The Nashville Predators broke their five game losing streak by playing as close to a complete game as they have seen this season. They were behind twice and came back both times before finally taking the lead in the fourth round of the shootout.
During the five game losing streak, they had been creative in finding different ways to lose ranging from not being competitive against the Kings to not playing to the final horn against the Ducks.
Last night, after a shaky first period, they played with good effort and did the things that it takes for the team to win, with defense and goaltending leading the way.
Pekka Rinne still did not appear to be in his normal top form but was able to stand firm in the third period on a few tough chances and in the shootout. It's hard to put a finger on why he looks uncomfortable at times, but if it was a boost in confidence that he needed, last night's win should help. He seemed almost giddy in the TV interview after the game.
I have not heard an explanation but Nik Spaling, Colin Wilson and Jerred Smithson received very little ice time during the game, all being in the six to seven minute range.
The Predators clearly are looking for better days ahead starting with a home game tomorrow night against the Blackhawks at the Bridgestone Arena. They hit the road again for a trip to Toronto, Montreal, Carolina and Columbus, all places where they have had success.
After that, cones a more favorable schedule with eleven of eighteen games at home through the new year that includes no extended road trips like they are enduring now.
Here is our recap from last night.
The Tennessean had the AP story and Josh Cooper added his postgame ponderings at Inside Predators.
From the blog world reports come from Amanda DiPa0lo, The View from 111, Dirk Hoag (with his advances stats), Jeremy Gover, and What the Puck.
The other side of the story comes from the Post-Dispatch, BlueNote Zone, Frozen Notes, and St. Louis Game Time for Blues news. The Blues will look different for the next three months with T.J Oshie out with a broken ankle.
In Pred Nation...
Jay Levin documents how a few of the Preds prior slow starts still led to the playoffs.
Josh Cooper has a note about Wade Belak's claim to fame of now having the longest streak of games played without a goal.
Paul McCann had a Thursday round-up with a few thanks to veterans and a note about their latest edition of SlapShot radio that was a tribute to the movie "SlapShot.".
Hands of Cement has a new odd man crush over the Movember Mo's.
The Preds and Bridgestone Arena teamed up on a new deal with Grand Avenue Limousine. The level of sponsorships has really increased this season.
Around the NHL...
Plenty of opinions are around about the new All-Star game format. Former player, J.T. Bourne likes the new plan.
Down Goes Brown also has the difference between a fantasy draft and the All-Star Game draft.
With Willie Mitchell out, the Kings are going to be forced to shuffle the pairings on defense.
Bill Guerin turned 40 this week but is still keeping his options open on a return if some team calls.
Michelle Kenneth has the story of Lindy Ruff's 1000th game. Ruff is the only active coach with more games with the same team than Barry Trotz. She also defends Ilya Kovalchuk which is a bold undertaking at this point.
PHT has the story of the bad blood that was brewing before the Blue Jacket's 8-1 blow out of the Blues on Wednesday. It's hard to believe that these guys are in the same players union. This hatred is almost like old time hockey.
Interesting post on the best interviews in the NHL from Billy Jaffe.
As if the Calgary Flames needed more trouble, Brett Sutter was arrested in Arizona after a bar fight early Thursday morning.
Patrick Hoffman names the worst player of the year so far and I completely agree on his choice.
Not only did Tampa get slammed to the mat by the Capitals on Thursday, they lost Vinnie Lecavalier for an extended period with a broken hand.
Quietly, (very quietly) Donald Fehr has visited all thirty NHL teams prior to a vote to confirm him as head of the NHLPA. The CIA isn't this quiet.
Odds and Ends...
We were at Mavericks in Half Moon Bay, California on a relatively calm day. Two weeks later, this is what it looked like. I want to go back and see the big waves.
Switchfoot's Jon Foreman compares bars and churches and finds a lot of the same in each.
Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass