Ribeiro’s 3rd Period Goal secures Preds Win 3-2

Source: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

After losing the Western Conference lead to the Anaheim Ducks Thursday night, the Predators needed the boost from regulation win against the New York Rangers to regain some momentum Saturday afternoon. The Rangers, who were 30-15-4 coming into yesterday’s bout, were riding confidently on a three game winning streak & hoping to extend that to four. Without King Henrik in the net, could the Rangers pull off the win? Or would Pekka Rinne’s return hold off the Blueshirts?

SCRATCHES: Olli Jokinen

FIRST PERIOD:

  • The first period saw plenty of pressure from both sides, but neither team could capitalize on their chances. The Rangers out-shot the Predators 10 to 8.
  • By no surprise, the Predators welcomed back former Predator Kevin Klein with a nice tribute video. Klein, who was drafted by Nashville 37th overall in the 2003 draft, spent his entire NHL career with the Predators up until last season when he was traded to the New York Rangers for… sigh… Michael Del Zotto. You can watch the tribute video here.

SECOND PERIOD:

  • The Rangers struck gold first, capitalizing on the powerplay from Rick Nash (33) at 11:49.
  • Roman Josi would respond at 18:39, collecting his 10th goal of the season. Gabriel Bourque (5) and Calle Jarnkrok (9) would pick up the assists.
  • Shea Weber (12) would give Nashville the lead 2-1 at 19:20 with his signature slapshot past Cam Talbot. Roman Josi (27) and Matt Cullen (6) would notch the assists.
  • The Rangers took to out-shooting the Predators during this period as well, this time 12 to 10.

THIRD PERIOD:

  • Ryan McDonagh wasted no time tying the game early into the third; his fourth goal of the season.
  • But it was Mike Ribeiro’s seemingly angry slapshot at 12:46 that sealed the game in favor of Nashville 3-2. Seth Jones (14) and Filip Forsberg (30) tallied the assists on Ribeiro’s 11th goal of the season.
  • The Rangers would – yet again – out-shoot the Predators, this time 10 to 5, but Nashville would come out as the victors.

NOTEWORTHY:

  • With his 11th goal of the season, Mike Ribeiro has now tallied his 700th career point. Ribeiro, who has been pretty consistent this season and lead the team in points for a good while, hasn’t had a point since January 29th against the Avalanche (picked up an assist). Chalk it up as patience towards that 700th point.
  • Colin Wilson sustained an injury during the first period and did not return to the remainder of the match. It was later released that he is day-to-day with an upper-body injury.
  • Filip Forsberg continues to slap the NHL with his Calder Memorial Trophy contingency as he continues to lead the Predators in points and in every category that a rookie can (minus goaltending). Forty-seven points in 52 games? Yea, you can’t ignore that.

As usual, the Predators have no time to rest. Today, the team is in Sunrise, Florida to take on the 23-17-10 Panthers who are currently sitting pretty in 5th in the Atlantic Division. With Colin Wilson out, there’s a good chance Olli Jokinen will be off the scratched list and, due to being a back-to-back, Carter Hutton will start in net.

2015 NHL All-Star Weekend in Review

Source: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Columbus, Ohio was the place to be this weekend has the city hosted the 2015 NHL All-Star Weekend. As you know, Nashville was chosen as the host city for the 2016 ASG Weekend, which will be an event on its own. But until then, let’s recap the fun that happened this weekend in Columbus… Oh, and for the sake of keeping this post from being ninety pages long, we’ll stick to Nashville’s accomplishments:

Team Foligno:

  • Nick Foligno – Columbus Blue Jackets
  • Brian Elliot – St. Louis Blues
  • Marc-Andre Fleury – Pittsburgh Penguins
  • Carey Price – Montreal Canadiens
  • Drew Doughty – L.A. Kings
  • Duncan Keith – Chicago Blackhawks
  • Kevin Shattenkirk – St. Louis Blues
  • Dustin Byfuglien – Winnipeg Jets
  • Oliver Ekman-Larsson – Arizona Coyotes
  • Brent Burns – San Jose Sharks
  • Ryan Nugent-Hopkins – Edmonton Oilers
  • Bobby Ryan – Ottawa Senators
  • Alexander Ovechkin – Washington Capitals
  • Anze Kopitar – L.A. Kings
  • Radim Vrabata – Vancouver Canucks
  • Ryan Johansen – Columbus Blue Jackets
  • Zemgus Girgensons – Buffalo Sabres
  • Claude Giroux – Philadelphia Flyers
  • Phil Kessel – Toronto Maple Leafs
  • Patrick Kane – Chicago Blackhawks
  • Steven Stamkos – Tampa Bay Lightning
  • Coaching Staff: Darryl Sutter – L.A. Kings

