NASHVILLE, TN - DECEMBER 22: The Nashville Predators bench erupts in celebration after scoring a late game winning goal over the Columbus Blue Jackets at Bridgestone Arena on December 22, 2011 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images)
The Nashville Predators made good sport of the Columbus Blue Jackets tonight at Bridgestone Arena, spotting them a 4-1 first period lead before staging yet another remarkable comeback, their 3rd in the last two weeks. In a wild back-and-forth contest, the Preds scored the final four goals of the game over the last two periods, including Martin Erat's game winner with just 8.4 seconds remaining.
From the Blue Jackets' perspective, this was a collapse of epic proportions, and you have to wonder what it will take for this franchise to make major changes in an effort to reverse this disastrous season. They sit dead-last in the NHL with a record of 9-21-4 after this one, and seemed all set to earn a rare victory in Nashville before fumbling the game away.
Video highlights and reaction after the jump...
First the video (might take 30-45 minutes post-game to work):
Your scattered observations:
- Yes, the undisciplined late hit by McGrattan will draw attention, but boy was the Preds' PK awful tonight. Too many instances of Blue Jackets getting possession of pucks in dangerous scoring areas.
- Pekka Rinne didn't do much to bail the guys out, either. He's human, it happens. So much for the idea of giving him an easy night's work ahead of tomorrow night's game at Dallas!
- One thing we can always take comfort in is that despite issues of talent, or style of play at times, we at least don't have to worry about the Predators ever quitting when the going gets rough.
- This is a dangerous way to live, however, and Nashville can't afford to keep falling behind early. This certainly doesn't look like a typical Predators hockey team - is it time to embrace a new identity, or can they settle things down?
- It was good to see Patric Hornqvist score, even if it was a simple tap-in. He's been ice-cold over the last few weeks, and needs to get rolling.
- Is there hope for that 3rd line of Wilson-Spaling-Tootoo? I'd like to see a higher-skilled center between Willy & Toots, but they got the job done tonight.
Who is your Predator of the Game?
Martin Erat: GW goal, assist (176 votes)
David Legwand: PP goal, assist (32 votes)
Shea Weber: 3 assists, 26:58 TOI (85 votes)
293 total votes