NSH seeks Victory in SO over BOS

Source: Frederick Breedon/Getty Images North America

Source: Frederick Breedon/Getty Images North America

After a lackluster performance (by everyone but Pekka Rinne) in San Jose Saturday, the Predators returned home for a brief moment to welcome in the 15-13-2 Boston Bruins. So, how did the Predators fair against the “B”s from the East?

First Period:

  • Though both teams would send nine shots on goal during the first, none could get beyond the beasts from Finland in the nets.
  • Both sides were given powerplay opportunities, but could not capitalize.

Second Period:

  • Milan Lucic would get the ball rolling at 4:04, giving Boston the lead for the majority of the second period.
  • Mike Fisher would then tie it with just thirty seconds left in the period for his second goal of the season. May we also say this was on the powerplay? Yes, it was! Nashville is now a resounding 2-47 on the powerplay at home this season. Shea Weber (12) and Filip Forsberg (18) would do the assisting.

Third Period:

  • Mike Ribeiro would give Nashville the lead at 1:31 into the third for his ninth goal of the season. James Neal (8) and Ryan Ellis (9) would pick up the assist points.
  • The Preds wouldn’t lead long as Reilly Smith sent a wrister flying past Pekka at 3:28 to tie the game.

Overtime:

  • Despite a few shots on goal, the five minute overtime would prove uneventful.

Shootout:

  • NSH – Derek Roy – GOAL
  • BOS – Brad Merchand – MISS
  • NSH – James Neal – MISS
  • BOS – Reilly Smith – MISS
  • NSH – Filip Forsberg – MISS
  • BOS – Patrice Bergeron – MISS

With Pekka’s save on Bergeron’s shot, Nashville slipped away with the two points in the shootout. It wasn’t that Nashville didn’t come out strong last night, it was simply the fact that Boston is notoriously a bigger, more physical team than most others. They were there in the right places at the right time to put the extra pressure on Nashville, ultimately keeping the score as low as it turned out to be. You also have to factor in the fact that Tuukka Rask is simply on point when it comes to goaltending; very similar to Nashville’s Finnish phenom who occupies a net.

It is good to note that Filip Forsberg continues to master the leader board when it comes to rookies. Not only does he lead in total points within the rookie class (30), he also leads in plus/minus (23), goals (12), and assists (18). Wowza.

Another fun fact to point out is that, with this win over Boston, David Poile is now the second all-time winningest General Manager with victory 1,171. He trails New York Rangers GM, Glen Sather who hold 1,278 wins.

The Predators take a few days off before heading northward to Minnesota to take on the Wild, a division rival they have yet to face thus far this season. Then it’s a stop in Columbus and a visit to Boston before coming back to welcome in the Flyers on December 27th (Shea Weber bobblehead night).

Shea Weber added to Team Canada Roster

BdZIk-bIAAE_eCSIf you follow any of our social media outlets, we mentioned Shea Weber being named to Team Canada but we neglected to add it here! My bad.

Any who, from the headline, you now know that Shea Weber will be representing both Canada and Nashville in the 2014 Winter Olympics. He, along with Roman Josi and Simon Moser will be the only Predators heading off to Sochi in February.

In the 2010 Winter Olympics, the Predators had six members represent their countries, which included:
Ryan Suter – USA – (Minnesota Wild)
Shea Weber – Canada
Martin Erat – Czech Republic (Washington Capitals)
Patric Hornqvist – Sweden
Marcel Goc – Germany (Florida Panthers)
Alexander Sulzer – Germany (Buffalo Sabres)

Don’t be put down by the number difference here, though. Out of the list above, the only other player besides Weber going to the Olympics this year is Ryan Suter. Heck, Germany isn’t even participating in this year’s Olympics; well, at least that we’ve found.

In regards to Patric Hornqvist’s snub by Sweden, he has been quoted as saying he is disappointed by the decision & Trotz has said he has “no idea what the Swedish team was thinking”. Honestly, we don’t either, except for the fact that Sweden is a powerhouse when it comes to producing talented hockey players. Hornqvist wasn’t the only talented Swede left off that Tre Kronor roster.

So, in a nutshell Preds fans, we’ve only been given three (one that may hardly know a.k.a. Moser), but be proud of those three! Congratulations to Josi, Weber, and Moser!

 

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.

