Thursday, March 3, 2011

Rinne, Geoffrion lead Preds past Canucks

What an emotional roller coaster this week has been. On Sunday, the Nashville Predators found their offense in the nick of time to dispose of the BJ‘s. On Tuesday, they played down to their competition, and lost to the last-place Oilers. Tonight, they played up to theirs, and shut down the NHL’s best team on the road by a final of 3-0.

1st Period
  • Barry Trotz was really giving the pencil and eraser a workout tonight. He re-arranged all four lines before the game, but he didn’t stop there, as he continued to rearrange those lines as the game progressed.
  • Quiet period. Vancouver undoubtedly had more scoring chances than Nashville (surprise, surprise), but Pekka Rinne was his normal self.

2nd Period
  • Another quiet period, outside of Nashville’s lone power play opportunity. Good puck control, lots of traffic to the net, four shots… just nothing to show for it.

3rd Period
  • For the second game in a row, Blake Geoffrion opened the scoring, as Jordin Tootoo was able to control the puck in the corner to Roberto Luongo’s left and find a wide open Geoffrion, who tapped it past the Canucks netminder. Geoffrion did what many Preds forwards haven’t done all that much lately: go to the net. Perhaps the forwards will get the message that Geoffrion seems to be portraying.
  • The closer the end of regulation got, the more nervous I got. Nashville has shown time and time again their inability to close out games, and it could potentially cost them dearly in the standings. Tonight, I didn’t want overtime. I didn’t want just one point. Pekka Rinne and the defense were doing their part. Who was going to score the goal to put this game out of reach?
  • At 17:39, Patric Hornqvist answered the call, as he pick-pocketed former Pred Dan Hamhuis and put a sweet deke on Luongo on the ensuing breakaway. Horndog had the whole open net to put the puck in, and gave the Preds a HUGE two-goal lead.
  • David Legwand iced the game at 19:25, following up a Martin Erat miss and depositing the puck into the empty net.

Other Thoughts

  • Colin Wilson was only on the ice for 7:58 tonight. For someone that is tabbed as one of the Preds most creative offensive players, this isn’t a good sign.
  • Blake Geoffrion only recorded 7:56 of ice time tonight, and got one shot on net, but he made that shot count.
  • Typical Pekka Rinne tonight. He only shut down one of the most dynamic offenses in the NHL. Just another day at the office.
  • NOTE TO THE NHL: implement no-touch icing next season. Please. Hopefully Cody Franson’s injury isn’t too serious; we’ve had enough injuries this season

HUGE two points from Nashville tonight, as they jump back into the playoff picture for the time being in seventh place. No one was sure what team we would see tonight after Tuesday’s abysmal effort, but everyone delivered at a critical time. Up next, another huge road game, as they take on Calgary, the team one spot behind them in the playoff race.

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