Ellis Goal leads to Victory in SO against Coyotes 3-2

Image Source: Kristen Jerkins

Image Source: Kristen Jerkins

Back home in Smashville are we for a few and the first guest on the list? The former never-were-in-Phoenix-to-begin-with Arizona Coyotes! The Coyotes, coming into Nashville with a 2-2-0 record, were pretty well prepared to leave with victory in their hands. Stop for a moment – I just noticed Pekka Rinne chatting it up with former Preds goalie, Devan Dubnyk in the background of the picture above. Not that that’s special or anything, I just wanted to point that A.D.D. moment out – carry on. However, in order for Nashville to remain at the top of the Central Division standings, they’d need to pull off a win against Martin Erat & his brood.

Notable Mentions: Keith Yandle debuted in his 500th NHL Career game last night in Nashville, which is a pretty big milestone, I guess. Congrats, Yandy.

First Period:
– Coming out sluggish and uncoordinated once again, it wasn’t long before the Coyotes and Rob Klinkhammer (2) would capitalize on this Nashville weakness and light the lamp in Arizona’s favor.
– Mike Ribeiro would retaliate against his former team at 12:05 for his third goal of the season. Ryan Ellis would be the lone assistant (2) on Ribeiro’s goal.

Second Period:
– After collecting an assist, Ryan Ellis nabbed his first goal of the season at 5:12 in the second, picking up assistance from Derek Roy (4) and Seth Jones (2).
– Arizona wouldn’t give Nashville too much to celebrate for at 11:48 as Keith Yandle sends one clean past Pekka’s barrier on the powerplay.

Third Period:
– Arizona would nabbed yet another power play goal thanks to former Pred, Martin Erat at 7:42 into the third; his second goal of the season.
– James Neal couldn’t wait 19 seconds later before answering Erat’s goal with one of his own, his second of the season. Mike Ribeiro (2) and Ryan Ellis (3) would both collect two more points on the night with their assists.

Overtime:
– With three shots from Nashville and just two from Arizona, this puppy was headed to a shootout.

Shootout Summary:
Nashville – Derek Roy – Goal
Arizona – Mikkel Boedker – Save
Nashville – Craig Smith – Save
Arizona – Sam Gagner – Save
Nashville – Filip Forsberg – Save
Arizona – Antoine Vermette – Goal
Nashville – Ryan Ellis – Goal
Arizona – Martin Erat – Save
Here’s a .gif of Ellis’s game winner against Dubby:
ELLISWINNER

With a win in the shootout, Nashville remains on top of the Central Division leader board… phew! It is important to note how well both Ryan Ellis and Mike Ribeiro looked tonight (among other players) and how Craig Smith needs to take some anxiety medicine; boy needs to take a deep breath and stop with all these silly mistakes. We know he’s better than that; we’ve seen it.

Next in line to come for a visit are the Chicago Blackhawks, who will be gracing us with their presence on Thursday. Chicago is sitting behind us both in the Central Division standings and in the league. I am sure they want to get past us tomorrow night if they can.

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Weekend Review: Still Undefeated in Regulation

Image Source: Zimbio.com

Image Source: Zimbio.com

This past weekend was filled with some ups and downs if you are a follower of the Nashville Predators, but overall, it was a good weekend. The Preds took a quick road trip Northward, making pit stops in both Winnipeg and Chicago on the way home. Back-t0-back nights can be rough on any team, and Nashville is no exception… especially when you are facing a notoriously dangerous team like the Blackhawks on the second night of that back-to-back. But, as mentioned before, Nashville came back a little bruised, but certainly not beaten. Here are the quick highlights from Friday night’s escapade in Winnipeg and Saturday night’s throwdown in the Windy City.

Preds @ Jets – W 2-0
First Period:
- Mike Ribeiro got the ball rolling at 16:20 in the first period for his second goal of the season. Seth Jones (1) and Anton Volchenkov (1) picked up the assists.
Second Period:
– No goals in the second period, but Winnipeg came out swinging with ten shots on goal to Nashville’s seven.

