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.

Preds narrow past Red Wings in OT, 4-3

Craig Smith picks up his first goal of the season against Detroit

After Monday’s rough ending against the Colorado Avalanche, the Predators had two choices: either shake it off and prepare themselves for the first meeting of the season against the Detroit Red Wings or let frustration take over and destroy any chance of making a recovery. What did the Predators ultimately choose to do as they welcomed Jordin Tootoo and the rest of the Motor City to Nashville Tuesday night?

FIRST PERIOD

  • Craig Smith took the first strike, sending a wrister past Jimmy Howard at 5:01 to seal his first “regulation” goal of the season (he has done his share of shootout goals) and also on the powerplay. Colin Wilson, who continues to dominate in points, picked up his eighth assist of the season, along with Shea Weber who picked up his fourth.
  • A little over five minutes later, Gabriel Bourque notched his fourth goal of the season with a tip-in at 10:41. Scott Hannan (first assist) and Mike Fisher (fourth assist) would nab the assists on Bourque’s goal.
  • Detroit goaltender, Jimmy Howard would be pulled after Bourque’s goal, but not from a terrible performance or an injury sustained in the game. Howard had been suffering from blurred vision, but professed that he was fine in practice Tuesday morning. But during game time, his vision just wasn’t up to par to face the Predators.
  • The Predators wouldn’t hold their 2-0 lead for long, for Detroit had a short-handed goal up their sleeves. Daniel Cleary broke free on the Predators’ powerplay and slipped a wrister past Pekka Rinne to put Detroit on the board at 15:01. Pavel Datsyuk picked up the assist.

SECOND PERIOD

  • The second period would produce no goals, but plenty of action left both sides frustrated and exhausted. Nashville would out-shoot Detroit 12 to 7, but backup goaltender Jonas Gustavsson was everywhere the Predators wanted to be.

THIRD PERIOD

  • A costly mistake by Kevin Klein at 11:33 gave Detroit its second goal of the game, awarding the goal to former Pred, Jordin Tootoo. As pressure took to the net, Klein accidentally knocked the puck into his own goal.
  • Roman Josi would quickly give the Predators the upper-hand once again at 12:54 for his first goal of the season. His first goal was also unassisted.
  • Just as Josi put Nashville up 3-2, Detroit fought back, with Pavel Datsyuk nailing his eighth goal of the season, tying the game at 3.

OVERTIME

  • Nashville wasn’t going to see yet another shootout, with Shea Weber sealing the winning goal in OT at just 44 seconds into the period. Weber’s third goal of the season was assisted by Sergei Kostitsyn (fifth assist) and Colin Wilson (ninth assist).

 

MUSINGS:

  • Patric Hornqvist’s presence was well-received on home ice after missing the last ten games (excluding Monday on the road). Hornqvist led the Predators in shots-on-goal with four against the Red Wings, which doesn’t sound like too much, but he did take twelve shots alone the night before against Colorado. Considering he has only played in two games and has garnered sixteen shots-on-goal? Yea, Patric is creating chances that other players just can’t do; though Colin Wilson has been giving Patric a run for his money.
  • Paul Gaustad, still nursing an upper-body injury, was missing from action against Detroit as expected. Nashville took the hit on face-offs, losing the majority of them against the Red Wings. Hal Gill was scratched, along with Brian McGrattan, who is spending some quality time in Milwaukee.
  • Shea Weber may have found his rhythm, picking up an assist and a goal, his first game with two points. Weber has already notched his third goal of the season, hopefully giving us all a collective sigh of relief for the Captain.
  • Rich Clune is pulling out his checkbook, as he has been fined for boarding Colorado Avalanche forward Aaron Palushaj during Monday’s game. In the amount of $1,452.70 (half of his daily salary), the fine will go to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund. Brendan Shanahan has been awfully busy for such a short season…
  • Head Coach Barry Trotz has taken on a new title: Longest tenured coach in the National Hockey League. The Buffalo Sabres fired Lindy Ruff, who had been with the team for sixteen years, passing the title on to Barry Trotz.

 

The Predators almost let the Red Wings slip away with the win, but a win’s a win (even in OT) against Detroit. The Predators were given a rare two day break before facing the Vancouver Canucks for the first time tomorrow night.

Until then,
GO PREDS

Showing some Rust, Preds fall to Blue Jackets 3-2 in SO

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Don’t let the score dishearten you, folks.

Well, let’s first start off with WELCOME BACK TO SMASHVILLE!

For fans all over the NHL world, today – January 19th – might as well had been renamed Christmas Day. NHL hockey official returned and every hockey fan rejoiced, eager to don their favorite jerseys and return to their game day rituals.

In Smashville, tonight was electric. Hungry fans clawing to see their beloved team back on the ice; the past week open practice teasing them to push onward to Saturday. A Plaza Party to kick the festivities off, along with a “Gold Carpet” event with the players revving the fans into utter hockey ecstasy.

On the schedule for the shortened season opener? The Columbus Blue Jackets. Not exactly a formidable opponent in the past, but with the extended offseason, this season could bring forth a team not even on the radar to hoist Lord Stanley’s Cup. Tonight, Columbus wasn’t going to let a little offseason rust slow them down.

