Who was that out there? Surely it wasn't the same Nashville Predators that started the season 5-0-3. Well, in a way, it wasn't but I'll get to that later. The Nashville Predators got run out of Joe Louis Arena by the Red Wings, losing a 5-2 contest that, in all honesty, really wasn't that close. Here are some key points from the game:
Pekka did not play very well tonight at all. He gave up rebounds and was out of position regularly. Granted, he defense didn't help him at all but it was still a pretty poor outting from Rinne.
The Predators defense is usually the strength of their game. Tonight, it was the weakest part of their game. Not one player had a good game defensively. Each defenseman was out of position multiple times and nobody really played well until Weber and Klein hooked up for the goal. I'm not sold on Alexander Sulzer at all. Frankly, he appears to be getting worse with each passing NHL game. He was truly awful tonight, as was the entire team. AND YOU CAN'T LET HOLMSTROM PLANT HIMSELF IN FRONT OF PEKKA RINNE AND NOT EXPECT TO GET SCORED ON! Sheesh, how many times have we heard that one?
Although they only scored two goals, the offense really wasn't THAT bad tonight. They got pretty good pressure in parts of the game and clanged a couple off of the post. Colin Wilson almost made it a 5-3 game in the third when he beat Osgood. The post was simply the enemy for him tonight. It certainly wasn't a great offensive game, but it isn't the worst offensive performance they've had this year so far.
WHERE WAS THE INTENSITY?
We were playing the Detroit Red Wings. That's not usually something to be lax about. I'm not going to say that they didn't care because I think they did care. They just were lazy on several plays and it's very uncharacteristic of them. Lazy passes, sticks not being on the ice to receive passes, and most of all it looked like they were just kind of gliding around tonight. I rarely saw anybody REALLY skating hard after a puck. Physicality was almost non-existent in this game. It wasn't a very intense game at all by the Predators.
It was painfully obvious how much this team is missing Ryan Suter at the moment. They were dreadful defensively tonight. Suter, Lombardi, Goc, Tootoo, and the Cube, were all out tonight. Tootoo and Bullion were not expected to be out coming into the game so it was surprising not to see those two in there. So, in a way, it wasn't the same Nashville Predators that started 5-0-3. A fourth of them aren't out there! This team has got to get healthy and stay healthy.
Erat has been awful this year. He really hasn't looked good at all and I'm really not sure what they problem is. When Erat is on, he is a very creative offensive player. But I think he's gone from creative offensive player to nothing right now. As we all know, he makes a lot of really stupid plays that cost us (I.E. game 5) and he seems to do it at the worst possible time.
RANDOM NOTES FROM TONIGHT'S GAME
Linus Klasen played his first NHL game. Nothing too good and nothing too bad.
Datsyuk had 2 goals and an assist tonight.
The Wings had 28 shots and the Preds had 25. Really not that much difference. Our defense really let us down tonight.
Sulzer logged 28:18 of ice time tonight. He played almost half of the game. Weber logged 27:08.
Dumont and Weber both had 4 shots, which tied for the team lead.
Ward and Klein were the goalscorers for the Preds.
The Red Wings have scored a power-play goal in 8 straight games. Must be nice.
This was Chris Osgood's 19th career victory over Nashville.
The Preds next game will be Wednesday night against Pheonix. We'll see who all comes back from injury for that game. We need Suter back quick.