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.