What Happened Last Night: Nashville Predators vs. Chicago Blackhawks Game 1

Let's hold hands and walk through the fires together.

There are some narratives that do not die. Some are brought up to win arguments, some linger and fester despite being proven wrong because enough people believe them. And some are just proven right time and time again.

You can be the judge on what happened last night.

Preds Lose to Chicago

How they lost:

Let's not get it twisted. Nashville got some bounces and made Corey Crawford into the guy weeping quietly at the TD Garden in 2013.

Watch Colin Wilson make Michael Roszival look like a guy stumbling down Wacker Avenue.

OH MAN. Colin Wilson's subtle move causes the aging defender who is relying more on guile than speed at this point to bet one way, and ends up leaving Crawford out to dry. Wilson buries it. Place erupts. Cool.

But they weren't done. And neither was Crawford.

In addition to heroic goals and being a gorgeous man with deadly hands, James Neal has been very threatening in the offensive zone all year even when the other team has the puck. He's got a good mind for the game and knows where the puck is headed.

Nashville would take on a power play marker from Wilson by way of Seth Jones, and go to the locker room up 3-0. And we felt good.

But despite our best efforts, the NHL insists on playing 60 minutes.

The teams swap penalties, and Chicago gets it back to 3-1. What happened next should infuriate you further.

Versteeg's best Shawn Michaels overselling impersonation earned a Blackhawks power play, which was cashed in to tie the game. I actually thought Kris Versteeg should've already got the Golden Globe for the Anton Volchenkov call, but he apparently had work left to do.

Here's what we learned from last night: Nashville looked like the much better team during 5 on 5 play, but Chicago's power play was murderous. And Chicago knows it. Why else would you see this stuff?

But still the team had a chance to win a period and win a period and win a hockey game against a goalie that was deemed expendable by the organization. Yes, that same team currently employs Carter Hutton. Guess who he used to play for.

And boy... did they come close.

Credit where it's due, Scott Darling played the game of his life. But he's not a bad netminder at all. In fact, Stan Bowman might have a damn near untradable goalie contract in Crawford now. Not my circus, not my elephants. But hot damn that's a big moment for a guy and he measured up.

So in overtime, we nearly had a riot in Nashville.

That looked bad. But it actually looks worse in real time.

My word. But okay, so the refs are lettin' em play. Prison Rules, as Daryl Reaugh would say.


Since NBC thought it was a great idea to send Pat Foley and his inventive vowel sounds to Nashville, here's his call on Duncan Keith's play on Taylor Beck.

You're mad. Good. I guess if the Blackhawks are anything, they are clutch. And Pat Foley is so insufferable to me. It's his voice, his cadence, his calls... I actually prefer Jack Edwards. At least I'll be entertained in a Jesse Ventura kind of way.

And the narratives can resume.

That guy works for ESPN.

Luckily, the game didn't end with Seth's penalty. Seth Jones had a very good game, and seemed much more comfortable having Anton Volchenkov watching his back. Lower Broadway may have been a pile of smoltering rubble if the game had ended on his penalty. Nashville looked like the more dangerous team in OT, and peppered Darling for his part in the net. But of course, this had to end. It's not the ending that we wanted either.

I said before the series that Nashville had to get Chicago down 2-1 in the series, and that's still possible. Their penalty-fest in the second period killed their chance at taking game 1, and now they face an uphill battle going forward. But Rinne looked sharp. That's encouraging, and if Chicago has questions in their own net, that's great news too. There's plenty of positives from this, but not the one that really mattered.

We can be mad as hell about the calls and non-calls. Remember, that is part of what you signed up for. This franchise is the equivalent of a punk rocker in church. Your team is not going to get those calls. They aren't. You are the Sacramento Kings taking on the Lakers. You are the Miami Hurricanes taking on Notre Dame. You don't leave it up to the league. You win the damn game by putting pucks past the goalie and grinning in the faces of people like Dick Ebersol.

But not being able to get a puck past Darling for the better part of 4 periods of hockey and over 40 shots was why the Predators lost. If Nashville cleans up their PK and the game is called a bit better, they'll win that game if its replayed the same way. But it's done and dead and gone. On to Friday.

Go gold team.

And by the way, Tennessean, quit embarrassing the city with your attempts at being cute and get back to embarrassing the city in your normal ways.

Stay in your lane, 1100.