Preds fall to Blues 5-4 in SO – BONUS: Questionable Audio

Source: Harry How/Getty Images

The after effects of the All-Star break has been so-so for the Nashville Predators, with the team pulling out an overtime win against the Colorado Avalanche 4-3 at home on Tuesday, then losing last night to the St. Louis Blues in a shootout 5-4. Getting away with points is good and better than straight losing in regulation, but you can only plaster that “don’t freak out yet” smile across your face in so many games and continue to believe yourself. The thoughts of knowing you cannot get away with this within the playoffs keep pounding in the back of your mind, but you just… keep… smiling. Onward to the recap:

SCRATCHES: Taylor Beck, Pekka Rinne

FIRST PERIOD:

  • The Predators started out strong and on the right foot, with Mike Fisher notching his 10th goal of the season on the powerplay. Roman Josi (22) and Shea Weber (23) picked up the assists.
  • Carter Hutton screened twelve shots on goal by the Blues, keeping the Predators up 1-0 going into the second period.

SECOND PERIOD:

  • Nashville would continue dominance over St. Louis going into the second, as Filip Forsberg notched his 17th goal of the season at 5:36. Craig Smith (13) and Mike Ribeiro (33) pick up the assists.
  • But after Forsberg’s goal, the second period became St. Louis’ property, with Jaden Schwartz helping the Blues to a goal at 8:22.
  • Shortly thereafter, at 12:36, TJ Oshie helped himself to his 14th goal of the season, tying the game at two.
  • Not even thirty seconds later, Steve Ott would take the lead with his second goal of the season.
  • Mike Fisher would step up at 15:32 to tie the game once more, his 11th goal of the season with a short-handed goal. Roman Josi (23) and Calle Jarnkrok (8) would notch the assists.
  • Ryan Reaves, however, would give St. Louis the lead once again at 18:15, his fourth goal of the season.

THIRD PERIOD:

  • James Neal would be the only player to come through for either team during the third period, tying the game and pushing it into overtime. Mike Fisher (10) and Colin Wilson (18) would assist on Neal’s 16th goal of the season.

OVERTIME:

  • No goals – to the shootout we go.

SHOOTOUT:

  • STL – TJ Oshie – GOAL
  • NSH – Matt Cullen – MISS
  • STL – Vladimir Tarasenko – MISS
  • NSH – Craig Smith – MISS
  • STL – Alexander Steen – MISS
  • NSH – Roman Josi – GOAL
  • STL – Kevin Shattenkirk – GOAL
  • NSH – James Neal – MISS

With St. Louis closing the gap for the lead of the Central Division, Nashville really could’ve used two points – especially in regulation. However, to be positive, they still left with a point and still lead the division by four points. Here are some other important notes to take away from this game:

NOTEWORTHY:

  • The St. Louis Blues hold the best powerplay percentage record in the league. Not only did they muster six powerplays last night, Carter Hutton and the Predators’ special teams held the Blues to all six. Oh, and not to mention, Mike Fisher scored on one of their said powerplay opportunities.
  • Mike Fisher collected his 500th and 501st career point during last night’s bout in St. Louis. Congrats, Fish.
  • Speaking of Mikes, Mike Ribeiro continues to prove why he was the best free agent signing for the Preds this past off-season. Collecting an assist, he continues to lead the Predators in points at 47 this season; he currently has 699 career points… I am willing to bet he’ll have 700 by tonight.
  • Filip Forsberg continues to lead rookies in all categories that he can, with 42 points, 17 goals, 25 assists, and 25 plus/minus points.
  • Rinne traveled with the team to St. Louis and participated in practice. His return is eminent. Soon.
  • Carter Hutton picks up yet another loss, but blocked 31-35 shots. Some blocks were outrageous; others, well… his inconsistency with rebounds needs some serious, urgent care.

Now… to discuss what everyone is wondering… What the heck did we hear during the broadcast last night?!
Here’s a little background, in case you missed it: During the first period, sometime around Mike Fisher’s first goal of the night, the sound of a woman… uh… in action (?) could be heard whilst Pete Weber and Stu Grimson were commentating. Take a listen (warning: could be considered offensive or you may be unable to control your laughter):

Yes, you heard exactly what you thought you heard, my friends.

Yes, I deemed it as “barking” at first because I did not want to automatically assume some lady was uh… yea.

Fox Sports Tennessee was quick to apologize, but not before we also got to hear Stu Grimson belching on air:

Needless to say, it was quite an eventful first period for those of us watching from home. I’d also like to say this is the first – and hopefully last – time I have ever had to mention the word ‘porn’ on my blog. Never again, y’all.

The Predators are back at it tonight in Denver to take on the Avalanche, a team the barely defeated on Tuesday. Tonight’s game is Nashville’s last Central Division away game until April 7th and their last Western Conference away game until March 9th.

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2014 Winter Olympics Team USA Roster

Ryan Suter – 2010 Winter Olympics – Getty Images

The official roster for Team USA was announced this afternoon following the 2014 Winter Classic, in which the Toronto Maple Leafs defeated the Detroit Red Wings in a SO 3 to 2. 105,491 was the official attendance in today’s Winter Classic, by the way… and the average temperature was 13°, with a wind chill of -1°

Any who – back to Team USA – So, who got the call to represent the United States in the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia? Here’s the list:

David Backes – St. Louis Blues
Dustin Brown – Los Angeles Kings
Ryan Callahan – New York Rangers
John Carlson – Washington Capitals
Justin Faulk – Carolina Hurricanes
Cam Fowler – Anaheim Ducks
Patrick Kane – Chicago Blackhawks
Ryan Kesler – Vancouver Canucks
Paul Martin – Pittsburgh Penguins
Ryan McDonagh – New York Rangers
Ryan Miller – Buffalo Sabres
James van Riemsdyk – Toronto Maple Leafs
Brooks Orpik – Pittsburgh Penguins
TJ Oshie – St. Louis Blues
Max Pacioretty – Montreal Canadiens
Zach Parise – Minnesota Wild
Joe Pavelski – San Jose Sharks
Jonathan Quick – Los Angeles Kings
Kevin Shattenkirk – St. Louis Blues
Paul Stastny – Colorado Avalanche
Derek Stepan – New York Ranger
Ryan Suter – Minnesota Wild
Blake Wheeler – Winnipeg Jets
Jimmy Howard – Detroit Red Wings
Phil Kessel – Toronto Maple Leafs

As you may have heard (especially if you’re a Predators fan), the Nashville Predators General Manager, David Poile, was named the Team USA GM over the summer. So, are you surprised no Predators made the roster? Seth Jones & Craig Smith were the only players that popped up on the radar and were expected to make the list, but as we now know, neither one apparently quite made the cut. Since Jones is still a young NHL-er, his roster-miss is not as surprising as Craig Smith’s, especially after his outstanding performance in the IIHF World Championships this past Spring.

Notable other players absent from the roster list include Ottawa’s Bobby Ryan, Phoenix’s Keith Yandle, Columbus’ Jack Johnson, and Islanders’ Kyle Okposo among many others that you could make a solid argument for.

So, there you have it. Will you put your differences aside and cheer for the likes of Ryan Kesler, Ryan Suter, and Patrick Kane to push Team USA to gold? We will… but just for this time.

Preds Shutout by No. 1 Blues

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Shea tries some defensive moves to avoid another Blues goal.

If you watched any of tonight’s game, you noticed the Predators did not retain any of their confidence from Tuesday night’s win over the Minnesota Wild. Or maybe, they are just that unnerved by the St. Louis Blues. Nonetheless, wether it be sheer nerves or a lack of confidence, it was clear the Predators were not ready to gain their second win. What was also clear? The lack of a complete offensive initiative. Any Predators stronghold will tell you, offense is not Nashville’s strong suite, but tonight’s performance made it overly apparent.

Plentiful penalties also played a huge factor in tonight’s loss for the Predators, with both sides taking their share, but the Preds took six to the Blues’s five. By the looks of the way they performed tonight, Tuesday’s game was a mere fluke by the Wild. The Predators have an uncountable amount of work to do if they wish to see the post-season. Here is the rundown of tonight’s game:

KEY POINTS:

  • Paul Gaustad remains on the scratched list, along with Jonathon Blum and Brian McGrattan. Keeping with the lines from Tuesday, Yip, Bourque, and Spaling stick together, while Craig Smith finds himself center on the fourth line.
  • T.J. Oshie capitalized on the Blues’s first powerplay of the night at 12:59, sealing his third goal of this early season with a wrister past Pekka Rinne.
  • The only goal from the second period would rise from the Blues, a penalty shot (possibly the first of the NHL season) by Patrik Berglund sinking his second goal of the season, a wrister of his own past Rinne. The penalty shot was brought about due to a hooking on the breakaway from Mike Fisher. Pekka has struggled thus far this season when it comes to one-on-one situations (do we need to go into detail?).
  • The third period goal also belonged to the Blues, with Vladimir Tarasenko, the Russian youngster taking the NHL by storm, gaining his fourth goal of the season. Again, with the wrist shot.
  • From the get-go, the Blues had the upper-hand against the Predators, both offensively and defensively. Out-shooting the Predators 24 to 13, Nashville was at a loss from the very beginning.

