Nashville Predators 3, Columbus Blue Jackets 5 - No Lead is Safe
Hey Predators - we already saw this episode of hockey against L.A. Why did you go and do it again?
Today we welcome guest contributor Soloman Ledford for today’s game recap. Sol is a veteran of the US Marine Corps and a lifelong hockey fan and we’re very excited to bring you this recap!
“Strike hard, strike fast, no mercy.”
This mantra is from the fictional Cobra Kai dojo and carried over to the start of tonight’s contest against the Columbus Blue Jackets. Quickly established, Nashville went to work early by establishing the aggressive forecheck and transition game. The Predators continued to have their eyes up ice as they were chomping at the bit to expose any openings given.
During the first period, a strong defensive stop at the blue line sparked a transition opportunity seeing Tanner Jeannot opening tonight’s scoring by being tenacious on the puck and continuing to jab at a loose puck.
Later that same period, a similar course of events plagued Columbus. Nino Niederreiter carried the puck into the offensive zone during an odd man rush and connected with a trailing Mattias Ekholm. Ekholm puts the puck on net where it finds a bulky Ryan Johansen ready to sneak it past Elvis Merzlikins on the second effort backhand try.
The second period showed Nashville taking the foot off the gas pedal as Columbus established their offensive game. CBJ were engaged more so this period and looked livelier for the puck in the 50/50 scenarios. Each squad notched a goal thus ruining the shutout for backup goaltender Kevin Lankinen. Although the opposition scored, #32 provided a cool collected stability in the net. This was not present during the 21’-22’ season as Dave Rittich didn’t fill the role during his tenure on Broadway. This is where the steam began building up as the volcanic Jackets were bursting at the seems to blow this open.
Entering the third, the Predators got smacked in the mouth early, beginning an abysmal period of hockey. Johnny Gaudreau scored within the first minute of the period. A sloppy miscue coughed up the puck and the Blue Jackets capitalized on it. Continuing in the period, the Blue Jackets had a sense of urgency and the tide turned in their favor. Danforth deflated an already reeling Predators squad as he evened things up in the third. Calling back on the mantra aforementioned, mercy has been shown by Nashville and the Jackets took advantage of it. The Blue Jackets rode the wave of a strong start to the third and the Predators failed to match the adjustments as the period continued. They took the lead and to top the cake, they ice the game with an empty net goal.
In Conclusion, another hot start fizzles out prematurely as the Nashville Predators fail to protect an early lead. They “Hit hard” “Hit fast” yet showed way too much mercy in the second and third periods.Next up is a Saturday night matchup as Philadelphia comes to town.
Three Stars of the Game
First star: CBJ F Nick Blankeburg
Second star: CBJ F Johnny Gaudreau
Third Star: CBJ F Justin Danforth