Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Game Recap: Kings Break Streaks, Beat Preds 2-0

Coach Barry Trotz speaks

Pekka Rinne, Dan Hamhuis, Joel Ward and Steve Sullivan speak

Terry Murray, Jonathan Bernier, Jack Johnson, and Matt Green speak

The Los Angeles Kings came into Music City on a four game losing streak and had also lost seven in a row to the Nashville Predators. Both streaks were snapped in a 2-0 victory over the Preds when rookie Jonathan Bernier stopped all 34 shots that Nashville sent his way.

Scott Parse scored the game winner at 7:50 in the third period on a play where there was a lot of traffic in front of Preds goaltender Pekka Rinne and he was able to slip it into the net.

The Kings got an insurance goal from Sean O'Donnell with 2:01 left in the game. Both teams were down a man due to a double cross checking penalty that had sent Steve Sullivan and Drew Doughty to the bench at 16:45.

The Kings held on through the last two minutes of the game as the Preds were unable to mount a charge during the goalie pull.

Bernier was near perfect on the evening and never seemed to lose composure when pressured by the Predator attack.

Pekka Rinne actually played a great game making several highlight reel saves before giving up the two late goals. For the game Rinne stopped 29 of 31 King's shots.

The Predators remained in fifth place in the Western Conference by the slimmest of margins. With Detroit and Los Angeles winning, the Preds are only a point ahead of the Wings and two points ahead of the Kings. Both teams have two extra games to play and accumulate additional points.

Storylines From The Game

Jonathan Bernier's First Career Shutout...

Jonathan Bernier played with the composure far beyond what you would expect from a 21 year old who had only played five prior NHL games.

He was elated after the game saying, "It's great! The guys had a really good game. They played the way they are capable of playing. We blocked shots at the right time and their sticks did not allow deflections."

Coach Terry Murry was complementary of Bernier, "He had a pretty big game here today. This is a building where we haven't had much success. You see his composure in net. The season he has played in the minors has done good things for him. He's showing signs of becoming a really good goaltender at this level."

Predators Third Period Let Down...

The Predators continue to struggle, giving up a pair of critical goals in the third period, in three of the last four games.

Monday night, the Preds fell behind Florida when they gave up two goals in the third before coming back to tie and win in overtime.

Last Tuesday, against the Stars, the Preds gave up two goals in the third to lose 3-1. A similar scenario happened on Thursday against the Coyotes when the Preds gave up two goals late in the third and were forced to overtime before eventually winning in a shootout.

"I don't think our energy was where it needed to be tonight, mentally or physically," stated Dan Hamhuis. "Mentally, we didn't have the urgency. It has been a long month and the schedule lightens up here in the next week so we can re-energize."

Predators Scoring Scarcity....

Tuesday's game was the second straight game where the Preds were shutout at home. Last Saturday against the Wings, neither team dampened the net until the shootout.

Barry Trotz commented, "We weren't sharp in the first period, but in the second and third, we shot hard but couldn't get one by them and they capitalized on their chances. This time of year, it's been tough to score. The last seven games have been 0-0 or 1-1 for most of it and there's not much going on in terms of offense."

"It's been tough, I don't know what the reason is, " said Pekka Rinne. "Tonight their goalie played really well and I don't want to take too much away from him. It's all about execution, having guys screening and staying in front of the net. Maybe we need to improve that side of the game a little bit."

Up Next...

The Predators will take Wednesday off before returning to the ice on Thursday at the Bridgestone Arena against the St. Louis Blues. After that, they will play in Detroit on Saturday, in Phoenix next Wednesday, and then return home on April 10 for the season finale against the Blues.

More Later...

Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass

Monday, March 29, 2010

Game Recap: Cube's Goal Gives Preds 3-2 Win in OT

The Nashville Predators came from behind to beat the Florida Panthers 3-2 in overtime at the Bank Atlantic Center on Monday night. It was only the Pred's second win at the BAC, with the other coming in December 2002.

Francis Bouillon "Cube" scored a goal exactly one minute into overtime to win the game for the Predators. Bouillon had never scored a game winner in overtime and more than made up for his inability to tie last Saturday's game in the eleventh round of the shoot out against Detroit.

The Predators went ahead at 2:41 in the second period on a goal by David Legwand that broke his scoreless drought that dates back to January 2, when he scored against the Ducks.

The 1-0 Predator lead held until early in the third period when Florida came back with goals by Keith Ballard and Stephen Weiss 2:41 apart to give the Panthers a 2-1 lead.

The Panthers seemed to have the upper hand until Patric Hornqvist scored with 3:12 seconds left to send the game into overtime tied 2-2.

With the goal, Hornquist became the fourth Predator to score 30 goals in a season, joining Steve Sullivan, Paul Kariya and Steve Sullivan. He is now three away from the Pred's single season record of 33 that was set by Jason Arnott last season.

Dan Ellis, playing what may be his final game as a Predator, stopped 27 of 29 Panther shots for his 15th win of the season. Scott Clemmensen took the loss as he allowed three goals on 25 Predator shots.

Storylines From The Game

Extra Time Required Once Again...

For the third game in a row and for the fifth time in the last eight games, the Predators could not settle the matter in sixty minutes of regulation play.

After Saturday's game, Pekka Rinne said the team has come to expect extra play. "I expect that usually when this team wins games it's by one goal, so you expect some games going to overtime or shootout. It's no big deal. I'm still confident we can win if it's overtime or shoot out."

It is that kind of confidence in close, pressure-filled games, that will make this team different than prior Preds playoff teams once the post-season begins.

Without Key Players, Others Step Up...

In Barry Trotz's true "Band of Brothers" fashion, others stepped up when the Preds were without Captain Jason Arnott, Marty Erat, Joel Ward and Denis Grebeshkov.

David Legwand scored his first goal in almost three months and Farancis Bouillon scored only his third goal of the year. Others have moved into new line combinations and played rolls different than they are used to, playing more minutes that they have in the past.

Wade Belak even dressed for the first time in six weeks and managed to scrap with Steve MacIntyre.

When you can win with a mix and match line up on the road in a come from behind game, it gives you things to build on as the playoffs loom near.

Tribute to Dan Ellis...

Pekka Rinne had played nine straight games going into the game with Florida and, barring injury, appears will play the remaining games on the Predators schedule as they have no back to backs and position in the standings will be on the line through the final game.

That being said, Monday's game may have been Dan Ellis' swan song with the Preds, and if it is, it's great to see him going out with a big win in a meaningful game. He has given 110% every time he has taken the ice and has no complained regardless of the role he has been given.

Ellis has been a true Nashville Predator in his 111 games with the team. His 50-42-8 record with 10 shut outs ranks him as one of the all-time best in goal for the Preds. His .924 save percentage led the league in his first season with the Preds in 2007-08.

It is a shame that economics dictate that he will move on to another team this Summer. Pred fans will always have fond memories of Dan and wish him the best wherever he lands.

Up Next...

The Predators return home on Tuesday night for an important match with the L. A. Kings who are four points behind the Preds. The game could provide a four point swing and is critical as the Preds try to maintain their fifth place slot in the Western Conference and shoot of a 100 point season.

More Later...

Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass

Top Eleven Tweets Celebrating David Legwand's Goal

So what do you do when you are 850 miles from where your team is playing and there is no video coverage due to an archaic blackout rule?

You celebrate David Legwand's first goal in almost three months trusting that it really did happen despite a lack of video proof.

And... You steal funny comments from others on Twitter and post them on your blog as a Top 11 List (since Leggy is # 11).

11 - @reagmeister: no more dry spell for leggy!!!!! wahoo!!!!!

10 - @Crackerjen: Go Leggy! WOO HOO! The drought is over!


8 - @stackiii: And with that, David Legwand resets @cellblock303's scoreless streak counter! 1-0 #Preds early in the 2nd!

7 - @mikebarnes5: HOLY s**t!!!!!

6 - @SLakePreds: @goverjkg LEGWAND FROM WILSON!!! TOLD YA!!! 1-0 Preds!!! (I'm sure Seth enjoyed this after his debate with Jeremy earlier today)

5 - @cellblock303: UPDATE: The Legwand-O-Meter stops at 85:21:13:51!!

4 - @jasonbohn9: david legwand? when did he start playing for the predators?

3 - @brandon_felder: I sense a disturbance in the Force... Did Legwand score somewhere? (Just kidding folks).

2 - @Forechecker: It figures David Legwand scores for the 1st time in months, and there's no video proof!

And the number one Tweet goes to....

1 - @whatthepuck: If David Legwand scores a goal but no one was around to see it, did it really happen?

More Later...

Buddy Oakes (and eleven others) for PredsOnTheGlass

NHL's Daly Denies Coyotes to Winnipeg Rumors

The Phoenix Business Journal published a story today that said that the NHL had a back-up plan in place to move the Coyotes to Winnipeg.

The story said, "Two sources with knowledge of the Coyotes finances and ownership said a deal between Thomson and the NHL has been completed in principle and could have the Coyotes back in Winnipeg next season if necessary."

The NHL released their own statement from Bill Daly denying the rumor. Here is the release in its entirety...

Date of Release: Mar 29, 2010
Type of Release: Public Relations

Category: General

Statement from NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly

Contact Information:



NEW YORK (March 29, 2010) -- Bill Daly, Deputy Commissioner of the National Hockey League, today released the following statement:

"In response to the many inquiries we have received in light of the story in the Phoenix Business Journal this morning, we would like to make clear that at this point in time the National Hockey League has no "deal" in place to move the Coyotes' franchise to Winnipeg -- or to any other city for that matter -- in the event a transaction cannot be timely consummated in Glendale. Our focus continues to be on completing a transaction with local ownership that is committed to operating the team in Glendale. Based on the communications and information we are receiving on a regular basis, the stakeholders involved continue to express a high level of confidence that that can be successfully achieved. We will not focus on completing arrangements for one or more alternative option(s) until such time as it may become necessary.

"With respect to Winnipeg and Messrs. Chipman and Thomson, we have had ongoing discussions over time regarding their potential interest in owning an NHL franchise (as we have had with a number of other individuals and cities around North America) and potentially bringing an NHL franchise back to Winnipeg. It remains an intriguing possibility and one we would consider given appropriate circumstances, but there is nothing new to report on that front at this time."

It is a real shame for the Phoenix players, management and fans to receive this type of distraction from the local media in the midst of the best run on the ice in franchise history. Hopefully, this will prompt Ice Edge, Jerry Reinsdorf, or whoever else may be involved to get on the stick and get a deal done,

More Later...

Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Game Recap: Predators Lose to Wings 1-0 in Eleven Round Shoot Out

Coach Barry Trotz speaks

Pekka Rinne, Ryan Suter, David Legwand and J P Dumont speak

Nicklas Lidstrom and Jimmy Howard speak

The Nashville Predators and Detroit Red Wings battled for 65 minutes with neither team able to score a goal before the Wings reigned 1-0 after an eleven round shoot out.

Niklas Kronwall put the puck past Pekka Rinne in the eleventh round to seal the victory for the Wings. It was Kronwall's first ever shootout attempt.

The game was all about goaltending and defense. Jimmy Howard stopped all 33 Predator shots and Pekka Rinne stopped the 38 shots that the Wings threw at him as each recorded a shut out.

Storylines From the Game

Eleven Round Shoot Out...

A new Predator record was set when the shoot out went past the ten rounder that the Preds had with Phoenix on February second which was also a double shut out.

"It was a good game", said Barry Trotz. "Both teams didn't give an inch and we saw it go eleven shooters deep and it was a great goaltending performance by both those guys. Unfortunately they snuck one by us."

On how he plans for a long shootout Trotz explained, "We talk with Mitch Korn who looks at the other goaltenders, and the style and tendencies, and usually before the game we go five guys deep and then go from there."

"It was a good game for both sides." Trotz said. "It was going to be tough to have a loser in that game. You go eleven rounds deep in the shootout, that's good goaltending. That's the way it is."

On going eleven deep in a shootout, Pekka Rinne said,"At that point, it is like flipping a coin. It's always going to end up like that and someone squeaks one by you. Obviously, I was mad right afterward, but it was a solid effort and we picked up one point. I'm sure this will turn out to be a big point."

Predator Defense Solid...

The Predator's defense played one of their best games of the year. There were minimal second chance goals on rebounds as the team swarmed the slot and cleared pucks consistently.

"There wasn't many second chance shots," Explained Trotz, " That is what Detroit is really good at, keeping pucks alive in the slot, and breaking you down defensibly by throwing pucks there and crashing the net and we did a pretty good job."

Trotz continued, "We tried to take a little bit of their game away from them and I think we did a pretty good job in some areas.."

Pekka Rinne was also pleased with the Defense, "The guys played so well. Tonight, we had a lot of blocked shots. Even forwards diving in front of the puck and sacrificing their bodies. That was a good team effort."

Playoff Chase..

The point gained by the Predators kept them in fifth place at 92 points. The Wings are a point behind and have played one less game. Los Angeles and Colorado both lost on Saturday and are two and three points back respectively, and each have two games in hand.

Calgary suffered the biggest blow of the day to their playoff hopes, losing 5-0 in Boston. They are now six points out of eighth place with seven games to play and face the Washington Capitals on Sunday afternoon.

Up Next...

The Predators leave on Sunday foe South Florida and a Monday night match with the Florida Panthers. They return to the Bridgestone Center on Tuesday to play the Los Angeles Kings.

More Later...

Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass

Friday, March 26, 2010

Predators Move Closer to Playoff Lock and Friday Round-Up

The Nashville Predators moved closer to a playoff berth last night with their 4-3 overtime win over Phoenix. Before the game started, I said that it would be great if the Preds won in overtime so that the Coyotes would still get a point.

It was the first time in history that I actually wanted to see a three point game because we have been pulling for the Yotes to do well. When the Preds were up 3-1 well into the third, I never imagined that overtime was a possibility, but you never know.

With the win and the Calgary loss to the Islanders, the Preds are back up to a 99% chance of a playoff position. Barry Trotz repeated his prediction that it will take 97 points to make the playoffs. Calgary would have to go 7-1 to get to that level so Barry may be shooting high since that seems unlikely.

Saturday's game with the Red Wings will be another big test for the Predators as it will directly affect the standings with a possible four point swing if it ends in regulation.

