Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The Morning After Round-Up: Hurricanes 4, Predators 3

The Nashville Predators returned home after Tuesday Night's game in Carolina and will not practice today. If there was ever a team that looked like they needed a day off it was the one that Preds' fans saw on the tube last night.

The biggest struggle for the Predators last night was simply getting the puck out of their defensive zone on a break-out. The official stats showed one Preds giveaway and six Carolina takeaways. All I can figure is that the guy in charge missed the majority of the game because those numbers do not tell the story.

Nashville just completed the most grueling stretch of games of the season, having played on seven of twelve nights including a home-road back to back to end it. The team picked up nine of fourteen possible points, which considering the toughness of the opposition, was commendable.

Anders Lindback saw his record fall to 2-7-0 for the season but has been hung out to take one for the team repeatedly during the season's second half, playing exclusively on the road against unfamiliar and top teams from the Eastern Conference.

The team remains at 81 points while Detroit moved back to the top of the Central Division with a 5-2 win over Columbus last night. Detroit is now six points ahead with 87 and the Blues are two behind them at 85 with a game in hand.

With 18 games left, the Predators need to get on a run to win the division to avoid a dreaded 4-5 match with the Wings or the Blues. Sixth place San Jose is eight points behind the Preds and no one in the lower pack appears to be capable of making a run at the top five teams.

The team will return to the ice on Thursday at 10:30 a.m. at Centennial Sportsplex to prepare for the game in Florida on Saturday and home games against Los Angeles (again), Colorado, and Detroit next week.

Here is our game story from last night. Make the jump for the full round-up of everything from the game...

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Hurricanes defeat lifeless Predators 4-3

The Nashville Predators went into Raleigh on Monday night and were outplayed at both ends of the ice by the Carolina Hurricanes and suffered a 4-3 loss to the Canes.

The Preds mounted a major effort in the final period but the Carolina defense held firm as Nashville failed at  trying to play catch-up.

The Predators schedule that had them playing seven game in the last twelve days appeared to catch up with them after they had picked up points in their last five games.

Sloppy play, with numerous turnovers trying to clear their offensive zone led to too much pressure on the seldom used Anders Lindback for the entirety of the contest. It was Lindback's seventh loss while Cam Ward got the win after missing the last four games for the Canes.

Carolina was two for six on the power play while the Predators only had one chance on the man-advantage in the game.

The Hurricanes received goals from Jamie McBain, Eric Staal, Tim Brent, and Bryan Allen while the Predators markers came from Craig Smith, Colin Wilson and Gabriel Bourque.

Newly acquired, Paul Gaustad did not play due to an upper body injury while Andrei Kostitsyn played 12:13, had no shots, and was charged with two penalty minutes.

The Predators returned home after the game and will not play again until Saturday night when they face the Florida Panthers.

Make the jump for more details from the game...

The Morning After Round-Up: Predators 2, Kings 1

The Predators had little time to celebrate last night's 2-1 win over the Los Angeles Kings as they had to make the quick flight to Raleigh to play the Carolina Hurricanes tonight.

The team will have Andrei Kostitsyn and Paul Gaustad in the lineup for the first time against the Canes tonight and will need to play a solid game against the rejuvenated Carolina squad who has been playing solid hockey recently.

Anders Lindback (2-6-0, 2.70, .897) will get his first start since February 2 tonight. He has played sparingly this season so he would like to snap his five-game losing streak that dates back to December 3.

Since the Preds and Canes last faced each other on January 7, Carolina has gone 9-4-6 and have played well under head coach Kirk Muller.

Nashville has pulled within four points of St. Louis and Detroit but will only have one additional game this week to be point collectors, playing at Florida on Saturday.

At the end of the big trade deadline day yesterday, here is what Paul Gaustad had to say about becoming a Predator.

Here is our game story from last night. Make the jump for the full round-up of everything from the game...

Monday, February 27, 2012

Predators defeat Kings 2-1 on busy day for the franchise

On Monday, in the minds of many pundits, the Nashville Predators went from being a good hockey team to one of the Stanley Cup favorites. They also found time to take a 2-1 workmanlike win from the visiting Los Angeles Kings at Bridgestone Arena.

The Preds were the darlings of the NHL hockey media after picking up Andrei Kostitsyn and Paul Gaustad on trade deadline day without losing anyone from their active roster.

These additions, coming on the heels of adding defenseman, Hal Gill, 10 days earlier completed General Manager David Poile's plan to strengthen the team by adding size, grit, experience, scoring, and faceoff expertise to plug any hole that the Predators may have had.

After all the excitement of the acquisitions, the Predators picked up a critical two points in the Western Conference playoff race to move to 81 points, only four back of the Central Division leading St. Louis Blues.

Pekka Rinne was gunning for his fifth shutout of the season until Dustin Brown spoiled the effort with 3:24 remaining in the game. The Preds had built a 2-0 lead on goals by Roman Josi and Patric Hornqvist and the team held on for the win despite the late surge from the Kings.

Nashville left immediately after the game to travel to Raleigh where they will meet up with their new players and face the Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday night. The team will then have three days with no games to assimilate the new personnel before their next game in Florida on Saturday night.

More Later...

Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass

Predators recall Ryan Ellis from Milwaukee

As had been rumored after the Milwaukee Admirals game on Sunday, Ryan Ellis has now been officially recalled by the Nashville Predators.

An additional move will provably need to be made once Andrei Kostitsyn and Paul Gaustad arrive in Nashville as the Ellis move appears to put them over the 23 man roster limit.

Make the jump for the full release for the Predators...

