Friday, November 27, 2015

Predators Road Trip Ends With a Thud, Fall to the Flyers In OT

The Nashville Predators wrapped up a five game road trip with an afternoon matinee in the City of Brotherly Love to take on the Flyers. The road trip has been a disaster for the Predators, as they have dropped 3 of 4 games, being shut out in three of the games and being outscored 13-3.

The game started well for the Predators as Filip Forsberg scored on a wicked wrist shot from the slot to beat Michael Neuvirth just 1:19 into the game to give the Predators a 1-0 lead. That lead stood for less than 3 minutes as Michel Del Zotto beat Pekka Rinne to the top corner to tie the game.

Colin McDonald broke the tie in the third period as he beat Eric Nystrom to the front of the net and was able to slid a shot between Rinne and the post for a 2-1 lead.

This game looked as if it was going down the toilet until Mike Fisher won a puck battle in front of the net and banged the puck past Neuvirth to tie the game at 2 with just 20 seconds remaining in regulation.

In the overtime, the Predators were guilty of a specious too many men on the ice call, and the Flyers capitalize on the power play as Shayne Gostisbehere ripped a shot from the slot to beat Rinne to give the Flyers a 3-2 win.

Some observations:

  • With Paul Gaustad being injured in the Buffalo game and Miikka Salomaki being placed on injured reserve, the Predators recalled Colton Sissons from Milwaukee.
  • Welcome back, Filip Forsberg! Fosberg's first period tally was his first goal in 17 games and the Predators definitely need Prince Filip to start heating up. And wow, does Forsberg have a quick release. The puck was barely on his tape before it was in the back of the net. this was Forsberg's 3rd goal of the season.
  • Part of the Ptredators woes on this road trip has been the Predators lack of effectiveness on the power play. They are 0-13 going into this game and 1 for their last 19 with the man advantage. This unit is going to have to improve their efficiency for this team to have success in this season.
  • The injury bug is starting to bite the Predators as they lost Gabriel Bourque for the game after a first period injury. Bourque doesn't score a lot but logs some important minutes on the third line and on the penalty kill.
  • The Flyers did a good job of disrupting the Predators breakouts and in the neutral zone. The Predators like to attack with speed, but the Flyers broke up passes and slowed the Predators attack. This is where the Predators need to get the puck deep and work hard to retrieve it, something they did inconsistently in this game and have done in previous games where they have struggled.
  • Filip Forsberg looked as if he were the only Predator on the ice ready to play. The rest of the team was spotty in their play and lacked any jump. Maybe it is the end of a grueling road trip, but this team cannot come out without fire in their belly and expect to win many games.
  • In this game, and throughout this road trip, the Predators gave up way too many odd man rushes. whether it is defensive breakdowns or poor puck management, the Predators need to clean up this aspect of our game. This puts too much pressure on Rinne to solve these problems and more often than not bites this team in the ass.
  • Mike Fisher is not an elite, number one center. Age and injuries limit his ability to claim that status. But dang, he probably has as big of a heart as anyone on this team. His goal late in regulation was just a matter of will and heart and that is something that can't be coached. 
  • I know this has been a tough rough trip, both physically and mentally, and it showed. The Predators just didn't seem to have the jump they normally would and lost the majority of puck battles and time of possession to the Flyers. Hopefully coming home for a few games will be a boost for this team.
  • The Predators were out shot 6-1 in OT and never threatened the Flyers net. Again, a lack of urgency and hustle doomed them. 
This road trip will hopefully serve as a wake up call to this team. It takes attention to detail, playing with grit and jump, and bringing from the first to the last whistle to win games. If they do not, it will be ugly when they start to do battle in the Division.

My three stars:

1. Filip Forsberg

2. Michael Neuvirth

3. Shayne Gostisbehere

No comments:

Post a Comment