Team Toews:

  • Jonathan Toews – Chicago Blackhawks
  • Corey Crawford – Chicago Blackhawks
  • Roberto Luongo – Florida Panthers
  • Jaroslav Halak – New York Islanders
  • Aaron Ekblad – Florida Panthers
  • Mark Giordano – Calgary Flames
  • Shea Weber – Nashville Predators
  • Johnny Gaudreau – Calgary Flames
  • Brent Seabrook – Chicago Blackhawks
  • Ryan Suter – Minnesota Wild
  • Justin Faulk – Carolina Hurricanes
  • Filip Forsberg – Nashville Predators
  • Ryan Getzlaf – Anaheim Ducks
  • Patrik Elias – New Jersey Devils
  • Patrice Bergeron – Boston Bruins
  • Rick Nash – New York Rangers
  • Tyler Seguin – Dallas Stars
  • Vladimir Tarasenko – St. Louis Blues
  • Jakub Vorachek – Philadelphia Flyers
  • John Tavares – New York Islanders
  • Coaching Staff – Peter Laviolette – Nashville Predators

As you recall, Pekka Rinne was not included in the All-Star “draft” due to sustaining a knee sprain. Because Filip Forsberg was chosen last for Team Toews, he was the lucky winner of a brand new Honda Accord. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins also won a new Honda, as he was chosen last for Team Foligno.

Source: @NHL

Source: @NHL

Saturday – Skills Competition – Winner: Team Foligno

Despite a good show by Team Toews, it was Team Foligno who reigned in the Skills Competition held on Saturday evening. Both Weber and Forsberg participated in the relay and shootout, but it was Weber who shined – not surprisingly – during the Hardest Shot round.

Shea originally missed his first shot, but more than nailed his second attempt, clocking his shot at 108.5 MPH. Weber certainly won the competition, but missed notching the hardest shot ever recorded, which is held by Zdeno Chara at 108.8 MPH. Forsberg shined in the relay portion, showing off his crazy insane puck-handling skills.

Sunday – All-Star Game – Winner: Team Toews

Though the fell short in the Skills Competition, Team Toews out-powered Team Foligno by a long shot during the actual All-Star Game, winning 17-12. And, believe it or not, though the All-Star Game tends to always have a ton of goals, this was the highest scoring game in its history. Filip Forsberg’s two goals helped get Team Toews to the win, the first goals scored by a Nashville Predator in an All-Star Game. Shea Weber also notched an assist off of Tyler Seguin’s goal.

From the World Wide World of Twitter:

So that’s a wrap on the 2015 NHL All-Star Weekend. Next Stop: Nashville! But before then, the Predators must press forward with the remainder of this season and push into the playoffs. Pekka Rinne should also be re-evaluated soon, along with Ryan Ellis. The Predators return to the regular season this Tuesday as they welcome in the Colorado Avalanche at 7PM.

Let the Brutal ‘Final Thirteen’ Begin

Thirteen brutal games stand between Nashville and the playoffs.

Thirteen brutal games stand between Nashville and the playoffs.

Let’s start out on an honest foot: Brutal final thirteen? I’m pretty sure this entire season has been brutal for Nashville. But alas, these last thirteen games, which start tomorrow in Chicago, will test the Predators in more ways than one.

The lockout was not as nice to Nashville as it was to others teams, with Chicago, for instance, starting the season with one for the history books by eluding a loss in regulation in the first twenty-four games. It was Colorado who finally knocked them from Cloud 9, beating the Blackhawks 6-2, a team now sitting last in both the Western Conference and league (tied with the Panthers with 28 points).

The Penguins have also found their place in this shortened season, currently running on a fifteen-game winning streak. They also pulled the wool over everyone’s eyes by picking up Jarome Iginla from the Calgary Flames, a deal even the Boston Bruins were taken aback by (they probably had the jersey ready and waiting for him). Though the Penguins didn’t start out as cleanly as Chicago, they did get their engines running and haven’t really looked back since. Sidney Crosby, who leads the league in goal points, assists, and points in general, just had surgery today on his jaw, broken due to taking a puck to the face against the Islanders yesterday afternoon. His status is “out indefinitely”, but the Penguins do not rely on Crosby alone. Even if they struggle without Crosby at the helm, Pittsburgh is still leading the league with 56 points, though Chicago is biting at their heels with 55 points.

