Suter Wild Preds

Suter on first game in Nashville: ‘It’s going to (stink)’


Minnesota Wild defenseman Ryan Suter shrugged off his first game against the Nashville Predators on Jan. 22, 2013.

“It wasn’t that big of a deal,” Suter said at the time. “Obviously the media makes it more than it is.”

He might not think it’s a big deal to play against the team he spent the first seven seasons of his career with, but that contest was in Minnesota. It will be another story entirely when he actually has to play in Nashville on Saturday and face an arena full of the Predators’ fans for the first time.

“Have I ever had anything like what’s going to probably happen? Probably not,” Suter told The Tennessean. “It’s going to (stink), and I wish the fans knew … well, I know they know how much I enjoyed my time there.

“But it’s just part of the business. I mean, you have to make decisions for yourself and for your family.”

Suter signed a 13-year, $98 million deal with Minnesota over the summer, a move Predators GM David Poile “will never, ever understand.” Suter admitted that he cried when he told Poile that he was leaving.

“He drafted me, he was my GM, he was all I knew,” Suter said. “In the NHL he gave me all the opportunities. Through the highs and lows, he stuck with me, and I felt like I was letting him down.”

Suter will have to work through the booing for the Wild’s sake. Minnesota and Nashville both need every point they can get right now as they try to claw their way into the playoffs.

Kane scores OT-winner, caps Islanders’ bumpy start in Brooklyn

Patrick Kane
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On paper, it’s the perfect way to kick off meaningful hockey in Brooklyn, as the New York Islanders faced the defending champion Chicago Blackhawks on Friday.

In reality, there were some highs and lows, culminating with Patrick Kane scoring a power-play overtime-winner to give Chicago a 3-2 (OT) win.

The Barclays Center crowd was going to be a big part of the story one way or another, but even by building-opening standards, the audience made some waves.

Indeed, Kane was greeted with some jeers during his first road appearance of the 2015-16 season, though he didn’t sound surprised.

(There were other controversial chants, apparently.)

Speaking of the crowd, it may not have been the greatest turnout:

ESPN goes way, way in depth on how the change of locale was received, by the way.

It wasn’t a perfect night inside the rink, either, as there weren’t exactly rave reviews about ice quality. New York Newsday’s Arthur Staple compared the ice to a “slushy” and “soup,” with an anonymous Islander (or Islanders) describing the conditions as “awful.”

Kane was pretty diplomatic about it, for what it’s worth.


So, no, it was not a perfect night for the Islanders.

They probably envisioned a teeming, perfectly mannered crowd. Management likely expected Jaroslav Halak to be in net, too.

Sometimes breaking ground is often about overcoming those early stumbles, though, and maybe the best review is to parallel the on-ice results: the Isles at least got a point out of it.

Let’s not forget that there are some cool perks that come with this situation, even if the specifics may vary.

If you want even more information/photos/etc., you’d probably do well to check out #IslesOpeningNight.

Columbus collapse: Rangers spoil Blue Jackets’ opener

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For a little more than a minute, Brandon Saad was going to be the story of the Columbus Blue Jackets’ opener. Instead, his power-play goal merely got the ball rolling on a flabbergasting finish.

The New York Rangers scored three goals in 1:17 of game time to manage a 4-2 win.

They’ve now spoiled home openers for the Chicago Blackhawks and Columbus Blue Jackets to begin their 2015-16 season.

It might be easiest just to show you when the goals were scored, noting that the third period began with a 1-1 tie.

Brandon Saad power-play goal: 16:10 into third period (2-1 Columbus)
Oscar Lindberg: 17:24 (2-2 tie)
Kevin Hayes: 17:41 (3-2 Rangers)
Mats Zuccarello: 18:41 (4-2 Rangers)

Yikes. Zuccarello scored two of the Rangers’ goals, while a beauty by Cam Atkinson is likely long forgotten.