Saturday, January 17, 2015

Predators Whipped by the Wings

The Nashville Predators were similar to a lot of fans of the Red Wings at the Joe.

They didn't show up.

The Nashville Predators, fresh off an emotional and hard fought victory the night before, traveled to Detroit to take on the Red Wings in a contest that featured former division rivals that were playing some good hockey.

On this night, only one team played some good hockey.

And it wasn't the Predators.

Carter Hutton allowed 3 goals on 4 shots before being pulled in favor of Marek Mazanec.

The Predators gave up a 2 on 1 goal to Gustav Nyquist; a strange bouncing deflection goal to Kyle Quincy; and a goal to Tomas Tatar to chase Hutton to the bench.

The Predators finally showed some life as Mattias Ekholm patiently waited for an opening and beat Mrazek from the slot to make it 3-1.

Whatever momentum the Predators got from that late first period goal was wiped out when Henrik Zetterberg scored from the goal line on the power play when Mazanec didn't seal off the post and the puck bounced off his shoulder and over the goal line.

Tatar scored on another power play with just under a minute to go in the second period to make it 5-1.

Mike Fisher tallied on the power play early in the third period to make it 5-2.

Some observations:

  • The Predators recalled Anthony Bitetto from Milwaukee. He saw his first NHL action and was paired with Mattias Ekholm.
  • I know that you are not going to win every game, but wow, the Predators were loose in the defensive zone and didn't look sharp in any zone.There were spurts of energy and good play but they were few and far between. The most disappointing aspect of this game was that the team just looked lifeless at times (most of the time) and had no push back. Not surprised there was an emotional letdown after the game last night and Barry Trotz returning to Nashville, but this team just had no spark tonight.
  • The first goal that Hutton gave up was a 2 on 1. The second was off a wild deflection and a bouncing puck. I will give him a pass on those two. He has to stop that Tatar shot. the goal that Mazanec gave up on the power play was just brutal. That shot should never go in.
  • Calle Jarnkrok faced the team that drafted him. Jarnkrok was acquired when David Legwand was traded to Detroit.
  • The penalty kill was atrocious, and tonight they continued the disturbing trend of giving up power play goals. The first goal from Zetterberg should never have happened but it did. The Predators PK entered the game killing just 80.6% of their opportunities, and this is an area that has to improve quickly.
  • Mattias Ekholm tallied his 5th goal of the season and his second in as many nights. Ekholm continues to impress with his play and has started to show some flashes of offensive punch. He is showing more confidence in all aspects of his game.
This game was an absolute stinker for the Predators. No excuses about an emotional game last night or being on the second half of a back to back.

It was just bad.

Sometimes that happens. None of us like it, but that is just the way it goes sometimes.

The team has an opportunity to get this bad taste out of their mouth on Tuesday in Montreal.

My three stars:

1. Tomas Tatar

2. Gustav Nyquist

3. Reilly Sheahan

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