Predators acquire Paul Gaustad from Sabres

In a late move, the Nashville Predators have obtained the services of 6'5" center, Paul Gaustad from the Buffalo Sabres in exchange for the Predators' first round pick in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft. The Preds also will be receiving a fourth round pick 2013 NHL Entry Draft in the deal.

Gaustad adds plenty of bulk up front for the Predators who really appear to be gearing up for a long playoff run. In 56 games this year he has scored 7 goals and added 10 assists. Other than his size, Gausatad adds skill in the face-off circle and penalty killing ability to the Preds as he has won over 56% of his draws this season.

The big center is set to be a free agent at the end of the season and has indicated that if he were traded that he might be interested in re-signing with the Sabres during the summer.

Make the jump to see the full release from the Predators...

Predators pick up Andrei Kostitsyn from Habs

In an attempt to pick up some additional scoring, the Nashville Predators picked up Andrei Kostitsyn from the Montreal Canadiens in exchange for their 2013 second round pick as well as the conditional fifth round pick that the Preds picked up in the Hal Gill trade.

The Predators have been looking to add additional scoring and there was little in the market available so it is a real gamble to re-unite brothers Andrei and Sergei who both had issues with the coaching staff and the media in Montreal.

To his credit, Sergei has been a model citizen in Nashville and has played up to his expected potential for the past 14 months. The Predators feel that they can work the same magic with Andrei who has 12 goals and 12 assists for a poor Habs team this season.

Andrei had his best season in his first full year in Montreal in 2007-08 when he scored 26 goals and added 27 assists in 78 games. In his career he has 99 goals and 111 assists in 379 games. He was a first round pick (10th overall) for Montreal in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft.

Make the jump for the official release from the Predators...

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Predators face the Kings and Jeff Carter on trade deadline day

The Nashville Predators will return to the Bridgestone Arena ice to face the Los Angeles Kings on Monday night to close out their four game homestand, where the team has collected five of six points so far.

Regardless of whether the Preds make any moves prior to Monday's 2 p.m. trade deadline, the game will likely be impacted by the Kings recent acquisition of Predators-killer Jeff Carter from Columbus.

Nashville dominated Columbus during their season series, posting a 5-0-1 record for the year.

However, in spite of the Blue Jackets' poor record against the Preds, Carter was a player that has totally has had his way with Nashville this season. He has scored five goals, including two on the power play, added two assists, and had 15 shots in four games against the Preds.

Predators score early and late in 6-2 win over San Jose

Slow starts have been problematic for the Nashville Predators in the two prior games of the current homestand, but the issue appeared resolved in the team's 6-2 win over the San Jose Sharks on Saturday night at Bridgestone Arena.

The Predators scored twice in the first 3:23 of the contest to jump-start the Preds offense who scored six goals for the first time in over two months and for only the third time this season.

Colin Wilson got the first marker, 2:03 into the game on a transition play. Wilson described the situation. "That's the way you want to start. It was a great pass by Toots over to me and it was good to get that early on and help to start the game."

Shea Weber scored eighty seconds later on an odd man rush after two quick set-up passes from Sergei Kostitsyn and Marty Erat.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Predators send Jerred Smithson to Florida

Long time Nashville Predator Jerred Smithson has been traded to the Florida Panthers for a sixth round pick in this summers NHL Entry Draft.

Smithson has has a long career with the Preds and has been a player that has exemplified what became known as "The Predator Way." It is not really surprising that the move was made considering the group of young players that fill similar roles with the team.

Smithson's contract runs through the 2012-13 season and will join a larger group of players that Florida has amassed as they try to win the Southeast Division title.

Here is the full story from the Predators...

The Morning After Round-Up: Blues 3, Predators 2 (SO)

Going in to last night's game I had a feeling that the Predators' perfect record against the St. Louis Blues could be in jeopardy. Both teams were so much alike and led by two of the most competitive coaches in the NHL who are best friends off the ice.

As competitive as the Western Conference is, the hockey gods will eventually even out series, to an extent, between similarly talented teams. That is what happened on Thursday night at the Bridgestone Arena.

The playoff race in the Western Conference is totally unbelievable and it is muddled even more by so many teams picking up "loser" points across the board.

Last night, 11 of the 12 Western Conference teams that played picked up at least a point. The lone exception was Chicago who lost to Dallas 3-1 when they blew a 1-0 third period lead.

At the end of play, the Predators remained in fifth place in the West with 77 points. They are still in a place by themselves being four points behind St.Louis and four points ahead of Chicago. They also have the fifth best overall record in the entire league.

The team will practice today at Centennial Sportsplex and then take on the San Jose Sharks on Saturday night when the Bridgestone Arena crowd will celebrate Brent Peterson night.

If you missed it yesterday, here is a story about David Poile's appearance on the NHL hour with Gary Bettman as well as a video.

Here is a story about Hal Gill who is now competing with Pekka Rinne for being the nicest guy on the Predators.

AJ has a piece that he put together about Nashville's 'heroes". Gill was pure class when he answered AJ's questions. I was privileged to be hatching the smiling Gill during the exchange.

Here is our game story from last night and Barry Trotz's postgame presser.  Make the jump for the full round-up of everything from the game...

Predators send Ryan Ellis back to Milwaukee

It should come as little surprise that rookie defenseman Ryan Ellis has been reassigned to Milwaukee. His first foray into the NHL would have to be considered a success but the blueline became crowded with the addition of Hal Gill last week.

After playing with seven defensemen on Sunday in Dallas, Ellis has been a healthy scratch the last two games. He should see plenty of playing time on Milwaukee's top defensive pairing as the Admirals jockey for playoff position in the AHL.

