Preds release 2017-18 Pre-Season Schedule

P+K+Subban+2017+NHL+Stanley+Cup+Final+Game+DS-LXB9JPnXl

Image Source: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Early this afternoon, the Nashville Predators released some vital information for all you suffering from hockey withdraws: the 2017-18 pre-season schedule. Per usual (perhaps tradition), Nashville will face the Florida Panthers, the Tampa Bay Lightning, and the Columbus Blue Jackets to get ready for another bout towards the Stanley Cup.

  • Tuesday, September 19th @ 3:30PM – Florida Panthers @ Nashville Predators
  • Tuesday, September 19th @ 7PM – Florida Panthers @ Nashville Predators
  • Friday, September 22nd @ 6:30PM – Nashville Predators @ Tampa Bay Lightning
  • Sunday, September 24th @ 6PM – Nashville Predators @ Columbus Blue Jackets
  • Thursday, September 28th @ 7PM – Columbus Blue Jackets @ Nashville Predators
  • Saturday, September 30th @ 7PM – Tampa Bay Lightning @ Nashville Predators

And be sure to keep those calendars at hand as the full 2017-18 schedule will be released this coming Thursday. Pre-season tickets go on sale at 10AM this Friday, followed by a Fan Appreciation Draft Party at Bridgestone Arena from 4PM-10PM. For more information, visit the Nashville Predators site.

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Preds down Bolts 6-1; Sissons earns Hat Trick

sissons

After the frustrating loss against Montreal on Tuesday, it was clear the Predators had moved on after trouncing the Tampa Bay Lightning 6-1 last night. While it is easy to fuss about the inconsistency Nashville has been plagued with this season, the type of communication and style of play that came from the team last night was further proof that they are capable of working together successfully. One could argue that perhaps Tampa Bay was simply having an off night and maybe they were. The difference here is Nashville’s victory was not guided by fluky behavior from the Bolts; they were actually organized.

Mike Fisher got the ball rolling at 2:25 in the first period, earning his 11th goal of the season. Fisher’s powerplay goal was assisted in part by Ryan Johansen (21) and Mattias Ekholm (13).

While the first period would end 1-0 with Nashville on top, Filip Forsberg would open the second period at 3:56 with his 9th goal of the season, assisted by Kevin Fiala (3) and Ryan Johansen (22), to give Nashville a 2-0 lead.

It would begin to look like Tampa Bay was on its way back as Tyler Johnson collected his 12th goal of the season, breaking Nashville’s lead in half a 2-1. Colton Sissons, however, would object to that and punch his 3rd goal of the season, assisted by Mike Fisher (12).

Not even a minute later, Ryan Ellis would notch his 5th goal of the season, but not first without some nay-say from the officials. Linesmen initially called goaltender interference on Viktor Ardvisson, claiming the goal was no good:

Predators head coach Peter Laviolette quickly challenged the ruling, which was reversed despite the disapproval of the home crowd. But before Nashville could celebrate, head coach of the Tampa Bay Lightning, Jon Cooper, threw out the challenge that Jarnkrok was off-sides prior to the goal. However, after thoroughly reviewing the play, it was deemed inconclusive and Ryan Ellis’ goal would stand. Colin Wilson (11) and Viktor Arvidsson (15) would notch the assists.

The third period would belong to Colton Sissons as he not only notched his fourth and fifth goals of the season, he also picked up his first career NHL hat trick. This was also his first multi-goal game in his NHL career, too. Oh, and yeah, he’s the first player in NHL history to record a hat trick with the second goal an empty-netter and the third goal with a goaltender in net. Sort of a weird record but I highly doubt Sissons is complaining.

Victories like these can help propel the Predators through this second half of the season and give them the boost for which they have desperately been searching. They will have tonight to see if that momentum lasts as they move south to Sunrise to take on the 16-15-8 Florida Panthers. Game time is at 6:30PM.

 

Preds rally to beat Arizona 5-2

Image Source: Frederick Breedon/Getty Images

Oh wow, I am actually getting a chance to update the blog! For those of you who have been waiting patiently, thank you. I am wrapping up my senior year at Tennessee Tech and – along with work – it has me pressed for any kinds of free time. It’s worth it though, really.

Any who, enough excuses — What excuse does Nashville have with this scoring drought their experiencing? Since I last posted an article, the Predators have had twelve goals in six games. Okay, so it’s not all about how many you can score — this is hockey, not basketball. Well, what if I told you, in those six games, Nashville tallied 198 shots-on-goal. Needless to say, it isn’t a matter of why aren’t the Predators taking shots (because they clearly are), it’s why can’t they put the biscuit in the basket? Which teammate pissed off the hockey gods? Well, let’s just move forward into the recap, shall we?

PRE-GAME:
• Nashville recalled forward Cody Bass to replace the injured Colin Wilson. While we aren’t 100% sure how or when Wilson got hurt, we want to believe it has something to do with this:

FIRST PERIOD:
• Arizona would get the ball rolling first at 17:20 on a powerplay goal from Oliver Ekman-Larsson for his sixth goal of the season.
• Despite knocking 13 shots-on-goal compared to Arizona’s 4, the Predators trailed the Coyotes going into the second period 1-0.
• Oh, and Pekka was doing #JustPekkaThings again:

SECOND PERIOD:
• Mike Fisher went down in an awkward stance, leading to him slowly limping off the ice.

While it doesn’t look like much, he did not return to the game and is expected to be our for the next four games.
• Calle Jarnkrok would finally slip one past Mike Smith at 12:32 on the powerplay for his fifth goal of the season. Shea Weber (5) and Filip Forsberg (11) would tally the assists.

• However, Kyle Chipchura would answer at 17:09 to retake the lead going into the third period.

THIRD PERIOD:
• At 2:33, Mike Ribeiro did something we never thought he’d do… he shot and scored for his third goal of the season! Cody Hodgson picked up his fourth assist as well.

• Two minutes later, at 4:49, Filip Forsberg would end his goal-less streak for his fourth goal of the season. Craig Smith (3) and Shea Weber (6) collected the assists.

• Nashville looked like they were on pace to hit 4-2 when James Neal was practically handed an empty net after catching Mike Smith out of his element:

Ah, but he released his inner Craig Smith and completely woofed it. Whoops.
• But Filip Forsberg would answer the Frosty call at 17:01 with a beautiful feed from Mike Ribeiro for his fifth goal of the season. Ribeiro would collect his eleventh assist along with Shea Weber who collected his seventh.

• James Neal would make up for that missed opportunity at 19:10 with an empty-netter to seal the game 5-2 in favor of Nashville. Neal would notch his 10th goal, along with Roman Josi picking up his 11th assist.

While Nashville certainly woke up in the third period, is their scoreless streak finally over? I wouldn’t bet my money on it just yet. While they are making a consistent effort, something just isn’t connecting. Coach Laviolette made some notable line change-ups last night that aided in securing the win, but there is still a missing element. With the need of a top center added to the roster and the possible loss of Mike Fisher for a good while, Nashville may find itself in a toughie for a bit. Maybe not. Who knows.

The Predators welcome in Jaromir Jagr and the Florida Panthers tomorrow night at 7PM.

Close Call: Preds edge Panthers in SO

Source: Kristen Jerkins Photography

Source: Kristen Jerkins Photography

Ahh, the Florida Panthers. Other than a bout in the preseason, Nashville and Sunrise haven’t met until now in the regular season; and boy, are the numbers lopsided: 7-5-6 for Florida and 13-5-2 for Nashville. However, as you should know from us, we aren’t about numbers. Numbers do not foretell who is going to come out on fire or who’s going to have a bad night. You have to give the Panthers some credit; facing multiple injuries that have forced them to call up some young, inexperienced-in-the-NHL talent and the embarrassing low attendance numbers and home games, Florida has just about everything (including the world) against them. The Predators may be riding high at the top of the Central Division right now, but lest we forget – in the not so distant past – Nashville was scraping the barrel and rumors of movement were floating about. Heck, Nashville still has a long, bumpy road ahead – the Predators are not immune to being out-powered and/or outnumbered.

First Period:

  • No goals for either side in the first period, but Nashville took a few shots that just couldn’t connect with the goal – 14 to be precise. Florida, on the other hand, only managed four shots-on-goal during the first period.

Second Period:

  • The second period would, for the most part, feel just like the first one, with Nashville slamming Robert Luongo with shots left and right, but none connecting.
  • Finally, at 18:26, Colin Wilson would make one of those shots connect, sending his third goal of the season around Luongo to put Nashville on the board. Calle Jarnkrok (3) and Craig Smith (5) would gather the assists.

Third Period:

  • Matt Cullen would put Nashville up 2-0 at 13:01 for his third goal of the season, with a little assistance from Derek Roy (6).
  • But here’s where it gets dicey: At 19:17, when you think Nashville has a shutout in the bag, Rocco Grimaldi sinks one on Rinne to put the Panthers on the board.
  • Not even twelve seconds later, Nick Bjugstad sends one past Pekka Rinne, tying the game and throwing it into overtime.
  • And this, boys and girls, is why you do not lower your guard until the final whistle is blown and “All I do is Win” comes over the speakers.

Overtime:

  • Five minutes of overtime produced zero goals, with Florida getting no shots on goal and Nashville only pounding five.

Shootout:

  • NSH – Derek Roy – MISS
  • FLA – Jonathan Huberdeau – MISS
  • NSH – Ryan Ellis – MISS
  • FLA – Jussi Jokinen – MISS
  • NSH – Craig Smith – MISS
  • FLA – Nick Bjugstad – MISS
  • NSH – Filip Forsberg – GOAL
  • FLA – Brad Boyes – MISS

What should have been a game bagged in regulation turned sour pretty quickly for Nashville in the last few seconds of the third period. Thankfully, overtime and a shootout shook them out of la-la land and back into the game. As I mentioned above, never lower your guard; never assume you have the game won. The Predators welcome in the defending Stanley Cup Champs, the Los Angeles Kings, on Tuesday night and then welcome in the Edmonton Oilers for a header on Turkey Day.