Though Nashville will not have to worry about facing Pittsburgh, they will have to visit with Chicago… Four more times, to be exact. The Predators first and only meeting thus far with the Blackhawks was a nasty won, with Chicago wiping the Bridgestone’s ice with the home team 3-0, Nashville’s third shutout in just twelve games. The Blackhawks continued to win, while Nashville would continue to win in OT, but lose in regulation.

Besides the conference-reigning Blackhawks, Nashville will also have to face two other tough divisional opponents: the Detroit Red Wings and the Columbus Blue Jackets. Detroit is currently sitting pretty in seventh, a safe playoff position. Nashville won its first meeting with Detroit, barely slipping by with a 4-3 victory in OT. But Nashville would venture to the Joe four days later and be laughed out of the arena with a shutout 4-0. The Predators will have two more chances in the regular season to sink the Red Wings.

It’s hard to believe the Columbus Blue Jackets would be considered a “tough” opponent, as they are usually Nashville (and the rest of the Central Division)’s punching bag. But the lockout gave Columbus a boost, even after trading their beloved Rick Nash to the New York Rangers during the off season. With the loss of their captain and rumors of a possible loss of franchise, Columbus wasn’t expected to make the impact they have this season. Although they haven’t made history like Chicago, they have played better than anyone expected, giving every team they come in contact with a run for their money. Columbus and Nashville started the season out against one another, with the Blue Jackets knocking out the Predators 3-2 in a shootout. Columbus would win e next meeting as well, 4-3 in regulation. Nashville would finally pull one over the Blue Jackets on March 23rd, winning in regulation 5-2. Like Detroit, Nashville will have two more chances to derail the Blue Jackets, who are tied with 35 points.

The challenge among the teams above is not all Nashville has to face. A round with St. Louis, Dallas, Vancouver, and Calgary is also in the cards, which will all give the Predators more than just a difficult time.

If the Predators intend to reach the post season and excel in the playoffs, dramatic changes will need to be established as soon as possible. With the recent return of Hal Gill, Patric Hörnqvist, and Paul Gaustad from the IR, Nashville can breathe a sigh of relief in veteran terms. However, the young blood has began to rise, with players such as Victor Bartley and Taylor Beck proving their worth on the NHL level and their importance to a post season for Nashville.

However, a team should not be based on an individual player, but as an organization as a whole. The players will have to learn to focus and work together in order to find success. Blown passes, careless plays, and missed goals will not produce a successful post season. It may not even produce a post season at all.

These next thirteen games will be the most brutal the Predators will face all season. The rest of the season is behind us. Now is the time to step from beyond the shadows and push for the playoffs.

Preds Sign S. Kostitsyn & Maclellan amidst Weber Watch

Sergei has no problem committing during the Weber ordeal.

Though the fans and media have basically been left in the dark during this Weber Watch (Poile Watch, whichever you prefer), the Predators haven’t been sitting blindly on their stumps, fully concentrated on to match or not to match Philly’s Weber offer.

News was released late this morning of the Predators signing youngster Jack Maclellan to a one-year, two-way $600,000 deal. The 24-year-old signed as a free agent after finishing up his collegiate career at Brown University this past Spring. You may recognize the name, he was listed on the roster during the playoffs this past season. Maclellan will join the Milwaukee Admirals in the mean time.

And, following shortly in the early afternoon, news broke that the Predators and Sergei Kostitsyn reached a two-year, $6 million contract. As we reported earlier in the year, SK74 was seeking a long-term contract with Nashville and, although two years isn’t exactly career-length, it is a step in the right direction for Sergei, one that he and his agent obviously felt comfortable with. Maybe this will kick Sergei into shooting more, eh?

The rest of the hockey world was on its toes as well this afternoon, with the announcement of Rick Nash, Columbus’s last link to a successful franchise, was traded to the New York Rangers for two centers (Brandon Dubinsky and Artem Anisimov), defenseman Tim Erixon, and first round draft pick. Although Nashville is far, far from being in Columbus’s shoes, the Predators should take note of what is happening with the Blue Jackets and heed the warning.

We are hoping maybe, just maybe, David Poile was waiting out for what would happen with Rick Nash (it was obvious he was out of there) and now that the Rangers have him, he’ll go ahead a M A T C H – T H E – O F F E R.

Here’s to hoping.

 

 

San Jose no Match for Predators, Nashville Wins 6-2

The Predators come out looking like a new team against the San Jose Sharks on Saturday.

After a tough loss on Thursday, the Predators needed a good game against Conference rivals, the San Jose Sharks last night to get the momentum going again. Last night’s game was more than just good, it was played by a Predators team that needs to come out more often. A ton of changes came about this week with the Predators, but the chemistry amongst the players last night was incredible. Here are the highlights from last night’s win in the Music City:

BUSY TWO DAYS FOR NASHVILLE:

  • Before getting to last night’s game, there was an interesting and surprising trade on Friday between the Predators and the Florida Panthers. Veteran Predator Jerred Smithson was traded to the Panthers for a 6th Round Pick in this year’s NHL Draft. It was pretty clear no Predators fan saw this one coming. Although we are sad to lose such a key player, we are happy that Smithson will have more playing time and opportunity with Florida. We wish him the best with the Panthers!
  • Also on Friday, though not as surprising, rookie sensation Ryan Ellis was sent back to Milwaukee to play a few games with the Admirals. Trotz had said it had nothing to do with his performance, just needed the space for the newly acquired Hal Gill and to get Jack Hillen some ice time. Ryan Ellis will more than likely be back with the Predators soon.
  • Yet another surprising move by the Predators, Nashville presented a trade to the Columbus Blue Jackets for a certain key player, Rick Nash. The Predators offered up Colin Wilson, Ryan Ellis, Teemu Laakso and a first round pick for the Blue Jackets’ captain, but CJB has stated that they did not want to trade Nash to a rival Central Division team. As such, CBJ and Nash have not agreed nor denied Nashville’s trade offer, so we will keep you up-to-date with this information as it comes.

ON TO THE GAME:

  • Patric Hornqvist returned to the lineup last night after spending a few games on the IR. Brian McGrattan was still missing from the ice, along with Jack Hillen.
  • The Predators wasted no time getting the ball rolling, with Colin Wilson scoring his 14th goal of the season with a wrist shot past Thomas Greiss. Assisted only by Jordin Tootoo, was this Wilson’s way of saying he doesn’t want to leave Nashville? Or was this proving to CBJ how good he is?
  • Shea Weber capitalized on Wilson’s goal by scoring one of his own at 3:23, his 13th goal of the season. Martin Erat and Sergei Kostitsyn picked up the assists on Weber’s goal.
  • San Jose would finally make an appearance at 10:58 with a wrist shot by Patrick Marleau, his 26th goal of the season.
  • Kevin Klein would silence Marleau’s goal at five minutes later at 15:58 with a snap shot of his own for his 4th goal of the season. It was thought to be Patric Hornqvist’s goal, but inevitably given to Klein. Roman Josi and Mike Fisher picked up the assists.
  • Brandon Yip dropped the gloves with Tommy Wingels for his first fight in a Predators sweater. Yip got a few good punches in, but Wingels was able to throw Brandon to the ground. Here’s the video from the elbow throws:
  • San Jose surprised Nashville by scoring 23 seconds into the 2nd with a goal from Joe Pavelski for his 23rd goal of the season.
  • Shea Weber picked up his second goal of the night at 12:04 on the powerplay with his signature slap shot, picking up his 14th goal of the season. David Legwand and Ryan Suter both picked up the assists from Weber’s goal.
  • The third period belong to Nashville, with an empty-netter at 18:00 by Martin Erat for his 14th goal of the season. We need to send out a congratulations to both Erat and his wife with the birth of a baby boy! Gabriel Bourque and Roman Josi picked up the assists on Erat’s empty-netter.
  • Nick Spaling added salt to San Jose’s wound at 19:18 with a snap shot to seal the game, his tenth goal of the season. Jordin Tootoo and Colin Wilson picked up the assists.
  • The Predators prove why they are 1st in the league with this particular stat: The Predators were out-shot 34 to 21, yet still managed to beat the Sharks 6-2 in regulation.
  • The Predators not only won the game, but also won their 17th sellout of this season. The Predators are expected to surpass 20 sellouts, a record that was set back in the 1999-2000 season.
  • The Predators faced quite a few penalties last night, but were able to capitalize on one of San Jose’s misfortunes. The Sharks, although given four chances on the power play, were not able to sneak a goal passed Pekka to score. Here are the four Preds who took some time in the penalty box:
  1. Brandon Yip – 17:22 1st Period – Fighting
  2. Hal Gill – 13:22 2nd Period – Tripping
  3. Roman Josi – 3:28 3rd Period – Tripping
  4. Francis Bouillon – 9:39 3rd Period – Tripping

The Predators dominated the San Jose Sharks with a kind of momentum they should have brought against St. Louis on Thursday night. With this win, the Predators are now 36-19-7 on the season and expect to be 37-19-7 on Monday with a hopeful win over the L.A. Kings.

