• PRINT
  • RSS

Mully's Musings: vs St. Louis

Saturday, 12.17.2011 / 10:55 PM CT / Features
By Bryan Mullen
X
Share with your Friends


Mully\'s Musings: vs St. Louis
If your favorite team is about to face the Nashville Predators, here’s something you should know. Give the Preds any chance to be in the game late, any shred of a thread to hang from, and they will make you pay.

Saturday, it was St. Louis’ turn.

Nashville was thoroughly outshot for most of regulation, managed one goal in three periods, went to overtime, then won in the shootout when David Legwand lifted a back-hander past Jaroslav Halak. The sold-out crowd of 17,113 at Bridgestone Arena witnessed another nail biter as the Preds moved their winning streak to five games. This was the 10th consecutive one-goal game for Nashville, and its record is 7-3-0 during that stretch.

It wasn’t always pretty, but there are no pictures in the standings. Nashville earned two more points against one of the Western Conference’s hottest teams and closed out its four-game homestand in style.

Let’s muse...


Rinne stellar once again: It’s almost come to the point where observers have to remind themselves that Preds goaltender Pekka Rinne’s night-in, night-out performances are remarkable. It can sometimes be taken for granted how great of a player he is because of his high-level of consistency. Rinne was once again peppered with shots and he stopped 39 of 40. The only one he gave up was a power play goal by T.J. Oshie. He also stopped all three of St. Louis’ shots in the shootout. Rinne is living up to the big contract he recently signed, and the looks of frustration from opponents are becoming routine. Simply put, Nashville does not win this game if Rinne was above average. He had to be outstanding, and that is why the Preds continued their winning streak.

Fisher a quiet catalyst: When Mike Fisher was acquired by Nashville last season, much was made about his experience and smart play. A perfect example took place during a key moment in the third period. Seconds after a Nashville penalty expired, Fisher gained control of the puck, held it through the neutral zone, and waited for his teammates to make a push. Under complete control, he fed a pass to Shea Weber, who found Martin Erat near the net who scored an easy goal. It was the type of play that Nashville’s inexperienced players can learn from, and a prime reason why Fisher’s role with the Preds continues to pay off big.

Home ice and a streak: To say Nashville has dominated its opponents during this five-game win streak would be misleading. But it’s equally – if not more – impressive to see the way the Preds are winning. They faced two of the NHL’s hottest teams in the last two games (Detroit, St. Louis) and hung in the entire game when things were not going their way. Against the Blues, they were outshot 14-2 in the first period, and 29-13 through two periods. Didn’t matter. Call it moxie, grit, or determination. Further, after the team lost some veteran players following last season, the Preds are appearing to gel. During training camp, Nashville General Manager David Poile said this team would be better in the second half of the season than in the first. If that holds true, Preds fans could be in store for a special ride.


THREE QUOTES
F David Legwand on shootout goal: “We pre-scout. It was nice to have the opportunity and score one for Pekka. He stood strong and gave us the opportunity to be there in the end.”

G Pekka Rinne on shootout: “This year it seems like all our games have been decided in regulation. It’s a little bit different when you’re in the shootout. You just try and stay calm and not do too much.”

Barry Trotz: “It was hard to get shots but you have to have the mindset that you want to shoot it. It was a hard fought two points. It really was a test to see where we were, especially against the last two teams we faced.”


THREE STARS
G Pekka Rinne, Nashville: Stopped 39-of-40 shots, stopped all 3 in SO
F Mike Fisher, Nashville: 1 assist, +1 rating, team-high 21:37 for forwards
F T.J. Oshie, St. Louis: 1 goal, 24:11, 4 shots

SMASHVILLE CENTRAL

SCHEDULE
 

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS
 

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 z - ANA 82 51 24 7 228 221 109
2 y - STL 82 51 24 7 239 197 109
3 x - NSH 82 47 25 10 226 202 104
4 x - CHI 82 48 28 6 220 186 102
5 x - VAN 82 48 29 5 236 220 101
6 x - MIN 82 46 28 8 227 198 100
7 x - WPG 82 43 26 13 223 204 99
8 x - CGY 82 45 30 7 237 213 97
9 LAK 82 40 27 15 218 197 95
10 DAL 82 41 31 10 257 257 92
11 COL 82 39 31 12 209 223 90
12 SJS 82 40 33 9 224 226 89
13 EDM 82 24 44 14 193 276 62
14 ARI 82 24 50 8 165 267 56

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
F. Forsberg 82 26 37 15 63
M. Ribeiro 82 15 47 11 62
R. Josi 81 15 40 15 55
S. Weber 78 15 30 15 45
C. Smith 82 23 21 11 44
C. Wilson 77 20 22 19 42
M. Fisher 59 19 20 4 39
J. Neal 67 23 14 12 37
R. Ellis 58 9 18 8 27
S. Jones 82 8 19 3 27
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Rinne 41 17 6 .923 2.18
C. Hutton 6 7 4 .902 2.61