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Patten’s Plus-Minus: Nashville Predators at Colorado Avalanche


Nov 7, 2013


The best and worst from Nashville’s 6-4 win over the Colorado Avalanche on Wednesday night.


  • Not only did Viktor Stalberg score his first points as a Nashville Predator, he played a thoroughly dominant game that showed what Nashville expected when they signed him to a four-year deal. Along with his goal and his assist, Stalberg was noticeable both offensively and defensively on Wednesday night for good reasons. He managed to put 6 shots on net, missed another 5, had 2 blocks, rang one off the pipe and had his stick break on a breakaway. For a player who had not been a factor all season, Stalberg found a way to become a huge factor against the NHL’s best team. Were it not for a little bad luck, we could be sitting here talking about Stalberg’s hat trick.
  • Colin Wilson tied his career-best offensive output with a four-point night. Wilson had Nashville’s fourth and fifth goals, plus assisted on Stalberg’s goal and on Craig Smith’s first period power play goal. His other four-point game came on March 8 of this year against Edmonton. After suffering a season-ending injury on the following night, it has taken Wilson – Nashville’s leading scorer at the time of his injury – a little while to get going this season, but he and Stalberg definitely seemed to click while working together.
  • In addition to a 17-day road trip, Nashville apparently also decided to embark on a 17-day offensive explosion. For a team that has been criticized repeatedly for not being able to score, for not having the right pieces, etc., Nashville has started this road trip with a bang, scoring four or more goals in all three games and averaging 4.67 goals per game.
  • Thursday night was Nashville’s fourth road win of the season. They won 5 in all of last season. Additionally, there are 14 possible points on this road trip and the Predators have already bagged 5.
  • It was an empty netter, but sometimes that’s all you need. Gabriel Bourque finally got his first goal of the season with 18 seconds to go when David Legwand tossed him the puck ahead of all Colorado players and Bourque hit the empty net. Like Stalberg, Bourque hit a pipe earlier and played one of his better games so far this season.
  • Mattias Ekholm had not scored an NHL point two weeks ago. Now he’s scored in four consecutive games, which is currently the longest streak on the team.
  • Ryan Ellis had his second multiple point game of the season, assisting on both of Nashville’s power play goals.
  • Nashville was perfect on the power play, scoring two goals in two tries. The Predators have very quietly become the third-ranked team in the entire NHL on the power play with a 24.4% conversion percentage.
  • Nashville held Colorado off of the board on the power play.
  • Filip Forsberg found his way back into Nashville’s lineup and onto the scoresheet when his shot deflected off of the shaft of Paul Gaustad’s stick and past Semyon Varlamov, giving him an assist on Gaustad’s goal.
  • Nick Spaling finished 11 of 12 in the faceoff circle, while Nashville won 34 of 57 draws. The team ranks third in the NHL in faceoff percentage.
  • David Legwand had his third consecutive multiple point game, the longest such streak of his career. With 14 points on the season, Legwand is tied for 33rd overall in scoring. Meanwhile, his 10 assists put him in 17th place.
  • Paul Gaustad scored his third goal of the season, eclipsing last season’s total already.


  • Carter Hutton found a way to earn a point in his third game in a row despite giving up four goals. In his last four games, Hutton has allowed 16 goals on 120 shots…but is 2-1-1 in that stretch. Nashville has been scoring a lot of goals during that stretch, but it’s largely been because they needed to, since the team has been incapable of maintaining a lead with Hutton in net. However, in fairness to Hutton, his team recognizes that they do not have Pekka Rinne behind them and have been bringing the heat in the offensive zone. Hutton has been getting the important statistic – the win – but he needs to have a game where his team doesn’t have to play up for him.
  • David Legwand played a very sloppy third period, including a giveaway right in front of the Predators net that should have been a late game-tying goal, except for the fact that Erik Johnson shot the puck wide.
  • Victor Bartley was scratched for the third game in a row. Mattias Ekholm and Ryan Ellis both found the scoresheet, which means he’ll probably sit again against Winnipeg on Friday.