With the NHL Trade Deadline looming overhead, will CBJ accept the potential trade offer from the Predators? Personally, it makes us nervous. Although Nash is a big contender in the NHL and would be a great gain for the Predators, the loss of three players (and a 1st round pick) for just one could be a risk, costly move for the Predators (resulting in the loss of Ryan Suter and/or Shea Weber in the end). However, as stated before, CBJ is not looking to trade within the division, but if no other good offers are made, Columbus may just take the bait.

The Predators welcome the L.A. Kings tomorrow for a rare Monday night game, then Nashville is off to take on the Carolina Hurricanes.

Until then,
GO PREDS.

Goo Goo Gone: Fisher seals the Elusive Goal, Predators win 4-1

Mike Fisher was ready to end the season with the Blue Jackets with a win for the home team.

The infamous Goo Goo Goal of this season has finally been captured, and it was all due to handiwork from Alternate Captain, Mike Fisher on his second goal of the night. It’s been so elusive, in fact, that we here at Lady Preds may just get ours framed! If you did get yours, however, and the exact way to claim your Goo Goo seems a bit confusing, well you can redeem your coupon at any MapCo (no need to mail in the coupon).

Now that we’ve gotten that bit of exciting information out of the way, let’s get onto the game at hand. The Predators have dominated the Columbus Blue Jackets this entire season, winning five out of six games (the Blue Jackets slipped away with an OT goal on November 19th, making the final record 5-0-1). Although the second period Blue Jackets came out in full-force, the Predators withstood the determined underdogs, shutting them down 4-1 in regulation. Here are the highlights from last night’s game:

KEY POINTS

  • Ryan Suter returned after a questionable upper-body injury that sidelined him after the Philadelphia Flyers game. It seemed Coach Trotz was right in the fact that Suter’s injury wasn’t as worrisome as the fans had thought. Brian McGrattan and Brandon Yip were scratched for the night and Francis Bouillon is still out with an upper-body injury.
  • Mike Fisher got the ball rolling at 8:07 in the first period, with a brilliant wrist-shot from the slot. Martin Erat the only assist on Fisher’s goal, stealing the puck in the Columbus zone and shifting it to Fisher for the goal.
  • As stated somewhere up above, the second period was a bit lethargic for the Predators (we assume they just got a little big-headed for a moment). Rick Nash was able to capitalize on the sluggish behavior of the home team, tying the game at one at 6:14. It seemed, after that wake-up call, the Predators kicked back into gear.
  • Mike Fisher sent the Predators up 2-1 at 19:31, giving the fans everything their little hearts desired with the Goo Goo Goal (the first of the season and possibly last). Captain Shea Weber and fellow Alternate Captain Ryan Suter assisted on Fisher’s second goal (11th of the season) of the night on the power play.
  • The third period showed an entire different home team than from the second, with a wrist-shot from Matt Halischuk at 7:37, his 11th goal of the season. Halischuk’s goal could be a signal to the coaching staff that he does not want to be scratched anymore. Rookies Craig Smith and Ryan Ellis assisted on Hali’s goal.
  • Patric Hornqvist sealed another “sweet” goal at 16:51, the fourth goal of the night (that signals the Frosty goal) and his 14th of the season. Ryan Suter and Martin Erat assisted on the power play goal.
  • Pekka Rinne had yet another outstanding game, blocking 25 of 26 goals on net, with 16 alone during the second period. The Predators had five power play opportunities and took advantage of two of them. The Blue Jackets only had two, and luckily, were not able to capitalize on either one. Here are the two players who spent some time in the box:
  1. Martin Erat – 8:58 2nd Period – Holding
  2. Patric Hornqvist – 16:20 2nd Period – Too many men/ice

Although a great victory in the Central Division, the Predators have no time to rest. The Chicago Blackhawks are waiting tonight (Tuesday) for a rematch from Saturday’s game in Nashville, where the Predators smashed the Hawks 5-2. After tonight’s game, the Predators (minus Suter, Weber, and Smith) will have a nice break during the All-Star Game this weekend. The Preds will return to action on Tuesday, January 31st against the Minnesota Wild.

Until then, enjoy your Goo Goo and,
GO PREDS.