The Preds went into Detroit three weeks ago and failed miserably with a weak effort. Hopefully, we will see a better effort at home tomorrow night.

Special Thanks...

We'd like to give a special thanks to Mark Willoughby for inviting us down to his palatial lower bowl seats for last night's game. It was good to see the game from a different angle and enjoy the company of Mark and his lovely wife.

Predators - Coyotes Wrap-Up

Here is our story and interviews from last night.

John Glennon has the game story, notes column and postgame ponderings.

Jim Diamond has his game story at the Examiner.

David Boclair reports from the City Paper.

In the blogs there are posts from Forechecker, Brandon Felder, View from 111, and See Puck City.

The other side of the story comes from the Arizona Republic, Five for Howling, the Phoenix Examiner and The Coyotes Aggregator.

In Pred Nation...

Three Predator prospects received high honors from the OHL for their play this season.

David Poile gave high praise to the Coyotes yesterday at Inside Predators.

The Admirals got beat by the last place Grand Rapids Griffins 3-2 last night.

Mark Willoughby has his weekly View column.

Around the NHL...

After all the posturing, the "head shot" rule was approved yesterday by the NHLPA and was in effect for last night's games.

A shocker last night was the Blue Jacket's 8-3 blow out of the Blackhawks. Even more shocking was how Joel Quenneville handled Christobal Huet. The Hockey Writeres have the story.

For updates on the NCAA Hockey Tournament this weekend, Inside College Hockey has wall to wall coverage.

Hockey's Future finishes their top 50 prospect list with the top 10. They also have their results on their poll of who will win the Calder Trophy. Finally,they have a preview of prospects playing in the NCAA tournament.

Matt Reitz has an interesting view of different fan perspectives.

Puck the Media has a guest post with a review of the NHL 3D game in New York. Here's another side of the story from Intent to Blow.

From @BenThrashers: Wayne Gretzky radio interview on CBC... from 1974. He was 13.

Odds and Ends...

I have really enjoyed the BBGeeks web page for teaching me what I wiould know if I read my instruction book. Adding a participant to a phone call is really easy.

More Later...

Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass

Game Recap: Predators Beat Coyotes 4-3 in Shoot Out

Coach Barry Trotz speaks to the media

Steve Sullivan, Patric Hornqvist and Pekka Rinne speak

Coach Dave Tippett, Shane Doan and Lee Stempniak speak

The Nashville Predators gave up two goals in the third period, allowing the Phoenix Coyotes to tie the game, but rallied in the shoot out to come away with a 4-3 win.

David Legwand scored the shoot out winner on Ilya Bryzgalov to seal the win for the Predators who have won seven of their last eight contests. Phoenix has now lost two in a row after a nine game win streak.

Phoenix took an early 1-0 lead in the game when Lee Stepniak scored early in the first period.

Nashville came back with three unanswered goals from Patric Hornqvist, Steve Sullivan and Dan Hamhuis to take a 3-1 lead into the final period.

Phoenix came back with two quick goals by Wojtek Wolski and Keith Yandle in the third period to force the game into overtime.

Both teams skated well in the extra period but neither could close the deal.

In the shoot out, Lee Stempniak and Cal O'Reilly traded first round goals before David Legwand had the winner in the third round.

Adrian Aucoin had never missed a shootout goal, after going five for five recently, but was stopped by Pekka Rinne in the second round.

Pekka Rinne got the victory stopping 32 of 35 Coyote shots while Ilya Bryzgalov stopped 28 of 31 Predator shots.

Storylines From The Game...

Beating a Team That Has Been Great in Overtime...

Phoenix has been a league best 12-5 in the shoot out this year and had phenomenal success in all games that went past 60 minutes with a 17-6 record. The Predators were fortunate to win against such imposing odds.

Barry Trotz found positives in coming back with a win in the shoot out after giving up a two goal lead. "These guys are excellent in the shoot out and overtime and have a lot of wins and a lot of points in the extra session. That's what I'm focusing on is that we found a way to win and that is real important."

Trotz also explained his choice of David Legwand as the final shooter, "If you look at a lot of our shoot outs, Leggy's been the clutch guy. He a guy that came through when we were down or when we needed a goal. He's been real clutch, and we felt he would be clutch again, and he was."

Patrick Hornqvist discussed having to go to overtime, and summed up the thoughts of the whole team, "When you are in the car on the way home you have two points and that's all that matters."

Predators Played with Improved Inspiration...

After a somewhat lackadaisical outing on Tuesday, that cost them two points, the Predators played with more jump and energy from the start of the game. It is hard to comprehend why one game can be so different from another.

"That's the game of hockey, some nights you got it and some nights it's harder to get," explained Steve Sullivan. "In 82 games in a season, you are not going to be at your best. Our job as professionals is to make sure you minimize mistakes when you are not at your best and try not to hurt your hockey club and when you do have it, you try to make the most of your opportunities."

Scary Third Period Letdown...

For the second game in a row, the Predators gave up two third period goals at an inopportune time. Fortunately, they were able to recover in the shoot out to salvage the much needed two points.

Steve Sullivan discussed the third period, "I think it was a little bit of us. I think we were on our heels trying to protect our lead instead of keep going at it."

Barry Trotz took a lighter approach, "It's the Predator way. It's always exciting and you get your bang for the buck, keeping you here right to the end. No one can leave early."

Trotz then turned more serious stating, "We could have managed the puck a little bit better but I look at it that they are one of the best third period teams in the league. They just come at you with a lot of depth. They activated their D. We didn't manage the puck as well as we wanted but the real positive is that they are something like 34-3-3 when they score the first goal."

Playoff Race Yo Yo...

Every night the Western Conference teams seem to go up and down in the standings. The Predators moved from seventh to fifth with the win on Thursday night.

They finished the evening with 91 points which is a point ahead of Los Angeles, two points ahead of Colorado, and four points ahead of Detroit. Each of those three teams have played two less games and have additional opportunity to gain points.

Calgary, who is in ninth place with 83 points lost to the New York Islanders to give the Predators an eight point cushion in the race for a guaranteed playoff position. Calgary has eight games remaining and the Predators have seven.

Up Next...

The Predators return to the ice at the Bridgestone Arena on Saturday night to face the Detroit Red Wings in an important game as both teams are battling for playoff position.

More Later...

Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Thursday Thoughts and Preds-Yotes Tonight

Tonight's Nashville Predator and Phoenix Coyote match promises to be a sixty minute battle for positioning in the NHL Western Conference.

The Predators fell to seventh place on Wednesday when Colorado beat Los Angeles in a shootout. The Preds have 89 points but have played one less game than the sixth place Avs who also at at 89. The Preds are also a point behind the fifth place Kings and two points in front of Detroit, who the Preds play Saturday.

The Coyotes are in fourth place, one point behind second, and the Pacific Division leading San Jose Sharks. They have a seven point cushion over fifth place so it appears that the top four are set and it will be a battle for position from here on out.

The Predators will be without Joel Ward tonight and the word on Jason Arnott does not sound promising.

Predator's Keys to the Game

Who will Start a New Streak?...

The Preds ended their six game win streak on Tuesday and Phoenix's nine game streak was also stopped by Chicago. One team will win, and plant a seed for a new streak and the other will leave in the midst of a two game late season slide.