Wild shutout Preds 2-0

Photo courtesy: Getty Images

It was the Nashville Rinnes tonight as the Predators finished up their road trip in St. Paul against the Minnesota Wild. What do I mean by the “Nashville Rinnes”? Well, by the outcome of the game, if it hadn’t been for Pekka, we’re pretty sure the Wild would’ve ended the game 29-o.
Now, we aren’t ones to put down the team, but it was clear the Predators were exhausted. They did not come out with the enthusiasm that they had against the Habs or the Jets. Pekka was on top of his game, as usual, so thankful we are for an amazing goaltender. Here are the minuscule highlights (for Nashville, anyways) from tonight:

First Period:
No goals, but plenty of tiffs. Five penalties overall, with Nashville taking three of those. Rich Clune, in his first game back in a while, dropped the gloves with Zenon Konopka at 2:07.

Second Period:
Late in the second, Minnesota would finally slip one around Pekka Rinne with a wrister from Justin Fontaine at 18:53.
Minnesota would end the second period leading Nashville, not only in goals, but in shots on goal with eleven to six.

Third Period:
Pekka would continue to battle against an aggressive Wild team, only to be pulled for the extra man late in the game. Unfortunately for Nashville, Jason Pominville would collect an empty-netter for the game-winning goal at 19:35.

Exhausted and with no heads in the game, Nashville stood no chance against a win-hungry Minnesota Wild. However, Nashville returns home Thursday to take on a recent opponent, the Winnipeg Jets. After the outstanding win Saturday, will the Predators know which buttons to push on the Jets?

Hutton leads Predators over Jets 3-1

Image Courtesy: Getty Images

The Predators have had some great outcomes thus far this season, but tonight it was finally time to let the Finnish phenom take a break and let the backup try his hand at a full NHL game. Insert: Carter Hutton, the confident backup for Pekka Rinne who has only had one shot at protecting an NHL basket. When was that? First game of the season when Peks was pulled in the first period against the St. Louis Blues. But hey, Pekka’s looking much better now (scared me there for a moment).

So, how did Hutton fair against Matt Halischuk and the Winnipeg Jets? Here are the highlights:

First Period:

  • No goals were tallied during the first, but Matt Cullen did collect the only penalty between both teams in the first at 15:58 with a hooking call on Matt Halischuk. Nashville was able to keep Winnipeg at bay, despite the Jets outshooting the Predators 15 to 12.

Second Period:

  • Ten seconds in, Matt Hendricks would head to the box for a tripping call, giving the Jets an early advantage in the opening of the second period.
  • Eric Nystrom didn’t mind being down a man, sending a wrister past Ondrej Pavelec for a shorthanded goal just twenty seconds in.
  • Patric Hornqvist would collect this third goal of the season at 12:07 with an unassisted snapshot.
  • Matt Cullen would pick up his second goal of the season at 14:17 with assists from Colin Wilson 4th assist) and Craig Smith (5th assist).
  • Winnipeg would lead Nashville in shots on goal with eleven to seven at the end of the second.

Third Period:

  • Evander Kane would collect his fifth goal of the season with a tip-in past Hutton, though it was simply a case of “lost puck”.
  • Carter Hutton and the Preds would hold off the Jets 3-1, despite being outshot in total 26 to 39.
  • Hutton would inevitably block 38 of those 39 shots; pretty good for his first full NHL game, right?

The NHL take notice of Hutton’s success as proven with this tweet:

Well, we had our stats wrong shots wise, but oh well.

Nashville has just one more game on the road before they head back home Thursday and, who’s that team? The Minnesota Wild on Tuesday.

Predators notch first Win, Beat Wild 3-2

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The Predators made their way back to the familiarity of Bridgestone Arena Tuesday night, welcoming in the Minnesota Wild for their season home opener. The Wild, who were 0-0-2 coming into the game, had a slightly better – and we mean slightly – chance compared to Nashville’s 0-2-0 record. But there’s just something about the home crowd that instills some confidence and Nashville definitely exuded the offering. Here are some of the highlights from Tuesday’s game:

FIRST PERIOD:

  • Leave it to Zach Parise to take the first strike, notching a tip-in past Pekka Rinne at 4:05 on the powerplay, brought on due to Seth Jones hi-sticking Mikko Koivu. Koivu and Ryan Suter picked up the assists.
  • Youngster Filip Forsberg would retaliate at 5:07 with a powerplay goal of his own, sending a snapshot past Backstrom. Forsberg showed some rare emotion after his goal, understandably so considering it was his first career NHL goal. Patric Hornqvist picked up his second assist and rookie Seth Jones notched an assist; his first NHL career point.
  • Less than 40 seconds later, Colin Wilson would capitalize on the powerplay with a wrister at 5:46. Matt Cullen (1) and Mike Fisher (2) picked up the assists on Wilson’s first goal of the season.
  • Eric Nystrom would be awarded a penalty shot at 11:14 after being slashed by Keith Ballard from behind. After slamming into the goal, Nystrom actually injured goalie Niklas Backstrom, who left the game just before Nystrom’s penalty shot. Nystrom, who played with the Wild during the 2010-11 season, knew just where to send the puck around backup goalie, Josh Harding. Nailing the shot, the Preds then lead the Wild 3-1.

SECOND PERIOD:

  • The Wild would attempt to gain control at 7:26 with a powerplay wrister from Jared Spurgeon. Despite six penalties, Spurgeon was the only player to capitalize on said penalties in the second period.

THIRD PERIOD:

  • No goals were gained in the third, but there were a few penalties to be had.
  • Zach Parise was called for holding against Patric Hornqvist, who in turn was called for embellishment (diving) on the penalty. Personally, we don’t believe you can call both at the same time, but you can’t reverse the call and it didn’t hurt Nashville any.

With their first win of the season under their belt, Nashville gained some much needed confidence and morale. Not that the Predators are deemed unworthy of a decent season, they are still technically in a rebuilding stage. Shea Weber just hasn’t found his paired connection since Suter left for the North, despite he and Josi doing well together. However, with Roman out with a concussion, he has now been paired with the youngster that is Seth Jones. We’ll be honest; the pairing looks good, but it needs some work. But we all know that, in order to be the best, you have to work towards greatness. There are no shortcuts.

The Predators welcome the 3-1-0 Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday night to Smashville. This will be only the fifth time Toronto has played in Nashville and Jonathan Bernier has his eyes set on continuing his outstanding record against the Preds.

Number Changes for 2013-14

20130823-100411.jpg

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?

Jonathon Blum to Minnesota?

Bye, bye Blummer?

Is Jonathon Blum headed North? Well, those are the rumors swirling this afternoon as the young defenseman who has been with Nashville his entire career begins seeking ice time elsewhere.

Blum has been iffy for Nashville, bouncing between the Predators and the Admirals in Milwaukee since being drafted by Nashville in the 2007 NHL Draft. There’s no surprise as to why Nashville did not extend an offer to Blum; he struggled while younger, thirstier players took charge, tossing Blum in the funk he eventually settled in. With only one goal and six assists in the 2012-13 season, Blum’s future amongst the rising defensemen in Nashville looked bleak.

But don’t count him out just yet. Although he has struggled with the Preds, Blum isn’t a terrible, get-out-of-the-NHL defenseman. Similiar to Halischuk, Jonathon Blum is a diamond in the rough that, unfortunately, just couldn’t quite shine here in the Music City.

The rumors state Blum is expected to sign a contract with the Minnesota Wild as early as tomorrow, but other teams, including the Flyers, have shown interest in him, as well. No matter who Blum chooses to sign with eventually, that said team will get a bargain and a potential goal-scorer. We suspect Blum will do well elsewhere, we are just disappointed it wasn’t here in Nashville.

We will let you know as soon as we hear word as to where Jonathon Blum eventually signs.

UPDATE:
As we expected, Jonathon Blum signed a one-year, two-way contract this morning with the Minnesota Wild. Like Halischuk, you will still get your Blummer fix. The Wild are in the same conference as the Nashville Predators.

Good luck, Blum!

Seth Jones signs first Pro Contract

Source: Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Well, he fell to fourth in the draft, so did you honestly think Nashville would not sign the 18-year-old star defenseman? Of course not! At 12pm on the dot today, Seth Jones and the Preds sat down to confirm his commitment in writing with a three-year, entry-level contract. The base salary of the contract is $925,000, with maximum rookie contract signing bonuses giving him a salary cap number of $3.225 million. We assume that Jay-Z (his agent) approved of this, though there was no word of his attendance this afternoon.

Jones will be donning the No. 3, which has displaced a few Wade Belak fans. Though he was close to many hearts in Nashville and the NHL abroad, Belak had retired before he passed and Nashville did not retire his number nor have the discussion with the public as to whether it should be. Minnesota’s newest signee from Pittsburgh, Matt Cooke, actually contacted Derek Boogaard’s parents in regards to wearing the late enforcer’s number 24 who died just two months before Belak. Are we saying Jones should contact Belak’s late wife and ask permission to wear a number he’s always worn and just so happens to be associated with a lost enforcer? No, not at all. It is not his duty to do so and we are betting Jones’ has no idea that he’s stepping into a number held by greatness.

Again, no surprise that Nashville was quick to have Jones commit to the organization and put him in a jersey. Per some, the look on David Poile’s face was sheer joy as Jones signed his contract. We can’t blame him. Jones will be huge.

A Shutout leads to a Shootout in Nashville: Oilers & Wild Recap

Rich Clune takes on Mike Brown, while SK74 tries to derail Ryan Suter.

Rich Clune takes on Mike Brown, while SK74 tries to derail Ryan Suter.

After being completely manhandled by the L.A. Kings on Monday, the Predators took a much needed four-day rest, hoping to regenerate some sort of game plan to make it through the rest of the season. The Predators have proven they do slightly better at home this season, but back-to-back games? Let’s highlight the recaps of both games against the Edmonton Oilers and the Minnesota Wild:

FRIDAY – EDMONTON OILERS

  • Patric Hornqvist picked up his first goal since returning from the IR, sending a wrist shot past Devan Dubnyk at 6:07. Colin Wilson picked up his 11th assist and Mike Fisher picked up his 5th assist.
  • Rich Clune and Mike Brown dropped gloves shortly after Hornqvist’s goal. Here is the video of the punch fest:
  • David Legwand would end the 1st period 2-0 with a strange wrist shot from the centerline that Dubnyk just didn’t seem to know what to do with. Legwand was first noted as unassisted on his fourth goal, but Colin Wilson was awarded his 12th assist on the goal. Here’s the video of this head shaking goal:
  • At 51 seconds into the second period, Rich Clune picked up his second NHL career goal, assisted by Paul Gaustad (3rd assist) and Sergei Kostitsyn (8th assist). Made up for that five for fighting, right?
  • One of the new B’s (all three actually were in the lineup as expected), Zach Boychuk made his presence known at 18:22 with his first goal of the season and first as part of the Nashville organization. His tip-in goal was assisted by Shea Weber (7th assist) and Martin Erat (10th assist).
  • Colin Wilson would lead the Predators up 5-0 at 4:43 into the 3rd with a backhander for his sixth goal of the season. Mike Fisher picked up his sixth assist along with Shea Weber picking up his 8th assist.
  • Colin would then again nab his second goal of the night at 16:39 on the powerplay, his seventh overall. Shea Weber would collect his ninth assist, along with Craig Smith obtaining his third assist. This was Wilson’s first career 4-point game.
  • Although Nashville put a pounding on  their first meeting with Edmonton, the Oilers ultimately sent Patric Hornqvist back out of the lineup. Suffering from an upper body injury, Hornqvist missed ice time against the Minnesota Wild and will be out against Dallas for tomorrow’s game.

SATURDAY – MINNESOTA WILD

  • Ouch. Although they were shown for the likes of Steve Sullivan and Jordin Tootoo, Ryan Suter did not receive a tribute video for his contributions while with the Predators. As you heard from the video above, Nashville hadn’t forgotten Suter’s “sneaky” ways around signing with the Minnesota Wild. A video was indeed made, but after the reaction the fans would give every time Suter hit the ice, the video was canned.
  • Minnesota would strike first at 9:01 in the second with a powerplay goal by Zach Parise for his ninth goal of the season. Ryan Suter would pick up his 15th assist along with Mikko Koivu (15th assist).
  • David Legwand would tie the game at 6:28 in the third period, his fifth of the season. Sergei Kostitsyn would collect his ninth assist and Shea Weber would collect his 10th assist.

SHOOTOUT:

MINNESOTA – Zach Parise – MISS
NASHVILLE – Gabriel Bourque – MISS
MINNESOTA – Mikko Koivu – GOAL
NASHVILLE – Craig Smith – GOAL
MINNESOTA – Matt Cullen – GOAL
NASHVILLE – David Legwand – MISS

  • Though not exactly the 6-0 shutout from the night before, Nashville still managed to grab a point instead being demolished by Parise and Suter. However, Colin Wilson did leave the game with an upper body injury, similar to Hornqvist’s the night before.

Nashville is currently sitting in fourth in the Central Division, with Columbus just two points behind (26, 24). However, the are sitting in an ugly 11th in the Western Conference, tied with Dallas at 10th and just two points behind St. Louis who sits in 8th. While we are at it, let’s just go ahead and tell you were Nashville sits league-wise: 20th. With less than a month left in the regular season, Nashville will have to make some major adjustments, which (in a way) they have with the Three B’s, if they want to see an extended season. Or, maybe they are just ready for an early golf season?

UPDATES:

  • Patric Hornqvist and Colin Wilson have now been placed on the IR, which means they will both at least be out for a week. Brandon Yip, on the other hand, has made his way off the IR, practicing with the team this morning. Hal Gill is on the mend, but is still day-to-day.
  • Matt Halischuk has returned to Nashville early, due in part to both Colin and Patric’s injuries. Though we don’t believe he was on the same track initially as Brian McGrattan, Colin and Patric’s injuries may have bought Halischuk some time. Who knows. We could be completely wrong. There is still much to be seen with the Nashville Predators.