When you play a bottom feeder, you have to come out strong, put the hammer down, and put them in a hole. Apparently, that message was lost on the Predators as they fell to the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-3 on home ice. Another slow, and frankly inexcusable, start doomed the Predators.
Look guys, if you are not going to play sixty minutes of hockey, especially on home ice, then you owe me some money. Soft goals, losing battles on the boards, inability to get the puck through the neutral zone, all of these were characteristic of your effort tonight. And that is unacceptable.
Pekka Rinne got the start in goal, and he was atrocious. Two soft goals and a goal given up on a breakaway and the Preds found themselves in a 3-0 hole at the end of the first period. Rinne was pulled for Dan Ellis, and if Dan had not made some exceptional saves, the score could have been worse.
Props to Marcel Goc, Cody Franson, and Ryan Jones for scoring and getting the Preds back in to the game. But this effort on home ice was sorry, and frankly, I'm freakin tired of this team coming out and being flat on their home ice. If you have to take the team to a hotel the night before and make them believe they are on the road, then do it Trotzy. This team sucks recently on home ice. Want to build attendance? Then don't come out and play sorry hockey at home.
Yes, I'm pissed. The effort in the first 30 minutes was unacceptable. This team cannot afford to give up points against bottom feeders like Toronto. This team cannot afford half assed efforts. This team cannot waste the energy of a home crowd that was into the game.
The points are too precious to waste on home ice. I guess, fortunately, for the Predators, that the road awaits. Apparently, they like playing better on the road than they do at home.
Boys, it's time to reward the fans that support you. It's time to bring the effort on home ice. It's time to stop stinking up the joint.