Time to Close Ranks...

After a poor effort on Tuesday night, it is time for the Preds to turn up the heat and play like they were playing before that game. They don't need to worry about who is out, but need to find a way to win with those is on the ice.

Full Effort for Sixty Minutes...

I wish Barry Trotz would replay the player's post game interviews to the team right before they hit the ice tonight to remind them of what they don't want to be saying about 9:30 after the game. To a man, each player was disappointed with the effort. Instead of being disappointed, they need to give all they have for the full sixty minutes and let the hockey gods sort it out.

The other side of the story comes from the Arizona Republic and Five for Howling.

In Pred Nation...

Bryan Mullen compares the Preds and Coyotes and says Arnott is day to day in the notes column. There is also the game at a glance.

David Boclair talks about the Predator's short memory at the City Paper.

Mark Willoughby takes on The Hockey News over Ken Campbell's wreckless reporting. This is one of Mark's best. Mark also previews the Pred's Wine Tasting Benefit set for next Wednesday.

Barry Trotz speaks to Slam Sports on the head shot rule and wants the NHLPA to cut out the posturing and get something done now.

Puck Daddy has Joined up with Golden Puck/Northland in the NCAA Hockey Bracket Contest. Locally, Section 303 has a group for friends and Nashvillians. The Group name is Cellblock 303 and the password is their favorite taunt yousuck. All are invited to join the group.

Patric Hornqvist gets some props in Ryan Porth's top five breakout players of the year.

Chris Burton speculates on a rumor that the Predator's third jerseys may become their home jersey next season with a new design for the road jerseys too. Several other teams are changing things up too. Chris also has the game day preview.

Paul McCann has a nice piece about University of Alabama-Huntsville and their NCAA tourney appearance.

Mike Heika writes good things about the Preds at Versus.

Around the NHL...

Darren Dreger has the story of the NHL considering bypassing the NHLPA on their new blindside rule. Without a true leader in place, the NHLPA has left itself open for the league to attempt to circumvent the players. The NHLPA really needs to get on the stick and get someone in charge.The tide could turn if they hire Donald Fehr.

The NHL Lock Out Hat Trick, Intent to Blow has the formula.

Bill Daly was on XM 204 on Wednesday discussing the proposed head shot rule and the stance by the NHLPA.

Forechecker has a frame by frame look at the Volchenkov hit on Simone Gagne from Tuesday with a poll as to whether it was a dirty hit or not.

Brian Metzer has a story of the Penguins releasing a free application for Android phones that Pens fans will enjoy.

From @NHL: Like classic @NHL games? 2day we launched NHL Vault w/growing list of 150+ games dating back to the 60s. Available w/NHL GameCenter Live.

Also from @NHLschuylerb 3/22 Pitt/Det is VERSUS' highest-rated,most watched reg-season game ever,most watched NHL reg-season cable game since '04. 2004 eh? Now what cable network was that on?

Things looked good with the NBC playoff schedule in their initial listings, but now they are skipping the second weekend in May for golf.

The Hockey Zen continues with their fan series with Everett Duke form Atlanta.

Can computers blog better than hacks like us? Read this to see if that is the future of blogging.

Odds and Ends...

With Easter just around the corner, here comes a new study of "Last Supper" artwork that indicates portions sizes have increased over the last 1000 years.

This is really odd. Go to this page and you can see the salary of any Tennessee state employee by putting their name in the blank. Seems like this is some tpoe of privacy violation.

Also in Tennessee, some of you out of staters may find this odd but Tennessee again failed to pass an open container law for passengers in a vehicle. As long as the driver is sober, other folks in the car can get as toasted as they want to be. Historically, this has never passed because too many lawmakers like to party on the way to University of Tennessee football games where they get free tickets.

More Later...

Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Predators Sign Ryan Thang to Two Year Contract

The Nashville Predators signed collegiate prospect Ryan Thang to a two year, two way contract. He will play in Milwaukee for the rest of this season.

Here is the release from the Predators...


Nashville, Tenn. (March 24, 2010) – Nashville Predators President of Hockey Operations/General Manager David Poile announced today that the club has signed forward Ryan Thang to a two-year, two-way contract worth $525,000 per season on the NHL level and $55,000 per season on the American Hockey League level.

Thang, 22 (5/11/87), recently completed his four-year collegiate career at the University of Notre Dame, ranking second on the team in both points (23) – for the third time in four seasons – and goals (9), while serving as captain in his senior season. As a sophomore in 2007-08, the Edina, Minn., native helped the Fighting Irish become the lowest-seeded team in tournament history to reach the NCAA National Championship Game, pacing them in goals (18) and game-winning goals (5), while ranking second in points (32). The 5-11, 189 pounder also led the Irish in goals (20) as a freshman in 2006-07.

Nashville’s fourth choice, 81st overall (third round) in the 2007 Entry Draft, Thang amassed 115 points (57g-58a) in 159 NCAA games. He will report to the American Hockey League’s Milwaukee Admirals for the remainder of the 2009-10 season.

More Later...

Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass

POTG: Wednesday Reflections and Morning Links

Another day and another look at Sports Club Stats to try to make sense of the Western Conference Playoff Race. The Pred's chances for the playoffs fell a bit to 95.6% with a best guess of 4-3-1 for the rest of the season which would give them 98 points and a 99.9% chance of the playoffs. SCS has the Preds pegged for seventh at this point.

Last night's game against the Stars was a real groaner. The Predators toyed with the crowd by keeping it tied until the start of the third period but you could not help but having a nagging feeling that something was wrong and it was just a matter of time before the other shoe fell, and it did.

The line combinations that looked like world beaters last week were in shambles last night with the absence of Jason Arnott and Joel Ward.

It is amazing how winning six games in a row can seem like such a distant memory after you witness a thirty second meltdown that led to a 3-1 loss. Every Predator that we spoke with after the game was ready to put the game behind them and move on to the next one.

Ryan Suter was particularly frustrated and stopped short of going on a rant of his feelings playing against Dallas's trap defense. His blunder at the blue line led to the Star's second goal that basically defined the loss.

Hopefully, this game will act as a wake up call just as the Preds 8-5 loss to San Jose did before the six game winning streak. It would certainly help if Jason Arnott can be ready to play on Thursday night.

As Barry Trotz said at the end of his presser last night, "The most important game of the year is Thursday night against the Coyotes."

Predators - Stars Wrap-Up

Here is our story and interviews from last night.

John Glennon has the game story, notes column and postgame ponderings.

Jim Diamond has his story at the Examiner.

David Boclair reports in from the City Paper.

In the blogs there are posts from Forechecker, Brandon Felder, Section 303, View from 111, AJ, and See Puck City.

The other side of the story can be found at The Dallas Star Telegram and the Dallas Morning News.

In Pred Nation...

John Glennon has a note stating that the Preds have once again made their attendance goal and Forechecker elaborates on it. Dirk points to Ken Campbell as being a "relocation jackel". We linked the story yesterday and I failed to express my true disgust. I got on it in Dirks comment section saying:

Ken Campbell’s article yesterday (Monday) is a piece of crap intended to preach to the Canadian choir and inflame the Make It Seven crowd. Unfortunately, at the most inappropriate time during the playoff run, some local TV station or hack journalist will point to it as a reason to distract potential fans from enjoying the playoff push. I really think some in the local media set a diary as a reminder to stir the “Preds are leaving town” story on a regular basis.

Nate Rau at the Tennesseean also writes about the Preds making the attendance goal.

A new poll at On The Forecheck as to whether Kevin Klein should be scratched when Grebeshkov returns.

I have been told that Pekka Rinne will be Wade Belak's guest at Blackstone tonight. PekkaRinne.com creator Sheri Magrini will also be in the house so if you see her, give her a big Nashville welcome.

Crash the Crease has an interview with Pekka Rinne from Curtis Tudor.

Lance Wilkerson, who is the Sports Director at WEHT in Evansville, came down for last Saturday's game against Columbus and shared a photo essay with us. Yes, that is Section 303's Codey Holland in a few of them. It's always fun to see an out of towner's view od Smashville.

Preds.com has the story of Ravenwood High School winning this year's Predators Cup.

The Milwaukee Admirals did better than the Preds on Tuesday as the beat the other Stars (Texas) 3-2.

Red Light District Radio...

I appeared as a guest host on Ryan Porth's RLD Radio yesterday with The Hockey Guy's Anthony Curatolo and guests Bill Kellett, a Western Canada scout, and Joe Gladziszewski of InsideCollegeHockey.com. It was a good show with plenty of prospect and college hockey discussions.

Around the NHL...

Big controversy developing after last night's decision by the NHL Board of Governors to try to implement a "head shot" rule immediately that involves only supplemental discipline. The NHLPA is not happy that the sequence that is laid out by the CBA wasn't followed.

Paul Kukla looks at the video of Anton Volchenkov's hit on Dan Carcillo last night. From what I understand this is still legal.

A new steroid investigation involved a visit to the Washington Capitals training facility by police. No specific allegations have been made so it will be interesting to see what develops.

Ryan Porth looks at how the schedule would have looked yesterday with a three point per game system. The Wings would be on the outside looking in at this point.

The Penguins are giving away a cool metal commemorative ticket for the last regular season game at Mellon Arena. Brian Metzer has the story. Make sure and watch the video. It is really cool.

Steve Mason had his boyhood dream fulfilled when he faced Marty Brodeur last night.

If things weren't bad enough in Edmonton, they couldn't find anyone to ride the pine pony with goalie gear on last night.

Here's a video of the bench clearing brawl from the Barrie Colts at Sudbury Wolves game on March 20, 2010.

Odds and Ends...

The "Big Middle" has disappeared in the consumer market. This is an interesting look at price and quality in the marketplace.

A new study shows social networking at work boosts productivity. Who knew?

Here's an academic look at Twitter and the influence of Social Media.

75-100 dead snakes in a house is not something you hear about every day.

More Later...

Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Game Recap: Dallas Ends Predators Streak with 3-1 Win

Barry Trotz Post Game Comments

Steve Sullivan, Pekka Rinne, Shea Weber and Ryan Suter speak.

Coach Marc Crawford, Kari Lehtonen, Trevor Daly, and Loui Eriksson speak

The Dallas Stars went into Music City on Tuesday night and came a way with a 3-1 victory over the Nashville Predators that snapped the Pred's six game winning streak in a game that lacked the intensity or drama of recent contests.

Going into the third period the game was tied 1-1 and Dallas jumped on the scoreboard with two quick goals 30 seconds apart, by Loui Eriksson and Matt Niskanen to take a 3-1 lead. From that point forward there was little pressure on either net for the remainder of the game.

In the second period, Trevor Daley scored for Dallas at the 8:10 mark and Shea Weber matched the goal at 16:02 with one of his patented bombs from the point.

In the third period the game appeared over before fans settled into their seats. At 1:30, Eriksson got past Ryan Suter and Shea Weber and slipped a shot past Pekka Rinne on a breakaway that ended up being the game winning goal.

Ryan Suter was willing to take the blame, "I passed it right to their guy. It was a bad play on my part and it cost us."

Thirty seconds later, on the following shift, Brenden Morrow fired a shot into traffic from the blue line that Niskanen tipped into the net to make it 3-1.

Barry Trotz felt that was the turning point, "If it was a 2-1 game, I think maybe we tie it up. With the two goal lead, they were checking too well tonight."

The Predators out shot the Stars 35-14 and had an astounding 70-32 margin in the Corsi numbers.

Kari Lehtonen stopped all but one of the Predator shots for the win. Pekka Rinne only saw 14 shots from the Stars but let three find the net.

Trevor Daley gave Lehtonen credit for the win, "Our goalie was unreal and that was a big part of our win tonight."

Storylines From The Game

All Streaks End at Some Point...

While the Predators dominated on the score sheet they did not have the same level of intensity as they have had in recent games.

"We definitely played with a lack of urgency," said Shea Weber. "We weren't really jumping the pucks and playing the way we are used to. We got a not of shots but none really of great quality."

Steve Sullivan was in agreement, "We didn't play sharp. Maybe it was a lack of urgency on our part. We couldn't sustain pressure. I think that's what kills teams, when you can sustain pressure, you can't kill their will. We couldn't do that. We played soft hockey."

Preds Trapped to Death By the Stars...

Dallas's trap defense kept the Predators from putting as much pressure on the net as they would have wanted. After the Stars went up by two with 18 minutes left in the game, the Stars chose to play defense and only had one shot for the rest of the contest.

Shea Weber discussed the Dallas system, "They are patient. They play a trap system and have the skill and transition to counter on turnovers and make you pay."

"I don't think we had enough guys going to the really hard areas," explained Barry Trotz. We stayed a little bit to the perimeter and you can't do that, not with the way they are playing. You've got to go to the hard areas and win those puck battles."

Western Conference Race Tightens...

With the Predators, Coyotes, and Canucks losing, and Chicago, San Jose, and Calgary winning, the Western conference race became more jumbled.

The Predators stayed in sixth place with 89 points, which is two points ahead of Colorado and four points in front of Detroit. Both the Wings and Avs have played two less games. Calgary picked up a bit of ground and is now six points behind the Preds with a game in hand.

Up Next...

The Predators will continue their homestand on Thursday night against the Phoenix Coyotes who also saw their nine game streak come to an end with a 2-0 loss in Chicago. To a man, each Predator player pointed to the team's short memories of losses and were positive they would be ready for Thursday's game.

More Later...

Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass

Preds Recall Nick Spaling Due to Arnott and Ward Injuries

As several had reported earlier today, Nick Spalling was called up to fill the hole left by Jason Arnott and Joel Ward being out for tonight's game against Dallas.

Here is the Predator's release in it's entirety...


Nashville, Tenn. (March 23, 2010) – Nashville Predators President of Hockey Operations/General Manager David Poile announced today that the club has recalled forward Nick Spaling from Milwaukee (AHL).

Spaling, 21 (9/19/88), has played 21 games for the Predators during his rookie NHL season (one previous recall, Dec. 15-Jan. 30), posting three assists while averaging 10:42 of ice time. Nashville’s third choice, 58th overall (second round) in the 2007 Entry Draft is also averaging 1:40 of shorthanded ice time in 2009-10, fifth-best among rookie forwards. The Palmerston, Ont., native has 17 points (7g-10a) in 48 games for the Admirals in 2009-10.

