It might be time for Admirals fans to start facing the facts. Forward Blake Geoffrion may not be coming back to Milwaukee.
Through his first nine National Hockey League games Geoffrion was slowly finding his footing, scoring three goals and four points while logging the fewest minutes of any Nashville player.
Then came Sunday’s game at Buffalo. Despite pocketing goal number four in the first period off a lucky deflection, Geoffrion and the Predators trailed Buffalo 3-1 with under three minutes remaining in the third period. Yet, Nashville coach Barry Trotz continued to show confidence in the 2010 Hobey Baker winner.
At the 17:33 mark, Geoffrion stuffed in his own rebound past goaltender Ryan Miller to make it 3-2. One minute later Trotz again put Geoffrion out for a crucial face off, which Geoffrion won back to defenseman Cody Franson. Franson let a point shot blast go that Geoffrion tipped out of the air and past Miller to give the Brentwood, Tennessee native his first NHL hat trick and more importantly, tie hockey game at 3-3.
To add some icing to the cake, former Admiral forward Martin Erat scored the game-winner 27 seconds into overtime to give Nashville an improbable win at a crucial point in the year. With the two points the Predators are back in the playoffs, tied with Chicago and Los Angeles for the fifth spot in the West with 86.
“Obviously we needed those points with the playoff race going on,” Geoffrion told NHL Live! Monday afternoon. “We’re just happy to get the two wins (against Buffalo and Detroit) and come back home to Nashville.”
Geoffrion credits his time in Milwaukee for preparing him to be an impact player in the NHL.
“The Predators’ theory is that the road to Nashville is through Milwaukee,” Geoffrion said. “I am very thankful for the coaches and the people who’ve helped me get to this point in my career (playing in Nashville). Hopefully I won’t let them down.”
To watch Blake Geoffrion’s highlight reel against Buffalo, click here.
To read my feature on the impact that former Admirals players like Blake Geoffrion are having in the NHL with Nashville and with other teams, click here.
To read my story on Geoffrion and other former Wisconsin Badgers who changed teams around the NHL trading deadline, click here.
8 thoughts on “Geoffrion’s Big Night in Buffalo”
While, it would be nice to see Blake back in action in Milwaukee, he is having a great run in the NHL. Personally, as long as the Preds are in a playoff spot/in the running for a playoff spot, I do not expect to see him return.
Now the question becomes, will we see Matt H. and Jon B. back anytime soon? It would be nice to have the line of Chris, Bourque, and Matt back again.
Any news on the status of Linus and Mark? Expected to play anytime soon? Will they be back in time for playoffs?
I will answer on what I do know about. Matt Halischuk was a healthy scratch against Buffalo. I am not sure why that was the case, but he has been playing pretty well up with Nashville. But Halischuk saw a big minute drop against Detroit on Saturday, so that might be a sign that his days in the Music City are numbered.
I am going to make an informed guess on Jonathon Blum: I don’t see him returning to Milwaukee this season. Blum was awesome against Buffalo, logging 20 minutes of icetime and finishing as a plus two. Only Shea Weber, Ryan Suter and Anders Lindback in goal saw more time. He has three goals and two assists while up with Nashville, and had points in his prior three games. In my opinion, it was about time that the Predators gave Blum a chance to prove himself.
Blum isn’t on the Admirals Clear Day roster, so I don’t expect him back in Milwaukee.
Yes, Blum is on the clear day but Lane Lambert said we would only see him, Halischuk, and Geoffrion back here if the Preds don’t make the play-offs. But a week or so ago Cal O”Reilly still said he wanted to come back in early April. If that happens MAYBE we could get someone back. I also would love to have Halischuck reunited with Mueller and Borque. That has been my favorite line from the whole season.
Blum on clear day, as was already stated. Dunno where you got he wasn’t.
And we definitely won’t see him back unless the Preds fail to make it to the playoffs or are ousted early. He’s been playing top minutes. This will most likely be the last we see of Blum. He’ll stick with Nashville going forward. Blake too…
Klasen is probably out a little while longer. Van Guilder is day-to-day….he may be good to go Tuesday, but they’ll see how he feels.
Yeah, Blummer is on the clear day list, but he seems to have fit in well up there, as has Blake. Good on them.
What a bunch of crap goals, though. Weird bounce on the first one. Bad goal against Miller on the 2nd one. And on the 3rd one, good for him to get his stick out there, and it’s great that it worked. And hey, they all look the same on the scoresheet. Still, I worry that games like that will raise expectations to levels where they shouldn’t be at this point…. But I’ll give credit where it’s due — for a team that struggles to score sometimes, that really hit the spot.
I think we’ll see Blake again, but he’ll need to be slumping pretty badly.
Ryan, I totally agree about Blake. I think they think he is at a level he is not quite at yet. He will get there but not this year.
Has Begin been ruled out for the year yet?
Blake Geoffrion is still a work in progress, but I have to disagree with you Ryan. With the exception of his first goal, the other two were solid goals. Great tip on the third goal, and a hard work play by the net for his second (great net front presence by Blake, a term I am getting so sick of hearing this year). But scoring a hat trick in the NHL against a playoff team in the East (and an all-world goalie in Ryan Miller) is hardly something to scoff at. Just think of how good Nicklas Lidstrom and Zdeno Chara are and they both scored their first this season (I realize neither are huge scorers as defensemen, but still). The big key was that Geoffrion was on the ice to score those goals late in the game.
Geoffrion is a probably ahead of Fenton and Poile’s timetable on him, and his success so far is a writer’s dream. But I am sure Nashville’s brass knows exactly what they have in Geoffrion. If the Predators fall out of the race (which I’m betting isn’t going to happen)/playoffs, Blake will be the first sent back to continue his progress.
My prediction for the West is how it stands now: Dallas/Calgary out, Nashville/Anaheim in. And call me crazy, but Nashville would be a dangerous match up for Vancouver.