Sunday, May 1, 2016

Predatoes Have Their Chances But Can't Finish, Fall to the Sharks 3-2

The Nashville Predators looked to steal home ice  at the Shark Tank the second game of their series with the San Jose Sharks. The Predators are going to need a full 60 minutes of play and contributions from the top lines to accomplish that task, something that didn't happen in game one.

The Predators played a full 60 minutes with jump and energy this game. Unfortunately, they still came out on the short end of the score by a 3-2 margin.

The Sharks lethal power play capitalized in the second period as Logan Couture tallied to make it 1-0. Pekka Rinne made the initial save, but Couture was left all alone to pick up the rebound and pot a goal into a near empty net.

In the third period, Mattias Ekholm launched a shot through traffic that beat Martin Jones top shelf to tie the game at 1.

Joe Pavelski broke the tie as he was alone to gather in a rebound to make it 2-1.

Joe Thornton hit an empty net goal to make it 3-1.

Roman Josi scored with 3 seconds left to make it 3-2, but there was not enough time for the Predators to tie the game and they will return home down 2-0 in the series.

Some observations:

  • After missing the first game of the series, Craig Smith returned to the line up. The Predators are 4-0 when the Honey Badger is in the line up. They are 0-4 without him. You can't underestimate what Smith brings to the line up. When healthy, his speed and attacking style of play opens up the ice for his line mates, and it is a positive to have him back in the line up.
  • Lots more intensity and jump by the Predators and the Sharks in the first period. The hitting was better by the Predators and they were moving their feet better than in the first game. Now they have to do it for the next 40 minutes.
  • The Predator forwards are going to have to work harder to get to the prime scoring areas. The Sharks do a good job of clearing the front of the net, and this is going to be a matter of want to for the forwards to put pressure on Jones.
  • Some great saves by Rinne early in the second period. The Sharks do a great job in transition and on the rush, and Rinne came up with some huge saves to keep the Sharks off the board.
  • The Sharks scored on the power play after Rinne made the initial save but gave up a rebound. Problematic with that goal is that Logan Couture was allowed a free ride in front of the net with no defenders challenging him. Rinne has to have some help and the Predators defenders have to make life miserable for the Sharks around the net. They did not on that power play.
  • Matty Ek's goal was a perfectly placed shot. But did you see who was taking all sorts of punishment to screen Jones? The smallest guy on the ice- the Aardvark, Viktor Arvidsson. Small guy but perhaps the biggest heart of anyone on the team.
  • This was a full 6o minute game by the Predators, but they are going to have to finish some of their chances. They had some great chances but couldn't finish some of their scoring chances. The guys that are counted on to finish are going to have to do just that if this team is going to have a chance to come back in this series.
  • There was some uncharacteristically leaky D in front of Rinne on the first two goals that the Sharks scored. Having the opponents forwards left alone to have unmolested tap ins is not a formula for success for the Predators.
  • Rinne made some outstanding saves to keep the Sharks off the board and the level of play by the big metminder has given this team an opportunity to win. 
The onus is on the Predators to capture the next two games at Bridgestone Arena. They are going to have to come out with the jump and energy that they displayed tonight.

And they are going to have to finish some of their chances.

My three stars;

1. Joe Pavelski

2. Pekka Rinne

3. Logan Couture

No comments:

Post a Comment