Nashville Predators Win Again to Stay Hotter Than Tim Peel’s Mic

Mar 23, 2021; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Nashville Predators goaltender Juuse Saros (74) makes a save during the second period against the Detroit Red Wings at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 23, 2021; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Nashville Predators goaltender Juuse Saros (74) makes a save during the second period against the Detroit Red Wings at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports /

Coming off what was an improbable 4-3-1 road trip against some of the division’s best teams, on the longest (8 game) road trip in the franchise’s history, the Nashville Predators returned home to Smashville in Bridgestone Arena on Thursday Night and made a big impact while doing so, beating the Detroit Red Wings 2-0.

Juuse Saros played INCREDIBLY well in the shutout, but the team also got some familiar faces back in Captain Roman Josi, and forward Mikael Granlund. Other than that, it was a pretty uneventful evening.

Oh yeah, and a long-time NHL referee got caught on a hot mic, basically saying he was calling an unfair game, but we’ll get into that. First things first, let’s break down the W.

72. 2. 151. Final. 0

Welcome Back, Cap and Granny

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The Nashville Predators came out looking very relaxed, which you have to imagine they would be playing the gauntlet of games they have in the last 15 days.

They still faced some issues with prolonged possessions in the zone, but were able to maintain possession for most of the period and led in shots on goal, 12-8 .

On top of controlling much of the first period, the Predators also scored first off of an effort from two very familiar faces who rejoined the lineup: Josi and Granlund.

Josi dished to

Eeli Tolvanen

(the Chosen One), who fed it back to Josi, the captain sent a heat sinker towards the goal, and Granlund was able to tip it in and put the Predators ahead, 1-0:

It’s good to see the veterans not only returning, but getting things done.

Herd Line Getting it Done

The Predators would carry the lead into the intermission, up 1-0. Overall the team looked solid. The second period carried the momentum from the first, and the team worked to build on their lead, in spite of some poor officiating.

You know what inspires a penalty kill that’s ranked in the bottom of the league? Facing a power play that’s also ranks at the bottom of the league.

Able to stave off penalties, the Predators were able to add to their lead, thanks to the “Herd Line” of

Mathieu Olivier


Yakov Trenin

, and

Colton Sissons

. The outlet pass was directed by Sissons to Trenin, Trenin skated around the net and fed back to Sissons, and he was able to find a wide open Olivier to bury the puck in the back of the net:

It’s good to see some scoring production come from elsewhere other than Tolvanen, Forsberg, and even Jarnkrok. The smile on Mathieu Olivier’s face says it all. That would be all the Nashville Predators would need to seal the 2-0 victory.

Nashville Predators Getting Hot

Speaking of returns, Juuse Saros has posted unreal numbers since returning from injury. In three games, he’s put up 118 saves, allowed only two goals, and the team has won 2 out of 3 starts he’s had – one being tonight’s shutout victory on the heels of an excellent 31 save performance. How excellent? This excellent:

We are not worthy. His SV% is .983, GA is .67, and he’s also not allowed a power play goal. For all the questions up in the air of whether or not he’s the Predators guy, he’s making a case for himself, and Pekka Rinne hasn’t played bad either.

On top of the excellent goal tending, the youth continue to show they belong in the lineup. Eeli Tolvanen has played a tremendous role in the offensive production, not just on the power play, but at even strength, and Alexandre Carrier looks like a full time blue liner both at 5 on 5 and on the power play. The team is trending in the right direction, to the point where midseason moves could be interesting should the Nashville Predators creep closer to that fourth playoff spot.

The Predators are currently 4 points out of the coveted 4th place spot in the division, with only Columbus between them and the Blackhawks.

If the Predators can maintain this trajectory, they will face the Blackhawks with a potential divisional shift at play. They still get the Blackhawks six more times before the season’s end.

Let’s hope they can get some wins in regulation to make it a point battle between the old rivals.

Related Story. Predators Complete Wild, but Successful Road Trip. light

NHL, Come Get Your Man

For those wondering why the title included Tim Peel, and his very hot mic, it’s because long-time NHL referee, Tim Peel, got caught saying what he probably shouldn’t have been saying. Fair warning, the language is NSFW:

Yikes…you can see the transcript above, but this is not a good look. Nashville Predators fans have many reasons to be weary of NHL officiating over the years. P.K. Subban getting his head smashed in by Sidney Crosby, #SissonsScored, and other things involving refs making or not making a call haven’t exactly helped us to sleep at night, just to name a few instances.

It doesn’t help that the NHL ranks right up there with the likes of the NFL when it comes to the worst North American major league officiating, and to hear a referee say that is such a bad look.

What’s worse? The tripping call he’s referring to, on Viktor Arvidsson, was totally bogus.

The team is already struggling enough, but when you call a game with bias from officiating, it can completely change the nature of things and trust in a league that struggles to command it.

We’ve got a rematch coming up against these Detroit Red Wings on Thursday Night at 7:00pm CST/8:00pm EST. Getting two points is crucial to keeping the fire going for this Nashville Predators team, and they’ll look to do so not only against a backsliding Red Wings team, but also to build momentum before the back-to-back weekend series against the rival Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday and Sunday.

Tim Peel Update – He Gone