Best Predators Game: December 1 (5-2 win over Chicago)
Believe it or not, December actually got off to a pretty great start for the Nashville Predators. The Chicago Blackhawks came to Bridgestone Arena looking to take advantage of Nashville’s depth issues. The depth issues weren’t there that night, as five different Predators found the back of the net at the expense of Cam Ward.
Kevin Fiala got things rolling 2:11 into the game. Eeli Tolvanen scored his first NHL goal 1:21 after that, and Ryan Johansen made it 3-0 thirty-nine seconds afterward. It was 4-1 at the end of the first period & the Predators didn’t look back.
Little did we know the first period of December would be the best of the month.
Worst Predators Game: December 20 (2-1 loss to Philadelphia)
After getting off to a tremendous road start in October & November, the Predators’ record outside of Nashville took a nosedive in December. Going into their New Years’ Eve trip to Washington, the Predators have obtained a grand total of one point out of a potential twelve available in six road games. An overtime loss in Ottawa was the only night the Predators didn’t leave a road barn without a point to show for it.
The low point was a loss in Philadelphia to one of the worst teams in the National Hockey League. On Scott Hartnell Night, of all things. With a man beloved by both franchises & their fanbases in attendance & dropping the puck, only the Flyers were able to show the type of grit that Hartnell was known for throughout his career.
I find that a lot of articles from mainstream outlets explaining Gritty’s appeal fail to mention that he’s pretty much a hairier Scott Hartnell. Putting the political overtones aside, I think we can all agree that Gritty reminds us of Hartnell.