The Predators – winners of six consecutive games – play their seventh of 10 home games during the month of March tonight when the Dallas Stars come to town (7 p.m.). The three-game homestand continues Thursday against the Pacific Division-leading Phoenix Coyotes and Saturday vs. the two-time defending Western Conference Champion Detroit Red Wings. Tickets to these games, and all other regular season contests, are on sale and can be purchased by logging onto nashvillepredators.com. Tickets are also available by calling (615) 770-PUCK and at all Ticketmaster locations.

More Later...

Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass

POTG Podcast, Pred-Stars Preview, and Tuesday Tidbits

Last night's POTG Radio is now up in podcast form by going to the player below or listening on iTunes.

The show was an extended edition since there was too much to cover in the initial hour of the show. It featured Travis Hair of Five For Howling who covers the the Phoenix Coyotes and Matt Reitz of View From My Seats who follows the the LA Kings, and writes about hockey in general.

It was a fun show with wide ranging discussion that covered all aspects of the Coyotes and Kings as well as many other topics of interest in the Western Conference. With the Kings and Yotes being rivals, there was good natured ribbing as you would expect.

We hope that you will check out the show. It was a fun one to do and I think you will enjoy the discussion.

Preds-Stars Preview

The Preds play the Dallas Stars for the first time since Halloween tonight at the Bridgestone Center.

In another of the numerous quirks in the schedule, the Predators played the Stars three times in October and have not played them since. The Preds won 3-2 on opening night in Dallas, went back there 11 day s later and got white washed 6-0, and then defeated the Stars 4-2 at home on Halloween night.

The game will be a match of teams headed in different directions. The Stars find themselves on the outside looking up, nine points behind Detroit with with ten games left to play. The Preds are in sixth place with 89 points and are scrambling for position in the crowded middle of the Western Conference race.

Predators Keys To The Game

Don't Read the News...

The internet has been full of stories about Pekka being first star of the week and what a great run the Predators are on. The team needs to block out all the accolades and remember how they got there in the first place. Looking at accomplishments can wait until the summer.

Step Up for Injured Comrades...

Injuries are playing an active part in the process as you would expect toward the end of a long hard race. Joel Ward appears lost for a week and Jason Arnott probably won't be at full strength if he returns. Once again, it is time for everyone to step up and fill the voids left by folks who aren't on the ice.

Play a Full 60 Minutes...

This sounds like a broken record (does anyone remember what that means, maybe a scratched CD), but the Preds cannot afford to take any shifts off. The Stars are a desperate team and would like nothing moe than to knock off the Preds. Historically, Dallas has always given the Preds fits and tonight will be no different.

The other side of the game tonight can bee seen at The Dallas Star Telegram and the Dallas Morning News.

Programming Note...

I will again be co-hosting Ryan Porth's Red Light District Radio on BTR today at Noon Central. Ryan reports that "we'll talk of the streaking Coyotes and Predators, along with our top breakout players from this season. Bill Kellett, a British Columbia junior hockey scout, will be our guest... we'll touch on some prospects and the Canucks, who he follows closely. Anthony Curatolo from The Hockey Guys will also be making an appearance. A late addition to our lineup is Joe Gladziszewski from InsideCollegeHockey.com. We'll discuss the upcoming NCAA tournament. It should be a great, jampacked show!!

In Pred Nation...

In addition to being the NHL First star, Pekka Rinne received the THN Player of the Week honor.

John Glennon discusses the impact of the Pred's younger players and has the Game at a Glance. John also has the update on Jason Arnott and Joel Ward.

Hockey's Future continues with positions 11-25 of their Spring top 50. This group includes Colin Wilson and Jon Blum.

David Boclair has more on Pekka's latest success.

Paul McCann has a post about the road trip to St. Louis that he organized.

Chris Burton looks at how much the Preds will have to pony up to keep Patric Hornqvist for next season. He also has his game day preview for tonight's Preds-Stars game.

Ryan at the RLD projects the Preds to finish sixth and play Vancouver in this week's Stretch Run.

Around the NHL...

Ken Campbell at The Hockey News has another stir the pot article that someone locally will pick up on and run with with more "Preds Leaving Town" headlines right during the middle of potentially one of the best runs in franchise history.

Adam Schwartz at looks at the Western Conference race at Inside Hockey.

AJ pointed us to a story about Brittanie Cecil, who was killed by a puck at a Blue Jackets game in 2002. Her legacy in the NHL are the high nets that have become standard in all arena end zones.

The bottom fell out in the ratings for NBC's Sunday Bruins-Ranger's match. When the game was announced it appeared to be a real groaner and it was against NCAA basketball so it should not be completely unexpected.

The Flyers got another blow with word that Jeff Carter has a broken foot, most likely ending his season.

Voting continues for the weekly winners of the Ultimate Leader Sweepstakes and award that will eventually lead to the Messier Trophy.

The producers of Forgotten Miracle and Pond Hockey have a College Hockey Picks Tournament. Pick your brackets to win prizes.

Kevin Greenstein talks dirty hits and respect at Inside Hockey TV.

One of the longest fights I've ever seen was during Saturday's Blues-Devils game between Cam Janssen and Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond. It went on for almost two minutes with plenty of good blows.

Odds and Ends...

From @ApoloOhno: CRAZY @juliannehough I might be taking a detour through Nashville for a meeting..I'll be there for less than 1 day...are you around!@@??? Look for the paparazzi to spot Apolo Ohno.

The last three versions of the Tennessee Blue Book are online. This is the who's who of folks in Tennessee state government.

Maybe someone else is as slow as I am and will find this post on how to make notes on your Blackberry while you are on a call.

More Later...

Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass

Monday, March 22, 2010

Pekka Rinne Named NHL First Star of the Week

Speculation turned to reality this morning when Pekka Rinne was named the NHL's First Star of the Week. In four games, Rinne was 4-0 with two shut outs and a goals against average of 1.22 and a save percentage of .958.

On Tuesday, Pekka stopped 42 of 45 shots as the Preds beat the Flyers 4-3 in a shootout. On Thursday, Rinne was brilliant in a 5-0 whitewashing of Minnesota. He extended his shutout streak on Saturday with a 1-0 overtime win over Columbus. Finally, Rinne's stellar work kept the Preds in Sunday's game with the Blues until their offense could come through in a 3-2 win.

Last Monday, Rinne was named the NHL Third Star of the Week when he was 2-0 and had another shutout.

In December, Rinne seemed somewhat disappointed with not being named to the Finnish Olympic team, but the rest during the Olympic break seems to have turned his season around.

Pekka has mentioned several times that he felt rested after the time off during the break when he traveled back to Finland to relax and have some fun with friends and relatives. On Tuesday, Pekka said "It was good to have a couple of weeks to have time off and think about things other than hockey. I feel like now everybody is more refreshed and energized."

The statistics speak for themselves. Rinne has turned his season around and taken full control of the Pred's number one goalie slot. Since the break, he is 8-1 with a 1.75 GAA, and a .935 save percentage. No other NHL goalie has been as important to their team during the month of March.

