Forsberg gives Preds the Edge over Oilers 1-0 in OT

Source: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images-

How about that “Scoresberg”, y’all? For Predators fans, he could essentially be considered a Saint; as for the Capitals faithful? Well, they are still peeved over that Martin Erat/Mike Latta trade, and you can’t blame them. Though he was just a draft pick at the time (where as Erat/Latta had were exposed to the NHL), Forsberg was certainly a risky pickup. Did David Poile successfully predict his potential? Apparently, but we doubt he’d be the Rookie Offensive leader if he were still under the guidance of Barry Trotz.

Screen shot 2014-11-29 at 9.02.25 PM

I won’t go into the highlights of last night’s game other than Filip Forsberg’s goal at 3:55 in overtime for his tenth goal of the season. Roman Josi (8) and Shea Weber (8) nabbed the assists on the rookie phenom’s goal, giving Nashville the victory on Thanksgiving. The Oilers have now lost eight in a row, losing by one point in each of those games (minus the 7-1 loss against Chicago). Edmonton is floating in a boat all too familiar to the Predators; you have great talent (such as Taylor Hall and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins), but something just isn’t connecting. Whether that missing piece be within the coaching staff or the players, they have good pieces, but they just haven’t found the rhythm. Good news, though! The Columbus Blue Jackets, who Nashville faces on Saturday night, are last in the league (Edmonton is above them with 16 points). Oh, and let us not forget to mention that it was also Mike Fisher’s season debut. No big deal.

First Period Action pushes Preds past Oilers 3-2

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Source: ESPN.com

After a six-game road trip, tallying 4-2-0, the Preds returned home last night to face the Edmonton Oilers for the second time this season (first time Nashville won 4-1). Though their record going into last night’s game was numbered at 6-8-1, the Oilers are a much stronger team than they let on. However, Nashville is on a power run and it’ll take more than being strong to knock them off their high horse.

Notable Notes:
– After suffering knee-to-knee contact with Brennan Evans of the Grand Rapids Griffins, it looks like Viktor Stalberg will be out for a 4-6 week period. Due to the injury, Evans has been suspended for four games.
– Good news for Mike Fisher fans as word has it he should be ready to return within two weeks.

First Period:
– Mike Ribeiro wasted no time getting the Predators on the board at 2:51, Nashville’s fastest goal this season. James Neal (4) and Filip Forsberg (10) picked up the assists on Ribeiro’s fourth goal of the season.
– Barely seven minutes later, Matt Cullen collect his second goal of the season with a tip-in past Viktor Fasth at 9:21. Seth Jones (4) and Craig Smith (3) would nab the assists.
– Filip Forsberg would put Nashville up 3-0 at 19:06 for his seventh goal of season and second point of the night. Mike Ribeiro (9) would collect the loan assist on Prince Filip’s goal.

Second Period:
– Edmonton would relieve Fasth of his duties and replace him with Ben Scrivens going into the second period.
– The Oilers took the first period to heart, scoring just 31 seconds into the second period with a goal from Benoit Pouliot.
– Edmonton would jump within one of Nashville with another goal at 14:42 from Nail Yakupov.

Third Period:
– No goals.

Edmonton bounced back strong in the second and third periods, but Nashville was able to hold them off and seal victory with the return home. As I mentioned, Edmonton’s record doesn’t account for how strong of a team they actually are; they just haven’t hit their stride yet (sounds super familiar). Nashville’s return was a quick one, as they jump back on plane and hop over to St. Louis to try another hand against the Blues, who are itching to push back into first in the Central Division (Nashville has 22 points, St. Louis as 21). Saturday night, Nashville returns with Winnipeg in tow (and it’s Pekka bobblehead night).

Preds power past Oilers 4-1

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Source: NHL.com

Late games are killer – for me, at least. With Edmonton scheduling an eight o’clock game their time, that meant those of us on Central time would be settling in game time in our pajamas. Granted, Edmonton is only an hour behind us, but for those of us who value adequate sleep time, these West bound games can be hard to stay awake for. However, it is nice to wake up for a 4-1 victory the next morning, especially after a “late whistle blow” that would steal a goal from Nashville. We’ll discuss that in a moment, but here are the highlights from last night’s victory in O Canada:

Pre-Game Notes:
– Rich Clune cleared waivers and was sent to Nashville’s farm team, the Milwaukee Admirals. As you recall from the previous post, Viktor Stalberg was sent to the Ads for a conditioning stint.

