The Nashville Predators had a chance to sweep their homestand on Saturday, as well as win a season-long four games in a row. With the battered Blue Jackets coming to town, a team that the Preds have had success against in the past, hopes were extremely high that the team would head to Carolina with a big win.
The Preds seemed to think that, as well. Nashville threw everything but the kitchen sink at Columbus' Curtis McElhinney. (That would come later.) It's been customary for the gold team to outshoot whoever they're playing against, but they took it to another level tonight. Thanks to some superb goaltending by CBJ's backup, they were able to come out of the first period unscathed.
After a Ribs Wrap and a Johansson power play goal, the game looked like it might yet again take more than 60 minutes. Thankfully, the mustache controlling Colin Wilson ended things before it got to that point. Nashville improves to 10-1-1 at home, and continues their strong, winning tradition against the Jackets.
- Someone unplugged the Blue Jackets in the first period. The Preds pumped 20 (!) shots on Curtis McElhinney, and probably a whole bunch more that either missed him or were blocked en route.
- It wasn't until the 31st (also !) shot on goal that the Predators finally broke through. Mike Ribeiro scored his sixth of the year.
- Filip Forsberg is just gross. Jack Johnson found himself completely undressed during the first period as Forsberg dangled him inside out. How that didn't result in a goal, I have no idea, but it leads me into a mini rant: Do not take for granted what this kid is doing on the ice. Plenty of other teams have had their own super star that they have the pleasure of watching every single night, that people may recognize but not fully appreciate. Nashville finally has one. Enjoy every second of it.
- In the game of hockey, whenever there is a miss at one end it seems to always open the door for a goal at the other. Mike Fisher was putting on a PK clinic, and found himself on a shorthanded 2-on-1 with Matt Cullen. Unfortunately, Cullen shanked the shot. Not long after, Ryan Johansson put the Jackets on the board with his ninth goal of the year. That ended Pekka Rinne's shutout streak, and infuriated every Preds fan watching.
- WTF was up with all the fights tonight? Get your act together, Lumbus. We expect better of you.
- Did the Predators power play score tonight? No. No they did not.
- Remember how secondary scoring was a thing we were a little concerned about a few weeks ago? Looks like it's a worry of the past. Colin Wilson scored the game winner after an excellent shift from the second line and ensured the Preds wouldn't see overtime for a third straight game. Wilson has been having a heck of a season so far, and is showing he can certainly be a reliable forward for his team.
Count it. That's four in a row for the Predators, as they sweep their homestand and continue on their path of entertaining hockey that is getting results. You can't ask for more than that, especially as the month of November comes to a close. December's schedule is much, much tougher than anything that Nashville has seen before.
But you shouldn't be too worried. The Predators have been playing great, and even when they haven't been great they've been good enough to win. Even if the team stumbles a bit this month, they have some points in the bank to help cushion their fall. We won't think like that, though. Bring it on December, we're ready.
OTF's Super Duper Stars of the Game
- Curtis McElhinney - Who cares that he's on the other team? He had absolutely no reason to make that many saves tonight, and single-handedly kept his club around.
- Colin Wilson - It's not every day you see a player alone in the crease, able to backhand a shot into the open net.
- Mike Ribeiro - Remember when people wanted to trade for Vincent Lecavalier? Lol.
Tweet of the Game
.@OnTheForecheck sorry can't answer this right meow— NHL Blue Jackets (@BlueJacketsNHL) November 30, 2014
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