Make the jump to see the full release from the Nashville Predators...

Predators start slowly, finish strong, and lose 3-2 in a shootout to St. Louis

The Nashville Predators and St. Louis Blues had met four times this season with the Preds picking up victories in every game. The odds finally caught up with Nashville on Thursday night at Bridgestone Arena when the Blues picked up a 3-2 win in a shootout.

The Predators came out with plenty of jump for the first four minutes of the game but a Blues goal by Chris Stewart, 4:13 into the contest, appeared to put a damper on the Predators' enthusiasm for the remainder of the opening period.

Coach Barry Trotz was not pleased with the effort in the opening period. "I thought our start wasn’t good today, and one of the things I believe in is that good teams in this league demand a certain level of work, a certain level of detail, and a certain level of physicality to beat them"

"In the first period, against Vancouver (on Tuesday) and this game, we weren’t as ready for that as we needed to be."

Barry Trotz Speaks after the Predators 3-2 loss to St. Louis

More Later...

Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Brent Peterson to be honored with "night" on Saturday

The Nashville Predators announced that one of the Predator's "family" will be honored on Saturday when it will be Brent Peterson Appreciation/Parkinson’s Awareness Night when the Preds take on the San Jose Sharks..

Peterson has been with the team since the franchise's first game in 1998 and is loved by all. He has been very public in his battle with Parkinson's and has teamed with he Predators to advance awareness and in fundraising efforts.

Make the jump for the full release from the Nashville Predators...

David Poile to guest on the NHL Hour with Gary Bettman

Nashville Predators General Manager David Poile will appear on Gary Bettman's radio show, the "NHL Hour" this afternoon at 5 p.m. CST.

The Predators will take on the St. Louis Blues at 7 p.m. and a few tickets remain.

Make the jump for the release from the NHL with more details...

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The Morning After Round-Up: Predators 3, Canucks 1

Hal Gil made his home debut for the Predators last night and picked up an assist on the Sergei Kostitsyn's short-handed goal. The score sheet also that he had a shot blocked, had two hits, and picked up three takeaways in 16:05 of play.

Gill's impact on the ice did not necessarily show up in the statistics. He was obtained to be a veteran big body who would be a stay at home defenseman, kill penalties, and lead the team deep into the playoffs.

The two biggest pains in the rear to the Predators over the last couple of years on the Vancouver Canucks have clearly been Ryan Kesler, who had the playoff series of his career against the Preds last spring, and Alexander Burrows, who may be the most hated enemy player in Smashville for numerous reasons.

Gill's presence in the game helped neutralize both to an extent.

Gill was on the ice with Kesler for much of the night and banged him around a few times and made him less effective around the Predators' net. Kesler was -1 for the evening and was limited to three shots.

Burrows was playing his usual game and made the mistake ruffling Shea Weber's feathers and was very fortunate that Weber just tackled him as opposed to giving him the "Andreas Lilja upper-cut" that took the player out for an extended period and basically ended his career as an effective player.

Gill's role in the Burrows incident was clearly stated by Barry Trotz after the game. "It's a little more of a luxury now, having Hal (Gill) now, a veteran guy with a big body when things like that do happen."

The Predators will take Wednesday off from practice but will be in the community at three events. They return to the Bridgestone Arena ice on Thursday against the St. Louis Blues.

This piece on the Predators by Rory Boylen at the Hockey News was a nice surprise this morning.

Here is our game story from last night, Barry Trotz's postgame presser, and the latest on Shea Weber's beard.  Make the jump for the full round-up of everything from the game...

Chris Mueller racks up more air miles heading back to Milwaukee

Hopefully, Chris Mueller has a good plan for freebies with the airlines based on miles traveled as he is headed back to Milwaukee the day after he came to Nashville to sit out last night's game with Vancouver as a healthy scratch. This is his third trip up and down to the AHL this season.

It appears to be a good sign that Patric Hornqvist may be nearing a return and that Mike Fisher and David Legwand have moved past their flu-like symptoms of the past few days.

Make the jump for the release from the Predators...

Shea Weber's beard will not return until the playoffs

On Tuesday night, the Nashville Predator's 3-1 win against the Vancouver Canucks looked like a playoff game. It was about this time last year that the Predators unofficially declared that the playoffs had begun for the team.

The best symbol of the early playoff season in 2011 was Shea Weber's beard which took on a life of its own in the hockey world.

After last night's game, Weber was looking a little scruffy with a several day growth on his cheeks. When asked if this was the beginning of a new "playoff" beard, Weber was clear with his response.

"Nope, it will be gone tomorrow. I'm not going to start early this year. Obviously, it's like playoffs but I'm going to try to change last year's luck."

Fans of the dense facial hair will have to wait until April this year for the beard's return.

More Later...

Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass

Predators end home losing streak with Vancouver in 3-1 win

Coming into Tuesday's match with the Vancouver, the Nashville Predators had not beaten the Canucks at home since March 3, 2011. Including last season's three playoffs losses, the Preds had lost four straight on home ice to Vancouver.

The Predators' 3-1 win with the Canucks gave the Predators a 5-4 point advantage for the season against the defending Western Conference champions.

Preds' coach Barry Trotz explained the importance of the win. "To me, it was a big win here. Through the playoffs last year, we did not not get a home win, now we get that scratched off (the list), so that is a positive thing."

Barry Trotz Speaks after Nashville's 3-1 Win over Vancouver

More Later...

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Predators Recall Chris Mueller

The Nashville Predators announced the recall of forward Chris Mueller from Milwaukee. Mike Fisher missed Sunday's game with the stomach flu which appears to be making its way through the team. The Predators dressed seven defensemen in the game with the Stars so Mueller will provide a needed extra player on the offensive side of the ice.

