On the list of things to do against the Stars on Thursday, you’d think the Predators would rank “get revenge against Corey Perry for his hit on Ryan Ellis” pretty low. The Predators have bigger catfish to fry, basically.
Ellis said he is not “bitter” about Perry hit
Given more than a month to reflect on the hit from the 2020 Winter Classic, Ellis himself downgraded talk of bitterness on Feb. 20.
“To be honest, it’s a hockey play. I’m not bitter at him,” Ellis said. “Obviously, I’d like to catch him with a nice open-ice hit as I would anyone on any other team. But it’s a hockey player, I get where he was at, I get what he was thinking. It looks bad. … But I’m not bitter. It sucks not playing.”
So, as Ellis said, he’d be glad to “catch him with a nice open-ice hit,” but it doesn’t sound like the defenseman will strain to go after Perry. That’s smart. Maybe it also helps that Perry sat through a five-game suspension for his actions.
Predators can’t afford to risk losses to get revenge on Perry
To be frank, there are also other thoughts likely on the forefront of Ellis’ mind, and that of the Predators.
In the most human way, the Predators certainly have the devastation of the Nashville-area tornadoes on their minds. That seemed to be the topic of discussion for Ellis & Co., and rightfully so.
Ryan Ellis: “It’s that much more important for us to come to the rink with a mindset that it’s not really just about winning the game. It’s more than that right now. (It’s about) allowing people to have something positive in their lives when it’s been a tough couple days.”
— Adam Vingan (@AdamVingan) March 5, 2020
Ellis downplaying winning the games has to push “revenge on Perry” down the ledger a bit, too, right?
Certainly, it would rank lower than getting some key wins.
[Push for the Playoffs provides a deeper look at races for the Predators and other NHL teams]
The Predators simply don’t have the luxury to settle grudges right now. You can see that in the standings above. Things look challenging when you glance at Nashville’s remaining schedule, particularly in the near future:
|Mar. 5:||vs. Dallas|
|Mar. 7:||at Dallas|
|Mar. 10:||at Montreal|
|Mar. 12:||at Toronto|
|Mar. 14:||at Columbus|
|Mar. 15:||at Minnesota|
|Mar. 19:||vs. Colorado|
|Mar. 21:||vs. Philadelphia|
|Mar. 22:||at Chicago|
|Mar. 24:||vs. Winnipeg|
|Mar. 26:||vs. L.A.|
|Mar. 28:||at Arizona|
|Mar. 29:||at Colorado|
|Apr. 1:||vs. Montreal|
|Apr. 2:||at Philadelphia|
|Apr. 4:||vs. Minnesota|
Looking at that schedule, it would be foolish to think: “Yes, take this opportunity to air your grievances on the way to the penalty box.”
If anything, the Predators should be focusing on performing better, and that goes all the way to the coaches.
James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.