There's been a few games this year that have rubbed me the wrong way, but this one may just take the cake. The Nashville Predators fell to the Atlanta Thrashers 3-2 in overtime on Monday night.
Nashville came out of the gate flat and got pushed back by the Thrashers. However, the Preds soon found their game and got a goal on a quick snapshot by Colin Wilson on a great drop pass by SK74.
Minutes later the preds struck again when Sullivan dropped a pass to O'Reilly who dropped it back to Wilson for the shot. It was tipped in front by Steve Sullivan and the Predators were out to a 2-0 lead in the first. The killer instinct never was there.
The Preds were abysmal on the faceoff. They only won 29% of the faceoffs on the night, which is really a pathetic number. You'd think somebody would have a little more pride than that. Having said that, Atlanta scored a goal off a quick faceoff win, with the puck being tipped in front.
In the 3rd, another faceoff win for the Thrashers brought the puck back to Dustin Byfuglien where he ripped a shot that Andrew Ladd put back home on the rebound. So, after having a 2-0 lead, the Preds had managed to squander the lead to a team they had on the ropes.
On came overtime and the Nashville Predators did what they have done all year in overtime. Lose. Kevin Klein found himself without a stick and with the puck. Kevin Klein having the puck with a stick is scary enough, much less without one. Klein proceeded to take the puck to the boards by the bench area and just kind of sit there with it for a while. Well, naturally, it was stolen and it led to a wide open Zach Bogosian who scored the game-winner.
How many times are they going to let this happen? Most people justify this by saying "Well at least they got a point. That might be the point that puts them in the playoffs." Well that's freakin fantastic. What you never hear is that losing the game might be the point given away that keeps them OUT of the playoffs. This game was entirely in the control of the Nashville Predators and they choked.
If the Preds are only going to win 29% of the faceoffs, they might as well not even show up to Detroit. It's really unacceptable. I'm really frustrated with this game tonight and, quite frankly, I'm so tired of giving away these games. It falls back on Trotz. If you can't keep your team focused when they get a 2 goal lead, then what in the world are you doing coaching? Get your team together and keep them focused or stop wasting my time. It also falls on Shea Weber. You are the captain of this team. Your team has given away AT LEAST 8 games so far this year. Step up and lead the team.
Luckily, we have the best team in the NHL to look forward to on Wednesday. The good thing is I can guarantee you the effort and concentration will be there on Wednesday night. It always is with the Red Wings, except for maybe the previous meeting between these two teams this year. If the concentration isn't there on Wednesday night, it's time to take a serious look at this team. If you can't get up for the Red Wings then you really need to seriously consider your profession. I have passion for this team and I absolutely hate Detroit. It's time the players act like they care when they give games away like they did tonight. Either that or just stop playing. I don't have time for people who don't care.
Detroit was beaten tonight 5-2 by the Sharks. Both teams will be looking to rebound. Concentrate and learn how to play with a lead. It's time for you to do your job Barry Trotz. Or hopefully somebody else will.