Greetings From Smashville! Season 13, Week 22

By Jas Faulkner, Nashville Correspondent


Week 22 was a mixed bag for the Predators.  The first half consisted of the shank end of yet another swing through the far west (or the extremely far east, depending on which direction you’re going).  I’d write more detailed accounts, but the first game of the week wasn’t televised and the second was way, way too late for me.  Staying up that late is just not a go.  I’m useless after ten-thirty.

It’s not that I’m old, in fact, I’m only nine.  I tell people I was born in 1963 so they won’t be alarmed.  I’ll let you in on a little secret.  You know Dorian Gray had a painting aging for him in the attic, right?    Pete Weber and Terry Crisp are actually three hundred and thirty five and three hundred and forty two years old.  They look good for their age, don’t they?  You know why?  The hockey columnists age for them.*

Yeah, they look cuddly, but...

Okay, enough silliness.  Let’s get down to business.

Like Putting Out A Fire With Gasoline…

NSH @ CGY   March 6th, 2011

 Sunday afternoon’s game against Calgary ended with the Predators trailing by one point.  Nobody wants to lose but it’s hard to have much rancor about the end result when the penultimate goal for CGY was a penalty shot that put Jarome Iginla in the rather exclusive “30 in 10″ club.  Career milestones like that are always a great thing to witness no matter whose colours you’re wearing. 

Jarome Iginla. 30 goals in 10 consecutive seasons. (Wikipedia Commons)

eRatman got third star of the game and Kiprusoff and Rinne faced off.   Those two goalies on opposite creases had to look like a Finnish production of “Gunfight at the OK Corral”.  The Kipper won, but Rinne was reasonably upbeat, saying he would make up for lost time in San Jose.

Do You Know Quickest, Least Conspicuous Way From San Jose?

NSH @ SJS  March 8th, 2011

Okay, let’s clear the air here.  Pekka Rinne is the darling of the mature female fan set in Nashville.  When he’s in uniform, he looks like he’s about to choke Grand Moff Tarkin.  He sounds like he’s about to choke Grand Moff Tarkin.  They don’t care.   They all know that he’s a mellow guy with the best speaking voice on the team who would rather read than watch The Hangover.**  They will also scratch the eyes out of Patrick Marleau if he hurts a hair on their Pekka’s head.  Marleau definitely has a thing for Rinne as he makes it his business to worry him the way he does.

However, their visit to the Tank wasn’t a without its high points.  Rinne made some pretty remarkable saves among the thirty he logged that night. There was also a sign of things to come as Joel Ward gave the veiwers at home a glimpse of the awesomness that was to follow…

Wild, Wild Life!

MIN @ NSH  March 10th, 20111

Joel Ward had a standout week. (Jas Faulkner)

In the beginning was the Ward and the Ward was good.  Then the Hockey Gods smiled down on Nashville and added the Spaling and the Erat to the board and they sat back and saw it was good.   Then the sun and the moon turned in the sky and the final buzzer soundeth and the Hockey Gods nudgedeth Paul McCann and smileth down on Music City.

“Paul, ” saith the Hockey Gods, “Tell Predsnation it’s Frosty time!”

Thus Wendy’s restaurants all over Nashville madeth good on their “Score Four for Frostys” promotion and Predsnation’s  brains did freezeth on the way home from the game and yea, there was joy in Nashville. 


Huzzah! (Jas Faulkner)

Thursday’s game against Minnesota had everything there is to love about Predators hockey. The Dynamic Duo of Suter and Weber were in rare form.

Rinne is in good company at the net. (Jas Faulkner)

 Legwand and Smithson were scary presences at the faceoff circles. 

It's the DEATH GLARE! (Jas Faulkner)

 eRatman and The Gelfling were like stealth assassins, ready to strike at any time. 

Then there was Ward, continuing the streak of sheer damned…just damned..just.  Damn. He was good.  

Ward gets his due. (Jas Faulkner)

He was followed by Spaling, who is having an outstanding rookie year in Nashville.  He came tantalisingly close to getting his first NHL hat trick.

Spaling scores! (Jas Faulkner)

The Kodak moment of the night belonged to Pat the Bear.  Hornqvist was never far away from his favorite place in the whole wide world, the opposition’s crease.  At one point there was a flurry of activity at the Wild’s net and then the usual crowding as the referees sorted things out.

Weber: I think we're missing one... (Jas Faulkner)

When the dust cleared, it was plain that MIN’s goalie, Niklas Backstrom, had netted  Pat the Bear and wasn’t ready to let him go. After some negotiation between Backstrom, Weber and the officials, Hornqvist was released in exchange for a box of Pecan Goo Goo Clusters and a Taylor Swift CD. 

Goalies are advised to keep their hands out of the net... (Jas Faulkner)

The night ended with another shutout for Rinne’s stats and a sugary treat for the fans to enjoy on the way home.

He Ain’t Heavy, He’s Cal’s Brother

COL @ NSH  March 12th 2011

The refs have their hands full. (Jas Faulkner)

…and he managed to spend some time in the Sin Bin in Nashville.  Two trips to the penalty box might have qualified him as a genuine pest but he was outdone by Ryan Wilson , who chirped and prodded at Jordin Tootoo most of the night. Both Tootoo and Predators Head Coach, Barry Trotz disclosed that they had discussed Wilson’s actions and Trotz finally gave Tootoo the go-ahead to slap him like a tipsy bridesmaid.

Tootoo vs. Wilson (Jas Faulkner)

The fight between Tootoo and Wilson was pretty spectacular and netted both of them five minutes of quiet time.  However, it was far from the only scrap that night.

O'Brien can haz mad! (Jas Faulkner)

 Tempers ran as high and free as the stream of Big Cats fans demanding their free Frostys at Wendy’s drive-thrus all over Middle Tennessee after the game.  

Fight! Fight! (Jas Faulkner)

The final score, 4-2 in favor of the Predators, and a lot of hard fallings as the Avalanche slushed off the ice and into the dressing rooms at event level.

Predators enjoy their victory. (Jas Faulkner)

Week 23 is a nice homestand for the Big Cats as they face the Kings, the Bruins and the Red Wings. Can they continue to show tiger-like tenacity on the ice?  Wait and see.

This has been Jas Faulkner,  whose pancreas thanks her every time she avoids the Frostys.   If your team is having an HFC night, please give, even if its just a little bit. Every contribution helps!  I’ll be seeing you at the ‘Stone and the ‘Plex and online at Facebook and Twitter!

*Don’t like that one?  Okay, how about this?  Niklas Lidstrom the Shih Tzu ate my first two summaries.  It’s a twofer: cute foofy lap dog does evil and you can blame a Red Wing.  You’re Welcome. 

** Thanks to Ryan Jones, my mother now has a “Cookie List”.  She wants to give homemade cookies to Ryan in exchange for a hug and is hoping Pekka will one day offer the same deal.  She has also disclosed that she cannot be trusted to behave around David Legwand.

Jas Faulkner



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