***

It’s been a while since the last post game write-up (too long, NHL & NHLPA), so we’ll give you a quick rundown of how our post game synopsis work. We basically cover the highlights (who scored, who got the assists, who was scratched, who got penalties, etc.). In a sense, we keep it short and simple. New this season, we are adding scores from around the league. You know, just in case you need to keep up with your fantasy team.
Okay, enough chitchat – You’ll see below how we cover the games, so there you go:

KEY POINTS:

  • Though not announced, the scratches for the Predators tonight included Jonathon Blum, Victor Bartley, and Rich Clune.
  • Also not announced was tonight’s starting lineup that included Shea Weber, Sergei Kostitsyn, Mike Fisher, Martin Erat, Roman Josi, and Pekka Rinne.
  • Martin Erat started the game out on fire, sending a wrister past goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky within 39 seconds of puck being dropped. Sergei Kostitsyn and Pekka Rinne picked up the assists on the new Alternate’s first goal of the season. Here’s the video of Erat’s goal:

  • The Predators would continue to hold the Blue Jackets at bay until Columbus snuck in a tying goal on a powerplay from Nick Foligno at 16:08 in the first.
  • Ryan Ellis would put the Predators back on top at 17:55 on a powerplay of his own, with Sergei Kostitsyn picking up his second assist and Patric Hörnqvist picking up his first.
  • Columbus wouldn’t stay behind for long, answering to the Preds at 12:05 in the second period, the tying goal scored by center Artem Anisimov.
  • The third period would produce no goals, sending the game into overtime, giving both teams a point overall. Like the third period, overtime saw no goals, leading the season opener into a shootout.

SHOOTOUT SUMMARY:

– COLUMBUS – Cam Atkinson – SAVE
– NASHVILLE – Martin Erat – SAVE
– COLUMBUS – Artem Anisimov – SAVE
– NASHVILLE – Mike Fisher – SAVE
– COLUMBUS – Jack Johnson – GOAL
– NASHVILLE – David Legwand – GOAL
– COLUMBUS – James Wisniewski – SAVE
– NASHVILLE – Ryan Ellis – SAVE
– COLUMBUS – Ryan Johansen – SAVE
– NASHVILLE – Colin Wilson – SAVE
COLUMBUS – Derick Brassard – GOAL
– NASHVILLE – Craig Smith – SAVE

PENALTY SUMMARY:

Brandon Yip – 6:49, 1st Period – Roughing
Scott Hannan – 13:31, 1st Period – Fighting
Martin Erat – 15:14, 1st Period – Slashing
Shea Weber – 9:53, 2nd Period – Fighting
Shea Weber – 9:53, 2nd Period – Roughing
David Legwand – 5:00, OT – Holding

Rusty is a good word to describe both teams (and from what we hear, all the teams in the league, as well) tonight, but Columbus was able to shake those rusted bolts loose just enough to squeak past the Predators to nab the win. Though the Predators don’t leave tonight completely empty handed, we’re sure they aren’t leaving without a nice talking to by Mr. Trotzy, either.

Without a preseason to ease the players back into their routines (and the fact some players are adjusting to new lineups and positions), it was truly anyone’s game tonight, with both teams trying to feel out their new adjustments. Sadly, this is the real deal, not just an exhibition. The Predators will have to recuperate swiftly and adjust accordingly by Monday, as their next opponent swept the Red Wings 6-0 tonight. The Blues are wound up from hibernation and, after tonight’s performance, may want to lay a wallop on the repairing Preds, too.

Attendance: 17,113 (sellout)

Until Monday,
GO PREDS

Check the chalkboard, folks.

Check the chalkboard, folks.

 

Preds sign Veteran D-Man Scott Hannan

Is Hannan the veteran d-man the Predators have been searching for?

A little before noon this morning, the Predators reached an agreement that hit the cap floor and gained the franchise yet another defenseman.

Nashville signed former Calgary Flame free agent, Scott Hannan to a one-year, $1 million contract, giving the team the veteran strength and experience it was looking for. Here’s the official statement from the Nashville Predators:

Hannan, 33 (1/23/79), has amassed 197 points (33g-164a) and 522 penalty minutes in 908 regular-season games and 15 points (1g-14a) and 89 penalty minutes in 82 playoff games with San Jose, Colorado, Washington and Calgary since the 1998-99 season. The 6-1, 225-pound blueliner enters the 2012-13 season having played more games than any NHL defenseman in the last 10 seasons (798). Hannan dressed for 75-or-more games for the 11th consecutive season (78), and averaged more than 20 minutes of ice time for the ninth time in the last 10 seasons (20:21) with the Calgary Flames a season ago.

Hannan has bounced around to a few teams, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t worth keeping for the long run. Hannan has proved to be a reliable, well-versed d-man who will work well with both vets like Hal Gill and young guns like Roman Josi.

Will the Predators keep Hannan around for longer than a season? Time will tell, but we have a feeling, from the videos we have seen of the 33-year-old, the fans will latch on quickly. Although, he will have to find another number; we don’t think Brian McGrattan will give up 23 easily.