It was a rollercoaster of a month for the Nashville Predators. Some ups, some downs, and some ups to end the month carved the path for the team this month.
I often talk about an NHL season being a rollercoaster. The Nashville Predators’ month of January was a rollercoaster. We started with wins over Washington & Philadelphia on New Years’ Eve & Day. The good times continued during the longest road trip of the season, where the Predators collected points for the first five games.
That ended…in Carolina? Nashville responded by whooping Washington in their return to Bridgestone Arena, then dropped the final two games of the homestand. Fortunately, the Predators ended the month in style by winning on the road. They finally overcame the Vegas flu! Apparently getting bitten is the way to do it.
I would have predicted very little of this. Feels like we’re headed in a direction that can’t be predicted. Before that happens, let’s regroup and look back at some of the best & worst of January.
Most Bogus Punishment: Ryan Johansen’s two-game suspension
The less said about Nashville’s game with Winnipeg on January 17, the better. They followed up a big win over the Washington Capitals with a stinker against their top divisional foe. Losses to the Jets sting a little more than losses to other teams these days.
Though maybe they don’t sting as much as the shot to the helmet Mark Scheifele took.
I know. It looked really bad. But you have to take a couple of things into consideration. For one thing, dude did have a helmet on. For another thing, Ryan Johansen was merely trying to kill a fly that had landed on top of said helmet.
Winnipeg Jets fans got so worked up and angry about this, but let’s be honest: their team consists of the biggest cheap-shot artists in the NHL. Let’s call a spade a spade here. The Jets got a taste of their own medicine, and the NHL punished their American opponents for it. That’s all that happened there. Johansen wouldn’t have missed two games for that if he was wearing a Winnipeg jersey & whacking a Nashville player. Bottom line.