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Nashville Predators 4, Calgary Flames 3: The Observations Edition

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The Predators’ western Canadian swing continues.

NHL: Nashville Predators at Calgary Flames Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
  • It’s Saros time! It’s the first time all season someone other than Pekka Rinne starts the first half of a back to back.
  • McCleod is mixing it up early and often. So much so that we get some four-on-four. Sometimes I’d like to turn them down in exchange for a penalty.
  • Heel James Neal! Off a rebound from Bitetto in the slot! Maybe four-on-four isn’t so bad.
  • Calgary is bad at preventing goals in the first period and Nashville is bad at scoring them. It’s the movable object versus stoppable force conundrum.
  • Arvidsson’s work as a screen is really underrated. He’s smaller than Hornqvist but just as immovable.
  • Saros makes such calm saves. He does look like a Hungry Hungry Hippo sometimes, though.
  • Stu singing the praises of Matt Irwin. The rare thing on which we agree.
  • And then he takes a delay of game penalty while they’re yammering on about what’s the name for child of a cousin.
  • Aaaaand a 5-on-3 during what’s been a pretty good kill. Maybe they should be a bit less aggressive in offensive zone pressure after the clear.
  • I think Ellis and Ekholm killed off 90% of those combined powerplays combined with the goaltending of Based Saros.
  • Some of the forwards on this team cheat offensively way too much. It leads to an extended defensive zone shift for rookie Alex Carrier.
  • Arvidsson takes what looked like an elbow up high and the Predators get a powerplay, with which they do exactly bupkis.
  • Preds made a trade during the game! Goodbye Max Görtz and your difficult to pronounce last name.
  • There has been a lot of physicality during the past two games. I’m not opposed to Austin Watson’s recently discovered role as go-to face puncher since he can also skate and score goals some times.
  • Ellis on the breakaway from Zolnierczyk. We all had that, right?
  • Bitetto takes a dumb penalty after his stick breaks, but I’m sure it was satisfying.
  • Calgary is ranked 11th in powerplay percentage but the pairing of Ellis and Ekholm are doing work, as well as some stellar saves from Saros.
  • Somehow Neal whacks at the puck with one hand and gets a shot on goal. Just sniper things.
  • Engelland really loves the box. Let’s see if the Predators powerplay can look any more effective than before.
  • They score!! Ellis bomb, Arvidsson screen, us short people will rule the earth one day.
  • Carrier’s facial hair makes him look extra French.
  • Lots of hustle to beat icings, which is nice to see, especially from players not known for their footspeed.
  • While the Preds have been a bit scrambly in their own zone, they’ve been able to cycle and keep up pressure for long periods of time in the offensive zone.
  • Frosties from Forsberg! After a lot of defensive zone work and a great play by Arvidsson at the line, Arvidsson feeds Forsberg for a breakaway.
  • Saros is moving out and Pekka Rinne has empty nest syndrome.
  • Johansen takes a slashing penalty and then Giordano does the same (stop me if you’ve heard this before) on a great hustle play by Arvidsson.
  • Johansen gets his third minor of the night on another tripping call. While I’d request the Flames be a little stronger on their skates, Johansen should be more careful with his stick.
  • The Flames finally get on the board on the last powerplay and Johansen takes a quick minute to acknowledge Saros.
  • Then Frolik scores! But nope, they’re waving it off. Let’s see. Now a challenge! I’m really tired of watching refs on headsets.
  • Goal counts. Whatever.
  • Empty net for the Flames with just under three minutes to go. Hold on to your butts.
  • 4-3 with 47 seconds to go thanks to Sean Monahan who first slashed Mike Fisher and then scored.
  • After way too many icings, the Predators hang on to the win.

OTF’s Super Duper Stars of the Game

  1. Viktor Arvidsson. He was all over the place, drawing penalties and just being a joy to watch.
  2. Ryan Ellis. Two goals for the human rocketship and no small amount of penalty killing. His beard looked extra shiny.
  3. Juuse Saros. He really kept the team in it during their stretches of weak defensive zone play and way too many penalties. He deserved a shut out.

Tweets of the Game