Carter Hutton couldn't save Christmas.
It wasn't entirely his fault, as the Nashville Predators had one too many defensive miscues, and one extra save was all Tuukka Rask and the Boston Bruins needed to swipe a win out from under the Preds' feet. They fall to only 22-9-2 on the year, but have to suffer through the Yuletide with images of turnovers dancing in their heads.
- At even strength, goalies are stopping 96.8% of the shots sent their way when Filip Forsberg is on the ice. (97.4% when within a goal.) That would explain his lofty +/-, as well as his unsustainable PDO. We saw that normalize a little on Marchand's first goal. Forsberg made an uncharacteristic play and fumbled a pass in his own zone, turning it right back over to the Bruins, who made the most of their opportunity.
- It should be noted, though, that SV% is a huge reason Forsberg's PDO is so high. His score adjusted 11.8 SH% will come down, but it's not unheard of for good scorers to have a higher shot conversion rate than normal. Basically, what I'm saying is Filip may get scored on more, and could go on a scoreless run, but you shouldn't be too worried about it.
- Carter Hutton just could not get his first win of the season tonight. He spent a good portion of the night under siege from the Bruins' shooters, and there were plenty of defensive lapses, but it can't be good for his confidence. He's only played four times this year, and just can't pull it together. Hopefully with two more back-to-backs coming up soon, he'll be able to claim victory.
- The last time we wrote a recap about the Preds playing in Boston, the headline was "Brad Marchard Ruins Everything." Not only did he do it again tonight, but he had help and it was Christmas. For shame.
- Earlier this year, we wrote about how Colin Wilson has been playing possibly the best hockey of his career. He just wasn't getting rewarded for it on the scoreboard. Well, Wilson now has three points in his last two games, and looks like he fits right in on the second line. The beautiful backhand on Tuukka Rask was his eighth of the year, which is only three shy of his goal total from last year.
- Speaking of getting going, Calle Jarnkrok now has six in his last six games. The Swedish center started slow, not registering his first assist of the season until his 13th game. Maybe some face time on Beneath the Ice was all he needed.
- It was just one of those, "anything you can do I can do better" type of games. Marchand, Wilson, Krejci, Jarnkrok, Loui Eriksson all traded goals leading up to Marchand's second of the game. After Rat Face put them up by two in the second, Taylor Beck responded in the third. One thing this year's team does not do, is roll over and die.
- James Neal has a reputation, and the referees know it. Listen, when you are the first player publicly outed for embellishment, and have done things throughout your career that make people think twice, that is going to happen. You will never get the benefit of the doubt. Don't be surprised to see more of that.
- Unfortunately, after the Halls were Becked, Nashville just couldn't convert on a furious end to the third period. Eriksson would pot the ENG and send the Bruins home to drink egg nog with Jacob Marley, Mr. Potter, the Bumpus Hounds and Hans Gruber. Humbug.
It wasn't the outcome we wanted, but at least the Holidays are upon us. For me, this is my favorite time of year, and even though I have to wait another few days before I can head home to see my family, I'm thankful for every single one of you. Getting to blabber on about this sport, make stupid jokes and pretend I know more than you is always the highlight of my days, and you all are the ones that make it possible. Thank you.
A very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all of you out there from all of us at OTF. Be safe, enjoy, and we'll see you back here soon.
OTF's Super Duper Christmas Movies
- A Muppet Christmas Carol - They took an already awesome story and made it even better by adding Michael Cain and puppets.
- Gremlins - Phoebe Cate's monologue about her father is probably the saddest thing I've ever witnessed, but by the end of the movie you're filled with love and Christmas cheer. And you got to see a couple hundred creatures go kablooey.
- Ernest Saves Christmas - Jim Varney is an American icon, and I will fight you if you don't like this movie. Know what I mean?
Roll the video highlights...