Over the weekend the Nashville Predators closed out the California portion of the road trip with two losses. On Saturday night, the Preds got taken to the shed by Los Angeles and lost 4-1. Pekka Rinne was awful in that game and Anders Lindback had to come in relief. On Sunday, the Preds lost 5-4 to the Ducks with the game-winning goal coming with 2 seconds left in the third period. Here's a few things to think about:
MOOD OF THE TEAM
Let me start out by saying I don't know how the players are feeling in the locker room. I don't know how the coaches are handling the situation or the sense of urgency they're trying to instill. I don't know if they're having fun. Here's what I do know: They don't need to be having fun right now. I'm very angry about this 5 game losing streak and I can only assume the players are too. If not, it's time to get angry and play a game with some edge. Maybe with a little fire and intensity. Little too far-fetched? I hope not. Because if it is this team can go ahead and pack it up now. Do I think they can bounce back? Of course I do. There is something that bugs me and that is the old "We're in a better position this year than we were this time last year." Well fantastic. Here's something you also need to know. This isn't last year's team at all! This team is expected to perform. This team is expected to compete in each and every hockey game that is played in the 82 game season. It's time to get angry and go out and try to kick somebody's ass and light a fire under this team, because right now that fire isn't there.
Improvement is needed in all areas. The offense has got to produce more and I was encouraged by the production in Anaheim......Well, I was encouraged by the O'Reilly line. The past three games, goaltending has simply sucked and there is no other way to put it. Rinne and Lindback have to get better if this team is going anywhere. Defensively, they've got to be positionally sound. They're getting burned out of position and it's costing us points. And, finally, we need Suter, Lombardi, AND Erat back(Yes i said it). We need to get healthy and fast. Now's the time to kick it in gear because these points could cost us in April.