Inside The Rivalry: St. Louis Blues
The Predators did not fare so well last season against the Blues. One thing they did prove though, they are a thorn in the side of St. Louis.
It is no secret there is no love lost between the Nashville Predators and the St. Louis Blues. The two clubs are always seemingly battling each other for a playoff spot.
The Blues have finished in the top two of the division each of the last five years while winning it in both 2011 and 2014. The best the Predators have finished in that time span was second in, you guessed it, both 2011 and 2014.
The Blues organization appears to be in a position that the Predators are trying to reach: making the playoffs consistently while having a shot at the division crown. With the addition of a first-line center and a younger, more mobile defensive unit, 2016 may be the year that Nashville finally surpasses St. Louis.
RECORD AGAINST LAST SEASON
Last season the Predators were 1-4 against the Blues. Two of those losses came in shutouts. Their only win being a 5-0 victory in February in which Filip Forsberg scored a hat trick and Pekka Rinne had a 28-save shutout.
The Blues dominated the Predators in their 4 wins, outscoring them 12-5. Jake Allen went 3-1 against Nashville, including his 45 save shutout in their first meeting. Allen seems to have the Predators number.
BEST PLAYER FROM LAST SEASON
An honorable mention goes to Colin Wilson, who was the only other Predator to score multiple goals, but without a doubt it was Filip Forsberg.
He finished the series with three goals, two assists, and five points. In the Predators only win, Forsberg notched his second natural hat trick in three games and also added an assist.
BEST GAME FROM LAST SEASON
The December 29 game in St. Louis was hands down the best game of the series last year. I know what you’re thinking, why is this the best game when the Predators lost? Well, simply put, the team fought back from a two-goal deficit in the final three minutes to tie it up with a shot to win in overtime.
After a Kevin Shattenkirk goal made it 3-1 Blues, Shea Weber and Colin Wilson both scored within 2:20 of each other to bring the Predators back and tie it with 1:32 remaining. They did lose in overtime, but after the first two minutes of the third period the fact that they made it to overtime showed the never-quit mentality of the team that helped them reach the playoffs; a thought that seemed unlikely during the middle of the season.
BEST MOMENT FROM LAST SEASON
Colin Wilson earns his second honorable mention with his game-tying goal with 1:32 remaining in third period of the December 29 meeting that forced overtime.
But ask anyone, the most memorable moment was Filip Forsberg’s second natural hat trick in three games. This coming just four days after he had a natural hat trick against the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Filip Forsberg’s second natural hat trick in 3 games #Preds #STLvsNSH: pic.twitter.com/FLmnPii5lO— Mark Harris (@MCHisTweeting) February 27, 2016
It was the shortest time span between natural hat tricks since 1987-88. In addition, it was the third of the team’s four hat tricks last season, a new franchise record. It was all part of a span of 12 goals in 11 games for Forsberg.
BOLD PREDICTION FOR THE 2016-17 SEASON
I predict the Predators will win four of their five games against the Blues this year. Yes, I know the Predators record against the Blues is just 9-16 in the last five seasons. Yes, I also know that the Predators struggle against Blue goaltender Jake Allen.
However, with Ryan Johansen leading the first line and P.K. Subban replacing Shea Weber on blue line, this team is more of a scoring threat than in years past. Plus, with Subban’s added speed, the Predators will be better equipped to slow down the speedy Vladamir Tarasenko.