Preds thump Blackhawks 5-1

pekkarinnecarolinahurricanesvnashvillekavlxkyzhjul

Image Source: Sanford Myers/Getty Images

While Blackhawks fans joke that Bridgestone Arena may as well be “United Center South”, the boys in gold had different plans last night as they welcomed in fellow Central Division team the Chicago Blackhawks to Nashville last night. The first meeting in Nashville this season, the Predators and Blackhawks’ first bout with one another since last season’s playoff run was Tuesday in Chicago. Excelling on home ice, the Blackhawks dismantled the Predators 4-1 while extending Patrick Kane’s point streak.

While Predators/Blackhawks games aren’t exactly the most enjoyable when they come to town for the Nashville fan, it seemed like the building belonged to its home fans well before the hockey teams hit the ice. I’d go as far to say that the Predators fans drowned out the opposing fans quite well, minus the occasional Hawks cheer here and there. While Blackhawks band-wagoners scoff at the fact that Predators fans get run out of the building when they come to town, it’s the obvious and overstated reminder that Nashville is still a fairly young team. We don’t have to do the math to say that one of the Original Six teams that was established in 1926 has more fans than a team founded in 1998. Who gives a flying you-know-what as to how many Cups you have? You have six and three of those were won within the last decade. It’s not that Nashville has a lack of fans; hockey has been around long before the NHL decided to place a national team here. Piss-ass drunk fans that thrive on being an embarrassment to society are what make Predators fans avoid the arena when Blackhawks fans come to town. Congrats on that achievement.

Moving onward, after the loss Tuesday night in Chicago, the Predators didn’t have to wait long for a rematch as the Blackhawks would arrive for their first match in Nashville this season last night.

FIRST PERIOD:

  • James Neal launched the Predators in the right direction at 6:54 for his 11th goal of the season giving Nashville an early 1-0 lead over Chicago. Shea Weber (10) and Mike Ribeiro (13) notched the assists.
    https://twitter.com/TomAWillis/status/675123214167707649
  • Craig Smith would make his move count at 15:56 for his 6th goal of the season with Viktor Arvidsson picking up his first assist.
    https://twitter.com/TomAWillis/status/675128236347666432
  • Not even a minute later, Filip Forsberg would push Nashville up 3-0 with a power play goal. Heck, Paul didn’t even finish saying the word before Forsberg scored. It was pretty fantastic, really. Roman Josi (15) and Calle Jarnkrok (4) would notch the assists on Forsberg’s sixth goal of the season.
    https://twitter.com/CMS_74_/status/675128630310236161
  • There was no denying who dominated the first period, but the question on everyone’s mind was would Nashville continue the momentum through the remaining forty minutes? Pekka Rinne looked like him old self despite having a few uncharacteristic games as of late. Though Chicago only managed seven shots on goal in the first period, they were all pretty stout.

SECOND PERIOD:

  • Though no goals were scored in the second period, what was expected out of Chicago – for the most part – happened. They came out with more flames under their feet than Nashville did, but the Predators didn’t make the usual “second period funk” that they usually take. Chicago would out-shoot Nashville 13 to 8 in the second, but Pekka being Pekka and all…
    https://twitter.com/justinbbradford/status/675141340775215105

THIRD PERIOD:

  • At 5:43, Patrick Kane would “score” to not only put Chicago finally on the board, but extend his point streak to 24. Now, I am not one for conspiracies, but really… this was definitely goaltender interference. Any other time, I am almost willing to bet that goal would’ve been thrown out, but because Kane’s streak is involved… yeah, I do believe it. So sue me. I’m a fan, not a NHL employee.
    https://twitter.com/TomAWillis/status/675150837568679936
  • Neal, on the other hand, extended Nashville lead to 4-1 at 14:55 for his second goal of the night and his 12th of the season. No assistance was needed for his Frosty goal.
    https://twitter.com/TomAWillis/status/675157043905478660
  • And, in a last ditch effort to get Chicago in the game, Scott Darling was pulled to give the Blackhawks the extra man. Unfortunately for them, Eric Nystom has a way of hitting the empty nets (even when down a man on the penalty). Nystrom’s empty-netter + shorthanded goal is his fifth of the season. Like Neal’s second goal, no assistance was needed.
    https://twitter.com/SteveLayman/status/675157760699457537

While Blackhawks fans filed out of the arena before the final horn could signify the victory in favor of the home team, Nashville was gaining a huge morale boost in this win (along with the points, of course). The players are not immune to the fact that Chicago is notorious for taking over the Bridgestone Arena. They take just as much pride in winning these games as the fans do.