Third Period:
– James Neal would light his first lamp in gold at 7:31 in the third with some assistance from Filip Forsberg (4) and Anton Volchenkov (2).

Three Stars of the Game:
1st Star: Pekka Rinne – First shutout of the season
2nd Star: Anton Volchenkov, two assists.
3rd Star: Ondrej Pavelec

 

Preds @ Blackhawks – L 2-1 OT
First Period:
– Johnny Oduya wasted no time drawing blood at 1:49 for his first goal of the season.
– Shea Weber would match Oduya’s goal at 11:17 with a powerplay goal, his third goal thus far of the season. Mike Ribeiro (1) and Colin Wilson (2) claimed the assists.
– Nashville came out on the sluggish end in the first period, with Carter Hutton getting his money worth with 12 shots on goal compared to Nashville’s miniscule three. However, it only took three shots to sink one for Nashville, whereas it took twelve for Chicago to slip one by Hutton. Glass half full, yes?

Second Period:
– Nada in the second period in the terms of goals, with Nashville only tallying one shot on goal during this period. Eek.

Third Period:
– Another goal-less period, but this time with Nashville ramping up the shots factor to twelve.

Overtime Hockey:
– Overtime didn’t last too long for both sides, as Jonathan Toews managed a breakaway to sink a shorthanded goal, ending the game in favor of Chicago 2-1.

 

So, one shutout against Winnipeg is in the books and one loss in overtime to Chicago. But hey – Nashville has not lost in regulation yet, thus keeping them ranked #1 in the Central Division. So, as I mentioned before, not all from this weekend was a loss and it ended up being pretty good for the Preds — minus their continuation of coming out in a sluggish, uncoordinated fashion as of late. Preds are back home this Tuesday against Martin Erat and the Phoenix Arizona Coyotes for a three-game stance (with Chicago and Pittsburgh heading this way, too).

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Update: Nashville to Host 2016 NHL All-Star Game

brooks

Image Source: Brooks Bratten


Update:
It has officially been announced from the mouth of Gary Bettman that Nashville will indeed host the 2016 NHL All-Star Celebration on January 30-31st, 2016. The Skills Competition will be held on the 30th, with the All-Star Game being held on the 31st. So now you can officially have a freak out moment in your office. Or at least, I am allowing myself to do so.
We know you have questions on how this is going to work. The Preds already have it covered with this handy-dandy FAQ!

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Wait – What does that title say? Yes, you read that right; Nashville will be the host of the 2016 NHL All-Star Game. And yes, if I were a guy named Chris Pratt, this would totally be my reaction. The NHL will formally address this announcement Friday at 11AM at the Bridgestone Arena, with Gary Bettman in tow. Try to contain your excitement, please! Nah, go ahead and celebrate.

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Preds fall to Flames 3-2 in the Shootout

IMG_2896

Image Source: Zimbio

Ahh, the victories were short-lived, weren’t they? It is hard to argue against the fact that Nashville came out on sluggish note last night against the Calgary Flames. It was an all-around a sloppy game with too many mistakes and, although Calgary made a few of their own, they ate up every chance Nashville gave them and slipped by with the win in the shootout. But, all is not lost as the Predators did squeeze a point out of Calgary by sending it into overtime. Lest we not forget, there were some other slick moves that brightened last night’s loss that highlighted the potential within some certain players.

Scratches for Nashville: Rich Clune, Victor Bartley
Note: Sadly, Calgary scratched Brian McGrattan, a former Pred – though his time short – made a lasting impression on Nashville.

First Period:
– Unlike the first two games of the season, Nashville put a point on the board first with a goal from Filip Forsberg, his first goal of the season. Derek Roy (3) and Craig Smith (1) picked up the assists.
– Calgary didn’t give Nashville a chance to gain momentum as not even two minutes later, TJ Brodie skirted one by Pekka Rinne for his second goal of the season, tying the game.
– Nashville was given two chances on the powerplay during the first, but couldn’t garner the stability to capitalize on either one.

Second Period:
– Calgary would take the lead at 5:19, capitalizing where the Predators could not on the powerplay. The Flames took advantage of the powerplay within seventeen seconds.
– However, barely ten minutes later, Nashville would tie the game at 2 with a sheer luck tip-in from Mike Ribeiro, his first of the season and first as in Predators’ gold. Colin Wilson (1) and Craig Smith (2) garnered the assists.
– Derek Roy saved the Predators from possibly a complete loss with his ridiculous reflex skills, deflecting the puck from clearing the net while Pekka was distracted. Check out the gif below:
yxdZ1e- Toronto reviewed the play, but miraculously called it a no-goal. From the video angle in the .gif, it definitely looks like it passes that sweet red line, but if Toronto says no-goal, we’ll take their word… for once.

Third Period:
– Both the Flames and the Predators would scrap back and forth, though Calgary held onto the puck just a wee bit better. Neither team would notch a goal during the third, thus sending the game into overtime.

Overtime:
– Since this ends in a shootout, you can guess no one scored during the overtime “action”.
– Nashville took one shot on goal during overtime to Calgary’s two shots.

Shootout Summary:
Nashville – Derek Roy: Save
Calgary – Joe Colborne: Goal
Nashville – James Neal: Save
Calgary – Jiri Hudler: Save
Nashville – Olli Jokinen: Save

Three Stars of the Game:
Mark Giordano – Calgary
Karri Ramo – Calgary
Craig Smith – Nashville

Karri Ramo was on point last night and for that, we have to give him props. Any chance Nashville had where they managed to gather themselves into shot mode, Ramo was there with what we’d like to call “Pekka-like reflexes” to thwart the Preds.

A question we heard last night was, “What was up with that interference/embellishment call [on Engelland and Forsberg]?”
1377665821442Why can you not have both an interference call & an embellishment call on the same play, Susie? Because it doesn’t make sense; it’s that simple. It is almost impossible (with how NHL rules are set up) for you to call interference and embellishment on the same play. You either have one player interfere or you have the other player called for “diving/embellishment”. Sadly, it’s just one of those quirks in the NHL that no one bothers to address and still happens on occasion, much to the delight of those who enjoy yelling, “Ref, you suck” at any given moment.

No brooms for this home stretch, but Nashville has started out on the right foot this season, even with this mark on their record. We’ve seen some great potential from both our new guys and the old ones, which is a great sign for Laviolette and his staff.

The Preds head North to Manitoba to take on the Winnipeg Jets on Friday at 7PM and then catch a flight to Chicago to face the Blackhawks on Saturday night. Wee.

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Preds Outrival Stars 4-1

Image Source: Zimbio.com

Image Source: Zimbio.com

The Predators continued their home stand last night by rolling out the carpet to divisional rival, the Dallas Stars. During the off-season, Nashville and its citizens were given a new reason to despise our neighbors to the West, due in part to a little nah-saying from a new member of the Stars, Jason Spezza. The Center made it verbally clear before being traded from the Ottawa Senators that he would not want to come to Nashville and join the Predators. Welp, I sure hope you don’t need that bridge one day, Mr. Spezza, as you not only lit the match, you torched the entire viaduct. Good job.

Anywho – enough about that guy – after slipping past the Senators Thursday with a win, how would Nashville fair against a tougher opponent with Dallas? Smoke ‘em, that’s what. Here are the highlights:

Scratches: Rich Clune & Victor Bartley
Starting Lineup: Ryan Ellis, Mattias Ekholm, Eric Nystrom, Paul Gaustad (A), Taylor Beck, Pekka Rinne

First Period:
– The Stars took control early in the first with a goal from Antoine Roussel at 7:14.
– Gaustad would drop the gloves with former Predator, Vernon Fiddler at 11:37
KeM4e1

Second Period:
– With less than one minute left in the second period, the Captain would notch his second goal of the season at 19:19 to tie the game at 1. Filip Forsberg (3) and Derek Roy (2) would collect the assists on Weber’s goal.

