Saturday, December 5, 2015

Predators Can't Hold Leads, Blow Game to the Wings In OT

The Nashville Predators can't stand success.

They managed to blow a 3-1 lead before losing in overtime to the Detroit Red Winds by a 5-4 margin

Brad Richards gave the Wings a 1-0 lead before the Predators reeled off 3 straight goals to take a 3-1 lead late in the second period.

Shea Weber notched 2 power play goals and Viktor Arvidsson got a tally from in front of the net to give the Predators the two goal advantage.

Tomas Tatar scored on a late power play to send the Predators into the second intermission with a 3-2 lead.

Weber would record another power play goal as he blew a point shot past Petr Mrazek to give the Predators a 4-2 lead.

Dylan Larkin wove his way through the Predators defense to beat Rinne under the crossbar to make it 4-3.

Ryan Ellis took a stupid boarding penalty to put the Wings on the power play and Justin Abdelkader scored on a shot from Gustav Nyquist where Rinne was bumped by Abdelkader. The goal was reviewed but allowed to stand.

In overtime, Nyquist beat Rinne on the a breakaway and the Predators had tanked on a game they should have won.

Some observations :

  • Some poetic justice for Shea Weber as the first Detroit goal bounced off of him and past Pekka Rinne. Two goals in the second is a pretty good response, eh? Especially one that bounced off the glass and back of Mrazek, which was confirmed by review. This was Weber's first 2 goal game since January 2015 against Dallas. Weber would add a third power play goal as he blew a shot from the point past Mrazek for his first career hat trick.
  • I continue to like the play of Viktor Arvidsson. The Aardvark has adjusted to the speed of the NHL and is not afraid to bang along the boards and work in front of the net. He is using his speed to find open areas and was rewarded with a goal tonight.
  • Rough start for Seth Jones with two slashing penalties in the first period. 
  • Good to see the power play get going. One of the contributing factors to the Predators spotty play recently has been the weak special teams play. If these units can get going, it will be a great boost to the team.
  • While it was good to see the power play get going, the PK continues to struggle, allowing 2 power play goals in 5 attempts by the Wings. The Predators have allowed 10 power play goals in their last 8 games, a major contributor to their struggles.This unit is going to have to get their game together quickly if the Predators are going to have success.
  • No way the Predators defense should allow Larkin to skate through them like he did for his third period goal. The defense has to step up and take the body. Instead, Larkin was allowed to skate unimpeded until he found the soft spot in the defense to beat Rinne.
  • the boarding penalty by Ryan Ellis late in the game is a penalty that just cannot happen. It was a selfish play as Ellis was going full speed into a player that had his back to the ice and was along the boards. The Predators have to play with more discipline than that with the game in the balance.
  • The Predators have yet to win a game in the overtime session this season. They often look disjointed and lack a sense of urgency and attacking attitude in OT.
  • The Predators were a horrid 39% in the face off circle, which contributed to the Wings possession time.
  • The Predators blocked 20 shots, while the Wings blocked 8.
The Predators continue in their funk and each game exposes another crack in the Predators facade. This team has shown that they can play excellent hockey, and they have shown they can stink it up.

Tonight, they showed they lack killer instinct. yes, the Wings are a dynamic team, but when you have two 2 goal leads, you lock down the  opponent.

Tonight, the Predators let the Wings dictate play in critical times and it cost them the game.

The Predators have no swagger and no one that will step up and take control of a game.

Better find one fast or more trouble awaits.

My three stars:

1. Shea Weber

2. Gustav Nyquist

3. Roman Josi

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