It’s only the preseason.
That’s the annual reminder for clubs this time of year when they’re playing well. Still, ask any head coach if he’d rather be 5-1 or 1-5 – no matter what time of year - and the answer is obvious.
The Nashville Predators moved to 5-1-0 on the preseason with an impressive 4-1 victory against Washington at Bridgestone Arena on Wedneday. The young guys played with poise, the veterans played like veterans, and it’s all translating to victories.
Smiles abound in Smashville. Here are three reasons why. Three MusingsIs Craig Smith really only 22?:
Smith is not intimidated, this much is clear. Predators Coach Barry Trotz purposely had him facing some of the world’s best players on Wednesday and Smith didn’t flinch. He had two assists in 12:14 and has proven to the coaching staff he can play center or the wing. Smith also had a team-high five shots, which will quickly ingratiate himself to Predators fans.Wilson is rolling: Colin Wilson
entered camp with a new outlook and a new drive. He wanted to give more effort while playing under control, which is a delicate dance. Instead of pressing and making mistakes, Wilson appears to have found a balance. He has six points in his last four games, including a first-period goal on Wednesday that tied the score at 1-1. There’s no reason to think he won’t continue his current style of play.Peks in effect:
There was a minor scare on Saturday against Winnipeg when Rinne headed to the bench bleeding. He was hit in the mask with a puck, which caused a cut over his right eye. After 12 stitches and a little discomfort, Rinne hasn’t missed a beat. He stopped 23 of 24 shots Wednesday, and the one goal he allowed was understandable. Predators defenseman Mattias Ekholm
lost his footing and Washington’s Mathieu Perreault took advantage, scoring the Capitals’ lone goal.Three Quotes
Barry Trotz on his defensive players: “To me, I’ve got my four guys. I’ve got Suter, Weber, Blum and Klein. After that, we are still trying to sort it out a bit.”Shea Weber
: “We need to improve in all areas of our game. I thought we got a little bit better, still a little bit sloppy at times. But tonight I think a lot of men were sacrificing their bodies, especially on the PK.”Colin Wilson
: “I think I’ve been getting some good bounces but I have to credit my line mates. I think they were really, really good. (Niclas) Bergfors was doing a great job and (David) Legwand was going.” Mully’s 3 stars
1. Shea Weber
: 1 goal, 1 assist, +1 rating, 2 blocked shots in 23:54
2. Craig Smith
: His two assists and aggressive shots make him a must-watch
3. Colin Wilson
: Grabbed the momentum back with a goal after the Capitals scored early