Preds tally Win over Wild 3-1

fisher

After capturing the top of the league on Thursday night, the Predators would need to continue with a win in St. Paul to hang onto that title just a little bit longer. The Wild, who have been having some rather interesting issues, are hurting for a win, and what better way to knock the best team in the league for a loop?

SCRATCHES: Mark Arcobello
NOTEWORTHY: Update on injuries, Ryan Ellis will be re-evaluated after the All-Star break (January 24-25), which means he’s out for at least two weeks; he has also been placed on the IR with an lower-body injury. Also, Eric Nystrom’s injury has gone from undisclosed to classified as an upper-body.

First Period:

  • Mike Fisher would get the ball rolling early in the first period with his seventh goal of the season at 4:01. Colin Wilson (14), who has been on fire this season (to say the least), picked up the lone assist.
  • Minnesota’s Charlie Coyle would tie the game at 14:14 for his fourth goal of the season.
  • The Wild would outshoot the Predators 14 to 8, pointing out just how incredible Pekka Rinne really is.

Second Period:

  • Both the Wild and the Predators would take nine shots on goal, but none could make their way past the opposing goaltenders during the second period.
  • Nashville took four penalties during the second period alone, including one from Pekka Rinne (served by Craig Smith). Even more proof on why Pekka Rinne is the best goaltender in this league this season.

Third Period:

  • Calle Jarnkrok would collect his fifth goal of the season at 3:48 after being in the right place at the right time whilst Niklas Backstrom was distracted. Olli Jokinen (3) and Shea Weber (19) tallied the assists.
  • At 8:47, Colin Wilson would notch his 12th of the season with the unassisted game winning goal.
  • Though Wilson sealed the game winner within the first ten minutes of the period, the game certainly wasn’t over. With just a few minutes left in the game, Matt Cooke decided cross-checking Shea Weber in the face was a good idea. It wasn’t.
    B7HPM8eCYAIi_BF

    Source: TheScore.com

    As the wise Antoine Dodson once said:

    antoine_dodson_you_are_so_dumb-14245

Needless to say, Angry Shea reared his ugly head and beat Matt Cooke to a pulp. Here’s the video of said beat-down:

And, if watching his teammate get his butt kicked wasn’t enough, Nate Prosser stepped up to duke it out with Mike Fisher with just a minute and a half left in the game:

And, as you can see from the video, Angry Mike also made an appearance after Prosser took a cheap shot at Taylor Beck.

After kicking the Wild’s keister not only physically but numerically as well, the Predators secured another day as the leaders of the league and improved their record to 28-9-4. The Predators welcome in the Vancouver Canucks on Tuesday and then Barry Trotz and the Washington Capitals on Friday night.

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The Age of Swede (in Nashville)

Getty Images/Zimbio.com

Getty Images/Zimbio.com – Left: Calle Jarnkrok, Right: Filip Forsberg

With the regular season coming to a close, most Preds fans have given up on the hopes of clinching a playoff spot. Though mathematically, the Preds still have an itty bitty, miniscule chance, but unless you are a betting man or an overly optimistic person, you’ve pretty much come to terms that, for the fifteenth year, the Predators will be Cup-less. It has also been excruciatingly difficult to handle (as a fan) the onslaught of opposing fans over-running the Bridgestone Arena, bashing the home team and drowning out the voices of the remaining faithful. But alas, that is a story for a different time. Right now, I am here to relay some optimism; optimism in the form of 20-something Swedes.

It wouldn’t be a far stretch to say ice hockey is pretty popular in Sweden. Tre Kronor (Team Sweden) is a dominant force when it comes to IIHF World Championships (9 gold medals/19 silver/16 bronze since 1920) and the Olympics (2 gold medals/3 silver/4 bronze since 1920) and those figures do not include the junior or women’s teams over the years. Surprisingly though, there aren’t as many Swedes in the NHL as you would think. There are (as of 9:44am on 3/27/14 & not including farm teams) 51 Swede holding roster spots amongst the 30 teams in the NHL, which averages out to about 2 Swedes per team (that has a Swede). Detroit should be renamed Stockholm as it employees the most Swedes at nine. Everyone but the Islanders, Blue Jackets, Penguins, Stars, Oilers, Panthers, Kings, and Sharks have Swedes. Nashville has had its fair share of Swedes in the past fifteen years, with Viktor Stalberg, Patric Hornqvist, Mattias Ekholm, and Calle Jarnkrok holding roster spots at the given moment; Filip Forsberg and Patrick Cehlin currently round out the Milwaukee Admirals roster.

