Thursday, November 11, 2010

Preds Squeak Out a Victory

The Nashville Predators finally put an end to their losing streak on Thursday night as they defeated the St. Louis Blues 3-2 by way of a shootout. Pekka Rinne had a decent game in goal and Marcel Goc got the game-winning shootout goal. Cal O'Reilly and J.P. Dumont were the goal scorers in regulation for the Predators. Here's some things to take away from Thursday night's game:

FINALLY GETTING A "W"
At this point, I'm sure they didn't care how they got one as long as they got one. The Preds didn't have their best game but ultimately hung around long enough and escaped with a shootout victory. You've got to give them credit. After falling behind 2-1 in the third period, they could have easily packed it in and just decided that this game was going to end up the same as the previous five. But they didn't. They hung in there and kept fighting. The first period wasn't very good at all but the Preds managed to get out of there only trailing 1-0 thanks to a truly brilliant play by Marcel Goc, clearing the puck out inches away from the goal line.

O'REILLY'S POINT STREAK
With his goal tonight, Cal O'Reilly extended his point streak to five games. He leads the team in points so far this season with 12 and has really been a pleasant surprise so far.

THINGS TO WORK ON
Although they won the game, this wasn't a great game played by the Preds in any way. There were still some stupid penalties, still no life on the power-play at all, and the dump and chase mentality of this team has to be addressed. The Preds use the dump and chase more than any other team in the league. Simply put, it's rarely going to work. Dumping it in the zone regulary is, a lot of times, just as good as giving the other team the puck. Somebody needs to take it themselves into the zone and try to set up more offensive chances. The talent is there for this team to start scoring goals. You just have to set up a system that will allow you to score those goals and the dump and chase is, quite frankly, not that system. It's something that needs to be addressed by the coaching staff. Pekka Rinne played much better tonight than he had in his two previous games, coming up with some big stops in regulation and in the shootout. All in all, in no way was it a terrible game for the Preds but there still is room for improvement and things to work on. However, the end result is all that matters and the Preds escaped with a win.

PREDS VS. HAWKS
The Predators will finally return home(briefly) on Saturday night as they face the defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks. The Preds and Hawks have met earlier this season in the second game of the year for Nashville with the Preds winning a 3-2 game in the United Center in the last 30 seconds. This will be Chicago's first trip back to Nashville since Game 6 of the Quarterfinals where they eliminated the Preds. I think you can expect Nashville to come out with a fire, still remembering how that series went last year and playing with a chip on their shoulder that hasn't been there recently with all of the injuries and losses. I haven't heard any more news on Suter or Erat and whether or not either of them have the possibility of playing Saturday night, so if anybody has any information on that it would be greatly appreciated. I am fearful for Lombardi though. He has had previous experiences with concussions and once you get the first one, you're more prone to get more. I hope he's ok and is able to return to the line-up soon.

Puck drop for Nashville vs. Chicago will be Saturday night at 7 p.m. at Bridestone Arena in Nashville.

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