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Five-Hole Friday: All That Glitters is Gold

This week’s edition features #PredsMoms, slumps, All-Star Games, and Finland.

NHL: Philadelphia Flyers at Nashville Predators Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

2019 All-Star Game

Pekka Rinne and Roman Josi were voted to attend the 2019 NHL All-Star Game in a few weeks in San Jose. Both have appeared in All-Star Games before. You’ll remember Rinne’s ridiculous save on Connor McDavid from last year’s 3-on-3 tournament:

P.K. Subban was not voted to the Central Division team after representing Nashville in the last two All-Star Games.

Filip Forsberg can be voted to the Central Division team as the “Last Man In.” You vote for Forsberg the same way you voted for your All-Star Game captains...via the NHL app. You can vote up to 10 times per day until 11:00 PM (Central) on January 10th.

Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin has said he will sit out this year’s ASG in order to maintain his health and continue to focus his efforts towards another Cup championship. The All-Star Game itself is polarizing. Some fans love the skills competition and 3-on-3 play...other fans feel like it’s a waste of time and boring.

If you’re someone like me, you enjoy anything hockey-related and think the ASG is pretty solid entertainment.

AHL All-Star Game

Milwaukee’s Matt Donovan was selected yesterday for the AHL All-Star Game. Donovan has 21 points (10 goals, 11 assists) in 35 games for the Admirals.

The Admirals have signed a bunch of guys to PTO agreements. With Eeli Tolvanen in Canada for the World Juniors and Rocco Grimaldi with the Predators, the Admirals are looking for any depth they can get.

They’re on a road trip and face the Wilkes-Barre–Scranton Penguins on Saturday.

Like the Predators, the Admirals began 2019 with a win. On a newly formed line with Joe Pendenza and Jared VanWormer, both PTO additions, Yakov Trenin buried the first goal of 2019 for the Admirals. Look for more in-depth analysis in the next Milwaukee Musings from Eric and me.

Peaks and Valleys

The Colorado Avalanche have had a rough few games. They’ve lost 12 of their last 16 games to teams like the Arizona Coyotes, Chicago Blackhawks, and Los Angeles Kings. Their top line is overloaded with talent, but the Dallas Stars have snuck past Colorado in the standings. The Avalanche clearly need some secondary scoring.

For perspective, Nashville has gone 4-5-1 in their last 10 games. The Avalanche have gone 2-5-3, dropping some heartbreakers in overtime.

Philipp Grubauer has been leaned on heavily during this slump. He’s played 18 games and Semyon Varlamov has played 25. Grubauer has a .899 Sv% and a terrifying 3.26 GAA.

What causes a team to go through losing slumps? For Nashville, it was injuries. Once Colorado breaks out of this slump, they should look like the team they will be in April. I’d pick Colorado to snag a wild card spot unless they completely derail. Colorado’s Mile High Hockey takes a look at shooting percentage regression here.

The Avs have something positive to look forward to. It was announced on Tuesday that the Avalanche will host the 2020 Stadium Series game at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs. I’d love nothing more than for Nashville to square off against the Avalanche in this game...the opponent has yet to be announced.

Finland

Rinne, Juuse Saros, and Miikka Salomäki have to all be thrilled with Finland’s OT win on Wednesday in the IIHF World Juniors Championship. Eeli Tolvanen created a play out of nothing to get the tying marker late in the third period.

Canadian goaltender Michael DiPietro shut down Tolvanen for the entire game. Predators Twitter reacted appropriately and noted that Tolvanen couldn’t buy a goal against Canada. We hope he has a better showing tonight against Switzerland tonight (7 pm Central on NHL Network).

There are a few names on the Finnish squad that could be targets for this year’s Entry Draft. Kaapo Kakko will likely go #2 in the Entry Draft this summer. Anton Lundell is already in the conversation for 2020’s first round. More Finns, please.

Tolvanen was interviewed in an IIHF official post yesterday. Check it out here.

Who is going to take the gold medal in this year’s World Juniors Championship?

Poll

Who will win gold in the 2019 IIHF World Junior Championship?

This poll is closed

  • 48%
    Finland
    (19 votes)
  • 38%
    United States
    (15 votes)
  • 5%
    Switzerland
    (2 votes)
  • 7%
    Russia
    (3 votes)
39 votes total Vote Now

#PredsMoms

We were all thrilled with Grimaldi’s tip-in goal in Washington. Even better was the reaction of his mom seated with the other #PredsMoms in the box. She quickly became a sensation for the Preds fanbase as she wiped away tears after her baby boy Rocco’s goal.

The game against the Capitals became less about hockey and more about the moms. Fox Sports-TN gave viewers plenty of things to love about each Predator mom.

We saw Ryan Johansen’s mom celebrate with high-fives. We were treated to Momma Rinne and Momma Salomaki dancing and hugging after Miikka’s slick tally. Momma Ellis calmly clapped for her ginger-bearded son Ryan Ellis’s goal. Even Momma Gaudreau got in on the celebrations. It’s evident the #PredsMoms had a big impact on the 6-3 win in Washington.

Momma Grimaldi reacted appropriately the next game, too. She was in the crowd at Bridgestone Arena. Later on, Momma Arvidsson celebrated Viktor’s goals with his wife. We were also treated to Momma Saros taking plenty of videos of her son Juuse’s shutout victory over the Flyers.

In all seriousness, the Mom Trip is an incredible way to celebrate moms. Every single Predator played his butt off in Washington. After plenty of trips with their fathers, the boys appeared to benefit from some motherly love on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. The Predators did EVERYTHING right here...including plenty of #PredsMoms reaction videos and celebrations.

Bravo, Predators.