For the season Rinne has played 50 games and is 28-13-4 with six shutouts, all coming since the first of December. This follows a superb rookie year when many thought he should have been a finalist for the Calder Trophy, given to the NHL's Rookie of the Year.

As a rookie, Rinne played 52 games and was 29-15-0, with a 2.38 GAA and a .917 save percentage. He also had seven shut outs.

Last month, during the Olympic break, Rinne signed a new two year deal with he Predators so fans can feel secure that the big goalie will be in Nashville through 2012.

Congratulations to Pekka Rinne and his agent Jay Grossman for a job well done!

More Later...

Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass


Here is the full Three Stars Release from NHL.com...

Rinne's big week has Predators on a roll
Monday, 03.22.2010 / 12:05 PM / The Hot List

By John Kreiser - NHL.com Columnist

It has taken Pekka Rinne most of the season to become the unquestioned No. 1 goaltender in Nashville. Now that he is, he's carrying the Predators to the playoffs.

Rinne has been in goal for each of Nashville's last six games -- all victories. He was especially brilliant last week, putting up back-to-back shutouts against Minnesota and Columbus, and stopping 115 of the 120 shots he faced. That effort earned him the honor of being named NHL First Star of the Week.

He has allowed just seven goals in the six wins, three of them shutouts. The hot streak has improved his record to 28-13-4, and propelled the Predators into fifth place in the Western Conference with three weeks left in the season.

Second Star: John Tavares -- The No. 1 pick of the 2009 Entry Draft enjoyed the most productive week of his young NHL career with 3 goals and 7 points in three games -- including a 5-point night as the New York Islanders stunned Vancouver on March 16.

Third Star: Teemu Selanne -- The Finnish Flash joined the NHL's 600-goal club Sunday when he beat Craig Anderson to become the 18th player to reach the milestone. He also had an assist, and has 4 points in Anaheim's last two games.

POTG Radio Tonight and Weekend Wrap-Up

With the Western Conference race tightening up and the Phoenix Coyotes tied for the lead in points, we can assume that many folks probably think hell has frozen over.

Tonight on POTG Radio we will discuss that possibility and many more as we focus on the wild, wild Western Conference. We will have guests that are bitter rivals from the Coyotes and Kings.

First up, we will have Travis Hair of Five For Howling who covers the the Phoenix Coyotes and has joined us many times in the past. Previously, most of the talk has been about ownership and business related stuff, but this time hockey will be front and center.

We will also have Matt Reitz of View From My Seats who follows the the LA Kings. Matt's site is one of the best hockey sites on the internetand he has recently added a few new writers to his stable. We will touch on that and also get in to where the Kings will finish up once it all shakes out.

It should be an interesting show. Please join us Live at 7 p.m. Central or on podcast.

Listen to PredsOnTheGlass on internet talk radio

Preds - Blues Wrap-Up...

Here is our story from last night.

The Tennessean has the AP story since John Glennon's plane had mechanical trouble but John comes through with his postgame ponderings.

David Boclair reports in from the City Paper.

In the blogs there are posts from Forechecker and the View from 111.

Puck Daddy was feeling a little guilt about making a Preds joke on BTR's The Program last night so he named Dustin Boyd the first star of the day. I now have a six pack of Dr Pepper riding on the Preds making the second round.

The other side of the game story comes from the St. Louis Posts-Dispatch and the Belleville Democrat.

In Pred Nation...

Mark Willoughby has a great story about social media in hockey and the Islander's new Director of Social Media, Dani Muccio.

Jim Diamond has his weekly prospect round-up at the Examiner.

Cody Franson and Chet Picard make Hockey's Future top 50 list as they reveal 26-50.

The Admirals beat the Aero's yesterday 2-1 in overtime. Short Shifts has the story.

Her's a neat story from Jessica Bliss on Craig "Parner" Baugh.

Around the NHL...

The NCAA tournament seed were announced yesterday. Here is a page with all the pairings and brackets. It's great to see UAH represent the non-traditional area of the country.

An Interesting analysis of assists by goalies is at Puck Prospectus.

Seam Leahy has the Five Reasons Brian Metzer loves hockey.

More Later...

Buddy Oakes for Preds OnTheGlass

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Game Recap: Predators 3-2 Comeback Gives St. Louis The Blues

The Nashville Predators came from behind in dramatic fashion to beat the St. Louis Blues 3-2 at Scottrade Center on Sunday night.

Dustin Boyd scored his first two goals for the Predators to give the Preds their first goal as well as the game winner. His game winning goal came 48 seconds after Patric Hornqvist had tied the game late in the third period and totally shocked the Blues and their fans.

Pekka Rinne continued his solid play stopping 23 of 25 shots from the Blues. His play during the first period when the Blues were pressuring Nashville's defense kept the Preds in the game giving the offense a chance to get on track.

St. Louis had focused on their final three games with the Predators as an opportunity to make up ground and work their way back in to the playoff picture. The Pred's comeback win severely dampened their hopes.

Chris Mason was the hard luck loser as he played a solid game against the Preds stopping 36 of 39 shots and appeared to be well on the way to victory until the back to back late third period Nashville goals.

Scoring Recap...

The first period was relatively uneventful until Codey Franson was called for tripping at 14:35. St. Louis was able to score with seven seconds left on the man advantage when Dan Hamhuis failed to clear the puck from the Pred's zone. A couple of quick passes left Carlo Colaiacovo with a shot at the open side of the Predator's net ending Pekka Rinne's 146:56 minute scoreless streak and gave the Blues a 1-0 lead.

At 17:54 things continued to deteriorate for the Preds when T. J. Oshie fired a hard slap shot that appeared to catch Francis Bouillon in the ankle. Bouillon left in pain but was able to return for regular shifts in the second period.

The first period ended with the Blues back on the power play after Steve Sullivan was called for hooking at 19:17.

St. Louis out shot the Preds 12-10 and led in the Corsi numbers 17-15. The big difference in shots in the period was on the power play where the Blues had six.

The Predators went on the man advantage at 4:20 in the second period when Oshie pushed Pekka Rinne. The Preds got of three shots but none found the net.

The Blues then went back on the power play at 7:28 when Francis Bouillon was called for holding. Their man advantage was cut short after 1:05 when Keith Tkachuk was called for roughing. The combination of power played ended with neither team scoring.

Dustin Boyd scored his first goal as a Predator at 15:03 when he won a faceoff in the Pred's defensive zone and the puck traveled the length of the ice into the Blues' corner and Jordin Tootoo fought for the puck and sent it to Boyd who buried it past Chris Mason.

The Blues came back with pressure at the end of the period and Pekka Rinne made a highlight reel save as the period wound down. The Predators out shot the Blues 13-6 and led in the Corsi 24-16.

Joel Ward left the game at 4:04 in the second and did not return after he was hit on a no-call that could have been a charging penalty.

Nineteen seconds into the third period, the Predators went on the power play when Andy McDonald was called for holding. The Preds got three shots and Weber hit the crossbar but they could not put the puck in the net.

St. Louis went ahead 2-1 at 3:39 when Carlo Colaiacovo fired a shot at the net and it popped up in the air and David Perron knocked it past Pekka Rinne. The play was reviewed for being played with a high stick but the goal was allowed.