Make the jump for the full release from the Predators...

Predators host Vancouver tonight, have trio of fan activities on Wednesday

The Vancouver Canucks invade Bridgestone Arena for the final time in the regular season on Tuesday night, exactly two weeks after they beat the Predators 4-3 in an overtime thriller.

The Canucks are chasing Detroit for the Western Conference title and are currently two points behind the Wings with 82 points. The Predators are in fifth place with 74 points and still hope to make up ground and challenge for the top slot.

The game will mark the Music City home debut for newly acquired defenseman Hal Gill. In Sunday's 3-2 win in Dallas, Gill played 16:23 and was +2. His two-minute tripping call with 2:05 left in the game could have been disastrous but his teammates killed the penalty to salvage the victory.

The Predators will have three more games on the current homestand after tonight's contest. They will host division rival, St. Louis on Thursday, the San Jose Sharks on Saturday, and the Los Angeles Kings on Monday.

On Wednesday, team members will be involved in a trio of activities that fans will enjoy.

Francis Bouillon and Jack Hillen will participate in the Hockey with Heroes: Street Hockey Edition from 5-6 p.m. at A-Game in Franklin (215 Gothic Ct. Franklin). It is open to kids ages 7 to 12 and the Preds will provide all street hockey equipment. Registration is required for participation and kids may still sign up at or call (615) 770-2152. Space is limited.

At the Grand Ole Opry House, Hockey Operations Advisor Brent Peterson will be honored by the Nashville Sports council at their annual Pepsi Celebration of Champions with their Community Spirit Award. Notable contributions include his involvement with his Peterson Foundation for Parkinson’s. The event begins at 5:30 p.m. with a silent auction and reception. The awards presentation begins at 7 p.m.

Finally, at Blackstone Restaurant and Brewery on West End, Preds' forward Jordin Tootoo alongside 102.5 The Game on-air personalities Darren McFarland and Willy Daunic will host another installment of the Jordin Tootoo show from 7-8 p.m. This week’s guest will be Hal Gill. Prime seating is limited so make sure to get there early.

More Later...

Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass

Monday, February 20, 2012

Poile, Fenton receive contract extensions from the Nashville Predators

In the midst of trade deadline week and an exciting Western Conference race for the playoffs, the Nashville Predators found time to re-sign General Manager David Poile and Assistant General Manager Paul Fenton.

Poile's new deal will keep him with the Predators through the 2014-15 season. Fenton is often mentioned as a candidate for other NHL teams when GM slots become available.

Make the jump for the complete release from the Nashville Predators...

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Predators win crucial game in Dallas 3-2

After the heart-breaker in Detroit on Friday when the Predators lost in the last five seconds of the game, you had to wonder how the team would react against the Stars in Dallas where they have had little luck in the past.

After falling behind 1-0 early, the Predators scored three unanswered goals and held on for a 3-2 win at American Airlines Center on Sunday night.

The Predators goals came from Gabriel Bourque, Shea Weber and Colin Wilson, who had the best play of the night on the eventual game winner. Dallas's goals came from Michael Ryder and Alex Gologoski.

Pekka Rinne picked up his 32nd win of the season as he faced 28 Stars' attempts in the final period. Officially, he stopped 22 of 24 for the game. Kari Lehtonen took the loss, allowing three Preds goals on 21 shots.

The win gave Nashville 74 points and they will remain in fifth place, five points behind St. Louis and three points ahead of Chicago. Detroit leads the Western Conference with 84 points.

The Predators headed home after the game and will begin a four game homestanf on Tuesday night against the Vancouver Canucks.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Big Events Set for Bridgestone Arena on Sunday and Monday

The Nashville Predators and Bridgestone Arena will host a huge sale and a public skate at Bridgestone Arena over the President's Day weekend.

The sale will run Sunday and Monday. Here are the details from the Predators...

This Sunday and Monday, the Nashville Predators and Bridgestone Arena are hosting a President’s Day Super Sale, offering massive discounts of up to 50 percent for several upcoming Nashville Predators home games, Bridgestone Arena events and parking. This two-day, limited inventory super sale starts this Sunday, Feb. 19 at 6 p.m. and runs through 5 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 20. To take advantage of this opportunity, call 615-770-7800, go online to or visit the Bridgestone Arena Box Office. Fans who purchase more than $200 in tickets will receive a $20 Sport Seasons Gift Card. 

The Public skate will be on Monday from 1:30 to 3 p.m. GNASH, the Preds Ice Girls and the Youth Hockey Staff will be on hand. Here are the facts from the Preds...

School’s out! Come celebrate the President’s Day holiday with the Preds as we host a public skate at Bridgestone Arena. Free skate rentals will be provided and GNASH and the ice girls will make an appearance. Registration ($30/skater) includes one Goal Zone ticket and a portion of the proceeds will benefit the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt. Visit to register and for more details. Discounted parking is available for $5 in Bridgestone Arena’s Sixth Avenue parking garage (on the corner of Sixth Ave. and Demonbreun St.).

More Later...

Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass

Friday, February 17, 2012

Pavel Datsyuk leads Detroit to 2-1 win over the Predators in a thriller

Pavel Datsyuk scored the game winning goal with 5.8 seconds left in the contest as the Detroit Red  Wings extended their record home ice winning streak to 22 games on Friday night in Joe Louis Arena.

Datsyuk also made the key set up pass on the Wings' other goal by Johan Franzen in the opening period.

