The good life just got better for the Nashville Predators.
Winners of two straight and eight of their last 10, the Preds will welcome back All-Star defenseman Ryan Suter tonight as they face Columbus. Suter, who ranks third in the NHL in average TOI (26:30) has missed the last three games with an upper-body injury and while the Preds have played well without him — posting a 2-1 record and a big 5-2 win over Chicago on Saturday — they’ll be pleased to get him back.
The news also means Suter will likely participate in the 2012 NHL All-Star game in Ottawa, though he was quick to point out it wasn’t a guarantee.
“What I said before was if I don’t play with my team before the All-Star break, then it’s not fair to go and play in something like that,” Suter told NHL.com. “Hopefully, everything goes well in the next couple of days and go have fun.”
Suter’s return comes at a key time as the Predators lost defenseman Francis Bouillon last game to an upper-body injury. (As such, Shea Weber played a whopping 29:08 against the Blackhawks.)
Here’s an understatement: things haven’t gone very well for Dougie Hamilton early in his first season with the Calgary Flames.
(It must feel like the opposite of Tyler Seguin in Dallas for Boston Bruins fans, but feel free to disagree in the comments.)
You could look at Hamilton’s meager offensive stats and break down his disappointing work through a very of “fancy” and traditional metrics …
… Or you could just fire up a projector and show this own-goal on a loop.
It remains to be seen if the Ottawa Senators can avoid losing against the Philadelphia Flyers tonight, but either way, it’s been a costly night.
The Senators saw two forwards leave the game with injuries, as Milan Michalek and Mika Zibanejad were banged up on Tuesday.
Michalek may have gotten hurt blocking a shot while a Radko Gudas hit on Zibanejad left the Senators forward with an upper-body injury.
Gudas may get a call from the league for his infractions.
In hockey terms, Patrick Kane was like a star basketball player left alone for an almost strange amount of time to score. Sometimes you miss that opportunity out of the sheer shock of getting that much time and space.
Devan Dubnyk wasn’t so lucky, however, as Kane beat him to score a 1-1 goal.
You can watch the whole sequence in the video above, including an absolutely fantastic play by Duncan Keith.
With that tally, Kane’s scoring streak is now at 20 games, leaving him one game behind Bobby Hull’s Chicago Blackhawks record.
PHT discusses Kane’s streak and his place among the all-time great runs in the clip below.
Sometimes, the Nashville Predators were unlucky in November. Sometimes they were just bad.
Either way, they’re likely glad to step into December, and they’ve already gotten a big bounce. Watch how close this near-goal was into crossing the red line before Pekka Rinne barely stopped it with a well-placed goalie stick.
You can also see it up close via this GIF:
Here’s the NHL Situation Room Blog explanation for it remaining a no-goal:
At 13:06 of the first period in the Coyotes/Predators game, the Situation Room initiated a video review to further examine a play from 11:57. Video review confirmed the call on the ice that the puck did not cross the Nashville goal line. No goal Coyotes.