I know it is the season of giving, and charity begins at home, but seriously. How many turnovers do you have to give the opposition? How easy do you have to make it? Apparently, the Predators were feeling charitable and in a giving spirit as they turned the puck over time and again to the Wild in a 5-3 loss at the Nashville Arena.
Frankly, there is not much to say that is positive about this game. It wasn't as close as the score indicated as Jason Arnott and Marcel Goc scored late goals to account for the final margin. The Predators were never in this game after the first period.
In the first, Martin Erat scored on the power play to give the Predators a 1-0 lead. It went downhill from there, as the Predators failed to convert on four other power plays in the first. Letting a team like Minnesota hang around is playing with fire, and the Predators got burnt. Minnesota tied it on a gaol by Andrew Ebbet as he beat the defense of Kevin Klein and was open on a drive to the net. James Shepherd scored with :12 seconds left in the period as he was left alone in front of the net and slid the puck past Dan Ellis.
Andrew Brunette scored on the power play at 11:21 of the second and Antii Miettinen tallied with just over two minutes to go to move the lead to 4-1. Eric Belanger scored on the power play just over three minutes into the third and the game was over.
Ellis did make some very good saves for the Predators, or the score would have been much worse. Ellis was hung out to dry by his defense for several of the goals, and was pulled at the end of the second period. Pekka Rinne finished the game for the Predators.
After playing an exceptional game the night before in Chicago, the Predators just flat out stunk in this game. Turnovers were abundant and this team couldn't enter the zone efficiently. The energy level just wasn't there, and it showed in the effort on the ice.
The Predators have shown they have the capability to beat any team on on any night. They have also shown they can lose, sometimes badly, to any team on any night.
For this team to be successful this season, they have to have a consistent effort every night. For some reason, it appears that they forget this imperative on occasion. When they don't bring their best effort, the play like they did tonight, and the results are unacceptable.
I know it is the Christmas season. We are all in a giving mood, but stop giving the puck up and allowing the other team easy scoring chances. It's time to bring the effort and the drive every night, boys. This is the best present you can give your fans.