completely forgotten – and I bet a lot of you have, too. The rink will be torn down after all the festivities have packed up on January 31st, so this is your last week to get out there.

Ice rink hours: Opens:
Closes:
Monday 3:30 p.m. 11:00 p.m.
Tuesday 3:30 p.m. 11:00 p.m.
Wednesday 3:30 p.m. 11:00 p.m.

I only mentioned through this Wednesday because there’s a good chance (because Fan Fair starts Thursday) that public skate times may be altered. For good measure, contact @PredsNHL on Twitter (or call, if you don’t tweet) to make sure you’re good to go before heading out there. $15/adult, $10/child and that includes skate rental.

NHL Fan Fair:
Ah, the NHL Fan Fair. The event my season ticket rep told me I could knock out in one day. Of course, I don’t have children, so it is feasible for me to do so. However, if you’ve got little kids, you might want to grab passes for two days so they can wear themselves out. Honestly, I’ll probably buy another day ticket just in case because of the player/alum meet-and-greets. If you are a STH, you missed your deadline to buy tickets at a discount, but they are only $20/piece, so it won’t break the bank if you choose to go last minute. Here is the breakdown of the schedule:

THURSDAY, JANUARY 28, 2016 – 4PM to 9PM
TIME EVENT LOCATION
6:00pm Mascot Showdown (Musical Chairs & Bowling) EA Sports NHL 16 Rink
7:00pm LOCASH Honda Stage
7:00pm Brent Burns (SJS) Discover Theater
8:15pm Lonestar Honda Stage
FRIDAY, JANUARY 29, 2016 – 4PM to 9PM
TIME EVENT LOCATION
3:00pm Craig Wayne Boyd Honda Stage
4:45pm Ryan Hurd Honda Stage
5:00pm Patrice Bergeron (BOS) Discover Theater
6:00pm Mascot Showdown (Relay Races) EA Sports NHL 16 Rink
6:30 pm Matt Duchene (COL) presented by Reebok Autograph Stage
6:30pm Aaron Ekblad (FLA) Discover Theater
7:00pm Steven Lee Olsen Honda Stage
7:45pm Cliff Ronning (NHL Alumni) Autograph Stage
7:45pm Justin Faulk (CAR) Discover Theater
8:15pm Lewis Brice Honda Stage
SATURDAY, JANUARY 30, 2016 – 10AM – 6PM
TIME EVENT LOCATION
10:45am John Gibson (ANA) presented by Upper Deck Autograph Stage
11:00am Cory Schneider (NJD) Discover Theater
11:30am Lennon & Maisy Honda Stage
12:15pm Clare Bowen Honda Stage
12:30pm Brandon Saad (CBJ) Discover Theater
12:30pm Dylan Larkin (DET) presented by Upper Deck Autograph Stage
1:15pm Charles Esten Honda Stage
1:30pm Brandon Saad (CBJ) Autograph Stage
1:30pm Roman Josi (NSH) Discover Theater
2:00pm Mascot Showdown (Broomball & Dodgeball) EA Sports NHL 16 Rink
3:00pm Luc Robitaille (NHL Alumni) Autograph Stage
3:45pm Pat LaFontaine (NHL Alumni) Discover Theater
4:00pm Russell Dickerson Honda Stage
4:30pm Pat LaFontaine (NHL Alumni) Autograph Stage
4:45pm Kimmo Timonen (NHL Alumni) Discover Theater
SUNDAY, JANUARY 31, 2016 – 10AM – 4PM
TIME EVENT LOCATION
10:30am Danny Gokey Honda Stage
11:00am Shea Weber (NSH) Autograph Stage
11:00am Pekka Rinne (NSH) Discover Theater
11:30am MercyMe Honda Stage
12:00pm Pekka Rinne (NSH) Autograph Stage
12:00pm Shea Weber (NSH) Discover Theater
1:00pm Mascot Showdown (Dance Competition) EA Sports NHL 16 Rink
1:00pm Roman Josi (NSH) Autograph Stage
1:00pm Cliff Ronning (NHL Alumni) Discover Theater
2:30pm Tracy Lawrence Honda Stage
***PLEASE NOTE ALL APPEARANCES ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE***

