Mike Ribeiro finding his groove again with the Nashville Predators

Josh Elliott
Nashville Predators' Mike Ribeiro

Nashville Predators centerman Mike Ribeiro is hardly the center of attention on his team, and that seems to suit him just fine. The 34-year-old is quietly but consistently contributing on a line with prized Preds off-season pickup James Neal, and young team scoring leader Filip Forsberg.

For Ribeiro, the key word in that sentence is “quietly.”

He certainly wasn’t getting all the attention in the Predators’ 2-1 win over the Winnipeg Jets on Saturday, but he was instrumental in helping Neal score Nashville’s first goal, and nearly had one of his own.
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Watch Nashville Predators mascot start pie fight with Oiler fans

Matt Larkin
Gnash, Nashville's mascot, returned from injury triumphantly Tuesday night.

Staged? More than you may think. Funny either way.

Gnash, the Nashville Predators mascot, is back with a vengeance. He had been sidelined since training camp after breaking his fibula while training for the upcoming season.

He made some wheelchair-bound appearances while he healed up, but he returned in full force for Tuesday’s game against Edmonton. Gnash made his presence felt by stuffing a pie in a seemingly unsuspecting Oiler fan’s face. The fan’s response? Pie it forward, baby (rimshot!). He unloads on his laughing lady friend. Check it out:

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Who’s for real – the Flames or the Predators?

Adam Proteau
Pekka Rinne and Shea Weber (Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images)

Calgary and Nashville have some things in common: they’re the epicenters of their country’s country music scene; they’ve had Terry Crisp, Olli Jokinen and a defenseman named Suter working for their respective NHL team; and those two organizations currently are shocking the hockey world by being tied for third place in the Western Conference.

The expectations for the Flames and Predators were considerably different coming into the 2014-15 campaign: the latter made a slew of veteran additions on the ice and behind the bench in the hope of getting back into the playoffs for the first time since 2011-12, while the former was in full-on rebuild mode. But with both off to such a strong start, the natural question is: which of the two will be ahead of the other in the standings by the end of the season?

My answer: the Predators. And here’s why.

For one thing, Norris Trophy-nominated defenseman Shea Weber. For another thing, Vezina Trophy-nominated goalie Pekka Rinne. Nothing personal against Mark Giordano or Jonas Hiller, both of whom are enjoying all-star-caliber seasons for the Flames, but neither Calgary player has elevated his game to be considered among the best of the very best. Until Giordano and Hiller demonstrate consistency at that level, it’s fair to give the benefit of the doubt to the team that has the two better players on its roster. Read more

Filip Forsberg due to fall off, but Predators fans shouldn’t be worried

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To this point in the season, there’s little arguing that Filip Forsberg has been one of most shocking stories. The centerpiece of a deal that brought Martin Erat to the Washington Capitals from the Nashville Predators, Forsberg looks to be blossoming before our very eyes.

And while he continues to produce at an alarming rate, there remains a certain skepticism about his ability to keep it up. Could the Capitals really have traded away an early Calder candidate for a player they would jettison just eight months after his arrival in the US capital? Is this a deal Washington will forever regret? Read more

ECHL’s Cincinnati Cyclones go all-out with five specialty jerseys for 2014-15

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If you’ve ever felt like wasting away in Margaritaville, Feb. 27 is just one of the days that the ECHL’s Cincinnati Cyclones wants to see you at the U.S. Bank Arena.

Cincinnati, like many of the other franchises in the ECHL, knows that part of running a successful minor-league hockey franchise in a tough market is appealing to the masses with fun, themed jerseys and special event nights. That’s why the Cyclones have released specialty jerseys and game-day giveaways or events for five separate nights this season: Read more

Nashville’s Filip Forsberg is making us look good

Ryan Kennedy
Filip Forsberg (Photo by John Russell/NHLI via Getty Images)

There is unpredictability in every draft, so when Filip Forsberg slipped to Washington at No. 11 in the 2012 edition, it was shocking, but understandable. After all, trends can lead to strange runs at the annual event and eight defensemen taken in the first 10 slots certainly qualifies. But as the leading scorer for the Nashville Predators this season, Forsberg is showing why we had the left winger ranked second overall in our Draft Preview edition that year…and No. 1 wouldn’t be the same if we re-ordered right now.

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Nashville’s Ryan Ellis absolutely trucked old buddy Taylor Hall in Edmonton

Ryan Kennedy
Ryan Ellis (Photo by Ronald C. Modra/Sports Imagery/ Getty Images)

When Edmonton’s Taylor Hall and Nashville’s Ryan Ellis were in junior, they played for some of the most dominant Ontario League teams in recent history, winning back-to-back Memorial Cups with the Windsor Spitfires in 2009 and 2010. And while those squads also featured Adam Henrique, Zack Kassian and Cam Fowler, it was Hall and Ellis that stirred the drink.

The pair reunited in Edmonton last night and despite giving up three inches and almost 25 pounds to Hall, Ellis destroyed his old buddy with an open-ice hit as the Oilers winger tried to break past him on the rush:

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Neal-Hornqvist trade a win-win for Penguins, Predators

Josh Elliott
Patric Hornqvist and James Neal

The Pittsburgh Penguins and Nashville Predators are less than 10 games into the regular season, but the early returns are pretty clear: both sides came out winners from their big off-season swap.

The Predators acquired snarly goal scorer James Neal from Pittsburgh in the summer for Patric Hornqvist and Nick Spaling in a rare value-for-value trade that both sides can be happy with.
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