Posts tagged Matt Halischuk
With Nashville trailing the Edmonton Oilers 3-0 in the second period, Predators forward Matt Halischuk tried to provide his team with some spark by getting into his first hockey fight.
Standing near the left faceoff circle in the Predators offensive end, Halischuk dropped the gloves with Oilers forward Sam Gagner at 15:22 of the middle frame.
After the game, and a 6-2 loss when all was said and done, Halischuk didn’t have much to say about his first fight. “That stuff happens. It’s just part of the game. We decided to go off the face off, and that’s pretty much about it — just trying to get some energy going for the team. We kind of looked at each other and decided to go,” he said.
The two Ontario natives match up well against each other. Gagner is listed at 5’11, 195 pounds. Halischuk is an inch taller, but 10 pounds lighter.
Nashville won its first home game of the season on Thursday night when the Predators put five pucks behind Mathieu Garon to beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 5-3 in front of 16 619 in attendance at Bridgestone Arena.
With the game tied at two after the first period, Patric Hornqvist scored his first goal of the season on a feed from Matt Halischuk.
“It was great forechecking by [Matt] Halischuk and [Blake] Geoffrion. They created the turnover. Geoffrion tried to shoot it and it ended up on the stick of Halischuk. He made a great play to me. I had an empty net. It was nice to get that first goal out of the way,” Hornqvist said.
Not everyone agreed it was a good goal.
Garon was tripped on the play. “He clipped me behind the net and tripped me and the ref told me he didn’t see it. Sometimes they don’t see it, so it happens. It’s frustrating but you’ve got to forget about it and focus on the next one. I’ve got to make some saves. If I make a couple more saves, it’s a different game. I’ve got to be better than that,” he said.
Have you ever wondered what your favorite hockey player would do for a living if they weren’t playing professional hockey? For Nashville Predators forward Matt Halischuk, the answer might surprise you.
Self described as shy and reserved, the right wing also says his biggest non-hockey related aspiration is to become a rock star.
“That would be pretty sweet, I think. No?” Halischuk asked.
The 23-year old plays the guitar but when asked if he played any instruments he said “here or there a little. I just played whatever.”
Teammate and former junior linemante Nick Spaling paints a different picture. “He rocks the guitar,” Spaling said.
When asked if he is any good Halischuk answered “no, not really.”
After winning back-to-back games over the weekend, the Nashville Predators remain undefeated on the season, despite some lingering injuries. Francis Bouillon and Mike Fisher missed the pair of games for Nashville. Martin Erat did not play Saturday night against the Blues.
Fisher is often considered Nashville’s number one center, though, through two games there is no denying the top line for the Predators is David Legwand, Colin Wilson and rookie Craig Smith.
On Friday night, it was interesting to note that Nick Spaling centered Erat and Sergei Kostitsyn rather than Cal O’Reilly. The more skilled forward centered energy players Jordin Tootoo and Matt Halischuk, despite the energy line seeming like a more natural fit for Spaling.
Just because Spaling is seen as a penalty kill specialist, however, does not mean that he cannot fill the top-six forward role admirably.
Predators Head Coach Barry Trotz says Spaling has the talent to step into the top-six forward role. “Spaling can play. He played with elite players when he was in junior. He is capable. He’s a real detailed guy,” Trotz said.
A couple of young players provided the offense in the Nashville Predators 3-2 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets to open the 2011-12 season at Nationwide Arena Friday night.
With five rookies in the lineup, only Craig Smith had never played a regular season NHL game before the contest. It took Smith 15:56 into the second period to score his first career goal.
“We were forechecking pretty good. We were creating turnovers. We were cycling pretty good. I found myself in front of the net. I saw the puck trickle through from the backside of Mason. I went out put my stick on it and put it home,” Smith said about his first career goal.
The goal gave the Predators a 2-1 lead. Nashville opened scoring 5:10 into the second period on a power play goal by Ryan Suter. Derek Dorsett was serving a penalty for closing his hand over the puck in the defensive zone during the dying seconds of a penalty kill.
Columbus tied the game at 14:19 of the middle frame on a goal by Vinny Prospal, but the Blue Jackets were unable to hang onto the lead as Smith scored less than two minutes later.
Predators Head Coach Barry Trotz said Smith improved as the game went on. “As a young guy, you want to score your first goal in the League so you feel like you belong here a bit. As the game went on he was much better. By the third period, he was using his assets and was playing much better,” Trotz said.
Matt Halischuk also found the scoresheet Friday night, but gave credit to his teammates. “Cal [O’Reilly] made a great play. I just tried to get to the front of the net. He put it right on my stick,” Halischuk said.
The forward took note of Smith’s goal but said it wouldn’t be the younger players leading the squad all season. “It is going to be different guys every night who score goals. Smith did a great job getting his first goal there on a real hard play. We score by committee and it is the way we need to keep going,” Halischuk said.
Trotz also gave credit to Halischuk’s line. Centered by O’Reilly, the Toronto, Ontario native also played with Jordin Tootoo. “They did a really good job. They scored a big goal at the start of the third period. They played a lot against [Jeff] Carter and [Rick] Nash towards the end of the game. That’s a tough job,” Trotz said.