Third Period:
– Just like on Thursday, the third period would be Nashville’s waking point, with Paul Gaustad sinking his first goal of the season at 8:33. Taylor Beck (1) and Eric Nystrom (1) would pick up the assists.
– After collecting an assist, Eric Nystrom would go a step further and pick up a goal at 9:54, his second of the season. Gaustad (3) would nab the assist.
– Roman Josi would finish the beating with an empty-netter at 19:57 for his first goal of the season, with Eric Nystrom (2) collecting another assist and Shea Weber (1) picking up his first of the night and season.

Three Stars of the Game:
1st Star - Paul Gaustad
2nd Star - Eric Nystrom
3rd Star - Shea Weber

The Predators wrap up their first home stand Tuesday night as they welcome in the Calgary Flames.

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Preds take Home Opener over Senators 3-2

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Happy Friday, everyone and boy, doesn’t it feel good to officially have hockey back in the Athens of the South? The Preds made sure you were awake last night as the narrowed passed the Ottawa Senators for a 3-2 victory in their Home Opener. So, without further ado, here is your recap from last night’s nail-biter:

Scratches/IR: Victor Bartley, Taylor Beck, Mike Fisher (IR), Matt Cullen (IR), Viktor Stalberg (IR).

Notes before the Game: Has everyone seen the awesome opening video/projector-on-ice show that the Preds outdid themselves with last night? If you haven’t, we have the YouTube link below, but if you want to see this in person, you better have or find tickets to Saturday’s game against Dallas. Jump to the 2:00 minute mark to see the projector show in action — special thanks to Jeremy K. Gover for the video.

y5XBNDPardon my language but… that was pretty. damn. cool. Again, if you missed it last night, be there tomorrow night.

First Period:
No goals with Nashville out-shooting Ottawa 13 to 9.

Second Period:
- Ottawa would strike first on the board at 1:15 into the 2nd Period with goal from Kyle Turris. The Senators would hold Nashville at bay through the remainder of the second period.
- Nashville would remain on top of Ottawa in terms of shots, taking 10 to Ottawa’s five.
- In an “old habits die hard” moment, David Legwand – who spent an eon with the Predators and was their first ever draft pick – headed to the wrong penalty box after tripping Seth Jones. .Gif courtesy of the fine folks over at On The Forecheck.
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Third Period A.K.A. Wakey-Wakey Time:
- Thanks to a penalty from Jared Cowen at 19:41 in the second period, Nashville started the third period out with a lovely power play, which Craig Smith took advantage of for his first goal of the season. Smith was assisted by Filip Forsberg (1) and Derek Roy (1).
- Less than seven minutes later, Shea Weber would give the Predators a 2-1 with a wrap around goal with some assistance from Ryan Ellis (1) and Paul Gaustad (1).
- Not to be outdone, Eric Nystrom would answer at 10:20 with his first goal of the season, pushing Nashville up 3-1 with assistance from Paul Gaustad (2) and Filip Forsberg (2).
- However, the Senators weren’t snoozing through the third. Ottawa’s Alex Chiasson would sink one past Pekka Rinne to put the Senators within one with a little under six minutes to go in regulation.

Even with Craig Smith taking a hooking penalty with less than two minutes left in regulation (and Leggy taking a holding call with under a minute left), the Predators whipped back and held the Senators at bay to win their first game of the season.

Three Stars of the Game:
First Star: Shea Weber
Second Star: Filip Forsberg
Third Star: Paul Gaustad

So, needless to say, Nashville started out on the right foot yesterday, though there definitely were some bumps in the road that need to be looked at and addressed. The Predators are back tomorrow at 7PM to take on division rivals, the Dallas Stars.