First Period:
– Thought the boxscore will tell you there weren’t any goals in the first period, if you watched the game you know there was one in favor of Nashville. However, due to the ever-popular “intent to whistle” call, Craig Smith’s goal was waived. Intent. To. Whistle. That’s about as effective as “You should give me a goal because my intention when I shot the puck into the crowd was to score”. Here’s a .gif of the goal:
y4deDL– Despite this awful call, Nashville did come out swinging with eleven shots in the first period compared to Edmonton’s three.

Second Period:
– Craig Smith would try for another goal at 6:23 in the second period, this time without referee interference. Derek Roy (5) and Roman Josi (1) would notch the assists on Smith’s second goal of the season.
vJoRwD– Barely a minute later, Taylor Beck would collect his first goal of the season with assistance from Colin Wilson (3) and Mattias Ekholm (1), putting Nashville up 2-0 over the Oilers.
beck– At the end of the second, Nashville would connect twice with only nine shots on goal compared to Edmonton’s fifteen.

Third Period:
– Just twenty-four seconds into the third period, Captain Shea Weber would sink his fourth goal of the season with some help from Mike Ribeiro (4).
weber– Taylor Hall would eliminate the chance of a goose egg at 8:54 for his sixth goal of the season in favor of the Oilers.
– Craig Smith would return for a third second goal in the match-up at 12:24 for his third goal of the season. Matt Cullen (1) – – who just returned from the IR – and Roman Josi (2) picked up the assists on the game winning goal.
– The shots on goal tally would flip in favor of Nashville during the third with fifteen to Edmonton’s nine. Overall number of shots on goal: Predators, 35 – Oilers 27.

Three Stars of the Game:
1st Star: Craig Smith
2nd Star: Matt Cullen
3rd Star: Roman Josi

Nashville’s victory of Edmonton (ending their four-game winning streak) is a great start to a long road trip out West. Up next on the schedule is the Calgary Flames, who have already bested Nashville once this season in a 3-2 shootout win in Nashville.

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.

——

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.

 

Hutton makes Save of the Season

On Thursday night, the Predators took to Philadelphia to face the 24-19-4 Flyers & managed to, against all odds, win their very first shootout this season, snagging the all-important two-pointer.

But there was another key moment during this game that helped propel Nashville to the two-pointer & it was all do to Carter Hutton’s cat-like reflexes. Yes, I said Carter Hutton.

Just a day after the Predators announced that they had made a deal with the Edmonton Oilers to trade Matt Hendricks for goaltender Devan Dubnyk, it was kind of assumed that either Hutton or Mazanec would have to take a step back to the farm team, the Milwaukee Admirals. And, after Trotz’s “throw him under the bus” comments about Hutton after the 2-1 loss against the Carolina Hurricanes, it was easy to believe that Hutton was the one needing to pack his bags.

…And then he does something like this:

Like Pete Weber says in the video, this may be the highlight of his career… or something similar to that. Though Hutton’s miraculous save may have only played a small part, it was announced yesterday that Marek Mazanec would be the goalie hitting the road to Milwaukee. It makes sense, though; he is a less-mature goaltender in the NHL and will thrive well in the AHL for now, similar to how well Filip Forsberg is doing.

Tonight, however, Carter Hutton will be taking the night off as the newly acquired Devan Dubnyk has been given the “ok” to start in net tonight against the Colorado Avalanche. Despite me posting that nightmare-inducing video in the previous post, Dubnyk has grown as an individual in his game since that incident. He is currently 11-17-2 and, although we’d rather see more wins than losses, you have to think logically here: Would Edmonton give up a Pekka Rinne for a Matt Hendricks? You know that answer.

Preds Trade Hendricks for Dubnyk

Image Courtesy: Getty Images

Image Courtesy: Getty Images

Early this afternoon, the Predators made an announcement that took everyone by surprise. General Manager David Poile struck a deal with the Edmonton Oilers to swap Center Matt Hendricks with Goaltender Devan Dubnyk. Here’s the official press release from the Preds:

Nashville, Tenn. – Nashville Predators President of Hockey Operations/General Manager David Poile announced today that the club has acquired goaltender Devan Dubnyk from the Edmonton Oilers in exchange for Matt Hendricks.

Dubnyk, 27 (5/4/86), has posted an 11-17-2 record, a 3.36 goals-against average, a .894 save percentage and a pair of shutouts while appearing in 32 of the Oilers’ 49 games this season. The 6-6, 210-pound Regina, Sask., native has appeared in 171 career NHL contests – all with Edmonton since 2009-10 – including 38 of 48 games in 2012-13, 47 games in 2011-12 and 35 games in 2010-11. He has a .910 save percentage, 2.88 goals-against average and eight shutouts to go along with a 61-76-21 record.

Edmonton’s first choice, 14th overall (first round), in the 2004 Entry Draft, Dubnyk has represented Canada at the past four World Championships (2010-13), and won a gold medal with his homeland at the 2006 World Junior Championships. A Kamloops Blazer (WHL) from 2001-06, Dubnyk was a 2004 recipient of Daryl K. Seaman Trophy as WHL Scholastic Player of the Year, and was the 2004 CHL Scholastic Player of the Year.

With both Marek Mazanec and Carter Hutton having more off days than on, it was only a matter of time before Poile nabbed a reputable goalie… but is it too little too late? Also, is this a sign that Poile has come to terms with the fact that Rinne may not be back to 100% before season’s end? Though Poile says the trade has nothing to do with Pekka’s return, we beg the differ.

Well, wether or not that’s the case, Devan Dubnyk also had a press conference himself, thanking the city of Edmonton for the opportunities that the organization gave him and how excited he is to join the Predators.

And as for Hendricks? He thanked the Preds organization for his short time here, but not before mentioning on an Edmonton radio station that he hadn’t fit in since “day one”. Ouch.

Well, let’s be honest; Who really fits well under the Trotz system? Oh, oops.
Anyway, Nashville slipped in like a smooth criminal and managed to convince Edmonton to retain half of Dubnyk’s salary.

David Poile, you sly dog, you…!

Well, this does mean two things for certain: Some lucky soul in Milwaukee will get the call to fill Hendy’s position & someone (looking at you, Hutton & Mazanec) will have to step back to the Admirals. Though Poile claims they have not decided as to which goalie will step down, he did say he has a good idea as to who it will be…

Well, wether you felt like you fit here or not, we wish you well in Oil Country, Hendy. Here are tweets from Victor Bartley & Mike Fisher wishing Hendricks luck in Canada:

Rich Clune wished him well, but apparently he deleted it.

So, who all remembers this gem from last year?

Err… about that. You know, he may have learned a very valuable lesson from that incident.
Forget that video above & check out this video entitled Dubnyk 101:

Good news, he likes giraffes. We have those at the Nashville Zoo, bud.

Western Conference Standings Update

I hope that photographer didn’t like that camera.

The standings are in from the last games of March, riding on the heels of the last month of regular season hockey. And, from the looks of it, Nashville is going to be fighting all the way through the month of April. Here is a snapshot from NHL.com of the current standings going into April:

Image Source: NHL.com

Image Source: NHL.com

The last post was written before all the games were over today, thus the standings are a tad bit different if you read it or have read it. With Columbus’s win over Anaheim, the Blue Jackets buzz past Nashville, Edmonton, and Dallas to take the elusive 8th spot, knocking St. Louis into 9th. Nashville is now in 12th of 15, just two points behind Columbus. But Dallas, Edmonton, and St. Louis stand in their way, all of who are fighting for that last playoff spot as well.

Check out the post below about what all Nashville faces going into the month of April. By the looks of tonight’s outcomes, it’s looking like it’s going to be an even rougher final month of hockey.

 

Preds prove Victorious at Home; Silence Jackets 5-2

Source: Joel Auerbach/Getty Images

Hey! Long time, no see! We’ve been awfully quiet lately (on the blog-front, that is) and we apologize for leaving you in the dark on here, at least. We are still staying busy on Facebook and Twitter, but it’s time to give the actual blog some loving, too!

So what’s been going on since we last posted? Well, nothing to brag about, honestly. From the horrendous road trip to Sergei Kostitsyn’s lapse in judgement, there hasn’t been much to be proud of with Nashville. But the Predators dragged themselves back home, taking on Brian McGrattan and the Calgary Flames on Thursday night. Nashville has always had better luck at home and proved that fact by knocking out the same team (5-3) that pummeled them 6-3 not even a week before.

With just two points away from holding down a playoff spot, Nashville would need to come out strong against the hot-streaking Columbus – wait, what? Blue Jackets? No, that is no typo. The Blue Jackets, who is normally the weakest team of the Central Division, has found some miracle only devised by a Disney movie. Well, with whatever Peter Pan magic the Blue Jackets have come across, Nashville would need a regulation win to power back towards the playoffs. Here are the highlights from last night’s game:

KEY POINTS:

  • Scott Hannan, Ryan Ellis, and Craig Smith (who is sitting pretty in Milwaukee) landed on the Scratched List last night.
  • Taylor Beck got the ball rolling at 7:11 in the first with a straightaway wrister past Sergei Bobrovsky to collect his first career NHL goal. Beck was assisted two former teammates on the Admirals Gabriel Bourque (3rd assist) and Jonathon Blum (5th assist).
  • Less than a minute later, Shea Weber sent a snap shot into the net on the powerplay for his sixth goal of the season. Bobby Butler picked up his forth assist along with Martin Erat picking up his 13th assist.
  • Columbus would finally notch at controversial goal at 9:29 when R.J. Umberger slipped a wrister past Rinne.
  • Columbus fans weren’t given a chance to celebrate, as David Legwand put the Preds up 3-1 at 9:46 for his seventh goal of the season. Gabriel Bourque notched his fourth assist (second of the night) and Taylor Beck nabbed his first career NHL assist.
  • A goal at 10:15 by Matt Halischuk gave Nashville it’s fastest Frotsie in franchise history, his second goal of the season. Bobby Butler picked up his second assist of the night (fifth overall) and Chris Mueller (first overall).
  • Rich Clune would receive a five-minute interference major along with a game misconduct, tossing him from the game. Though not seen a t first, Clune apparently elbowed Artem Anisimov in the face when he did not have the puck. However, even with a five minute penalty and a relatively strange interference on goalkeeper call on Mike Fisher, Nashville was able to hold Columbus at bay.
  • Nashville would end the first period with a history-maker, the fastest number of goals in one period in franchise history.
  • The second period would be less intense, but one goal would be scored in favor of Columbus thanks to Artem Anisimov, his eighth goal of the season.
  • Brandon Yip and Derek MacKenzie would drop the gloves at 17:06 in the second, with no explanation of what caused the tiff. You can see the video of Yip’s domination here:
  • Similar to the second period, the third stood no contest to the first period, with the only goal scored at 19:36 by Roman Josi on an empty-netter, his fifth goal of the season. Mike Fisher picked up his eighth assist along with Martin Erat collecting his 14th overall assist.

With the way the team has played the last two games, it stands to wander “where did this team come from?” Going from one extreme to the other, Nashville definitely keeps its fans on their toes and their hearts in their throats.

Though two wins in a row relieves a little bit of stress, the Predators are still in hot water and, though a little bit closer, just aren’t as close to the shore as they need to be.

Nashville remains at home tomorrow night, welcoming in the Edmonton Oilers, who have also won their last two games. Though Edmonton is sitting in 13th, whereas Nashville is in 10th (tied with 32 points with San Jose and Columbus), the Oilers are chopping at Nashville’s tail at 29 points.

With only sixteen games left in the regular season, the room for error is getting slimmer by the minute for Nashville.

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.