Nick Spaling had the Predators only goal and saw his streak end where the Preds have never lost in regulation when he scored. The odd streak had reached 15 games in the Predator victory on Tuesday against Chicago.

Joey MacDonald was the winner in net, stopping 20 of 21 Predator shots. Pekka Rinne was as good as he could be giving up two goals on 31 Red Wing shots.

The Predators fell ten points behind Detroit in the Central Division standings. The team will play in Dallas on Sunday night.

Pete Weber guests on SOTG Radio Preview of Preds-Wings match (Podcast)

Nashville Predators' broadcaster, Pete Weber was our special guest on Friday's edition of Smashville on the Glass radio. There was extensive discussion of the Predators game with Detroit where the team will try to snap the Red Wings record-setting home winning streak.

There was also discussion about the Preds at the trade deadline, Alexander Radulov, and the attention that the team has received over the signage in the bowels of Bridgestone Arena.

Oddly enough, Ryan and I had a long discussion about Hal Gill being the perfect trade pick-up for the team. Within a couple of minutes after the show ended, the actual trade that bright Gill to Smashville was announced.

Listen to the podcast in the player below or go to BlogTalkRadio or iTunes to download.

Listen to internet radio with SmashvilleOnTheGlass on Blog Talk Radio

More Later...

Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass

Predators' trade toughens team and sends young legacy to Habs

The Nashville Predators announced a trade on Friday afternoon that was made to bolster the team without impacting any current NHL roster players.

The Preds will receive 6'7" defenseman, Hal Gill from the Montreal Canadiens along with a conditional fifth round pick in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft, in exchange for Brentwood native, Blake Geoffrion, prospect Robert Slaney, and a second round pick in theis summer's NHL Entry Draft.

Gill will bring much needed size and experience to the Predators blue line for the upcoming playoff push. He will be the only Predator player that has a Stanley Cup ring on his finger.

Geoffrion will go to Montreal as a fourth generation player in their organization, following his father Danny, grandfather, Bernie "Boom-Boom" Geoffrion, and great-grandfather, Howie Morenz, the former pair being in the Hockey Hall of Fame.

The following is the press release from the Predators...

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Predators extend affiliation agreement with the Milwaukee Admirals

One of the more successful long-term business relationships that the Nashville Predators have had has been been extended for another season with the option for one more. Together since the first year of the NHL franchise, the Preds and the Milwaukee Admirals made the announcement today that the agreement would extend for at least two more seasons going forward, and possibly a third.

Make the jump for the full release from the Nashville Predators...

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The Morning After Round-Up: Predators 3, Blackhawks 2

The Nashville Predators did what they had to do last night in a match between two Central Division rivals that were on losing streaks. The Predators proved that their streak may just have been a bump in the road while the Blackhawks showed evidence of bigger problems to deal with as they fell seven points behind the Preds and are now only three points from being out of the playoffs.

It was a close game that could have gone either way. Craig Smith pointed to that after the game when discussing Ryan Ellis' game-winner. "There's been a lot of funny bounces around the league and anytime the puck is flipping in the air like that it can be dangerous in front of the net."

Ellis responded to last Saturday's benching in Boston with a solid two point effort, including his first goal since January 10.

Nick Spaling's goal off of Ellis' slapper that put the Preds in the lead late in the second period was his eight of the year and extended the team's unbeaten in regulation record to 14-0-1 when he scores a goal.

Even though the Predators allowed 32 shots, Pekka Rinne and the team only allowed two goals which is far better than their run of three 4-3 losses in a row.

With the win, the Predators pulled within three points of fourth place St. Louis but remains eight behind Division and Conference leading Detroit.

During last night's game, I saw a Tweet from a reader who was concerned that the Preds would not make the playoffs. At this point, the team has left behind any thoughts of missing the playoffs and are only focused on winning the Division or Conference. Sports Club Stats projects the Preds with 104 points and a gives them a 100% chance of making the playoffs with 96 points which would be an 11-12-2 record for the rest of the season.

All eyes are now focused on the Predators traveling to Detroit on Friday night to try to break the Wings record-setting 21 game home winning streak. The team is more focused on cutting the gap with a two point regulation win, but the media hype will be big about breaking the streak,

Here is our game story from last night and Barry Trotz's postgame presser.  Make the jump for the full round-up of everything from the game...

Craig Smith's persistence provides momentum in Predators' 3-2 win over Chicago

Although he did not make the score sheet, Predators' rookie, Craig Smith's aggressive play with the puck in the offensive zone was a key to the Preds' 3-2 win over the Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday night at the Bridgestone Arena.

Ryan Suter, Nick Spaling, and Ryan Ellis were the goal-scoring heroes in the Predators victory against the Hawks but Craig Smith was the guy that could not find the net but kept churning out shots on a night when the Predators were out-shot by a 32-19 margin.

The win snapped the Predators three game skid and added to Chicago's misery, as their losing streak reached nine games. Their slide started with Nashville beating them home and away before the all-star break so the Preds can be held accountable for three of the Hawks' nine losses.

The Predators 19 shots was the least they had taken since a 4-1 loss to Detroit on November 26. The Predators' three shots in the final period, that included Ellis' game-winner, is the second most meager total of the season, surpassed only by a two-shot effort in a 2-0 win in Calgary on October 22.

Barry Trotz Speaks After Nashville's 3-2 Win over Chicago

More Later...

Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Who is hungrier for a win, the Blackhawks or the Predators?

Tonight at 7 p.m. at the Bridgestone Arena, we will find out if the Chicago Blackhawks or the Nashville Predators are hungrier for a victory. Both teams are on the skids but have found different ways to get there.

The Predators have lost three in a row but have picked up two points via shoot-out losses to both of last season's Stanley Cup finalists, Vancouver and Boston. The Predators slide is not completely unexpected, coming on the heels of a 14-3-0 run dating back to the end of December.

During the Predators' hot streak, the team seemed to find ways to win almost every night. During the three losses the Preds did not play particularly poorly, just not good enough to get the two points. Potentially, you could blame it on the hockey gods evening things out.

Since the all-star break, the Preds are 2-2-2 and have given up exactly four goals in five of the six contests. They are probably lucky to have picked up six points considering that prior to these games, the team was 2-8-2 in games when four or more goals were allowed.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Predators steal a point in Boston in shoot-out loss

The Nashville Predators were outplayed in all aspects of the game with the Bruins in Boston on Saturday afternoon but hung just close enough to salvage a point when they took the game to overtime and then lost in the shoot-out.

Patrice Bergeron scored a goal and then picked up the game decider in the shootout for Boston. Daniel Paille and Milan Lucic picked up the other goals for the Bruins.

Mike Fisher was the offensive hero for Nashville as he scored with 3:32 left in the game to temporarily put the Predators in front and eventually allow the game to go to overtime. Shea Weber and Patric Hornqvist scored the other Preds goals.

Tim Thomas was the winner in net, stopping 19 of 22 Predator shots. Pekka Rinne was the hard-luck loser after being peppered with 41 Boston shots.

The Predators returned home after the game and will play the Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday at 7 p.m. at Bridgestone Arena.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Chris Phillips is Sens' hero in Fisher's returns to Ottawa

All the media was focused on Mike Fisher's return to Ottawa but Chris Phillips made his 1000th game a night of celebration by scoring two goals and leading Ottawa to a 4-3 victory over the Nashville Predators to end the Senators seven game losing streak.

The game featured an odd juxtaposition of fan-ship with the visiting Fisher receiving the lion's share of the pregame hype instead of the alternate captain, Phillips who had labored through a 1000 games with the Sens after being drafted first overall in the 1996 NHL Entry draft.

In the end, it was Phillips' two goal,s along with two goals from Jason Spezza, that led to the Predators' demise and the Senators breaking their seven game losing streak while battling for a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

Nashville tried their best but never were able to prevail in a night in the frigid north against a rare opponent. They got goals from Gabriel Bourque, Patric Hornqvist, and Marty Erat but it was not enough.

Alex Auld was the game winner, stopping 24 of 27 Predator shots as Ottawa ralied around his rare start. Pekka Rinne lost his second game in a row with poor support from the rest of the squad as he stopped 25 of 29 Sens shots.

Make the jump for more detail and comments from the couch...

Transcript from the 2013 Winter Classic Announcement

Here is the transcript from the 2013 Winter Classic announcement from Comerica Park in Detroit.

Kathryn Tappan was the moderator and comments were made by Gary Bettman, Mike Ilitch, Christopher Ilitch, Detroit Mayor Dave Bing, Tom Anselmi, Donald Fehr, Ken Holland and Brian Burke.

Make the jump for the complete transcript from NHL Media Services...

It's Official, Wings and Leafs in 2013 Winter Classic (Release)

It was made official that the Detroit Red Wings would host the Toronto Maple Leafs in the 2013 Winter Classic when Gary Bettman made the announcement from the podium this morning at Comerrica Park. Activities will be split between Comerica and Michigan University's gigantic "Big House" stadium.

Make the jump for the full release with all the details from NHL Media Services...

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Predators Hope to Start New Win Streak in Ottawa

The Nashville Predators (32-17-5) have put together several formidable win streaks in the last two months but have gone 1-1-1 in the last three games after Tuesday's 4-3 shoot-out loss to the Vancouver Canucks. The Preds hope to set their ship in the right direction against the Ottawa Senators (27-22-7) at Scotiabank Place on Thursday night at 6:30 p.m. (FS-TN).

The talk at the rink will be about the return of Mike Fisher to Ottawa where he was dearly embraced by the community and the fans. His return is a day short of the one year mark of the trade that sent him to Music City where he was reunited with country star wife, Carrie Underwood.

The real story is the Predators playing the front end of a crucial two-game road trip that will also send them to the home of the Stanley Cup Champion Boston Bruins on Saturday. The Predators are the NHL's hottest team going 14-3-1 in their last 18 games and have a goalie that is on fire in Pekka Rinne, who is undefeated in regulation in his last 12 starts, going 11-0-1.

NHL to announce site of 2013 Winter Classic on Thursday

According to an official NHL release, a major announcement will be made on Thursday at two Detroit area locations.

The festivities will get underway at the Tiger Club at Comerica Park, in Detroit at 10:30 EST and will be televised live across North America by NHL Network and streamed live on

The group will then caravan by bus to Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor for more information at 1:15 EST.

Speculation is widespread that the Winter Classic events will be held at both venues with the primary game being held at Michigan's "Big House" on Tuesday, January 1, 2013 where attendance in excess of the stadium's 109,901 is anticipated, breaking the all-time record for folks at a hockey game.

The Detroit Red Wings are expected to host the Toronto Maple Leafs in a traditional "original six" match-up.

Other events, including the Alumni Game, an AHL game, college games, and numerous other events will be held in Downtown Detroit at Comerica Park.

More Later...

Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass

The Morning After Round-Up: Canucks 4, Predators 3 (SO)

After all the dust settled from the fierce competition at Bridgestone Arena on Tuesday night the Predators and Pekka Rinne had seen their winning streaks broken by the 4-3 shoot-out lost to Vancouver.

