Power Play: Fisher still pivotal to Preds lineup
Even though he was held off the scoreboard, the presence of Mike Fisher seemed to boost the play of the forwards around him. Nashville needs more of that in the next handful of games.
Out-shooting the competition in the first? Good job, good effort.
Nashville was a shade over one minute away from ending the first period with 15 shots and zero goals to show for it.
This, however, isn't the first time during the 2015-16 season that I have written something noting that, and I venture to guess it won't be the last time, either.
The major problem here is that the Predators can exit the gate absolutely firing on all cylinders against their opponent and have plenty of shots to show for it, but not a single goal. Filip Forsberg saved Nashville during the first against the Rangers on Monday evening, but it was quite close to being another spin of the same broken record.
Now, how come this is the case?
Some of it's due to Nashville's shot pressure from near the blue line, which nearly half of the shots in the first period came from.
Another reason? Not enough high danger scoring chances. Per War-On-Ice, the Predators forced 13 scoring chances in the first with only two of those being in high danger areas. New York, on the other hand, had six scoring chances with four of those being high danger.
Ultimately, Nashville is essentially a feisty chihuahua in the first period some nights: lots of bark, but not much bite.
Benefits of Mike Fisher's return
Colton Sissons did a great job in his time up with the Predators, where I fully believe he would do well with a permanent role on the team, however Fisher's return is exactly what Nashville has needed for a while.
Not only did Fisher contribute six shots attempted along with three hits, but his faceoff percentage was near the top for the Predators on the night with 59 percent (10 for 17).
Granted, Fisher is best suited in a second-line center position, maybe even a third-line center if Nashville was to trade for an elite number one center. With him in the lineup, however, he provides the Predators with a center that has the experience to not only drive the puck to the net and force traffic on opposing goaltenders, but also forecheck and poke the puck back into their possession.
Nashville relies on Fisher's style of play, whether they think they do or not. He's as much a pivotal part of the roster as any of the rest of the leadership group is at this point, and it shows when he's absent.
Disallowed goal leads to opposite result that I thought would happen
Raise your hand if you thought that New York would tie up the game after Forsberg's beauty of a goal off the back of Dominic Moore was disallowed nearly midway through the third period?
I certainly have my hand raised.
I'm vastly surprised at how tenacious the Predators were on the next shift after the overturned call on the ice. They ended up scoring three goals over the next six minutes thanks to Craig Smith, James Neal and Ryan Ellis.
Although the Rangers made it interesting late in regulation with two of their own, Nashville had that game locked up with nearly ten full minutes of regulation left to go.
It's a tad disappointing that it took a goal being revoked for the Predators to really wake up from their second period lull. To give credit where it's due, though, Nashville is a team that -- when they want to and the bounces are going its way -- they can score at will.
Yes, the bounces do matter. Forsberg's disallowed marker, Smith's high tip and Neal's second of the night are perfect examples of bounces going the right way. Outside of a weird night against Detroit last Saturday night, Nashville has played some very good hockey over the last four games.
That, though, is what they need. Hopefully for the Predators it will continue.
Mike Ribeiro, Nashville Predators -- Three assists in his first three-point outing in nearly a full calendar year. His fantastic one-handed pass on Smith's goal midway through the third period was one of the better plays he's made all season.
Roman Josi, Nashville Predators -- Right now, there's not a whole lot that Josi can do wrong. He's making fantastic passes and he's scoring some amazing goals. Two assists on the night for Josi as he continues to pace the Preds in points
Filip Forsberg, Nashville Predators -- Part of me wanted to give this to James Neal, but in the same regard I felt that Forsberg did better work on the ice and what should have been a second goal was truly a thing of beauty. It's a shame it wasn't counted.