Wanna blog? Start your own hockey blog with My HockeyBuzz. Register for free today!
 

Finishing the homestand right

October 16, 2018, 8:20 AM ET [1 Comments]
Paul McCann
Nashville Predators Blogger •Predators Radio Network • RSSArchiveCONTACT
The Predators took their third straight win last night, defeating the Minnesota Wild 4-2 on goals from Craig Smith, Mattias Ekholm, Filip Forsberg and Miikka Salomaki and another vintage performance from Pekka Rinne. Like Saturday night, it was another strong start for Nashville, creating chances and keeping control of the play, only this time, the effort continued throughout the game against better competition.

It was your typical Wild / Predators game… a little piss and vinegar mixed with some skill. The Predators came out strong and got off to a 1-0 lead on a power play goal from Craig Smith that Minnesota almost immediately matched sending the teams to the room tied at one, but Nashville’s offense showed some of that “spurtability” potting two quick goals in the second, both of them converting of outstanding feeds. Ryan Johansen fed Mattias Ekholm in the slot and the big blueliner hammered it home to re-ake the lead, then Kyle Turris picked off an errant Wild pass and promptly sprung Filip Forsberg on a breakaway to put the Preds up two.

That two goal lead would only last three minutes as Wild captain Mikko Koivu got his first of the year and gave Minnesota some much needed energy that they carried over into the third period as the Wild made a serious push. Fortunately for Pred Nation, Pekka Rinne was there, turning away chance after chance and preserving the victory, even surviving a late penalty that led to Mikka Salomaki’s empty netter with just a few seconds left to seal the win and give Smashville free Frostys.

The Wild are a bit of an enigma. There is some talent on this team, but the core group of players like MIkko Koivu, Zach Parise and Ryan Suter are starting to show their age… or may be better put (to quote Indiana Jones) “It’s not the age… it’s the mileage.” Don’t get me wrong, the Minnesota Wild may make the playoffs again, and they will probably bow out as quickly as they have in the past few springs. They have some decent young talent, it may be time to hand over the leadership reins to the youth on this team.

Nashville has looked solid in getting off to a 5-1-0 start. They have certainly got great goaltending from both Rinne and Juuse Saros. The JoFA line has been on fire since the jump, the FiST line is starting to come around as they are starting to finish the chances they are generating and the power play, 0-15 to start the season, has started to click with power play goals in each of the last two games.

So, after six games in 12 days, the Predators have a day or two off before heading to western Canada for a back to back with Calgary and Edmonton this weekend.

Here are the highlights…

---------------------------------

Random Notes

- Nice little scrap between Matt Hendricks and Zac Rinaldo last night… always ironic because those are two of the nicest guys you will ever meet.

- In the irony department, Ryan Suter has been quoted as Pred Nation’s boos get him “fired up.” OK…

- Looking at the stats last night you may wonder how the Preds won it… the lost the faceoff battle as the Wild won 52% of the draws. They were outhit and almost doubled Minnesota’s giveaways.

- File this in the “It’s So Philly” file – When the Flyers mascot Gritty was introduced, it was to almost universal derision, including in Philadelphia. As soon as Philly fans saw that everyone was cracking on the new guy, they immediately fell in love with him.

- There is one undefeated team left in the NHL… the New Jersey Devils are 3-0-0 heading into tonight’s matchup with the Dallas Stars, who are coming off a 4-1 loss to Ottawa.

- There is another team that hasn’t lost in regulation, that’s the Chicago Blackhawks… gotte give ‘em credit, they are off to the kind of start they need to get back to the post-season.

- Speaking of the Blackhawks, is Coach Q sending a message? Brandon Saad may be a healthy scratch for the Hawks Thursday game against Arizona.

-----------------------------------




-------------------------------------

SlapShot Radio’s 11th season is on! As the longest running hockey show in the region, SSR feeds hockey fans what they crave… intelligent, fun, entertaining talk about their favorite sport and we do it from the opening of training camp all the way through UFA day. We are on every Wednesday night on the Predators flagship station, 102.5 the Game. We return on 10/24, but keep an eye on our SoundCloud page, we may do a podcast to carry us over.

We have been delivering great hockey talk to the most energetic and engaged fans in radio and advertising with us drives results at a reasonable price. Just ask our sponsors… including day one sponsor Drs. Jane Bacon and Aileen Kruger at Hermitage Family and Cosmetic Dentistry … make your appointment at (615) 872-7762 and Patrick J. Brown’s Farmer Insurance Agency in Mt. Juliet… I switched to them a few years back and their service has been incredible! Give Pat and his team a call at 615-288-2086.

Advertisers… reach out to me in order to access our activated listener base though great early season advertising deals available for our eleventh season. You can send me a message on the SlapShot Radio Facebook page or by messaging me right here on HockeyBuzz.

You can also keep up with all the goings on with SlapShot Radio by following the show on Twitter @SlapShotRadio1 … Also... make sure to "like" SlapShot Radio on Facebook... here's the link.

If you are outside of the listening area, listen live online at The Game website or check out the podcast about two hours after the show at on SoundCloud.

-------------------------------------

KINDLE USERS: Please subscribe to Predators Buzz, a one-stop feed for all things Predators-related on HockeyBuzz. Your subscription includes a free 14-day trial and is just 99 cents per month thereafter. For more information, click here.
Join the Discussion: » 1 Comments » Post New Comment
More from Paul McCann
» Monday Night Game Night
» A "banner" win over Winnipeg
» Rematch Game Night
» Bitten
» Opening Night in Smashville