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Mully's Musings: vs. Buffalo

Saturday, 12.3.2011 / 10:49 PM CT / Features
By Bryan Mullen
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Mully\'s Musings: vs. Buffalo
At times like this, it’s a go-to phrase for Nashville coach Barry Trotz. The hockey gods, he likes to say, even up everything.

Buffalo came to town and skated off with a 3-2 victory in front of a sold-out crowd of 17,133 at Bridgestone Arena. The Predators outplayed the Sabres on almost every front but couldn’t pull out the win. Two days earlier at Vancouver, Nashville played poorly for long stretches but came out with a 6-5 victory.

So, Nashville shouldn’t have won at Vancouver and should have beaten Buffalo. And the end result is the same. The Preds are 1-1-0 in their last two games.

Trotz was not overly upset following the Buffalo loss. His team outshot the Sabres by a large number, the intensity was evident despite Nashville coming off a long trip, and the Preds went with their backup goaltender. As Trotz said, Nashville only made about six mistakes on Saturday, but three of them ended up in the back of the net.

On to the musings…


THREE MUSINGS
Lindback is back: After being the main reason why Nashville stole two points at Vancouver, No. 2 goaltender Anders Lindback got the start against the Sabres. Entering Saturday, he was 2-1-0 with a 2.37 goals against average and .918 save percentage. If Lindback were to be graded on Saturday’s performance, he likely would receive a C+ or B-. Lindback stopped only 11 of 14 shots, and as Trotz said afterward, the Preds needed just one more save from the youngster. Don’t expect Saturday’s performance to hurt his confidence. Ask the coaches, and they will tell you that one of Lindback’s greatest strengths is putting things behind him. He will be called on again soon, and the loss to Buffalo will be well in his past.

Weird sequence: A wild scene took place in the final minutes of the second period. Preds forward Jordin Tootoo made a move to the net, was slightly nudged from behind by the Sabres’ Christian Ehrhoff, and collided with Buffalo goaltender Ryan Miller. Tootoo launched himself in the air to try and avoid the collision but contact was made. As soon as Tootoo hit the ice, Miller jumped on Tootoo and threw several punches. Both teams converged and it took a few minutes before everyone was dislodged. Tootoo received a five-minute major for charging and a game misconduct. It will be interesting to see if the NHL doles out any more punishment on Tootoo, who looked like he would have been able to avoid the collision had he not been nudged. But with Miller just returning from a concussion, the NHL may be sensitive to the fact and hit Tootoo with some added discipline.

Shooting the puck: It’s an eye-catching stat. The Predators outshot Buffalo 34-14. Nashville hasn’t been known to outshoot its opponents very often, and even when they do, it’s rarely by 20 shots. Ryan Suter led all players with seven shots, followed by David Legwand (six). Rookie Craig Smith, who is never shy shooting the puck, had only three shots but did score a power play goal. The problem for Nashville was Miller being in net. Miller stopped 32 of 34 shots and had some highlight-reel saves.


THREE QUOTES
F Jordin Tootoo on the collision with Miller: “The last thing I wanted to do was run the goalie over and put our team in a bad situation. There was no intent to charge at him.”

F Craig Smith on preparing for the next game: “We just have to make sure we take care of our bodies. We’re coming off a long trip. We have to get good rest and get ready to push it this week.”

Coach Barry Trotz on Tootoo’s collision: “I know it wasn’t intentional. It was a hockey play that sort of went awry a little bit.”


THREE STARS
G Ryan Miller, Buffalo: Stopped 32 of 34 shots
F Luke Adam, Buffalo: 1 goal, 1 assist, +2
F David Legwand, Nashville: 1 goal, 1 assist

SMASHVILLE CENTRAL

SCHEDULE
 

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS
 

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 CHI 57 36 17 4 158 130 76
2 DAL 54 34 15 5 174 145 73
3 STL 56 30 17 9 133 130 69
4 LAK 52 32 17 3 144 119 67
5 SJS 52 28 20 4 149 138 60
6 ANA 52 26 19 7 117 122 59
7 NSH 54 25 21 8 139 144 58
8 COL 56 27 25 4 149 155 58
9 MIN 53 23 20 10 130 130 56
10 ARI 52 24 22 6 138 161 54
11 VAN 53 21 20 12 123 143 54
12 CGY 52 24 25 3 138 151 51
13 WPG 53 24 26 3 137 151 51
14 EDM 55 21 29 5 133 166 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
R. Josi 54 11 27 -3 38
F. Forsberg 54 17 18 -7 35
S. Weber 54 14 21 -5 35
M. Ribeiro 54 6 27 2 33
J. Neal 54 19 13 18 32
M. Ekholm 54 6 18 3 24
R. Ellis 53 6 16 2 22
C. Smith 54 11 7 -2 18
C. Jarnkrok 53 9 8 0 17
C. Wilson 37 4 12 -1 16
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Rinne 20 18 7 .903 2.54
C. Hutton 5 2 1 .916 2.36