Paul McCann: Sunday Shots – Keeping Pace

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On Saturday night’s at Bridgestone Arena, SlapShot Radio’s photographer captures the color and the action from a Smashville Saturday Night, here are today’s Sunday Shots… Courtesy DLM/SlapShot Radio See the whole album at SlapShot Radio .com

Peter Laviolette’s 400th career victory wasn’t pretty, but it was what we have come to expect from his team here in Smashville.

Gritty, come-from-behind, intense… all describing the coach and the team his is leading. To be honest, I have to agree with Mike Ribeiro, who said that he thought it was “kind of a boring game.” The Predators 2-1 win over Winnipeg wasn’t the most exciting, or prettiest one ever… but it still counts for two points and keeps the Preds one point behind the streaking St. Louis Blues and put Nashville four points up on the Jets. The win gives the Predators a 6-2-1 record against the Central, critical to success in this tough division, and ups their Western Conference record to 10-3-2.

In what is becoming the same ole song in Nashville, special teams continue to misfire. The Preds gave up their second SHG of the season last night and put up another “0 fer” as the team went 0-4 on the power play. Nashville’s stellar 5 on 5 play is hiding a multitude of sins, not only on special teams, but their nasty habit of giving up the first goal is another thing that needs to lock down a bit. The Predators have given up the first goal in eleven of their seventeen games so far this season. The Preds have won seven of those games. It’s a great statement of resilience from this team, but that is playing with fire.

I don’t want to sound too negative here, this is a solid team that is making an early season statement to the NHL, especially in the fact that seventeen games in the team has still yet to post back-to-back losses. That being said, these opportunities need to be worked. I would expect a lot of time in practice on Monday to be spent here as special teams normally are the last thing to come together from a chemical perspective and given the turnover this team has seen, is understandable.

The Predators are off today and will practice tomorrow before leaving for Toronto for their 6:30pm Tuesday faceoff. Tuesday’s game begins a stretch of three straight against the Eastern Conference.

And here are your highlights from last night…

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Random Notes

– Filip Forsberg’s six game scoring streak was snapped last night.

– Fascinating discussion on the disallowed goal last night behind the scenes… some saying that Neal didn’t even touch the puck. Tough call either way… but you have to love how the Preds responded.

– The Predators finally get some Eastern teams on the schedule… they have only played two games so far against the East…

– With it getting close to American Thanksgiving, positioning does matter. You have to wonder when the worry starts in places like Chicago and Minnesota. Granted, both teams are only a point or two out of the wild card spots, but this is certainly not what was expected.

– Some interesting questions in Elliotte Friedman’s must read “30 Thoughts” column on Sportsnet.com, including some on Las Vegas and everybody’s favorite… the “dry scrape.”

– Columbus can’t buy a break… now Fedor Tyutin is out for 4-6 weeks.

– Dallas is jumping on the injury train as Valeri Nichushkin will be having hip surgery and will be out until at least March. The prognosis is good for the youngster.

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