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Preds Finding Different Ways To Win

Tuesday, 03.13.2012 / 11:36 AM CT / Features
By Jay Levin  - Nashville Predators
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Preds Finding Different Ways To Win
This season's Preds squad has developed an ability to adapt its game to the qualities necessary to win. Nashville's 41 wins are sixth most in the NHL this season. And the 37 non-shootout wins are third most in the league.

Many of those wins have come through solid "system play" and following "the Preds script" -- tight defense anchored by All-Stars Ryan Suter and Shea Weber and stellar goaltending from Vezina front-runner Pekka Rinne. But plenty of this season's wins have come from outside of that script.

The current three game winning streak is a microcosm of the team’s unique talent to win in different ways. Last night was a wide-open offensive battle with the teams trading chances in all three periods and the Preds top line stepping up biggest with Martin Erat, Mike Fisher and Sergei Kostitsyn factoring in three of the team’s four goals --- and creating several other good quality scoring chances. Saturday against Detroit it was tremendous goaltending by Pekka Rinne and timely production from the power-play – converting for two of the team’s three goals. Thursday against Colorado it was Brandon Yip and Matt Halischuk – two guys averaging fewer than 12:00 of ice time per game – providing key plays on the team’s second and third goals respectively in a 4-2 win.

But despite all that, people still like to doubt this team; try to focus more on what this team doesn’t have or doesn’t do well or areas of the game that they perceive to be slipping or any myriad of other reasons people have for doubting this team. But at the end of the day all that matters is what they DO well … and that’s win.

They continually find a way to win games --- many times when others feel they have no business winning. December 1 at defending Western Conference Champion Vancouver, after blowing an early 3-1 lead, the Preds found themselves down 5-3, but rallied to win 6-5; a week later they trailed 3-1 in Columbus, but scored twice in the final 1:36 of the third period to force overtime before Colin Wilson netted the game-winner in the extra session. December 15 the Detroit Red Wings out-shot the Preds 40-21 and held a 3-1 lead late in the second period, but Nashville tied the game with 4:24 remaining in regulation and won it 2:48 later. One week after that the Preds spotted Columbus leads of 4-1 and 5-2 only to chip away, tie the score with 3:46 left in the third period and win it with under 10 seconds left in regulation. And then there was the first game out of the All-Star Break, up in Minnesota, when the Preds were dominated for the first 49 minutes, trailing 4-1, but got one goal back in the middle of the third period and then scored three times in the final 3:21 to steal a win that left even Mike Fisher, the game-winning goal scorer, at a loss for words.

This team has developed a winning attitude, a winning will, a winning know-how. And that’s tougher to game plan against than any talented player or coaching scheme.

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 PLAYOFFS
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
C. Wilson 14 5 8 8 13
R. Josi 14 1 8 -6 9
R. Johansen 14 4 4 0 8
J. Neal 14 4 4 1 8
M. Fisher 14 5 2 -1 7
M. Ekholm 14 3 4 2 7
S. Weber 14 3 4 -7 7
R. Ellis 14 0 6 0 6
F. Forsberg 14 2 2 -11 4
M. Salomaki 14 1 1 2 2
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Rinne 7 7 0 .906 2.63
C. Hutton 0 0 0 .667 3.00