Monday, December 7, 2015

Josi's Two Power Play Goals Leads the Predators Over the Bruins

The Nashville Predators needed to play a solid game and get a win to boost their confidence and break out of the funk they have been in recently.

The Boston Bruins were just what the Predators needed to accomplish those goals.

Roman Josi had a monster game, scoring two power play goals. Viktor Arvidsson added the game winner in the third period and Carter Hutton made 15 saves as the Predators defeated the Bruins 3-2 at TD Garden.

Down 1-0 off a goal by Kevin Miller, Josi beat Jonas Gustavsson short side top shelf to tie the game.

After Loui Eriksson gave the Bruins a 2-1 lead, Josi struck again on the power play. He stole a clearing attempt by Zdeno Chara and drove the net, turning Gustavsson inside out before burying the puck into a wide open net.

Viktor Arvidsson notched the game winner as he drove in the low slot, got Gustavsson to commit, and then patiently pulled the puck back and slapped it into the open net.

The Predators were able to hold off the Bruins, who had the extra attacker for the final 1:43 of the game to secure the win.

Some observations:

  • Man, if the Predators didn't have bad luck, they would have no luck at all. Kevin Miller's shot hits Roman Josi and deflects into the net. Eventually, the Predators puck luck has to change. Doesn't it?
  • Roman Josi has as good of a shot as anyone on the team. His power play goal was perfectly placed to the top corner. Josi has to be a serious candidate for the Norris Trophy this season if he continues to play at the level he has in this first quarter of the season. Josi now has a 4 game point streak. His second goal of the game was an absolute beauty, taking the puck into the slot and deking Gustavsson out of his jock.
  • The Predators penalty kill continues to struggle. The goal by Eriksson was just too easy as he was alone at the side of the net. Granted, the Bruins have the number one power play in the NHL, but this goal was a cake walk. I don't know why this unit, that has traditionally been in the top 25% of the of the PK units in the NHL, has lost their focus or their mojo or whatever, but it has to be addressed and improved quickly.
  • You really wonder how players like Zac Rinaldo are even in the League. He brings nothing to the game except dangerous hits and questionable play.
  • Colin Wilson had several good chances in close but could not bury a shot. Look up the definition of "snake bitten" in the dictionary and you will see a picture of Wilson. I do appreciate the fact that the coaches are sticking with Wilson and giving him a chance to get his game on track, but Wilson has to get it going soon. The team needs his production and the only way to get his game going is to play his way out of this brutal slump.
  • I continue to like the play of Viktor Arvidsson. You can just see his game continuing to mature and he is willing to go to the tough areas to battle for the puck and get shots on net. The Aardvark was rewarded for his efforts with the go ahead goal in the third period by going to the slot and exhibiting great patience to draw Gustavsson out of the net before potting the goal into the empty net once the Bruins tender was out of position. He has goals in two consecutive games.
  • Calle Jarnkrok centered the first line and he played a very solid game. Jarnkrok has quietly grown in his game. He is the Predators leading goal scorer among the forwards since the 1st of November and is very solid in the defensive zone. The Predators definitely won the deal with the Red Wings when they acquired Jarnkrok for David Legwand.
  • The Predators were 2-5-2 coming into this game. Needless to say, this was a much needed win.
  • The Predators defense did an exceptional job of limiting the Bruins scoring chances, holding them to 17 shots for the entire game. The Predators had 33 shots.
  • The Predators were 2 of 7 on the power play. They were able to kill 2 of 3 power play chances by the Bruins.
  • 5 of the last 7 goals that the Predators have scored have been by defensemen (Weber with 3; Josi with 2). The other 2 goals? The Aardvark, Viktor Arvidsson.
  • Carter Hutton played his best game in a while. He was positionally sound, controlled rebounds, and looked poised in net. Hutton can get scrambly at times, but not tonight. Perhaps most importantly, he didn't give up the goal off the long unscreened shot from the blue line. You certainly can't fault him on the Bruins first goal, a deflection off a Predator that changed direction.
This was a solid 60 minute game by the Predators, one they had to have to try to reverse their fortunes.

Now they have to bring it again in their next game tomorrow night.

My three stars:

1. Roman Josi

2. Viktor Arvidsson

3. Shea Weber

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