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The Week That Was: Week 2

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Forsberg’s hot start continues, nearly everybody has scored a goal so far and Saros answers the bell. No bull.

NHL: Nashville Predators at Edmonton Oilers Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

The second installment of TW2 gets to follow a more traditional Monday-to-Sunday form – though it still wasn’t a traditional week for the Nashville Predators with three days off between a Monday home game and a Friday-Saturday back-to-back in western Canada.

And we got a few things we didn’t expect, too.

Let’s dive in.

The Fast Money Round

Monday, Oct. 15: Predators 3, Minnesota Wild 2

Four different goal scorers found the net in the finale of the opening homestand, including Mattias Ekholm, who might be playing the best of the horsemen right now. He’s the forgotten horseman, but his play is speaking for itself. Pekka Rinne is still trying for his first goal, and one of these days he’s going to get it. What a day that will be. Filip Forsberg is continuing his hot start and Craig Smith reminded us why Craignog is a good thing.

Friday, Oct. 19: Predators 5, Calgary Flames 3

Mike Smith brought back some bad memories in the Preds’ home opener, but in this rematch, it was Smith who was victimized. Calgary’s power play scored again, but it wasn’t enough this time. Forsberg and Kevin Fiala each had a goal and an assist. Ryan Johansen and Craig Smith also added goals, but it was – wait for it – Zac Rinaldo who had the game-winning goal in this one. Somebody called that one, right?

The bad news was that Rinne had to leave the game after Fiala collided with him early in the third period. He was placed on injured reserve Saturday and will miss at least three games.

Enter Juuse Saros, who stopped all nine shots in relief and collected the win as a result.

Saturday, Oct. 20: Predators 3, Edmonton Oilers 0

The Oilers’ landlord showed up on Saturday and like any good tenant, they paid the rent without complaints. That’s 13 straight for the Preds over Edmonton.

Anyway, it was another game where no Predator had multiple goals, but hey, as long as you get it done. P.K. Subban channeled his inner Bobby Orr with a shorthanded thing of beauty and played one of his best defensive games so far (improvement was inevitable). Saros got his regularly scheduled start and shone again, collecting his fifth career shutout and second clean sheet in Edmonton.

Also, apparently there was a little bet between the players and Peter Laviolette. More on that in a bit.

Player of the Week

Kyle Turris’ line had a good week. Mattias Ekholm had a good week. Forsberg, the reigning PotW, had a good week. But for his services in both a tough spot and his planned start, it’s gotta be Juuse Saros. He’s going to get several more starts in the next week and to see him playing well right now is a massive boost in what could have been a very bad situation. It’s a good chance for him to handle a starter’s workload for a little bit and everyone will be watching to see how he handles it.

Favorite Thing of the Week

Concern of the Week

Piggybacking off Saros’ opportunity, the big worry is Rinne’s injury and how long he’ll be out. As confident as the team is that Juuse will be able to roll with it, a long-term injury to Rinne would still be detrimental.

Scheduling Quirk of the Week

A Monday home game (that isn’t a holiday) followed by a three-day break? No, thanks.

Plus/minus

Taking the good with the bad from the previous week:

Plus: A tribute video to Paul Fenton

Minus: Matt Dumba changing numbers from 55 to 24

Plus: Smooth finisher Mattias Ekholm from smooth passer Ryan Johansen

Plus: A long stretch pass from Kyle Turris to set up Forsberg doing his thing

Plus: The easiest goal Salomaki will ever score in his life

Plus: I see you, Yannick Weber:

Minus: Friday night games during football season

Plus: Going more than 30 minutes without a penalty to begin a game

Minus: Fiala taking Rinne down and out

Plus: Saros kills it in relief

Plus: Jordin Tootoo getting a good ovation from the crowd.

Minus: Milan Lucic

Minus: That first period in Edmonton probably put a few folks to sleep

Plus: Subban getting his first career shorthanded goal

Minus: Dan Hamhuis going into the boards hard after catching an edge

Plus: Saros and that sparkling .945 save percentage in four games (well, 3 1/3, but it counts for four)

Plus: Eight games in and 14 different Preds skaters have scored

This week’s grade

This should count as a perfect week, right? Well, it would have been if not for Rinne’s injury. That does bump the final grade down a bit, but when you’ve won five in a row and remain perfect on the road, it’s still a very good week. Final grade for the week: A

Your turn: Hit us with your best and worst of the week. Also, bring some ideas of the next bet Peter Laviolette should make with the players.

Poll

Your Player of the Week for Week 2?

This poll is closed

  • 78%
    Juuse Saros
    (168 votes)
  • 6%
    Filip Forsberg
    (13 votes)
  • 2%
    Craig Smith
    (6 votes)
  • 11%
    Mattias Ekholm
    (24 votes)
  • 0%
    Other (write-ins go in the comments)
    (2 votes)
213 votes total Vote Now