Halischuk scored just 39 seconds into the third period. The Blue Jackets made it a close game when they pulled within one at 10:19 into the final frame on a goal by Nash.
Nashville now travels to St. Louis to play the second game in their first back-to-back games of the year Saturday night. Saturday night’s game will be the Blues season opener.
Photo credit: Getty Images
Gabriel Bourque came to town this September with one goal in mind, making the Predators roster out of training camp.
In the opening minutes of Wednesday night’s game between the Nashville Predators and Washington Capitals, the left wing had an opportunity to show why he deserves a spot on the opening night roster when he broke up a play at the Nashville blue line and skated the puck deep into the Capitals zone. But Bourque was unable to capitalize on the opportunity as he elected to pass the puck on the 2-on-1 rather than shoot it on goal. The play way broken up by Capitals defenseman Mike Green.
“I was a little nervous. It was my first game in Nashville. I was too nervous. I should have shot, but I tried to pass,” Bourque said after the game.
Despite the failed breakaway attempt, Bourque played a solid game registering two shots on goal, had two other shots blocked, as well as registering one hit, one take away and one blocked shot.
Bourque’s linemates on Wednesday were Cal O’Reilly and Patric Hornqvist. The Rimouski, Quebec native also saw time on both the power play and on the penalty kill, and says he was comfortable on the ice in all situations. “I was feeling pretty good out there. The only bad thing I did tonight was I didn’t shoot when I had the breakaway.I think it was a good game for me.”
During training camp, some members of the Nashville Predators wore shirts that said ‘Your future is now — Make it happen.” Never before has there been such opportunity to crack the opening night roster for rookies.
At the start of camp, 50 of the 55 players invited were under the age of 30. Francis Bouillon and Mike Fisher are two players over 30 at 36 and 31 respectably, but both are still out of the lineup due to recovering from injury. Both Bouillon and Fisher look like they will be unable to start the season on October 7th in Columbus.
The Predators are going to have a young team — one of the youngest teams in the League. Some of Nashville’s more veteran players look at the youthfulness of the roster as an exciting time for the team.
Ryan Suter, a veteran at the age of 26, says the younger players need to prove the time is now for them. “There are a lot of unknowns. A lot of opportunities. We are excited for guys to step up and show they belong here,” he said.
The older forward on the team, and oldest Predator with Bouillon out of the lineup, Jerred Smithson says he likes what he has seen.
“At times it is nice to have that experience, but to have that youthful energy, that excitement every day when they come to the rink — they have that jump. As one of the older guys on the team, it is good to see. I feed off it too, seeing them here early and working hard and going 100 miles and hour all the time. It’s great to see and I’m excited for the season,” Smithson said.
The Nashville Predators opened the preseason by splitting a pair of games with the Florida Panthers.
On Monday afternoon, the Predators squad was lead by Colin Wilson and Sergei Kostitsyn who each picked up three points Nashville’s 5-3 win. Wilson had one goal and two assists while Kostitsyn added three assists. Jordin Tootoo added two assists and Jon Blum added one goal and one assist. Other goal scorers were Chris Mueller, Jani Lajuen and Kyle Wilson.
Lajuen’s goal came with just 3:11 left in regulation to break a 3-3 tie. Kyle Wilson gave the Predators the added insurance goal.
Game one saw Nashville out shot 37-22 by the Panthers. Jeremy Smith and Chet Pickard sharing goaltending duties for the Predators.
In the second game of the day, it was a different Nashville roster taking on a second Panthers squad. Florida won the second game, edging Nashville by a 4-3 score.
Blake Geoffrion, Teemu Laakso and Ryan Thang picked up goals for the Predators. Matt Halischuk added two assists. Anders Lindback and Atte Engren played in goal in the loss for Nashville. Shots on goal for the second game were 26-25 Nashville.
On Tuesday, the Predators play in Baltimore against the Washington Capitals. Game time is 6 pm CT. Radio play-by-play will be available on 102.5 The Game.
Photo credit: AP
The Nashville Predators avoided potentially losing four of their restricted free agents to unrestricted free agency by signing them to a contract before July 8th.
On Friday, the Predators have a hearing scheduled to determine if their qualifying offers were delivered in a timely manner to their restricted free agents. If an independent arbitrator rules in favor of the RFAs, they would become unrestricted free agents, free to sign with whatever team they want with no compensation awarded to Nashville.
Predators forward Sergei Kostitsyn has filed for salary arbitration. Kostitsyn led Nashville in goal scoring with 23 tallies while earning only $550 000.
In total, 23 players filed for arbitration. A player can still sign a new deal with his team before the arbitration hearing takes place. One of the 23 players filing for arbitration has already signed a new contract. Columbus signed Marc Methot for another 4-years. The contract is worth $12 Million.
Arbitration cases will be heard between July 20th and August 4th.
Of course, it is still possible that Kostitsyn is declared an unrestricted free agent. A hearing has been set for Friday, July 8th to determine whether or not the Predators met all the appropriate deadlines in filing their qualifying orders to the Predators group of restricted free agents. There is a dispute as to whether or not the RFAs received the offers in time to be valid.
Other Nashville restricted free agents of note include Cal O’Reilly, Nick Spaling and Matt Halischuk.