“Play your game.”
Yup… that’s what they did. The Predators have finished games in the two hockey meccas of the world and came away with four points and a much needed boost in their confidence as a team labeled a Stanley Cup contender. Last night’s 4-0 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs was a defensive masterpiece, holding the gifted Leafs to only 18 shots… oh, did I mention defense, because that’s where the first two goals came from as well. Both goals on cannons from the point from Mattias Ekholm and PK Subban.
Sandwiched in between, a controversial overturning of a Leafs goal on an offside play. And boy… did that bring out the whiners. Apparently, an offside play isn’t an offside play when a goal happens :26 seconds after the offside play. At least if you look at Leafs social media or listen to NHL Network Radio...
So let me get this straight, offside has an expiration time? OK… So where is the limit? Five seconds? Ten Seconds? 13.25 seconds? No one seems to have an idea on that. I get that some fans don’t like the offside review, trust me, I hated it when it happened to the Preds in the Stanley Cup Final, calling a phantom offside on Filip Forsberg; I still disagree with the call, but the problem with the review last night seems to be the amount of time that had passed since the offside play, not the call itself.
So here is my argument… an offside play is an offside play, no matter how long the play continues. If it takes three minutes… the play still began offside. That’s when play should have stopped. I could hear the complaining early on the morning shows originating from Toronto all centered on the amount of time passed. Look, if you hate the review for offside, then say it and be done with it, but arguing time as a reason for ignoring an offside play is just plain silly (climbs down off soapbox.)
After Subban’s goal, the Predators just locked it down, kept working and delivered a highly satisfying 4-0 shutout win. Pekka Rinne was… well… Pekka, and the rest of the team seemed to have gotten the message from Friday’s stinker in Detroit.
If the Predators build on this level of play, they will be a force come April… and May… and potentially June. Next up? Chicago on Wednesday Night Hockey.
Join us tonight (special Tuesday edition) for SlapShot Radio at 7pm on 102.5 the Game, Brent, Zack and I will welcome Predators beat writer Paul Skrbina.
Where We Stand
As play begins today, Nashville is back in the first slot in the Central Division, one point ahead of the Winnipeg Jets however, Winnipeg holds three games in hand over Nashville. The Preds lead Dallas and Colorado by seven points.
Nashville currently holds the 2 seed in the Western Conference playoff race and has a 99.1% chance of making the playoffs according to SportsClubStats.com
- Milwaukee Update –The Admirals are back home Wednesday night against Grand Rapids. Eeli Tolvanen should be back with the team by then.
- Blanking - Last night was Pekka Rinne’s 54th career shutout, tied for 21st on the all-time list.
- Reunited and it feels so good - The JoFA line was reunited in the third period last night as Filip Forsberg returned to the lineup after missing 17 games.
- Forsberg returns… Salomaki goes – Miikka Salomaki was place on IR with an upper body injury prior to last night’s game.
- Exposure - National TV for tomorrow night’s game as NBCSN features Preds/Blackhawks.
- Milestone - Last night was Matt Irwin’s 300th career NHL game.
SlapShot Radio’s 11th season is on! As the longest running hockey show in the region, SSR feeds hockey fans what they crave… intelligent, fun, entertaining talk about their favorite sport and we do it from the opening of training camp all the way through UFA day. We are on every Wednesday at 7pm… except this week where are on tonight as the Preds are playing Wednesday. Please join Brent Peterson, Zack McCann and me on 102.5 the Game with our guest Paul Skrbina.
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