If you are a STH, you can access the NHL Fan Fair from 2PM to 4PM on Thursday. Not so nice for us folks who work during those hours, but hey. Late lunch, right? Can’t make it to this special time for STHs? No problem. There will be an area only accessible for Preds STHs where you can access drink specials and meet Preds alumni, broadcasters, and whoever else shows up. Not all diehard Predators fans are STHs, so there will be a special area called “Preds Land” that will have special Nashville-related displays and – you guessed it – Predators stuff. As for what (or who) will be there is still TBA.  As you can see, you can meet some NHL Alum and current players (I like how some players are presented by products) and there will be a mascot competition each day. Oh yeah, and music. Lots and lots of Country music.

Outdoor Concert Series:
As I mentioned, one of the unique features of Nashville hosting this year’s NHL All-Star festivities is the music. There will be music inside the Music City Center (NHL Fan Fair) and outside at the Winter Park. If you just want to peruse downtown and just want free music, this will be your best bet:

IntelliCentrics outdoor concert series:
Big & Rich Thursday, Jan. 28
Lee Brice, Aaron Lewis, John Hiatt Friday, Jan. 29
Chris Young, Tara Thompson Saturday, Jan. 30
Dierks Bentley, Eli Young Band, Kelsea Ballerini Sunday, Jan. 31

Beyond the controversy of people not knowing the musical acts (we’ll get to that momentarily), there are some rather big names in Country music here that you can see for free. Dierks Bentley, Big & Rich, Chris Young, etc. If you are like me and live here and don’t see these people randomly show up at Tootsie’s on a Tuesday night, then you’ll enjoy this (I don’t go to the “honky tonks” period unless someone from out of town demands it).

Parking:
There are plenty of places to park downtown, especially if you are used to being in Nashville all the time. However, as a frequent downtown parker, you also know that Nashville does not have a regulation to control parking fees. Needless to say, the Music City Center may charge $25.00 whereas, across the street, the Baptist Church may charge $14 every four hours. It’s an ugly mess and no one wants to waste $25 to park when you want to use that money to buy something or eat. Ticketmaster is offering parking in the Pinnacle Building for just $12/day. Of course, with fees, it turns out to be like $15, but at least you’ll know you are in a safe parking lot, it won’t go up after two hours, and it’s within walking distance of the SoBro. The parking will go fast, so jump on it while you can or face driving around finding one:
Saturday Parking
Sunday Parking

Celebrity Coaches:
celebritiesKnow these faces? Apparently, the rest of the country does not. So that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but it did make for some good laughs on social media when it was first announced. Just for those who are not from the Music City, a lot of locals couldn’t name these fellas either because – news flash – we listen to more than just Country here. But two guys on here (that I know from experience) are big Preds fans: Dierks Bentley (first picture) and Vince Gill (last picture). Vince Gill has had season tickets since the get-go and Dierks? I’m not sure, but I’ve seen him at a more than a few games over my fandom. I’ve seen Charles Kelley, too (second picture) and I’m sure Chris Young (third picture) has made it to the ‘Bridge a time or two for a game.

Source: Google - Big Ben and Vince Gill

Source: Google – Big Ben and Vince Gill

So, if you don’t know these guys, just know that two are big supporters of the Nashville Predators and the other two could possibly be – and that’s what really matters, right?

Skills Competition Format:
Team Captains Patrick Kane, Alexander Ovechkin, Jaromir Jagr, and John Scott have yet to choose from the lineup of players who made the All-Star roster as to who will be on their teams & as to who will perform in which competition, but that’ll come soon enough. Right now, we have the All-Star Skills Competition format and I’ve complied some videos to help if you have never seen it before:

Bridgestone Fastest Skater:

Four players from each team will test their speed, facing off against an opponent in a two-skater race. The race track for the head-to-head match-ups is the border of the rink split in half lengthways. Timing devices will record each skater to determine the winner of each match. If a race ends in a tie, each of the teams will be awarded one point. The skater with the fastest time in the head-to-head match-ups will skate a full lap of the outside border of the rink, in the direction of their choosing, in an attempt to break Mike Gartner’s record (13.386). If, at the completion of the event, two skaters are tied for the fastest overall time, both skaters will skate a full lap of the rink in an attempt to break the historical best record.

