Thursday, May 12, 2016

Predators Don't Show Up, Drop Game 7 to the Sharks 5-0

The Nashville Predators have never won a playoff game on the home ice of the San Jose Sharks.

That unenviable trend continued in the 7th game of the Predators second round series against the Sharks.

The Sharks jumped on the Predators early in the game, out shooting the Predators 17-3 in the first period and tallying twice. Joe Pavelski scored on the power play and Joel Ward scored on a breakaway to make it 2-0 after 20 minutes.

Shea Weber had a brutal turnover to Logan Couture, who converted to make it 3-0 early in the second period.

Pekka Rinne was under siege, while Martin Jones had an easy night as the Predators offense never threatened through 2 periods, managing only 8 shots on goal.

Joe Thornton scored on the power play early in the third period to make it 4-0. Patrick Marleau added a goal to make it 5-0.

The Predators were out of gas and getting embarrassed.

Carter Hutton came in to finish the game in net for the Predators, which was just as well because the team in front of Rinne was getting him killed.

The Predators didn't bother to show up in what was arguably their most important game in franchise history and went down to an embarrassing defeat 5-0.

Some observations:

  • The Sharks power play has been lethal in this series. It doesn't help that the Predators often allowed Sharks forwards open ice in the low slot. Pavelski scored the first goal of the game from within 10 feet of the net. The Predators often did not seem to have an answer for the Sharks power play unit.
  • The Predators knew the Sharks would come out with jump to start the game. They did just that, and the Predators had no answer in the first period. through 17 minutes, the Sharks had 15 shots and the Predators only had 2.
  • Pekka Rinne was under siege in the first period (see bullet point above) and had absolutely no help. If he had not made some exceptional saves the game would have been totally out of control for the Predators in the first period.
  • Shea Weber was not good in this game. His awful turnover onto the stick of Logan Couture led to the Sharks third goal. When Weber is not good, this team is going to struggle.
  • Through 2 periods, the Predators managed only 8 shots and never challenged Jones. Not a formula for success.
  • The penalty by Ekholm at the end of the second period was a retaliation penalty and was stupid. it cost the Predators as they gave up their second power play goal to fall behind 4-0.
  • Rinne was just under siege and had no help. I really felt sorry for him because the team in front of him gave him absolutely no help.
It is incredibly disappointing to see this team fall  flat on their face. It doesn't take away from the great run they had, but the frustration and sense of failure is palpable with this lack of effort.

I will have a post mortem on the season in a few days.

They are going to have to find a way to win these types of games and have players that will step up in these big games.

I am still proud of this team.

And we all should be.

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