Thursday, December 3, 2009

Predators Give Away a Point in a Wild Game

It is the Christmas season, a time of generosity and giving. The Nashville Predators were in a giving mood last night against the Wild as they turned the puck over numerous times and gave away a win.

The Predators and Wild played a seesaw affair, with the Predators eventually dropping a 5-4 overtime decision to the Wild. Although the Predators picked up a point in the contest, they gave away the second point with some inopportune turnovers and sloppy defense.

The Preds were victimized on several occasions when they turned the puck over in their offensive zone and the Wild made them pay. Two goals by the Wild resulted from defensemen being knocked off the puck in the offensive zone, and result was the puck in the back of our net. The usually sound Predator defense looked shaky at times, and these lapses cost them goals and eventually the game.

The positive aspects of this game was the return of the top line to the score sheet. Jason Arnott had two goals and two assists; and Steve Sullivan had one goal and three assists. For this team to win consistently, the top players on offense have to produce, and they did in this game. When this top line plays as they did last night, they are very dangerous and can score on anyone. The Predators need this line to continue to be dangerous.

Marcel Goc recorded his third goal of the season off a beautiful assist by Martin Erat. Goc has already surpassed his goal total from last season with the Sharks, and he is exhibiting a nose for the net. His game is elevating, and this bodes well for the Predator offense.

The game against the Wild demonstrated what has been said about this team all season- they must play solid hockey in all three zones to have a chance to notch a victory. The offense was sharp; the defense was not; and the goaltending was average. This team needs all three components to mesh well to succeed. They have done it in the past. They did not last night and it cost them the two points they need in a tight Western Conference race.

Although it is the season of giving, the Predators need to be more like Ebenezer Scrooge and clutch tightly to the points they have rather than giving them away. Every point is precious to this team; every point is to be hoarded. The next time you have two points in hand, channel ol' Scrooge and say "humbug". Lock them up. No more charity.

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