The Nashville Predators were humbled by the Columbus Blue Jackets in their final home contest of the pre-season Monday night. The game ended in a 3-0 shutout for the Blue Jackets despite the fact that the Preds outshot their opponents 36-27.
This was the Predators first defeat of the pre-season and it comes after the roster cuts that followed on Saturday night. Ryan Ellis, fresh off of signing his new contract, made his 2014-15 debut: 19:51 TOI, 4 shots, 4 hits, and a plus/minus of -1. Filip Forsberg had perhaps his roughest outing of his pre-season by being a -2 on the ice – including a turnover that lead directly to a shorthanded goal by James Wisniewski. On that wing battle, both Kevin Fiala (10:48 TOI, 0:08 PP TOI) and Taylor Beck (10:21 TOI, 0:08 PP TOI) had similar nights on paper – lone difference being that Beck recorded a hit.
Real story on the night that should be rather disappointing to Nashville was going 0/6 on the power-play. Forsberg was on the ice, specifically for the power-play unit, a grand total of 6:31 of ice time. For all that he only managed 2 shots on goal and wound up making a mistake that lead to a shorty. Paul Gaustad had 5 shots on goal with Derek Roy and Olli Jokinen having 4 shots on target. Nothing went through. Suppose some proper credit can be given to Curtis McElhinney. He did stop all 36 shots for the shutout after all.
These same two teams will lock up in Columbus on Saturday night. By then, the Milwaukee Admirals pre-season will have already started. The NHL regular season for the Predators starts up on Thursday October 9th.
Does this game hurt the chances of guys such as Taylor Beck, Filip Forsberg, or Kevin Fiala from making the Predators roster out of the pre-season? What’s going to happen to Beck? Is Fiala better suited to return to Europe this season or should he slot into the AHL mix here in North America?