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The Week That Was: Week 9

What started as a promising week ended very, very poorly.

NHL: Buffalo Sabres at Nashville Predators Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

As injuries continue to hamper a few of the Nashville Predators’ key players, the rest of the Central Division is starting to smell a little blood.

What was a multi-game lead in the division a week ago is no longer as the Preds return home this week following an empty Western Canada road trip.

The Colorado Avalanche have pulled even with the Preds in points after a week that started with a good victory over Buffalo at home.

This won’t be pretty, but let’s get to it:

The Fast Money Round

Monday: Predators 2, Buffalo Sabres 1

The Sabres’ rebuilding effort is coming along at an accelerated rate, which makes this victory even better, all things considered.

Thursday: Vancouver Canucks 5, Predators 3

If you chose to watch the Titans game on Thursday, you were rewarded. If you chose to watch the Predators game on Thursday, you were pissed. This wasn’t as close as the score indicated, but that’s garbage time for you.

Saturday: Calgary Flames 5, Predators 2

It looked like Nashville would get out of the week with a 2-1 record, then they didn’t. Also, the fact that two different arenas did the wave during a Preds game this week sums up what kind of week it really was.

Player of the Week

The big question is who’s really worthy of this mention? If it was on pure effort alone, it’d be Rocco Grimaldi. Kevin Fiala made a case for keeping the honor for a second consecutive week. But, since he did score twice this week, Colton Sissons takes the crown this time around. Honestly, you could just vote “Other” below and it wouldn’t be too ridiculous.

NHL: Nashville Predators at Calgary Flames Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

Favorite Thing of the Week

Because this wasn’t a great week, we might need two things to help put a smile back on faces. If you haven’t seen the clip of Anthony Bitetto on a unicorn, see if you can find it and just watch. I haven’t been able to find it to link here, but if someone does, please link it in the comments.

And then Doc Emrick playing with the St. Louis Blues’ pup-in-training is worth the watch, too:

Concern of the Week

See this week’s grade below. No reason for me to say it twice.

Plus/minus

Taking the good with the bad from the previous week, in chronological order:

Plus: Do you wonder if Carter Hutton muttered to himself “hey, thanks for having me, guys” during the game?

Plus: What a shot from Ryan Ellis. Definitely need more of that.

Plus: Kevin Fiala is starting to get rolling. And not a minute too soon, either.

Minus: How you gonna let Jeff Skinner score like that?

Plus: I say it every week, but that’s because we say it every game...Pekka. Freaking. Rinne.

Minus: If you start woo-ing during a sporting event and your name isn’t Ric Flair, you should be hit with paintballs. Stop it. Get some help.

Minus: Pretty much the whole first period in Vancouver.

Plus: That’s a nice tip-in by Ryan Hartman.

Plus: Seems the guys woke up a bit, albeit too late.

Minus: First NHL goal given up on the first shot of the game.

Plus: Great redirection by Colton Sissons. That more of a tumbler pass from Roman Josi rather than a saucer pass, but hey, whatever puts the puck in the net.

Plus: A great shot from Craig Smith to tie things up. Two points may very well come out of this.

Minus: Never mind. It’s too bad Garnet Hathaway plays for Calgary, because holy moly was that a tip-in.

Minus: Freddy Gaudreau, what you doing? Awful turnover to really give the Flames control.

Plus: Rocco Grimaldi...what a pure effort to save a goal. Trust me, that does not go unnoticed.

This week’s grade

Injuries aren’t an excuse, they’re a reality. And the reality is that the offensive depth isn’t there. However, the rest of the league doesn’t care about the injury list. The guys on the ice must execute to the best of their ability, however limited it might be. For one night this week, they did that. For the other two, they simply didn’t show up quickly enough to take advantage. Calgary isn’t a bad team, either, but some poor decisions helped contribute to that loss. Fair warning: Until guys start to return, this isn’t going to get any better. The Preds have to weather the storm with the group they have. If they can do that and not lose significant ground over the next 3-4 weeks, the second half of the season could be fun to watch. This week’s grade: D

Your turn: On a scale of 1-10 (10 being the most concerned), how concerned are you about the next month while some key players try to return?

Poll

Who gets the Player of the Week honor for Week 9?

This poll is closed

  • 33%
    Colton Sissons
    (11 votes)
  • 12%
    Kevin Fiala
    (4 votes)
  • 30%
    Rocco Grimaldi
    (10 votes)
  • 3%
    Craig Smith
    (1 vote)
  • 21%
    Other
    (7 votes)
33 votes total Vote Now