Friday, November 8, 2013

Predators Grounded In 5-0 Loss to the Jets

The Nashville Predators traveled to Winnipeg looking for their third win in as many meetings against the Jets. The Predators were attempting to continue their stellar play on this lengthy road trip, having picked up 5 of 6 points so far on this roadie.

The Jets remembered those two previous losses to the Predators as they unleashed some pent up frustration against a team that had beaten them in their two prior meetings.

Carter Hutton was again between the pipes for the Predators while Ondrej Pavelec was in net for the Jets.

The game opened with the Jets on the attack and firing pucks at Hutton. Bryan Little opened the scoring for the Jets as he took a shot from the left face off circle that found its way through traffic and the five hole of Hutton for a 1-0 Jets lead at 3:04 of the first period.

The Jets made it 2-0 at 6:47 of the first period as Olli Jokinen beat Seth Jones to the front of the net to bang home a rebound.

Certainly not the start that the Predators wanted or needed.

It got worse for the Predators

Dustin Byfuglien blasted a shot from the blue line that eluded Hutton to make it 3-0 at 8:33 of the 2first period.

That was all for Hutton as the Predators inserted Marek Mazanec into the game. Hutton gave up 3 goals on 8 shots.

The Predators continued to embarrass themselves with defensive breakdowns as off a face off in the offensive zone, Devin Setoguchi was left alone in front of the net. He took a pass from Olli Jokinen and lifted the puck over Mazanec to make it 4-0 at 16:45 of the first period.

Mercifully for the Predators, the period ended without the Jets scoring another goal. this was about as bad a period of hockey as the Predators have played all season.

Now we will see if the Predators have the heart to battle back in the final 40 minutes.

The good news in the second period was that the Jets did not score. The bad news was that neither did the Predators. The Predators out shot the Jets 15-11 and had a few flurries around the net but rarely threatened Pavelec.

The Jets resumed scoring at 9:53 of the third as Bryan little knocked in a rebound of an Andrew Ladd shot to make it 5-0.

Thankfully that was it for the scoring for the Jets. The Predators never threatened after that and the mercifully ended.

Some observations:

  • Maybe the Predators were feeling good about themselves; maybe they thought the Jets would be another win; whatever the reason, they did not come out ready to play in the first period. This team is not good enough to take a period off, and they did just that tonight. They were horribly sloppy in the defensive zone and gave the jets too many scoring chances. Worse yet, they failed to respond to the push from the Jets. By the time the second period got under way and the Predators started to skate, the game was over.

  • Carter Hutton didn't get much help on a couple of the goals he gave up, but he didn't look good either. The first goal through traffic beat him five hole when Hutton failed to take away the lower part of the net. That can't happen.

  • The Predators out shot the Jets 41-31, but Pavelec was on his game and thwarted the Predators offensive efforts. The Predators needed to make a better effort to get to the front of the net and create more traffic and fight for rebounds. The Jets did a good job of clearing the front of the net and the Predators forwards did not establish a good presence in the hard areas.

  • This game was an all around stinker. I don't like it, but those games happen. The real test for the Predators will be Sunday night when they are back on the ice against the New Jersey Devils. I want to see more compete and effort from the start in that game.

  • The defensive breakdowns are costly. Yes, I know we have a young D corps, but the regularity of some of these breakdowns is troubling. This is an area that the team has to improve quickly.
This was a dog of a game. Time for the team to learn from this debacle and then put it behind them.

And get redemption on Sunday night.

My three stars:

1. Bryan Little

2. Olli Jokinen

3. Andrew Ladd

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