Mosh’s Monday Musings
A three-game home stand against some of the top teams in the NHL didn’t help solve the mystery that is the 2016-17 Nashville Predators as the hosts went 1-1-1 during the stretch.
- It began on Tuesday against Central Division rival St. Louis who had come in alternating wins and losses every game in December, and it was their turn to win. However, after the Blues got off to a 3-0 lead, the Preds took them to the woodshed with 6 unanswered goals to manage what was one of the most exhilarating victories of the season at Bridgestone. Many were jumping the gun believing that it would somehow turn the season around. Well first off, it was just one game. Secondly, the Blues, and Jake Allen in particular, have been awful on the road. Was it a great comeback and a thrilling win?…Absolutely. But a large chunk of the season still remains.
- Thursday brought probably only the 2nd most hated player to Nashville, in Ryan Suter and the red-hot Minnesota Wild. After consecutive losses to lowly Vancouver and Calgary, the Wild had come in with a 5-game winning streak, surrendering only 7 goals in the process. Although Nashville largely dominated possession, Minnesota continued to play the game looking like the mid-90′s New Jersey Devils. Although boring, it has been incredibly effective as they continued capitalizing on the few opportunities they were given. A complete mental breakdown by the Preds in the last 90 seconds of the first period was their undoing as Charlie Coyle and Eric Staal potted goals just 29 seconds apart to take a commanding 3-1 lead which they never relinquished.
- Saturday brought THE most hated NHL’er to Smashville in the form of Jimmy Vesey and the Rangers. New York has been stingier than even Minnesota, allowing just 3 goals in their previous 5 games heading into the matchup, including shutouts of Chicago and Dallas. The Preds managed to salvage a point in the shootout loss, but the fact that Vesey contributed made it that much harder to swallow.
- It’s been said that it doesn’t matter who you play, but when you play them. In the case of the Predators last week, they beat who they should’ve and lost to 2 of the hottest teams around. I would have liked to get 4 points out of last week considering the competition, but 3 wasn’t a total loss. They also finally figured out how to keep a team from scoring at least 3 goals, which had happened the previous 9 games.
- Three more games before the Christmas break this week begins tonight with an opportunity to avenge the loss earlier this month to Philadelphia. The Flyers lost Saturday in Dallas 3-1, their first loss since the day after Thanksgiving, and still have a 6-game home winning streak intact. Tuesday they visit the Devils who have been on the wrong end of 6 straight, being outscored 25-8. Don’t…. lose….. this… game. The final game before the break comes Thursday at home vs the Kings. If you’re going to this one, plan on staying a little later than usual as the last 3 home games vs LA have gone to OT.
As always, you can follow me on Twitter @GreekGoalie35 as well as my fellow comrades @brandon_felder and fearless leader @CrazyCharlie615 to discuss anything and everything Preds related.
Until next week, everyone have a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS!