Coming into tonight, the Colorado Avalanche had lost only once in thirteen games. If you had said the Nashville Predators were going to be locked in a high-scoring game with them at the beginning of the year, I wouldn't have believed you. The Predators, you see, are "offensively challenged," or so the story goes. Well, not only did the Preds score a season-high six goals this game, but they also did it against a team that hadn't given up more than four all season.
The teams traded goals to start the game, with some sloppy defensive play leading to a few Colorado goals. However, every time the Avalanche scored, the Predators had an answer for them. By the time the final horn sounded, the Predators were just the second team to beat the Avs in regulation, and Colin Wilson had himself a four point night.
The Stalberg, Wilson, Spaling line was the best line tonight. Stalberg looked especially good, opening the scoring with his first tally as a Predator and assisting on the game winner. (That play to take the puck away and get it to Wilson? Money.) Hopefully this means he can start skating a little easier, and get on the score sheet on a more regular basis.
Holy crap, Colin Wilson. 33 went Super Saiyan tonight, tying a career high with four points, (2G, 2A). He took temporary residence in Gretzky's Office early, assisting on the first two goals in almost identical fashion. By the end of the game, he had also notched a power play goal, along with the game-winning marker.
- Seth Jones is immensely talented, but that doesn't make him immune to rookie mistakes. Instead of making an easy play in the first period, he tried to make a cross-ice pass that was picked off by Matt Duchene. It resulted in a 2-on-1 that P.A. Parenteau buried to tie up the game. He'll learn in time.
- The third Avs goal was started by an egregious turnover in the offensive zone, which led to another odd-man rush. However, that's a save that Carter Hutton needs to make when his team has spotted him four goals. Saves like that can be the difference between winning and losing, and Hutton is going to have to bail his teammates out once in a while.
Matt Duchene is insanely fast. Armed with nothing but rocket skates, apparently, he turned a seemingly nothing loose puck into a Colorado tally before any of us had time to blink.
- 10 different Nashville players showed up on the score sheet tonight. (Stalberg, Wilson, Mattias Ekholm, Craig Smith, Ryan Ellis, Paul Gaustad, Filip Forsberg, Roman Josi, David Legwand, and Gabriel Bourque.) Stalberg, Wilson, Legwand and Ellis all had multiple point nights.
- I don't know what it is about Avalanche players running Preds defensemen this year, but hopefully this time the hit will at least get a look from the Shannahammer. Jamie McGinn got called for a charging penalty after he left his feet to his Jones from behind and send him face first into the boards and glass. It's hard to say that Jones put himself in a vulnerable position, as there was already a defender on his tail and he passed the puck across his body behind him. Also, John Mitchell slowed down once Jones' numbers were to him, but McGinn came in light a freight train and creamed him. I didn't like the hit at all, and I hope something is done about it.
Roll the video highlights...