Why there’s no reason to worry about the Nashville Predators

Jared Clinton
Shea Weber (Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images)

For nearly the entire season, the Nashville Predators have been the class of the Central Division. They’ve paced the race for the division title on strong defense, stronger goaltending and offensive spark. But their five-game losing streak has some fans worried.

Rest easy, though, Predators faithful. Not much has changed in Nashville aside from the results, and over an 82-game season, sometimes it’s more about the process than anything. And when it comes to process there are few teams that can hang with the Predators.

While GM David Poile obviously isn’t pleased with dropping five games in a row, even he knows that Nashville is bound for better days. Read more

Predators center Mike Ribeiro sued for alleged sexual assault of former nanny

Adam Proteau
Nashville Predators' Mike Ribeiro

As first reported by TMZ.com Wednesday, Nashville Predators center Mike Ribeiro is being sued for more than $1 million in damages by a nanny he and his wife employed in Texas for an alleged sexual assault and for threats made against her in 2012.

Full details of the lawsuit were not immediately released, but Larry Friedman, the attorney for the woman behind the lawsuit, told The Associated Press Thursday she’d been sexually assaulted by Ribeiro shortly after graduating from high school and when Ribeiro had been playing for the Dallas Stars. The young woman said she didn’t alert the authorities because she was “terrified”. And Ribeiro’s wife, Tamara, is alleged in the suit to have “made inappropriate comments and/or threats” to her. Read more

Taylor Beck’s no-look pass from his knees is assist of the year

Jared Clinton
Taylor Beck (Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)

With all the great setup men in the league today – names such as Nicklas Backstrom, Henrik Sedin and Joe Thornton – who would have figured it would be Nashville’s Taylor Beck that made the best pass we’ll see all season?

Late in Monday’s game between the Predators and Rangers, after a New York clearing attempt was held in at the blueline, the puck skipped down to Beck. When he scooped up the puck, he lost his footing and, from his knees, made a backhanded, no-look pass that landed perfectly on the tape of Matt Cullen for a one-time goal. It’s a thing of beauty: Read more

Five trade deadline deals that absolutely flopped

David Legwand (Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

With the trade deadline days away, everyone has taken the time to reflect on the deadline deals that were blockbusters, those that changed a team’s fate or gave them a boost on their road to the Stanley Cup and even looked back at who won long-term.

But what about those deals that looked big at the time but ended up being colossal flops? Not every deal can be a gem and, for one GM in particular, there have been quite a few that looked like they could have made an impact at the time but turned into absolutely nothing.

What constitutes a deadline day flop? The trade has to involve a number of moving parts because, let’s be honest, while a player-for-player deal with two stars is fun, a five- or six-player deal can be much more interesting. In addition, a flop means the trade didn’t work out for either squad, or the team that was supposed to be the buyer, getting the player they believe will put them over the top, has to have the deal backfire badly. Read more

THN Trade Deadline preview: Central Division

o'reilly

As of Wednesday night, there is no division in the league that boasts more teams on the brink of the playoffs Central Division and that could have a major impact on the trade deadline action throughout the division. The Minnesota Wild made a major move in landing Devan Dubnyk in December and made another splash when they landed Sean Bergenheim from the Florida Panthers, so it will be interesting to see if the Winnipeg Jets – currently holding on for dear life to one of the West’s wild-card spots – answers back.

St. Louis, Chicago and Nashville are all probably done aside from minor deals and Colorado and Dallas are right in the middle – they could be buyers and they could be sellers. Don’t be shocked if the Central is the quietest of the four divisions at the deadline. Read more

Sabres goalie Michal Neuvirth first goalie fined this season for diving

Adam Proteau
Michal Neuvirth and Mike Santorelli (Rob Marczynski/NHL)

Buffalo Sabres goalie Michal Neuvirth became the NHL’s first goalie publicly fined for diving this season when the league levied a $2,000 penalty on him for diving and embellishment in a game against the Nashville Predators on Sunday.

The 26-year-old Neuvirth was fined after his second offense of the season. The first took place against Toronto on Nov. 15, and merited a warning; the second offense came Sunday when he drew a penalty on Preds right winger Mike Santorelli: Read more

Isles’ Mikhail Grabovski injured on thunderous check by Predators’ Eric Nystrom

Islanders center Mikhail Grabovski lies prone on the ice after being checked by Nashville's Eric Nystrom. (Al Bello/Getty Images)

New York Islanders forward Mikhail Grabovski has a long history of head injuries over the course of his eight NHL seasons, and he had another incident to add to the list Thursday after absorbing a massive check from Nashville winger Eric Nystrom.

The Isles had a 1-0 lead approaching the midway point of the first period at Nassau Coliseum when Grabovski grabbed the puck deep in his own zone and took it to the top of the circle with his head down. That’s when Nystrom laid into him: (video via Somehockeyvideos) Read more

Why the Nashville Predators are serious Stanley Cup contenders

Jared Clinton
Pekka Rinne (John Russel/Getty Images)

The Nashville Predators are currently leading the NHL, and the tough Western Conference, with 84 points. They’ve won six straight. Yet still, they’re rarely talked about as a serious Stanley Cup contender.

When it comes to dominance of this season, how the Predators are overlooked or passed over as one of the most likely Stanley Cup champions is befuddling. Even Las Vegas is giving the Chicago Blackhawks better odds. The same Blackhawks who have needed a shootout and overtime to solve the Predators and the same Chicago squad that sits nine points back of Nashville in the Central Division.

Why the lack of respect for the Predators? It might be because they’ve historically been a team that fights for every point they get or because some still view them as that defensive squad that plays suffocating, cling-to-every-one-goal-lead hockey. That’s not this team and this postseason could be the one that changes everything in Music City. Read more