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Predators emerge from 4-1 hole to beat Columbus

Dec 22, 2011, 10:59 PM EDT

eratap AP

After gathering with torches and demanding the head of the Scotts (Howson and Arniel) in Columbus a while, the firing fire seemed to die down. The angry mob likely disspiated thanks to a combination of great work by Curtis Sanford and general shock that the Blue Jackets’ duo simply weren’t going to get canned.

The furor might rise again, however, after the Blue Jackets coughed up two three-goal leads to the Nashville Predators. Columbus went up 4-1 with about four minutes to go in the first period and 5-2 eight minutes into the second, but the Preds came roaring back. Martin Erat added injury to insult by depriving CBJ of a face-saving point by scoring a 6-5 game-winner with nine seconds left.

This loss is the humiliating cherry on top of a sundae of embarrassment for the Blue Jackets, but the Predators deserve credit for charging back into that game. Although the Predators’ 2.68 goal-per-game average is about on par with last season’s 2.6, Nashville came into tonight’s game with the 13th-ranked scoring average in the NHL. Maybe it’s just a few steps in the right direction, but teams shouldn’t assume that they can just sit on leads against the industrious Preds anymore.

Well, teams as bad as Columbus, at least.

There’s some talk that Sanford wasn’t really healthy enough to be in net, but context can’t save Columbus right now. You have to wonder if this might be the last straw, although most of us assumed the camel’s back was already broken months ago.

  1. vshehane - Dec 22, 2011 at 11:13 PM

    Go Preds! Never count the Preds out. No one knows that better the BJs.

  2. danphipps01 - Dec 23, 2011 at 12:53 AM

    Wait, we stopped? I was under the impression we just adjusted the timeline a little.

  3. IainRWB - Dec 23, 2011 at 3:15 AM

    Nashville is on a nice run, but every season seems like a familiar story – battle for positions 4-8, usually make it, lose in the playoffs.

    Groundhog day/year.

  4. vshehane - Dec 23, 2011 at 8:51 AM

    Nashville rarely misses the playoffs. Unless a team wins the cup, they usually do lose in the playoffs. Duh.

  5. 2qswing - Dec 23, 2011 at 8:54 AM

    Typical James Wiz game last night. -2 , one shot on goal.
    This brings the totals for the season for the 6 mil -dollar man to a whopping -19 for the season and
    ONE goal despite playing on every PP. And copuntless giveaways and bad passes. Oh and James, how in the hell did you let Erat get behind you with 8 seconds to go in the game for a breakaway?
    On to Arnie
    Scott this is no longer just a coincidence or bad boounces. I have never seen a team blow leads in such spectacular fashion and always late in the period or game. There have now been 5 occasions where a lead has been blown in the last two minutes of a game, resulting in either OT or a loss.
    Just because you sign a guy for 6 mil/year and slap an A on his sweater doesnt mean he should be on the ice at shut down time. (see plus/minus above) Your team is not that talented BUT your style of play with a rare lead STINKS.

  6. east96st - Dec 23, 2011 at 9:43 AM

    To your credit, you guys finally ran a post a few weeks ago, pointing out that Mike Priest has NO hockey background and is, in fact, a financial advisor. What frustrates me – and every Jacket fan I have ever talked to – is the press (yes, that includes you James) will call for Howson and Arneil’s head and ignore who it is who hired these guys and is the REAL decision maker for this franchise – PRIEST!!! Look, I will personally go to Howson and Arneil’s house and help them pack. I have NO love for either man. But if Priest is left in place, the misery will just continue. He will hire another figure-head GM that he can boss around – like Howson – who will hire another coach that meets Priest’s approval and the cycle will repeat itself. As long as Priest is the puppetmaster, Columbus will continue to be a joke. There’s a damn good reason season ticket holders signed a petition asking for Priest to be fired last year. He’s the source of the problems. Since the Columbus Dispatch owns part of the Jackets, we can’t rely on them to print the truth and they are the only paper in town. We need the outside press, like PHT, to expose Priest for what he is – a stockbroker that has NO place running a hockey franchise. Eleven years of being the NHL’s punchline is enough! Help us out, PHT, we’re desperate for a PROFESSIONAL hockey team here in Columbus. We know they exist, we’ve seen the other teams. We’ve just never seen a pro team wearing the Columbus uniform.

  7. davebabychreturns - Dec 23, 2011 at 12:29 PM

    Nashville probably deserves some credit here. Between this and the 6-5 barnburner they won against the Canucks a few weeks ago they seem to be winning in some very non-Predator ways lately.

  8. vshehane - Dec 23, 2011 at 1:18 PM

    Shows how little you know about Preds hockey, Dave.

  9. danphipps01 - Dec 23, 2011 at 4:19 PM

    On the upswing for Columbus – Carter’s starting to look like his old self again, which could help quite a bit in turning things around. Admittedly, Rinne looked bad in this game and his D playing flat-footed for those penalties in the first didn’t help him out much, but a hat trick’s a hat trick. If he can actually start climbing back toward his typical mid-thirties scoring pace, at least CBJ can say they made ONE good acquisition in the offseason. Lord knows the Wiz isn’t looking likely to turn it around anytime soon.

  10. IainRWB - Dec 23, 2011 at 9:13 PM

    @vsheshane sure, but some at least threaten to do more!

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