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Mully's Musings: vs. San Jose

Tuesday, 10.25.2011 / 10:53 PM CT / Features
By Bryan Mullen
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Mully\'s Musings: vs. San Jose
The Nashville Predators welcomed back defenseman Francis Bouillon and forward Mike Fisher on Tuesday against San Jose, but it wasn’t quite enough as the Sharks exited Bridgestone Arena with a 3-1 victory. Nashville is still looking for its first home victory, and will once again have a chance on Thursday when they host Tampa Bay.

Shots on goal continued to be an issue for the Predators, who were outshot 36-20 on Tuesday (it was noted by multiple Preds players and coach Barry Trotz that many of San Jose’s shots were from long range). Trotz said he has pleased with the quality of shots his players are taking. Nashville did have 45 shot attempts against San Jose, with 21 of them coming from defenseman.

San Jose took a 1-0 lead in the first on a shorthanded goal by Logan Couture, but Nashville showed some spunk in the third and tied it at 1-1 when rookie Craig Smith scored on the power play. But just 57 seconds later, the Sharks’ Joe Pavelski scored to grab the momentum back. He added an empty-netter with 1:12 to go.

On to the musings…


THREE MUSINGS
Back in action: It was difficult to tell that Bouillon had missed 44 games and nearly six months since suffering a concussion last season. He played 17:32, showed some physicality, and even bounced back quickly after taking a hit to the head area. Fisher returned to game action for the first time in 2011-12 after undergoing offseason shoulder surgery. He played well alongside Sergei Kostitsyn and Smith, and the line had multiple scoring chances, with one coming just four minutes into the game. Fisher played 19:30 and picked up an assist. With those two back in the lineup, Nashville will benefit greatly in terms of experience and talent.

Superb Smith: There is no question Smith is benefitting from playing with Fisher and Kostitsyn, but it appears the standout rookie would produce with anyone. Smith had a team-high six shots, including a boomer with 1:27 to go that had San Jose goalie Antti Niemi scrambling a bit. His power play goal was even more impressive considering he did some hard work behind the goal to feed Shea Weber, who assisted on Smith’s score.

Tootoo energized: The reemergence of Jordin Tootoo continues. His motor is running high but he is playing under control. His role as an agitator was perfectly illustrated in the period when he drew two penalties. Tootoo is also upping his offensive production and was third on the team in shots with three.


THREE QUOTES
Mike Fisher on his return: “My legs feel alright and battling felt pretty good. Other than the loss, I didn’t feel too bad.”

G Pekka Rinne: “We’ve been working to make our game better, and we’re getting better. It seems like it takes a little bit of time to get the result. I can only talk about myself, and I’m disappointed how it ended by letting that goal in.”

Coach Barry Trotz on return of Bouillon and Fisher: “For the first time in awhile, I didn’t feel like we were outmanned. It was really stabilizing having them in the lineup. We were able to do some things that we weren’t able to do before.”


THREE STARS
G Pekka Rinne: Stopped 33 of 35 shots
F Craig Smith: 1 goal, team-high six shots
F Jordin Tootoo: Full-out hustling, drew two penalties in the third

SMASHVILLE CENTRAL

SCHEDULE
 

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS
 

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 z - DAL 82 50 23 9 267 230 109
2 x - STL 82 49 24 9 224 201 107
3 x - CHI 82 47 26 9 235 209 103
4 y - ANA 82 46 25 11 218 192 103
5 x - LAK 82 48 28 6 225 195 102
6 x - SJS 82 46 30 6 241 210 98
7 x - NSH 82 41 27 14 228 215 96
8 x - MIN 82 38 33 11 216 206 87
9 COL 82 39 39 4 216 240 82
10 ARI 82 35 39 8 209 245 78
11 WPG 82 35 39 8 215 239 78
12 CGY 82 35 40 7 231 260 77
13 VAN 82 31 38 13 191 243 75
14 EDM 82 31 43 8 203 245 70

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
F. Forsberg 82 33 31 1 64
R. Josi 81 14 47 -3 61
J. Neal 82 31 27 27 58
S. Weber 78 20 31 -7 51
M. Ribeiro 81 7 43 11 50
C. Smith 82 21 16 4 37
M. Ekholm 82 8 27 14 35
R. Johansen 42 8 26 10 34
R. Ellis 79 10 22 13 32
C. Jarnkrok 81 16 14 1 30
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Rinne 34 21 10 .908 2.48
C. Hutton 7 5 4 .918 2.33