No one appeared discouraged and all appeared to take the loss of a point for what it was, a great team effort marred by losing a man on man skills competition at the end of play.

The Predators continued to do many of the same things that had done well in their winning efforts. They had strong play by all four lines, a good defensive effort, and outstanding goaltending.

They showed great character by snapping back from an early two-goal deficit but never seemed to be able to slip in the fourth goal in regulation or in overtime, despite numerous scoring chances. Roberto Luongo can be credited for much of that failure.

Even with the point, the Predators slipped to fifth place behind the St. Louis Blues, who beat Ottawa. The team did gain ground on Detroit and are three back in the Division and Conference with 69 points.

The Predators now face a pair of crucial games against Eastern Conference foes playing at Ottawa on Thursday and at Boston in a matinee on Saturday. A pair of wins on the road would greatly help their cause as they continue to pursue the Western Conference lead.

Here is our game story from last night and Barry Trotz's postgame presser.  Make the jump for the full round-up of everything from the game...

Barn-Burner Ends in 4-3 Shootout Loss for Predators

Tuesday night's game at the Bridgestone Arena between the Vancouver Canucks and Nashville Predators produced 65 minutes of the most intense hockey action seen this year in Smashville.

It was a real shame that it had to be decided in a six-round skills competition with the Canucks taking the extra point in the standings when Alexander Edler sealed the win with his game winner.

The newest Predator on the roster, Brandon Yip, played what may have been his best game yet as a Predator since coming over from Colorado on waivers on January 19. He did not show up on the scorecard but played with inspiration and passion at both ends of the ice, previously unseen in a Preds uniform.

There was a good explanation according to Yip, "I like the rivalry. I'm from Vancouver so it's always a game that I get up for. I'm also trying to get a little more overall consistency in my game."

"I was a die-hard Canucks fan growing up but that quickly changed once I was on the opposition. It's always cool when you play your hometown and all your buddies and your family are watching so it makes it a little more exciting. Vancouver is a good team and they had a good playoff with Nashville last year to make a good rivalry."

Barry Trotz Speaks after Nashville's 4-3 Loss to Vancouver

More Later...

Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass 

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Vancouver Returns to Music City With Much On the Line

Tonight's game between the Vancouver Canucks and the Nashville Predators is one that Predator fans have had marked on their calendar since the schedule was released last summer. It marks the Nucks first visit to the Bridgestone Arena since they clinched their second round series with the Predators in a 2-1 win in game six on May 9. 2011.

Even the most optimistic member of the Predator faithful probably did not project that the Predators could move to 70 points with a win and have the second best record in the Western Conference and the third best in the NHL.

Probably even more surprising is that Vancouver and Nashville would also be neck and neck in the battle for the best power play in the league with the Canuck converting 22.3% of the time and the Predators at 22.2%.

There will be plenty of individual battles but none will be bigger than match between two of the NHL's best netminders. The Preds' Pekka Rinne (30-11-4, 2.37, .925) has won eleven games in a row and has won 20 of his last 22 decisions. Roberto Luongo (21-10-5, 2.39, .920) should be in net to the Canucks and is 5-2-3 in his last ten games but is always capable of rising to the occasion in big match-ups.

Vancouver has more firepower in their lineup, being led by Henrik (11g, 44a) and Daniel Sedin (22g, 30a) and are averaging 3.14 goals per game. The Predators are tied for 12th at 2,76 goals per game but have averaged 3.12 in their last 17 games when they have gone 14-3-0.

It won't get any easier after tonight's game for the Predators. They will play the surprising Senators in Ottawa on Thursday, then play the Stanley Cup Champion Boston Bruins on Saturday, before returning to the Bridgestone to take on the Blackhawks next Tuesday.

For other Predators previews check out Ryan Porth, Amanda DiPaolo, Robby Stanley, and

The NHL Game Notes can be found here.

For a Vancouver perspective go to any of the following fine sites...

Sunday, February 5, 2012

The Morning After Round-Up and Perspective: Predators 3, Blues 1

After a loss in Philadelphia on Thursday night, it was imperative that the Nashville Predators return to Bridgestone Arena on Saturday night and regain their swagger.

The opponent was the St. Louis Blues who began the game a point ahead in the standings with two games in hand. The Blues came out firing but the Predators held tough. By the time Mike Fisher made it 2-0 Preds, it was almost a foregone conclusion that the Preds would win another game at home based on their recent record of 13-2 in their last 15 games at Bridgestone Arena.

The Predators were anything but dominant earlier this season as they started the year 4-5-3 on home ice. At the end of November, their 11-9-4 record showed little signs of things to come.

The turnaround had roots in a December 1 win in Vancouver when the team went down early and roared back to a 6-5 win. Unfortunately, they came home and laid a couple of eggs in losses to Buffalo and Phoenix that they would love to have back.

The season turned in the next game on December 8 in Columbus when the Predators played poorly but salvaged a win over the Jackets with two goals in the last 1:36 to force overtime and then grabbing the second point on a Colin Wilson goal in OT.

Including that game, the Predators have gone 20-6-0 and the difference maker has been Pekka Rinne who has won 20 of 22 decisions during the run.

The most unbelievable statistic is that the Preds are 12-2-2 against the Central Division which boasts four of the top eight teams in the entire NHL.

At the end of play on Saturday night, the Predators were sitting at 68 points, four behind Central Division leading Detroit and one behind Tuesday's opponent, Vancouver. Nashville has the fourth best record in the NHL and have the momentum to challenge the Wings for tops in the division of they continue on their current pace.

The Predators are at the high water mark in franchise history with their sights set on going even higher.

Here is our game story from last night and Barry Trotz's postgame presser.  Make the jump for the full round-up of everything from the game...