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Predators Captains Announced

alterante

The Nashville Predators announced who will be the captains of the team this year, with really only one alternate needing to be decided. Is anyone surprised they gave the second ‘A’ to James Neal? Mike Fisher, though injured, will remain the first alternate captain, with Roman Josi wearing it while rotating through different players until Fisher returns. Though his first year with the Preds, Neal stepped naturally into a leadership role within the team, which makes me a prime candidate for the ‘A’.

The Predators open their season tonight at 7PM against David Legwand and the Ottawa Senators.

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Ryan Ellis Re-Signs with Predators

Flickr.com

Flickr.com

Late yesterday afternoon, word was released that the Predators and Ryan Ellis had finalized a contract to stay with the team. Both sides settled on a five-year, $12.5M contract, with it being broken down as:
First Year – $1.5M
Second Year – $2M
Third Year – $2.5M
Fourth Year: $3M
Fifth Year: $3.5M

Back on the 20th, David Poile had stated that “we want Ryan Ellis. We’re not trading him. He fits here. We just disagree on dollars. It’s that simple” and it looks like – now that the dust has settled – that is what it truly came down to. Honestly, dollars walk hand-in-hand with business so don’t get irked if you think Ellis would’ve walked without coming out with $12.5M. Chances are, he probably would have if someone had offered him more money elsewhere. I know we’ve all tried blocking the “Weber Watch” of 2011 out of our minds, but both these situations are along the same lines. Hockey is a business and luckily, we dealt the right hand for Shea Weber three years ago and now Ryan Ellis yesterday.

Ryan Ellis is expected to join up with the team today at some point to get-to-gettin’ in some practice time with his fellow teammates through the rest of training camp.

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Roster – Preseason vs. Lightning

c3c4736eda313461a153118a09e33706Earlier this afternoon, the Predators released who will be hitting the ice tomorrow night for the first preseason game on home ice.

DEFENSE:

PicMonkey Collage

On Defense: Roman Josi, Shea Weber, Johan Alm, Joe Piskula, Mattias Ekholm, and Anton Volchenkov.

FORWARDS:
PicMonkey CollageqList of Forwards: Eric Nystrom, Austin Watson, Calle Jarnkrok, Filip Forsberg, Gabriel Bourque, Kevin Fiala, Paul Gaustad, Olli Jokinen, James Neal, Taylor Beck, Vanilla Ice Mike Ribeiro, and Rich Clune.

GOALTENDERS:
PicMonkey Collage2Goalies: Pekka Rinne and Marek Mazanec.

Noticeable players taking the night off are:
– Colin Wilson, who collected an assist on Filip Forsberg’s wrister.
– Derek Roy, who assisted in Craig Smith’s goal.
– Craig Smith, who picked up a goal in yesterday’s game in Tampa Bay.

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Injury Updates: Stalberg, Diaby, Cullen, Leipsic

PicMonkey Collage

Just moments ago, the Predators released information on the statuses of four players: Viktor Stalberg, Matt Cullen, Jonathan-Ismael Diaby, and Bredan Leipsic.

Per their report, Stalberg is looking at 2-4 weeks of recovery time due to a lower-body injury we mentioned in a previous post (possibly his right leg). Matt Cullen and Jonathan-Ismael Diaby are in day-by-day conditions with upper-body injuries. As for young Leipsic, he is currently undergoing the proper protocol for a possible concussion.

Though all of these injuries are a bummer, it is Stalberg’s injury that may boost a young gun into a roster spot with the team. Once healed, it’ll be likely that the young one will lose his spot to the veteran, but this is a chance these kids aren’t going to pass up… if they want consideration for a roster spot in the future. Don’t be surprised to see the competition ramped up dramatically throughout the rest of training camp amongst the younger kiddos.

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