So, here are some quick thoughts I have after getting some good shuteye after last night’s 3-2 shootout loss to the Blue Jackets.
- As Dennis Green would say, Columbus “is who we thought they were, but we let them off the hook.” The Blue Jackets had a great mix of speed and determination in last night’s opener, showing of a Columbus team that seems (in my opinion) like an overall better squad without Rick Nash. Granted, you can never replace a Rick Nash, but the pieces that came over in the trade already impressed last night.
- I was thoroughly impressed by the play of Roman Josi last night. He stepped into the role that is normally held by Ryan Suter and performed admirably. His 27:30 led the way in ice time for Nashville, right in front of Shea Weber’s 25:07. Weber said that Josi had what it took for people to forget about Ryan Suter, so far he seems dead on correct.
- While I was impressed by the play of the Smith/Wilson/Hornqvist line to start the game last night, I was less impressed as the game went along. The only line that Trotz didn’t adjust last night was the Erat/Fisher/Kostitsyn line, so everyone else found themselves flip-flopping on lines throughout the evening. At times, Smith seemed a little lost on the, while other times he seemed to be the fastest and best skater out there. I’ll attribute it to not playing an NHL game in nearly 8 months, so we’ll see how the lines look for Monday night and how the game against the Blues goes.
- I was also extremely impressed by the play of Ryan Ellis last night. Only 15 minutes of play for him, but found himself on the scoresheet with a goal and nearly had a second one in the third period. The Gill/Ellis pair, albeit humorous in size difference, was really effective I thought.
- I’ve already seen so many people express their frustration after last night’s loss to Columbus, however let me try to calm you down with the following: It’s 1 game out of 48, the Predators earned a point, and it was their first NHL game together in nearly 8 months. It was going to be a rusty experience, this much was apparent, however try not to jump ship after one game. Lots more to go in this compressed season.
- Pekka Rinne looked great, even if it was just the first game of the season. So much for all of that “but he was awful in the KHL” talk.
Here are some fun fancy stats and information thanks to the wonderful media relations crew for the Nashville Predators:
- Columbus’ victory over Nashville ended a three-game streak of season opening wins for the Predators (victories over Dallas, Anaheim, Columbus).
- Nashville has now played in 17 overtime/shootout games against Columbus, with a record of 10-6-1.
- With an assist tonight, Martin Erat now has 51 points in 55 games against the Blue Jackets – the second-highest point total by a Predator against a single team.
- The Predators won the faceoff battle, winning 37 of 69 draws (including 15 of 25 in the third period and overtime). Six of the seven Predators who took faceoffs ended up at 50% or better on the night.
- Shea Weber led all players in the game with six shots and five hits. His seven PIM were more than he earned in any game last season.
- The Predators outshot their opponent 34 to 28. Last season the team was 15-5-4 when getting more shots on net than the opposition
REMEMBER! Tomorrow is an early start time at 5pm CT. Be there for Nashville vs St. Louis
Central Division Standings
St. Louis, 1-0-0, 2pts
Chicago, 1-0-0, 2 pts
Columbus, 1-0-0, 2pts
Nashville, 0-0-1, 1 pt
Detroit, 0-1-0, 0 pts
Nashville Predators Leading Scorers
Sergei Kostitsyn: 0 goals, 2 assists, 2 points
Martin Erat: 1 goal, 0 assists, 1 point
Ryan Ellis: 1 goal, 0 assists, 1 point
Patric Hornqvist: 0 goals, 1 assists, 1 point