Like we mentioned above, penalties plagued both sides tonight, but the Predators took the brunt of the penalties. The Predators were given five chances by the Blues to gain their footing, but St. Louis wanted nothing of it, denying any chance of a goal for Nashville. Here are your penalty box lovers:

  1. Matt Halischuk – 4:22, 1st Period – Hooking
  2. Mike Fisher – 12:10, 1st Period – Hooking
  3. Rich Clune – 6:11, 2nd Period – Fighting
  4. Mike Fisher – 9:26, 2nd Period – Hooking on Breakaway (Penalty Shot)
  5. Craig Smith – 16:20, 2nd Period – Hooking
  6. Rich Clune – 17:42, 3rd Period – Roughing

No fight, no battle from the Predators tonight against the Blues. Expressing the fact that the Blues had the upper-hand the entire game cannot be spoken enough. The Predators were not physically, mentally, or emotionally ready to face the No. 1 Blues tonight, no excuses needed.

Though the Predators will find their groove again, this will not be the end of the psychological impact the Blues have over the Preds this season. The Predators face the Blues in St. Louis once again on February 5th.

The Predators are off to the Golden State to face the Anaheim Ducks this Saturday at 9:30PM. Hopefully, the Ducks do not hold the same voodoo over the Predators has the Blues do.

Until then,
GO PREDS

Predators find Weakness in Shootouts, Fall to Blues 4-3

Predators notched a few more goals, but was it enough?

We’d like to start out with an explainable excuse as to why the Predators fell short tonight against the Blues, but unfortunately, rust and adjustments just can’t quite get them by tonight. The first period started out slow and steady for the Predators, then rocket-powered during the second. The momentum seemed to fizzle during the third, and completely dissipate during overtime. With the team heading straight to Minnesota tonight, are the Predators ready to take on this hectic, fast-paced season? Here’s the rundown of tonight’s head-shaker:

KEY POINTS:

  • Paul Gaustad was scratched tonight due to an upper body injury sustained in Saturday’s game. Rich Clune took to the ice for his first time in a Preds’ sweater to replace the injured Goose. Jonathon Blum was the second scratch of the night, with Victor Bartley being sent back down to Milwaukee.
  •  As mentioned before, the first period seemed a little bit of a “slow go” for the Predators, with the Blues taking control early. However, the Predators picked up the pace, with Colin Wilson striking gold first, sinking the puck passed Jaroslav Halak at 9:10. Patric Hornqvist and Ryan Ellis both picked up their first assists for the season on Colin’s goal.
  • Before Predators fans could finish celebrating, the Blues responded with a goal of their own at 10:28 with a goal from Vladimir Tarasenko, his third goal of the season.
  • The Blues would take the lead at 15:04 with a powerplay goal from Andy McDonald for his first goal of the season.
  • Mike Fisher would quickly tie the game once again at 17:13 on a powerplay goal of his own, his first goal of the season. Martin Erat would pick up his first assist of the season, along with Patric Hornqvist who picked up his third. 
  • After notching his third assist, Patric Hornqvist felt it was time to seal a goal of his own, slipping one past Halak at 12:53 on the powerplay. Martin Erat would pick up his second assist, along with Mike Fisher picking up his first assist.
  • It seemed as if the Predators would keep the Blues at bay during the third period, but alas, Alex Pietrangelo would notch one at 12:10 past Pekka Rinne to tie the game.
  • Overtime saw no goals, though the puck stayed in the Predators’ zone if not all of the five minutes, making it look as if the Blues were on a permanent powerplay. Thus, to the shootout they went:

SHOOTOUT SUMMARY:

  • NASHVILLE – Craig Smith – SAVE
  • ST. LOUIS – T.J. Oshie – GOAL
  • NASHVILLE – Martin Erat – SAVE
  • ST. LOUIS – Alexander Steen – GOAL

PENALTY SUMMARY:

The Blues spent more time in the penalty box than the Predators did (Predators only landed in the box during the first period), but the Preds only had one more powerplay goal than St. Louis. Here’s the penalty box rundown:

  • Rich Clune – 1st Period, 4:55 – Boarding
  • David Legwand – 1st Period, 13:32 – Hooking
  • Shea Weber – 1st Period, 17:37 – Interference
  • Hal Gill – 1st Period, 19:58 – Roughing

The Predators have no time to recuperate or collect themselves before the next game, as they should be on a plane headed to Minnesota to face the oh-so-wonderful Zach Parise and Ryan Suter. Though not completely run over by the Blues like the Red Wings were on Saturday, the Predators still have more work to do if they want to compete in this short, fast-paced season. Offense is definitely a must, but that goes with a grain of salt. If the Predators do not collect themselves fast, they’ll be sitting on the shelf before they can even catch their breath.

The Predators will be in Minnesota tomorrow to face you-know-who and the Wild at 7PM. You won’t see the Preds back in Nashville until February 7th, so prepare yourselves for TV screaming time, thanks to the circus coming to town (yay!).

So what attitude will the Predators take on this seven-game road trip? We are hoping offensive, physical and mental toughness, along with plenty of shots-on-goal. We’d appreciate plenty of road Frosties.

Until tomorrow,
GO PREDS