Two home games, with a road trip to New Jersey sandwiched in. Yet it was the middle game that the Nashville Predators managed to win of the three this past week.
There was some good to be seen this week, and there was quite a bit of not-so-good as well.
Maybe for Halloween, the forwards not on the JOFA line can dress up as goal scorers.
(Imitates Mario) Let’s a-go:
The Fast Money Round
Tuesday, Oct. 23: San Jose Sharks 5, Predators 4
The first 40 minutes against San Jose showed how strong this team could be. It was the final 20 minutes, however, that really showed some flaws in the system right now.
Not only did the Predators cough up a two-goal lead in the third period, they didn’t even manage to get a point out of it, falling in regulation. Worse yet, it came on home ice.
We saw the best of this team and the worst of this team on the same night. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde all in the same game.
Thursday, Oct. 25: Predators 4, New Jersey Devils 3 (overtime)
The Devils are proving to be a tough team so far this season. For the Predators to get two points after playing from behind most of the game says a lot about their mentality on the road right now.
Getting goals from Yannick Weber, Kevin Fiala and that game-winner from Kyle Turris was a huge boost for each of those three players. Of course, the top line chimed in as well.
Playing in overtime isn’t nearly as scary as it was the first couple of seasons that 3-on-3 was implemented. In fact, it’s been more treats than tricks recently.
Saturday, Oct. 20: Edmonton Oilers 5, Predators 3
A week earlier in Edmonton, Nashville extended its winning streak over the Oilers to 13 games. That run ended on Saturday as the Oilers repaid the favor in Music City.
The first period wasn’t good, the second period was worse and still, somehow, it was a one-goal game before an empty-netter iced it for Edmonton in the final two minutes.
Oh, and Filip Forsberg made people throw their hats. Which brings us to the…
Player of the Week
It’s Filip Forsberg’s world and we’re just passing through. Following Saturday’s game, he was tied for the NHL lead with 10 goals after he potted four this week. Viktor Arvidsson gets honorable mention for his work against San Jose, but the Prince gets his second POTW honor in three weeks and this one is elementary.
Favorite Thing of the Week
With his hat trick today, Filip Forsberg has moved into a tie for first in the NHL in goals with 10.— Nashville Preds PR (@PredsPR) October 27, 2018
Concern of the Week
If you’re already thinking forward toward the trade deadline, think forward.
Outside of the Predators' top line, the rest of the forwards have combined for six goals at 5-on-5 in 11 games: Smith (3), Rinaldo, Hartman and Jarnkrok.— Adam Vingan (@AdamVingan) October 27, 2018
Scheduling Quirk of the Week
So long for now, Edmonton. After two meetings in the span of eight days, the final meeting comes in Nashville on Feb. 25.
Taking the good with the bad from the previous week, in chronological order:
Plus: Ryan Ellis breaking up a shorthanded 2-on-1
Minus: Roman Josi missing the puck while pinching in, causing said 2-on-1
Plus: Arvy hustle
Plus: 24K magic from the JOFA line
Plus: The Smashville Standing O returning
Minus: letting Brenden Dillon skate in and beat Saros shorthanded
Minus: Two quick goals allowing San Jose to tie the game
Minus: Giving up the go-ahead goal in regulation when you had a two-goal lead earlier in the period
Plus: Rocco’s modern life in the Preds lineup
Plus: A badly-needed goal for Kevin Fiala
Minus: Letting the Devils score almost immediately after tying the game
Plus: Preds’ 3-on-3 play (can’t believe that’s being typed)
Plus: Turris using the Greene screen for the GWG
Plus: Pekka Rinne returning to practice
Minus: The Oilers breaking through against Saros after two shutouts
Minus: Getting hemmed in your own end for nearly four full minutes to begin the second period
Minus: Nick Bonino falling down on a faceoff, allowing Connor McDavid a free run
Minus: Bonino on the power play
Plus: Bonino’s off-ice work
Plus: Forsberg x2
Plus: Forsberg x lots of hats
This week’s grade
There were quite a bit more minuses to put in, but that would have ventured this piece into TL;DR territory. This should have been a much better week. Two points got away against San Jose. All three losses this season have come on home ice. That has to be concerning, too. Filip Forsberg (and the way Ryan Johansen finds him) is the only thing keeping this from being a downright ugly grade. The Preds are still tied for the league lead with 16 points, so there’s that. Final grade for the week: C
Your turn: With 10 goals in 11 games, Forsberg’s among the league leaders. Look into your crystal ball and take your best shot at guessing how many he’ll finish the season with (assuming he stays healthy, of course).
Who’s the POTW for Week 3?
This poll is closed
(what, you thought there was another option?)