As the period wound down the Predators intensity level was peaking. After an extended period of play in the Blues' zone, at 16:26 Steve Sullivan shot the puck and Patric Hornqvist picked up the rebound and put it past Mason to tie the game 2-2.

Forty eight seconds later Dustin Boyd scored his second goal of the game as he received a pass from Marty Erat from behind the net and he put it in the net shooting through traffic in the slot.

The Blues pulled Mason with 1:16 left and applied pressure on the Preds but they held on and the game ended in a scrum when Perron cheap shotted Boyd as time expired.

The Predators ended up out shooting the Blues 16-7 in the third period and 39-25 for the game. On the Corsi side the Preds led 60-45.

Storylines From The Game

Dustin Boyd Makes His Mark...

Even before his two goal game on Sunday, Dustin Boyd had impressed the coaching staff and fans alike. He is the prototypical Barry Trotz type predator that can play all forward positions, likes to play defense and doesn't mind working in the dirty areas.

Today's two goal outing was a bonus as he stepped up to fill the void left by Jason Arnott being out with the head injury that he suffered on Saturday night. The Preds appear to have plans to retain his services in the years to come as Barry Trotz has mentioned his future with the team on several occasions.

Pekka Rinne a Lock For NHL First Star of the Week...

Rinne was the difference maker again on Sunday as he kept the Predators in position for a huge come back win on the road. While the Preds were not scoring, Rinne was protecting the net so that when the opportunity came, the win streak could be extended to six games.

It would seem that Rinne is a virtual lock for the NHL first star of the week as he has gone 4-0 with two shutouts, a 1.22 GAA, and a .958 save percentage for the week as he extended his winning streak to six and improved his post Olympic record to 8-1.

Predator's Road Win Moves Them Up...

After the dust had settled at the end of the NHL day, the Predators found themselves in fifth place with 89 points. The Predators are two points ahead of the Kings, three in front of Colorado and six on top of Detroit who rounds out the top eight.

While the Preds are looking to move up, those who are worried about making the playoffs can take solace in the fact that he Preds have an eight point lead on ninth place Calgary.

The real surprise at the end of the day is that Phoenix has as may points at 97 as the Western Conference leading Chicago Blackhawks.

Up Next...

The Predators return to the Bridgestone Arena for five of their next six games starting with Dallas on Tuesday night.

More Later...

Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Game Recap: Predators Edge Jackets 1-0 in Overtime

Barry Trotz Postgame comments

Pekka Rinne, Cody Franson, Colin Wilson and Shea Weber speak.

Coach Claude Noel, Rick Nash, and Mike Commodore speak

The Nashville Predators defeated the Columbus Blue Jackets 1-0 in overtime on Saturday night at the Bridgestone Arena. The win was the Pred's 14th straight over the Jackets in Nashville.

Cody Franson scored the game's only goal 1:54 into the overtime period. Franson was at the blue line and took a pass from Marty Erat who was in the corner and then sent it toward the net on half slap shot. Jacket goalie Steve Mason did not stop it completely and it tipped off his blocker and spun into the net. Mason fell prone to the ice in disgust that he had let an easy one go by.

Franson described the shot, "I didn’t see anybody there and we had guys going so I tried to put it there so hopefully they could beat it to the net and try and bang it in. It went off his blocker a little bit and trickled around and went over the line."

Barry Trotz did not see the goal, "I had just looked down the bench and I saw the puck going to the point and I was just saying ‘Let’s not get anything blocked from the point,’ and then all of a sudden everybody was cheering. Good things happen when you get the puck to the net."

The game almost ended earlier in overtime when Mike Commodore took a long pass from Kris Russel and got a rare breakaway opportunity that Rinne was able to stop. "I couldn't have gotten a better look at it," Commodore explained. "I don't think I've ever done that before at any level. It would have been nice to finish it and snap the streak here." Commodore has not scored a goal since February 9, 2009.

Pekka Rinne was stellar in net once again and extended his shut out streak to 132:21 minutes, going back to Simon Gagne's goal at the 14:18 mark in the third period in Tuesday's game against the Flyers.

Steve Mason was the hard luck loser in this game where he stopped 30 of 31 Predator shots. This has been the story of his sophomore season where he has gone 17-22-7 after winning the Calder Trophy last year as the NHL's top rookie.

Columbus Coach Claude Noel would not place blame on the young goalie, "I thought we played a really good game, the second in two nights, and got three of four points. I thought everyone from Mason on out played tremendously and it was a great game for us. Steve, for me, was fabulous."

Storylines From The Game

Pekka Rinne Has Hit His Stride...

Rinne now has shutouts in three of his last five games and with two in a row, he moves to second all time on the Pred's career shutout leader sheet with 13, behind only Tomas Vokoun. He now has six for the season and moved into fifth in the NHL, two behind Ilya Bryzgalov, who has eight.

As usual, Rinne was modest after the game and shared the glory with his teammates, "It was good. Like I’ve said before, it goes hand-in-hand. I think their team played well defensively, even though early on they had some good chances. I think after that we got it going. They didn’t get much."

In the first period, Rinne made numerous highlight reel saves to keep the game close as the Jackets pelted the Preds with 14 shots. Columbus followed with 12 shots in the second period. the Pred's defense clamped down in the third and allowed only six shots.

Barry Trotz was thrilled with Rinne's game, "He’s been really sharp. Obviously both goalies were sharp tonight. He’s doing a good job. He’s moving his hands, he’s been seeing the puck, and obviously playing very well for us. If he wasn’t playing well I don’t think we’d win a couple of these games."

Rookies Stood Out...

Codey Franson has shown great offensive upside since joining the Predators earlier this season and his defensive play has been a real unexpected plus. In 51 games, he now has six goals and 13 assists and leads the team with a +14 plus/minus rating.

Franson's goal tonight was the difference maker and is now has three game winning goals and leads all rookie d-men in that category. He is also third in goals and fourth in points for rookie defensemen.

Colin Wilson also played another excellent game. After Jason Arnott went down with an injury, he was the best player on the ice during several shifts near the end of the game, working the corners and moving the puck around the ice.

Injury Bug Hits...

In what hopefully won't become a late season trend, the Predators had two players banged up in separate incidents. In the first period, at 13:10, Jared Boll boarded Jordin Tootoo and sent him into the wall at an odd angle. Tootoo laid on the ice for several moments and only played six shifts for the remainder of the game.

Jason Arnott appeared to have a more serious injury when he was slew-footed by a Columbus player on a no-call and fell awkwardly into the boards and received a long gash to the forehead as a result.

Barry Trotz indicated that Arnott would not travel with the team to St. Louis and would be evaluated further. Initial indications were that it was not a concussion. "I'm not really concerned right now, " Trotz said. "Only Jason will be able to let us know."

Moving On Up...

At the end of Saturday's action, the Preds had moved into sixth place in the Western Conference with 87 points. Los Angeles also has 87 points but has played two less games than the Preds. Colorado is one point back at 86 and also has two games in hand. Looking further back, Detroit has 83 points and Calgary has 81, each playing one less game than the Preds.

Up Next...

The Predators left after the game and headed to St. Louis where they will play the Blues on Sunday afternoon at 5 p.m. Approximately, 150 fans are also making the trip in an effort organized by Preds P.A. guy, Paul McCann.

More Later...

Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass