The Nashville Predators flipped the script they've followed for much of this season, out-shooting Colorado in every period to pull away with a 4-2 win that really wasn't as close as the score indicates. Yes, the Avalanche had their moments, but there were several sequences which saw the Preds bottle up Colorado in their own end for long stretches.
The final shots on goal advantage of 31-17 was the best the Predators have put up since out-shooting Buffalo 34-14 on December 3rd. Pekka Rinne pushed his record to 37-14-7, surpassing Tomas Vokoun's franchise record of 36 wins set in 2005-2006.
Follow after the jump for your highlights and breakdown...
Cue the video (might take 30-45 minutes post-game to work):
Your random observations:
- Colin Wilson and Craig Smith both scratched? *facepalm*
- Early on, this looked like one of those "first one to 10 goals wins" type of games.
- It was nice to hear Mark Howard cite Behind The Net as an example of how good Mike Fisher's season is going, but his high QualComp (Quality of Competition rating) is a measure of how the coaches are using him, not so much how he is doing. We'll count this as progress made, however!
- That 2nd period featured some absolute scrums in front of both nets, as the referees really let a lot go. All too often, they blow the whistle while the puck is still loose. Ryan Suter bailed Pekka out on a couple occasions.
- I've always been skeptical of the claims that Sergei Kostitsyn might learn to shoot the puck more, but the 2-on-1 he had with Martin Erat should serve as evidence that he's still a pass-first, -second and -third type of guy. He had a clear path to the net and instead opted to throw it to Erat for a one-timer.
- Of course, he followed that up with a coveted GooGoo Goal by firing from right between the circles, but at least in that case there wasn't anyone around for him to pass to!
- The ruckus near the end of the second period near the benches is a good example why this team has enough toughness not to dress an enforcer. Downie messes with SK74 a bit, so Fisher jumps right in, and handles things just fine. Earlier, Tootoo stood his own against the much taller Cody McLeod, even though he didn't get the best of the fight.
- Erik Johnson needs to hear from the league for his bush-league slash on Tootoo in the final minutes of the 3rd. He was sore for getting hit by Tootoo, and wound up to crack Tootoo right on the wrist. That's the sort of play that can break bones and cost a player several weeks. Ottawa's Erik Karlsson recently was fined $2500 for a slash on Florida's Sean Bergenheim, so it does happen.