With this victory under their belts, the Predators improve their record to 15-9-5 and now sit in third in the Central Division with 35 points (Chicago has 34 and St. Louis -2nd- has 36). Nashville currently sits fourth in the Western Conference.

The Predators welcome in the 12-16-1 Colorado Avalanche on Saturday, but don’t let that standing fool you. Just because the Avalanche are last in the Western Conference doesn’t mean they won’t come out kicking and screaming.

The Morning After: Game 5 – Don’t Snub the Prince

filip

Source: Frederick Breedon/Getty Images

My brain is still at home sleeping and did not make the trip to work with me today. Why? Because the adrenaline from last night’s win to force a Game 6 still has me buzzing! …Well, for the most part – I am slowing entering zombie mode. Whether you were in the crowd or cheering from afar, last night’s game was anything but outstanding. The boost from the home crowd, the pressure on Darling, and the resilience of Pekka Rinne gave Nashville the 5-2 victory, providing the good guys a chance at another game.

  • Small Market Snubbed: Yesterday afternoon, the NHL announced who the PHWA had chosen as their nominees for the Calder Trophy, an award that essentially serves as the NHL’s Rookie of the Year. A name most notably absent? Filip Forsberg. Per Pete Jensen, “since 1997-98, only one NHL rookie has posted 25+ goals, 60+ points, +15 or better & 200+ shots on goal: Filip Forsberg”. If the award is going to go to a player that sort of makes a showing during the latter-half of the season, then the trophy needs to be known as the “Rookie of the Latter-half of the Season” award, not year.

  • Return of the Fish: Mike Fisher was seen participating in practice yesterday morning, but as to if he’d be in the game was questionable. He even said himself that he wasn’t sure:

    However, he was on the ice during pregame warm-ups and was a starter for the game. No doubt his return helped boost some morale around the locker room.

  • The Real Deal Steal: James Neal gave the Predators their first lead of the night just 47 seconds in the third, opening the flood gates for Wilson and Forsberg.
  • Hey, Mr. Wilson: What a post season it is for Colin Wilson, collecting his fifth of the series last night & setting a franchise record.

  • Don’t Snub the Prince: Filip Forsberg’s a classy kind and he knows just how to retaliate in the right way against the NHL’s Calder snub. Intentional or not, it was truly poetic justice as Forsberg sunk two goals on his former roommate (Darling) and sealed the game winner and Hat Trick on an empty net.

  • First Time for Everything: The Predators are notching a bunch of franchise records this post season, which is understandably awesome. As the old saying goes, “There’s a first time for everything”.

    Nashville squashed that little fact into the dirt (thankfully) and look to squander a few other “never have I evers” before this series is over, too. The Preds are 1-4 in Game Sixes and have never been to a Game 7. As I said, there’s a first time for everything and now’s that time.

  • Three’s a Crowd: Colin Wilson, Filip Forsberg, and Craig Smith are all tied for the team’s lead in points (5) during this post season.
  • All Business: Per Kris Martel of Fox Sports, the locker room after the game was all but celebratory.

    Though they deserve to wear the smiles on their faces, it’s still a job out there and their butts are on the chopping block. There’s no time to rest and the boys know it.

Going back to Chicago is going to be tough tomorrow; there’s no easy way to put it. The odds are stacked against the Predators, but they aren’t called the Pesky Preds for nothing, right? Backs against the wall style hockey. If Nashville can pull out the win tomorrow night, I have no doubt in my mind that they can conquer Game 7 at home. They just have to get there. Tomorrow’s game with not only be a physical challenge, but one of mental strength, too. They broke Darling last night and they can sure as all get out do it again. Get through tomorrow night; get through the series.
A quote from Coach Laviolette: “Our back is still up against the wall, and we are still a team who needs to realize where we are at and our place in life right now. If we win, we can come back and play Game Seven, and if we don’t, then we start our summer. I don’t think our guys are ready to go home.”

Other Thoughts:

Puck drops for Game 6 at 7PM.
It’s far from over, folks.
roman-josi-james-neal-nhl-tampa-bay-lightning-nashville-predators-850x560

 

 

Preparing for Game 5

B7ZxnupIQAA4eB-.jpg large

Game 5 is upon us, ladies and gents and from here on out, it’s do or die for the Nashville Predators if they intend on hoisting that big silver Cup in the end.

I am not going to go into what the Predators need to do to win tonight (and those two other possible games); no, we know and the players, coaches, and whatnot know, too. It’s just a matter of getting the job done. Scott Darling is not invincible; he truly is all that has stood between the Predators and taking Round One. Chicago should be kissing his feet right about now because, without him, they’d be facing a quick exit out of the playoffs themselves.

Here’s what’s been happening since Tuesday/Wednesday’s Game 4:

  • Yesterday afternoon, the Predators recalled nine players from Milwaukee. No need to panic, everyone; this is not regular season so there is an unlimited amount of players you can have on a roster. Some may see some ice time, but really, they are just here for emergencies and/or experience. The players chosen? Joe Piskula, Rich Clune, Marek Mazanec, Magnus Hellberg, Anthony Bitetto, Johan Alm, Colton Sissons, Austin Watson, and Viktor Arvidsson.
  • No surprise, the Blackhawks have chosen to go with Scott Darling as their starter for tonight’s game.
  • No need to panic – Kris Martel quickly reported that Wilson did show up to the locker room looking fine.

  • Speaking of those participating in practice…

    Though Fisher was a game time decision Tuesday (and didn’t play), knowing that he’s back out there again is a good sign. Also, long time no see, Eric Nystrom! Though I am doubtful of his magical return for tonight’s game, his presence brings hope.

  • Anaheim becomes the first team to advance to the second round, sweeping the Winnipeg Jets. However, Jets fans stood tall with the sinking ship, giving their team an affable standing ovation for a tremendous season.

  • The Ottawa Senators live to see another day game, shutting down the Montreal Canadiens 1-0 last night.

I have been on edge all day so far and I hope you have been, too. The love for hockey is crazy like that, I guess. It’s going to be deafening in the Bridgestone Arena tonight; I hope you got your tickets. To say this game is huge for either team is an insane understatement.

Go Preds.

 

The Morning After/Of: Game 4

colin

Source: Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

 

I’d be lying if I said I stayed awake for all three overtime bouts last night. The combination of my love to sleep and the whole “work” factor sent me snoozing in the intermission between the first and second overtime. In what was now the longest game played in Preds franchise history, it is disheartening to know that they came out with the loss. Unfortunately, this is more than a loss; it gave Chicago the 3-1 lead in the series, meaning it could all come to an abrupt end tomorrow night for Nashville. Eek.

This has been certainly a series about the goaltenders. Pekka Rinne, though a little rusty here and there, was carrying the team on his back last night. He kept the Predators in the game. The same can be said for Chicago’s Scott Darling. Neither Nashville or Chicago is doing exceptionally well in the offense/defense department. I mean, both are taking it to the net, but the majority of these bouts have come down to which goaltender is going to slip up first. Unfortunately for Nashville, it has been Rinne.

Colin Wilson has been the playoff superstar thus far, notching his fourth goal of the playoffs last night to give Nashville a short 1-0 lead in the first period. James Neal would finally make his presence known late in the second, giving Nashville the 2-1 lead going into the third period. I think a lot of us were too busy celebrating a successful second period that we forgot there was another period to go.

Welp, if the Predators play well with their backs against the wall, tomorrow should be no contest. I mean, they are practically hugging it at this point. Breaking Darling is really what Nashville needs to do now. He is trained on those long range missiles; let’s take it to the net. The issue with taking it to the net, however, is that the Predators are notorious for their terrible puck control, making it easy for Chicago to bat it [the puck] away from them, killing the focus. I’m going to keep it short today, as my brain has not recovered from the amount of caffeine I’ve just consumed and I do not want to cling to an outcome that cannot change. Come on home, boys.

Other Thoughts:

  • Rookie Kevin Fiala got his first taste of playoff hockey last night, becoming the sixth youngest player to do so in the organization. It was also – technically – his first away game, too.
  • Pekka Rinne just about stripped naked last night in an effort to locate the puck that was lost in his pads during the first overtime.

  • Mike Fisher participated in practice yesterday, but ended up bowing out of last night’s game. Still day-to-day with a lower-body injury, but maybe he’ll be ready for tomorrow?
  • What’s with Chicago (and the officials) not being able to count? Why does this keep happening?

  • Meaningless .gifs mean more fun for us… as long as they involve the Predators.

  • How was Pekka on point last night? Here’s a .gif of his last minute save that, without it, could’ve ended this game in regulation:

  • James Neal’s hit on Duncan Keith dislodged a panel of glass at one point. That’s cool.

The Morning After: Game 3

ribeiro

If only it had ended as bad as these guys made it out to be. Source: Bill Smith/NHLI via Getty Images

Well, the Predators certainly forgot to pack that momentum in their carry-on bags from Friday on the way to Chicago because… well, we all saw the outcome of yesterday’s game. Not a complete and utter beat down, but not the heat we hoped to had seen for sure. The two goals Nashville did muster were exciting, to say the least, as they responded almost immediately after Chicago. However, after those two, there were no more follow-ups and the Blackhawks took Game 3 by a score of 4-2.

So what happened? Well, some could argue that the United Center is just a tough atmosphere for any team. Well, yea – it is, but here’s the thing: the Predators have played enough times in that arena that this should no longer be a surprise. Yes, the atmosphere during playoff hockey is a little more… unique, but these guys aren’t fresh off the boat; they know what to generally expect.

Another argument is regarding the absence of pack leaders, Shea Weber and Mike Fisher. The Predators played just fine Friday without Fisher and lit the jet fuel after Weber went out of the game. Though Weber and Fisher play significant roles on the ice, injuries like this are bound to happen and the Predators have adapted well before; unfortunately, unlike regular season, they cannot take their time figuring out a game plan. I was asked yesterday via Twitter on the health condition of Pekka Rinne; surely, he must still be injured. As much as I want to talk myself into believing that is the root cause of his awkward mistakes, it just isn’t. The only discomfort I believe he is in is the frustration of his gaffes. Unfortunately, even the best find themselves in a rut – Chicago resorted to their backup, Scott “sold my soul to the Devil to get out of the SPHL” Darling yesterday because Corey Crawford is way off his game.

No offense to Carter Hutton, but Nashville does not have someone who will all of sudden become the brick wall needed for the playoffs. After his hip surgery last season and his lengthy injury this season, many have questioned Rinne’s performance as it is easiest to blame the goaltender in these situations. However, blame cannot be solely rested upon the shoulders of the net-minder, as it takes other factors (defense) to keep a breakaway from happening in the first place.

Honestly, you could sit there and watch the replay of the game over and over and nitpick every thing that went wrong last night; so easy. The sloppy passes, bad man-to-man coverage, whatnot, but to keep a positive mindset, the First Round is far from over and anything can happen. Now that they have one playoff game under their belts in Chicago, tomorrow shouldn’t come as a shock and they should be a little more level-headed and prepared. There’s a good chance, since he traveled with the team, that Mike Fisher may be back for tomorrow’s game. Not that he’s the saving grace that’ll set everything straight, but Fisher’s authoritarian presence may be the kick in the rear end Nashville needs.

Shout out to Mike Ribeiro and Mattias Ekholm for cracking the “Darling Dam” yesterday and at least keeping the game interesting, to say the least. Now that I think about it, I am sad I forgot to post this photo:
b3c89aad8202521a49868ea0ddf2569b

Twitter Thoughts:

Game 2: Pregame Breakdown

10669091_10203800580524264_2689793676602089493_o

Six and a half hours until puck drop, my friends. Are you ready? More importantly, are the Predators ready? No one is unaware of the “you-know-what” the second period has been and Wednesday night’s game solidified the fact this issue needs to be addressed pronto – as in right now – if the Predators want to hold that big shiny Cup at the end of the season. Instead of going into rant-mode, I’ll keep this post on the informational side. Here’s the breakdown of what should be expected before tonight’s puck drop:

  • Did I say six and a half hours? Add about 12 minutes onto that time. Per Thomas Willis, the official puck drop is 8:42PM. Thank goodness tomorrow is Saturday or I’d really have to double-down on the coffee.
    1418426553294
  • No surprise, Mike Fisher was not at practice this morning. Nor was Eric Nystrom, but that’s really, really no surprise.
  • Someone who was there was Cody Franson… And he will be playing tonight.
  • So will Santorelli.

  • Laviolette finally addressed that second period issue (or at least, the first time I’ve seen him address it):

  • Corey Crawford will start in net tonight for Chicago, despite being chased out in the first period in Game 1 AND being overshadowed by Darling’s performance. We have not seen the last of Scott Darling, mind you.
    scott_darling_large
  • Pregame meal? Eat at the Bridgestone. Or, at least, not downtown. Not only will there be tons of Chicago fans on top of the already insane amount of tourists (and that it’s Friday), some restaurants and bars are marketing to the enemy:

    CC0gN4XWYAIivYh

    Courtesy: Robby Stanley — Boycott this shameful establishment.

    How embarrassing is this? No, seriously. As someone who controls a major part of the Marketing for her company, there would be no way in H-E-double-hockey-sticks I’d make this big of a risk. First off, I have a team that would’ve gone, “Uh Beks, you’ve lost your mind.” I get it; money is the name of the game, especially if you are on tourist row (A.K.A. Broadway), but you are essentially ostracizing your city for a quick buck. Yes, revenue will definitely soar and you’ll make a hefty profit, but you are banking on this to get swept under the rug and forgotten about after the hockey season is over. Here’s the thing about hockey fans, Tequila Cowboy; once you’ve crossed them, it’s done. Why do you think we hate Chicago, Detroit, Anaheim, Vancouver so much? They pissed us off. Be loyal to your audience, my friend; yes, you get more tourists than residents, but those residents have a power called “reference” and nobody is going to speak highly of your business to visiting friends after you’ve done this. Will it affect you that much? Probably not, but you’ve crossed the line and shunned your hometown. Also, how many times are the Blackhawks in town during any given season? Not nearly close to the 41 home games the Predators have. How truly embarrassing and downright shameful. There is no way any bar or restaurant in Chicago will throw “pep rallies” for visiting Nashville fans. How absolutely asinine and an awful marketing “strategy” to begin with.

Though Wednesday featured more mustard than ketchup, I have a feeling – being it a Friday – there will be twice the number of Blackhawks fans tonight than Wednesday. So, if you are attending tonight’s game, meditate or do whatever calms your nerves and be prepared. Good vibes and decent officiating are welcomed.

Game 1: CHI – 4, NSH – 3

usa-today-8521620.0

Original Photo Source: Christopher Hanewinckel – USA TODAY Sports

Where does one begin? Well, let me begin with the fact that I have not seen the Predators play such a physical period (first) in a very long time; definitely not within recent memory. They essentially played as a team; they read each other well. Something that certainly did not happen in the second period. I’d rather not discuss the second period – not necessarily regarding last night’s game – but the second period within the last couple of games. Talk about a case of déjà vu. The Predators have been on this route of going hard in the first, giving themselves what would once be a challenge for any team to tackle; completely bombing in the second period, allowing the opposing team to either tie or take the lead; then they cannot gather themselves to retake what they lost in the second, ultimately costing the team the game. As exciting as those three goals were in the first period last night, I feared – and I bet a lot of you did, too – how the team would approach the second period.

And alas, there was definitely a fallout in the second period. However, to make things a little more interesting, the “officials” forgot how to properly officiate a hockey game. This wasn’t your first rodeo, was it? You could’ve fooled me… along with the other 17k+ folks. Countless dives, off-sides, and icing… you how do you miss an icing call? I understand hybrid icing and that nonsense, but regular, no-holds-bar icing? That’s bush league, babe. However, let’s take the most questionable non-call in all of the missed ones last night:

I enjoy chiming in with a nice chant of “Ref You Suck”, but I have never heard it as loud as I did last night… and for good reason, too. Clearly, that should have been a penalty shot award to a one Mr. Taylor Beck. I am not much of a conspiracy theorist, but my goodness, after the atrocious officiating in last night’s game, you’d have thought something awfully fishy was going on. And I am not talking about the catfish that was thrown on the ice:

We know how you feel about small market teams, Bettman…

That was the Predators’ game to take; no doubt. The physicality of the first period was outstanding and must be repeated in the following periods. The Predators have always allowed for sloppy passes and whatnot, but we have now reached the post-season; a time when other teams have honed in on those typical mistakes – no matter how little – and capitalize on them. Laviolette knows this; Housley knows this. Time to get both the hearts and minds right and on focus. There’s no doubt in my mind that Nashville can defeat the Blackhawks in this round; they just have to stop doubting themselves.

Noteworthy Notes:

  • Mike Fisher returned to the lineup as expected after coming back from a lower-body injury. However, he took a nasty hit in the first period, causing him to miss the remainder of the game. I have a relatively good feeling we won’t see Fisher the rest of this round, possibly even well beyond this round if Nashville can knock off the ‘Hawks.
  • Colin Wilson, ladies and gentlemen. With only six points in the last 32, Wilson brought out the afterburners in Game 1. His two goals tied the franchise record of goals in a single playoff game.

  • Viktor Stalberg certainly showed his former teammates that he wants to hold that Cup again. His unassisted goal helped chase Corey Crawford from the net.
  • Scott Darling, the Blackhawks backup and former Milwaukee Admiral, certainly secured Chicago’s victory last night. Forty-two saves for 80 minutes worth of hockey. Yea, Crawford might want to watch his back.
  • As for our goaltender, Pekka was definitely on point last night. Unfortunately, someone had to lose. Rinne made some incredible saves, keeping the game going for as long as it did.
  • Paul Gaustad did his thing at the face-off circle, winning 17 and losing just six for a percentage of 76%.
  • The Game Ops outdid themselves with the new intro video for the playoffs. Though this is a little snippet, I suggest making it out to tomorrow’s game or finding a video on YouTube.

Time to take in a deep breath and shake it off; there’s no room for lingering on yesterday. Hopefully, last night’s tough loss will light a fire under Nashville’s butt so they can come out with the same tenacity as yesterday’s first period and keep that going for the entire game.

Game 1 is in the books, boys and girls. Chicago – 4, Nashville – 3. Onward to Game 2.

 Extra: Check out this video from 2011 of the Predators players talking about how great the fans are in Nashville. Surely, this’ll get you feeling all warm and fuzzy, right?

Preds fall to Hawks 3-1; Time to Rest Rinne?

Source: Kristen Jerkins Photography

Source: Kristen Jerkins Photography

Nashville hasn’t lost a home game since being pummeled 3-0 by the Penguins on October 25th, but another one was bound to happen sooner than later. Unfortunately for Preds fans, it came at the hands of the Chicago Blackhawks tonight. What could add insult to injury is the fact that Chicago played the Montreal Canadiens last night at home, which usually puts said team at a disadvantage compared to a team [Nashville] who has a day to rest. Leave it to Chicago to bypass that hindrance and jump the Predators in the Central Division standings. You read that correctly:
Screen shot 2014-12-06 at 8.49.31 PMLooking at the glass-half-full, this loss wasn’t as devastating (stats wise) as it might feel; especially if you have to listen to belligerent Hawks “fans” as you leave the arena tonight. Though Nashville was only given two powerplay chances and managed to detour Chicago’s four chances, those were still two advantages the Predators failed to capitalize on that could’ve changed the game. However, the Blackhawks do currently hold the best penalty kill in the league, but that’s no excuse. The Predators are now 1-for-45 on powerplay goals at home this season; 28th in league just above the Wild and the Sabres. It is a weakness in advantage that is slowly catching up to the Predators as they push forward into the season.

Another factor to look at is impact on Pekka Rinne. Though there is no way you’d rest him while playing divisional opponents, when is the man going to get a break? Rinne has appeared in the 23 games thus far, whereas Carter Hutton has only seen three games worth of ice time. Yes, Pekka has been the much needed asset for securing many of Nashville’s 17 wins, but it may be time to give the Finnish Phenom a rest or two. Perhaps that will be the case for Tuesday’s game against Colorado; though a Central Division opponent, they sit four rankings below the Predators in sixth. However, ranking position means nothing if you’re goaltender isn’t on point, but Hutton has had enough rest and might want to stretch his legs. Truly, the only other time Pekka might legitimately get a break is on the 22nd when Nashville goes into Columbus. Yes, Pekka Rinne has saved many a butt and missing him from the net is definitely a risk (See last season), but starting him every single game is also a risk. You may play your best golf with your 9-iron, but eventually you’ll need your putter.

Kudos to Colin Wilson tonight for not allowing the Blackhawks to celebrate a goose egg tonight. His wrister past former Mississippi RiverKings (and Milwaukee Admirals, yea) goaltender, Scott Darling was his sixth for the season; assisted by Victor Bartley (1) and Mike Fisher (2). If you are stuck on the Mississippi RiverKings mention, that’s because it’s a Southern Professional Hockey League (SPHL) team and he is the first of said league to make it to the NHL. Jumping around that stat, Colin Wilson is certainly on his way to having one of the best seasons of his career. I mean, this kid went from constantly being tossed into Trotzy’s Doghouse to actually getting ice time to find his comfort zone. He has put up great numbers in the past, but I am foreseeing a much better performance from the 25-year-old under Laviolette’s system for sure.

Welp, don’t get too down, Preds fans; it’s Saturday night and, just remember: the Predators are doing 100x better than the Titans and shhh! Hockey’s not supposed to do better than football!