Nashville Predators Fight Another Day, Await Winnipeg Jets Result

Apr 10, 2023; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; Nashville Predators celebrates win over Calgary Flames at Scotiabank Saddledome. Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 10, 2023; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; Nashville Predators celebrates win over Calgary Flames at Scotiabank Saddledome. Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports /

Cody Glass knew where his shot was going before taking the ice for Monday night’s shootout in the third round as the Nashville Predators defeated the Calgary Flames and eliminated them from Stanley Cup Playoffs contention.

Flames forward Jonathan Huberdeau scored to open the shootout and four skaters later the 24-year-old Winnipeg native got an opportunity to keep his team’s postseason dreams alive.

“I wanted low glove pretty bad,” Glass said.

“I got the call for the third one and I wasn’t really thinking much of I have to score or we lose. I was just thinking get this low glove and give it a chance. It went in and I was pretty happy.”-Preds Center Cody Glass on his Shootout Goal vs. Calgary

The Nashville Predators’ postseason dreams relied on Tommy Novak as he came up in the fourth round. A quick shift to goalie Jacob Markstrom‘s right side and Novak scored to win 3-2.

“I just had that approach in my head. I think sometimes I try to read too much in the shootout so I had a move I wanted to go with and stuck with it and it worked out,” Novak said of his game-winning goal in Calgary.

In the late hours of the night back in Nashville, the fans could take a deep breath of air and rest knowing that the ninth consecutive season of making the postseason was still possible.

"“Just really excited to keep it going,” Novak said. “We’ve had our backs against the wall for a while now and we’ve kept finding ways and we’re just really happy to go play some more meaningful games coming up.”"

Tommy Novak has Risen to Late Season Hero for the Nashville Predators

Just 16 weeks ago Nashville’s hero was a member of the AHL Milwaukee Admirals. He had 26 points in 25 games before being recalled to play in his first NHL game since Dec. 17, 2021.

Now the St. Paul, Minnesota native has 41 points in 49 games. Since joining Nashville this season he’s 16th in the NHL with an 18.46% shooting percentage and has averaged 1.22 goals per 60 minutes.

When taking a look at the depleted Nashville roster, Novak hasn’t been alone in picking up the load. Glass has the most individual high-danger chances (64) and has logged the second-most individual scoring chances (118) on the roster since Dec. 19.

Glass has been effective in the faceoff dot as well winning a total of 287 draws, good for second on the team, only behind Colton Sissons‘ 354.

Since Ryan Johansen went down Glass played between Matt Duchene and Philip Tomasino until Duchene was injured as well on March 26.

Duchene was the Predators leader in individual scoring chances since Dec. 19 with 124 and now has been scratched since taking a slap shot to the hand.

There have been nine skaters out this season and since Filip Forsberg was placed on injured reserve the team has gone 17-12-2 and now finds themselves closer to the postseason than anyone else thought.

"“At the trade deadline, we thought we would be playing meaningless games at the end of the season & we’re not. I think that’s awesome for the character of our guys,” General Manager David Poile said on 102.5 The Game Tuesday."

There were four major pieces of Nashville’s roster traded away as well before the deadline on March 3.

Nashville has simply defied the odds and also has one of the NHL’s premier netminders in Juuse Saros who has spotlighted this feature since Pekka Rinne retired.

light. Related Story. Juuse Saros is Making his Case for Vezina Trophy Debate

In the last three contests, Saros has made no less than 30 saves and faced a minimum of 48 unblocked shot attempts.

Saros leads the NHL in saves (1,907), shots against (2,075), goals saved above expected (46.7), expected goals against (214.71), wins above replacement (7.79), minutes played (3,747), and wins making 30+ saves (19).

Since March 1, Saros has led the NHL in saves with 547 and the next closest is Jacob Markstrom with 477, who Nashville just eliminated from postseason contention.

Also, since March 3 Nashville is last in Expected Goals per 60 minutes (2.26), 25th in Expected Goals Against (3.08), 26th in scoring chances per game (24.79), 5th in high-danger goals against (1.18), and has the NHL’s 27th ranked shooting percentage (8.03%).

Now with a 3.6% of making the 2023 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs, Nashville needs four points and two Winnipeg regulation losses in order to make it.

Both of the Nashville Predators games are at home versus the Minnesota Wild and Colorado Avalanche while the Jets are on the road the rest of the way against the same two opponents.