Predators' Sixteenth Sellout Crowd Lifts Team to 3-1 Win over St. Louis

The Nashville Predators returned to their winning ways with a 2-1 victory over the St. Louis Blues at Bridgestone Arena on Saturday night in front of another capacity crowd.

The game was the sixteenth sellout of the season which ties last year's regular season total and the Predators still have fourteen additional home dates remaining. It is a foregone conclusion that they will easily surpass the franchise record of twenty capacity crowds that was set in the inaugural season of 1998-99.

It was the Predators 13th win in their last 15 home contests and the crowd was one of the more appreciated  of the year from the players standpoint after a tough loss in Philadelphia on Thursday.

Brian McGrattan had high praise for the crowd's intensity. "It was huge. On the bench, I said to Hally that that was one of the best crowds that I've ever played in front of."

"I've played in two Canadian cities and that crowd tonight blows them out of the water. It's huge to have a loud crowd behind you when you are pushing for a win and we definitely had it tonight."

Friday, February 3, 2012

Tom Callahan Guests on This Week's Smashville on the Glass (Podcast)

Our special guest on this week's episode of Smashville on the Glass Radio is Predators' radio guy, Tom Callahan. We discussed all the current goings on with the team and get Tom's somewhat surprising prediction on what David Poile will do heading into the trade deadline.

You can listen in the player below or go to Blog Talk Radio or iTunes to download...

Listen to internet radio with SmashvilleOnTheGlass on Blog Talk Radio

More Later...

Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass

The Morning After Round-Up: Flyers 4, Predators 1

It was inevitable that the Predators five game winning streak would not continue onward for the remainder of the season but it was disappointing that the team did not provide more offensive support for goalie Anders Lindback who played well enough to win had the Preds been able to mount more of a offensive challenge.

Lindback has played much better than his record indicates this season. He has only received four goals total from his teammates in his last four starts and he has been playing a few of the tougher teams in the Eastern Conference. He has had only one start at home this season.

The standout player of last night was Wayne Simmonds who was all over the ice the entire evening and scored two goals and amassed ten shots on goal. How the Philadelphia media voted Matt Read as the game's first star is hard to understand. Simmonds provided one of the more dominant on-ice presences that we have seen this season.

The Predators will have their work cut out for them in their next two games at home with the St. Louis Blues at the Bridgestone on Saturday and Vancouver making their first trip to Nashville on Tuesday. The Preds are currently a point ahead of the Blues and a point behind the Canucks so it will be critical for the team to be at their best in both contests.

Here is our game story from last night with our comments from the couch.  Make the jump for the full round-up of everything from the game...

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Flyers, Simmonds Resist Predator Comeback in 4-1 Victory

The Nashville Predators lost to Wayne Simmonds and the Philadelphia Flyers 4-1 on Thursday night at the Wells Fargo Center.

Simmonds, who has become a nemesis of the Predators, was clearly the hero of the game for the Flyers, scoring two goals and logging an amazing ten shots for the game. Matt Read picked up a goal and Claude Giroux scored his 19th goal of the year on an empty-netter.

Ryan Suter had the lone goal for the Predators.

Ilya Bryzgalov had better luck against the Predators than his prior game in Nashville as he stopped 26 of 27 Nashville shots. Anders Lindback allowed three goals on 27 Flyer shots in the loss.

The Flyers and Predators both had 66 points after the game but Philadelphia had played two less games.

The Predators returned home after the game and will play St. Louis at home on Saturday at 7 p.m.

Make the jump for more detail and comments from the couch...

Nashville Predators at the Philadelphia Flyers: Pre-Game Primer


6:00 CST - TV: Fox Sports TN, TCN Philadelphia. Preds Radio Network (102.5-FM The Game)

Stage Setter...

The Nashville Predators are the hottest team in the NHL, going 13-2 in the last 15 games, and they travel to Philadelphia to take on the Flyers in their second meeting of the season. The two teams feature the most balanced scoring in the league, with each having nine ten-goal scorers.

Make the jump for everything else...

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Rinne Named NHL Third Star for January

Two days after being named the NHL second star of the week for last week, Pekka Rinne was named the NHL third star for the month of January 2012 for his 11-1 record, leading the Predators to an outstanding month where they ended the month with the third highest point total in the league.

Make the jump for the details from the NHL...

The Morning After Round-Up: Predators 5, Wild 4

The Nashville Predators continued to prove that there was something "special" (in Barry Trotz's words) about this years team as they notched their seventh comeback win of the season from two or three goals down as they scored three goals, including two by Mike Fisher, in the last 3:21 of play.

It was the Predators fifth win in a row and they are 15-2 in their last 17 games. Nashville finished January with an 11-2 record and are 19-5 since the stunning comeback win in Columbus on December 8.

Pekka Rinne picked up his ten victory in a row and is 20-2 in his last 22 decisions.

The win left the Predators with 66 points and three behind Detroit, for the Western Conference and Central Division lead. The Preds had pulled within a point of Detroit before the Wings finished off Calgary 3-1 in a late game.

Nashville now has the third highest  point total in the NHL with only the Wings (69) and Rangers (67) having more and Boston (66) having the same number.

The Preds are on pace for 106 points and are 12 points ahead of ninth place Colorado. They would be assured of a playoff berth if they averaged a point a game for the final 31 games of the season.

The Predators face a tough February schedule, playing a who's who of playoff contenders, starting with a trip to Philadelphia on Thursday to face the Flyers at 6 p.m.

Here is our game story from last night with our comments from the couch. Make the jump for the full round-up of everything from the game...