Points Available: 6 – The winner of each match-up scores one point; the team with the fastest skater scores a bonus point; if the fastest skater is successful in breaking Mike Gartner‘s record an additional bonus point will be awarded.

Honda NHL Breakaway Challenge:

Fans will have two opportunities to exercise their vote in the Honda NHL Breakaway Challenge. While five spots will be determined by team captains, one guaranteed spot in this event will be determined by the fans, who will vote on Twitter as part of the Honda NHL Breakaway Challenge Fan Vote campaign.

The eligible candidates are forwards Matt Duchene of the Colorado Avalanche, Dylan Larkin of the Detroit Red Wings and Brandon Saad of the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Fans can vote via Twitter for their favorite eligible player by including his hashtag – #NHLBreakawayDuchene, #NHLBreakawayLarkin or #NHLBreakawaySaad. Voting will open on Tuesday, Jan. 26 at 12 p.m. ET and close on Thursday, Jan. 28 at 5 p.m. ET.

Each team will provide one goalie to participate in this challenge. Each shooter will attempt two shots, and teams will alternate after each shot. Style, creativity, and flair are encouraged. NHL penalty shot rules do not apply.

As soon as the last competitor completes his routine, fans in-arena and watching on television in the U.S. and Canada will get another opportunity to make their case on Twitter by casting their vote using the hashtag that corresponds to the player of their choice. The shooter with the highest fan vote will be crowned the Honda NHL Breakaway Challenge winner and score one point for his team.

Points Available: 1 – The shooter with the highest percentage of fan votes scores one point.

DraftKings NHL Accuracy Shooting:

Four shooters from each team will participate, with two additional players serving as passers. This event will consist of four head-to-head match-ups, with one shooter from each team per round. The goal is to hit four 15-inch diameter targets located in each corner of the net. The teams will be situated at opposite ends of the rink, and will alternate attempts. The first shooter to hit all four targets wins.

Points Available: 5 –The winner of each match-up scores one point; the player who hits all four targets in the fastest time scores the bonus point.

Gatorade NHL Skills Challenge Relay:

This timed relay event – involving 14 skaters and two goalies from each team – will consist of four relays with five challenges each: One Timers, with three shooters and one passer per team; Passing, with one passer per team; Puck Control, with one skater per team; Stick-Handling, with one skater per team; and Goalie Goals, with one goalie per team.

Each skill must be completed before moving on to the next challenge with the exception of one timers, passing and goalie goals in which a maximum of forty-five seconds will be allocated. The goal is to finish all five challenges faster than the opponent.

Points Available: 3 – The team with the fastest time in each heat scores one point; the team with the fastest overall time scores one bonus point.

Amp Energy Hardest Shot:

Four shooters from each team will test their slap shot skill in a head-to-head match-up. Each player will attempt two shots, with teams alternating after each player. One puck will be placed 30 feet from the center of the net. Each shot will be calculated in miles per hour (mph), with the highest speed of their two shots recorded.

Points Available: 5 – The winner of each match-up scores one point; the team with the player who has the fastest speed scores one bonus point.

Discover NHL Shootout:

18 skaters and three goaltenders from each team will participate in the three-round shootout. During each two-minute round, six skaters and one goalie from each team will take the ice. Teams will alternate after each shot with each player having a maximum of 10 seconds to take a shot. Players one and three from each team will be designated Discover puck players, each goal scored by these players will count as two points. NHL shootout rules apply to each scoring attempt.

Points Available: 1 point for every goal scored; 2 points for every goal scored with a Discover puck.

If you aren’t a seasoned NHL vet or normally watch the All-Star weekend on television every year, you may think the actual game is the real winner here. Wrong. The Skills Competition is the most entertaining, as you get to see your favorite players (and not so favorite) in a more casual setting where it’s more about having fun than taking everything so seriously. If you can’t make the Skills Competition, it’ll be on NBC Sports at 6PM January 30th.

2016 NHL All-Star Game:
So you may have heard there is a new format to the game than previous years. In the past, the two team captains would conduct a draft, choosing which players to add to their roster. The last guy would end up with a car.

(Photo by Jamie Sabau/NHLI via Getty Images)

(Photo by Jamie Sabau/NHLI via Getty Images)

Our own Filip Forsberg won a car last year because he was picked last. How nice. Well, the League has done away with the draft and the two-team system. Now we have four teams and 3-on-3. What? Here, we’ll let the League explain:

* The 2016 Honda NHL All-Star Game will be a three-game tournament played in a 3-on-3 format with a prize pool of $1 million to be paid in its entirety to the tournament’s winning team.

* The tournament will feature four teams, one team representing each NHL Division: the Pacific, Central, Metropolitan and Atlantic.

* Each team will be made up of 11 players: six forwards, three defensemen and two goaltenders.

* The 2016 NHL All-Star Fan Vote will allow fans to vote for one All-Star player from each Division, without regard to position. The top vote-getter from each Division will be named NHL All-Stars, as well as Captain of his respective team.

* The remaining 40 NHL All-Stars will be named by the NHL Hockey Operations Department for a total of 44 All-Star players, with at least one player selected from each NHL team.

* The 2016 Honda All-Star Skills Competition™ returns to a matchup between the Eastern Conference and Western Conference All-Stars on Saturday evening, with the winning conference earning the right to select when their semi-final matchup will be played; first or second on Sunday.

* Each game in the three-game, 3-on-3 2016 Honda NHL All-Star Tournament will be 20 minutes in length.

* Teams will change ends at the 10-minute mark of each game. Games that are tied after 20 minutes will be decided by a shootout.

* The Central Division All-Stars will face the Pacific Division All-Stars and the Atlantic Division All-Stars will face the Metropolitan Division All-Stars in the two Semi-Final games.

* The winners of each Semi-Final game will play each other in the All-Star Game Final to determine the overall tournament champion.

* The four division-leading NHL coaches (best points percentage following the completion of games on Jan. 9, 2016) will be named coaches for each of the four All-Star teams

Make sense? Well, we’ll all see how this will work on Sunday, January 31st at 4PM.

All-Star Roster:
I could just link my old post with the roster in it to this post, but that would be too easy, wouldn’t it? In case you haven’t seen who made the list – or you just need a refresher – behold:

Atlantic Division

F Patrice Bergeron (BOS)

Central Division

F Jamie Benn (DAL)

F Jaromir Jagr (FLA) F Matt Duchene (COL)
F Leo Komarov (TOR) F Patrick Kane (CHI)
F Dylan Larkin (DET) F Tyler Seguin (DAL)
F Ryan O’Reilly (BUF) F Vladimir Tarasenko (STL)
F Steven Stamkos (TBL) F Jonathan Toews (CHI)
D Aaron Ekblad (FLA) D Dustin Byfuglien (WPG)
D Erik Karlsson (OTT) D Roman Josi (NSH)
D P.K. Subban (MTL) D Shea Weber (NSH)
G Ben Bishop (TBL) G Devan Dubnyk (MIN)
G Roberto Luongo (FLA) G Pekka Rinne (NSH)
Metropolitan Division Pacific Division
F Nicklas Backstrom (WSH) F Johnny Gaudreau (CGY)
F Claude Giroux (PHI) F Taylor Hall (EDM)
F Evgeni Malkin (PIT) F Joe Pavelski (SJS)
F Alex Ovechkin (WSH) F Corey Perry (ANA)
F Brandon Saad (CBJ) F John Scott (ARI)
F John Tavares (NYI) F Daniel Sedin (VAN)
D Justin Faulk (CAR) D Brent Burns (SJS)
D Kris Letang (PIT) D Drew Doughty (LAK)
D Ryan McDonagh (NYR) D Mark Giordano (CGY)
G Braden Holtby (WSH) G John Gibson (ANA)
G Cory Schneider (NJD) G Jonathan Quick (LAK)

Are you excited? You should be! Also, if you like beer, two local breweries have concocted some hockey brew just for this special occasion in our city:

Yazoo Brewery and Jackalope Brewery have both released special edition brews for your tasting pleasure. Yazoo’s “Winter Park Wheat” and Jackalope’s “All-Star Citra Pale Ale” are available in their taprooms. Check their Twitter handles for more info on where you can grab these puppies.

 Okay, so I hope I covered everything. If not, you can always visit the official NHL All-Star site for more information. Actually, do check that website or the Predators because events are subject to change if something happens. Also, if you are not from Nashville and have questions regarding the city or whatnot, please contact me via @Lady_Preds on Twitter & I’ll be happy to answer your questions.

NHL All-Star Game Roster

Roman Josi, Shea Weber, Pekka Rinne

Source: AP Photo/Mark Humphrey

Shortly after revealing the All-Star Game jerseys, the NHL released the ASG roster. Without further ado, here you go:

Atlantic Division

F Patrice Bergeron (BOS)

Central Division

F Jamie Benn (DAL)

F Jaromir Jagr (FLA) F Matt Duchene (COL)
F Leo Komarov (TOR) F Patrick Kane (CHI)
F Dylan Larkin (DET) F Tyler Seguin (DAL)
F Ryan O’Reilly (BUF) F Vladimir Tarasenko (STL)
F Steven Stamkos (TBL) F Jonathan Toews (CHI)
D Aaron Ekblad (FLA) D Dustin Byfuglien (WPG)
D Erik Karlsson (OTT) D Roman Josi (NSH)
D P.K. Subban (MTL) D Shea Weber (NSH)
G Ben Bishop (TBL) G Devan Dubnyk (MIN)
G Roberto Luongo (FLA) G Pekka Rinne (NSH)
Metropolitan Division Pacific Division
F Nicklas Backstrom (WSH) F Johnny Gaudreau (CGY)
F Claude Giroux (PHI) F Taylor Hall (EDM)
F Evgeni Malkin (PIT) F Joe Pavelski (SJS)
F Alex Ovechkin (WSH) F Corey Perry (ANA)
F Brandon Saad (CBJ) F John Scott (ARI)
F John Tavares (NYI) F Daniel Sedin (VAN)
D Justin Faulk (CAR) D Brent Burns (SJS)
D Kris Letang (PIT) D Drew Doughty (LAK)
D Ryan McDonagh (NYR) D Mark Giordano (CGY)
G Braden Holtby (WSH) G John Gibson (ANA)
G Cory Schneider (NJD) G Jonathan Quick (LAK)

I’ll be completely honest here (and so will a bunch of other bloggers): I honestly did not believe Nashville would get three players to the roster. Of course, it ended up between the three everyone thought had a chance. Shea Weber had a shoe-in, simply because he’s the captain and they want him in the ‘hardest shot’ contest, but Roman Josi and Pekka Rinne were toss-ups. Though Josi definitely deserves it, Rinne is more well known and money talks.

Over all though, I am definitely happy Shea Weber, Pekka Rinne, and Roman Josi will get to represent Nashville (in Nashville) for the 2016 NHL All-Star Game and weekend.

Here’s what others are saying about the roster choices:

Okay, so I am officially excited; I am not going to lie. Nashville is well represented and that is satisfying enough. Congratulations to Weber, Rinne, and Josi!

Blown Call gives Avs Win over Preds 6-5

Sergei Kostitsyn picks up a goal and an assist in Denver.

Missed us? Last week was a bit hectic and with all of us at the games, it was hard to motivate ourself to hit the blog after a long day. We’ll get to those games later, but right now, let’s discuss the game that went down today in the Mile High City.

With the season being as short as it is, there are going to be a lot of back-to-back games and today’s afternoon set in Denver is just the start of a long two-day stretch for the Predators. The Avalanche have had their share of highs and lows so far, but the last few games have been rough on the Avs, with Colorado losing three of their last four. Needless to say, the Avalanche, playing on without their fearless leader Gabriel Landeskog, were hankering for a win. The Predators, having lost three of the last five games, were sitting in a similar boat.

FIRST PERIOD

  • The Avalanche were quick to strike first, with a wrist shot from Aaron Palushaj at 3:43 for his second goal of the season.
  • The Predators would put the pressure on Semyon Varlamov, but the Avs would capitalize again at 9:30 over Mason on the powerplay, with a slap shot from Tyson Barrie, sending Colorado up 2-0 early in the first.
  • Colorado’s two goals would awaken the Predators at 17:20 with a powerplay wrister from Sergei Kostitsyn, his second goal of the season. Colin Wilson would pick up his seventh assist, along with Craig Smith (2nd assist).
  • The Predators kept the pressure in the Avalanche zone, out-shooting Colorado nine to eight.

SECOND PERIOD

  • The second period would become one for the history books, with outstanding goals and controversial miscalls.
  • Matt Duchene’s goal at 3:18 will forever be one of controversy, though it is clear that the lineman that missed the blatantly obvious offsides. You can see the play here:
  • Even if you don’t understand anything about hockey, you can tell something was wrong here. Even Duchene hesitated before shooting the puck, knowing good and well he was offsides. However, when the whistle was not blown, Duchene took full advantage of the mistake and capitalized with a goal. After the game, the NHL did agree that the offsides call should have been made, but what does it help now?
  • Mike Fisher would put the missed call behind him, sending a wrist shot past Varlamov at 10:16 for his third goal of the season. Shea Weber, who was originally accredited with the goal picked up his third assist and Sergei Kostitsyn picked up his fourth assist of the season.
  • Colorado wouldn’t give Nashville a chance to gain momentum, sending snap shot past Mason at 11:06 from Chuck Kobasew, his first goal of the season.
  • Colin Wilson would battle back at 13:17 with a backhand into the net for his fifth goal of the season. Martin Erat would nab his seventh assist and Jonathon Blum would collect his fourth.
  • Paul Stastny and Jamie McGinn would surprise and embarrass Mason with two goals in less than sixteen seconds of each other, sending the Avs up 6-3 late in the second. Mason was promptly pulled, giving Pekka the reins.
  • With Pekka Rinne in net, the Predators were able to hold the Avs back long enough for Jonathon Blum to nab his first goal of the season with a clean slap shot at 19:10.
  • Colorado got the upper-hand on Nashville in the second, out-shooting the Preds fifteen to twelve.

THIRD PERIOD

  • Unlike the second period, the third period was filled with exhaustion on both sides. Shea Weber would capitalize on a wrist shot, putting the Preds within one (6-5) at 18:42 for his second goal of the season. Mike Fisher (3rd assist) and Patric Hornqvist (4th assist) assisted in the late minute goal.
  • Nashville overpowered the Avalanche in the third, out-shooting them seventeen to five, but it just wasn’t enough to tie the game, giving the Avs a much needed win in regulation.

 

MUSINGS:

  • Patric Hornqvist returned to the lineup after suffering a lower-body injury against the Ducks on January 26th. Apparently, Hornqvist jumped right back in without skipping a beat, picking up an assist on Shea Weber’s goal and took twelve shots on goal.
  • Paul Gaustad suffered an “upper-body” injury in the first period, taking him away from the rest of the game. The Predators took a hit on the face-offs, with Colorado winning 29 of 46 of them. Yikes. Gaustad’s injury remains unknown and his condition is said to be “day-to-day” at this point.
  • Chris Mason got the nod as starter for the game, though it wasn’t exactly the presence he intended to make. Pekka would have to come in during the second period to take over, after Mason allowed two goals in just sixteen seconds.

 

As we mentioned before, the NHL admitted that Duchene’s goal should have been waved as he was offsides, but that does not help the Predators now, who would have eventually tied the game late in the third period, sending the game into overtime, which could have produced an entirely different outcome. But the nothing can be done now. The final score is in the books and, although we are not bitter about it (Duchene did what any player would do), when will the NHL take responsibilty for their linesmen missing such obvious calls?

The Predators head home to face the much missed (NOT) Jordin Tootoo and his Detroit Red Wings tomorrow night at home. Tickets are still available, but expect the 21st consecutive sellout tomorrow night.

Until then,
GO PREDS

Predators End Regular Season with a Bang; Demolish Avalanche 6-1

Alexander Radulov celebrates with teammate David Legwand.

It’s hard to believe, but the regular season came to an end last night for the National Hockey League and the Nashville Predators. Although the post season gets underway starting next Wednesday for the Predators and many other teams, for Nashville’s oppenent last night, the Colorado Avalanche, the skates will be hung until October.

The Avalanche, despite making the playoffs, actually had a pretty good season. Holding 3rd place in the Northwest Division, Colorado had every intent on slipping into a playoff spot. Unfortunately for Colorado, 3rd place in their division just couldn’t top the tougher Western Conference teams, ending their run 41-35-6 for the 2011-12 season.

The Predators scratched quite a few of their predominate players, trying to avoid injury at all cost. Thus, it was basically the rookies chance to prove themselves amongst the team going into the playoffs. Here are the highlights from last night’s game in Denver:

KEY POINTS:

  • As stated above, many top players were scratched last night including Sergei Kostitsyn, Martin Erat, Mike Fisher, Brian McGrattan, Francis Bouillon, and Hal Gill. Colin Wilson got another chance at ice time, along with Jack Hillen and Ryan Ellis.
  • David Legwand wasted no time getting points on the board, hitting a wrist shot passed Jean-Sebastien Giguere at 3:39 in the 1st Period. Gabriel Bourque (12th assist) and Alexander Radulov (4th assist) picked up the assists on Leggy’s 19th goal of the season.
  • Colorado tied it up shortly after at 8:09 with a goal from Matt Duchene, his 14th goal of the season.
  • Craig Smith would gain his 14th goal of the season at 12:10, his first points (and goal) since playing against the Phoenix Coyotes back on March 12th. Matt Halischuk (13th assist) and Colin Wilson (20th assist) grabbed the assists.
  • Patric Hornqvist would seal the final goal of the first period with less than a second left at 19:59, ending the regular season with 27 goals (Coincidence?). Kevin Klein (16th assist) and Andrei Kostitsyn (20th assist) picked up the assists.
  • Roman Josi would notch his 5th goal of the season at 16:09 in the 2nd Period, with assists from Craig Smith (21st assist) and Kevin Klein (17th assist).
  • Brandon Yip would cause the Colorado bench to cringe as he scored his 3rd goal of the season against his former teammates at 1:57 into the 3rd Period. With a wrap-around goal, did Yip remember that was Giguere’s weakness? Nick Spaling (12th assist) picked up the lone assist.
  • Matt Halischuk added the last nail in the coffin at 6:20 for his 15th goal of the season. A trend is starting to appear with Hali, where when he is scratched, he retaliates with a goal the next game. Good way to retaliate, we think. Craig Smith picked up his third point and 22nd assist on Hali’s goal.
  • Anders Lindback took the reins in the net last night, blocking 28 of 29 goals taken on goal. Unfortunately, in a freak accident, Ryan Ellis fell onto Lindy’s head during play, sending Lindback to the locker room. Pekka Rinne finished out the rest of the game, blocking all 10 shots taken on goal. Anders is expected to be Pekka’s backup for Wednesday’s playoff game, but for safe measure, Jeremy Smith was brought up from the Milwaukee Admirals.
  • Both the Predators and the Avalanche were equal in penalties, with neither team able to snag a goal. With as many penalties as the Predators have been taking lately, racking up just two last night was a relief. Here are they two offenders:
  1. Patric Hornqvist – 14:03 2nd Period – Cross Checking
  2. Craig Smith – 19:45 2nd Period – Hooking

It’s been a long and rewarding season for the Predators, who are preparing for a challenging post season against the Detroit Red Wings. The Predators have thus far proven themselves Stanley Cup worthy, but they just need to cling to their confidence and strength throughout this upcoming playoff round. The Predators have faced the Red Wings before in the playoffs, losing both times. However, this is a different team and a ready team.

We leave you with this video we came across on YouTube. The first 1:49 is rough, but it leads up to Nashville showing off their “pesky” comeback skills from the 2011-12 season. It’s been a roller coaster, but we’ve enjoyed every second of it.

Until Wednesday,
GO PREDS.

 

(Photo credit: Michael Martin/NHLI via Getty Images)