Thursday, March 18, 2010

Game Recap: Predators Tame the Wild in 5-0 Win

Coach Barry Trotz Postgame comments

Colin Wilson, Jason Arnott and Pekka Rinne speak postgame

Coach Todd Richards, Josh Harding and Cam Barker postgame comments

The Nashville Predators played one of their more complete games of the season on Thursday night and defeated the Minnesota Wild 5-0 at the Bridgestone Arena to extend their winning streak to four games.

Colin Wilson scored the game winning goal 7:07 into the first period and the Predators never looked back against a Wild team that never seemed to get any offensive consistency going at any point of the game.

Wilson's goal was all hustle as he stole the puck near the blue line and took it in by himself and scored unassisted. Wilson described the goal, "I got in the lane and hit my toe and then I saw the puck and I beat him wide with my forehand."

Pekka Rinne had his second shutout in a week and the twelfth of his career as he stopped all 17 Minnesota shots. Barry Trotz complimented Rinne, "He’s been really solid and when you’re getting goaltending like Pekka can give you, you’re in a good place."

Jason Arnott and Patric Hornqvist each had a goal and an assist for the Preds. J. P. Dumont and Marcel Goc each had a goal and Marty Erat added two assists.

Josh Harding took the loss for Minnesota allowing four goals on twenty-six shots before being replaced by Wade Dubielewicz for the final period.

Storylines From The Game...

Predators Play Complete Game...

Many pointed to Thursday's win as the most complete game of the season. "Since I've been here, to win 5-0, we played very well," said Colin Wilson. "We didn't give up much and we were getting a lot of chances, so since I've been here is the best all round game we have played."

"The guys kept pushing and pushing for 60 minutes. It was one of the most complete games we have played this year," explained Goalie Pekka Rinne.

Barry Trotz found a few areas for improvement but was pleased with the team saying, "It was a real good effort by everybody tonight."

Maturation of Colin Wilson...

Since the Olympic break, Colin Wilson has become a key cog in the Predator machine. He has had seven points, including four goals in his last seven games. Playing on the first line with Jason Arnott and Marty Erat has also caused his ice time to increase significantly.

"I've made some adjustments that I need to make and playing with those guys the game gets a lot easier," Wilson explained.

Jason Arnott talked about Wilson, "He's playing extremely well, playing with confidence and having fun out there. He's using his body and skills to his advantage and it's been a pleasure playing with him and a lot of fun. Willy has come in to his own and is playing with confidence like a veteran."

"He has good awareness and has made really good plays," Barry Trotz said. "He’s hard to contain. One time in the second period, he spun off and drove the net and gave Frankie the puck. He’s going with good confidence and his line has good chemistry."

Preds Looking To Move Up...

For most of the season the Predator's focus had been on getting into the playoffs and now with the recent four game win streak, they are looking to move up in the standings.

At the end of the evening's play, the Predators had 85 points which matched sixth place Los Angeles' total and was one point behind fifth place Colorado. The Kings have two games in hand while the Avs have one.

Barry Trotz explained, "Let's not look behind us, we're looking forward and pushing forward. We'll see what happens at the end of the day. If something comes your way in terms of someone faltering and not getting it done, you move up a little bit."

Trotz then gave his best "Crash Davis" answer (from the movie Bull Durham) saying, "We're just worried about one game at a time and Saturday night is going to be the biggest game of the year, plain and simple."

Up Next...

The Predators will prepare for back to back games this weekend. They play Columbus at home on Saturday before traveling to St. Louis for a late afternoon game on Sunday.

More Later...

Buddy Oakes for PredsOntheGlass

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