While a veteran like Patric Hornqvist remains at the top of his game (14 goals, 25 assists 2013/14 season), it’s young-guns like Calle Jarnkrok and Filip Forsberg who will continue the tradition of Swedish dominance. Both Filip Forsberg and Calle Järnkrok were acquired within trades – Forsberg was claimed from the Washington Capitals for Martin Erat and Michael Latta in April 2013 & Jarnkrok (along with Patrick Eaves) was picked up from the Detroit Red Wings for David Legwand – and, you can disagree with many of David Poile’s choices, but the man clearly got the better deal in both trades.

It tends to be frustrating to fans that Filip Forsberg spends more time on planes than on the ice, constantly being called up and sent back down to Milwaukee. His outstanding performance in the World Juniors tournament had fans threatening a mob if he wasn’t brought back to Nashville (4 goals, 8 assists/silver medal), but alas, he has still flipped back and forth. It is sometimes hard to remember that Forsberg is only 19-years-old and made his NHL debut with Nashville last season (Detroit won 3-0); he still has plenty of time to adjust to the system and I would almost put money on a bet that he’ll have a more permanent roster position with the Predators next season. With the Admirals this season, Filip Forsberg has 10 goals and 17 assists.

Calle Jarnkrok is the newest Swede to board the dingy that is the Predators organization, but he’s come out blazing with three assists in the three games he’s appeared with Nashville. He’s quick, but controlled; his puck-handling skills put Colin Wilson to shame. He also does not shy from pressure what-so-ever. Usually Craig Smith or Matt Cullen, Jarnkrok was given the task of first at bat for the shootout against the Colorado Avalanche last Tuesday. Though Nashville eventually lost to the Avs (thanks to another Swede – Gabriel Landeskog), Jarnkrok scored in his first NHL shootout. He may share the same love of hairstyle with Sergei Kostitsyn, but he is a far cry from that Belorussian blunder.  Hopefully, Jarnkrok can teach fellow Swede, Viktor Stalberg to slow his roll and control his speed and the puck. I also hope the ‘Way of Trotz’ does not seep into the youngster, killing his game altogether.

You know their names: Henrik Lundqvist, Niklas Kronwall, Daniel & Henrik Sedin, Niklas Backstrom, Gabriel Landeskog, Henrik Zetterberg, Peter Forsberg, Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Daniel Alfredsson, Niklas Lidstrom, Alexander Steen, Loui Eriksson, and so forth. The Swedes are here to stay in the NHL and Nashville needs to collect as many as they can get. Along with an IKEA; we need one of those, too.

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Med den ordinarie säsongen närmar sig sitt slut , har de flesta Preds fans gett upp hoppet om att fästa en slutspelsplats . Även matematiskt , de Preds har fortfarande en Itty Bitty , världsdelen chans , men om du inte är en vadslagning man eller en alltför optimistisk person , du har ganska mycket komma till rätta som för femtonde året kommer rovdjuren bli Cup – mindre . Det har också varit otroligt svårt att hantera ( som en fläkt ) angrepp av motsatta fans över kör Bridgestone Arena , bashing hemmalaget och drunkna ut röster återstående trogna . Men tyvärr , det är en historia för en annan tid . Just nu är jag här för att vidarebefordra viss optimism , optimism i form av 20 -någonting svenskar .

Det skulle inte vara en långt sträcka att säga ishockey är ganska populärt i Sverige . Tre Kronor ( Team Sweden ) är en dominerande kraft när det kommer till IIHF-VM ( 9 guld medals/19 silver/16 brons sedan 1920 ) och OS ( 2 ​​guldmedaljer / 3 silver / 4 brons sedan 1920 ) och dessa siffror gör inte inkludera junior eller damlag under åren. Förvånansvärt Men det finns inte så många svenskar i NHL som man kan tro . Det finns ( som av 09:44 på 3/27/14 & exklusive jordbruks lag ) 51 Swede håller rosterfläckar bland de 30 lag i NHL , som i genomsnitt ut till ca 2 svenskar per lag ( som har en svensk ) . Detroit bör döpas Stockholm eftersom den anställda flest svenskar vid nio . Alla men Islanders , Blue Jackets , Penguins, Stars , Oilers , Panthers, Kings och Sharks har svenskar . Nashville har haft sin beskärda del av svenskarna under de senaste femton åren , med Viktor Stålberg , Patric Hörnqvist , Mattias Ekholm och Calle Järnkrok håller rosterfläckar vid given tidpunkt , Filip Forsberg och Patrick Cehlin runda för närvarande ut i Milwaukee Admirals deltagarlistan .

Medan en veteran som Patric Hörnqvist är fortfarande på toppen av hans spel ( 14 mål , 25 assist 2013/14 säsongen ) , det är unga – gevär som Calle Järnkrok och Filip Forsberg som kommer att fortsätta traditionen av svenska dominans . Både Filip Forsberg och Calle Järnkrok förvärvats inom handel – Forsberg hävdades från Washington Capitals för Martin Erat och Michael Latta i April 2013 & Järnkrok ( tillsammans med Patrick Eaves ) plockades från Detroit Red Wings för David Legwand – och , du kan inte håller med många av David Poile s val , men mannen fick klart bättre affär i båda branscher .

Det tenderar att vara frustrerande för fans som Filip Forsberg tillbringar mer tid på plan än på isen , ständigt ringde upp och skickas tillbaka till Milwaukee . Hans enastående prestanda i World Juniors turneringen hade fans hotar en pöbel om han inte kom tillbaka till Nashville ( 4 mål , 8 assist / silver ) , men tyvärr , han har fortfarande bläddrade fram och tillbaka . Det är ibland svårt att komma ihåg att Forsberg är bara 19 år gammal och gjorde sin NHL-debut med Nashville förra säsongen ( Detroit vann med 3-0 ) , han har fortfarande gott om tid att anpassa sig till systemet och jag skulle nästan sätta pengar på en satsning som han kommer att ha en mer permanent roster läge med Predators nästa säsong . Med Admirals den här säsongen , har Filip Forsberg 10 mål och 17 assist .

Calle Järnkrok är den nyaste svensken att gå ombord på jolleseglare som är Predators organisation , men han har kommit ut flammande med tre assist i de tre matcher han dök med Nashville . Han är snabb , men kontrollerad , hans puckhanteringfärdigheter satte Colin Wilson på skam . Han gör dessutom inte blyg från tryck vad – så – någonsin. Vanligtvis Craig Smith och Matt Cullen , Järnkrok fick i uppdrag att först på slagträet för straffar mot Colorado Avalanche i tisdags . Även Nashville till slut förlorade med Avs ( tack vare en annan svensk – Gabriel Landeskog ) , Järnkrok gjorde mål i sin första NHL- straffar. Han kan dela samma kärlek till frisyr med Sergei Kostitsyn , men han är långt ifrån det vitryska blunder . Förhoppningsvis kan Järnkrok undervisa karl svensk, Viktor Stålberg att sakta sin rulle och kontrollera sin hastighet och pucken . Jag hoppas också att ” Way of Trotz ” inte tränger in i unge och dödade hans spel helt och hållet.

Du vet deras namn : Henrik Lundqvist , Niklas Kronwall , Daniel och Henrik Sedin , Niklas Bäckström , Gabriel Landeskog , Henrik Zetterberg , Peter Forsberg , Oliver Ekman – Larsson , Daniel Alfredsson , Niklas Lidström , Alexander Steen , Loui Eriksson , och så vidare . Svenskarna är här för att stanna i NHL och Nashville måste samla så många som de kan få . Tillsammans med en IKEA , vi behöver en av dem också.

 

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.

Controversial Call Leads to Demise in Minnesota

There’s a reason Gaustad is a bit irate.

The Predators have already had their way with Minnesota once this year, reminding Ryan Suter of the team he abandoned back in the off-season to “be closer to home”. With a shutout victory of defending Stanley Cup champs the L.A. Kings on Thursday, Nashville was still riding high as they flew into St. Paul to face the menacing Wild. However, tonight would prove much more difficult than the last time they visited, with controversy to follow suite.

KEY POINTS:

  • The seven d-man assault left Matt Halischuk on the scratched list, along with Brian McGrattan. Similar to the first encounter with Minnesota, Chris Mason was called up to man the net.
  • Paul Gaustad would be the leading man of the night, notching his first goal of the season at 10:11 in the first period with a wrister past Backstrom. Craig Smith would pick up his first assist of the season as well.
  • As usual, the Predators were out-shot in the first period, this time 10 to 6 by the Minnesota Wild.
  • The second period would prove a bit more physical for the Predators, with the Wild hammering down at all costs. After immense pressure on net, the Cal Clutterbuck collected a tip-in goal from Ryan Suter to tie the game at one.
  • The Predators would not retain a goal after Clutterbuck’s, nor would the Wild, thus sending the game into an all-too-familiar scenario. However, this is where the controversy comes into play. Apparently, there is a new face-off rule and Mr. Paul Gaustad did not abide to those new standards… Here’s Rule 76.4:

“Both players facing-off are prohibited from batting the puck withtheir hand in an attempt to win the face-off. Any attempt by either center to win the face-off by batting the puck with their hand shallresult in a minor penalty. This penalty shall be announced as ” Minor Penalty for Delay of Game – Face-off Violation”. The two players involved in the actual face-off (the centers) are not permitted to play the puck with their hand without incurring a penalty under this ruleuntil such time as a third player (from either team) has at least touched the puck. Once the face-off is deemed complete (and a winner of the face-off is clear) hand passes shall be enforced as per Rule 79.”

Slow motion for me, move in slow motion for me.

…And here’s a .gif of what Gaustad did wrong:
Did you catch Gaustad’s mistake? No? As you watch the animation above, note that Gaustad’s hand grazes the puck as he and Granlund battle it out. Although it is clear Gaustad is not “batting the puck away to win the faceoff”, that is what the referee apparently thought, as this was probably his first encounter with this new rule at hand. The Wild would inevitably score on Gaustad’s penalty, sealing the win in favor of Minnesota in OT.

But was it really a bad call on the ref’s behalf that crushed the Predators? Though it wasn’t very helpful, this new rule did not solely cause certain doom for the Predators last night. A double minor on Devin Setoguchi in the third period, giving the Predators a four-minute powerplay, could’ve prevented this whole “Rule 76.4” mess in the first place, had the Predators worked together to nab a goal. Now, the Predators did outshoot the Wild twelve to eight in the third, but Nashville had plenty of opportunities to throw this one in the bag, but just couldn’t seem to get it together long enough to capitalize on their attempts.

The Predators will have to shake this one off quick, as they return tonight to face the ever welcoming Chicago Blackhawks, their first meeting of the season tonight at Bridgestone Arena.

Until then,
GO PREDS

Penalties Plague Predators, Lindback Prevails

Anders Lindback protects the net from Stephane Veilleux.

With only three games left in the regular season, the Nashville Predators would either come out swinging or take their time, trying to avoid any injury or mishap possible. However, with a possible playoff position still looming in the air as to wether the Predators would start out at home or away, the boys couldn’t afford to sit back and let the Minnesota Wild (who are completely out of the playoff running) come out and steal the show.

It’s hard to believe that at one point during this season, Minnesota was sitting pretty at the top – and by top, we mean the entire league. Injuries hit the Wild hard this season, with Minnesota almost exhausting their farm team’s roster. But, that’s the beauty of hockey; nothing is for certain. However, just because Minnesota’s out of the running doesn’t mean they’ll just finish off the rest of their season quietly. The Wild have won their last three games, including Chicago 5-4 on Sunday. Needless to say, Minnesota came to the Music City raring to go.

KEY POINTS:

  • When Nashville announced that goalie Chet Pickard would be called up from the Milwaukee Admirals, it was pretty clear Pekka would be taking the night off. Though said from officials to be suffering from both the stomach flu and cold-like symptoms (well, which one?), it was obvious Pekka was on the scratched list just so he could have a night to rest and for Anders Lindback to get some much needed ice time.
  • Jack Hillen, Ryan Ellis, and Brian McGrattan were the usual scratches last night, but also making the list were Matt Halischuk, Jordin Tootoo, and (surprise, surprise) Colin Wilson. Halischuk has proven himself time and time again, but Trotz chose Craig Smith of the lineup in his place. As for Toots, well he may be sitting more often thanks to Radulov’s tremendous influence on the team so far. And, last but not least, Colin is well, still healing (…).
  • If you happened to catch the game last night, you would have noticed both teams had problems staying on their feet, with many of the players simply dropping to the ice. Snipers in the Bridgestone? No, just “choppy” ice conditions. Thanks to the unseasonable warm weather, the ice in the Bridgestone wasn’t at peak condition, thus allowing for more divots in the ice, causing issues with the blades on the skates. In fact, we are pretty positive Mike Fisher is made of lead.
  • The first period was slow for both teams, possibly because of the issue with the ice, but Nashville was able to release 10 shots to Minnesota’s 12. Both Lindback and Backstrom were ready, whether the ice was melting or not.
  • Gabriel put the first points on the board at 12:31 in the 2nd Period with a clean pass from Nick Spaling (11th assist). Bourque has been the rookie on fire as of late, sealing his 7th goal of the season.
  • Minnesota responded to Bourque’s goal at 17:53 with a goal from Dany Heatley, his 23rd goal of the season. The Predators and Wild would end the 2nd Period tied at one.
  • The 3rd Period resembled the first, with no goals recorded by either team. Both teams evenly hit seven shots on goal, but both Linback and Backstrom were still on their A-Games.
  • Overtime produced no goals, so to the shootout they went. This would be Anders Lindback’s first career shootout. Here’s how it played out:
  1. MINNESOTA – Erik Christensen – MISS
  2. NASHVILLE – Martin Erat – SAVE
  3. MINNESOTA – Mikko Koivu – SAVE
  4. NASHVILLE – Alexander Radulov – GOAL
  5. MINNESOTA – Devin Setoguchi – SAVE
  • Radulov’s ego will rise as he continues to shine on NHL ice, which as long as he is wearing a Predators sweater, we don’t care. Anders Lindback not only made Nashville proud, he also made goalie coach Mitch Korn beam with pride, realizing that even behind Pekka, Nashville has an extraordinary goalie. Lindy was able to stop 25 of 26 goals on net.
  • As stated in the headline, penalties were Nashville’s best friend last night as the Predators racked up six penalties in the 1st and 3rd periods; that’s three more than Minnesota accumulated. Lucky for the Predators, the Wild weren’t able to capitalize on any of their penalty chances. Here are the six offenders:
  1. Ryan Suter – 7:25 1st Period – Cross Checking
  2. Brandon Yip – 16:42 1st Period – Roughing
  3. David Legwand – 18:53 1st Period – Interference
  4. Martin Erat – 0:42 3rd Period – Tripping
  5. Nick Spaling – 11:54 3rd Period – Hooking
  6. Andrei Kostitsyn – 19:48 3rd Period – Tripping

Although Minnesota snuck away with one point, Nashville ultimately left with the big W, which is better than nothing. It is understandable why the Predators want smooth sailing for the remainder of their regular season, but with Detroit nipping at their heels, Nashville can’t afford any losses this week.

The Predators finish their final home game on Thursday against the Dallas Stars, a fellow playoff contender. The Predators will end the their season in Denver against the Colorado Avalanche on Saturday.

Until then,
GO PREDS.