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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 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