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Looking Behind, Forging Ahead Week 12: Blue Jackets, Bruins and Bobbleheads

A sporadic schedule awaits the Predators this week.

Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Bleh, I'm day-to-day right now with some sort of illness. Before you ask, no it's not the mumps.

So light LBFA today, since I'm more DayQuil and Vitamin C than human right now.

The Stats

Last Week
Games Fenwick% PDO Off ZS % TeamGF TeamGA TeamG+/- TeamG% Faceoff % TOI
3 44.3 104.2 50 3 1 2 75 33 135.3
This Week
2 59.2 97.9 67.1 5 4 1 62.8 46.8 55.6
Season
31 53.2 102.4 50.6 49 29 20 63.8 47.4 1267.5

Super small sample size this week, but the Preds annihilated both the Bruins and the Wild in shot attempts. The Bruins are middle of the pack this year, but the Wild are 4th in the NHL in score adjusted Fenwick, and are the best team at suppressing shots.

The reason each of the two games went to overtime? Goaltending. It' not in the column, but Nashville had possibly the worst week of goaltending all season, ending under .900. Most of that came from last night's game. For comparison, Nashville currently sports about an even strength save percentage of about .950 when the game is within one goal. We all know it's an extremely volatile stat, and with everything Pekka Rinne has done this season he's allowed to have a rough game or two.

Golden Player of the Week

  • Shea Weber - The Captain was on the ice for three of the five 5v5 goals for (and had a hand in each of them) and only one against. He also saw a whopping 23 more shot attempts go toward the bad guys rather than toward Rinne. That's pretty darn impressive. Weber may be having an "off" year, but is still the third-highest scoring player on the team and no one can replace what he does during games. Just look at this week to see that.

Not-So-Golden Player of the Week

  • The Minnesota game was almost enough to get Rinne in here, but I think he more than deserves a pass.

Player to Keep an Eye On

  • Craig Smith - James Neal likely won't be out of the lineup for very long, but Smith more than adequately filled in for him. A goal, an assist and seven shots in 18:44 on top line duties, (more than he's skated all year) is certainly making the most of an opportunity. Is it enough to get a second look there? We'll see.
***

Monday, December 22nd at Columbus


Last meeting: A 2-1 Predators victory in Music City on Nov. 29th.

Colin Wilson scored the game-winner at the tail end of the 3rd period. Somehow, Curtis McElhiney stopped all but two of the 42 shots the Predators threw at him. While they had been reeling from some injuries for most of the season, they put together a seven-game winning streak that got snapped earlier this week. Unfortunately, Boone Jenner is out again, meaning it's quite possible they could spiral back into losing.


Reasons to Boo the Blue Jackets

"You don't come to my show and fight, you come to my show and ******* dance, asshole!"

Tuesday, December 23rd at Boston

Deja vu, eh? I won't even tell you what happened last meeting because it was literally less than a week ago. I will provide you with highlights, though.

Reasons to Boo the Bruins

Saturday, December 27th vs. Philadelphia

2013-2014 Record Against: 1-0-1

Well, well, well. Look who it is. The Flyers. You have some nerve showing your face around here after what you pulled. This is Heel James Neal's Wrestle Mania. This is Shea Weber's bobble head night. Lavy's old team. This is perfect.

Last year, both games went to a shootout, and the teams swapped wins and losses. Despite whatever else happened, we'll still always have this:


Reasons to Boo Laugh at the Flyers

  • Flyers have approximately a billion dollars tied up on players they have watching from the press box.
  • Claude Giroux is still doing weird things, but repeatedly grabbing police posteriors will never get old. Repeatedly!
  • Could you imagine if the Flyers started Robert Zepp against Rinne instead of Ray Emery? It won't happen, since Philadelphia has three days off between games, but man. If you're wondering who Robert Zepp is,don't worry. 90% of Flyers fans first heard of him this morning.
So what do you think?