Saturday, December 12, 2009

Predators Sluggish in 3-2 OT Loss to Wings

The Nashville Predators were fortunate to salvage a point against the Detroit Red Wings at the Nashville Arena, eventually dropping a 3-2 overtime decision to their division rival. Felon, thug, winger Todd Bertuzzi had two goals, including the overtime winner.

The Predators were out shot in the first period 14-5 and lost most every batle on the boards and in the corners. Frankly, if not for the play of Pekka Rinne, the game could have gotten out of hand as Rinne made some stellar saves to keep the Wings scoreless.

The aforementioned Bertuzzi scored early in the second on a spin-o-rama move that surprised Rinne. Drew Miller batted a puck out of the air and past Rinne, and just like that, the Wings had a 2-0 lead and appeared ready to choke the life out of the Predators.

The Predators cut the lead to 2-1 as Steve Sullivan, playing the point on the power play, unleashed a shot that was deflected by ryan Jones and past Chris Osgood to cut the lead to 2-1.

David Legwand tied the game at 2 at 4:45 of the third as the Predators finally decided to begin playing Predator hockey. Applying pressure in the offensive zone, Legwand corralled a puck at the side of the net and fired a shot under the crossbar. The rest of the third period was scoreless as both teams had chances but were unable to capitalize.

The aforementioned thug, uh winger Bertuzzi took a Predator turnover and broke in on Rinne, sliding a puck past him for the game winner.

Kudos to Ryan Jones for his first multi-point game. He played hard and with heart tonight.

There is concern for Jordin Tootoo as he got hit in the foot with a Shea Weber bomb late in the first period and did not return to the game. he is going to be evaluated by the medical staff tomorrow.

The Predators inexplicably came out flat, and were horribly outworked in the first period and about half of the second period. Coach Trotz said after the game that it took the Predators about half the game to get their legs moving. How this happens, especially against a hated division rival, is beyond understanding.
Hockey is a game of emotion. Sure, it's a long season, and it is understandable that some nights the puck just doesn't bounce your way. To come out flat, however, against a division rival in your own barn is just inexcusable. The Predators were outworked for much of the game. For this team to win, they have to outwork their opponents, but tonight, the work ethic wasn't there for much of the game.

Sure, the Predators salvaged a point. They are still in front of Detroit in the standings. Predator fans have to feel good about that fact. The truth is that these good feelings won't last with these kinds of efforts.

It's time for leadership in the locker room to step up. Don't accept this kind of effort. Demand better from yourselves, because you are better than the effort we saw in the first half of the game. It's time to get back to Predator hockey.

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